Service Depot: Command & Conquer: Rivals Pre-Alpha Patch Announcements

These are the comments on patch changes stated by Greg Black in the C&C Rivals subforum on EA Answers HQ, which were posted usually no later than a day before each patch was released. They provide insight on why the changes contained in these patches were made.


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 6 August 2018 Balance Patch

There were no pre-patch announcements for this release.


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 25 July 2018 Balance Patch

There were no pre-patch announcements for this release.


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 19 July 2018 Balance/Map Patch

Posted on 18 July 2018

With the next patch we are making some balance changes to game maps.

All maps have been tuned for symmetric consistency of unit spawn points and automated harvester tiberium choices.

We have made more significant changes to ten maps (listed below).  The feedback and data around these maps revealed some patterns that we wanted to correct.

From a game balance perspective we want maps to encourage certain army builds and strategies, but we want those builds and strategies to be different from map-to-map within a group of maps.  No play style should be dominant on all maps to avoid optimal builds.

The main issue we were seeing from this perspective was uneven distribution of maps that enabled harvester kill strategies. There was too much aggression in the Badlands map groups and not enough in the Alpine map groups.  We’ve taken steps to correct that imbalance so that each group now has a more even mix of maps in regards to harvester harassment.

The other issue we found was battle time, some maps (ahem, Center rally) were taking significantly longer to win or lose then others.  These maps were too defensibly stable in their layouts, allowing players to stake out territory and making it hard for players to attack each other.  We have taken steps to make these maps more volatile which should lead to shorter battles.

We are keeping a close eye on how commander powers and long range units (MLRS, Artillery) are being used on each map, but aren’t making any specific changes with this update.

These are the changes that were made to individual maps:

Fertile Basin – The 2nd Tiberium field was moved away from the lower capture points to make it easier for players to attack two on one into ‘their’ capture point.

Center Rally – This map was taking too long and often getting to a state where all the tiberium was mined out.  To encourage faster battle times we’ve moved the two capture points next to each other to allow for capture point to capture point fights and the ability to attack the harvesters in the top group of tiberium fields.

Middle Oasis – This map put too much focus on the top capture point and caused too many harvester kills.  To encourage more even engagement across the map we’ve removed some of the rocks to open a second path to the bottom capture points and moved tiberium fields to create more balance between the points.  While this map is still dangerous for harvesters they shouldn’t be in as much danger as before.

Fighting Pit – The arrangement of tiberium on this map was causing harvesters to go on long dangerous journeys across the capture points. The new arrangement reduces that behavior.

Broken Mesa – This map’s tiberium has been rearranged for harvester safety and to make better use of the entire map.  Some movement blockers have been removed from the middle of the map to make it easier to attack when you don’t have control of it.

Side by Side – This maps’ tiberium has been rearranged for harvester safety.  Attacking both capture points has been made easier to reduce battle times for the map.

Down the Middle – This map has been redesigned for faster battles with more harvester aggression.

Open Water – Tiberium fields have been moved on this map to make attacking harvesters easier.

Frozen Road – Tiberium fields were moved to improve harvester pathing.


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 11 July 2018 Balance Patch

Posted on 9 July 2018

This week we’ll be improving underperforming units and making a few targeted tweaks to units and powers that are a little too good (or a lot too good if you’re the Basilisk).

We’ll be giving some love to:

  • Chemical Warriors
  • Jump Jet Troopers
  • Stealth Tank
  • Banshee

We’ll be dialing down:

  • Basilisk
  • Mammoth Tank
  • M.L.R.S.
  • Heroic Charge
  • Fanaticism

I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’ve been rapidly and aggressively making balance changes. We’ll continue to experiment and rapidly course-correct throughout this Early Access period, all in the interest of gaining as much feedback and data as possible prior to worldwide launch. We’ll settle into a regular, steadier balance-change cadence post-launch.


 —MrBlack and C&C: Rivals Combat Team


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 3 July 2018 Balance Patch

Posted on 2 July 2018

Hey, Commanders!

We are looking to make quick tweaks to promote some of the early-game diversity we lost when making the War Factory buffs. Most of those changes are likely to remain in place, but it I expect we will see the effectiveness of the Buggy and Rhino reduced somewhat. Attack Bikes are also likely to get a slight nerf and a change to their attack cadence to make them a little less extreme in terms of their hit-and-run potential.

We are also considering lowering the Riflemen and Militant damage vs. vehicles so they’re not quite so cost effective to spam in all situations.

Additionally, I’d expect some pullback on the Dr. Liang Heal Drone buffs to vehicle healing. His buffs to Infantry healing are likely to remain in place.

Fanaticism and Heroic Charge also received pretty substantial buffs in the last patch, but we are still evaluating their impact.

We are also looking at a number of other changes but we will probably keep the next balance update pretty targeted at the early-game units.

—The C&C: Rivals Combat Team


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 28 June 2018 Balance Patch

Posted on 25 June 2018

Hey Commanders!

It’s Monday and that means it’s time to talk balance changes. We are currently seeing some pretty competitive matches at the highest levels of play but there’s still plenty that can be improved. This week we’re looking into the following balance adjustments:

Repair Drone, while pretty good when paired up with the big end game units is pretty underwhelming when healing your early game troops. We are considering adding a small flat heal amount to the repair drone to increase its viability with early game unit compositions.

