Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas  (Read 6447 times)

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4601
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« on: May 25, 2017, 09:52:19 AM »

There's been some discussion of the Advanced Countermeasures skill as Alex has shared for .8.1a. I agree with the quote below that the proposed skill doesn't sound very fun, and have made additional suggestions below.

I'm not sure Advanced Countermeasures should even exist to begin with, in light of these changes.
i gotta agree with this.

i think the reduced kinetic damage against armor and reduced HE damage against shields are just bad perks from a design perspective; making kinetic/HE even worse against the things they're already bad at doesn't seem like a great idea, especially since the numbers need to be pretty big to be worth spending a skill point on mitigating damage from what is already only a minor threat (relative to other damage types).

increased damage to missiles and fighters sounds fine to me, but problematic for the reasons Histidine mentioned when the number gets as large as +50% -- which, yes, it probably needs to be for a rank 3 perk.

if just removing the skill is undesirable, here are some other suggestions for what the different ranks could do:
  • retain higher armor damage reduction on exposed hull
  • convert a portion of all shield damage taken into soft flux rather than hard flux (should be a significant amount, since there's already a perk that completely negates 20% of all shield damage taken)
  • make some projectiles/missiles pass through unphased phase ships (or just reduce all damage taken), as long as cloak is not on cooldown (so it wouldn't make phase ships that recloak asap more annoying to fight)
  • increase range of PD weapons
  • increase accuracy / reduce recoil / improve target-leading of PD weapons
  • reduce flux of PD weapons (maybe by a flat amount, so low-flux PD weapons would become zero-flux)
  • increase firing rate of PD weapons (unlike damage boost, this would be visible to an opponent. but wouldn't really work for beams)
  • reduce speed/maneuverability of missiles locked onto this ship (this might also be problematic to communicate to the attacker though)
  • increased/guaranteed chance for flamed-out missiles to harmlessly bounce off this ship

i imagine some of these might not work well in practise, but i think there are enough possibilities to make an "Advanced Countermeasures" skill useful without its current balance and design issues.

I think these ideas are really fantastic Sy! After looking them over and drawing inspiration, I propose:

Rank 1: Point Defense Targeting:
Increased range of PD by 20%

Reasoning: A solid bonus, and it lets ships better protect not only themselves, but others, which other skills don't really do. It doesn't allow gratuitous kiting as there really aren't any PD weapons that allow it. I can see it perhaps benefiting an SO lasher, but perhaps the SO range reduction over 450 would deal with that anyways. The player can see that the PD weapons reach farther, though they may not notice...

Rank 2: Phasic Flux Conversion
Converts 30% of incoming damage from hard flux to soft. OR
Missiles and fighters that pass through a phased phase ship take damage.

Reasoning: Helps ships that are in trouble. It doesn't increase offense because most ships are firing at dissipation or higher, but a ship in distress that shuts down its guns will last longer. For phase ships it lets them not worry about missiles coming around for a second pass and will wear down fighters. Probably abusable if it damages larger ships as the player could just do repeated flyovers.

Rank 3: Reactive armor:
Armor damage will spawn an AOE effect that lasts for a little while, damaging incoming missiles and bombs.

Reasoning: Primarily for mitigating spam. Piranha, Kopesh, perhaps massed harpoons though those tend to be spaced farther apart in time. Considering how often those types of things kill ships, this would be pretty great. Its also an indirect buff to torpedo bombers as their shots have many more hitpoints and impact less frequenctly
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 09:57:22 AM by Thaago »
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 8059
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2017, 10:10:15 AM »

One problem is weapons converted to PD via IPDAI are treated as PD and will get even more range (except Paragon whose Advanced Targeting Core boosts PD by less).  Tactical Lasers get even more range, and do IR Pulse Lasers, Railguns, and others.  I could mount Light Needlers and combine it with IPDAI and this new perk to extend attack range (enemies do not always fire missiles).  Light Needlers stink as PD, but that may be an acceptable price for extending its attack range by 20%.

It could also make Devastator more suitable as a medium-range assault weapon if it extends the range before shells explode.
Logged

PCCL

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1995
  • still gunnyfreak
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2017, 10:15:08 AM »

reactive armor might a bit of work coding wise, same with the phase ship version of flux conversion.

