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Author Topic: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - *hotfix* 4/14/22  (Read 741816 times)

Albreo

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Interesting. I would have thought the Radiant was ridiculous due to its system. Any more details you can provide for this would be helpful in this case so I can better understand. Does tanky mean shields or overall defenses, for instance? You already said it should have more DP (thanks for the specifics there!) but why is it scarier than a teleporting Radiant with capital weaponry? (I assume this is considering the effectiveness as a DP group for the comparison)

I'll try and get a mock-mission going for test purposes and see how the synergy works. I haven't fought Remnants en masse very often and so I need some kind of way to test these considerations before I can reliably make any changes. This may be pushed back to a further update if I'm honest. There is a lot of changes yet to be made first.
I fought them every so often in a high danger sector when no one trying to invade my planet. Mostly approaching the end of the combat, AI will deploy all of the remaining Brilliants it has which usually 2 times the numbers of my capital ship if I don't have a fleet size advantage. Its shield flux is very OP when one ship flux is full it can simply teleport back and immediately another ship can replace its position. So, in 2 vs 1 situation, this Brilliant can really shine as its name implied. Consider its superior flux, speed, and fighter capacity about 3 Brilliants should be equal to a Radiant. Or on another hand, if you want players to suffer, you can consider lowering the deployment cost of Radiant instead. I feel that the first half of the battle, where Radiants are present, is considerably easier than the second half, where only Brilliants remain. I don't think you have to low the difficulty in any way. The way it has access to some Archean Order and Andamantine weapon also feels strange a bit.

PS. If you want my save file to test stuff just tell me

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Thanks this is helpful. (I always ask questions to get a better perspective if you haven't noticed  :P ) Is the engine homing aspect of the Phantom the issue- or is it the phase defense + projectile hitpoints that cause more reliability in the strike?
I think. Because the rest of the bomber lines are all crappy that I feel this Phantom is the best option. LOL. It's not good against a capital ship target as the bombs hit the thick back armor while your capital shoot the front and the damage is quite spread out. But everything else below a capital, it's very effective against. Its bomb can effectively bypass any unraised shield target. If you want to nerf it a bit then consider made the bomb hit the front instead so AI can raise shield in time. But first, you should buff the rest of the bombers before that.

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Not really sure what you mean by this. As in the faction stations that periodically spawn and harass (like pirates/luddic path) make the Adamantine Consortium too strong? What are you specifically observing? It could be that setting pirate behavior has an overall effect in Nex, for instance, that I'm unaware of.
It's the aspect of them be able to colonise new planets where Luddic path and Pirate can't. It's NEX related, so, all other factions treat them as a pirate-like faction. There will be no raid or invasion against a pirate entity, hostility will never change so I can use agents to make them permanently hostile to any faction the same as Pirate/LuddP. No one will be interested in attacking them so they can keep all their newly found planets without worry.

You can keep asking more questions as I'm not native English and I don't know what to type.
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DatonKallandor

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I believe all your strikecraft already use strikecraft specific versions of their weapons with different stats, don't they? Maybe slightly slower projectiles for the fighter version would help letting PD do a little more bit more work?

Oh also, because they tend to fire en-masse when bomber mounted, they can get very loud. You have to mount a lot of phase orb launchers to make them too loud on a ship, but you don't need that many wings of phase bombers to do it.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 05:25:00 PM by DatonKallandor »
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Frod

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Hello again, just noticed a strange thing. In the description of speed there is a notice. While ship is not generated flux it has increased speed of base + 80. So it works well on most of them. But some has a boost around 20, wich is unexpainable and very annoying. Because they are to slow even to reach the battle. Exaples I found are Megalith and Epiphany. First I thought it is some kind of a nerf of Megalith or smth. But when I noticed that destroyer based carier cant outrun considerabely bigger ships even with speed boost hull mods installed. I guess it is a bug.
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Morrokain

