Terminal Online S7 Week 1 Meta discussion

Congratz to team ‘Ring road bets’ for taking first in the weekly competition. They used a primarily defensive strategy with a large amount of Walls and Turrets to counter the Interceptor-heavy meta, losing only to Demorf’s similar defensive strategy, which was able to outpace them using EMPs to breach a weak corner and upgraded factories to generate more cores.

I have my own thoughts about the meta and some changes I am leaning towards making to the season config, but am curious about the general thoughts of top players.

My first thought in watching the matches is that it feels like walls are too expensive relative to the turrets and factories. This leads to sparse setups where even if we build a turret, they are hard to defend affordably if a scrambler stack switches to a ping stack to take them out

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Yeah I agree, even just 20 pings can wreck havoc on a line of walls and turrets. It’s pretty easy to save up now that the meta seems to be scrambler stalls every round. Most ridiculous thing I’ve seen is a 90 scrambler stack tanking turret fire from all sides.


It seems clear to me that the algorithms that play defensively were only able to take out the scrambler heavy meta because the scrambler algos are still early in development. A quick switch to a ping stack or emp stack with that many bits can easily wipe out all the walls in these cases.

I think an increase in the cost of the factory would solve most of the issues here. It would lead directly to longer games and fewer attacks which would allow more defensive structures to be built up before the overpowered attacks eventually begin.

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I am not a top tier player, but I will say that with just 10 minutes of coming back to terminal. I was able to beat the (at the time) current top algo with the interceptor+factory spam. So it most definitely needs a nerf in some way.

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I have similar feeling but the problem is on the other side:
Factories are too powerful and Turrets are almost mendatory to survive (if you don’t mass factories your self).
And proper mazes and defence reinforcements are only possible if you some how survive the early game rush.

I think if Factories+Interceptors rush was not so powerfull, walls would be fine.

Also the reduced starting SP adds to this issue.
It was probably introduced to limit the factory abuse potential, which it did not manage to do as factory rush had unexpected income from scoring.
But it hurt the initial defence enough that you need to do a crazy naked turrets if you want to play defensive. So may be fix the factory directly … and don’t break the defence options ? :smiley:

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Also it is probably a good time to review and discuss Interceptors. Before they were luxury units, expensive and hard to use. No one was bothered if that they were actually too powerfull … as using them was eather high skills or high risk.

Now, when we have a scenario where MP is abondaned … All attacks and defence are build around Interceptors as they are obviously overpowered.
So may be it is time to rebalance them, at least a bit.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I think Max hit the nail on the head here:

This first week has been pretty crazy, but I think we are ready to change things up.

My current planned changes are:

We meant for the factory to be strong on release. We bumped their power up a bit from our target, which would already have been more powerful than it should be. We have increased cores from the factory + to compensate for its higher cost, 7 turns is way to long to play from behind before getting any value from it
Cost 4 --> 7, upgrade cost 4 --> 7
Generates 2 SP per turn instead of 1

Interceptor range was increased in previous seasons, as it was a weaker unit at the time. With higher bit availability, it is too easy and consistant to spread scramblers in a way that they intercept most enemy attackers.
Range 4.5 --> 3.5

Initial SP was limited this season to prevent large numbers of factories being built early. However, this also reduced your ability to defend against them proportionally, so the end result was basically just that it is very difficult to create complex defence. This change is not being made to adjust the power of any unit or strategy, but to make it so that you dont feel so starved for SP in the early game
Starting SP 20 --> 40


I like it, super curious to see how the interceptor nerf changes things!