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Author Topic: Combat Readiness  (Read 82607 times)

sdmike1

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2013, 07:44:21 AM »

Spoiler
I have to bring up frigates again.

So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

A way to implement that would be this: Frigates above ~40% CR get a substantial speed bonus, due to their special high performance engines. Those engines loose stability, so the CR drops until they go offline at <~40%. Then it stops dropping further. The frigate is now slower, but still reliable.

That could even be easily communicated graphically: Either reduce the size of the exhaust flame gradually or (/and) deactivate some of the engines completely (many frigates have big and small engines, one type could be classified as high performance). I think it's more intuitively plausible than the whole ship falling apart, too.

/e  Maybe that concept could even be expanded to speed hullmods. That way you'd prevent players from building long-duration-kiters out of destroyers or bigger ships. Could for example be applied to a percentage based speed hullmod, but not to fixed value ones so slow ship can still be (hull-)modded reasonably fast.
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Gothars, for once i agree with you in basically every way :D
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 07:45:58 AM by sdmike1 »
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Alex

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #76 on: February 20, 2013, 08:15:53 AM »

Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

I feel that larger ships should lose CR during combat too. It feels like a strange gameplay and story segregation. Why wouldn't larger ships lose combat readiness as the fight wears on? Sure larger ships would have more space to keep the replacement bits and bobs, and they'd have more personnel to rotate through so they don't burn out. So it would make sense for them to lose CR slower, and maybe have a longer delay for CR loss.

As it stands now I balk at using frigs with any char that has points for larger fleets. The control point bonuses really add up. So if frigates are the only ones that burn out as the fight wears on there is little incentive to make them anything besides fighter popping fools that then immediately flee after the points are capped. Or just not use them.

Ah - a major part of the reason frigates don't get those objective bonuses is the kiting issue, so I'll be taking another look at that.

Anyway, I feel like I'm repeating myself a bit, but let's not jump to conclusions about the uselessness of something that's likely more useful than it is now, though for a limited duration. But not limited enough that it'd be much of a concern for those early game battles, for example.

As far as consistency, it seems reasonable to me if you consider frigates to be a qualitatively different type of ship, which would be further emphasised by the speed boost. But a few frigates may not suffer from this, and a few destroyers might, if that gives you any warm fuzzies :)

In particular, I think the Buffalo Mk.II isn't the kind of ship that could handle a prolonged deployment...


How will fighters and CR interact? What if that was their "hat" so to speak? I love fighters for their multi-fight stamina now. If they always maintained a high level of combat-readiness in conjunction with a flight deck they'd be much better with little other changes. Presumably they'd run out of spare ships to use eventually, and their CR would begin to degrade.

I don't think it comes through clearly, but I'm really excited about combat readiness. I like balancing one aspect to another, and CR adds time as an aspect.
I guess the TL;DR is I like consistency; even if it isn't a constant. The ITU and the injector are good examples of that.

Not entirely settled on fighter changes yet.


So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

The main reason to do so is to take advantage of an already-existing mechanic, rather than slapping on a brand-new one just for this purpose. I'd actually considered doing this a few releases ago, but decided against it just because it'd be too... random? Arbitrary? Ham-fisted? Using existing CR effects ties it in nicely with the rest of the game, the lore, etc. Now, tying a different set of CR effects specifically for frigates is different, since that's not so discinnected from the rest of the game anymore, but I have to ask: why? Existing CR effects do the job just fine without complicating things by having even more rules.

I see that others disagree, but I really like the idea of limiting the role of frigates (and maybe buffing the existing frigates/adding new ones to compensate). Having fighters be a fleet's long-endurance escort and strike tool and making frigates skirmishers and scouts helps clear up the blurring of their roles (and the perception among a lot of us, though obviously not all, that there's no reason to bring fighters when you've got a couple Tempests available). If you did want to preserve some frigates as dedicated escorts, though, you could also divide the class in two: frigates would be slower vessels with heavier armament, suited to escort or assault (Lasher, Wolf, Brawler); something else—corvettes?—would be the fast attack craft (Tempest, Hyperion).

Hmm, interesting idea. The Brawler, at least, seems like a good candidate for not having CR loss, and it'd give a way to stand out from most other frigates.

Anyway, I hear this whole CR mechanic needs a lot of playtesting! When do we get to, uh, test this stuff?

