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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Update preview 6/24/20  (Read 325495 times)

DatonKallandor

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I agree. It is a matter of the dev time taken to script that behavior. Anyone remember what mod does that? I know I asked a long while back but I never got around to checking out how complicated it would be or whether the code to do that is open source.
0.95 has (unless it gets removed between now and release) a player skill that gives all beams x% hard flux - that would mean there's going to be easy code support for that. Maybe wait until then?
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Albreo

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Man, that was quick work right there. This might absolutely be the only time to shine for Timid captains all over the sector!!

I also propose another idea to go along with it, even though I don't want to delay the mod any longer. You know that carrier tag ships are really good at rear hugging a capital and that would be an ideal position for a fire-support team. I wonder if it is possible to make a Hull-mod that can override a ship tag to act as a pseudo carrier.

Now that I try to visualize it, the game complexity will really go up a notch. All tanky frontline ships may also need buffs to withstand this new barrage and the nerf to shield stacking may be somewhat detrimental now.

As for Advance Optic, I would put it on hold for the moment as it doesn't feel right. Any change right now would go over my head since I have no clue nor good judgment anymore from your across the board change. So, just put whatever you feel ok as a place holder.

You make it sound so good. I'm itching to test right now lol.
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basileus

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All tanky frontline ships may also need buffs to withstand this new barrage and the nerf to shield stacking may be somewhat detrimental now.

I'd say wait and see.  The game was previously a little too easy after the early mid-game.  It would be better if there were scenarios where the player felt compelled to either retreat or accept attrition.  Before I was able to do things like engage 3-4 Nex invasion fleets simultaneously with only about 200 total DP of combat ships and win flawless victories.  I suppose there's probably a very delicate balance between challenging and punishing, though.
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DatonKallandor

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I think the very high flux cost and inefficiency (and low fire rate) of the really long range artillery fire support weapons is going to keep them from being overpowered even with ally pass-through. It's not like you can stack a ton of them on one ship - it'd be able to fire a fraction of the guns, once, and then be forced to vent.
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Morrokain

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0.95 has (unless it gets removed between now and release) a player skill that gives all beams x% hard flux - that would mean there's going to be easy code support for that. Maybe wait until then?

Oh right! I honestly had forgotten about that. Yeah I'll wait until I can look under the hood to see how the skill does it then. It will make my life a lot easier and make me feel better about skipping that change for this update.  ;D

Man, that was quick work right there. This might absolutely be the only time to shine for Timid captains all over the sector!!

I also propose another idea to go along with it, even though I don't want to delay the mod any longer. You know that carrier tag ships are really good at rear hugging a capital and that would be an ideal position for a fire-support team. I wonder if it is possible to make a Hull-mod that can override a ship tag to act as a pseudo carrier.

Now that I try to visualize it, the game complexity will really go up a notch. All tanky frontline ships may also need buffs to withstand this new barrage and the nerf to shield stacking may be somewhat detrimental now.

As for Advance Optic, I would put it on hold for the moment as it doesn't feel right. Any change right now would go over my head since I have no clue nor good judgment anymore from your across the board change. So, just put whatever you feel ok as a place holder.

You make it sound so good. I'm itching to test right now lol.

Yeah I could definitely see a use case for Timid officers in that role. With proper escorts I imagine they would stay just within fire support weapon range!

As far as the carrier AI idea, it unfortunately isn't possible for the same reason I can't make a hullmod change weapon AI hints. The object that contains AI related hints is global. So individual variants reference that object to create the ship, but don't have unique copies of their own that can be independently changed. The only way to get around that would be to use a skin file since that technically creates a separate HullSpecAPI of its own. In layman's terms, changing the AI for the Enforcer means all Enforcers will be affected, not just the variant with the hullmod. Theoretically, I could try and duplicate the HullSpecAPI (assuming it has the necessary exposed API hooks) and set that as the variant's reference until it is removed, but I'm not sure those kind of changes can be made in the refit screen without unintended consequences. Essentially, it would probably be more trouble than it's worth. Who knows, maybe after this update I'll give it a shot. If I can get it to work it would allow some semblance of formation so that would be pretty cool.