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I fought them every so often in a high danger sector when no one trying to invade my planet. Mostly approaching the end of the combat, AI will deploy all of the remaining Brilliants it has which usually 2 times the numbers of my capital ship if I don't have a fleet size advantage. Its shield flux is very OP when one ship flux is full it can simply teleport back and immediately another ship can replace its position. So, in 2 vs 1 situation, this Brilliant can really shine as its name implied. Consider its superior flux, speed, and fighter capacity about 3 Brilliants should be equal to a Radiant. Or on another hand, if you want players to suffer, you can consider lowering the deployment cost of Radiant instead. I feel that the first half of the battle, where Radiants are present, is considerably easier than the second half, where only Brilliants remain. I don't think you have to low the difficulty in any way. The way it has access to some Archean Order and Andamantine weapon also feels strange a bit.

PS. If you want my save file to test stuff just tell me

Buffed the Radiant significantly and increased its deployment cost. I'm ok with them being very strong for now. We will see how it goes.

(Feel free to link the save for testing though! Definitely couldn't hurt to have an example!)

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I think. Because the rest of the bomber lines are all crappy that I feel this Phantom is the best option. LOL. It's not good against a capital ship target as the bombs hit the thick back armor while your capital shoot the front and the damage is quite spread out. But everything else below a capital, it's very effective against. Its bomb can effectively bypass any unraised shield target. If you want to nerf it a bit then consider made the bomb hit the front instead so AI can raise shield in time. But first, you should buff the rest of the bombers before that.

Thanks I've noted this for when doing another bomber balance pass. Others have given feedback too, so I'll do some testing there before the release. Still hoping for late tonight-early morning tomorrow, but we'll see.

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It's the aspect of them be able to colonise new planets where Luddic path and Pirate can't. It's NEX related, so, all other factions treat them as a pirate-like faction. There will be no raid or invasion against a pirate entity, hostility will never change so I can use agents to make them permanently hostile to any faction the same as Pirate/LuddP. No one will be interested in attacking them so they can keep all their newly found planets without worry.

Oh thanks I understand now! I wasn't aware of this being a component of the pirate setting. I'll have to think of something. The immediate thought would be to prevent them from expanding and then severely buff their core systems defenses to be competitive with core factions and make their systems essentially a "no go" zone except for players (like dangerous warning beacon systems. I may even make a beacon for it to intuit to the player that their should be similar comparisons)

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You can keep asking more questions as I'm not native English and I don't know what to type.

Sure will do! No worries!  :) I'll try and think of more after I go over the last few points a second time. I think I missed a couple things that may be easy to implement.

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I believe all your strikecraft already use strikecraft specific versions of their weapons with different stats, don't they? Maybe slightly slower projectiles for the fighter version would help letting PD do a little more bit more work?

Oh also, because they tend to fire en-masse when bomber mounted, they can get very loud. You have to mount a lot of phase orb launchers to make them too loud on a ship, but you don't need that many wings of phase bombers to do it.

Thanks! I'll look along those lines and see. The engine homing ideally makes the bomber unique, so preserving that aspect is a goal- but not enough to not make a change there if it proves necessary for balance. I'm also thinking about tweaks to bombers that make it harder to kill them without interceptors but also allow pd more of an ability to mitigate their strikes for projectile based bombers. It better separates them from energy bombers and gunships- which is neat imo.

This might be difficult but I'll at least do a pass at it before release. Then I might fine tune it even more for the next release, etc, if that makes sense.

-----------------

Hello again, just noticed a strange thing. In the description of speed there is a notice. While ship is not generated flux it has increased speed of base + 80. So it works well on most of them. But some has a boost around 20, wich is unexpainable and very annoying. Because they are to slow even to reach the battle. Exaples I found are Megalith and Epiphany. First I thought it is some kind of a nerf of Megalith or smth. But when I noticed that destroyer based carier cant outrun considerabely bigger ships even with speed boost hull mods installed. I guess it is a bug.

Not a bug, it was intended. Though, I can always look at it again. (There is a hullmod on those ships that explains why its reduced iirc.)