Not so soon(tm). There's a lot of other stuff I want to see in the next build, and even "just" the CR changes still need quite a bit of wrapping up and preliminary testing.

kinda off-topic aside about FTL:
Spoiler
Somebody brought up FTL as an example of randomness done right; I personally think that randomness in FTL spoils what's otherwise a great game. It's true that later in a game, a skilled player can prepare for and deal with any random event. In the early stages, though, randomness is king. Not only is the player unprepared to deal with many random events, but every bad outcome snowballs into a worse one, which is not a problem inherent to roguelikes. The fact that you have a finite number of jumps means that the first few you make are ridiculously important. If your first two jumps result in damage to the ship and nothing gained for it, you might as well quit and start over. Not good design!
[close]
Spoiler
That was me :) I spent quite a while with FTL, and didn't see things quite that way. I thought the bigger problem was that you could get really bad luck in terms of what weapons/drones/etc were available to you... Early hull damage, meh, that's just another 50 scrap you spend at some point, which in the grand scheme of things didn't matter all that much. I think if you didn't have this randomness, the game would lose so much of what makes it interesting. Making gambles is a huge part of the fun, for me anyway.
[close]

CR degrading during combat with immediate effect is fine so long as CR degradation is directly related to activity. Think soccer game, a defender who see little action would retain more stamina as oppose to a forward who's been running back and forth. A frigate on escort duty should probably be less drained than one performing hit-and-run - before it see some action, that is.

The way I see it is just being deployed is enough activity. Crews at the ready, power grid at full capacity, etc. It's already far beyond normal operating conditions. Still... hmm. I could see only reducing CR/peak effectiveness time while using the engines/weapons, but I'm not sure that extra nuance is actually needed to make it work right. Playtesting!

1. Will the size of fleet have any influence on speed at which ships are gaining CR betwen battles? (I can imagine small fleets being able to regain it faster than big ones due to much less betwen ships cargo and personel transportation, but on other hand I can imagine that every ship is a separate kingdom which is dealing with it's own problems using it's own supplies and personel so maybe it really should not have any impact at all)

2. Will it be possible for certian ships to improve speed of regaining CR betwen battles for other ships in a fleet? (having ship dedicated for cargo or personel transportation would make it easier for other ships in a fleet to deal with their problems - afther all they do not need to deal with those "good for nothing" marines which alweys get in the way of working staff, and do not need to waste time to take all suplies to cargo bay and secure it, because there are ships in a fleet that are dedicated to deal with those things. And even if they are unable to deal with all surplus of personel and suplies, they defienietly are making other ships' crew's life a lot easier)

Possibly & possibly.

3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?

Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.

Also, will certain weapons decrease CR a lot more? Say, if a salamander hits the engines, I can only imagine the havoc that would cause. Or if a couple of Plasma Cannon rounds hit your weapons, you're not gonna want to use them, right?

And one last thing, will low-tech weapons like, say, a Helbore Cannon (which only has a few moving parts) or an arablast autocannon or a flak cannon be better or worse with CR? I can see arguments for both sides, and I'm wondering what you think...

Maybe :) There's a possibility that EMP weapons might have some interaction with CR, though I'm far from being decided on that. As for specific weapons... there's a point where adding more detail only makes things complicated and not "better", and that point actually comes up pretty quick.
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FloW

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2013, 09:23:11 AM »

Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

Also, will certain weapons decrease CR a lot more? Say, if a salamander hits the engines, I can only imagine the havoc that would cause. Or if a couple of Plasma Cannon rounds hit your weapons, you're not gonna want to use them, right?

And one last thing, will low-tech weapons like, say, a Helbore Cannon (which only has a few moving parts) or an arablast autocannon or a flak cannon be better or worse with CR? I can see arguments for both sides, and I'm wondering what you think...

Maybe :) There's a possibility that EMP weapons might have some interaction with CR, though I'm far from being decided on that. As for specific weapons... there's a point where adding more detail only makes things complicated and not "better", and that point actually comes up pretty quick.

How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.
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Cycerin

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2013, 09:36:37 AM »

I'm just happy this will let me keep some outrageous things from my mod fun, like the ultra-maneuverable destroyer, and get more tools to balance them with. You know, modding this game is a really great experience - after getting to a certain point, it feels like the mods can grow along with the core game in a very natural manner. When you want to add to the core game rather than replace it, that is a very pleasant way to go about it.
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sdmike1

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2013, 09:40:44 AM »

3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?


Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.


I am sdmike1 and I approve this idea.

Wyvern

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #80 on: February 20, 2013, 10:38:01 AM »

I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.
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nonomo4

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #81 on: February 20, 2013, 10:45:33 AM »

I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.

It be a better idea that the players personal flag ship(frigate to capital) is always CR, ego. will always be able to enter a engagement. At least be able to enter the battle with little drop compared to other ships in the fleet.
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DelicateTask

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2013, 11:13:20 AM »

I could read 6 pages of comments to see if this has been suggested, but I'm lazy (and short on time). ;)

Since frigates run low on CR in a sustained battle, do they regain it more quickly outside of battle? Smaller ships should be easier to set up and require less preparation going into a battle than a large ship with many crew members, stations, and logistics concerns. This way they maintain a high degree of usefulness and have a special dynamic that gives them an even more distinct flavor.
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Gabrybbo

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #83 on: February 20, 2013, 11:33:50 AM »

How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.

