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Messages - The PG 13 Priest

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@Albreo

Wow thank you for the video! I just watched a bit under half of it and it is very enlightening on endgame battles, etc!  ;D (I'll finish the rest of it later tonight)

Note: I see that you are using the combat speed up mod, and just be aware that it can make the AI a little wonky since things are going so fast and the AI can't take opportunity of certain windows (like shield flickering) as easily when that is active (per Alex iirc). I know that it would be pretty impossible to show all the content you did without it, but just keep that in mind as far as combat results since the game is not really meant to go that fast. For instance, I think some of those battles might have been a bit tougher otherwise - and I think I can visually see certain ships survive longer during some points where the battle seems to be going at a more normal pace. You have a lot of endgame experience though, so if you have played a lot without it on and that is not the case in your opinion let me know.

Re: General feedback from basileus and Albreo:

Thanks! (And always feel free to post what you think I truly don't mind even if I don't always agree with the opinion)

I'll start with the fighter rework suggestions.

I agree that gunships need to be faster and I've made some of them faster already. Thanks for the number I'll try and adjust a few on the slow side and scale the rest up even more.

(And I agree that the AI currently is really, really bad at handling fighters because it bases everything on a niche case that is specific only to vanilla. I've brought this point up to Alex a couple of times on the suggestion board, and iirc he thinks its necessary for ships to be defensive like this. Though I disagree, one point that could have been agreed upon is the aggressiveness of ships given an eliminate command. Since that command is player opted in, he might be more willing to look at that. I guess we will have to wait and see with the next update.)

A lot of the specific suggestions regarding wings have, coincidentally, mostly been looked at. Changes as I remember them:

 - Non-interceptor midline and low tech wings have a significantly more armor and a tiny bit more hull than before in some cases. Gunships, for instance, have like 4X more armor. So they will be tankier, but I'm hesitant to give them shields because A) thats more of a high tech thing and B) overloading the shields prevents the wing from doing its job and can actually make the wing worse unless the shield is very tough. If that doesn't help reduce crew consumption at endgame then I will look into further changes but it might be worth it to wait and see how it plays out.

 - Anti-wing heavy fighters should perform their role a bit better since I buffed their primary weapons so its not quite as much about the anti-fighter missiles. I'm not quite done testing there.

 - The Wasp has been given proximity mines and is now likely going to be a serious threat to other strike craft. Its OP has increased. I may buff the Spectre's defenses a bit and see how that works out. In small scale battles they are really good, but the Spark's shield probably gives it an edge. Their damage is probably fine they likely just die too easily in large battles when lots of projectiles are flying around and its harder to dodge even with phasing.

 - The locus has been changed to an EMP bomber instead of a defensive wing. It is now a Legendary wing. Its PD Burst Beam now acts as a light deterrent to interceptors. I may give it some missiles, but its EMP is surprisingly good at locking down and dealing fairly significant damage when there are a lot of them. Combine them with kinetic strike craft and you have a great utility bomber from what I have seen.

 - I agree with the dps of the Trident and the Goliath. I think making their pulse cannon weapons focus more on ships will help make this feel better, but I may change those weapons' firing patterns to make them more burst-oriented since they have to reload their rockets. I may add a second rocket battery to each of them as well. I haven't tested it enough yet to know for sure if its needed.

 - I added ~8 or so more wings - including the first Legendary wing - the Apocrypha - which is unattached to a faction and can't be found in markets. It has to be found as a Legendary blueprint or, eventually, salvaged from a boss bounty that uses them - which would be an endgame thing. Players are likely to not even see one in a play-through so finding the blueprint should be special.

 - The problem with reducing bullet count with strike craft is they become a lot less accurate and it seriously effects interceptors ability to do their job. I noticed your battle size is pretty high, so reducing it would probably help your CPU.

