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Author Topic: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair  (Read 7251 times)

Schwartz

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2018, 02:36:04 PM »

I think the problem with phase ships is that they are not countered as much as they are built against. So you're getting a lot of 360° shielded ships and fighters.

There is no in-combat strategy to counter phase ships besides ordering your fighters to swarm it and hang around until it runs out of steam and decloaks. Good luck doing this with a player-controllable ship. Well, it happens occasionally that you're in weapons range when the AI reaches high flux, but you could almost say that's on the AI. Since if we assume perfect phase AI, you'd practically not see them get touched at all.

In your experience, has this gotten better with the phase changes? I think the time shift made them more annoying if anything, although the forced delay is definitely a good thing.

That ships piloted by the player are stronger than AI ships is not really unique to phase ships. 3x reaper launcher with expanded racks and missile skill is a deadly combo, but that stems from a combination of factors. Weapons layout, the power of burst damage, phase for safe maneuvering and finding shield gaps, a good ship system. We could make a similar thread and title it "Nerf reapers!"
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2018, 02:49:21 PM »

The thing I miss with old cloak is I can no longer use Shade as a ghost tank (it tanked better than Monitor) and Afflictor as a evasion brawler (it played much like a super Lasher with cloak flickering instead of a shield).
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2018, 03:15:43 PM »

Probably the easiest way to weaken Harbinger is change one or two of the synergies into energy (and change the remaining synergies into universal for some possible ballistic action to kind of make up for lost power).
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2018, 03:52:08 PM »

The tach lance is in my experience the most reliable phase ship counter. The AI does not pay attention to ships it is not targeting so ships with a tach lance can often cripple a phase ship during the delay before re-phasing. Especially a paragon with 4x TL can one shot the frigates reliably. I agree the best way to reduce the power of a missile based loadout is to change the slots to non-missiles.
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TaLaR

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2018, 05:18:27 PM »

Probably the easiest way to weaken Harbinger is change one or two of the synergies into energy (and change the remaining synergies into universal for some possible ballistic action to kind of make up for lost power).
This would make Harbinger a lot weaker, but QD still doesn't give victims much counter-play (except have more armor).
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2018, 05:39:38 PM »

Without Reapers, Quantum Disruptor dropping shields for a very short window akin to a parry or reversal move in fighting game is much less devastating without an assist.  Harbinger costs 20 DP, and it should be at least as good as two destroyers put together.

Maybe changing from synergy to energy is not a great idea, since that lets Harbinger use AM blasters.  Change some of the synergies to hybrid.
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Embolism

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2018, 06:35:45 PM »

IMO QD is a bad system and simply shouldn't exist, mainly because of how the AI uses it: it's either greatly misusing it (how it is now) or a completely uncounterable "you die" type enemy. In the hands of the player well we all know how it goes.

In fact I don't like how most Phase systems work (Amplifier, Disruptor and the old Interdictor) because they're "target and cast" abilities. I'd much prefer if, say, Disruptor fires a bolt of energy and Amplifier has a cast time and AoE that enemies can move out of before it procs.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2018, 06:38:01 PM by Embolism »
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StarGibbon

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2018, 10:42:48 PM »

IMO QD is a bad system and simply shouldn't exist, mainly because of how the AI uses it: it's either greatly misusing it (how it is now) or a completely uncounterable "you die" type enemy. In the hands of the player well we all know how it goes.


AI not knowing how to play the same game as the player is also something frequently ragged on by critics, if we're worried about the commercial health of the game at wide release. Not that your average critic these days even pretends to play a game more than a couple days before writing a review--I doubt any of them would even tip to this point.

Still, this is the reason I don't like them (phase ships). It just feels like Im suddenly playing a different game than the one the AI knows how to play.
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TaLaR

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2018, 12:49:42 AM »

Still, this is the reason I don't like them (phase ships). It just feels like Im suddenly playing a different game than the one the AI knows how to play.
AI was always unable to pilot Hyperion, long before phase cloak introduction. But as a single ship it's less noticeable than whole class of ships.

Countering Afflictor is theoretically possible (with suitably beef and 360 or accelerated omni shield). But it's not simple and AI isn't good at it. Though it got better at judging whether to rotate or re-deploy shield in 0.9 .

Countering QD is simply not possible outside of super-mobility (not letting Harbinger come close in the first place - only Hyperion and phase frigates are fast enough) or dodging Reapers (only some frigates are fast enough and Harbinger may use un-dodge-able Heavy Blasters too).
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Histidine

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2018, 01:05:12 AM »

The AI could be taught a few things on better using Quantum Disruptor ("go ahead and fire strike weapons even if shielded, we can induce an overload on demand"). But for the player side, it may be that there's just no way to balance being able to have a forced overload shipsystem and any nonzero number of 4000 damage (multiuse!) strike weapons on the same ship.

