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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Update preview 6/24/20  (Read 321383 times)

Morrokain

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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.

I missed this in my last response. You are probably right. That is one reason why I'm not spending a huge amount of time on it. This is more just to be a pulse check that nothing is extremely broken from all the changes. Despite that, there will inevitably be stuff I miss lol.

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).

Alex told me a while back that a lot of edge stuff like that had been addressed and I'm really excited to see the new official release. There is a ton of modder QOL stuff there too.

As far as PD pass-through for new PD support weapons, I may do that. It would be interesting to see how that would shake up build-making. As for current PD pass-through, the weapons that got it are small in number and IIRC none of the small weapons have it. It was mostly just a way to give a small way to incentivize a large PD over just a bunch of small PD. If I see it making too large of an impact I'll change it. The ranges in question are small enough that I don't think it will though, but I have been wrong about that sort of thing in the past.

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?

Maybe. At the very least, I would have to finish the stat card changes for weapons with pass-through so that is obvious and won't obscure anything balance related. A lot of variants are still not at intended OP too, but that's not the hugest deal I guess.

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.

I kind of agree with DatonKallandor here. It would be a useful balance lever, certainly, but I like the idea that you can take any ship and make it any role but with other considerations such as base stats, defense type, energy mount type, etc. I already kind of do this with the Onslaught (XIV) through the built-in Terminator Beams that have way more range than they normally would. So if I were to do something like that again it would probably be along the same lines.

There is also the secondary consideration that as a Dev it feels less satisfying to work on cool weapons to only have them be equip-able by a relatively few number of ships.

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?

Just curious, why do you think it is better to have all the ballistics in one auto fire group? The reason I ask, is that flux generation is a factor there. If you have the large railguns in a separate group, the AI can toggle them on autofire while at high flux while only toggling off the main group of mediums, etc. Separate groups allow the AI to be more efficient and eek out more damage under pressure than it otherwise would be able to. In your build, however, I can see you prioritize way more flux dissipation than weapon flux generation. So maybe that is why you run into that problem less.

I also think explosive weapons are a little overrated against high tech ships like these. The railguns penetrate the armor fairly quickly and it has the Terminator Beam (yeah when that hits shields it is indeed a bummer!) and the two forward firing flux free autocannons to punch through the minimal armor. Especially in the case of the Defense Paragon, kinetic damage is essential.

Regardless though, a controlled test means you can't change the variant between tests or you aren't really learning the trend. Nothing wrong with adding that build to the Hegemony lineup though!  ;) I'll try and remember to do that later tonight when I do some more work on the mod.

Battle 1 Beam Paragon: It's the wrong video!!

Doh! Argg I am awful at posting videos it always takes like 5 tries to get everything going. It *should* be fixed now.

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

Hi! Not that I am aware of. It might make the campaign harder because of invasion fleets, but afaik there isn't any bugs or any missing content when running this mod with Nex. The only thing Nex does that effects this mod is cut out the custom dialogue of the new factions for station commanders so that the Nex options can be added. So very minor and not impacting gameplay at all.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok 2 more test videos. I'm not going to analyze these just yet but I wanted to get them up here.

Battle 2 Defense Paragon:

Battle 2 Beam Paragon:
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Albreo

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Just curious, why do you think it is better to have all the ballistics in one auto fire group? The reason I ask, is that flux generation is a factor there. If you have the large railguns in a separate group, the AI can toggle them on autofire while at high flux while only toggling off the main group of mediums, etc. Separate groups allow the AI to be more efficient and eek out more damage under pressure than it otherwise would be able to. In your build, however, I can see you prioritize way more flux dissipation than weapon flux generation. So maybe that is why you run into that problem less.

I also think explosive weapons are a little overrated against high tech ships like these. The railguns penetrate the armor fairly quickly and it has the Terminator Beam (yeah when that hits shields it is indeed a bummer!) and the two forward firing flux free autocannons to punch through the minimal armor. Especially in the case of the Defense Paragon, kinetic damage is essential.

