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Author Topic: More tiers on bounties  (Read 835 times)

awallacer

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More tiers on bounties
« on: February 16, 2020, 11:40:46 AM »

So I've seen people talking about the current bounty system and the problems they are having, I don't have any problem with it at the moment except for the lack of tiers for bounties, i.e. the picture attached shows only 288,000 credits for a fleet with 7 known Conquest's and possibly 20 other ships. I feel like the reward for that should be substantially higher than what it is considering that woman stole the entire Sindrian Diktat fleet. I would suggest something similar to what you already have:
1.Around 50,000 for the frigate bounties.
2.Around 75,000 for the destroyer bounties.
3.Around 140,000 for the cruiser bounties.
4.Around 220,000 for the 1-3 battleship/battlecruiser bounties.
5.Around 350,000-400,000 for them awesome big fleet battles like the one presented.

Just to give some incentive to actually do a bounty that size for money AND glory rather than just the latter.
Love the game guys, it's stealing my hours away.
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FooF

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 04:18:08 PM »

I'm not entirely sure how bounty rewards are calculated but it would seem that there fleets worth anywhere from 250-300k that vary considerably in terms of difficulty. Yes, the 5 Conquests and 8 Heron fleet was worth about the same as the Pirate fleet of 10 Atlas Mk. 2 and various pirate riffraff. Alternatively, I've seen Tri-Tach bounties with Paragons, Astrals and Dooms worth less than the Pirate fleets.

By the time you get to end-game bounties, though, 300k really isn't all that much. Colonies have already overtaken bounties in terms of credits/month so bounty-hunting, while still lucrative, isn't as necessary as the early game. What it does do however, is generate gobs of experience for the player and officers. That's harder to come by.

As far as the original suggestion, there has already been a lot of granularity added to the bounty system. For example, the smaller 40k frigate bounties remain throughout the game just in case the player loses their fleet and needs to hunt smaller prey. High-end bounties still don't pose a huge challenge to my endgame fleets so I'd like to see the ceiling pushed a little higher, with rewards coming in the form of blueprints/AI cores/nanoforges, etc. - things that pure credits can't buy. These could be story driven and I think that would also make hunting down these special bounties all the more exciting. (i.e. hunting down Kanta or facing off against the Lion of Sindria himself).

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Thaago

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 04:22:57 PM »

I've found that the cost/benefit analysis on bounties depends highly on what build I'm going for. In particular, Industry + Combat builds absolutely love to bounty hunt deserter fleets, because there is a high probability to recover 0-2 D mod ships from the fight. Even one Conquest is worth several times the credits of the bounty, so if you can win and want more Conquests it would be a massively profitable fight.
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bobucles

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 04:24:27 PM »

Pretty sure word of god is that bounty levels are determined by FP. Some of the bigger ships have a suppressed FP value when compared to DP, which causes the difficulty to scale faster than the rewards.

The difficulty of endgame bounties will be quite different between vanilla and maxed out battle sizes. Most veterans beef up their battle sizes considerably, which skews the apparent difficulty.
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Plantissue

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 08:51:13 AM »

The wide variance between different bounties of similar costs appears to be formed from a wide variance between a hidden "Fleet Points" that can be found in
\Fractal Softworks\Starsector\starsector-core\data\hulls\ship_data.csv

For instance looking at the FP there, it seems that Paragons and Astrals seem to be worth roughly the same as an Onslaught or Legion or 3 destroyers when we would think it is worth far more when judging its worth. Especially when taking into account that Legions and Onslaughts and suchlike are basically built to be exploited against. But it isn't just those ships. Here's an example taken from screenshots for 360k bounties. How can these be equivalent?

Spoiler

[close]

Another problem is that the payback is rather small relative to the fleets being destroyed sometime after 100k. I don't know how exactly the payments are calculated but I don't think distance is taken into account which may account somewhat of why the smallest bounties seem to pay out so much more, but doesn't account for all of it. 40k for 4 d-mod cerebus is a reasonably large payout for the investment and risk to be able to do that bounty, whilst 400k for fighting 10-14 Capitals is not. Unlike with procurement missions, multiple 10 the payout doesn't require multiple 10 the investment, multiple 10 the payout is more like requiring multiple 500 of the investment. It feels a bit off.

Another problem is the quickly escalating aspect of the bounties available. A difference of a 20k in payout is huge somewhere around the 80-100k mark when when you go from outnumbering the bounty to barely being outnumbered and you may not have the skills or officers or the ship to make up for being outnumbered. 40k bounties aren't that great an option when the next lowest bounty is 200k and you may only feel able to do a 150k bounty, and not only does the 40k bounty barely covers the cost of doing so, it runs away from your fleet. I suppose there is the bridge of pirate bases though they tend to be less interesting and they aren't really personal bounties anyways.

