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Author Topic: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew  (Read 4922 times)

Megas

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2019, 04:03:34 PM »

P.S. I find if your computer can handle it, 500 DP total is pretty good late game.  I generally field 2-3 capitals and 5 cruisers (plus a frigate or two to round it out).  Even at minimum 200 DP, that is like an Odyssey + Conquest + 5 Herons (or 5 Apogees if fighters are contraindicated versus a Doom fleet) + tempest + omen.  It also means I'm facing 7 capitals or 15 cruisers on the field simultaneously.  Also gives the enemy a chance at taking out your stations.
I think 500 is the bare minimum for anything resembling a fleet battle once enemies are huge fleets of capitals when player has only 200 DP to play with.  Even then, it roughly increases the 3v3 to 5v5 in the worst case scenario, still not quite proper fleet level if all of the ships involved are capitals or Dooms.  If fleets were more like what they used to be, then 500 would have been enough for a deploy all/real fleet battle between smaller ships and the uncommon capitals.
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Megas

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2019, 04:23:52 PM »

Before fleet caps, game had Logistics (or Fleet Points back during Starfarer) where player can have 100 DP worth of ships (at Leadership 10 during 0.6.x).  Player could have few capitals, twenty or so frigates, or somewhere in-between.  Fighters were counted as ships back then as well.
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TrashMan

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 01:04:50 AM »

Conventional frigates are still obsolete after early game.  Destroyers are a bit more useful, but still mostly sidelined once multi-capital fights become the norm late in the game.

That is because frigates have a specific niche that does not really exist in the game.

Patrols, intercepts, pickets and wolf-pack tactics.
The player has ONE fleet (no splitting) so the only way for them to really shine is larger maps. Their ability to flank and capture points would become more pronounced.
The other aspect is speed. Burn and Combat. With upgrades (+3 burn, +6 on emergency), player capital ships can chase down even small frigate fleets with is just a big NO.
But, requireing the palyer do drop off ship every time he goes after a smaller bounty/fleet is detremental.

the only practical solution I see would be to have a function to send you fastest ships to delay/tie up the enemy. It would split the frigate ships from your fleet and chase down the enemy, tying them up for your big ships to catch up.
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Megas

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2019, 06:03:01 AM »

Quote
That is because frigates have a specific niche that does not really exist in the game.
They do not necessarily need a role.  All they need is a bigger fleet cap (more than 30 ships, like pirates had in 0.9a) and a high enough map size to enable swarming of enemies like they used to do in 0.6.5.

Quote
The other aspect is speed. Burn and Combat. With upgrades (+3 burn, +6 on emergency), player capital ships can chase down even small frigate fleets with is just a big NO.
Player really needs Augmented Engines, Navigation, and/or tugs for capitals to go fast on the campaign map.  If he can manage that, let him.  I have done it, and it is a big price to pay to get that.

With colonies toned down today, hauling multiple capitals with four tugs is not feasible like it was in 0.9a.
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Cosmitz

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2019, 08:13:06 AM »

Given that frigates were now brought into discussion regarding roles, would it be wise for the fleet size to be OP-based, given how a fair bit of the other mechanics are OP based as well? If you want seventy frigates, you can, same if you want eight capitals, but that won't penalise you for having 30 frigates or allow you to be 'overpowered' by stacking 30 capitals (not that that would be entirely feasible but colony defence sometimes calls for that sort of shenanigans).

I mean, that would lead way to a having a single 'slider' in the options that's more holistic in its approach, that controls everything from map size/fleet size/battle size and guarantees a good experience if you want a smaller more tactical game or more swarmy.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 08:14:50 AM by Cosmitz »
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creek

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2019, 11:52:35 AM »

Why not use more realistic build times and higher support costs to restrict fleet sizes based on the output of your factions? A capital ship should take years to put together and the support costs are astronomical compared to a destroyer or even a cruiser. Projecting massive fleets of cap ships shouldn't really be possible due to the logistical cost involved in doing so. You could then tweak the economies of NPC players to ensure the game remains fun and challenging.
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Schwartz

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2019, 12:44:05 PM »

Realism is a difficult word to use when you're dealing with nanoforges, 'sci-fi magic' blueprints and arcane tech. You may think it should take years. What do you base that assumption on?

I agree that the current rate of expeditions and their size is a little silly, but let's not overshoot here.
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creek

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2019, 03:52:33 PM »

There's no hard number for the variables, beyond what makes the game enjoyable. If fleets are out of control and you restrict the rate at which they can be created vs the rate which they are destroyed in combat then you can prevent "Deathball Fever" because creating a deathball would take an inordinate amount of time and losing ships in combat would have greater consequences. Increasing logistics for large ships would encourage the use of more, smaller ships in their place, preventing capital stacking. I would have to put more thought into balancing the two against each other as I'm just making up as I go right now.
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Megas

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2019, 04:05:55 PM »

Increasing logistics does nothing to the greatest abusers of multi-capital fleets, AI factions with seemingly unlimited resources.  Player already has an incentive to keep fleets under control if he wants to make a decent profit and/or leave enough slots for recovered ships from the enemy, likely ensuring AI will have a numerical advantage despite honoring most rules that bind the player.
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creek

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2019, 04:39:45 PM »

The AI would need to be included in the balancing. I suppose it is primarily an AI issue at heart so perhaps changes should be focused on it as opposed to the players. My experience has been that I end up running into path factions that are seemingly unassailable. Even after I defeat an enormous fleet of their converted tankers and freighters I can't do any real damage to their station, although I haven't brought a full 30 cap ship fleet to assault it yet.
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nathanebht

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2019, 10:43:41 PM »

I don't mind an AI opponent getting a little unfair advantage. When an AI opponent gets too much of an unfair advantage, the game loses its fun. I'm putting effort in to be good at the game... That effort gets crushed by the AI getting freebies. Un-fun.



