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Author Topic: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive  (Read 56524 times)

Schwartz

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2016, 06:36:40 AM »

So if you play a phase fleet, you'll effectively have every enemy fleet running at 1/3 speed.

The new ship systems and the decloak delay sound good. I think the phase mechanics are a the core of the problem though. They're presently just an invulnerability button - and continue to be one. Only now, the invulnerable ship also gets 3x speed. This drastically changes the landscape. No longer can -any- ship escape from combat or keep at range owed to a particularly high speed. The previous balance in fleeing, kiting and pursuit has been flattened with a hammer, and that hammer is phase ships. I don't know how I feel about that, it's the single most metagame-altering change you've made.

It sticks out as immediately imbalanced and un-balance-able. I've harped on about how the speed ceiling has been raised owed to officer skills, and how that changed the feel of the game away from a measured, paced, tactical thing towards action and twitch reflexes, and you responded with your plans to change officer skills more towards the defensive to bring the game back in line with the original feel. And here's a change that goes right back to the speed ceiling and takes an antimatter blaster to it. ;)

As usual, consider this an uninformed opinion since we haven't played the game with the new mechanics yet. I look forward to trying this out and every new mechanic deserves a grace period.
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Cik

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2016, 06:53:32 AM »

the concern is that pretty much nothing will be able to stop fire / run / vent cycles because they are too fast.

in fact, my bet is that if you tool up pursuit frigates for nothing but speed they'd probably fail to catch a phase frigate.

somewhat negated by the extremely short CR time, but eh

maybe the solution is just to have phased ships be able to fire at each other?

then you could send your own phase frigate in after it and they could kill each other.

or phase fighters, or something.
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Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2016, 07:22:20 AM »

maybe phase ships, and frigates especially, should have their base speed lowered. at the moment, Afflictor and Shade both have 165, which is already very fast even compared to other frigates, only Hound and Tempest are faster (not counting ship systems). something around 100-120 base speed would put them at the low end of frigates (between Brawler and Lasher), but still above most destroyers, and they'd still have 300+ in p-time.
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Megas

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2016, 07:24:55 AM »

a frigate with 3 times normal speed would probably be pretty hard to control well. and slowing outside time should also make it feel more unique, since there are already many active systems that allow teleporting or moving at much higher speeds. personally, i expect i'll have a ton of fun with Harbinger or Doom flagships. :]
Maybe.  Frigates without skills are slow, even Tempest.  Only Tempest and Hound are a bit fast after I get everything that boosts speed.

the concern is that pretty much nothing will be able to stop fire / run / vent cycles because they are too fast.

in fact, my bet is that if you tool up pursuit frigates for nothing but speed they'd probably fail to catch a phase frigate.

somewhat negated by the extremely short CR time, but eh

maybe the solution is just to have phased ships be able to fire at each other?

then you could send your own phase frigate in after it and they could kill each other.

or phase fighters, or something.
When I do not have Hyperion or Tempest, and Safety Override Lasher is too slow, I send in Safety Override Afflictor (armed with LAGs and dual ACs) for the kill.  Only problem, it gets shot back thanks to Safety Override totally gutting shot range, and I need to toggle phase much to avoid taking damage.  I do not think I want Safety Override on phase ships.  Instead, I will simply use modified phase cloak as extended maneuverability jets, then maybe try to kite enemies with needlers to avoid getting shot back.

Hmmm... maybe Target Analysis 10 will be very useful for modified phase ships.  +100% damage to armor helps light kinetics function as anti-armor in a pinch.  (800 range is much greater than 600.)  Afflictor with four needlers and Target Analysis 10 shreds things.
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Schwartz

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #64 on: January 30, 2016, 07:29:36 AM »

Or reduce p-time to 2x and don't touch any other stats. Should still be plenty.
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Achataeon

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #65 on: January 30, 2016, 07:37:05 AM »

I'm thinking any proposed changes shouldn't be done for now since we haven't even touched the shiny new version yet. We've yet tried to get the feel of the game in 3x slow motion.
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JohnDoe

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #66 on: January 30, 2016, 08:13:30 AM »

By the way, does this mean the crews piloting phase ships will age much quicker than the rest of the fleet?
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Megas

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #67 on: January 30, 2016, 09:13:14 AM »

Game constructs cannot age anymore than the game itself.
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Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #68 on: January 30, 2016, 09:23:40 AM »

Maybe.  Frigates without skills are slow, even Tempest.  Only Tempest and Hound are a bit fast after I get everything that boosts speed.
at 100% CR, with Augmented Engines and rank 10 Helmsmanship, Afflictor and Shade have 277 top speed (if i didn't screw up the math) even without the 0-flux boost. in p-time, that'd be 831! i do think that is too fast to be controlled by a player in normal time... ^^

Or reduce p-time to 2x and don't touch any other stats. Should still be plenty.
that would make the slow-motion effect quite a bit less fun i think, even though i agree it still sounds powerful enough from a balance perspective. but like Achataeon said, we'll just have to wait (q_q) and see.

By the way, does this mean the crews piloting phase ships will age much quicker than the rest of the fleet?
lorewise, i'd assume so. combined with the altered reality perception that can potentially result from frequent phase shifts (is that canon?) it sounds like phase ship crews might need to be rotated out regularly to reduce nasty side effects in the long term.
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Megas

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #69 on: January 30, 2016, 10:15:00 AM »

We need the speed shift to partially offset the whacks phase ships took (cloak recharge and faster CR decay).  Otherwise, better to stick with more conventional and better armed ships.