Let me explain my criteria to decide if it's Ok to put everything in one group first.
- All high flux weapons should be separate out of this group due to inefficiency to sustain.
- Weapons have to be at a similar range or cost no flux.
- High alpha long reload should be separate out so as not to waste on a good opportunity.
- Flux/sec for that group should not go over 1500 for capital or much higher than the vent rate. Lower the better.

Here're the pros and cons that I can think of in grouping everything together.
+ Highest burst potential possible. Effective in brief meet n' greet. Don't have to waste time switching between multiple groups.
+ Mix weapons give a good continuous suppression advantage. Mix small explosive weapons in the group, deny them no chance to lower shields.
+ AI tends to not change group when it can still fire. This gives an advantage to the next one.
+ Unlikely to waste explosive shot due to not having anything to fire, AI picks next group with highest DPS even though it's ineffective/inefficient flux wise over small weapons.
+ AI can still fully take advantage when a shield is down.
+ Can act as PD.

- Cannot sustain when under heavy fire but can still retaliate somewhat because of auto fire.
- Cannot focus fire on a specific target. Anything in range will receive a fair share.
- AI will still fire short-range weapons forward even if it's will never reach the target hence wasted flux. Next Alex's patch might fix this.
- Only work with turrets and not hardpoints.

But I would prefer stock variants to use Alex auto setting. This will be kind of a high end optimize and I prefer others to experiment with it themself.

As for your new videos, I think Dominators could use a Resistance Flux Conduit for a better active vent.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 10:01:42 PM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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^ Oh ok that makes sense. I'd agree that is a pretty accurate pros and cons list. For me at least, the cons outweigh the pros but it a close enough thing that I think it is likely playstyle related. The ability to return fire efficiently under high flux pressure is more important to me that the meet and greet benefits of having 0-flux weapons in the same group as flux-using weapons - well... I should say I feel that way most of the time as it really depends upon the build. Mixed damage types in one group is fairly important as you say, however this specific build doesn't have any 0-flux kinetic weapons and that is what I base the decision on whether or not I include them in the 0-flux group. The "will fire when not in range" part also bugs me, but not only could that be fixed in the next release but it impacts the grand scheme of things very little. I think when the AI turns off flux-free weapons because it turns the autofire off is the most damaging to the overall battle performance. That being said, it all depends upon how often that would actually be a factor. As far as meet and greet burst damage, that should be improved in the next release without weapons being in a single group as well because it will waste shots on fighters less - particularly in the last couple of seconds before a battle starts.

But I would prefer stock variants to use Alex auto setting. This will be kind of a high end optimize and I prefer others to experiment with it themself.

I will likely never make stock variants autofit as the default mod behavior. Autofit tends to sometimes create really weird builds in this mod even at the frigate level. Don't get me wrong sometimes it works very well, but the times it doesn't could heavily impact faction balance in a live battle scenario that isn't being autoresolved. Similarly, the goal isn't to optimize all the variants but rather optimize *some* of them or otherwise include builds that provide unique challenges or concerns to the player for each faction. It is one of the reasons I widened the gap between the gunship and the bomber roles - so that both can't be hard countered in quite the same way but can be soft countered by a balanced fleet in either case. It is a difficult thing to do but that is the goal.

But! Coming back to autofit, it won't in the next update but likely in the following one I'm going to have a settings option to enable autofit at the player's choice. It will be set to off by default. I will probably have a setting for each hullsize.

As for your new videos, I think Dominators could use a Resistance Flux Conduit for a better active vent.

Hmm ok I'll try it out a couple of times and see if it performs better.

