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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Anvil Industries(V:1.3.6) not dead just... well ok its kinda dead.  (Read 118580 times)

Hiruma Kai

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Re: [0.9.1a] Anvil Industries(V:1.3.6) very small tournament update
« Reply #165 on: December 26, 2020, 12:52:46 PM »

So this is the start of some feedback given the tournament is done, as well as having done a pair of campaign runs with Anvil.

Quick and easy comments:
Minor csv typos:
Quiver:  In 1.3.5 Quiver has a DP cost of 16. I think you increased it to 18 in 1.3.1.  So I think this accidently got reverted.

Lucerne description: 
Kanon Vaul instead of Canon Vaul.

I know you mentioned you wanted to nerf the Cielo during the tournament, and I've got a few suggestions you might want to try first, and then see how it feels.

First, I'm not sure this was intended, but cielo drones have a shield efficiency of 0.6 instead of 1.0 (unlike all vanilla shielded fighters), making their 150 shields more like 250, and their flux dissipation for shields more like 83 instead of 50.

So I'd suggest changing their efficiency to 1.0, which will drop their overall hit points from 350+250=600 to 350+150=500.  Second, they respawn rather quickly, which helps keep their replacement rate up.  Increasing the respawn time to 12 seconds from 8 seconds, will help let the replacement time drop, and give more of a breather to opponents.  Lastly, given there are 2 EMP drones, and I think entropy amplifier affects ion damage, drop the scripted EMP damage from 500 to 250 for the special ability.  You already dropped the EMP energy damage to 50 relative to the Omen's ship system's 100 energy damage, so this would simply getting them back to the same overall ratio.  I'd try that for a bit and see how it feels.  The base Cielo ship without the drones I think is in a not too bad a place.

Now before making further suggestions on individual ships, I'd like to do a more general commentary, and figure out the direction you see the ships in this mod headed.

I really like the idea of three different schools of thought in Anvil, with the background between Henry Thrud, Ellen Charge, and Canon Vaul.  I also liked the lore ideas behind Anvil industries.  Lastly, something I didn't appreciate as much in tournament builds, but more in campaign was that Anvil is really heavily into carriers and drone ships.  2/3 capitals carry fighters, 4/7 cruisers are carriers, and for destroyers, there is 1 carrier and 2 drone ships out of 9.

While playing in the campaign, I realized many ship values seem to be very different from vanilla expectations, but it wasn't clear to me why.  Those unusual values didn't seem to conform to a theme or set of themes for example, other than perhaps random advantages/disadvantages from heavily hacked together ships.

1) Burn speed of Anvil faction ships tends to be low.  Like a full 1 point below on average, and some ships are 2 points below equivalent combat ships in terms of burn speed.  Some ships meet expectations though.  This can have unintended effects on NPC fleets if anvil ships get mixed in.  A fast frigate picket might have only burn speed of 8 with a Hatchet.
1b) The Stallion may have some unintended side effects.  It is a warship, so the AI is much more willing to throw it into fleets than civilian Ox tugs.  So in some cases I've seen large capital Anvil fleets be faster than their frigate picket fleets.
2) Fuel Efficiency is also highly variable, although this does skew better in some places.
3) Peak performance time is generally normal, but unusually long in a few cases (Flail and Flamberge having more peak time than most destroyers).
4) Cargo capacities seem to be strangely high on some ships but not others.  The Ranger's 450 cargo capacity (half of a colossus) seems high compared to say the Heron's 90 or Eagle's 150.  Same goes for the Quiver's 350, although in comparison to the Ranger's 450 is lower while also being a more expensive carrier.

I feel like you could take some of these unusual values and try to make it a bit more organized.  One option for example would be to have the slower burn ships be the hybrid logistics/combat ships.  So instead of paying for additional logistics capability with more supplies per month or more fuel per light year, you could reduce the burn speed, paying for it in terms of campaign map speed (which in turn could be turned into a fuel cost by using Ox/Stallion ships).

So I suggest thinking about some of these outliers, and figure out what you'd like to see happen in game, both for player and NPC fleets.  What are you aiming for with frigates as slow as vanilla cruisers, for example.  Is it a balancing mechanism?

The second question to consider is are you going for tournament balance or campaign balance, as these are two different things.  That will help in fine tuning various ship statistics and abilities.  In a tournament, 450 second of peak deployment time on a frigate is just asking to add safety overrides, since it is mitigating one of it's biggest downsides.  It is perhaps less of an issue in campaign, but still leaves the possibility of out CR-ing some destroyer deployments by just flying around - assuming you have enough weight of forces to start the CR degrading.

I'd suggest (purely in the form of presenting brainstorming ideas - in no way saying this is the only way to go, but just want to present some options for you to take or leave as you see fit) a couple general principles.

In the lore descriptions, indicate which ship designer designed the ship (or perhaps was the greatest influence in collaborations).  This is already done for some, but not all ships.  This would make it clearer which ship philosophy it is following to the player as well as perhaps giving you some ideas on how to better tweak ships.  Also, it might be worth switching the lore around who designed what to better match the ship's design philosophy if it currently doesn't match.

Then, settle on some common themes for the 3 different philosophies.  For example, bulwark charge and burn drive really should only be going on heavily armored and armed ships.  This feels like those kind of ships should be Canon Vaul designs.  Combine with higher than normal armor and 1.0 or worse shield efficiency.  A low-tech and pirate vibe.  Ellen Charge could be good shields (0.6 to 0.7 efficiency) and high tech ship systems, like the Cielo (EMP and Entropy Amplifier), Morgenstern (Plasma Burn) and Jester (Active flares).  Pre-madness Henry Thrud could be the pure logistics ships, mid-line design paradigms (0.8 shield efficiency, fast, mixed weapon loadouts).  Ships systems would tend towards flares, manuevering jets, fast missile racks, and reserve deployment.  Post madness Henry Thrud can be your catch all for every things else that's a bit weird.