I like the rest though
Logged
mmm.... tartiflette

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4601
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2017, 10:24:32 AM »

One problem is weapons converted to PD via IPDAI are treated as PD and will get even more range (except Paragon whose Advanced Targeting Core boosts PD by less).  Tactical Lasers get even more range, and do IR Pulse Lasers, Railguns, and others.  I could mount Light Needlers and combine it with IPDAI and this new perk to extend attack range (enemies do not always fire missiles).  Light Needlers stink as PD, but that may be an acceptable price for extending its attack range by 20%.

It could also make Devastator more suitable as a medium-range assault weapon if it extends the range before shells explode.

I'd forgotten about IPDAI (haven't found it ;)). Yeah, I would abuse the crap out of that to get 20% extra range on light kinetics and tac lasers. Hrrrm. Not sure how to fix it.

reactive armor might a bit of work coding wise, same with the phase ship version of flux conversion.

I like the rest though

Good points! I was thinking for the phase ship version a change in its collision class would handle most of the work (I have no idea if we could mod a skill to change the collision class and have a custom event happen on intersection, probably not, but for Alex it should be reasonable).

Maybe for the reactive armor it looks at the amount of damage done and spawns a number of lightning arcs based on that? Then the player would see the effect happening as well.
Logged

Sy

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2017, 10:24:52 AM »

thanks. :]

Reactive Armor sounds neat, but i think it goes too far from other skills, in the sense that they all just change stuff about existing stats or mechanics (with the exception of new campaign-layer abilities). so this (re)active armor wouldn't quite fit in, as it would introduce an entirely new mechanic, which would also need to be explained in detail somewhere, preferably even with concrete numbers.

maybe Reactive Armor could simply (passively) reduce damage taken from all missiles, or reduce the boost in anti-armor effectiveness of larger hits (so that single large hits are still better than many small hits, but not by as much). that would fit with the concept of hardening armor against specific kinds of impacts, without the need to introduce a new mechanic with all its related complexity.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 10:27:44 AM by Sy »
Logged

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2491
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2017, 10:48:52 AM »

Hm.  At the moment, for the cases when I take Advanced Countermeasures (ACM), it's usually been for the rank 3 perk; fighters are enough of a threat that +30% damage to them is at least not a bad skill investment for an officer.  (And the bonus damage versus missiles helps non-flak PD, too.)

That said, I have noticed that between ACM and the other armor bonuses, a ship with a high level officer can basically ignore long-range kinetics, so I'm not quite sure why the existing rank one bonus was buffed so much.  That one's actually useful as is; the bonus to HE versus shields, by contrast, is basically invisible - and probably would be even if it were something ridiculous like 90%; the only HE weapons that have an appreciable impact on shields are torpedos - the real ones, not the atropos.

If I were going to revise ACM, I'd probably focus it on defenses that don't involve armor, shield, or phasecloak.

How about something like:

Rank 1:
Reduces the penalty from enemy ECM by 50%; also grants 50% of the enemy's nav bonus (if that's higher than what you'd receive from your own nav network).

Rank 2:
Increases damage dealt to fighters/missiles by 30%.
"Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through!"

Rank 3:
Energy weapons gain up to 40% increased damage based on current flux level; ballistic weapons gain up to +30% fire rate as peak readiness time approaches zero.
"Desperate times call for desperate measures."

This set of bonuses positions ACM as the "I want to be a hero" skill; it's not that great in large fleet actions, where other ships can cover for you and a ship that's high on flux can simply retreat behind an ally - or a ship that's low on CR time can just retreat, period.  But if you're planning on deploying just a few ships against a much larger enemy fleet - well, that's when this version of ACM would shine.
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Gothars

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4158
  • Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity.
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2017, 11:01:55 AM »

Reactive armor sounds really cool.
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4601
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 11:05:52 AM »

coolness

Oh I really like those! But I'm not sure 1 and 3 fit in the theme of "Advanced Countermeasures".

You know, I don't think the leadership skill has a non-carrier combat skill. Tech has gunnery implants, this could be called something simple like "Heroics". Then again that would make its use case "mid sized fleet" more than "solo" as leadership sets an ideal number of ships at 10. And of course it would be a neat officer skill.

thanks. :]

Reactive Armor sounds neat, but i think it goes too far from other skills, in the sense that they all just change stuff about existing stats or mechanics (with the exception of new campaign-layer abilities). so this (re)active armor wouldn't quite fit in, as it would introduce an entirely new mechanic, which would also need to be explained in detail somewhere, preferably even with concrete numbers.

maybe Reactive Armor could simply (passively) reduce damage taken from all missiles, or reduce the boost in anti-armor effectiveness of larger hits (so that single large hits are still better than many small hits, but not by as much). that would fit with the concept of hardening armor against specific kinds of impacts, without the need to introduce a new mechanic with all its related complexity.