*EDIT* (Made each Dominator variant have Resistant Flux Conduits instead of either flux caps or Expanded Magazines/Missile Racks)

Battle 3 Defense Paragon:

Battle 3 Beam Paragon:
« Last Edit: November 27, 2020, 04:17:21 PM by Morrokain »
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Albreo

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Battle 3: Those look kind of Ok to me apart from Onslaught's slightly low performance. I think you could experiment with some unsymmetrical loadout on Dominators such as ballistic on the left and explosive on the right. The one with dual Devastators didn't perform well.

Capital Pulse projectiles also look unassuming to me. I think you should add some glow effect to it. Anything that hit hard should be more noticeable. Some FS weapons can also have a bullet trail effect to make it obvious which ship is dangerous.

Re autofit: Eh, I mean the auto setting for weapon groups not the actual autofit of weapons. I believe the manually crafted loadouts will fit in with the lore better anyway.
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Morrokain

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Battle 3: Those look kind of Ok to me apart from Onslaught's slightly low performance. I think you could experiment with some unsymmetrical loadout on Dominators such as ballistic on the left and explosive on the right. The one with dual Devastators didn't perform well.

Good analysis and yes this is intended. :)

For clarification: The deck is slightly stacked in Tri-Tachyon's favor in this test simulation because the original goal was to test the difference between strike beam builds, projectile strike builds and, at the capital level, fire support beam builds vs low-flux defense builds within the energy weapon type range.

In order to adequately do that considering the test parameters, I was using a standard Assault Onslaught that emphasized kinetic over explosive (since that generally matters more for energy weapon ships) and a "balanced" cruiser set that included two ships that were good vs kinetics (Dominator Support and Dominator Assault - Heavy Iridium Guns) with two that were more anti-armor oriented (Dominator Assault - Mark IXs and Dominator Elite - Devastators) in order to see how each category of the opposing end dealt with beams vs projectile energy weapons and HE torpedoes.

Originally, I was using a more kinetic heavy Onslaught variant, one less kinetic Dominator (Heavy Iridium Guns), and one more anti-armor Dominator (Mark IXs). You then suggested better flux management for the Onslaught. I thought that was reasonable since it would matter for the defense Paragon more - both in terms of better PD and a better punishing timeframe before the AI retreats. Therefore, I replaced the rear Heavy Railguns with better torpedo defense (Heavy Vulcan PD Cannons) since that benefited the armor-reliant fleet overall. I agree with both of those suggested changes as a better test example FWIW. What you are describing in the Dominator Elite's performance should be relatively consistent unless it is a 2v1 in the Dominator's favor. Then the strike potential can speed up the encounter drastically under the right circumstances - a.ka. overload - overfluxed, etc. Evens so, a kinetic assault variant should be more reliable in the case of a 1v1 vs a heavily shielded ship and it's not like it would perform all that worse in a 2v1 scenario in comparison. The speed up of any engagement does come into play in a spread out battle because it can provide better reinforcement time to more evenly contested fights - which sometimes creates a rapid snowball-effect to the overall battle.

Re: the Onslaught - while I think builds like this are certainly viable and possibly optimal for a generalist kind of approach, this was meant to be a kinetic-heavy counter to the Paragon to test the performance difference between a defensive build and a FS build. Also, from a fleet standpoint: when you have a greater swath of firing arcs for "line-based" confrontation in larger ships - it is important to not cause the AI to twist and turn too much. It lowers accuracy and gets harder for the AI to deal with in the case that one essential side is armor-stripped. For these reasons, I have found it is better to have mostly "equal dps" on either side of the 0-90 degree firing arcs from either side of the center rather than try an right/left-side-preferred build. It doesn't help that doing this also reduces the ability of the Terminator Beams to get their dps in. What these restrictions essentially mean is that it is necessary to, for the most part, mirror the damage capabilities along the side mounts. The large mounts can be an exception if they are strike weapons - depending upon the weapon.

TLDR: It was never about the opposing fleet being equal (though it should be fairly close and some random is involved) but rather it was designed to test the performance difference between builds with different roles and weapon types while under specific parameters for each test.