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Thaago

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2019, 10:59:47 PM »

The AI would need to be included in the balancing. I suppose it is primarily an AI issue at heart so perhaps changes should be focused on it as opposed to the players. My experience has been that I end up running into path factions that are seemingly unassailable. Even after I defeat an enormous fleet of their converted tankers and freighters I can't do any real damage to their station, although I haven't brought a full 30 cap ship fleet to assault it yet.

Pather battlestations are probably the first tough enemy you've encountered. Brute force requires about 2 caps, with some clever play it can be done with a few heavy cruisers and fighter support.
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vagrant

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2019, 11:23:58 AM »

Given that frigates were now brought into discussion regarding roles, would it be wise for the fleet size to be OP-based, given how a fair bit of the other mechanics are OP based as well? If you want seventy frigates, you can, same if you want eight capitals, but that won't penalise you for having 30 frigates or allow you to be 'overpowered' by stacking 30 capitals (not that that would be entirely feasible but colony defence sometimes calls for that sort of shenanigans).

I mean, that would lead way to a having a single 'slider' in the options that's more holistic in its approach, that controls everything from map size/fleet size/battle size and guarantees a good experience if you want a smaller more tactical game or more swarmy.


I've been thinking about OP-balancing fleets as well.

-The problems that I see arise with OP-MAX-balance alone is that it does not account for ship and weapon quality, or for campaign-layer modifications. A OP-balanced game would trend towards the 'optimal' use of a given limit of ordinance points. Small weapons get crushed here, as do ships with poor flux stats that must invest heavily into them. I'm not sure if the desired end-state of starsector's balance is that high-tech is simply superior OP-for-OP versus low-tech, but balancing in this manner would certainly encourage that.

-Another problem I have here is that the AI does not care about logistics or strategic costs, and does not experience any real disadvantages on the campaign layer. AI Logistics ships are simply loot balloons for the player to pop, rather than strategic targets to attack, as there is no way for the player to impede the AI in that manner. On the other hand, losing a logistics ship from a player fleet can be devastating. While both the AI and the Player would feel the OP tax from using logistics ships, the player is the only one truly impacted in the case they are lost.


-If there was better simulation of AI fleets that more closely matched the player's requirements, I could see OP-MAX-Balance working. Right now, AI fleets have no supplies, fuel, crew, or self-preservation to worry about, they will ALWAYS throw everything they have at the player, while the player must consider the encounter within the context of their greater campaign plan of action. Given that all of these campaign-layer logistics can be measured in credits (roughly), perhaps AI fleets should use this as a simple metric of how many resources they are willing to risk in any given engagement, relative to the maximum amount of logistics resources they generated with.

In this way: A LP fleet might be comfortable rushing you with every ship right away regardless of the state of the fleet, given their nature as cultists. However, A pirate fleet centered around a flagship may turn tail and run if that flagship is destroyed during their initial assault using it. Tri-Tachyon fleets could be opportunistic and very willing to cut even minor losses. Hegemony fleets could be the opposite, bloodhound-like and requiring significant damage to be done to them before they even consider retreat.

I think this would help enemy fleets feel more like real actors you are contending with, rather than zero-sum drones out to annihilate you, and I think it help it would reinforce the thematic and gameplay differences between the factions.


-I'd love to see Alex's thoughts on fleet balancing, has he posted about it / mentioned it anywhere recently? I'm really glad to see these kinds of threads pop up so I know I'm not alone in my thoughts!
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eidolad

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2019, 12:16:45 PM »

I do prefer a mixed deployment to keep using all ship classes...however...

One path to victory is:  Small-kill Snowball.  be the one who kills the smallest enemy ship first.

Several carriers acting together in the late game are capable of smashing a conventional destroyer nearly flat in a single attack run.  Thus it may be risky to deploy this class as independent roamers.  Perhaps today I'll have them off the front line, or near help.  This is doubly true of frigates...though I've seen phase frigates that stay phased and wander a bit and shake the enemy squadrons off.

So whether by point system, or by "required N number of destroyers in any deployment" sort of rules:  those fighters squadrons are waiting to be assigned to kill small ships...and begin the shift in the balance of power.

Restrict the carriers?:  then it becomes even more imperative to do something useful with the squadrons on hand, asap.  So once again:  best to target that small enemy ship first. 

Resolution:  don't bring any small ships unless they are escort duty only.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Expedition Fleet Sizes: Capital Skew
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2019, 01:08:50 PM »

Frigates and destroyers tend to be useless late game not because of the fleet cap, but because they die too easily. I have been having some success by starting battles piloting a tempest with omen/tempest escorts and flying around behind the enemy killing their frigates/destroyers and reinforcements and transferring command to something bigger once my peak performance gets a bit low. The AI can actually be exploited because it pays too much attention to the player behind it letting your own fleet get work done.
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