Im pretty excited for this group of ships, particularly going into .8, as since ironclads has been discontinued there arent any real broadside centric ships around. So.. I took the time to screw with it, and see how things play out.
Most of this feedback is from the point of view of someone trying to find setups to solo the introduction mission using the battleline destroyer in various fits, trying to stick as much as possible to in-faction weapons. (also, starsector+ I think is the only mod that changes anything installed). I did do some fiddling with the simulator as well.
Taking things roughly in teh same order as the OP, for my organization's sake:
Kirb rockets felt okay. I dont think it was actually stated on them that they were rockets, which surprised me at first. The destroyer's missile mounts were awful (read: not on the broadside) which made them difficult to use.
Goshawk missile seems alright. Permanent reloading on a light slot is really strong though, so some stock ships might be really excited about this.
Ares torp is whatever. I dont like torps very much..
Light flak gun is 10/10. I love flak on small mounts, it feels like the only thing that can deal with missiles. With that said, it deals with missiles far too well, as flak tends to do.
Hades gun (and medium version) feels alright. The turret versions turn really fast though, not sure what the numbers are on that. Between their turn speed and their range, explosive bullets tend to be the first thing to hit an enemy that gets nearby. Which is kinda iffy if they have shields at all, but hey, thats just me being bad at managing guns.
I feel like I really cant get behind the cascade autocannon. For the faction's primary kinetic weapon system, it feels very underwhelming and just kinda not actually able to do anything. The standard heavy autocannon preformed better than it in a couple trials. Primarily, the weapon's range seemed like a big issue, at 700 range it is shorter than the TSA explosive options, which feels weird. I am also very used to a slightly different combat model, as most of the time I play the game its been under Project Ironclads, which as a TC gets to do fun things with everything. With that said though, It might be an idea to reload the cascade autocannon in magazines - If it reloaded 12 shots at a time 10 times a minute (for the same total bullets/minute it has now) it might feel better off. In general though, I feel like it deals small burst to begin with (720 total damage, over the course of ~1.2s). Again, compared to the heavy autocannon, it too quickly just becomes a ~120 dps medium gun.
Another point on this - from what I understand I dont think the special ability of the mod benefits this at all. Higher rof just means it burns through ammo faster, but still deals the same somewhat low dps. This is probably why I saw such marked difference with a standard weapon.
And uhh.. The Electra mortar thing,,, You can nearly solo the entire mission on one of the frigates with two of those attached. Its a bit strong. Im not sure how aoe falloffs work as far as modding, but its inaccuracy doesnt matter when its explosion radius rivals most planets. its only 'downside' is that stray asteroids can trigger it, but its really hard to mess up its long range + good dps + forgiving accuracy. I feel like the main thing keeping this weapon from being stupidly good is that the base TSA ships are slow. Glacially slow.
Which really brings me to the ships as a whole seem kinda weird. They cant keep speed with a ship a size level above them due to zero flux speed boost. The battleline frigate is 150, compared to a lasher's 120 .. Let alone a wolf's 150 base. Or others even higher. Its probably actually the most competitive, given that its the only frigate in the fleet that doesnt get outrun by a hammerhead. A ship that cant run from anything should be probably be expected to out-brawl/out-survive whatever catches up to it so it can get away, or blow the other one up, and I really dont feel like the ships here can. The light slot flak gives them a lot of staying power due to their ability to ignore missiles, but I feel like they need a little more than that.
The bomber feels uh.. Terrible. Ive never been a huge fan of bombers in the game, but they seem really reluctant to shoot their load, and often its useless load anyway. The fighters seem like generic fighters though which are alright. Do they also not get the zero flux speed though? that would be kinda awful for them if they didnt.
Uh.. Vague tldr: The ships seem overall to lack staying power(possibly purely speed related, possibly defense stat/flux related). The cascade autocannon is awful. The hades is probably *slightly* too good, if only for its range. Flak is great.
(Stuck the quote in a spoiler for my own peace of mind)
@Lancefighter: Thanks a million for giving me your thoughts on this!
I'm really glad that there's a great mix here of points that I agree with, have some qualms about and disagree with, so to keep things organized (as I appreciate you did too) I'll respond in the same order.KIRB Launcher
: Yep, apologies if it wasn't clear the projectiles are unguided. I'll need to attend to that. They're roughly based on a weapon concept I had a long time ago but want to reserve for a future missile-centric mod, which was effectively an Annihilator Rocket Launcher but for Kinetic damage. Comparatively the KIRB launcher is a cheaper, lower-damage version of that concept, but with some additional EMP damage to make them a little more desireable (they're good for support, but don't really have the punch for much else).
As for their positioning on the Vengeance... Any ideas?