I think this is a good idea. After all there's even a skill perk in combat that makes your weapons inflict double damage to enemy weapons and engines.
It would introduce a neat mechanic where a fast fleet can move in, strike at the enemy systems and retreat. Slowly the bigger fleet will lose ships due to accidents during battles if the admiral doesn't want to retreat.
Tri-tachyon hit and run tactics against the Hegemony huge armadas.  :D
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Tarran

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #84 on: February 20, 2013, 11:51:19 AM »

Alex, you missed my post.

Interesting mechanic.

A few worries about frigates losing CR though:

Won't you suddenly have a huge incentive for the player to micromanage their frigates even closer? Or will you add an auto-retreat or similar function for frigates?

Won't it be somewhat nasty to players with low-Command Point builds since ordering retreats cost CPs?
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Harabeck

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #85 on: February 20, 2013, 12:05:39 PM »

I love this mechanic. After burning myself out with the game as-is, mechanics that tie a larger campaign into the battles sound awesome.
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Gothars

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #86 on: February 20, 2013, 01:51:45 PM »

Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our many questions :)



Since frigates run low on CR in a sustained battle, do they regain it more quickly outside of battle?

Yes, they have a faster regeneration rate (at the moment).
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Xareh

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #87 on: February 20, 2013, 02:23:10 PM »

It's pretty unfortunate to see what I can really only call a nerf to frigates with no way of really counteracting them, aside from the obvious and silly method of allowing them to dock in Astrals.
I was always the kind of guy who used my frigates in fleets in pairs, trios, or quintets making great use of the command system to carefully distract or predate loose ships and now they seem entirely pointless. The favour of an aggressive play-style? With ships that can be swatted like mere flies? Where's the thought for the beginning of the game, or players that prefer like me to be slippery and defensive wherever possible? How can you slowly craft a fleet if your beginning ships just give up halfway through any given battle? What's even the point of expensive ships like the Hyperion or Tempest if they become useless halfway through?
Think about it - the Hyperion's journey of balance could almost be charted, going from weakness, extreme weakness, extreme strength, slightly less extreme strength and now pretty much just a reaper missile in ship form. These aren't fighters and you can't just say with them that they lose steam after a while - they're fully fledged ships with cargo bays, crew housing, fuel bays, weapon systems, AI PD systems, and they were (mostly) all designed to be able to survive on their own, they're just smaller destroyers and bigger fighters.  Why just nerf them like that without, say, doing the same to destroyers or fighters? I mean, uh, the Medusa! It's like a Tempest but bigger, and quite a bit slower. That's a very, VERY good kiting ship - should this mean destroyers get the problem too? Well then, what about the Falcon? Or the Conquest/Odyssey? Or ANY fighter? Should they have to return to their carrier every few minutes? That I can kinda understand, but then again, I'm always used to having it that a fighter was designed to fly around for ages (some being designed to scout alone far ahead of their fleets) and it'd return to base when it hit bingo fuel or alternatively ran out of ammo, but that was really often not for like half an hour.

Methinks a better idea with relation to this is that frigates are dangerous to have on the field because damage to them causes CR to go down VERY quickly - IE, they're so small the systems aren't properly defended against explosions 'n'stuff, instead of them running down slowly for no apparent reason other than 'balance'. That way, you make it so that players have to be careful with their frigates and mistakes will really hurt them, accommodating defensive and aggressive players in equal measure.
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Modest

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #88 on: February 20, 2013, 02:24:07 PM »

3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?


Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.


I am sdmike1 and I approve this idea.

I am Modest and I am also dislexis (so consider us united ;)) Also I am glad that somebody approve.

And the way I see this is that - pilot in fighter does not have to deal with cargo and munition boxes. He does not have to even move through corridors from one damaged turret to other. He simply sits in his chair and can do every necessery action from this place (if he needs to do something that would involved going out of his "plesand" chair (or cabin) that simply means that he was very unlucky, or made really big error and will pay for it in his life (very expensive currency if You'd ask me). But if he will not have to pay of his big error (whenever he had good luck that enemy didn't decidet to finish him or he was able to run away) than he just returns to carrier and wait for crew to repair and rearm his fighter. He might be psychologically cripled afther such stressfull event, but I am sure that on carriers are stationing many other pilotes who are more than willing to (not) take his place.

