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Author Topic: Hammerhead Balance Theories  (Read 2348 times)

bobucles

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2020, 07:29:01 AM »

Here's my sweetheart for personal krumping. This bad boy can basically 1v1 anything its size, and smashes most cruisers as well. The up front dual-MG pulls double duty. It absorbs incoming missiles, which keeps shield flux low, and shreds enemy shields at 16.6x efficiency. Hot! I don't really use the sabots, but they can pull double duty with cracking shields and reducing return fire with the EMP. The rear guns are nothing special, but they fill in some extra shield damage when the DMGs are busy and don't steal too much flux from the main guns.

The AI seems to work better with light needlers as its primary weapon. With the shorter range MGs they hover permanently out of range of the main guns and won't charge in without an opening. The needler does a good job cracking open shields and the burst power keeps them from wasting flux in melee. Alternatively, if you crack the shields as nearby support, the aggression of hammerheads will dramatically increase and they'll follow up for the kill.

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Player piloted trumps everything.
This is very true, but there are a few combat styles that the AI struggle with. In particular, the AI struggles with the jousting style of phase ships and the intimate style of melee ships. Ships can be perfectly well balanced against each other in an AI context, but the ones weak in AI hands end up being much stronger in player hands. I don't think thee's any real way of escaping it, or even if addressing it is a good idea. Players are still going to fly bigger, meaner, comfier ships for any number of reasons. I do think it's great that there's still a lot of fun to be had in smaller ships as well.

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« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 07:56:16 AM by bobucles »
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2020, 11:25:59 AM »

Almost anything player piloted can kill anything not player piloted in a 1v1. Trying to argue balance with a player vs AI sim fight as your basis is utterly pointless.

Everything else requires actual effort or limited resources for that.

Congratulations you killed a Wolf by piloting a Dominator. Guess what - a lot of people on this forum alone could kill a Dominator by piloting a Wolf.

Dominator might have great firepower, but when the target can just dodge it, it might as well have none. When the target can pick when to engage and you cannot, you also cannot press the advantage. Dominator with railguns or similar guns can keep the Wolf away, but might not be able to kill it. Without sabots, harpoons or salamanders, it has no hope of dealing damage to the Wolf, outside of strike builds that can damage the Wolf, while it's overloaded from the initial strike.
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Grievous69

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #77 on: January 19, 2020, 11:39:52 AM »

@Lucky33
I think your problem is that you find the AAF system boring, as you said it's just ''press F to do moar dmg'', super simple. Hammerhead as a destroyer does is job and that's it, destroys *** but dies super quickly if it gets in trouble. One fighter wing can end it, one unlucky frigate behind it as well, it's really not absurdly broken as you say it is in a fleet setting. You can't look at ships in 1v1 scenarios and then come to a conclusion that x is strictly better than y in every situation.
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TaLaR

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2020, 11:51:12 AM »

Everything else requires actual effort or limited resources for that.

Player-piloted Medusa can kill any ship a player-piloted Hammerhead can, except carriers. And some that Hammerhead can't too (optimized Aurora or Eagle). Doesn't need to use SO or missiles for it either (harder opponents can take decent amount of time and cost some armor damage).
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2020, 12:20:37 PM »

@Lucky33
I think your problem is that you find the AAF system boring, as you said it's just ''press F to do moar dmg'', super simple. Hammerhead as a destroyer does is job and that's it, destroys *** but dies super quickly if it gets in trouble. One fighter wing can end it, one unlucky frigate behind it as well, it's really not absurdly broken as you say it is in a fleet setting. You can't look at ships in 1v1 scenarios and then come to a conclusion that x is strictly better than y in every situation.

I'm well aware of all other scenarios. Hammerhead, along with Brawler and Lasher are my de facto standard for opening stages of the campaign. You hardly can present any parcticular threat to them that I know nothing about.
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #80 on: January 19, 2020, 12:22:46 PM »

My bad. As in all balance discussion, when talking about ships, I assume there's no player input or skills in play. With player input (and skills), all bets are off and you have to declare Paragon OP for being able of soloing a Remnant Battlestation, Low-Tech and Midline Star Fortress and High-Tech Battlestation (mines are too difficult to deal with, when you spend so much time fortress shielding), Conquest for being able of soloing Remnant Ordos (though I'm not sure if it counts, because Ordos can vary in size and I didn't really pay attention to what I was fighting, so long it was named Ordo), Tempests for being able to solo all bounties that don't use too many cruisers (my best fight was wrecking 5 cruiser and 20 ships total hegemony bounty), so on.

Though, well, I think you mentioned this was about player control, so that's on me. I tried that loadout (or my approximation of it) and I was surprised Wolfs were stupid enough to let shields down in Dominator's rather short range. Big ships will tank all kinetics that come their way, but an itty bitty wolf with tin foil armour will happily tank four heavy machine guns and multiple light autocannons on with the hull. It feels as if Alex messed up how AI handles this at some point.
Additionally, I think you have missed a part of my post.
outside of strike builds that can damage the Wolf, while it's overloaded from the initial strike.
Was that not a strike Dominator?

