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Author Topic: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance  (Read 5104 times)

Grievous69

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A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« on: July 07, 2020, 03:53:45 AM »

It's been happening here as well as on the subreddit (probably on Discord too but I don't read stuff there that much), and it's the exact opposite thing of what I've been used to in most games. Usually people defend OP stuff so they can play with them longer (especially if it's a multiplayer game), and I can understand that mindset. But I've come across people defending bad ships and weapons and instead of acknowledging that they clearly underperform, they call them ''niche'' or straight up tell others that they just don't know how to use them properly. Now I understand that game balance is very tricky, not everything can be perfect, and in some cases it's good to have a few worse options (for example here, easier early game enemies). But what is the point of being in denial that a certain ship or weapon isn't bad? I just want someone to explain that to me. Is it a challenge thing? Or maybe something that makes you feel superior to others since you use options  most people say are inferior?

Whatever the reason may be, it's just annoying having every other discussion end up with ''no you're wrong, x thing is just niche'' or ''it's just a matter of playstyle'', playstyle being fast-dying-ships fleet. I feel like it's super lazy and doesn't contribute anything to the subject.

In other thread I saw people defending Vigilance, Buffalo Mk II is a more useful ship. I've seen people praising Shrike as the essential ship to have in your fleet at all times. Same with Venture, same with Condor and so on...

And the argument is always the same, ''it just has a very specialized role''. In this case, specialized role can mean: dying super fast, suicing into whole enemy fleets, Salamander spammer, sitting brick of a duck...

If the same arguments were made for OP ships, half of the community would lose their mind, but apparently it's ok to have totally useless ships that are just there for visual stimulation. I care about balance, it's true that broken ships are a priority but it's also frustrating when a large number of ships are inferior in every way possible than some others.
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Crimson Sky Gaurdian

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2020, 04:23:17 AM »

I haven't seen it personally (probably because I don't go on Canc- Reddit), but it can't be a challenge thing: The challenge would be in succeeding with bad ships, which requires acknowledgement of them being bad :P
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Igncom1

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2020, 04:29:11 AM »

I put thematics before balance so the idea of everything having a niche or use just doesn't really do it for me as much.

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DatonKallandor

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2020, 04:52:12 AM »

Having bad ships is absolutely critical. Pirates need to fly clunkers for the early game progression to make sense.
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Grievous69

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2020, 05:02:32 AM »

Having bad ships is absolutely critical. Pirates need to fly clunkers for the early game progression to make sense.
I agree, but not every ''bad'' ship is a pirate one. Some just have no excuses, which is my point here.
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Serenitis

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2020, 06:34:20 AM »

I'm guilty of this. For a very specific reason.

All the ships in the "base_bp" category are essentially failsafes that are there so a faction that doesn't have access to heavy industry or blueprints can create at least passably functional defence and trade fleets for the campaign layer. (Some are even essential to fleet compostion for every faction.)
Those ships are literally the bare minimum needed to fulfil thier role. They don't need to be "good", just "good enough".
And you can't make them "too good" either, because then you risk undermining thier other, equally important function:
Having bad ships is absolutely critical. Pirates need to fly clunkers for the early game progression to make sense.

Take this as tongue-in-cheek (or don't, I'm not your mom)
The very specialised role of the Condor is: Get 2x fighter wings into battle.
That's it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 06:38:25 AM by Serenitis »
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Grievous69

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2020, 06:52:09 AM »

I'm perfectly fine with inferior ships that still have some use, like you said Condor, being a common, cheapest carrier you can get. And I'm fine with all its flaws, except 40 speed, Mora has 45 btw. It's these things that don't make sense to me on ''good enough'' ships. I shouldn't feel bad for using these ships imo.
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SCC

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2020, 08:21:07 AM »

Buffalo Mk II can work, but it's hard to pull off. The main body of the fleet has to be slower than them, so they can be protected from the enemy, and it doesn't work very well when outnumbered (seeing how that is the default state when fighting in the campaign, it's understandably hard).
Venture isn't bad, per se, because it's ratio of value to price is acceptable, it's just that when you slow down to cruiser speed, you might as well grab something that's actually worth slowing down instead of Venture.
Shrike isn't bad either, just not very capable. Shrike (P) is an acceptable light destroyer, though, despite nominally being a downgrade.
Condor is terrible, though. Perhaps my perspective is somewhat biased towards the tournament environment, but Condor just doesn't have anything going for it. It ceases to be a choice, if there's anything else present, bar Colossus Mk III (which is more of a troop transport anyway!). It's near the bottom when it comes to non-fighter capabilities, fighter capabilities, survivability, campaign utility. The only thing going for it is spamming salamanders, being the cheapest carrier in absolute price and destroyer burn level. If it was 8 maintenance, it could be acceptable.

