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Author Topic: Skill Overhaul  (Read 65162 times)

ChaseBears

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #150 on: December 19, 2016, 01:21:58 PM »

yeah. you could also still use a glass cannon build, if you take measures to support it with other vessels.  Hammer and Anvil tactics have been mentioned, and there's some ships clearly designed with that in mind like the destroyer (?) with the fortress shield.
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Sy

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #151 on: December 19, 2016, 01:32:25 PM »

there's some ships clearly designed with that in mind like the destroyer (?) with the fortress shield.
the Monitor, yes. it's a frigate, but it can tank ridiculous amounts of damage with the Fortress Shield and unique hullmod. doesn't have any noteworthy firepower, but it's got good built-in PD, and if you put two Ion Cannons on it, enemies can't easily ignore it. i quite like using a couple of them in vanilla fleets.
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Sordid

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #152 on: December 19, 2016, 01:34:31 PM »

Well that certainly encouraging. :) I kinda wonder what that means, though. When you say you're making soloing weaker and fleet actions stronger (that's what this boils down to, correct me if I'm wrong), does that mean it's more difficult/longer to get to the point where you can solo everything? Or do you actually lower the ceiling of what's possible to solo? Because the blog post kinda reads like you're doing the latter. I don't mind taking a longer route as long as I get to where I want to go, but not being able to reach my destination at all, that I wouldn't be happy about.

I mean, there's already a ceiling to how much you can do solo, and it's already lower than what you can do with a fleet. Toning down skills is going to lower that ceiling some, that's just unavoidable, regardless of the details of how they're toned down. I'd also like to note that "being able to win the hardest battles solo" is not a design goal and never was - however, that's very different from whether soloing is a viable way to play or not.

But there's no real endgame, still, so it's hard to really talk about with specifics. Suppose there are ways to "win" the game - is taking on the hardest combat challenge necessary to win? What exactly does winning mean? Etc. Flying solo or with a small fleet has plenty of natural advantages - cheaper, sneakier. If it also gives you the same amount of power as running a large fleet, it'd be pretty broken, wouldn't it? But again the question is, why are you fighting? Probably because of some larger goal. If there are other ways to accomplish that goal that don't involve taking on the biggest enemies all at the same time, and that running a small fleet facilitates, then that's another possibility.

Again you make some excellent points, however I disagree that there is currently a solo ceiling. Last time I played I could take on anything in the game with my high-level character and an upgraded Paragon fairly easily. Yeah, sure, I could create an unwinnable custom battle against a dozen enemy Paragons or something, but that's not something the player would ever encounter naturally in the game. Thing is, though, adding a second identical Paragon as my wingman wouldn't actually increase my combat efficiency in any way. In small fights I don't need the help, and in large battles the AI will just get itself killed immediately anyway.

That's just a minor point, though, I want to mainly talk about the question you posed. "Why are you fighting?" Because it's fun. The battles are the meat of the game, everything else is there just as filler between the fun bits. I'm sure it stings a bit to hear it put so bluntly, but that's how it is. The number of weapons, ships, hull mods, loadouts, fleet combinations, and combat situations the player can encounter in battles makes for an incredibly varied and fun experience. The overworld gameplay can't ever hope to match that, it will always be less complex and less exciting. That's why I prefer to run a solo ship. If I run a fleet, I can't avoid losing ships. That is frustrating in and of itself, mostly because it's the AI's fault 90% of the time and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. But it also means I then have to spend more time traveling (= waiting) and grinding the menus to replace the losses. If I run a single powerful ship that never dies, I have less downtime between the fun bits. That's why this talk of nerfing solo play worries me, to me it reads as nerfing the fun playstyle and buffing the more boring one. But like I said, that's just me and my preferences. I'm sure lots of people love running fleets.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 01:40:17 PM by Sordid »
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ChaseBears

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #153 on: December 19, 2016, 01:48:08 PM »

Well, part of that is the contradiction between fleet building gameplay and Space Adventurer gameplay.  For space adventuring - equipping your ship to its potential requires going to many ports, grinding rep, etc.   But fleet gameplay that can tolerate losses requires relatively easy replacement of losses without a bunch of hassle.   The current markets with their limited supplies and buying naked hulls rather than kitted ships really are a barrier in running a fleet.  That's gonna be true regardless of how the skills system changes.

I think space adventurer is more fun with a more apparent upper cap on your capabilities, anyway; you have to dodge the big fish while going for the tasks that are more your speed.   The trouble with this in starsector is that a moment's inattention or just simple bad luck can easily lead to an armada entering combat with your lone ship or small flotilla and that just makes life really rough. The exception is the extremely questionable mechanic of being immune to nonconsensual attack because your ships is very fast tactically.

