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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Codex Overhaul (05/11/24)

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Author Topic: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive  (Read 58193 times)

Alex

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Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« on: January 29, 2016, 12:56:43 PM »

Blog post here.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 12:59:50 PM by Alex »
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Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 01:04:06 PM »

YESSS!! i was really hoping you'd make a blog post about this at some point! =)
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Dri

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 01:28:04 PM »

Oh damn, that time slow thing... so when a phase ship you're not piloting phases it'll appear to move super fast because its going at 3X speed? :O Wowza, this totally just breathed new life into phase ships!

All the new ship systems sound delightfully wicked as well!
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Zenobious

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 01:31:49 PM »

Some of these are just what I've been wanting for a long time. Others I would not have thought of, but like the sound of. Quite exciting overall, but most especially:

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Phasing/unphasing is still instantaneous, but there’s a 2 second cooldown after unphasing

PRAISE BE. Nothing was more eye-roll inducing than watching an AI flicker its phase on and off quickly enough to dodge even near-instantaneous weapons.

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The AI will try to “suppress” phased phase ships by firing a small number of weapons at them

Perfection. Suppressive fire was always useful against phase ships, but only being able to manually do it was pretty tedious. This is a very welcome addition to the AI.
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Cik

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2016, 01:36:32 PM »

neat
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Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2016, 01:43:32 PM »

after actually reading the post now, all i can say is: wow. those changes sound crazy. the good kind of crazy! i was already looking forward to the new mechanics from what we had seen so far, but this is even better than i'd hoped. piloting a ship that can slow down the battle around it to a third of the normal speed sounds really fun! and powerful o_O

regarding the Interdictor Array, isn't disabling some engines often even more painful than a full flameout, due to the ship spinning wildly out of control whenever it tries to move?
also, you did it again: BRDY's Kurma-raja-class Interdiction Battlecruiser will likely need to have its system, the Interdiction Array, renamed. xD
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Dri

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2016, 01:46:55 PM »

BRDY's Kurma-raja-class Interdiction Battlecruiser will likely need to have its system, the Interdiction Array, renamed. xD

Wow, really? I'm pretty sure Alex and David either read the same Sci-fi novels that fella reads or they're just straight up trolling him at this point. lol
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Alex

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2016, 01:50:02 PM »

YESSS!! i was really hoping you'd make a blog post about this at some point! =)

Would be a shame to waste the opportunity :)

Oh damn, that time slow thing... so when a phase ship you're not piloting phases it'll appear to move super fast because its going at 3X speed? :O

Yep, that's why the Shade in the gif is moving so fast.

@Zenobious: glad you like!

regarding the Interdictor Array, isn't disabling some engines often even more painful than a full flameout, due to the ship spinning wildly out of control whenever it tries to move?

It can be countered by turning in the right direction, even w/ an extreme case like the Hound. It only gets bad if you let it spin out of control before attempting to counter the imbalance. Although, yes, for certain ships (i.e., said Hound) it's still pretty cripping, but still better than a full flameout.

also, you did it again: BRDY's Kurma-raja-class Interdiction Battlecruiser will likely need to have its system, the Interdiction Array, renamed. xD

Not only did I do it again, I also did it again to Cycerin. Although it's slightly different this time! "Interdictor" vs "Interdiction". He just has good taste in names, what can I say :) (Besides "sorry".)

Wow, really? I'm pretty sure Alex and David either read the same Sci-fi novels that fella reads or they're just straight up trolling him. lol

100% unintentional :(
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Dri

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2016, 02:05:29 PM »

Okay, lemme guess:

•Afflictor, frigate: Quantum Disruptor - makes the victims weapons generate more flux per shot or does something to their shields?
•Harbinger, the new phase destroyer: Entropy Amplifier - causes the victim to take more damage in some form or decays their CR/Peak time?

Close at all? Way off? Could you spoil the Afflictor's system? I have 3 of them ready to use on my current game. :D

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Wyvern

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 02:07:42 PM »

Question on "suppression fire" - will the autofire AI restrict rate of fire based on available flux?  I've seen in the current game the AI (especially lashers for some reason) will fire on phased-out ships - but they do so at their full rate, building up flux, instead of how a human would do it, firing just a few shots at a time - enough to keep the phase ship worried, but without cumulative flux build-up that would give the phase ship an advantage when it decloaks.

...For that matter, having some option like that would help the AI in general; the tendency to go gung-ho towards maxing out on soft flux is one of the big reasons I don't like to give AI ships heavy blasters; they don't have a grasp of the notion "These guns are really expensive to use, let's maybe cut back a bit rather than riding high flux".  (One of the casualties of the flux bonus to energy weapon damage; that used to be a viable choice.)
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

StarSchulz

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 02:11:14 PM »

This is spectacular! i cannot wait to get completely ruined by a small force of phase ships!

Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 02:16:28 PM »

Wow, really? I'm pretty sure Alex and David either read the same Sci-fi novels that fella reads or they're just straight up trolling him at this point. lol
what i find really funny is that they are not just using the same name for anything, but always for something similar. if vanilla now had, for example, a fighter called Squall, a weapon called Scarab and a hullmod or perk called Interdictor Array, it might not be a problem. but they share the name Squall for a weapon, Scarab for a ship (even with the rather unique heavy frigate classification) and an active system called Interdictor/Interdiction Array. ^^

Would be a shame to waste the opportunity :)
i always get giddy with excitement whenever i see a new blog post. not just because seeing upcoming features is always cool, but your thoughts behind them (including stuff that ultimately didn't work out) are really interesting! :]
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It can be countered by turning in the right direction, even w/ an extreme case like the Hound. It only gets bad if you let it spin out of control before attempting to counter the imbalance. Although, yes, for certain ships (i.e., said Hound) it's still pretty cripping, but still better than a full flameout.
right, Hound was the one i thought of immediately. disabling one of their engines always makes me feel bad for the poor souls who have to crew that thing...

This is spectacular! i cannot wait to get completely ruined by a small force of phase ships!
i think it will have been worth it once you get to pilot one yourself. :3
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Sordid

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 02:16:43 PM »

I'm extremely skeptical. It's hard to judge without actually playing the game and seeing the changes in practice, but the blog post kinda reads like "tldr: phase ships weren't op enough already, so guess what". It's good that you're addressing the issues phase ships have, but I I'm skeptical of the way you're going about it. Introducing a cooldown on cloaking, for instance? That lowers the skill ceiling for a human player also. IMO it would have been much better to keep the mechanics of cloaking as they were and just make the AI suck more at it. If the AI didn't have robotically perfect reaction time to the point where it can cloak before my own shot even goes off, there wouldn't need to be a cooldown. The cooldown seems like a workaround, a kludge, a band-aid, not a solution.

I'm very curious how these changes work in practice. I really hope I'm wrong in my initial impression of this.
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Wyvern

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2016, 02:26:33 PM »

If the AI didn't have robotically perfect reaction time to the point where it can cloak before my own shot even goes off, there wouldn't need to be a cooldown.
I'm not so sure of this.  For example, with current phase cloaks, it doesn't take a ton of skill to, say, take a Doom, outfit it with too many reapers, uncloak on top of something, fire reapers, and re-cloak before you even take collision damage, let alone any return fire.

On the other hand, I've seen phase ships in mods that have a cooldown after coming out of cloak, and they just kinda go splat.  Of course, they didn't have that 3x speed thing to better pick where & when to de-cloak... guess we'll see how this works out.

Definitely going to be interesting, though!  Hm... Another question: will the AI ever use a phase cloak to speed up just getting from point A to point B?  I could imagine them being nearly as effective point capture vessels as a Hyperion, but only if the AI is willing to use the cloak for utility.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Alex

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2016, 02:37:30 PM »

Okay, lemme guess:

•Afflictor, frigate: Quantum Disruptor - makes the victims weapons generate more flux per shot or does something to their shields?
•Harbinger, the new phase destroyer: Entropy Amplifier - causes the victim to take more damage in some form or decays their CR/Peak time?

Close at all? Way off? Could you spoil the Afflictor's system? I have 3 of them ready to use on my current game. :D

Fairly close, some guesses more than others.

No spoiling :-X

Question on "suppression fire" - will the autofire AI restrict rate of fire based on available flux?

To an extent. It'll prefer non-burst beams, and it'll only autofire one weapon total (per ship, not per group). But some setups (i.e. only thing autofiring is a heavy blaster) wouldn't work great with that behavior... though at that point you can control is w/ "hold fire".

I've seen in the current game the AI (especially lashers for some reason) will fire on phased-out ships - but they do so at their full rate, building up flux, instead of how a human would do it, firing just a few shots at a time - enough to keep the phase ship worried, but without cumulative flux build-up that would give the phase ship an advantage when it decloaks.

This happens when the AI decides to fire on the ship before it phased, and should only last for a couple of seconds.

...For that matter, having some option like that would help the AI in general; the tendency to go gung-ho towards maxing out on soft flux is one of the big reasons I don't like to give AI ships heavy blasters; they don't have a grasp of the notion "These guns are really expensive to use, let's maybe cut back a bit rather than riding high flux".  (One of the casualties of the flux bonus to energy weapon damage; that used to be a viable choice.)

Yeah, this is definitely a weakness. On my TODO list somewhere; not sure if I'll get to it.

This is spectacular! i cannot wait to get completely ruined by a small force of phase ships!

You say that now. But I literally couldn't beat a single Shade w/ an Eagle. On the bright side, it was pretty quick about putting me out of my misery.

i always get giddy with excitement whenever i see a new blog post. not just because seeing upcoming features is always cool, but your thoughts behind them (including stuff that ultimately didn't work out) are really interesting! :]

Glad to hear it :)

i think it will have been worth it once you get to pilot one yourself. :3

Honestly, they've been *so much fun* to pilot. Might have to nerf a bit at some point, though.

Introducing a cooldown on cloaking, for instance? That lowers the skill ceiling for a human player also.

It makes the decision more difficult to make since the consequences of deciding to unphase can't be instantly (mostly) undone by right-clicking. It also moves the skill required away from "twitch" and towards "tactical thinking".


Hm... Another question: will the AI ever use a phase cloak to speed up just getting from point A to point B?  I could imagine them being nearly as effective point capture vessels as a Hyperion, but only if the AI is willing to use the cloak for utility.

It did at one point, but I ended up making it not do that for... some reason. Could've been because it was ending up at high flux at bad times. Might need to take another look.

It *will* occasionally use it to chase down targets, though.
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