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Author Topic: [0.8.1a] The Silent Armada (Demo) v0.14 - Patching Things Up!  (Read 24988 times)
AxleMC131
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2017, 09:49:54 PM »

Update: Version D 0.2 (Demo content expansion #1)

- Added ship "Thunderbolt-class EW Artillery Destroyer" with:
   - New ship system "Supercharger Flux Sink"
   - New built-in weapon "Odin Artillery Laser"
- Added ship "Wanderer-class Missile Frigate"
- Added weapon "KIRB Launcher"

Check the OP for more details.

Please remember that I want to hear suggestions for balancing TSA ships' and weapons' stats against stock equipment! All recommendations welcome!
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2017, 12:29:03 PM »

I've only played with them in the test mission for a bit, but nothing seems especially over- or underpowered.

The Reliant can probably use a reduction in supply usage per month and for deployment. It needs to take some damage to fight, and has no missiles.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2017, 02:30:41 PM »

I've only played with them in the test mission for a bit, but nothing seems especially over- or underpowered.

The Reliant can probably use a reduction in supply usage per month and for deployment. It needs to take some damage to fight, and has no missiles.

Excellent, thanks heaps for the feedback. Cheesy I'll drop the costs from 5 to 4 - on a pair with the Lasher.
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2017, 06:42:31 PM »

Update: Version D 0.3 (Demo quickfix #1)

Added some previously missing codex descriptions and a new always-available hullmod, as well as performing a bunch of miscellaneous ship stat balances.

Check the OP for more details.

Please remember that I want to hear suggestions for balancing TSA ships' and weapons' stats against stock equipment! All recommendations welcome!
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2017, 04:15:04 AM »

Today after another combined salvage operation, the Hegemony department for Military Technology was asked the following question, somewhat cryptically, by a spokesperson for the Independents:

"What's big, red and white, and carries enough nuclear material to irradiate a small moon?"


The answer was given swiftly and just as cryptically:

"We aren't quite sure yet. All we know is that we call it 'Ares'."


   

(Practice target from Tartiflette's "Target Practice" mod: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=9438.0 )



SoonTM  Cool
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« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2017, 01:57:38 PM »


Glad you like it! Cheesy What exactly do you mean by the scales of the ships btw? If you're asking if there will be cruisers and capital -sized ships in future, then yes I do have plans for those.

Oh yeah, sorry, i figured that out a while later, I was just thinking that there were a little to many guns for what it was, but i read a little more and figured out that's kinda normal for what it was.

I got another suggestion, you could make ships based on real navy ships! Like you could do an example such as: http://www.naval-history.net/Photo07mlAbdiel1NPBobHanley.jpg   It could be in your style but along the lines of it. That would be cool!

PS: New Ship is really cool!
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2017, 02:36:28 PM »


I was just thinking that there were a little to many guns for what it was, but i read a little more and figured out that's kinda normal for what it was.


Aye, it's all part of the theme. And I'm trying to keep weapons balanced between the front and back of vessels, so to really get the best out of their firepower you have to engage in broadside combat.




I got another suggestion, you could make ships based on real navy ships! Like you could do an example such as: http://www.naval-history.net/Photo07mlAbdiel1NPBobHanley.jpg   It could be in your style but along the lines of it. That would be cool!


What, you thought I wasn't basing these on WWII-to-Modern naval designs?  Cool Look at the ships more closely. They're already designed in that way: angled bow; curved stern; in-line heavy turrets forward and back concentrating fire to broadsides; bridge superstructure amidships... It's all part of the theme.
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"I ain't one to punch first, but if the mil' wants a piece of me tonight, then they're sure as hell gonna regret it in the morning!"
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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 05:07:55 PM »

Major Update: Version D 0.4 (Demo content expansion #2)

Weapons galore! Other than a bunch of mechanical changes to some of the existing weapons, this version adds four new weapons to the mod as well as a new ship: the "Matchmaker", TSA's first ever cruiser!

Also includes miscellaneous alterations, graphical updates and fixes.

Check the OP for more details.

Please remember that I want to hear suggestions for balancing TSA ships' and weapons' stats against stock equipment! All recommendations welcome!
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« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2017, 07:11:02 PM »

Nice to see this still going. Will definitely try out the update.

Also, it would be nice to have more of a proper engagement mission. It would be more indicative of how they function together when facing a similarly numbered force. It would also be a good way to put some lore ingame.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2017, 08:32:11 PM »

Nice to see this still going. Will definitely try out the update.