Speaking of themes, one of the more difficult themes to balance is the hybrid logistics/combat ships.  A lot of those in the current Anvil line up just don't feel worth while, and bring down the overall capability of AI built fleets.  Others seem like combat ships with logistics tacked on without penalty (Ranger versus Falcon for example).  One of the difficulties of balancing hybrid logistics and combat ships is it is almost always better to simply take a dedicated combat ship and dedicated logistics ship and simply not deploy the logistics ships.  This avoids the possibility of losing a huge chunk of cargo because the logistic ship goes down, and in deployment point limited combat situations, deploying pure combat ships is going get better outcomes.  So it might be worth while separating how you think of the combat effectiveness and the fact it is also a logistics ship.  Design the ships to be balanced as a standard combat ship, with approriate DP cost.   Then, put a hull mod on the ship that increases the supply cost/fuel cost (or otherwise get the montly supply cost to be different from the deployment cost) such that the montly running costs are that of a combat ship plus a logistics ship, and set the cargo/crew/fuel/hull mods as approriate to a logistics ship.  Put the purchasing price point at something like the combat ship + the logistics ship cost, but perhaps with a bit of discount.  So you pay for the logistics benefits with logistics costs, and you pay for the combat benefits with deployment costs.  Set the fleet points to match its combat effectiveness.

To give an example, take the Stallion.  This is clearly intended to be an ox-tug, but scaled up to destroyer size.  Given it's designation as a combat tug, it seems it was intended as more a combat ship than a ox-tug + logistics ship (although it's stat line seems a lot like that of a Mule). In my run through, I couldn't justify using Stallions.  In combat, they're not equivalent in effectiveness to a Hammerhead or other 10 DP destroyer, and Ox are both cheaper to buy and run (5 fuel/ly instead of 8 ).  Generally, I won't start using Ox tugs until I'm well into using capitals, simply because the fuel costs aren't worth the benefits for smaller fleets, so it'd be mostly used in a deployment point limited situation.

So if I were approaching the fine tuning of the Stallion, I'd decide what kind of destroyer I want to balance against. Is this a cheaper 7 or 8 DP destroyer like a Mule or Shrike?  A full on 10 DP combat destroyer intended to tangle with Hammerheads?  In terms of number of weapon mounts, it's closer to a Mule (hybrid logistics) than a Hammerhead.  So I'd probably drop it's DP cost to 7, but in exchange, throw a hull mod on that increases it's supply per month to 14 (just slap on high maintenance).  I'd also drop it's fuel cost per light year from 8, down to 7 or maybe even 6 or 5.  Bump the OP to match the mule's 80.  Lastly, given the armor, weapons, and bulwark charge, indicate this is a Canon Vaul design.

So now it's a more expensive to buy and maintain than a Mule or an Ox, but deploys for 7 supplies like the mule, and probably get similar combat performance (although Bulwark Charge instead of maneuvering jets really hampers it).  So in summary, figure out how effective you want the ship to be in combat, design it and price it in deployment/fleet points as such, then at the end tweak supplies per month/fuel costs independent of deployment costs/combat effectiveness to balance any logistics benefits it brings.

So, this is already a dump of questions and comments, so I'll hold off on individual ship suggestions for the moment, especially if you have any responses to the comments above.  I can simply make suggestions on how to tweak numbers on current ships towards more usability and balance as I see it.  Or if you want, I can make some harder to implement and more sweeping design suggestions in light of the above discussion.


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Hayo just wanted to say anvil is not abandoned, im putting all my focus on the exalted atm and lifes been rough so haven't had much spare time anway.
I plan on waiting to update till awhile after the next starsector update comes out, ill be making big changes to anvil industries, possibly fully removing blackjack, making anvil most ships look more scrappy and not properly built, not wholly sure yet.

And to hiruma kai thanks for the input! Ill keep all that in mind for the update!


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Re: [0.9.1a] Anvil Industries(V:1.3.6) not dead just... well ok its kinda dead.
« Reply #167 on: February 19, 2021, 07:43:19 PM »

disclaimer: this mod is no longer being worked on technically, i have no interest on continuing it in its current state, this does not mean its being fully deleted, more that its being redone, Anvil and Blackjack will stay but be reformed into their intended specializations.
anvil will get a mostly new roster of proper scrapyard ships and not full on advanced warships, no more omni-forge and no more 3 whole systems. 
blackjack will face a similar fate, more focused on lowtech civ-ships and not have proper warships like the bouncer, it will still keep many of its ships but get some new ones aswell.
i wont be just making them weak as a faction, just consistent with their ships and who they are in relative to how long they've existed
1-2 other factions will be added, a midline dedicated faction that will receive those midline ships taken from anvil/blackjack. and maybe a lowtech one but unsure.
as for the rest of the ships many will leave but many will stay, wholly undecided exactly which ones are doing what.
this new mod will also bring brand new ships so dont think it will just be recylced anvil, many of the sprites that stay will be touched up (like the kingdom, its a bloody mess and inconsistent)
all and all things are gonna change and ive made up my mind on it, this wont come to pass till some time after the next SS update as ive been busy with work and focusing on making my other mod The Exalted, which is where i will leave off on, check them out sometime! just updated them not to long ago with some new sprites and a new color scheme, have another update already in the works to fix some loose ends!

shameless self plug for the exalted can be found here!

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