Edited to spoiler pictures
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 06:25:23 AM by Plantissue »
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Lucky33

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 09:25:22 PM »

Bounty is calculated accordingly to a full strength, not only FPs. This includes Officer quality, Ship hull and weapon quality and Fleet size (but it works in reverse to previuos two anyway).

It is determined by the faction's doctrine.

Indies:

      
      "officerQuality":2,
      "shipQuality":2,
      "numShips":3,
      

Dikties:

      
      "officerQuality":1,
      "shipQuality":3,
      "numShips":3,
      
Difference in hull and loadout quality is only 12% (level 3 is +25%, level 2 is +13%). But Indies got three times more officers. Also, these affect strength calculations twice. First, by their presence and level and, second time, by the CR boost if they got the right skill. And Indies got two times more ships with higher CR.
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xenoargh

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 02:27:44 AM »

I think that one of the things pointed out by the OP is largely right:  the amount of weighting given to Officer quality seems... a bit on the optimistic side. 

Sure, Officer quality matters.  But that much, vs. the weight of metal you're bringing to the party?  No.

But the other thing that surely matters here is that, well, the FP value of ships, which is, honestly, what ships should be balanced around, is all over the place in terms of the combat power of ships vs. their cost to deploy

There is some rough correlation between power and FP cost, but it's, erm, rough. 

The Paragon at 30 is less than 10% more expensive than an Onslaught at 28?

3 Medusas equal a Paragon and an escorting frigate? 

Then let's look at combat deployment cost, where this gets really odd.

An Odyssey costs 50% more than a Paragon?  Because, uh...

I for one have not ever found these numbers made much sense, and they make even less sense when (P) (D).  A typical Capital, vs. a typical Destroyer, should cost, in FP and cost-to-deploy, roughly the number of Destroyers it would take to have a 50/50 chance of engaging it successfully, AI vs. AI.  Maybe these numbers made sense at some point... and for the player-piloted wonder-ships, maybe they still do.  Like, sure, a Hyperion can kill a Falcon, piloted by a player.  Can two player-piloted Hyperions kill one Paragon?  Uh, well... probably not, unless the AI does something truly bone-headed.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 02:30:58 AM by xenoargh »
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TaLaR

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 02:40:07 AM »

Can two player-piloted Hyperions kill one Paragon?  Uh, well... probably not, unless the AI does something truly bone-headed.

Just one player piloted Hyperion can kill the Paragon, both skill-less. This does exploit the fact that Paragon does not keep shield up constantly (as would make sense in such duel).

Either way, if player fleets were also constructed by FP, I'd have nothing but Paragons + Astrals for AI units (+ whatever ships I like to pilot for myself). Large ships are massively discounted in FP.
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SCC

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 02:53:04 AM »

Xeno, I have no idea what file is in that doc of yours, but it isn't vanilla for sure, considering how different DP values are from original file. I don't recall Odyssey ever being 60 DP.

xenoargh

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 03:21:36 AM »

Odd, that may be my bad on that; I may have saved an edit to Vanilla's FP CSV at some point.  I'll do a clean install and re-check.

Quote
Just one player piloted Hyperion can kill the Paragon, both skill-less. This does exploit the fact that Paragon does not keep shield up constantly (as would make sense in such duel).
I think that counts as "bone-headed mistake by AI" rather than "skilled human play", and it means very little in a world where if that Paragon isn't piloted by a Captain with Shield 3, that's a misuse of a Paragon, lol.  But allll right, in Sim, no Skills, sure.
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xenoargh

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 03:45:03 AM »

<checks self>

Whoops, something was wrong there.  Paragon comes out on top, for supplies/rec. 

But the Odyssey is still billed with the Astral, lol.  It should maybe be billed below the Conquest; that's getting into argument-worthy territory there.

In all seriousness... at some point, these numbers should make sense.  They don't.  A Conquest is not 8/9th of an Astral.  Maybe 5/9ths? 

That example's just one of many; these numbers don't have much basis in the reality of play; they hardly even make sense in theorycrafting Sim fights.

[EDIT]
Here, let's put it another way. 

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that:

The Paragon, unchanged in any other way, has its FP / DP set to, say, 100.  All other ships are now indexed to the Paragon, as our "stable unit of value". 

What are the worths of every other ship in the game, with the notable exceptions of the Doom, Afflictor and Hyperion, because they're all still kind of broken in player hands? 

I mean, if I had to do this real fast, I'd probably go for:

Paragon: 100
Astral: 90
Legion: 80
Conquest: 65
Odyssey: 65
Onslaught: 60

These are all arguable, but they're based on what's currently happening in a typical, non-Sim, campaign fight, where EMP is sometimes ruinously good, Flux-locking in fleet actions often determines the win, etc.  The Legion's higher because it gets first strike against anything but the Astral and Paragon; sometimes that's enough, if bombs / torpedos land. 