Also, it would be nice to have more of a proper engagement mission. It would be more indicative of how they function together when facing a similarly numbered force. It would also be a good way to put some lore ingame.

I know, and I've got a plan for one or two missions to "get people into the swing of the mod" as it were. Once I introduce the ships into the campaign (still stuck on how to mod a new faction for now, but I'm capable of adding ship variants to an existing faction) I'll probably be able to get my head more around how the "storyline" plays out over time, but for now I'm just trying to create more foundation content (ships and weapons) in order to have something to put into such missions. Either way, proper story-based missions should be introduced very soon.



EDIT: Man, when I put my mind to something, things happen fast! The first of (hopefully) several somewhat-story-based missions based on The Silent Armada backstory and integration. This one aims to introduce players to the basic combat doctrine of TSA ships.




« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 10:39:44 PM by AxleMC131 » Logged



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« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2017, 06:49:59 PM »

A little sneak peak at a new WIP fighter that you'll see in the next TSA update!

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« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2017, 08:38:55 PM »

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.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2017, 10:18:51 PM »

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! Cheesy 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? Embarrassed 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. Cool 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. Tongue 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... Grin 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! Shocked

The Leadspitter is fun. No questions asked. Smiley 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!!!" Grin Any thoughts you'd like to throw down on that?




... My word I use a lot of emoticons, don't I? Tongue
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2017, 11:22:14 PM »

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! Cheesy 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? Embarrassed 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. Cool 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. Tongue 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... Grin 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! Shocked

The Leadspitter is fun. No questions asked. Smiley 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!!!" Grin Any thoughts you'd like to throw down on that?




... My word I use a lot of emoticons, don't I? Tongue

As for the vengeance, something closer to uh how the RSF ships in project ironclads have a somewhat central missile launcher turret is probably what id suggest, and probably make it a medium slot instead of two smalls. Thatd free up some space to move that light slot facing backwards near the center forward so you can get that light flak out of the medium slot.... Really I found that entire layout a bit clunky to work with. If you really dont want to move slots around, probably just increasing missile turret turn rates and giving them both 270 degree arcs would go a long way. I feel like they felt a little sluggish on aiming, and often couldnt aim at the actual broadside.

Yeah, youre right about the goshawk launcher - its not actually super great on its own, and its a very long cooldown. I am worried about large arrays of them being fired more than as a strike weapon in close range. A AI ship equipped with a lot of these could probably do some reasonable work without ever getting close enough to kill themselves, and never expending its ordinance. Ill probably have to rethink how I treat these assuming they stay as they are, since I was trying to use them a lot like explosive SRMs, and that second stage delay doesnt work super great with that.

The flak could probably stand to get something closer to cascade's reload system - It can provide burst pd, but itll also manage to run itself out if its shooting fighters or lots of missiles. Im not sure how missile hp works, but if it required a number of hits to actually kill missiles then its lack of sustainability could be its weakness.

The rotation speed on the hades only felt like a problem due to the cascade gun's slower rotation speed (i think). It absolutely was faster than the kinetic autocannon i was comparing the cascade to, but probably not a problem. Better control on my part will deal with a lot of that, as I tend to like letting my ships autofire almost everything on their own (an awful habit i got from ironclads, where ballistics cost no flux at all and are only limited by clip reloads)

But yeah, something needs to happen with the cascade. Really id probably say it needs bigger bullets in general, maybe reducing its fire rate for a large damage upgrade. The problem is that its sustained dps was around ~120, and the heavy autocannon was 200 or similar.. but the cascade ran out of 'burst' inside of a second of firing. (and again, the special ability thing) (napkin math - 600 dps for 1.2 seconds+120 dps for x seconds = 200 dps for x+1.2 seconds, i think that means they equalize somewhere around 5-6 seconds into combat?)

If the electra mortar is intended to be a point defense weapon, its overstepping its bounds greatly. The only way I could see this being purposefully an anti-fighter weapon is if it was almost entirely emp damage with flak levels of fragmentation damage. Also, I think it might be possible to add an onhit slow effect, I feel like ive seen that in some mod guns before. That would help let bigger guns on the ship get good shots off on fighters at least.