Weapons:

 - I'll take a look at the suggestions and I have a few ideas for the variety issues with energy weapons. I'm not sure if new weapons will make it into the update or not, but they are on my mind and it could happen.

 - I really do disagree with the analysis of the Terminator Beam. I think it's a great weapon because of the beam speed. The player, specifically, can really abuse shield flickering and sneak in some heavy armor damage. The real issue with the weapon is that the AI isn't always efficient with it. The Burst Siege Beam has the same issue, actually. It's good when it hits its intended defense type.

 - Tachyon Lance already has some changes. Hopefully it will make the AI a bit better with it. From the video, part of the issue it's bad is the jump from the Radiant putting it immediately under fire since the Radiant is trying to attack the enemy ship's engines. Since I'm changing that up already, that might help too on the primary ship that uses it. I honestly think the weapon is pretty good on a Malevolent or - in the next update - the Executor since that ship's flux stats have been buffed and it will likely have some more OP.

I just want to say that your mod is really fun and has given me at least like a couple hundred hours of fun so far. I am excited to see what you put out in the future.

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@Albreo

Ah thanks again for the video! I will do my best to learn from it and make any necessary changes - especially since its hard for me to test late game officer scenarios I really appreciate the demonstration of how those battles look.

You also make a good point regarding battle size considerations in the current format. I kind of wish the admiral AI did more wave-like deployments and retreated vessels after a mid-map skirmish is considered "lost" in order to lure the player into the reinforcement wave. Thing is, it might be hard to get that to feel right or not be abusable just like the current reinforcement pattern. It also might be hard to programmatically determine when a battle is "lost" to the AI in a relative-to-space way rather than a DP ratio way (which I assume the current admiral AI uses to determine when the AI ships full retreat).

The thing I was referring to with the upcoming objective changes was that the enemy ratio of DP will better favor them if they have a larger fleet. So in that sense, the AI can better utilize a numbers advantage from the onset of the battle without necessarily needing a large battle size to make the player feel the pressure. The breathing room factor will remain - but consider that small faster wolfpacks will also be encouraged in the new system over pure capital engagements. When putting those two changes together - there is likely to be less realistic breathing room without punishment if that makes sense. That's where I'm basing my assumption, anyway. I'll have to wait and see how it plays out in the end. The theory seems sound but who knows.


Is there an estimated time as to when the next update might take place?

At this point it's hard to say. Conceptually the new system is in place, but finishing the important details of each build and getting the balance to feel a bit better takes exponentially more time than the programming side of things. Work-wise if I put my axe to the grindstone - probably a week. Realistically though? Much harder to say with any real confidence. There are currently 982 variants in the mod. Minus the station modules and a few other ones that don't consider OP, the vast majority of them are going to require changes. I could just slap on vents or hullmods to fix them all quickly, but that seems like a wasted opportunity to make them more meaningful. It's not that they are bad now, per se, but they could be better in some areas - especially carriers. Then, of course, I'll need to add new variants for suggested balance issues and the new wings.

Generally, I balance weapons through stat changes other than OP because changing OP usually means changing a bunch of variants. Since I have to do it anyway for the carrier changes, it's a good time be careful about considering OP.

As an example, when thinking about a single carrier bay, how much of an OP gap does there need to be between wing tiers to make the increased effectiveness of the wing feel like a consideration of the build rather than an easy choice assuming the wing is available? That's one I'm still wrestling with, actually, and the only way to "find out" is going to be to make and test builds along tier lines with multiple carriers and feel it out until it feels right. Math can only get you so far with this sort of thing.

In fact, if anyone has opinions based upon your current experiences to that point, I'm all ears!

*EDIT* Oh hey welcome to the forums!  Didn't catch that this was your first post at first. :)


I just want to say that you and to let you know that i and many others greatly appreciate your hard work and look forward to what you put out in the future. I love the mod and have a lot of fun playing with the mod and trying out new or old builds.

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Is there an estimated time as to when the next update might take place?

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