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Author Topic: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance  (Read 4828 times)

Goumindong

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2020, 07:10:25 PM »

Medusa has universal mounts for kinetics which is a huge difference that isn't represented in the stats.

Literally the first thing i mentioned after the stats... But two small kinetics do not kill ships. Flux into blasters does.

Of course the medusa cannot mount a sabot pod either if we're going there.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2020, 07:42:21 PM »

or give it a special script to ignore minimum armor damage (i.e, does full 100% damage to hull).
Megas, that would be obscenely OP... You would have armor stripped ships, taking salvos from Thumpers that are equal to torpedoes in effect more or less.

FooF

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2020, 07:54:39 PM »

I shudder to think how you must feel about the Falcon (P) in that case. I think it's fine if sometimes the pirates luck into legit improvements.

Falcon (P) is better than base Falcon in the vast majority instances, yes, but it is fundamentally different in nature, strategy, and tactics. Most Luddic Path ships are in this category, too: an LP Lasher is generally better than standard but has different tactics. This is opposed to the Shrike (P), which is only different in that it has access to a superior ballistic weapon but is otherwise the same M.O. as the base version.

It is fine that Pirates have decent ships from time-to-time but the standard Shrike is anemic to me and always has been. Giving it a Hybrid slot would solve a lot of those issues but the (P) version was created instead of tweaking the base model. I thought that was a roundabout way to fix it but it's not my game. :P
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TaLaR

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2020, 07:55:02 PM »

or give it a special script to ignore minimum armor damage (i.e, does full 100% damage to hull).
Megas, that would be obscenely OP... You would have armor stripped ships, taking salvos from Thumpers that are equal to torpedoes in effect more or less.

Emm, 5% minimum armor is a relatively recent change. I don't remember Thumper being considered OP at any point. It would still be a ballast until you get through shield and armor.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2020, 07:59:30 PM »

Emm, 5% minimum armor is a relatively recent change. I don't remember Thumper being considered OP at any point. It would still be a ballast until you get through shield and armor.
It got changed to dump a really fast and heavy burst, in the same update that the min armor damage change happened in if I recall correctly. While before it was a slow constant fire.

Also, the Thumper actually does decent amount of damage to shields during the burst while being good antifighter.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 08:01:18 PM by MesoTroniK »
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Megas

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2020, 08:00:43 PM »

or give it a special script to ignore minimum armor damage (i.e, does full 100% damage to hull).
Megas, that would be obscenely OP... You would have armor stripped ships, taking salvos from Thumpers that are equal to torpedoes in effect more or less.
I do not think so.  It is the payoff for putting up with worse anti-shield and anti-armor damage (from the opportunity cost of mounting Thumper instead of another kinetic or HE weapon) and waiting longer before armor is stripped.  I saw what Thumper did to hull before minimum armor damage was in and while fun, it was a chore getting that far with one ship.  (I do not remember if it was the burst version or the old stream.)  There were more powerful options than Thumper spam.

Current Thumper is weak (despite being a little better since 0.8a), and more expensive than Mortar or Arbalest.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2020, 08:16:01 PM »

And a quick mod away removing the min armor fraction stat...


Whew, Fair and Balancedâ„¢. Exactly as I predicted.

intrinsic_parity

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2020, 08:50:11 PM »

Well the gif shows the last ~25% of the hull... It should take at least 5 full bursts from two thumpers to kill an onslaught with 0 armor. I feel like that is what frag weapons are supposed to be: really good finishers that suck while armor and shields are active, not all around bad weapons that are sometimes ok against fighters.

I'm not saying this change is perfectly balanced, or the right way to go, but it does feel like an actual useful role for fragmentation weapons.
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Morrokain

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2020, 09:19:10 PM »

And a quick mod away removing the min armor fraction stat...

Whew, Fair and Balancedâ„¢. Exactly as I predicted.

Just a thought: It would probably be helpful to put up another weapon close to the Thumper's OP cost under the same conditions for comparison. Right now this doesn't give that much information other than it dies fast at low health. It only matters if it dies much, much faster than a similarly priced weapon, if that makes sense. It would also give a comparison for flux cost over the same amount of time, etc.
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Thaago

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #39 on: July 07, 2020, 09:26:15 PM »

Well if its hitting pure hull with no reduction, thumpers deal 2k damage per spike at ~500 dps. A heavy mortar against a residual onslaught is going to do 157 dps, give or take a point or two, so the thumper with no armor reduction is doing about 3.2 times more damage, with a heavy alpha spike to speed things up further.
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Morrokain

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2020, 09:37:35 PM »

Well if its hitting pure hull with no reduction, thumpers deal 2k damage per spike at ~500 dps. A heavy mortar against a residual onslaught is going to do 157 dps, give or take a point or two, so the thumper with no armor reduction is doing about 3.2 times more damage, with a heavy alpha spike to speed things up further.