If phase ships had better ballistic support, I would use them as long-range artillery platforms so they would almost never get shot back.
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Alex

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #70 on: January 30, 2016, 10:45:15 AM »

Balance-wise, I'm pretty sure things will need nerfs at some point :)

So if you play a phase fleet, you'll effectively have every enemy fleet running at 1/3 speed.

The new ship systems and the decloak delay sound good. I think the phase mechanics are a the core of the problem though. They're presently just an invulnerability button - and continue to be one. Only now, the invulnerable ship also gets 3x speed. This drastically changes the landscape. No longer can -any- ship escape from combat or keep at range owed to a particularly high speed. The previous balance in fleeing, kiting and pursuit has been flattened with a hammer, and that hammer is phase ships. I don't know how I feel about that, it's the single most metagame-altering change you've made.

It sticks out as immediately imbalanced and un-balance-able. I've harped on about how the speed ceiling has been raised owed to officer skills, and how that changed the feel of the game away from a measured, paced, tactical thing towards action and twitch reflexes, and you responded with your plans to change officer skills more towards the defensive to bring the game back in line with the original feel. And here's a change that goes right back to the speed ceiling and takes an antimatter blaster to it. ;)

As usual, consider this an uninformed opinion since we haven't played the game with the new mechanics yet. I look forward to trying this out and every new mechanic deserves a grace period.

What you're saying makes sense. A couple of other points:
1) When multiple ships are involved, this balance is still preserved, as you don't need to back off faster than the enemy - you just need to back off so that a friendly ship covers you. It's significantly harder for phase ships to maul things outside a 1-1 scenario. And if we're looking at a 1-1, any ship with a speed advantage has this kind of edge, just not to that degree. Base firepower-wise, phase ships are actually on the low end of the scale for their size class.
2) When considering their actual combat power, they should probably be looked at as being one size or so bigger, which is more closely in line with their costs.
3) Flying a phase ship actually *does* feel more tactical than twich, because you have more time to react to things.

They're certainly powerful and game-changing, though. Well, that's what makes it interesting! Balance-wise, as I said, there probably will be some... adjustments.

in fact, my bet is that if you tool up pursuit frigates for nothing but speed they'd probably fail to catch a phase frigate.

Correct. This is actually intentional; if phase ships can be caught up to by a similar-sized ship, they're hard countered by it, and it's a very binary thing and hard to balance around. The way it is now, phase frigates can be balanced knowing that they can't be chased down (excepting things like the Hyperion...)


maybe the solution is just to have phased ships be able to fire at each other?

(There's actually a ship system that, among other things, will force a phase ship into normal space.)


Or reduce p-time to 2x and don't touch any other stats. Should still be plenty.
that would make the slow-motion effect quite a bit less fun i think, even though i agree it still sounds powerful enough from a balance perspective. but like Achataeon said, we'll just have to wait (q_q) and see.

Yeah, 3x is the lowest where it feels like fun bullet time and not just "moderately slow". Totally subjective, of course.
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Achataeon

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2016, 04:18:27 PM »

If you REALLY want to get a feel for how a phase ship flies in 7.1, just get ANY crappy computer, pilot a phase ship and fight a large battle. Fps would drop down to 15 and gametime would slow down to half. Potato users for the win.
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Legendsmith

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2016, 05:06:28 PM »

I see there's a bit of debate as to whether phase ships are OP or not. I think that this change will be fine, and at the least we should suspend proper judgement for now. I like these changes, and think they'll really change things up.
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Foxd1e

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2016, 06:19:20 PM »

I just wanted to pop-in and deposit my 2 cents, I routinely try out new updates for Starsector and in 0.7x, my latest foray, Phase ships were annoying the crap out of me. I browsed the forums for other's thoughts on them, a thread popped up on the 26th with lots of good input and Alex noticed, and just 3 days later releases a blog post detailing his changes. I just want to point out that I have not seen that level of dev involvement anywhere else. Sure some devs will make changes when the entire fanbase is gathering up pitchforks.

Anyways it seems like Phase ships will now be a real threat to play as or face, just like their ancient earth predecessors.

Somewhat off-topic but still about Starfarersector, I love how the game is finally starting to come together. That's how I feel with the .7x update. I would say I only spent 50% of my time in combat, the rest I was smuggling/trading/doing missions and I really enjoyed it.
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Sy

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Re: Phase Cloaking - a Deep Dive
« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2016, 07:22:19 PM »

(There's actually a ship system that, among other things, will force a phase ship into normal space.)
Quantum Disruptor?

If you REALLY want to get a feel for how a phase ship flies in 7.1, just get ANY crappy computer, pilot a phase ship and fight a large battle. Fps would drop down to 15 and gametime would slow down to half. Potato users for the win.
and that way, it doesn't even have a cooldown! \o/

a thread popped up on the 26th with lots of good input and Alex noticed, and just 3 days later releases a blog post detailing his changes.
the recent threads may have been part of why he decided to write the blog post to explain what will change, and why, but he started working on new/improved phase cloaks at least a month before. still, i agree that Alex does a great job taking feedback and ideas here -- or at least explaining why someone's suggestion would likely not work out well in practise. ^^
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