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Questionable

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #154 on: December 19, 2016, 01:51:43 PM »

i quite like glass-cannon builds as well. but when it's rather easy to make a loadout that can keep firing at enemies without giving them much chance to shoot back (because they have neither the firing range nor the speed required to do so) then all other loadouts quickly become suboptimal. it's understandable that it's frustrating when your preferred playstyle is the one getting hit with the nerf-bat, but it's because right now that playstyle is pretty much just the best one. so for all players who do not prefer kiting at long range over all other playstyles, this should hopefully make their preferred ones more viable.

and it's not like the goal is to make the glass-cannon with long range builds unusable. the goal is to make that build one of several, close-to-equally powerful choices. :]
Glass cannon with range is not the most efficient path and hardly the must have. As I mentioned I have tried different options.
-Slow to move but excellent frontal firepower and defense, it takes time to arrive on the battlefield but you wipe the floor with anything really, you just point guns towards them and win, the only down side is if you get massively flanked somehow, which is only a weakness if you have no fleet to support you. So essentially it's "move up, fire, win"
-Massive swarm of units, be it lot of good destroyers or lots of fighters, it's the same thing, AI moves in and cleans house if they have enough numbers. You only have to "tip" the balance in your direction and the swarm will handle the rest from there.

Both methods are easier and more efficient at destroying the opposition than any kind of glass cannon build. The only difference is that the glass cannon engages the player faster and more, since they get to battle faster and get to be more active.
In fact I would say any kind of glass cannon build is the only thing the human player should be play, both because the player gets to engage more in combat and because AI can't handle anything that requires finesse. You can't give phase ships to AI, or with burn-drive, or capital ships that aren't built for "strong shields, good fire power, you stand here and fire"
I can go into more in-depth examples of those situations but I doubt you care.
My point: Give them simple and *** proof ships to AI and you should pilot something frail, nimble, with a punch to boot. That is if you like to engage in combat.
So removing glass cannons to "encourage" players to play slow builds is silly, considering all playstyles did well in the Singleplayer game. It's not like some human player would come up to you and kite you until your slow fleet dies.
Instead if you feel the playstyle is too powerful increase the penalties on the play style, make the cannon more glass, rather than removing it's strengths such as mobility, range, firepower.
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Techhead

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #155 on: December 19, 2016, 01:56:12 PM »

I think the root problem that a lot of people have fleet actions is the ease of losing ships, and the replaceability thereof. No one wants to do a 20 vs 20 slugfest if you're stuck replacing 5 ships afterwards. (And considering you only lost 5 in an even fight, you did well!) Losing part of a fleet in a battle you've won is enough hassle that players gravitate towards tactics like either curbstomping with larger fleets to avoid any losses (when doing so is affordable) or going all-or-nothing with soloing tactics (when ship/player builds that can do so are viable).

But if I lose a Scarab, I'm likely never going to get another.
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Wyvern

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #156 on: December 19, 2016, 02:07:01 PM »

The one concern I have with reducing the ordnance point bonuses is that it takes certain builds out of the running entirely; the most obvious example of this being the plasma cannon Sunder.  Without maxed skills, it just doesn't work.  With maxed skills... it only barely works.

I'd tend to say that making high end enemy fleets able to use ordnance point bonuses would be a better solution than cutting them... though at the same time, I also see that tying such bonuses into skills makes those skills too much of a must-have.  Maybe a rare hull mod that can't be removed, much like the ninth fleet upgrade, and offers bonus ordnance points (with perhaps some cost in terms of supply usage or CR stats)?
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ChaseBears

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #157 on: December 19, 2016, 02:21:34 PM »

? I made use of a Plasma Cannon Sunder just fine before even investing in Technology, last game I played.  Just messed around in missions with one, its fine.

AI is if anything better at flying phase ships than I am.

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Megas

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #158 on: December 19, 2016, 02:33:23 PM »

I prefer AI getting more OP to match the player, not the player getting less.

As Sordid said, the main reason to fight is fun - modern retro-gaming style shmup fix in my case.  In 0.54, I absolutely abhorred the auto-resolve build because it destroyed the point of the game - fighting, but it generated levels much faster than normal by far!  Eventually, I could reach level 50-something instead of early 40s by any other way and smash things with a stronger character after I tire of auto-resolve.

The main reason I solo fleets is income (or maybe mitigating CR/supply loss).  If I deploy enough for fleet action, and there is no bounty, I lose money.  I also risk ships, and if I lose ships, I lose money too after replacing ships and weapons... if I can find them.  The only way to reliably profit, when there are no bounties, is to solo everything and not lose ships.  Also, the most rewarding fights are those when AI gangs up for the 100+ death fleet, because you can pay CR once instead of seven or so times (no ship can afford to lose seven fights worth of CR).  When the AI has an overwhelming numbers advantage against you, deploying ships as wingmen will only get them killed.  Similar, if player travels light to squelch objectives, he needs to deal with detachments if caught somehow.