Ah then yeah I'd count that as too large of a difference. I'd say the most it could be for that kind of balancing metric would be 2x (maaaybe 2.25x but that would be pushing it) that of a similar weapon. Needing stripped armor and no active shields is a big downside, though.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2020, 10:25:12 PM »

Needing stripped armor and no active shields is a big downside, though.
Current Thumper is still is doing a 500 damage burst against shields which is pretty good, and is a nasty thing to fire into a swarm of fighters, while nuking stripped armor ships pretty good up until you get into very heavy armor categories. Note I went back and did that same canned test again but with the 0.05 min armor fraction variable restored. And paired Thumpers was doing 850ish damage per burst against the armor stripped Onslaught. That isn't exactly weak unless you are comparing to large ballistics, or alpha strike based energy weapons (and missiles heh).

Additionally if you compare that sort of damage output against a heavily damaged ship against other med ballistics? It is more complex than just armor penetration or DPS, or even alpha. The Thumper dumps that burst *fast* and is highly accurate allowing you to slip a burst in between shield activations etc etc, it can take advantage of opportunities. Heavy Mortar sprays all over the place, Mauler is highly accurate but lowish DPS.

I feel the Thumper is fine... It is a good early game weapon, later it is useful mixing one with a battery of more conventional weapons especially on "slot spam" ships notably the Onslaught. If it was to be buffed? I would at the most lower its OP cost by 1, and make it a bit more flux efficient. So a burst costs 500 flux instead of 600. So it at least trades equal against shields like energy weapons but with the finisher factor of the frag burst.

Morrokain

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2020, 10:43:09 PM »

The Thumper dumps that burst *fast* and is highly accurate allowing you to slip a burst in between shield activations etc etc, it can take advantage of opportunities.

This is a really good point, yeah. Pen and paper is a nice thing to look at, but sometimes stuff like this makes a much bigger difference than you would think. This is because pen and paper stats naturally assume things like the shield can be activated in time if there is enough flux to tank, etc.

*EDIT*

I think one thing to keep in mind as a counter point to this, however, is the viability of the AI taking advantage of the opportunity vs the player taking advantage of it. If only the player can do this, then the weapon is really only "usable" on the player build if that is taken into consideration as a balance factor - which is 1/25th of builds on average. So that's something to think about too.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 10:53:36 PM by Morrokain »
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Eji1700

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #43 on: July 07, 2020, 10:43:58 PM »

I would personally really like a hull mod/story point thing/flipping something that lets us weaken minimum armor.

The idea of using a well placed thumper/devastator to rip through something or just "moar dakka' chewing apart a ship with enough vulcans should be doable/fun.  Probably shouldn't be the go to strategy, but it really feels like it's a lot of effort to setup the sorts of scenarios where this stuff would even matter, and the payoff is pretty poor.

Edit-

In relation to thumper slipping shots between shields-

And?  Like if it's too good sure tone it down, but yeah i'd really like more weapons that reward precision stuff like that.  Nothing feels better than a long range reaper, so i'm not really worried about the idea that with the right build a thumper might actually stick around in a late game fleet.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: A weird mindset I've been seeing lately about game balance
« Reply #44 on: July 07, 2020, 11:41:13 PM »

Current Thumper is still is doing a 500 damage burst against shields which is pretty good, and is a nasty thing to fire into a swarm of fighters, while nuking stripped armor ships pretty good up until you get into very heavy armor categories.

You really don't need much armor to neuter the thumpers DPS. 500 armor (hammerhead) is enough to half the dps to hull. For any armor over 880, heavy mortar has straight up better hull dps in addition to way way better armor penetration. Those aren't particularly heavy armor values. For anything more than a light destroyer, its at best marginally better, and at worst significantly worse than a heavy mortar in hull dps, which is where it is supposed to be strong. At low armor values, it does lots of damage, but those are also the easiest ships to kill, so it makes little sense to devote an entire weapon just to trying to kill them a bit faster.

Also, efficiency is much more important to shield damage than burst. If you do a burst to the enemy shields, but you effectively do a bigger burst to your own shields, you're gonna lose the flux war. Burst isn't bad against shields per say, but inefficient burst isn't really a good thing: you're usually hurting yourself more than the enemy. Especially if you consider the ships that the thumper goes on, they generally have pretty mediocre or bad flux stats, and they really can't afford to be trading at 1.2 flux/damage. Burst matters more for HE/Hull because you only have short windows to deal damage and its usually worth trading your flux capacity to deal damage faster.

Personally, I really don't like the idea of making the thumper better against shields, that takes it towards the other weapons in the balance space and just makes it an alternative generalist weapon option for ships with really strong specialist options. I would much prefer the thumper (and frag weapons in general) be aimed towards being specialist finisher weapons that also provide a bit of shield pressure. Something like switching the damage from 100x20 to 200x10 effectively gives the weapon an extra 70-80 hull dps at most relevant armor values without changing the shield effectiveness.
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