Your reasoning crushes LOTA's tiny soul, but does make sense. I kind of see reduced damage from missiles being too good, because currently missiles (and hellbore/am blaster) are the only ways to get through the quadratic damage reduction of armor boosted by the other skills.

Would 25% damage reduction from missiles be underpowered or overpowered for a rank 3 perk?

Reactive armor sounds really cool.
I know right? Explosions going off on the side of your ship with lightning bolts shooting out to vaporize other nearby ordinance?! Meanwhile the resonances on the armor cause sick guitar music to blast through the ship, raising CR for a short while. (Ok, I've been listening to too much ACDC recently, disregard that last part.)

Perhaps the rule of cool will be enough to overcome's Sy's cold logic ;)



Also, maybe the rank 1 skill could be +20% or so damage to fighters and missiles instead of range? Less powerful than its current level 3 incarnation, but still a fine skill that people seem to like.
Logged

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2491
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 11:18:32 AM »

Oh I really like those! But I'm not sure 1 and 3 fit in the theme of "Advanced Countermeasures".
Perhaps I should've used a different quote for that last one.  Try: "The best defense is a good offense."

Still, hm.  Yeah, I guess that does kindof make it a different skill entirely.

And I definitely do like the -idea- behind the current ACM, of rewarding precision shield use.  I'm just not too convinced that it works; there are relatively few ships that I habitually toggle shields on.

Most ships fall into one of two categories: either they're armor tanks like the Dominator, where I want to only use the shield when I absolutely have to, or they're shield tanks like the Aurora where the ideal battle is one where you don't take any damage on armor.

The middle ground is pretty much exclusively the domain of a few mid-tech ships that have decent shields and armor, and either omni shields, or mobility systems that let them quickly face into some specific threat.

...You know what would really help the current ACM implementation?  If the omni shield emitter didn't cost such an absurd pile of ordnance points.
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4601
  • Quantum Mechanic
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 11:29:37 AM »

Precision shield use you say... what about something like:

Rank 2: Resonant Plating:
For 1 second after deactivating shields, armor takes 30% less damage.

Rank 3: Emitter Overcharge:
For 1 second after activating shields, shields take 30% less damage.


... Eh, but that just rewards shield flickering, not shield flickering at the right time. I'll post this as an idea, but I don't endorse it without modification. Thoughts?
Logged

nomadic_leader

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 11:57:30 AM »

I like some of these ideas. Why?

So one way of approaching starsector design is this: I want this kind of gameplay, and I'm going to change whatever stats necessary to do it, internal logic, intuitive user experience, and world consistency be darned. That's what the ACM in the 0.81 is doing. Stat changes by fiat with rather uninspired hand wave explanations, which break immersion and counter all the efforts at lore/world building.

Another approach is to embrace the sci-fi setting, and then go from there and imagine what kind of technologies or abilities they would actually have, and let that take things where you want them to go, or let new forms of gameplay emerge. Let it be intuitive.

Sadly, Starsector prefers the former approach.

Anyway, most of these suggestions are good because they accomplish the kind of desired gameplay (better defense) but also are more intuitive, visible to the player, and credible from a gameworld consistency/logic standpoint because they actually take place within the game, rather than being hand-of-god stat changes.

Why should the skill arbitrarily boost damage to fighters and missiles as proposed, instead of improving PD range and accuracy, and improved missile jamming, as you guys are proposing. Your suggestions seem by far the better.

However, reactive armour (or ablative armour) is not a skill. It's a technology; it's pieces of equipment. If it's going to be in the game it should be a hull mod that's unlocked by a skill, and it should have a particular visual effect when weapons strike the armor, to cue the player to its presence.

Rank 2: Resonant Plating:
For 1 second after deactivating shields, armor takes 30% less damage.

Rank 3: Emitter Overcharge:
For 1 second after activating shields, shields take 30% less damage.

Eh, these don't seem so intuitive, and they're getting away from the objections to ACM histidine raised in the other thread about transparency. Making sheilds activate faster and rotate faster seem like something that could credibly fall within a learned skill though, and would be much easier to understand visually.

Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 8059
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 11:58:27 AM »

...You know what would really help the current ACM implementation?  If the omni shield emitter didn't cost such an absurd pile of ordnance points.
That and cutting shield arc down to half, although the OP cost is really absurd.  Many ships with front shields that use this get too small an arc, and extended shields adds only 30.  If I try to restore the Wolf's Omni shield, I spend so much OP for a shield that is smaller than its old shield it used to have.

Maybe easy access to hullmods could be part of the perk.  I find it annoying that I need to sign-up to Tri-Tachyon to get most of the good hullmods, and if I want to be a free agent after I get everything I want, I will need to farm cores and do various reputation shenanigans.
Logged

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2491
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 01:06:50 PM »

...You know what would really help the current ACM implementation?  If the omni shield emitter didn't cost such an absurd pile of ordnance points.
That and cutting shield arc down to half, although the OP cost is really absurd.  Many ships with front shields that use this get too small an arc, and extended shields adds only 30.  If I try to restore the Wolf's Omni shield, I spend so much OP for a shield that is smaller than its old shield it used to have.
Hm.  On the one hand, Omni Shield Emitter does need to cut shield arc down some - for ships like the Falcon, Eagle, Sunder, and Hammerhead, for example, leaving shield arc alone would be excessive.

Perhaps we can borrow the same sort of math used by SO's range modifier?  Make Omni Shield Emitter halve any shield arc beyond 60?  So a front 60 would go to an omni 60, a front 90 would go to an omni 75, all the way up to a front 360 going to an omni 210.
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

SCC

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1865
    • View Profile
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 01:22:25 PM »

To be honest I'm not completely sure, what's the purpose of ACM... Strengthening strong sides of defences? If so, then we'd have to give some bonus for shields, for armour and for phase ships. I like phase ships dealing damage to passing fighters and missiles, but the fighter part bugs me: what's supposed to counter phase ships? Exactly. My idea, to have them be invulnerable while flux coils cool down, could probably be abused and make phase ships even more annoying.
Right now I have some problems with ideas because I don't even know what I should look for.
Rank 3:
Energy weapons gain up to 40% increased damage based on current flux level; ballistic weapons gain up to +30% fire rate as peak readiness time approaches zero.
Nobody mentioned how you could cheese this? Well, maybe not cheese, but it's something to keep in mind for SO mastery ships, because those would have enough flux to support increased fire rate.

FooF

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advanced Countermeasures Ideas
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 03:24:35 PM »

Since we're spamming ideas:

Level 1: +75 Range on all PD Weapons. Adds Integrated Point Defense AI hull mod

Rationale: Same as OP's, just a flat bonus instead of %. Most dedicated PD weapons are on the low-side of the range spectrum (250-600 range) so a flat bonus is relatively larger for some of the knife-fighting PD like Vulcans, MGs, and PD Lasers. I think you could flag "normal" PD from PD created by IPDAI so that it doesn't become an issue. Plus, this is a level 1 ability so it shouldn't be bonkers. Helps shoot down stuff a bit earlier.

Level 1: +50% target leading, -50% Weapon Recoil for Ballistic PD Weapons
            +100 Range, +25% Damage for Energy PD Weapons

Rationale: Had to split these up a bit but makes PD more effective by being more accurate and/or longer range and more damaging.

Level 1: +25% Damage to Missiles and Fighters

Rationale: It was never a level 3 skill but with a slight reduction, it would make a good level 1.

Level 2: -30% Missile Damage for armor damage calculation Only

Rationale: Again, you're trying to mitigate damage with this skill and without adding reactive armor (which is cool), the straight-forward approach is just reduce missile damage. The caveat being that it's only on paper and while armor is still up. Against hull damage, missiles do full damage. Paired with some other +armor perks, you can really slow down missile damage.

Level 3: Reduces OP cost of PD by 50%. (piloted ship)

Rationale: One of the few "frees up OP" skills, this would make mounting PD much less painful. Again, you'd have to flag "normal" PD so that IPDAI doesn't cause weirdness but you'd also have to define which weapons were PD. The Thumper and Devastator are actually called Assault guns though they act like PD at times. Also, are missile hardpoints that are "anti-fighter" considered PD? As a level 3 skill, I don't think the the effects are too outrageous.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2