All tanky frontline ships may also need buffs to withstand this new barrage and the nerf to shield stacking may be somewhat detrimental now.

I'd say wait and see.  The game was previously a little too easy after the early mid-game.  It would be better if there were scenarios where the player felt compelled to either retreat or accept attrition.  Before I was able to do things like engage 3-4 Nex invasion fleets simultaneously with only about 200 total DP of combat ships and win flawless victories.  I suppose there's probably a very delicate balance between challenging and punishing, though.

I think the very high flux cost and inefficiency (and low fire rate) of the really long range artillery fire support weapons is going to keep them from being overpowered even with ally pass-through. It's not like you can stack a ton of them on one ship - it'd be able to fire a fraction of the guns, once, and then be forced to vent.

Yeah it seems like they aren't overpowered by the change. If the fire support ship comes under attack it can't really do much. Escorts are pretty essential. I haven't fully tested ballistics yet though, so the assumption in a large scale fleet battle could prove false.

As far as beams? First of all, I reduced the flux cost penalty of Advanced Optics to 100%, reduced the turn rate penalty to 20% down from 40% and increased the range bonus to 650.

I may end up reversing some of that. I ran a test of 110 DP Tri-Tachyon forces against 111 109 DP Hegemony forces. Here are the builds and number of variants used for each fleet:

2 of:
Spoiler

[close]

2 of:
Spoiler

[close]

1 of:
Spoiler

[close]

VS

1 of:
Spoiler

[close]

1 of:
Spoiler

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1 of:
Spoiler

[close]

2 of:
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[close]

1 of:
Spoiler

[close]

I did ten simulations of this scenario. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the Tri-Tachyon. I think the opposing Hegemony fleet won a single time. A couple other times the Tri-Tachyon ships were severely damaged at the end, but several times there was practically no damage taken.

The Paragon is actually pretty beefy even with Advanced Optics and full strike beam primary battery. It certainly runs its flux meter up quickly but hits very far away - through allies - and hits very hard.

It is hard to say what is imbalanced here. It could be the Paragon or the Aurora. It also might scale differently if I doubled the DP of the simulation since the lower DP of the Hegemony ships might make a larger difference. As far as the Paragon goes, I feel pretty confident that its not OP considering I have run a lot of 1v1 simulations against the Onslaught and the Executor and it loses just as much as it wins in every variant but the Elite Tachyon Lance variant - that one is a tough nut to crack.

I'll run the simulations using a non-beam Paragon and maybe two non-beam auroras and see if that makes a noticeable difference.

*EDIT*

Just ran the simulation 10 more times but changed 3 variants for the Tri-Tachyon:

New Paragon variant:
Spoiler

[close]

2 of:
Spoiler

[close]

 -instead of 2 of:
Spoiler

[close]

The first point of difference is the Paragon role. It was a long range beam striker that could overflux before. This time it is a tanky close-to-0 flux build designed to hold a battle line. For the Aurora, it went from a strike beam role with kinetic missiles to a torpedo strike role with heavy assault energy weapons that provide a suppression element.

The results of the new test are pretty interesting. The face-value results are actually very similar. The Tri-Tachyons lost only a single time, and had a couple of times where their fleet barely took any hull damage (mostly lucky overloads followed by an Atropos salvo... ouch.) and the Paragon does most of the heavy lifting against the Onslaught. However, their are a couple key differences  as well. For one, the way the Paragon benefits the overall fleet composition is starkly different. Whereas before as the beam variant it did the most noticeable damage over time, this time it provides the rock around which the rest of the fleet operates. The shields are tough enough to tank while returning fire against the Onslaught for far longer. It is not enough that the Paragon always wins a one-on-one confrontation, but what it *does* do is buy time. The Auroras, on the other hand, perform roughly the same strike role as before and try and take down the Dominators so that the Paragon can finish off the Onslaught in a 2 vs 1 scenario.

Here is the interesting part for me: as a trend this fleet took a lot more damage than the beam fleet with the fire support capital. The Hegemony fleet almost got a second win at one point, but a twist of fate that let the last Atropos of a salvo sneak by the PD turned the tide in the Tri-Tachyon fleet's favor. The Paragon and remaining Aurora had less than 25% hull remaining and were at 90% max flux when the battle ended. If I could save the last few moments and repeat them I think it would be a toss up between the two. Another important thing I noticed was that the Tri-Tachyon fleet took more losses - though the Paragon only died once.

