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Author Topic: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.  (Read 5063 times)

Alex

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2018, 09:48:01 AM »

If the net result is that ITU/DTC are already must-haves for slower/ballistic-focused ships,

ITU/DTC are must-haves on larger hulls by design, though. It could've also been handled by making them built-in on cruisers/capitals, but I like the idea of allowing some room for more specialist builds that don't use those.

The reason is that large ships generally need longer weapon range to avoid being easily kited down by anything smaller and faster. Basically, without those hullmods, large combat ships are in a very precarious position, design-wise; near to being obsolete. I don't think you could make the same argument for UI, it's just not as fundamental, and I'd just as soon have fewer must-haves.

Right now, ITU is already cheap enough in OP terms that it's mandatory (IMO) on non-SO frigates

Probably an argument in favor of the frigate-sized ITU being underpriced. Two points is very low, and looking at the progression, it's out of line. I think when I was pricing it, I wasn't thinking that 10% was as impactful as it is in practice. So: raised the cost to 4, which is in line with the progression.

I'd argue that with weapons like the IR Pulse Laser, if you're relying on them you actually lose less range on an SO ship (500>462.5) than on a ship with Unstable Injector (425), so there's no real reason to use UI on those ships at all.

SO has a bunch of other downsides, though.


I'm coming at this from the angle of having designed a fast midline faction with lots of hybrid slots and wanting energy weapons to be competitive on them; perhaps that's not applicable to vanilla ships, but I think it solves a lot of edge cases and feels cleaner than the current percentage approach.

Hmm - a couple of things. One, energy weapons and ballistics are not very competitive with each other in direct-damage-dealing. Energy weapons are all-around worse at that, which is compensated by ships using them having better speed (to counter the lower range, again the see-saw of the two prime stats) and flux dissipation. The only way energy weapons really compete *in the same slot* is when they provide some utility in a way that ballistics don't - Ion Cannons, Ion Beams, long-range PD (yeah, a bit of a niche case), beam weapons (range + flux trading), a Heavy Blaster for armor cracking, and perhaps a few other things.

So, if you're putting a hybrid slot on something, "ballistics go in it" ought to be the baseline expectation, with the slot type providing a bit of flexibility for utility. That's just the grain of the weapon design. This is also why hybrid and universal slots are used sparingly in vanilla.

Two, "fast ships with hybrid slots" is a potential warning sign. You've basically got fast ships with ballistic weapons, then, which could mean they're going to be overpowered - or at least hard to balance - due to a combination of speed and range. If really depends on where their speed and mobility systems (if any) place them, relative to say midline ships (if you'll note, those tend to have maneuvering jets, which while having good utility, aren't an overwhelmingly good mobility system otherwise).

If it were me, I'd probably look at a built-in hullmod as a way to make ballistics and energy competitive on your ships. If a general-purpose hullmod did that, it'd probably break things. But with a built-in, you have so much more freedom - for example, you could increase energy weapon range, or reduce ballistic range, depending on how fast your ships ended up being and what you wanted in terms of balance.


And 600 range also includes a large number of low-end small ballistics.

Yeah, that's a bigger issue. I dunno though - on something like a Lasher, is that really a problem? I guess it might be a minor buff to larger ships that use small ballistics, but given that those ships have short ranges as it is, UI would give them an option besides ITU, SO, or simply being second-best.

(I meant more in the sense that small ships using those weapons would also take UI as a no-brainer choice; i.e. it would harm overall build diversity.)


On a side-note, how exactly do multiple flat and multiplication modifiers interact?

Like most difficult case - 1000 range beam + UI + Implants skill + ITU(Capital) + Optics + SO + Electronic Warfare.

Generally, percentile reductions are multiplicative; cases where they're not are either oversights or something where it wouldn't make sense (such as, say, the hazard rating of a planet). Percentile increases are additive. This prevents both increases and reductions from stacking out of control.

The order is: percentile increases, flat modifiers, then multipliers. The "range mult after cutoff" modifier is special and applies after the initial range calculation.

