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Author Topic: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability  (Read 1703 times)

TaLaR

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Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« on: December 23, 2019, 07:08:35 AM »

There are 2 cases when mines can insta-kill a ship (or at least inflict heavy unavoidable damage):

1st case is when a frigate moves too fast. Frigates have very small exclusion area, and speed-buffed frigate can end up in situation when even perfect
reaction is not fast enough to avoid the mine. Player can manage this by intentionally slowing down around Dooms, but AI ships are *doomed*, lol.

2nd case is even worse: when friendly fighters move near the ship and run into a freshly spawned mine. Short of raised 360 shield or active phase cloak, nothing can prevent damage in this situation. In fact, friendly carriers will do their best to setup you exactly for this kind of problem with their insistence on using fighter escorts.

Also, UI-wise can we get clear indicator for piloted ship's and selected enemy's ability radius? Not seeing exact mine deployment radius exacerbates these issues ten fold, since I can't even reliably tell when I need to take countermeasures (slow down and deploy shield in direction of friendly fighters). Though I wouldn't mind a big red indicator 'Mine threat' whenever I'm in Doom's or Station's reach on top of that.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 04:52:07 PM by TaLaR »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2019, 12:40:46 PM »

While I do hate being one shot by mines, the dooms ability to deal with frigates and fighters while also dealing with larger ships is what makes it good. It's not fast enough to play assassin and dodge everything like the smaller phase ships so it really needs to be able to handle frigates and fighters to be useful. If the ability to kill fighters and frigates was significantly lessened, I'm not sure the doom would really be worth using anymore.

In order to 'fix' the second case, you would have to completely neuter the dooms ability to kill fighters (if the mines can't land straight on fighters, they will just fly around the mines and you will be completely incapable of killing fighters). The doom would become fighter fodder very quickly in that case. I think the exclusion zone around frigates could be increased a little, but its definitely on a knifes edge between over powered and useless against frigates. Even now, frigates are quite good at squeezing between mines to escape. If the exclusion zone gets too much bigger, the doom may become very weak against fighters and frigates while also being weak against large HE weapons, which doesn't leave it much of a niche given its hefty logistic requirements.
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Megas

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 01:34:16 PM »

Doom costs almost as much as a capital.  No one bats an eye when the likes of Onslaught or Conquest destroy frigates very quickly with ballistics spam or dual Locust barrage.

That said, when used by the enemy, mines are most annoying when the enemy high-tech Star Fortress spams them.  However, I am more annoyed by friendly fire from allied mine users (Doom or Star Fortress) when I have ships with Burn Drive in my fleet.  Dominator/Legion/Onslaught Burn Drives, mine gets placed in its path, allied ship takes unnecessary and unavoidable damage.  Or mine gets placed too close to its engines, and ship needs to burn drive to avoid getting its rear blasted.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 01:39:57 PM by Megas »
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SafariJohn

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 01:59:09 PM »

I also think Doom is about balanced for its cost. The friendly fire mines have annoyed me far more than the odd occasion I encounter an insta-boom mine.
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TaLaR

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2019, 04:59:26 PM »

Doom costs almost as much as a capital.  No one bats an eye when the likes of Onslaught or Conquest destroy frigates very quickly with ballistics spam or dual Locust barrage.

Onslaught is trivial to avoid, any case of frigate dying to it is easy to write off as AI being stupid.
Locusts are more of an area denial for frigates - they are easy to run away from, but not much you can do while remaining in their reach. So, once again, a frigate dying to it was simply not smart enough to back off in time.

A frigate dying to Doom on the other hand often didn't have easily available counter-play it could use. Even for player it takes sharp awareness of where exactly Doom can place it's mines(which UI totally doesn't help with) and nearby fighters.


I suppose one way to nerf Doom without affecting it's fighter killing ability would be to significantly increase exclusion zones around ships:
- minimum exclusion zone should be far enough that near instant activation on fighters won't hit any ships
- additionally buff exclusion zone in front of fast moving ships
(and Doom would probably need visualization of these (at least for selected target), since result won't be trivial to figure out)

As compensation, mines movement behavior could change: instead of current slow and even paced, mines would stay still a bit after spawn, but move significantly faster after that.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 05:12:50 PM by TaLaR »
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Megas

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2019, 05:14:05 PM »

Onslaught is trivial to avoid, any case of frigate dying to it is easy to write off as AI being stupid.
Locusts are more of an area denial for frigates - they are easy to run away from, but not much you can do while remaining in their reach. So, once again, a frigate dying to it was simply not smart enough to back off in time.
What are frigates to do if they want to damage the capital, especially if it is multiple ships?  I guess they can use Timid AI and cower until their CR times out and they flameout and die anyway.

Sure, frigates can avoid a capital, but then it is effectively out of the fight if it goes full Timid.  I guess Doom could be harder to avoid since it can speed-up with phase and chase a frigate (which I do not want my Dooms to do).  If frigate ends up within weapons range of a capital (and it will if it needs to attack), it can be dead very fast if the capital has the proper weapons.

Full Timid is no fun to fight if the optimal strategy is to outlast the enemy in a PPT war.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2019, 06:00:59 PM »

I don't really see the trouble with the doom being very strong against frigates. The game is more interesting if different enemies require different strategies/ships to defeat. I think it's good that you can't beat everything with frigates, and you have to stop and think about how you're going to approach a certain fight. Dooms aren't hard to kill, you just need the right strategy (beams/HIL).

