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Author Topic: Shieldless Ships (and shield bypass)  (Read 553 times)
TheEndstoneGolem
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« on: March 17, 2017, 08:58:06 AM »

Hey everyone!

Just a thought, but I feel that the shield bypass hullmod and shieldless ships are just naturally underpowered.
The reson that I think this is because often their armour is not heavy enough to warrant not having shields. A shieldless ship (even a frigate) should be able to absorb a reaper imo, as if you want you can currently just unload a torp or a few missiles and it'll just die.

I think a way around this is that if shieldless ships had a damping system of sort to mitigate damage that can be triggered on and off like shields (kind of like the damping field system but not a ship system with a long cooldown).

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Sy
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 09:11:34 AM »

Shield Bypass is part of the Ship/Weapon Pack mod, not vanilla. so any balance discussions regarding it should probably go into the mod's thread.

but anyway, ships with this hullmod dying easily is kind of the point. it's not supposed to be useful for most loadouts, but for very specialized builds that have the range, dps, mobility, armor, ship systems, or whatever else, to work even without the usually so crucial defensive benefit of a shield. so giving any kind of durability buff to the hullmod would most likely mean it would have to lose most of its current flux benefit in return.
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Techhead
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 09:19:13 AM »

Not counting mods, the only shieldless ships (not counting phase ships) are the Hound, the Cerebus, the Mudskipper Mk.II, the Buffalo Mk.II, and the Construction Rig. Most frigates can evade Reapers if they're not fired at very close range, and the Hound is actually one of the most maneuverable. The Mk.II ships are intentionally weaker-than-average, and the Rig is in no way at all a combat ship.
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TheEndstoneGolem
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 10:00:39 AM »

Great point!

But what is the point in having a shieldless ship. Take the cerberus for example, I have never seen a cerberus reach max flux capacity or ever done it myself. Same goes for the hound, they dont get any benefit from not having shields as a large flux capacity/extra venting is pointless on a ship that deosn't have shields imo. I'm defo gonna poke my nose in the ships/weapons pack as you suggested. I understand why the construction rig would lag shields as you would never deploy (when you have it, you're gonna have a fleet so big that you never need to run from anything Cheesy).

My suggestion is simply buff the cerberus' armour, whilst it is easy to use, it would be nicer if it could absorb a few harpoons, as that is the point of armour. Missiles and torps have such high damage that most of the time armour doesnt matter (unless you're in an Onslaught or Dominator of course! xD)

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Sy
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 12:09:32 PM »

Hound and Cerberus are both supposed to be very low-tech combat-freighter hybrids. and both do have higher armor than most other frigates -- not enough to make up for the lack of shield in most fights, but that handicap is intentional. most ships are already designed with shields in mind, so having a few that are different is nice.
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Megas
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 12:31:11 PM »

Without max skills, Hound and Cerberus are only good as extra-fast freighters.  They will die fast if caught by any enemy with appropriate weaponry (like beams or missiles).  With max skills, Hound and Cerberus can have front shields and passable flux stats to support them.

The one ship that could probably go shieldless is Onslaught.  That monster outranges much and it can stack enough PD to be mostly immune to missiles (including Reapers) and small craft that try to attack it.  It only needs shields to block shots from Hellbore Cannon, Tachyon Lance, and maybe another Onslaught's TPCs.
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Schwartz
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 02:30:24 PM »

I wouldn't put Shield Override on anything that doesn't have the armor & PD to get by. That means Enforcers and Dominators usually. Maybe an Onslaught if it has the range to catch torpedoes. But for properly fitted ships it is quite good. Can't overstate how powerful an 'infinite' flux pool is for strong ballistic ships. This is the point. Flux is the 'stamina bar' and overloads are easy to achieve, while shieldless means you not only get a hefty bonus but constantly dissipate, never taking flux damage but only flux fatigue. You spike flux quickly and threaten ships quickly, which means you won't take a lot of damage yourself.

All that being said it is a very specialized hullmod that you should use along with other specialized hullmods (armor, turrets, EMP resists, possibly +engine health) and properly skilled officers.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 02:32:56 PM by Schwartz » Logged
AxleMC131
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 03:30:04 PM »

A lot of the points I'd like to make have already been made it appears!  Lips sealed Nontheless, here's my two cents:

- Cerberus and Hound: Both fast and nimble for their weight and armour. Both have half-decent defences and both have a medium ballistic mount. You can say "Oh, the Cerberus is so much better armed than the Hound" but in response I'll simply direct you to Starsector's core files and point out the original sprite file for the Cerberus is called "superhound".

- Can you imagine fighting a pirate Buffalo MkII with even slightly capable shields? The pirates already managed to get ahold of an AM blaster which is bad enough!

- Shields are highly powerful tools in the game. Ships without them ARE balanced, but this doesn't just mean in combat. The Hound specifically, is also very cheap for its tonnage/speed/armament, and has one of the lowest deployment costs in-game, beaten only by the Kite and [one or two other ships I'm forgetting]. ALSO it is practically impossible to cause an unshielded ship to overload, for obvious reasons, which is actually a boon in combat.

- Don't forget that while the S/WP introduces the Shield Bypass, the stock game has a "Front Shield Generator" hullmod which allows you to stick a 90 degree front shield on any ship without one. One of my new favourite early-game support ships is a Hound with a front shield, heavy machine gun and vulcan cannon, plus whatever other mods I feel like at the time.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 03:35:14 PM by AxleMC131 » Logged

"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!"
- Johnson "Johnny" Parker

"The Paragon is a castle, a fortress even. The Onslaught by contrast is a monstrous armoured vehicle. Both have their strengths, and both have their weaknesses, but neither can be lost in the other's shadow."
- Inspired by a comment by forum user TheEndstoneGolem
stormbringer951
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 10:36:36 AM »

The reason shield bypass is great because it forces the AI to pilot a DPS ship as a gun platform that does nothing but shoot.

An AI Onslaught, for example, has a distressing tendency to unnecessarily shield-tank massed kinetic damage because there's a negligible amount of HE in the mix. Since the AI is conservative about taking armour damage, it can be prodded into shield-tanking long-range HE/energy damage until it auto-loses the flux war and then you just shoot it while it does nothing but desperately shield-flicker and maybe try to vent without it ever getting to apply its full weight of fire against you.

For a ship that has more/bigger guns or better speed than the ships you're going to fight, great PD and wants more flux to fire all of its guns, sticking shield bypass and a bunch of heavy hitting guns on it bypasses this problem and makes the ship massively more effective at doing damage at the cost of occasionally getting a large repair bill.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 10:38:10 AM by stormbringer951 » Logged
Chaos Farseer
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 02:16:13 PM »

As a note, Carroy had an extremely effective Haze loadout (from Diable Avionics) which he removed the shields for. It allowed him to use the ship's fire-weapons-faster ship system without ever worrying about flux capacity, and then it overwhelmed its enemies with homing high explosive damage.
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TheEndstoneGolem
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 04:21:17 AM »

I love this community <3

These are all really interesting views on it, especially the one about forcing the AI to use the ship's DPS to it's full potential.
I have seen the AI do as you said, try to shield when it has no risk of taking damage. PARTICULARLY Onslaughts. If I pilot one, anything dies. However an AI Onslaught just get overloaded as soon as it takes dmg by raising shields and then dies. I've never thought of it like that, I imagine an AI Onsalught with shield bypass and heavy armour is something a little more scary!
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