The purpose is to reduce the ability of dedicated carriers to kite assault ships (both in the players and the AIs hands) and to force them to be escorted and protected. The benefit the dedicated carriers get in return (also explained in a hullmod) is that they replace strike craft a lot faster than cruisers that just have a few fighter bays. Base replacement rate is very low otherwise.

So now that the purpose is stated, I don't want it to be annoying, though. So, keeping in mind that the purpose of a carrier in this mod is to provide strike craft assaults at long range (and stay away from the main battle and ideally have escorts against fast targets like frigates), what are you trying to do that you feel they are too slow?

For the Megalith in particular, that is already being changed in the next release. It will be faster though the zero flux boost limitation will remain. It is supposed to be a slow moving but nearly impregnable fortress ship that can fire at extreme ranges.

*EDIT*

Oh! Forgot to mention that I think this is why the collisions happen more often - it was talked about a few posts back. So, in that sense, some changes will likely be necessary to that balance system at some point.

Right now, the metric is that a destroyer carrier can be caught at 0 flux boost speeds by a destroyer not at 0 flux boost speeds. So when the carrier doesn't have the boost and the destroyer does, the destroyer is quite a bit faster. I may try to bring the two numbers closer to an equilibrium to prevent that extreme, while hopefully still keeping the same balance mechanic. Carrier kiting is too strong with the zero flux boost, and disabling that boost when strike craft assault a target interferes with battlecarriers to a large degree otherwise.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 07:19:26 PM by Morrokain »
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DatonKallandor

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I really like the distinction between line ships and their strong 0-flux boost and dedicated carriers with extremely good fighter bays.

The hybrid Battle-carriers might be a little too strong though. But they're a lot of fun to fly. And have a role, unlike vanilla where they're basically worse than a dedicated ship of either of the other roles.
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Frod

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Not a bug, it was intended. Though, I can always look at it again. (There is a hullmod on those ships that explains why its reduced iirc.)

The purpose is to reduce the ability of dedicated carriers to kite assault ships (both in the players and the AIs hands) and to force them to be escorted and protected. The benefit the dedicated carriers get in return (also explained in a hullmod) is that they replace strike craft a lot faster than cruisers that just have a few fighter bays. Base replacement rate is very low otherwise.

So now that the purpose is stated, I don't want it to be annoying, though. So, keeping in mind that the purpose of a carrier in this mod is to provide strike craft assaults at long range (and stay away from the main battle and ideally have escorts against fast targets like frigates), what are you trying to do that you feel they are too slow?

For the Megalith in particular, that is already being changed in the next release. It will be faster though the zero flux boost limitation will remain. It is supposed to be a slow moving but nearly impregnable fortress ship that can fire at extreme ranges.

*EDIT*

Oh! Forgot to mention that I think this is why the collisions happen more often - it was talked about a few posts back. So, in that sense, some changes will likely be necessary to that balance system at some point.

Right now, the metric is that a destroyer carrier can be caught at 0 flux boost speeds by a destroyer not at 0 flux boost speeds. So when the carrier doesn't have the boost and the destroyer does, the destroyer is quite a bit faster. I may try to bring the two numbers closer to an equilibrium to prevent that extreme, while hopefully still keeping the same balance mechanic. Carrier kiting is too strong with the zero flux boost, and disabling that boost when strike craft assault a target interferes with battlecarriers to a large degree otherwise.

I see, thank you for answer. But this looks strange, for example when reatreating, the Onslaught has far better chance to survive than little fast carier. Because it is faster... Also about protection  - escort comand here in the game works rather strange. As the escorted ship faces the main threat upfront while ecort ships are preventing enemies from flank attacks. None of this options are good for CV, so usually I make a group from them only and send on their own, as the ai uses the max distance in this case. According to the balance, I don't think it is bad when destroyer base carrier can kite cruiser. Or cruiser kite battelship it seems logical. Also it won't be able to kite multiple enemies, as it usually attack only one target at once. Maybe the solution is to reduce the boost for all ships to that 20 points.

For example we have a destroyer on the one side, running from slightly faster, but weaker destroyer and battleship on the other. So it will never run away as once he was tagged by enemy destroyer, the battleship will finish him.