Making the QD platform and the torpedo platform separate as Megas suggests will probably be adequate. A bunch of ships will still find HB/AMB fire unpleasant if we allow those, but most frigates can at least dodge or run and if destroyers get eaten 1v1 that's probably justified by Harbie's deployment cost.

My alternative bad idea: Replace QD with Doom's old Interdictor Array, but buffed to guarantee a flameout. My experience with a mod version of this (Shadowyards' REIS) suggests it's hugely annoying for the target* but doesn't have the same instakill potential as QD; even if surrounded the target can still fight back and use its shields, and even a frigate could in principle drift away to safety.

*Although since I've mostly experienced the system as the user rather than the target, I can't say I've internalized just how annoying it is
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TaLaR

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2018, 01:14:29 AM »

A bunch of ships will still find HB/AMB fire unpleasant if we allow those, but most frigates can at least dodge or run and if destroyers get eaten 1v1 that's probably justified by Harbie's deployment cost.

Character-skilled UI Harbinger has >400 normal space speed while phased. Only phase frigates and Hyperion can outrun it.
Though this may still be acceptable - keep formation or big bad space wolf will eat you.
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Draba

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2018, 01:35:43 AM »

Quantum Disruptor is the problem. It wasn't that bad with the Afflictor thanks to the very limited ammo from small reaper launchers. Fielding an assassin Afflictor was viable, but risky when you can screw up your single (two) chances. But with the Harbinger? A bit too easy, and it get boring quick.
Probably the easiest way to weaken Harbinger is change one or two of the synergies into energy (and change the remaining synergies into universal for some possible ballistic action to kind of make up for lost power).

Its system is so nice I'd like to see it emphasized a bit more, something like giving it a single synergy and removing the energy weapon penalty.
Then you get phase lance, reaper or heavy blaster and focus more on the battle in general(disrupting targets of bomber strikes/ships with high arc front shields and in a bad position).
I like that style much better, you react and contribute some firepower instead of doing a bunch of uncounterable 1v1s.

Current solo playstyle can also work, the firepower is just too high if that's what Alex is going for.

This would make Harbinger a lot weaker, but QD still doesn't give victims much counter-play (except have more armor).

QD would be infuriating in a MP game, but I think could work here pretty well if it wasn't QD + 3x 4-5K HE damage in practice.
It's an interesting(maybe a bit too strong) tool for the player that the AI won't be able to use properly.


If you think it's too strong it could be tinkered with, maybe:
- duration is 3-0s if the target has 0-5000 free flux capacity
- does 0-2000 hard flux damage if the target has 0-5000 free flux capacity

Numbers are an asspull and probably way off, just an idea(I do like the current system though).
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goduranus

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2018, 04:54:09 AM »

Character-skilled UI Harbinger has >400 normal space speed while phased

Safety Override ;D
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 04:56:26 AM by goduranus »
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StarGibbon

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2018, 05:34:48 AM »


I think it's transformed the entire game into "find a phase ship and win", and the only reason to not use them would be to deliberately play a handicapped game. Imo there should be bigger downsides to using them, like with the Hyperion.


In fairness, "find x and win" applies to many different things in the game. No one is handicapped by having a couple Onslaughts or a Paragon in tow, or by having unlimited money and rare ship production through the colony system. There are many ways to make the game challenge trivial. Phase ships are just one.


I'd like to apologize to the OP for this. Because of my general disdain for phase ships I hadn't played with the new QD version. Just tried that out and it is utter horseshit. I couldnt get that thing out of my fleet fast enough, and even knowing it's available negatively impacts the game for me, because everything else is clearly suboptimal.

So I was wrong. You were right.
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Megas

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Re: Player controlled phase ships, not a bit unfair, but extremely unfair
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2018, 05:51:04 AM »

I have no problem with Quantum Disruptor alone.  (It is like a fighting game move.)  Combined with Reapers (and possibly AM Blasters) makes it too effective (for some people).  If I did not nail the timing required to land Reapers, I would have thought Quantum Disruptor to be a joke (very short stun window), and triple Mining Blaster is not that impressive when two AM Blasters from Afflictor can do more, and triple Harpoon pod runs out of ammo too fast (even with six shots).  Harbinger without the Quantum Disruptor and Reaper combo would have been too overpriced at 20 DP.

I do not use Safety Override on Harbinger.  Harbinger's peak performance is already short enough without it.

P.S.  Until black hole (pirate and pather) bases are gone, I do not want to see Reaper Harbinger removed because we need something to destroy things fast before Event Horizon kills everyone other than the enemy battlestation.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 06:02:09 AM by Megas »
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