Terethall

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2020, 08:23:29 AM »

I feel like some ships being worse but easier to find and purchase adds a level of verisimilitude. In real life, some cars are just worse than other cars. Some boats are worse than other boats. But since they aren't 100% useless, they are cheap, accessible alternatives. I get more upset about a handful of OP ships because I feel like my endgame fleet always has the same composition if I follow the game's incentives. I'd rather have a few clunkers that only see action early game, plus a big level field of good but not OP ships for late game, than a big level field of good ships plus five standouts that will eventually be the only ships I use.
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2020, 08:56:46 AM »

Some of the outlying stats, like the Condor's speed, are issues, but I think the short length of the midgame and the high endgame floor on the availability of the best possible tech are bigger problems.

If cruisers and capitals had to be salvaged in chunks, destroyers and ships like the Dominator would have more of a niche (and salvaged fleets built wide on destroyers would be more viable). If rare weapons sometimes showed up with defects that made them less desirable, it would take longer to accumulate a huge pile of elite hardware.

Making the player scavenge more (I would really like more difficulty sliders in player hands on starting a new game), and make do with what's available would make the presence of non-optimal ships and weapons more forgivable.
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Grievous69

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2020, 09:02:33 AM »

So your solution to this is... grind? No thanks, it's already super annoying trying to find something due to RNG.
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2020, 09:19:35 AM »

Depends; if the player gets regular injections of rare tech from missions and exploration (complete and with no battle damage), then it's not grindier; it's just that rare stuff is harder to replace.
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Flet

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2020, 09:28:00 AM »

Ive seen this strange behavior all over. Ill for example review a game with something like "Pretty fun game, but the crafting system is badly designed", just a simple one sentence review. Then i will get people defending its crafting system. What argument do they use? Do they point out some way that its actually good? No. Their argument is "you can beat the game with out crafting at all so its fine!". That may well be, but it doesn't change that that system is bad.

Im reminded of the old TES leveling system before skyrim came out, where you were encouraged to actually select the skills you did not want to use as your primary skills and the skills you did want to use as your minor skills, and in this way could control your leveling speed and never risk leveling up with a bad stat multiplier. This was a bad system because it was counterintuitive and backwards, it was widely acknowledged, but to this day there are people who will defend it purely because you 'dont need' perfect level up multipliers.

Somewhere people have taken things not being catastrophic game breaking issues to mean they are fine and even good because you can still play the game. The standard for these peoples judgement seems entirely out of calibration, or perhaps they have become hyper polarized in everything and to them things can only be perfect or horrible and nothing in between exists.
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Grievous69

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2020, 09:34:35 AM »

Not the most accurate comparison since those are general mechanics in a game, rather than a single item or spell. But I guess the same logic still applies, where some people just choose to ignore that something isn't right and then keep telling themselves and others ''it's working as it should''. Essentially sweeping the problems under the rug and making excuses meanwhile. Then those same people eventually get used to the bad stuff and completely forget it was problematic to begin with.
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Megas

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2020, 09:46:12 AM »

Depends; if the player gets regular injections of rare tech from missions and exploration (complete and with no battle damage), then it's not grindier; it's just that rare stuff is harder to replace.
Rare stuff hard to replace happened before 0.8a, and I reloaded games the moment my side took a casualty and replayed until I won without casualties because it was faster to play that way.  Easier to reload and replay a fight once or twice (to undo a mistake) than to play on and grind hours for replacements.

We do not need junk that is easily found, most of that can be found in shops or as enemy loot.

Looting good ship types is easy.  Restoring them costs an arm-and-a-leg.  However, with permamods involved next release, restoration might be the way to go if income is high enough.  If not, save-scum like in old versions.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 09:48:09 AM by Megas »
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