About how am I trying to use the carriers. I never played this game with direct control of the ship. So I always rely on AI, Playing as a strategy. This boost makes my capital ships, especially battlecruiser ram the enemy, while my carriers are so far away that they never reach the battle in time. If the enemy is strong it is bad because they can't give adequate fire support on time. And as the combat map is not so big the delay with occuping enough territory can result in being cornered. And if the enemy is weak they are also useless as everithing is done before they arrive.

So in general with the speed boost armored close range units are much more efficient than shield users with high range. For example Pillager is outstanding in terms of combat balance. I have tried thousands of Odissey variants in simulations but none of them was as much effective. When we are talking about 1 on 1 it is ok, the long ranged unit has a chance. But in real it loose all advantage in speed and range while having more enemies. So all speed glass cannon designs have bad performance.

And I say again can't say anything about direct controll as I never use it.

Sorry for poor grammar and chaotic thoughts.
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Frod

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Also about the speed boost. In early game I usually use little fleet from fast hightech cruisers and battlecruiser for exploration. So I managed to find a pirate horde once - consisting of mainly converted tankers and heavyfreighters + several destroyers. So in my opinion I should have escaped easily as their fast forces are considerably weaker than mine and not able to inflict any heavy damage. But in real it is just need to be tagged once, and all this mass will become faster than you. May be the solution is to implement more engine disruption weapons?
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Albreo

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Also about the speed boost. In early game I usually use little fleet from fast hightech cruisers and battlecruiser for exploration. So I managed to find a pirate horde once - consisting of mainly converted tankers and heavyfreighters + several destroyers. So in my opinion I should have escaped easily as their fast forces are considerably weaker than mine and not able to inflict any heavy damage. But in real it is just need to be tagged once, and all this mass will become faster than you. May be the solution is to implement more engine disruption weapons?
Usually, these guys put on either unstable injector or safety override which boosts speed massively, more intense than vanilla. I also advise you to put on an unstable injector yourself. Once tab, the ship will rotate to fight back unless you order them direct retreat.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have observed another strange thing weather this is intended. The number of fleets in an invasion seems to exceed the initial report prediction. I found that, at the destination of invasion that predict to have 3 fleets, it's turn out to be 7 fleets which more than double the number.

I'm able to loot 100 Spark Fighters from 3 big Remnant fleets I think the drop rate might be a bit silly here. Also, an evident how OP their fighter capacity is.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, my save file.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=107Yk0T2HYceKBou2cBcUotpMfxMdg94D

Mods
- Archean Order
- Nexerelin + LazyzLib
- Active Gates
- Resist Inspections
- SpeedUp

Quick Description: I have a lot of gates activated for convenience. One directly in Jahannam Where the high danger sector situated, this save will start off here. All my stuff is stored on Surganna planet in Karkara which also has a gate. Trantor, another settlement, also has a gate as well as multiple places in the core sector but not all of them.

You should check out Directorship Headquarters with 7 industries.
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Frod

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Usually, these guys put on either unstable injector or safety override which boosts speed massively, more intense than vanilla. I also advise you to put on an unstable injector yourself. Once tab, the ship will rotate to fight back unless you order them direct retreat.

This mod installed gives from 20/25 boost speed, while no flux gives 80, so it didn't help. Also the direction of the ship does not affect the speed, even they face the enemy the speed they go to the edge of the map stays the same. Usually they rotate facing the enemy because of the weapons installed. The ship without weapon will not rotate.
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Morrokain

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I see, thank you for answer. But this looks strange, for example when reatreating, the Onslaught has far better chance to survive than little fast carier. Because it is faster... Also about protection  - escort comand here in the game works rather strange. As the escorted ship faces the main threat upfront while ecort ships are preventing enemies from flank attacks. None of this options are good for CV, so usually I make a group from them only and send on their own, as the ai uses the max distance in this case. According to the balance, I don't think it is bad when destroyer base carrier can kite cruiser. Or cruiser kite battelship it seems logical. Also it won't be able to kite multiple enemies, as it usually attack only one target at once. Maybe the solution is to reduce the boost for all ships to that 20 points.