Capital Pulse projectiles also look unassuming to me. I think you should add some glow effect to it. Anything that hit hard should be more noticeable. Some FS weapons can also have a bullet trail effect to make it obvious which ship is dangerous.

Noted. I also want a unique sound effect for the Ragnarok Beam. So some polish is still pending most likely.

Re autofit: Eh, I mean the auto setting for weapon groups not the actual autofit of weapons. I believe the manually crafted loadouts will fit in with the lore better anyway.

Ah gotcha. My current method is to set each variant in the JSON files themselves (using the in-game editor as a reference for data points) and then test the AI's performance at utilizing all the weapon groups efficiently. It takes a bit more time but I think this will be better at both understanding how to build variants overall and to be honest: it helps me practice using/troubleshooting JSON syntax. :)
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basileus

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FWIW, you could probably field 5 Pillagers for the same cost as those fleets, and at least under the old balance I know a Pillager build where 3 could be enough to deal with the high tech fleets and 3 or 4 could handle the low tech fleet.

Different fleets play to different strengths.  The way that you've set those skirmishes up should play to the strengths of high tech.  If high tech is losing in that short of skirmish scenario, it doesn't bode well for them strategically unless they maintain a significant advantage in the carrier space.

High tech needs speed and space to thrive.  They want to spread the battle out into a number of isolated engagements, move in an unload doing some lasting damage while only taking flux damage, then disengage to reset.  Sending them up against even numbers of Dominators and an Onslaught should be perfect for them.

If Low Tech is going the slow and ponderous route, then they need to deploy combined arms: they need support from missiles / artillery / gunships to sustain flux pressure.  It's like advancing infantry behind a creeping artillery barrage.  Their slow-arse Onslaughts need to push the high tech back to the edge of the map.

The other alternative is to take away the biggest advantage of high tech--mobility.  The Pillager's burn drive allows them to adopt the Nelson doctrine and "engage the enemy more closely."  You have a 22 DP battlecruiser that can delete 17 DP Auroras--or at least it could under the old balance--and go toe to toe with Paragons, as long as it survived the Paragon's initial alpha.

But your skirmishes, imo, should favor high tech unless macro balance has been seriously reworked.

My Pillager build was roughly:
  • Mods: Frontal Shields; Advanced Turret Gyros;
  • 3 central mediums: Heavy Photons
  • 1 dorsal large: MarkIX
  • 2 forward large: Excalibur cannon aka best weapon
  • 2 wing large: heavy Vulcans
  • 2 forward wing small: Photon cannons
  • 1 rear medium: Vulcan
The rest is mostly PD and some interceptors to keep the torpedoes away.

Now this build may not be as effective without the captain skill for improved target leading, I'm not sure.  But it's effectively a zero flux build with tolerable shield efficiency, burn drive, heavy armor, good range, and very good sustained DPS.  It's more than twice as good as a Dominator and costs only 150% more... and frankly, it's enhanced mobility makes it better than an Onslaught as far as I'm concerned.  The Pillager will jet around the map almost always shooting at something. 

In skirmishes, as opposed to fleet engagements, the Onslaught will spend most of its time wishing there was something in range for it to shoot, and when it finally does get in range of something, it will use its built-ins at the edge of the shield box.  That's the real problem I have with powerful weapons with long CDs.  The AI is dumb and aims for the edge of shield boxes rather than center of mass.  That means that 20-25% the time they fail to damage armor/hull, even if they are "on target" in these sorts of isolated duels.  I did fly around with a pair of salvaged Onslaughts in my Luddic Path playthrough, but I only brought them in for major fleet engagements.  Usually 2-3 Pillagers did all of the heavy lifting.  Since I was playing Pather, I felt obliged to use Pather Eagles as meat shields... instead of just more Pillagers.  Plus, I had a very limited supply of Heretical Persean weapons.  I had to pay the iron price for them, after all.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 10:52:01 AM by basileus »
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Morrokain

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Once I finish up this work on the REDACTED stuff I will likely release a test version of the new balance as an early Christmas present. ;)

The variants will be off of course as I think I'm only about 1/3 of the way done with them, but from what I can tell they won't be super imbalanced or anything and may even provide a reference for the changes over the old one since the unadjusted ones will be the same stock variant as before. Just be a little skeptical when you see a bunch of gunships or bombers on a non-carrier cruiser. Those builds aren't very viable - unless a lot of other things are sacrificed to the point that one of the questions I'm asking is: "Is it ever worth it to use them at all?"