I don't really want to move the physical turret mounts, but I think I shot myself in the foot when I placed them side-by-side on the sprite... Do you think they'd be better facing more to either side, or with a wider firing arc?Goshawk ASM Launcher
: The objective here was an interesting but easy-to-use Harpoon analogue that most mods seem to have these days, to perform as the "standard" missile weapon of choice. Originally it was available as a 5-shot launcher with a slow-ish reload (3 seconds), but it felt... Clunky. I converted it to an autoloader so it could be a true fire support weapon (also suggested by it's respectable range), and at the same time lowered its damage - Do you think it's overpowered? Bear in mind it can only fire once every 30 seconds (without Fast Missile Racks), which is slower than the Salamander, and does only slightly more damage than a Harpoon if it actually hits
; Not sure how much testing you did on it, but it's pretty mediocre against small targets, which I feel balances it fairly well.Ares-class Torpedo
: I just wanted something huge to punish the biggest ships.
It's half again as much damage as a Reaper, has a higher top speed, better armour, and extended range. Hopefully this is balanced by it's slow acceleration (you'd be surprised how hard it can be to aim without a little practice) and it's obscene OP cost (4 for a single shot!).
If torpedoes aren't your thing - and they certainly aren't everyone's - then hopefully you found other things in the mod that more match your preference. Of course the ships in the mod do prefer a highly specific playstyle... But we'll get to that.Light Flak Gun
: You're not the only one who thinks it could possibly use a nerf.
It does kinda delete missiles. On the other hand it's pretty useless against fighters, but that's a given, so maybe it does need a [slight] reduction in DPS. I don't want to raise its OP cost because it's supposed to be a standard PD weapon, not an amazing one.Hades Gun
: Definitely a niche weapon. I understand the problem of having HE weapons longer range than Kinetics - this one's intentionally... Backwards. It's one of the first weapons I created for the mod, and I wanted something that had better range and accuracy than the Light Assault Gun for a small ballistic mount. The Hades was what came from that.
As for turret rotation speed, I'm being fairly generous with that statistic for most weapons in the mod since they're designed to be used on broadside ships that don't have many hardpoints. I suppose I could just give the built-in hullmod all the ships have a buff to turret rotation speed, but that's starting to get way too busy as it is, so for the moment we'll stick with a higher baseline.Cascade Autocannon
: Another one that I'm well aware needs a bit of work. As you say, the fact that it's reload time is independent of the Autoloader Flux Sink system's ballistic rate-of-fire buff means it doesn't complement it at all, and this was definitely not intentional, and almost certainly will be altered in the near future. Using a clip system though... Hmm. There's a thought. I've been considering having a go with that reload method, so maybe the Cascade can be my guinea pig for that experimentation.
The idea of it was high burst damage but low sustained damage. If its initial/alpha damage is higher than the Heavy Autocannon, but its sustained damage is worse, then it's working as intended! Even so, maybe it needs a damage-per-shot increase. * Adds to list of "Things to Try Out"
*Electra EM Mortar
: Hehe. Yeah, I may have been feeling a little evil when I designed this...
Even I know it's a niche weapon, which is why I think the total number of variants in the mod that use it is 1. It's killer against missiles and fighters, definitely, and it does have a wickedly large AOE field. This one's probably on top of the list of things that need a nerf.As for the ships
: Believe it or not, the slow speed is a key balancing act to counter their other (what I see, at least, as) huge benefits in close-combat. Specifically the battleline ships, they aren't really designed to back down. Perhaps that's a mistake on my part, what with my lack of real-world combat experience (I haven't read enough of it...), but with a little practice, again, you'll find they do wonders. I'm not rightly sure why you've been finding them hard to brawl with: Do you find yourself not having the damage to beat an opponent down, or are you getting surrounded easily? Needless to say, the ships are supposed to form a "battle line", and work best in groups rather than solo.
The fighters might need some work. I must confess myself as disappointed as you with the Encounter Torpedo Bombers. I have no idea what their AI trouble is - I mean, when it comes down to it, they're basically a Dagger with less speed and more armour! I haven't the foggiest how to better them without making them OP; the last thing I want to do is have a fighter carrying an Ares!
The Leadspitter is fun. No questions asked.
It's slower than a lot of competitors, but it'll ruin to day of anything without decent armour.
Also the new fighter coming in the next update - called the Sidewinder (showcased in the above video link) - is hella fun. You may like that one a little more.
And a TLDR for you my good sir
: You're on the money with a fair amount of your inadvertant speculations, and a lot of your issues with weapons are issues I also have and am now even more prepared to address. The ship combat playstyle is made to be challenging, and is extremely niche - it won't be for everyone, that's for sure, and it will take some practice, but I've spent quite some time playing around with the mod (why wouldn't I!?) and you can perform some epic plays if you get things right.
Between you and me, I'm also thinking about:
- An alternative to shields for the TSA ships (like Exigency or Knights Templar have) but I'm not yet sure how to code that - long term goal.
- Converting the Flux Sink ship systems into a built-in hullmod(s) that constantly scales flux venting and ballistic fire rate/whatever with flux level, saving the ship system slot for even more epic things.
When it comes down to it, for TSA ships I want flux to be less of "Oh damn, I have to back off!" and a little more "YES! Fill the power bar and UNLEASH FURY!!!"
Any thoughts you'd like to throw down on that?
... My word I use a lot of emoticons, don't I?