Direct damage commander powers, specifically Ion Cannon and Catalyst missile are difficult and frustrating to dodge, so we’re going to give you a little bit more time to react to them. Our intention is to make changes to these powers small and iterative, as it would be very easy to overcorrect them out of viability.

We feel that Warfactory units could use a bit of help, specifically the Rhino / Buggy and Predator / Scorpion Tanks. Expect some small buffs to them.

Pitbulls received a significant health buff last week that we feel was a bit of an overcorrection. We will likely be reverting their health change in a way that is unlikely to affect shots to kill from things like Anti-Vehicle Infantry and Tanks, but will make them more vulnerable to damage from things like Militants and Turrets. This will also provide an indirect buff to the Orca which will likely be able to single volley them to death.

We are going to continue to tweak and tune minor, but important, things like the initial attack delay on Missile Squad / Laser Troops.

The C&C: Rivals Combat Team


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 20 June 2018 Balance Patch

Posted on 18 June 2018

Hey, commanders!

It’s been a few days since our previous (and only) balance update, so I wanted to take you inside what we’re seeing and what we’re thinking about addressing:

  • The GDI / Nod win-rate disparity has improved quite a bit but is still outside of what we think is acceptable.
  • GDI Tech Lab starter epics are seeing roughly equal usage and win rates.
  • Nod starter epics, unlike GDI, more clearly favor Cyborg. Expect some kind of minor Cyborg tweaks in the next balance update as a result.
  • A lot of you are shaking your fist in the sky and yelling, “Orca!” Orca openers, while not impossible to scout or counter, are proving difficult for many players to deal with. We are considering ways to address this without punishing the Orca too much.
  • Along with the Orca, some of the heavier air units are giving us pause. Inferno and Kodiak in particular have the potential to absolutely wreck players who aren’t preemptively building against them. However, those units haven’t been unlocked by large numbers of players yet, so we’re still gathering data.
  • We are also considering some minor buffs for units that we feel are being underutilized, such as Venom, Talon and Pitbull.
  • In addition to standard unit tuning, we’re also looking at the player levels where specific units unlock. Many of you are pointing out that unit counters exist, but you don’t have access to them until too late. (For example, unlocking the Sniper Team much earlier to help GDI deal with Cyborg / Confessor comps.)

Expect to see a balance update later in the week. It is our goal to work out a regular cadence to get you guys updates and balance updates. Thank you for all your feedback, this past week has been awesome and we can’t wait to see what you do with our next round of changes.

-Greg and the C&C: Rivals Combat Team


Command & Conquer: Rivals (Pre-Alpha) – 15 June 2018 Balance Patch

Posted on 14 June 2018

Hey Commanders. This is Greg Black, lead combat designer for C&C: Rivals. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a long time C&C fan and designer. I previously worked on Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge, Generals, Zero Hour, C&C 3, and Red Alert 3, and more recently Starcraft 2. But enough about me, let’s talk about Rivals.

We are currently learning a ton about the state of the game’s balance and are looking to make some high-impact changes in the very near future. Before we finalize our first Pre-alpha balance patch, I wanted to give you guys some heads up as to what we’re looking at.

Currently, we’ve focused our sights on:

  • Nod is currently doing too well against GDI in cross-faction play. We have several theories on why this is, but we are still actively investigating it and haven’t reached any firm conclusions yet.
  • Double Harvester openers are overly strong and too difficult to punish. We will be looking at potentially tweaking the economy ramp to make this less viable as well as increasing some of the “punishment” for losing a harvester.
  • GDI Sandstorms are too difficult to counter with low-cost infantry. The Sandstorm’s high rate of fire make them overly efficient at countering enemy infantry. We are likely going to nerf the Sandstorm’s damage vs infantry to address this.
  • Nod Flame Troopers are overly effective against light vehicles. GDI doesn’t have a ton of units to counter them at low levels that aren’t also infantry or light vehicles. Decreasing Flame Trooper damage vs vehicles will make the Nod Buggy and GDI Rhino more effective counters against them.
  • Nod Cyborgs are overly efficient for cost and difficult to counter at lower levels. We don’t necessarily believe the Cyborgs are too strong per se, but rather that they are too inexpensive and easy to spam. There are also some second-order counter relationships (i.e. the things you can build to kill the Cyborgs are easily dealt with by Flame Troopers & Drill Pod) that we are concerned with as well.
  • Tech Lab / Temple of Nod (Tier 4) units are generally a bit too inexpensive. Our intention is not for games to turn into Tier 4 Epic spam, but we do want Tier 4 units to feel powerful and meaty. Right now, we think either the economy is ramping too much or the Tier 4 units are just a bit too inexpensive. Expect some cost tuning on them in the near future.

It’s awesome to finally have real players in the game. Expect balance changes to be coming fast and often as we absorb all your feedback and analyze the incoming data. If we’ve missed things you feel are important, let us know in the forums, Twitter, Discord, etc. During this early Pre-alpha period, you truly have a chance to shape the game alongside us. Your feedback and participation are invaluable as we tune and balance the game, and our goal is to make it as fun and fair as possible for you.

“Follow us on Twitter @CNCRivals for the latest news, tips, tricks and videos of the game:”

-Greg and the C&C: Rivals Combat Team