Finally, the tank Paragon could take 2-3 Dominators simultaneously as long as their attack vectors were spread along its concentrated shield arc. It couldn't dish out the return damage like the beam Paragon could, but it definitely could defend multi-pronged attacks in a noticeably better way.

Unrelated side note: I've given most medium and large PD weapons ally pass-through as well. That way cruisers and capitals can use those weapons to support nearby ships even if, say, a frigate is sidled up alongside their firing arc. I'm hoping that will make them a little more attractive as an options rather than just defaulting to the flux-free assault weapon most of the time.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 10:43:35 PM by Morrokain »
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Albreo

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I%u2019m outside right now and won%u2019t be able to write a proper reply but I would slap a frontal shield on that Onslaught. It shield/flux is too horrendous. Weapon group settings is sometime quite important to do manually.

Titan ship from Imperium mod can switch variant with auto fit.

It would be better if you could post a video clip as well so I can make a better analysis.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 09:46:11 PM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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I%u2019m outside right now and won%u2019t be able to write a proper reply but I would slap a frontal shield on that Onslaught. It shield/flux is too horrendous. Weapon group settings is sometime quite important to do manually.

Titan ship from Imperium mod can switch variant with auto fit.

It would be better if you could post a video clip as well so I can make a better analysis.

I'll use this loadout for future tests:

Spoiler



[close]

I also put the last 4 points into dissipation for the Elite Dominator. I hadn't quite optimized those variants after the changes, but they were close enough. But may as well get them "update ready" while testing.

I'll see about posting a video of a few test runs later tonight. I'll keep the camera focus on the capital fight and occasionally dart over and check the cruiser fights and tactical map.
-------------------------------------------------
EDIT 1

Battle 1 Defense Paragon:

- Note: I'm not the best video-maker lol, and this was made for analytical purposes rather than cinematic ones - so if I seem to pull away from cool points in the battle I'm sorry! Also, if you were following the last few posts, I quite by accident selected a new Dominator variant for the first test. That will be used in the following tests for a control. I posted pics of the build below the video for reference.




New Dominator assault variant:

1 of:
 
Spoiler





[close]

 - instead of 1 of:
Spoiler

[close]

My analysis:

Spoiler
It's about what I expected, but you can see how the Paragon defense variant holds the line but deals little damage for a capital ship. The new Onslaught build actually performed worse than in past tests - probably due to the subtraction of the Heavy Railguns preventing it from building hard flux as quickly. It did, however, have improvement in its torpedo defense, conversely, due to the medium PD weapons. That may have prevented a few of the strike Aurora Atropos volleys from doing more damage.

You can also see how devastating an overload is when facing strike missiles in general. The strike Aurora performs better than the balanced one - though the Twin Tactical Beams still contribute to some damage. However, the Support (Dual Artillery equipped as shown in the zoom-in) Dominator contributes to a lot too. It kills an Aurora solo through its ability to punish the retreat after using the Tri-Railguns to get max flux to the point where it can't tank additional Dual Artillery shots.
[close]


Battle 1 Beam Paragon:

- Note: At one point I accidently hit un-autopilot and quickly reapply it so sorry for that. It may have caused a little extra damage to the Paragon but I don't think it would have changed the overall result.


My analysis:

Spoiler
I definitely see a difference in the role between the capital variants. The beam Paragon is a lot better at supporting the battle line through sheer damage. It can support a nearby ally very well in comparison to the defense Paragon. That being said, it is obviously weaker to direct assault by the Onslaught. This is especially obvious at the end - where the Onslaught can chase at low flux and continue to overwhelm the hard flux of the Paragon that can't get away. The additional efficiency of flux management helps make that possible over the old variant.