Even if the answer is no, that might be ok as long as they are really useful on a carrier. I'm hoping carriers like the Condor seem like an equal option when compared to something like an Enforcer now. Obviously 1v1's are almost always in the Enforcer's favor, but from a fleet standpoint I'm hoping a well-defended Condor makes its presence felt. I have to be honest, though, I tested more large-scale than small-scale so far.

Re: Your analysis/Pillager

I actually lowered the low-tech cruisers' DP by 1 - putting them at 16 instead of 17. The idea behind this is large scale battles will allow an additional destroyer or even an additional cruiser at the highest end of standard DP limits. So eventually low tech gets a small to moderate 2v1 advantage in one engagement that can snowball into a win. I tested this concept out extensively using the Wolf and the Lasher. It seems sound and what's more is that it is not always predictable. Either side can win, but the tactics differentiation is more clear cut. Trend-wise: the higher the DP the more likely the victory since these ships tend to be a lot more expensive to even purchase in the first place.

From the tests I've done so far, I think high tech should mostly be ok now that the new weapons allow for some additional key roles. It is really hard to tune them so that they are beatable in a skirmish but not wet noodles in a full-scale battle because they get boxed in too easily. I'm hoping I'm at least closer in that regard.

Carrier-wise, high-tech definitely has a decisive advantage now. For stock variants they always did, but even for the player the extra OP is a big deal. The performance difference and OP costs between low and high tier is more noticeable - though I'm still smoothing out the edges and I'm sure there are still some imbalances.

The Pillager is one of my favorites both in look and design. It is a serious cruiser-killer but will struggle against a battleship or battlecarrier. Just like the Conquest, its speed can give it an edge over other capitals - including carriers - since its PD is still numerous and large options are available. I will say, however, that the build you listed will perform slightly worse this update. For one, Photon Cannons and the Excalibur went from 0-flux to ~0.4 efficiency. So the Pillager can't keep the low-flux boost up nearly as often. All capitals also had their low-flux boost cut down to 40 instead of the standard 80. Smaller ships didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell against a very flux-efficient build with it at 80 lol.

The decision to lower battlecruiser DP was a bit of a knee jerk reaction. I think I tweaked the numbers a while back, but I'm not finalized on whether or not to raise it a little more. I don't want it to be the obvious choice over the Dominator or Onslaught - though I don't think it necessarily is now.

I 100% agree that the AI can be frustrating specifically in the case of beams. It seems to operate better with projectile weapons. I spoke with Alex to see if anything can be done but it looks like that particular issue is really difficult to fix without causing the AI to suicide too much. On the brighter side, that is one of the reasons why beams are demonstrably more effective than projectile weapons when they do hit. They also take advantage of the AI by sneaking past the shields far easier than most projectiles - well, outside of something like the Gatling Laser anyway. To give an example, I tested the Terminator Beam using a Guardian build and it killed ships far faster than a Mark IX or even a Heavy Fissure Cannon or Punisher. Where they fail is when they hit shields, and that is why I will eventually have them cause hard flux.

EDIT: P.S *Spoilers*
Spoiler
I'm not done, but the Guardian can now solo 100 DP worth of ships - tested with all Hegemony variants including the Assault Onslaught. It will definitely not be a pushover in the next update. Similarly, I'm making the Mothership battle more difficult/interesting.
[close]
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 05:16:34 PM by Morrokain »
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basileus

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Once I finish up this work on the REDACTED stuff I will likely release a test version of the new balance as an early Christmas present. ;)

Yay!