So for a beam with UI, it'd be something like:
(1000 (base) * (100% + 15% (gunnery) + 60% (ITU)) + 200 (optics)) * 0.85 (UI) * <whatever EW happens to be>, then modified by SO. Which you couldn't put on a capital ship, but that's beside the point.
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Megas

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2018, 10:14:17 AM »

So for a beam with UI, it'd be something like:
(1000 (base) * (100% + 15% (gunnery) + 60% (ITU)) + 200 (optics)) * 0.85 (UI) * <whatever EW happens to be>, then modified by SO. Which you couldn't put on a capital ship, but that's beside the point.
Where does Glitched Sensors go?  And does it add with something or multiply everything (for less range)?
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Alex

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2018, 10:47:36 AM »

It's a percentile reduction, so it's a multiplier.
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2018, 11:01:05 AM »

I think I would like to see a range boost hullmod whose purpose is to give a flat bump in range to all weapons (50/100/200/300), incompatible with ITU/DTC/ATC, and costing less than the original hullmod (3/6/12/18 OP).  This would offer a cheaper option somewhere in between an ITU and having no ITU, with a niche applicable to extremely short-range weapons.

Right now, since ITU/DTC don't really have a cheap alternative, the choice really just boils down to:
1. Use ITU/DTC.
2. Make a balls-to-the-wall berserker build.

There's not much depth.
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xenoargh

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2018, 11:36:53 AM »

Agree w/ DR there; there’s a niche that’s probably valid.

@Thaago:  I agree with your points; it’s just a matter of, “how much is too much”, really.  I’ll play with it and see where it really gets must-buy again.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 11:45:31 AM by xenoargh »
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TaLaR

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2018, 12:06:48 PM »

Right now, ITU is already cheap enough in OP terms that it's mandatory (IMO) on non-SO frigates

Probably an argument in favor of the frigate-sized ITU being underpriced. Two points is very low, and looking at the progression, it's out of line. I think when I was pricing it, I wasn't thinking that 10% was as impactful as it is in practice. So: raised the cost to 4, which is in line with the progression.

I think this moves frigate ITU strictly into 'luxury I'd always pass on' territory. Aside from frigate vs frigate skirmishes, a frigate has to usually operate under assumption that it's outranged. 4 OP for narrowly specialized mod doesn't seem competitive vs universally useful stuff like 6 OP Hardened Shields or 3 OP RFC.

I don't see myself using it on anything but Optics Wolf at 4 OP. AI is not good enough at exploiting narrow range advantage to pay so much for it. While best performing player-piloted frigates are not about range at all (endgame Hyperion + phase frigates / early cost effective LMG Lasher).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 12:23:40 PM by TaLaR »
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2018, 12:52:01 PM »

Having a range boost - even a 10% one - on a frigate is a big deal early-game.

The problem is you don't have ITU available in the early game.
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xenoargh

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2018, 01:04:22 PM »

I would buy DR's suggestion, if it was priced cheap and available early, and then switch to ITU later.  ITU's a no-brainer in Vanilla.  It isn't in Rebal right now, where there are other options at different price points.
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2018, 02:18:21 PM »

I don't think you could make the same argument for UI, it's just not as fundamental, and I'd just as soon have fewer must-haves.

That's fair. I'd also like fewer must-haves; that's why I like the idea of a penalty that hurts (say) high-tech ships less, symmetrically with ITU/DTC benefitting them less due to the shorter base ranges of non-beam energy weapons. It becomes more competitive, and it opens up a little more design space; there's an incentive to maximize speed on the ships that benefit the most from speed in the same way that ITU creates an incentive to maximize range on the ships that benefit the most from range.

I'm coming at this from the angle of having designed a fast midline faction with lots of hybrid slots and wanting energy weapons to be competitive on them; perhaps that's not applicable to vanilla ships, but I think it solves a lot of edge cases and feels cleaner than the current percentage approach.

Hmm - a couple of things. One, energy weapons and ballistics are not very competitive with each other in direct-damage-dealing. Energy weapons are all-around worse at that, which is compensated by ships using them having better speed (to counter the lower range, again the see-saw of the two prime stats) and flux dissipation. The only way energy weapons really compete *in the same slot* is when they provide some utility in a way that ballistics don't - Ion Cannons, Ion Beams, long-range PD (yeah, a bit of a niche case), beam weapons (range + flux trading), a Heavy Blaster for armor cracking, and perhaps a few other things.