For example we have a destroyer on the one side, running from slightly faster, but weaker destroyer and battleship on the other. So it will never run away as once he was tagged by enemy destroyer, the battleship will finish him.

About how am I trying to use the carriers. I never played this game with direct control of the ship. So I always rely on AI, Playing as a strategy. This boost makes my capital ships, especially battlecruiser ram the enemy, while my carriers are so far away that they never reach the battle in time. If the enemy is strong it is bad because they can't give adequate fire support on time. And as the combat map is not so big the delay with occuping enough territory can result in being cornered. And if the enemy is weak they are also useless as everithing is done before they arrive.

So in general with the speed boost armored close range units are much more efficient than shield users with high range. For example Pillager is outstanding in terms of combat balance. I have tried thousands of Odissey variants in simulations but none of them was as much effective. When we are talking about 1 on 1 it is ok, the long ranged unit has a chance. But in real it loose all advantage in speed and range while having more enemies. So all speed glass cannon designs have bad performance.

And I say again can't say anything about direct controll as I never use it.

Sorry for poor grammar and chaotic thoughts.

I love all the detail! It makes me take another pass at the design balance and that is always useful. Not saying anything is set in stone, but, responding to key points with my overall thoughts:

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None of this options are good for CV, so usually I make a group from them only and send on their own, as the ai uses the max distance in this case. According to the balance, I don't think it is bad when destroyer base carrier can kite cruiser. Or cruiser kite battelship it seems logical. Also it won't be able to kite multiple enemies, as it usually attack only one target at once. Maybe the solution is to reduce the boost for all ships to that 20 points.

I get what you are saying here, definitely. I think this might be due to coming from vanilla combat where escorting larger ships with smaller carriers is a good idea. Here, it is not recommended due to the speed differential (where escorts are typically supposed to be faster than the escorted ship). Here, carriers as a designation are your force projection using bombers/gunships, or the defense against those bombers/gunships/missiles by using interceptors/fighters. (Hybrids and specialists exist even within those roles)

So, you have to think of them as support ships that need babying either by you or the AI escorts you give them. They aren't escorts themselves unless you need their wings to support your allied ship directly in the moment. In that sense, it is situational, but overall they are the ones that should be escorted.

When mass selecting them and issuing a strike on a target they can effectively deal damage without taking any in return. As far as combat balance is concerned, this is a really big deal. They need to be weak when engaged (unless the ship is a hybrid) to make their strengths not feel overwhelming (remember practically everything has access to strike craft in this mod but dedicated carriers can send wave after wave in some situations)

If you think about vanilla, though- this still applies. If you try and escort a really fast capital with slow destroyers- same thing happens. Here, this is more common because the difference between types is more accentuated so it is easier to do.

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my carriers are so far away that they never reach the battle in time

As in the ships themselves or their wings? The wings should. Maybe I have miscalculated range/speed of the wings if not. The carriers should ideally stay away and let their wings/missiles do their work. Their close range weapons are purely to defend against swarm/interdiction tactics from frigates that are maneuverable enough to catch them when isolated. (That's the idea, anyway)

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For example we have a destroyer on the one side, running from slightly faster,

The slightly faster part is the issue for me. That requirement makes the fastest destroyer arguably the most attractive (unless poorly armed) to accommodate and stop all kiting ships of that hullsize (in principle) rather than promote combat tactics within the hull size through designation variances which create a rock-paper-scissors effect. The actual complexity of the design comes from the fact that rock is so good against scissors that it transcends hull size (in that it can fight +1 hull size up when it counters the designation)

When I say "designation" btw, there is even more nuance there. A bomber carrier is different from a gunship carrier and is different from a missile heavy carrier, etc. And on that note, PD frigates are designed to beat bomber carriers, but not necessarily gunship carriers. It depends. Interceptor carriers beat bomber carriers, but not fighter carriers specializing in anti-interceptor fighters.