Praise the Ludd for He has teached us the importance of range above all else!
Could you record your fight Hammerhead versus Onslaught fight? I have trouble doing it without skills and without flanking the Onslaught.
Also, aren't railguns a suboptimal choice there? Machine guns would deal more damage for lower flux. While they would struggle against Onslaught's hull, you've got assault chainguns to handle that.

I think your problem is that you find the AAF system boring, as you said it's just ''press F to do moar dmg'', super simple. Hammerhead as a destroyer does is job and that's it, destroys *** but dies super quickly if it gets in trouble. One fighter wing can end it, one unlucky frigate behind it as well, it's really not absurdly broken as you say it is in a fleet setting. You can't look at ships in 1v1 scenarios and then come to a conclusion that x is strictly better than y in every situation.
Hammerhead isn't as fragile as you think. It certainly isn't the most fighter-allergic destroyer, as that award goes to Medusa. My biggest gripe with it is that it's quite difficult to justify using destroyers that aren't Hammerhead (or Drover, but that's another discussion, one I already had).

Grievous69

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #81 on: January 19, 2020, 12:31:57 PM »

I think your problem is that you find the AAF system boring, as you said it's just ''press F to do moar dmg'', super simple. Hammerhead as a destroyer does is job and that's it, destroys *** but dies super quickly if it gets in trouble. One fighter wing can end it, one unlucky frigate behind it as well, it's really not absurdly broken as you say it is in a fleet setting. You can't look at ships in 1v1 scenarios and then come to a conclusion that x is strictly better than y in every situation.
Hammerhead isn't as fragile as you think. It certainly isn't the most fighter-allergic destroyer, as that award goes to Medusa. My biggest gripe with it is that it's quite difficult to justify using destroyers that aren't Hammerhead (or Drover, but that's another discussion, one I already had).
Not sure it you made a typo here but how is Medusa weak to fighters in any way? Speedy ship with a teleport and omni shields where any weapon you put on it are great vs fighters (Heavy blasters, Pulse lasers, Phase lances and so on). While Hammerhead has turrets that face only front and 4 smalls that deal little damage to multiple fighters. Also I'm in shock that people don't use Sunders in later stages of campaign. For me, the most reliable and useful destroyer in vanilla (in a support role ofc).
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #82 on: January 19, 2020, 12:55:21 PM »

Everything else requires actual effort or limited resources for that.

Player-piloted Medusa can kill any ship a player-piloted Hammerhead can, except carriers. And some that Hammerhead can't too (optimized Aurora or Eagle). Doesn't need to use SO or missiles for it either (harder opponents can take decent amount of time and cost some armor damage).

This is that I call "to put an effort". Medusa is as close to being an honest ship as it gets. You need to actually pilot it to be effective. Mobility system has nice gradual cooldown logic with some innate gambling feel. Limited number of universals force you to actually make a choice between "easy but limited" missiles and "harder but sustained" ballistics. Or just go "all I want is BOOM" and put the AMBs in. Its fantastic defencive efficiency is balanced by the fantastic offensive inneficiency.
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #83 on: January 19, 2020, 01:08:13 PM »

outside of strike builds that can damage the Wolf, while it's overloaded from the initial strike.
Was that not a strike Dominator?

It was an anti-strike Dominator. Strongest burst is 160 from the HMG. Most powerfull shot is 50.

Praise the Ludd for He has teached us the importance of range above all else!
Could you record your fight Hammerhead versus Onslaught fight? I have trouble doing it without skills and without flanking the Onslaught.

Whats your point?

Also, aren't railguns a suboptimal choice there? Machine guns would deal more damage for lower flux.

I just strapped whatever I saw first. You can see that some mounts are empty on both ships. I missed them. This is how optimized these builds are.
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #84 on: January 19, 2020, 01:21:02 PM »

It was an anti-strike Dominator. Strongest burst is 160 from the HMG. Most powerfull shot is 50.
I guess our definitions of strike differ, then, because while it doesn't technically have any alpha, it still has to overwhelm its target in a short time. It sacrifices range for sustaining what other ships would call an alpha strike, indefinitely.

Whats your point?
I want to see it done without skills and flanking, because I couldn't do it this way.

Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #85 on: January 19, 2020, 02:09:39 PM »

It was an anti-strike Dominator. Strongest burst is 160 from the HMG. Most powerfull shot is 50.
I guess our definitions of strike differ, then, because while it doesn't technically have any alpha, it still has to overwhelm its target in a short time. It sacrifices range for sustaining what other ships would call an alpha strike, indefinitely.

Do you realize that Storm Needler deals more damage per time unit than two HMG's combined while having a more damage per shot than Light Autocannon? And that Heavy Needler have 1500 burst with the same per shot damage as LA? And both of them have greater range than HMG and LA? And I can install them on Dominator? And they will evaporate that poor Wolf in the blink of an eye?

Whats your point?
I want to see it done without skills and flanking, because I couldn't do it this way.

You literally want me to waste my time so that you have fun.