So, if you're putting a hybrid slot on something, "ballistics go in it" ought to be the baseline expectation, with the slot type providing a bit of flexibility for utility. That's just the grain of the weapon design. This is also why hybrid and universal slots are used sparingly in vanilla.

Agreed. This is more of a way to get things to that point on idiosyncratic hulls than to supersede the existing weapon design.

Two, "fast ships with hybrid slots" is a potential warning sign. You've basically got fast ships with ballistic weapons, then, which could mean they're going to be overpowered - or at least hard to balance - due to a combination of speed and range. If really depends on where their speed and mobility systems (if any) place them, relative to say midline ships (if you'll note, those tend to have maneuvering jets, which while having good utility, aren't an overwhelmingly good mobility system otherwise).

Yup, hence the need for a hullmod to control it. Lots of mod factions play around in this space, with various workarounds (because it's player bait; enormously fun to fly, and creates opportunities for unique weapons and ships that are satisfying to use). Range limitations are mine, which I think is an elegant solution but hardly the only one.

If it were me, I'd probably look at a built-in hullmod as a way to make ballistics and energy competitive on your ships. If a general-purpose hullmod did that, it'd probably break things. But with a built-in, you have so much more freedom - for example, you could increase energy weapon range, or reduce ballistic range, depending on how fast your ships ended up being and what you wanted in terms of balance.

Yeah, it's what I'm doing for the built-in, which used to just chop ballistic range 15%, but was generally messy; now it chops peak potential range by more while leaving inoffensive shorter-ranged ballistics alone. I think you're right that it's best for a built-in, but I thought I'd throw the idea out for the modular and see if it had legs.
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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2018, 04:56:01 PM »

I think I would like to see a range boost hullmod whose purpose is to give a flat bump in range to all weapons (50/100/200/300), incompatible with ITU/DTC/ATC, and costing less than the original hullmod (3/6/12/18 OP).  This would offer a cheaper option somewhere in between an ITU and having no ITU, with a niche applicable to extremely short-range weapons.

I would very much like to see such a hullmod added to the official game content.


Right now, since ITU/DTC don't really have a cheap alternative, the choice really just boils down to:
1. Use ITU/DTC.
2. Make a balls-to-the-wall berserker build.

There's not much depth.

Agreed in full. We should have a "third way" to allow finer-grained build/variant diversity.
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Megas

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2018, 05:07:02 PM »

I think I would like to see a range boost hullmod whose purpose is to give a flat bump in range to all weapons (50/100/200/300), incompatible with ITU/DTC/ATC, and costing less than the original hullmod (3/6/12/18 OP).  This would offer a cheaper option somewhere in between an ITU and having no ITU, with a niche applicable to extremely short-range weapons.

I would very much like to see such a hullmod added to the official game content.
Sounds like DTC replacement.

For high-tech ships with short-ranged blasters, I probably would pick this over DTC for having roughly the same range increase for less OP cost (as proposed by Revenant).  Low-tech ships would get shafted until they get ITU.

As long as OP costs are discussed, it would be nice if Shield Conversion: Omni cost was drastically cut.  For frigates, it is insanely expensive.  It should not even be expensive for what it gives (and takes away).
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TaLaR

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2018, 06:33:03 PM »

Having a range boost - even a 10% one - on a frigate is a big deal early-game.

The problem is you don't have ITU available in the early game.

Getting a range boost has one of 4 effects:
  • You outrange slower/same speed enemy. That's what it's all about. But frigates get here too rarely to pay for ITU through the nose. Vanilla ones at least.
  • You increase range advantage over faster enemies. Once again rare for vanilla frigs.
  • You decrease range advantage of slower enemy. In case of vanilla frigs, that's fractions of a second usually. Hard shields of just caps would decrease approach disadvantage WAY more.
  • You increase advantage vs slower or decrease vs faster. Essentially no effect.

Fast frigates with at least light ballistic mount and decent flux can benefit more from ITU. But they do not exist in vanilla (Lasher and Brawler are slow for frigates and have low flux dissipation rates). I don't think nerfing ITU to cost that can only be justified for modded ships makes balance better.