But for crew of carrier this is havoc - imagine just! Half destroyed wing of Talon fighters is docking. And suddenly all repairing staff is occupied to put them together again. Supply staff is trying to get to them to replenish it's ammunition. Medic is checking on pilot if he is capable to fly again if he had some kind of injury. While fighters are coming back from vacum of space to filled with oxygen hangars sudden outburst of fire are starting to show up here and there. Maybe some of dock workers had bed luck to be to close, and are in need of medical attention... And Phirania Bomber squadron is already waiting for docking place for rearming. Did I mentioned that admiral wants those fighters up and ready right now, or faster because somebody need to escort frighter on it's way to saftey? But do not worry - no pressure ;)

So somethink like that would have impact on carrier crew and supplies - it would decrease it's CR.
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Alex

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Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #89 on: February 20, 2013, 03:10:50 PM »

How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.

Interesting idea, and falls in line nicely with other things like missile weapon use reducing CR. Wrote it down as something to try out.


I'm just happy this will let me keep some outrageous things from my mod fun, like the ultra-maneuverable destroyer, and get more tools to balance them with. You know, modding this game is a really great experience - after getting to a certain point, it feels like the mods can grow along with the core game in a very natural manner. When you want to add to the core game rather than replace it, that is a very pleasant way to go about it.

:)


I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.

On the one hand, yeah, it'd be a pain to swap to another ship. On the other hand, having your flagship be in bad shape is a tactical consideration that may not warrant having a free pass out of. Hmm. I'll give it some thought. Might just make the first transfer command (if the flagship isn't on the field) instant and see how that feels.

Spoiler
It's pretty unfortunate to see what I can really only call a nerf to frigates with no way of really counteracting them, aside from the obvious and silly method of allowing them to dock in Astrals.
I was always the kind of guy who used my frigates in fleets in pairs, trios, or quintets making great use of the command system to carefully distract or predate loose ships and now they seem entirely pointless. The favour of an aggressive play-style? With ships that can be swatted like mere flies? Where's the thought for the beginning of the game, or players that prefer like me to be slippery and defensive wherever possible? How can you slowly craft a fleet if your beginning ships just give up halfway through any given battle? What's even the point of expensive ships like the Hyperion or Tempest if they become useless halfway through?
Think about it - the Hyperion's journey of balance could almost be charted, going from weakness, extreme weakness, extreme strength, slightly less extreme strength and now pretty much just a reaper missile in ship form. These aren't fighters and you can't just say with them that they lose steam after a while - they're fully fledged ships with cargo bays, crew housing, fuel bays, weapon systems, AI PD systems, and they were (mostly) all designed to be able to survive on their own, they're just smaller destroyers and bigger fighters.  Why just nerf them like that without, say, doing the same to destroyers or fighters? I mean, uh, the Medusa! It's like a Tempest but bigger, and quite a bit slower. That's a very, VERY good kiting ship - should this mean destroyers get the problem too? Well then, what about the Falcon? Or the Conquest/Odyssey? Or ANY fighter? Should they have to return to their carrier every few minutes? That I can kinda understand, but then again, I'm always used to having it that a fighter was designed to fly around for ages (some being designed to scout alone far ahead of their fleets) and it'd return to base when it hit bingo fuel or alternatively ran out of ammo, but that was really often not for like half an hour.

Methinks a better idea with relation to this is that frigates are dangerous to have on the field because damage to them causes CR to go down VERY quickly - IE, they're so small the systems aren't properly defended against explosions 'n'stuff, instead of them running down slowly for no apparent reason other than 'balance'. That way, you make it so that players have to be careful with their frigates and mistakes will really hurt them, accommodating defensive and aggressive players in equal measure.
[close]

Honestly, if I hear someone else say frigates "useless" or "pointless", I'm going to... well, I probably won't do anything, but seriously? That much gloom and doom seems rather premature :)


Mostly everything you've said has already been addressed in one way or another, but to reiterate some quick points:

1) The beginning of the game is almost entirely unaffected by this mechanic.

2) Destroyers & larger aren't that much of a kiting danger because there's an entire two classes of ships - frigates and fighters - that can chase them down and force a fight. Even so, the Medusa might end up getting this treatment, or it might just end up with a high CR deployment cost. Pointing out fighters as potentially being used for kiting is just silly, since they aren't player-controllable.

3) Frigates recover more quickly than other ships, which opens some new doors for them. Depending on how the details pan out, and combined with the possible across-the-board speed buff, I wouldn't be surprised to see them getting more use.


Alex, you missed my post.

Interesting mechanic.

A few worries about frigates losing CR though:

Won't you suddenly have a huge incentive for the player to micromanage their frigates even closer? Or will you add an auto-retreat or similar function for frigates?

Won't it be somewhat nasty to players with low-Command Point builds since ordering retreats cost CPs?

Ah, that I did. I think because I already answered the first question earlier, so it just didn't register as something that needed attention.

So: yes, more management of frigates, may need some specific UI support for it.

As for command points, I think the base number you start with will just have to go up a bit.
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