Unfortunately, this also shows the poor capability of the AI to operate burst-beams. You can see many times where the beams don't do full damage. This can be due to the AI thinking the beam is in range and it is not - and therefore barely missing the armor/hull, or this can be from the beam striking on target for the first second or two, and then randomly sweeping off-target for the remainder of the burst. I honestly have no idea why this happens. Did it affect the final outcome? I don't really think so. It may have made it closer, but the final portion where the Paragon couldn't retreat was pretty key. Had it been able to vent and renew the beam strikes, at the very least the Dominator would probably have been destroyed.
[close]
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 03:30:06 PM by Morrokain »
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Albreo

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Can't watch the video. You have to set it to unlist and not private.

My old build but I have to watch the video first to see if ballistics are enough.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 02:30:06 AM by Albreo »
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DatonKallandor

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Supposedly the "fires weapon thinking it's in range but it's not" issue that especially affects beams is fixed for the next version, as is the AI triggering a burst weapon and immediately sweeping the mount away from the target.

Frankly a lot of exact combat balancing is probably not worth doing right now, because there are so many AI changes and fixes in the next version it'll throw any balance established with the current version out of whack anyway. At least that's the impression I'm getting from the various teasers and patch notes Alex has put out.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 04:07:11 AM by DatonKallandor »
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Morrokain

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Can't watch the video. You have to set it to unlist and not private.

My old build but I have to watch the video first to see if ballistics are enough.



Fixed sorry! (Let me know if otherwise.)

Supposedly the "fires weapon thinking it's in range but it's not" issue that especially affects beams is fixed for the next version, as is the AI triggering a burst weapon and immediately sweeping the mount away from the target.

That would be really helpful if so!
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DatonKallandor

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I'm getting the impression the next version might have a significant bump in lethality just from the AI changes alone - it sounds like it'll get flux-on-target a lot better. Less wasted shots (the "main gun fires at random fighter despite enemy ship being directly ahead" is also supposed to be fixed I think) should lead to more consistent kills when the opportunity comes around.

On the topic of PD pass-through: I think is very good but has to be very carefully balanced. Overlapping PD could have the potential to be very oppressive. Maybe reserve PD pass-through for a new category of PD? "Long-Range PD" or something? That would be a good place for flux-using PD too perhaps. Bigger opportunity cost (flux buildup) but big upside (fleet support).
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basileus

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Morro, do you think you could do a preview release of the mod?  Not in the OP but just in a new post, so that Daton, Albreo, and I can help give some balance feedback?

Quote
On the topic of PD pass-through: I think is very good but has to be very carefully balanced. Overlapping PD could have the potential to be very oppressive. Maybe reserve PD pass-through for a new category of PD? "Long-Range PD" or something? That would be a good place for flux-using PD too perhaps. Bigger opportunity cost (flux buildup) but big upside (fleet support).

That makes a degree of sense.

Hey, this gives me a thought that might also be pertinent to the "can't do that with beam weapons / AO debate."  Since you can make hull mods mutually exclusive, is it possible to make it so that certain weapons can only be equipped if a particular (potentially/probably built-in) hullmod is present?

That way the fleet support PD could be restricted to specific hulls given a mod that signifies them as having that role, without making major capitals OP.  Advanced Optics could instead become a built in hullmod that allows only certain hulls to equip the new super fire support beams (and have no penalties or bonuses at all).  In other words, it could be used by ships like the Apogee and Astral without making the Paragon or Tyrant Opie OP.

On the one hand, I get that it's nice to have the most options possible for every ship, but on the other hand there is currently a tendency to just load up on a bunch of your favorite capital and smash all the things.   Having roles more clearly defined by hulls (the way carriers are), could help promote more diverse fleets.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 07:25:52 AM by basileus »
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DatonKallandor

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I think strictly defining the role of hulls like that might cut out too much of the fun of building ships.
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Albreo

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Battle 1 Defense Paragon: Nah, that looks fine to me your Onslaught just lack explosive weapons. Wasted Terminator beam on a shield you fool!! Do group all ballistics together in 1 auto fire. If it can't sustain, switch to a lower flux weapon. Aurora has a speed advantage so it can retreat from Dominator easily. Maybe Aurora DP should be increased as well?
Battle 1 Beam Paragon: It's the wrong video!!

Onslaught revision 1:
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UserNameViolation

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Hello! Is there any drawbacks using you mod with nexerelin? like any missing content or incompatibilities? i mean this  "totalConversion":"false", option
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