Also, even when frigate gets it's minor range advantage, countering it is often easy enough (if speed difference <50) - just armor tank on zero flux boost. It's probably just Needlers or beams anyway - won't do much during very short approach. AI not doing so is an AI problem, not core balance problem.
Only something like flux-positive (1 Grav + 3 Tacs is not without skills) Wolf with Helmsmanship 3 can really try to kite to death in not so easily counter-able manner, and it's limited due to being soft-flux. Hardly overpowered considering it takes rare hullmods and skilled officer.

As long as OP costs are discussed, it would be nice if Shield Conversion: Omni cost was drastically cut.  For frigates, it is insanely expensive.  It should not even be expensive for what it gives (and takes away).

Yeah, just a trap option for auto-generated variants or newbies. Not just on frigates either.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 07:29:20 PM by TaLaR »
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Embolism

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2018, 01:26:27 AM »

Now that an actual economy is shaping up, I think rarity should also be considered as part of balance.

With that in mind, rarer ships, weapons and hullmods don't necessarily have to be balanced compared to common ones, e.g. ITU for frigates.
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Megas

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2018, 05:51:25 AM »

Now that an actual economy is shaping up, I think rarity should also be considered as part of balance.

With that in mind, rarer ships, weapons and hullmods don't necessarily have to be balanced compared to common ones, e.g. ITU for frigates.
New release will have colonies and blueprints.  If colonies will let the player spit out whatever ships and weapons he wants as long as he has the components, then rarity will ultimately matter mostly for blueprints and hullmods.
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Alex

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Re: Suggestion: Change the Unstable Injector penalty.
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2018, 09:41:25 AM »

I think I would like to see a range boost hullmod whose purpose is to give a flat bump in range to all weapons (50/100/200/300), incompatible with ITU/DTC/ATC, and costing less than the original hullmod (3/6/12/18 OP).  This would offer a cheaper option somewhere in between an ITU and having no ITU, with a niche applicable to extremely short-range weapons.

This could be fun for things like small slots on large ships, yeah. Especially the AM Blaster, since it'd actually benefit more than from the ITU, even aside from the reduced OP cost.

It does feel a bit fiddly, though. Like, you've got to do some math to figure out whether one is better than the other, and the numbers (intentionally, I assume) end up being fairly close for small weapons.

I wonder. So this really isn't something that destroyers and frigates would make much use of, right? +20% for 8 OP vs +100 range for 6 OP isn't a particularly compelling/interesting choice, anyway, and there's most likely a "right" answer for whatever loadout. But it gets more interesting at the high end; making it cruiser/capital-only might be more clear cut. It'd probably feel better if the range bonus was a bit more (400/500?), to really make small slots qualitatively different, but if it's that high, then it starts to overtake ITU for larger weapons, particularly energy ones. So that's awkward. Hmm.

Basically, I think it would be better if it was a more pronounced choice, either in terms of OP cost and what it did, but there doesn't seem to be enough room to crank up its effect.


Right now, since ITU/DTC don't really have a cheap alternative, the choice really just boils down to:
1. Use ITU/DTC.
2. Make a balls-to-the-wall berserker build.

There's not much depth.

Also 3) carriers/missile boats/anti-fighter ships/something defensively specialized/etc. Not saying all of those are large niches, but they're there if that's what the player wants to experiment with, and ITU/DTC being optional is meant to let the player do that, so whatever depth is in that end of the pool is what it gives. How much there is of that is not really a function of the hullmod, which really just enables "baseline" gameplay. This also makes me a bit wary of messing with having multiple options there; muddy the waters too much and it's not clear what "baseline" is anymore. (Which I think is another argument for making whatever other thing be more pronounced/specialized...)


Yeah, it's what I'm doing for the built-in, which used to just chop ballistic range 15%, but was generally messy; now it chops peak potential range by more while leaving inoffensive shorter-ranged ballistics alone. I think you're right that it's best for a built-in, but I thought I'd throw the idea out for the modular and see if it had legs.

Yep, definitely worth thinking about!
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