Odyssey, for all of its weakness, rates higher than an Onslaught for serious play, simply because it's not going to get nuked by EMP or charge directly into disaster sometimes, and it has the range advantage, if nothing else.  Same with the Conquest, where yup, it's bad on paper and often in practice, but it's passable for putting Hard Flux on things at long range and stacked right, it gets missile kills and the Ballistics are just bonus damage.  Dunno; guess we can all argue that X is slightly less meh than Y here.

In my mind, the three representative Era battleship designs (Paragon, Conquest and Onslaught) should all be different-but-equal 100's in AI hands.  The Odyssey's the odd man out; it's always been meh in all but expert hands, arguably OK there as a focused fly-swatter.  None of them should be, "newbie, avoid" or seriously impact Faction balance.  It would make for better play; right now certain Factions feel significantly worse-off than others.  But that's not what we have today.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 04:23:51 AM by xenoargh »
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Plantissue

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2020, 06:55:22 AM »

Bounty is calculated accordingly to a full strength, not only FPs. This includes Officer quality, Ship hull and weapon quality and Fleet size (but it works in reverse to previuos two anyway).

It is determined by the faction's doctrine.

Indies:

      
      "officerQuality":2,
      "shipQuality":2,
      "numShips":3,
      

Dikties:

      
      "officerQuality":1,
      "shipQuality":3,
      "numShips":3,
      
Difference in hull and loadout quality is only 12% (level 3 is +25%, level 2 is +13%). But Indies got three times more officers. Also, these affect strength calculations twice. First, by their presence and level and, second time, by the CR boost if they got the right skill. And Indies got two times more ships with higher CR.
"numShips":3, are exactly the same for both, and both fleets are compeltely free of hullmods, so I don't see the point you are making. One is a fleet of 12 capitals, and the other is 15 worthy cruisers for the same payout.

Those are just somewhat random fleets pulled from my screenshots folder. I probably have a Tri-Tachyon fleet that has a even worse disparity in fleet strength that can possibly be attributed due to FP disparity. Do we know that officers affect bounty levels for certain? They may do, but the focus is on the fleet as we are discussing FP. Whatever level those officers are, the Sindrian Diktat fleet is clearly much more powerful than the Independent one for the same payout. Plus the Sindrian Diktat officers are all on Conquests. In any case the Independent's officer value is only 1 above that of the Sindrian Diktat.


Paragon: 100
Astral: 90
Legion: 80
Conquest: 65
Odyssey: 65
Onslaught: 60
Must resist urge to turn this topic into arguing about the relative strengths of capitals. But I broadly agree. For fleet generation, the value of a ship should be regarded as how well they are in AI hands as opposed to the players hands.
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xenoargh

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 03:50:43 PM »

Quote
I broadly agree
Yeah, I'll take that. 

Compiling real numbers for that would involve a lot of hard math or some sort of headless testing environment to do ELO with.  It's pretty impractical and Alex's forthcoming changes to Skills and ship and weapon balance will just upset the apple-cart anyhow.  Ideally, we just talk about how to get the two weaker ships roughly to parity.
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Alex

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 04:17:23 PM »

Pretty sure word of god is that bounty levels are determined by FP. Some of the bigger ships have a suppressed FP value when compared to DP, which causes the difficulty to scale faster than the rewards.
The wide variance between different bounties of similar costs appears to be formed from a wide variance between a hidden "Fleet Points" that can be found in
\Fractal Softworks\Starsector\starsector-core\data\hulls\ship_data.csv

For instance looking at the FP there, it seems that Paragons and Astrals seem to be worth roughly the same as an Onslaught or Legion or 3 destroyers when we would think it is worth far more when judging its worth.

Just wanted to chime in real quick - this is based on this thread and some conjectures therein, and, at least as far as it pertains to bounty fleets and difficulty, this is completely incorrect. Bounty payout depends on an internal bounty "level" which goes up as you complete bounties, the payout has a random factor but more or less goes up linearly. "Deserter" bounties get 1.5x the reward, IIRC.

The strength of the bounty fleet, on the other hand, explicitly goes up faster than linearly at the higher end; this has nothing to do with the relative FP values of ships. This isn't some side effect of the fleet generation code; bounties are specifically coded to work this way. E.G. a top-tier bounty will have around 150 FP extra compared to what it would have if the strength increase was linear, or (roughly) 60% higher.

The ratio of capital ships to non-capitals also doesn't directly depend on the relative fleet point values; capitals become prevalent once the fleet FP is high enough that it's the only way to reach it within the 30-ship limit.

(Kind of wanted to address this - the bit about FP affecting fleet comps like this - before it becomes a "widely-known" misconception; we'll see, I guess.)
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Histidine

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Re: More tiers on bounties
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 04:58:45 PM »

Bounty FP increases nonlinearly at high tiers, but wouldn't you also say it's true that a large bounty which allow capitals (or indeed enforce them, due to hitting the fleet cap) can use its FP more efficiently, in the sense that an enemy Paragon will be much harder for the player to deal with than three Hammerheads?
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