Well, everything sounds well thought out, as usual.  I look forward to testing it.  Sounds like my old tricks are done for.  The Pillager was my ace in the hole after I brought the nerf hammer to bear on my stacking defensive mods for ~0.4 shield flux efficiency. ;D

I had already seen the screen shot you posted of the new Excalibur.  Honestly, I think adding some flux to that line was probably a necessary thing.  It and the Tri-beam could be pretty OP in player hands.
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Morrokain

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Here you go! I also posted this on the Modder Corner thread on the discord, so feel free to discuss there too. Keep in mind I'm still learning how to navigate and do stuff there.  ;)

Balance test update:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6cxbrz5xcftwn8m/AAAaOPS8xMh6uIN5Pd1mwrbta?dl=1

Note: Highly unpolished at this time as testing is still occurring.

Known issues:
 - incomplete support for Commissioned Crews mod. Only one effect working and the graphic is a placeholder.
 - variants over or under OP limits for the hull.
 - hull designation hullmods need consolidation for easier clarity of what each designation does.
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Morrokain

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^ A bug was found and reported on the Discord. It is now fixed for the download, but if you downloaded the beta prior to this message you can fix it by going to data/variants/derelict and deleting:

archean_derelict_mothership_dronebay_leftD_Sentry and archean_derelict_mothership_dronebay_leftD_Picket

Sorry for the inconvenience!
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DatonKallandor

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Got 2 hours-ish of run in, and so far it seems to work very well. The initial meeting between two decent sized fleets is brutal on account of the strikecraft waves meeting, but it levels off quickly when they start to get whittled down and replacement slows. Fire support weapons work properly for the first time because of the passthrough, and it's great.

Haven't managed to test a full-on PD ship build with the new pass-through PD, but looking at some of it, I suspect the range might be too short for the pass-through to matter. But even if that's the case, nothing changes and it's just the same (decently balanced) PD situation AO had before that change.
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Albreo

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Whoa, new stuff!! I didn't come back for two days and miss the update. Does anything have to be lookup specifically?

At least, I don't play Cyberpunk. So, I'm free.
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Morrokain

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Got 2 hours-ish of run in, and so far it seems to work very well. The initial meeting between two decent sized fleets is brutal on account of the strikecraft waves meeting, but it levels off quickly when they start to get whittled down and replacement slows. Fire support weapons work properly for the first time because of the passthrough, and it's great.

Haven't managed to test a full-on PD ship build with the new pass-through PD, but looking at some of it, I suspect the range might be too short for the pass-through to matter. But even if that's the case, nothing changes and it's just the same (decently balanced) PD situation AO had before that change.

I'm glad the pass-through helps fire support weapons in a fleet setting. It was tough to not have them also dominate the 1v1 game and therefore be the primary role at first. So they had to be really inefficient. That solved 1v1 but made them look weak in a large fight when comparing them to other builds.

As for PD-passthrough builds, that's how I'm thinking it will work too. The pass-through was more to protect frigates when equipping PD weapons in medium and large slots on destroyers or cruisers. It basically matters only in a fairly niche situation where your allies are very clumped up. Normally that's not a good place to be but it can happen. When it does, it makes the larger PD weapons shine a little more and feel a little more valuable. If that ends up not feeling like enough, increasing the range is an option to make them even stronger. It does make that slider go to "broken" more easily though so hopefully that won't end up biting me later. I'm kind of feeling it out and seeing what can be done with the concept now that it exists. The new ways to build stat cards really make it easier to do this sort of thing and not have the concept obscured from newer players until they see it in action.

Also, thank you for giving the test update a try! I'm glad it has been enjoyable thus far.


Whoa, new stuff!! I didn't come back for two days and miss the update. Does anything have to be lookup specifically?

At least, I don't play Cyberpunk. So, I'm free.