No.
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #86 on: January 19, 2020, 02:32:01 PM »

Do you realize that Storm Needler deals more damage per time unit than two HMG's combined while having a more damage per shot than Light Autocannon? And that Heavy Needler have 1500 burst with the same per shot damage as LA? And both of them have greater range than HMG and LA? And I can install them on Dominator? And they will evaporate that poor Wolf in the blink of an eye?
It can. It also isn't the only thing it can do. Heavy Needler has a 1500 burst that lasts a second, 4 HMGs have 1280 damage per second. Not equivalent, but the difference is that a heavy needler or two are less dangerous to be in range of, in exchange for greater range. Or rarer mount, in case of the Storm Needler. Heavy machine guns can't deal as much instant damage as heavy needlers, but your target doesn't stay in your range for only an instant.
It could be called a brawler loadout, too, but in this discussion, I focused more on the capability to suddenly deal a lot of damage, not necessarily about per shot damage. Hasn't in your simulator wolf entered the HMG range and got overwhelmed in a second or two with all the damage you put out?
You literally want me to waste my time so that you have fun.

No.
Then I'm forced to assume that that was done with either skills or going behind the Onslaught (or both), in which case, it's an image proving that the player can do great things in the game, but doesn't contribute to discussion of Hammerhead in any way.

bobucles

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #87 on: January 19, 2020, 03:06:47 PM »

Also I'm in shock that people don't use Sunders in later stages of campaign. For me, the most reliable and useful destroyer in vanilla (in a support role ofc).
Sunders struggle with a few aspects of the AI. Mainly, the ship is designed to always be fighting at maximum range, since it has no real bonuses in close quarters. However, the AI tends to push ships up really close when the enemy is fluxed out. The Sunder ends up in extra danger for no gain, and a single mistake is all it takes for the fragile ship to pop. It's otherwise a pretty decent and comfy ship to fly.

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Do you realize that Storm Needler deals more damage per time unit than two HMG's combined while having a more damage per shot than Light Autocannon?
I keep hearing amazing things about the storm needler, but when I try it out all I get is disappointment. It starts out as short range among big guns, which is already a difficult situation for capital ships. It consumes an absolutely monumental amount of flux, and after an enemy ship loses shields the storm needler will still be going to town. This ends up dealing pitiful scratch damage vs. armor while overloading the aggressor. Yuck.

The bursty nature of the other needlers is way better. They can spike a shield really quickly, and after the shield fails the weapon can comfortably sit on cooldown, not wasting energy on armor. It's a good system.

Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #88 on: January 19, 2020, 03:39:55 PM »

Do you realize that Storm Needler deals more damage per time unit than two HMG's combined while having a more damage per shot than Light Autocannon? And that Heavy Needler have 1500 burst with the same per shot damage as LA? And both of them have greater range than HMG and LA? And I can install them on Dominator? And they will evaporate that poor Wolf in the blink of an eye?
It can. It also isn't the only thing it can do. Heavy Needler has a 1500 burst that lasts a second, 4 HMGs have 1280 damage per second.

And 444 HMGs deal 142080. Very usefull info. But two Heavy Needlers deal more damage per burst than Wolf have flux. Now thats a strike.

Or rarer mount, in case of the Storm Needler.

There happend to be two of them.

Heavy machine guns can't deal as much instant damage as heavy needlers, but your target doesn't stay in your range for only an instant.

There will be no target left. So, in a sense, you are right. Target will not stay.

It could be called a brawler loadout, too, but in this discussion, I focused more on the capability to suddenly deal a lot of damage, not necessarily about per shot damage. Hasn't in your simulator wolf entered the HMG range and got overwhelmed in a second or two with all the damage you put out?

You was trying to prove that such a nimble ship as Wolf will counter the firepower of the Dominator with mobility. I made a ludicrous variant for the latter with the sole purpose of not having anything resembling strike capabilities. And now you are trying to tell me that HMGs coupled with Light Autocannons are powerfull strike weapons. No, they are not. Its just that Wolf has weak defence and its mobility under the command of ai was not enough to compensate even for that level of the firepower.

Then I'm forced to assume that that was done with either skills or going behind the Onslaught (or both), in which case, it's an image proving that the player can do great things in the game, but doesn't contribute to discussion of Hammerhead in any way.

Wha... What are even talking about!? What Onslaught? I posted no images of Onslaught in either this or parent topics.

However, this is what I'm talking about. I was supposed to go out of my way and get a recording software, make it running, do a battle against Onslaught, win it and in the end it will be another "it proves nothing" comment. Because you are seeing things.

Unbelievable.
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #89 on: January 19, 2020, 03:51:56 PM »

I keep hearing amazing things about the storm needler, but when I try it out all I get is disappointment. It starts out as short range among big guns, which is already a difficult situation for capital ships. It consumes an absolutely monumental amount of flux, and after an enemy ship loses shields the storm needler will still be going to town. This ends up dealing pitiful scratch damage vs. armor while overloading the aggressor. Yuck.

The bursty nature of the other needlers is way better. They can spike a shield really quickly, and after the shield fails the weapon can comfortably sit on cooldown, not wasting energy on armor. It's a good system.

Well. We are hunting Wolves here. SN is amazing against everything light and shield dependent. Against everything else its an opener. Supposed to be. But the truth is that there are no proper platfom/target combination for it.
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