And yeah the slow speed is just.. very slow. I feel like the ships just end up getting into a fight with anything, taking large amounts of armor+hull damage, but only forcing the other ship to disengage without being able to follow up on finishing off the ship. The other ship comes back with zero flux and a real shield generator, and can survive long enough to blow you up. I think some of it is that I am mismanaging my early damage/flux, it might be related to weak dps on the weapons, or it might be related to something dumb like it being really easy to destroy weapons while hitting the broadside of the ship... Or maybe just low armor stats. Really I am not sure. I just found it really difficult to 1v1 things of similar size without taking nearly crippling damage. Moving around the missiles for the destroyer such that it might be possible to use them in a broadside situation might help make things finish quicker, which would help. That doenst change the frigates much, so Im not sure about those.

Speaking of staying power, I just pulled the stock battleline destroyer into the simulator - it can sustain firing just one cascade autocannon or a weak combination of small hades guns on its stock flux dissipation. This really might be the crux of the issue, the ships just cant afford to shoot their guns. And it might be entirely possible the only 'burst' the cascade autocannon has in it is the burst flux it costs to waste its bullets. I may also be wildly off in these speculations.

One silly thing to note is that a lot of what I am comparing it against look something like this. Note the gigantic prow of armor intended to get shot at to soak damage taken in a brawl.

Yeah, I am looking forward to fighters with missiles attached. I love me some missile spam. Would it be possible to write up a sort of Goshawk missile without the first stage for bombers to use? Or even with, it might be better than the sole torpedo (mostly just worried about them being launched and instantly unloading gigantic salvoes of pd evading missiles at something). Even just a large number of kirbs at once could be a big deal for them.

Ill probably play a bit with the ares torpedo, seeing if it fills the strike missile role - if it does, it might solve some of the problems I had with the destroyer's lack of finishing power. It was just really awkward to use with those front mounts, and youre right making them side fixed wont really help except forcing them to be used for the Goshawks. Which wouldnt be the end of the world, just not great.

I think the passive flux/gun rate would do a lot better towards dealing with the innate low flux dissipation that the ships have, and smooth out a bit of their 'power curve'. And giving them extra abilities would make them feel more unique overall, while still being reasonably cohesive. About the filling the power bar thing.. Im actually not sure. Dont default energy weapons scale off of current flux already? Im not sure how hardcoded that is, but a system that extends that to ballistics for a time might work for that. Possibly rework the thing into 'ballistic weapons get bonus damage from flux level, and flux dissipation is increased by flux level', and the active could be 'increase fire rate and reduce flux cost of weapons'. Idk, just some 2am thoughts.

Something silly like spending flux upkeep on armor buffing might be a reasonable fill in for shields, if you can get that working. Im not sure what those other mods do unfortunately, or what the scope is for modding right click systems is at all.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2017, 11:50:37 PM »

Haha, 2am thoughts can be some of the best!  Wink I'm glad you verified a few points here, because one or two I was initially confused by. Not going to to bother again with a massive list as it's late here too, but on the whole I like your thinking.

The first thing I will say though is this: Check out the "Combat Methods" in the spoiler tab in the original post. One of the big points of TSA ships is that they have unusually low vents but fairly high capacitance, which is done deliberately so players can get better use out of the Flux Sink systems. Having said that, managing that flux is fairly... Boring. Hence why I'm thinking about making that stuff passive rather than active, and make the active a bit more interesting. Either way, that spoiler tab contains a lot of information on how I intend the ships to be used in combat.

Other than that, some quick thoughts in response:

- The Goshawk is definitely not supposed to be a short range or "panic" missile. Also, when it comes to AI missile spam, we already have that in the stock game with Harpoons.

- Missile mounts on the Vengeance I'd rather keep as a pair of smalls, so increasing the arc is probably the best move there.

- Clip reload on the light flak sounds like a better plan. On the list of things to do.

- As I speak, fiddling with the Cascade. Trying to find something that works - maybe just a straight up higher per-shot damage is a good idea. Only time and testing will tell!

- Electra isn't a PD weapon. I have no idea what it's really for... It's just kinda cool. XD I may bite the bullet and eventually remove it because of that.

- I'm not hugely savvy with coding, so things like sectional armour, custom shields, etc. are all outside of my capabilities at present. But I'm constantly learning!

- Stock Energy weapons used to do more damage when you were at higher flux, but that was removed, I think quite a while ago. Needless to say my Ballistic buffs are to rate of fire rather than damage per shot.



If anything else occurs to me or develops in testing, I'll let you know. Wink
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"I ain't one to punch first, but if the mil' wants a piece of me tonight, then they're sure as hell gonna regret it in the morning!"
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