Thanks for testing it out as well. :) I'm not used to test updates but it gets the information cycle going a lot faster since I can get additional info while I'm also testing/polishing.

Fire support weapon builds, and carriers (especially smaller carriers) are the main things that I'm curious about. Some secondary considerations would be strike craft OP-to-performance analysis in a fleet setting, and the new REDACTED encounter difficulty (spoilers in the spoiler). I think some other campaign stuff has changed but it was minor overall in comparison iirc. Some Nex balance was attempted through a FP rework and a couple other things but that's hard to test without a long campaign.

Finally, I've also changed the stats on a lot of weapons, so if something stands out let me know. Same goes for new things. Some I've tested more than others, but all received at least one or two passes iirc. The descriptions for some weapons are in serious need of a rewrite but that is far down on the list atm.

REDACTED content I was referring to:
Spoiler
Derelict Mothership battle and Guardian battle.
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What I currently think along the above mentioned carrier mechanics:
 - Carriers should stand out more because they can more easily equip gunships and bombers due to weapon discounts and even free small weapons. Warships have more limited options without direct combat sacrifice - though they can field low OP craft in those roles at about the same cost most of the time.
 - Strike craft in each role should scale better by OP costs. Upgrading is more expensive, and similarly more effective in combat. Large fleet testing has been more limited as I've been focusing on individual variants - both for a little optimization especially with all the weapon changes and as a control to test wing effectiveness.

Some questions I still have:
 - Are medium and large weapons attractive on carrier builds even though they aren't free?
 - Is the upgraded wing tier always the better option with the OP pool? Do some hullmods or weapon upgrades at least give the build a nearly equivalent effectiveness overall?
 - Considering their discount to equip on warships, are interceptor and fighter carrier builds still viable - even if less priority? (This will help me determine whether or not to reduce replacement time for wings in those roles since that scales to help carriers more.)
 - Is the Heron's ship system too strong now considering the increased bomber and gunship effectiveness?

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I received some advice on the discord and I've changed the falcon's look and even added an additional medium missile slot. This isn't in the test update since I just did this today. Overall I think it is an improvement on the design and quality. I try and update ship graphic quality now and again though it's too time consuming to do everything at once at this point.

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Albreo

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Ok, I'm going to build a fleet around fire support carriers this time.

Got a delivery quest to the temple of the dark stars again but I can't make the delivery as usual.
Edit: Oh I manage to get in with a cheat. It simply not possible to evade 10 patrols at a time.

I thought Tyrant no longer drop but I still got one?

I usually don't use Falcon as it is less capable than Eagle. Especially the lack of weapon mounts.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 01:12:55 AM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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Ok, I'm going to build a fleet around fire support carriers this time.

Thanks that's definitely something I'd like to test.

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Got a delivery quest to the temple of the dark stars again but I can't make the delivery as usual.
Edit: Oh I manage to get in with a cheat. It simply not possible to evade 10 patrols at a time.

Have you tried the trick where you turn off your transponder to lure the patrols away and then sneak with your fleet into the market? I've heard that works pretty well - though with the number of patrols that could be impossible I've never tried.

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I thought Tyrant no longer drop but I still got one?

I am going to do that once I can use quest missions to let it be obtainable. Otherwise it won't be sold in markets either. Story points are another possible avenue. Did I say I was making that happen this update? I may have, but my impression was that I was waiting until I had quests/some alternative in place - which requires the next Starsector update. I very well could have said otherwise though. I did debate it for a while since it is an extremely good player ship.

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I usually don't use Falcon as it is less capable than Eagle. Especially the lack of weapon mounts.

It's a good skirmisher due to its system and it's a superb destroyer-killer for early-mid game, but the extra missile mount didn't change the overall balance between things much so it was probably warranted. Large weapons are pretty good, however, so a fleet setting may say differently if it can strike with double the amount of torpedoes. I'll need to test more. I really like the new look though.
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