P.S.  This is another reason why standing down for partial CR refund during 0.65 was good for fleet action.  You did not lose so much money for deploying a fleet.  Soloing was still better at cutting costs, but fleet action back then was useful enough (or not too costly) to be an option.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 03:12:43 PM by Megas »
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PCCL

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #159 on: December 19, 2016, 02:36:25 PM »

The one concern I have with reducing the ordnance point bonuses is that it takes certain builds out of the running entirely; the most obvious example of this being the plasma cannon Sunder.  Without maxed skills, it just doesn't work.  With maxed skills... it only barely works.

I don't know that it's inherently a good thing to keep borderline builds like plasma sunder viable for the sake of it. If anything there should be some limitations as to what builds are actually good. The Sunder is a destroyer built around an oversized energy hardpoint and can barely support the damn thing as is, might not be the most logical thing to mount the most power hungry weapon on it and expect it to work well.
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Sy

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #160 on: December 19, 2016, 02:36:46 PM »

So removing glass cannons to "encourage" players to play slow builds is silly, considering all playstyles did well in the Singleplayer game.
but glasscannon builds aren't getting "removed". you can still have a glasscannon with long range, just less speed. and you can still have a glasscannon with high speed (even it's not as high anymore), at the cost of range.

and i just don't agree that other playstyles are as powerful (for a player piloted flagship, not talking about AI) as the one that allows you to both outmaneuver and outrange most enemies. i'm not saying other playstyles aren't possible at all right now, far from it, but they are suboptimal. the most powerful loadouts for your flagship are the ones that allow you to kill enemies with impunity. other loadouts might kill quicker, but none of them are as good at taking out huge numbers of enemies of all types and sizes all by yourself.

Quote
Instead if you feel the playstyle is too powerful increase the penalties on the play style, make the cannon more glass, rather than removing it's strengths such as mobility, range, firepower.
that wouldn't change much. if the balance problem is that the combination of long range and high speed allows you to kill enemies without giving them the chance to retaliate, how would a more fragile ship solve it? the issue is that this build allows you to almost completely avoid taking any damage in the first place.

in that video of yours, even if your Conquest had literally 0 armor, you still wouldn't even have come anywhere close to dying. and, i'm sorry, but.. that's a problem. even if it's fun for you (and for lots of other players as well, i'm sure) it is still unbalanced.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 02:38:33 PM by Sy »
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Carabus

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #161 on: December 19, 2016, 02:42:28 PM »

I am kinda worried about the skill cap. I have always disliked when games put limits on your possible progression. I find such limits demotivating.
I am worried what it will mean for combat-oriented player. The goal is usually to become as powerful in combat as possible.
Which means having as much combat skills unlocked as possible. Which means neglecting non-combat skills, not because they would delay progression in combat skills, but because they would make combat skill progression unachievable once you reach the skill cap. Which means possible chosing to miss other features of the game (like exploration). So yeah demotivating.
Imho it would be much better if there was a soft limit on skills. rather than hard limit. The required experience could grow exponentially after a certain point, making further progression very slow, but not impossible, giving late-game player still something left to achieve.

Other than that, great news!
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Alex

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #162 on: December 19, 2016, 03:06:07 PM »

That's just a minor point, though, I want to mainly talk about the question you posed. "Why are you fighting?" Because it's fun. The battles are the meat of the game, everything else is there just as filler between the fun bits. I'm sure it stings a bit to hear it put so bluntly, but that's how it is. The number of weapons, ships, hull mods, loadouts, fleet combinations, and combat situations the player can encounter in battles makes for an incredibly varied and fun experience. The overworld gameplay can't ever hope to match that, it will always be less complex and less exciting.

No, I hear that. While I think campaign level gameplay can be fun (and already is in some instances), and will get better yet, it's a different kind of fun, and battles are ... I don't know if it's too much to say the "heart" of the game, but design-wise, the idea is that anything you do in the campaign funnels you into combat for one reason or another. So, yeah, same page here.

But, in terms of what's fun - that makes sense, but I don't think it's measured in the total number of enemy ships you're taking on, so there probably isn't a direct relationship between a "lower ceiling of what you can take on" and "less fun". It might even be more fun to deal with a larger challenge instead of just sweeping it aside and then moving on to look for another one.

... and grinding the menus to replace the losses. ...