I also find it very satisfying as the player to use fighter tricks to deal damage. If it were a multiplayer game, then I would agree that the balance was an issue because people would spam/abuse it, but I think its ok in a single player game since the number of times you have to fight dooms is controlled, and the doom is countered pretty hard by a lot of other enemies so that player needs to use other strategies as well.
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TaLaR

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2019, 08:35:44 PM »

Another proposal: mines are forced to remain phase cloaked for 1-2 sec after deployment. This still allows to insta-kill fighters by placing mines ahead of them (no PD fire opportunity, since mine is phased), but allows ships to take defensive actions.
Mines could also remain phased, until they find suitable target nearby to attack or run out time.

Partial counter-play by carrier would be to issue regroup order (to prevent fighters from running into mines), but:
- only fastest fighters are likely to change course in time.
- mine linger time can be increased as compensation for Doom.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 08:47:40 PM by TaLaR »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2019, 08:58:20 PM »

That seems like another hard nerf to me. 1-2 seconds is way more than enough time for anything but the slowest bombers to dodge. Maybe at like a half second or a bit more but even then, it would make it much much harder to hit fighters and probably impossible for fast interceptors assuming the AI reacts approximately as fast as a human. Even with current mines, you have to be very precise with mines to hit fighters and they will often dodge the mines unless you spawn it directly on them. Frigates are also quite good at weaseling away from mines unless you catch them at full speed perfectly.

If the concern is just that it's too difficult for a player piloted frigate to fight the AI doom, then I think making the AI worse at using mines is a better solution than making mines worse. I still think its ok for the player piloted frigate to have no chance against the AI doom though.
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TaLaR

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2019, 09:07:03 PM »

Catching fast enough frigates is too easy - I've been on receiving end, so I know that in worst case scenario even perfect reaction is not good enough.

Even if carrier reacts by regrouping, you still blocked them (and possibly for long, if mine linger time is increased). They still can't order fighters to fly around the mines.

Player piloted frigate can fight the current Doom (skill-less Tempest is the one I tried at least). But in a duel situation you don't have to worry about friendly fighters or distractions.
In fleet fight you are just doing your frigate things... And then boom, you're dead. Because there is no clear indication when entering Doom's reach, so it's very easy to lose track of (especially if there are multiple Dooms).

AI on the other hand, yep, no chance.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2019, 09:08:40 PM by TaLaR »
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NorthernWatch

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2019, 09:38:42 PM »

Doom is weak if you know what your doing

Many times they dont phase out as they are too busy deploying mines and a few Blast with High Power Anti Armor is enough to wreck it.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2019, 10:21:12 PM »

The AI has none of the concentration or focus issues that humans have and it will generally dodge if possible. I think even a very small change could result in the AI consistently dodging and mines becoming useless against frigates. If the player can easily dodge mines, then AI will also easily dodge mines and the mines will be useless. Fighters also dodge on their own currently, the Carrier doesn’t have to do anything. If you don’t place the mine exactly, the fighters will alter course to fly around them. If you place the mines in front of fighters rather than on them, the fighters will avoid them.

If the issue is that it’s too hard to fight against the AI doom, then I think the AI should be made worse at using mines (but I still think the challenge of fighting a strong AI is good for the game, there’s no reason why the player should be able to beat a doom with a frigate). If the issue is that the player is too strong with the doom, then I think something like preventing the use of mines while phased would make them much harder for a human to use without limiting their potential. I still don’t think current mines are too easy for a player to use, but I could be bad at using them.

I’m also pretty sure there are some inconsistencies with how close you can place the mines, sometimes it feels like you can place them much closer than other times.
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TaLaR

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2019, 11:59:12 PM »

Doom is weak if you know what your doing

Question is not whether Doom is weak/strong, but whether hard to predict gotcha insta-kill is a fair mechanic.

If you don't slow down before entering a Doom's reach or enter it near friendly fighters without having shield raised in their direction, the rest is a luck roll (whether Doom is busy doing something else). If mines are to stay as is, we need very visible highlights for potential mine deployment areas (and AI needs to take precautions too, because mines are impossible to handle reactively).
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 12:05:20 AM by TaLaR »
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2019, 07:48:08 AM »

I definitely wouldn't mind UI improvements to make it easier to avoid a doom.
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Megas

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Re: Nerf Doom mines insta-kill-ability
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2019, 08:31:38 AM »

I am mostly okay with Doom being a bit unfair, especially at its current cost.  Make it fair, and its cost needs to be lowered to match Aurora (which is also overpriced a bit).  I am not opposed to mines being spawned a bit further away from frigates (and only frigates), but I rather have mines spawn as they are instead of far enough away for them to easily dodge.  AI frigates already easily dodge mines unless they are pinned somehow.  Fighters are missiles as far as I am concerned, and I have no problem at all with mine spawns telefragging them instantly.

I have been on the receiving end of frigate near insta-kills once or twice.  It is annoying, but I am mostly okay with that.  Just need better bullet-hell twitch reflexes.  I do enjoy it when I pop enemy small ships with mines.  It is less annoying than friendly fire incidents when I have Dominator/Legion/Onslaught in my fleet with mine users.  Doom is a pseudo-capital, and star fortresses (the most problematic mine users) are a major investment.  If I blunder into range of a capital, and it has the right weapons, my frigate is dead just as fast.  Or, if I see fast interceptors coming, my frigate is probably dead too.

P.S.  Forgot to mention I play the game at double speed, or 2f (and I would play at 2.5f or 3f if the game did not lose fidelity at speeds higher than 2f).  I suppose I can lower speed down to the standard of 1f and have more time to react to sudden mine spawns.

However, if there is a problem with Doom or other phase ships, it is that default AI will happily chase them and play into the enemy phase ships' strengths and get picked off.  Micromanagement (such as deathballing the fleet) seems required to avoid taking unnecessary loses when fighting enemy phase ships.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 08:44:03 AM by Megas »
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