Just wanted to note here that I'm very much aware this is an issue for larger fleets. Even if mechanically everything was perfect, UI-wise, it needs to be smooth as well.


I am kinda worried about the skill cap. I have always disliked when games put limits on your possible progression. I find such limits demotivating.
I am worried what it will mean for combat-oriented player. The goal is usually to become as powerful in combat as possible.
Which means having as much combat skills unlocked as possible. Which means neglecting non-combat skills, not because they would delay progression in combat skills, but because they would make combat skill progression unachievable once you reach the skill cap. Which means possible chosing to miss other features of the game (like exploration). So yeah demotivating.
Imho it would be much better if there was a soft limit on skills. rather than hard limit. The required experience could grow exponentially after a certain point, making further progression very slow, but not impossible, giving late-game player still something left to achieve.

Other than that, great news!

Well, guess we'll have to see how it plays out - but for the time being, you'll just be able to tweak a number in the settings file to set it to whatever you like.
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Questionable

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #163 on: December 19, 2016, 03:34:48 PM »

but glasscannon builds aren't getting "removed". you can still have a glasscannon with long range, just less speed. and you can still have a glasscannon with high speed (even it's not as high anymore), at the cost of range.
So you only nerfed the speed, and the range(and possibly damage based on the fact there is less OP to use). I mean yeah if you consider blanket nerf across the board to the play style then yes, it's fine.

and i just don't agree that other playstyles are as powerful (for a player piloted flagship, not talking about AI) as the one that allows you to both outmaneuver and outrange most enemies. i'm not saying other playstyles aren't possible at all right now, far from it, but they are suboptimal. the most powerful loadouts for your flagship are the ones that allow you to kill enemies with impunity. other loadouts might kill quicker, but none of them are as good at taking out huge numbers of enemies of all types and sizes all by yourself.
I didn't say other playstyles are as powerful. I said they are more powerful while being more slow and less engaging. I took on 4 flagships with that conquest in the video and soon after my combat readiness would start to drop and I would not get very far with it against the rest of the fleet. Consider the fact that I took a "slow, but powerful frontal fire" ship approach and ditched the conquest and the glass cannon build and I worked through almost all of the fleet available with another capital ship by just being slow and fighting things head on with overwhelming power and shields.
Literally the main perk of the build I ran with conquest was that I get to the fight earlier and I get to engage more targets faster due to mobility which is more fun.
With the slow and power ship, I actually take down those 4 capital ships faster and move on to the rest of the fleet and end up killing far more in the end.


that wouldn't change much. if the balance problem is that the combination of long range and high speed allows you to kill enemies without giving them the chance to retaliate, how would a more fragile ship solve it? the issue is that this build allows you to almost completely avoid taking any damage in the first place.

in that video of yours, even if your Conquest had literally 0 armor, you still wouldn't even have come anywhere close to dying. and, i'm sorry, but.. that's a problem. even if it's fun for you (and for lots of other players as well, i'm sure) it is still unbalanced.
Oh yes, would you look at that, the conquest built for speed and range that has a high leveled player to boot, is out maneuvering the slowest ships in the game that don't have any back up(Any fight outside of the simulator has capital ships backed up by many smaller ships), don't have any officers or mods. Hmmm.
I like how you just look at a situation and say "clearly this is op, look at the ease at which this was done" you don't even stop to consider the context of the situation, not why it was easy, how often this situation would pop up in the actual game, lastly and more importantly how under same circumstances other tactics would perform.
I bet you would look at these webms and consider this as proof that missiles are OP as well http://webmshare.com/DmP3V http://webmshare.com/WJynD, because clearly a destroyer grade ship should never be able to take down a capital ship.... that's a problem. Let's not ask how or why it was able to do it, or if this could be done consistently or maybe how often this would happen in a real game and not a simulator.

In any case the reason why this annoys me is not because you are removing "power" from the fun playstyle, it's because you are watering down the playstyle and making everything more samey. There is plenty of ways to punish a high speed, high range ships that doesn't effect the main gameplay. Ships could do less damage, have a shorter deployment time, take more damage, take far more engine damage with longer flameouts or other effects. All of these make it so you either have to play the playstyle better or get punished more, but none of those effect how playing it feels.

I brought this up before but I hate watering things down for the sake of balance, even more so ridiculous when its in a singleplayer game.

I want ships to differ from each other more, not less. I want the strengths and weaknesses be both bigger.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 03:57:57 PM by Questionable »
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Dri

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Re: Skill Overhaul
« Reply #164 on: December 19, 2016, 03:45:48 PM »

Jesus, why does the Conquest always spawn so much divisive malarkey?

Ship is a misfit oddball that only special snowflakes seem to want to pilot! :P
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