That's just a couple examples, but overall:

Range is everything in vanilla, and carriers have much larger range and sustainability than anything else except glass cannon range builds. In this mod, tactics are more important through countering what your enemy is bringing against you. The idea is that the variables are random enough that these tactics can never truly be predicted, but require in the moment evaluation during mid-battle.

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So in general with the speed boost armored close range units are much more efficient than shield users with high range. For example Pillager is outstanding in terms of combat balance. I have tried thousands of Odissey variants in simulations but none of them was as much effective. When we are talking about 1 on 1 it is ok, the long ranged unit has a chance. But in real it loose all advantage in speed and range while having more enemies. So all speed glass cannon designs have bad performance.

Exactly! If armored close range units outnumber shielded long range units, there is an actual fight instead of a kiting to victory scenario where numbers don't even matter. Numbers should always matter here.

(Btw kiting glass cannons are always super OP in the players hands and cause the game to be much easier for skilled pilots. The AI can't compare to a skilled pilot. So in that sense to increase the difficulty while keeping a larger variety of viable ships- this is intended- at least in part)

But!- that being said... remember that escort mentality I was talking about? Try equipping some speedier ships with flux free weapons and defense mods, then have those escort those glass cannons. Suddenly I think you will find that they perform much better when they dart in- unleash hell- then safely retreat behind their escorts.

At the end of the day, imo, part of this comes down to not making this information apparent and available upfront. After this release, I will update the tactics manual with more detail while I fix the inevitable bugs that will crop up.

Quote
Usually, these guys put on either unstable injector or safety override which boosts speed massively, more intense than vanilla. I also advise you to put on an unstable injector yourself. Once tab, the ship will rotate to fight back unless you order them direct retreat.

This mod installed gives from 20/25 boost speed, while no flux gives 80, so it didn't help. Also the direction of the ship does not affect the speed, even they face the enemy the speed they go to the edge of the map stays the same. Usually they rotate facing the enemy because of the weapons installed. The ship without weapon will not rotate.

If unstable injector made the carriers able to kite, it would be a "must have" hullmod for them. It is already very attractive since the reduction in weapon range typically doesn't impact carriers much. If the reduced vulnerability to engines is still a thing (I think it is iirc, but not sure) then that is something that would affect them. Otherwise? The only thing competing with that hullmod would be better strike craft. (At a first glance)

*EDIT*

Forgot this one:

Quote
According to the balance, I don't think it is bad when destroyer base carrier can kite cruiser. Or cruiser kite battelship it seems logical.

It is definitely logical, I agree. The problem for me, is that then masses of cruiser-sized carriers annihilate battleships because they can infinitely kite without retribution of any kind- even in a fleet scenario. In the mod, if a commander knows what is going on they can actually chase down and kill the carriers piecemeal- or in the best case scenario all at once. Unless, that is, the carriers have escorts to provide a screen to the carriers and delay the assault push long enough for the strikes to weaken the battleship.

The high zero flux boost makes this possible. It allows for assault ships to reinforce an area of the battle map in a short amount of time and fill the gaps of the combat line. In vanilla, it makes it possible for the player to catch most ships depending upon size (since most AI ships use weapons- which in turn costs flux- so AI ships are constantly slowed down - even carriers since they engage fighters which negates the zero flux boost) but here it allows for diverse tactical combinations where assault ships are fast, tanky, and provide pressure. Strike vessels are fast until they strike with huge damage- then vulnerable without escorts. Carriers are slow, typically weak in defense, but can strike or provide anti-strike or assault support (so really all roles) from really, really far away.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have observed another strange thing weather this is intended. The number of fleets in an invasion seems to exceed the initial report prediction. I found that, at the destination of invasion that predict to have 3 fleets, it's turn out to be 7 fleets which more than double the number.

I'm able to loot 100 Spark Fighters from 3 big Remnant fleets I think the drop rate might be a bit silly here. Also, an evident how OP their fighter capacity is.

Might be fixed already since I've removed Nex config duplicates. Not 100% sure.

*EDIT*

Re: Spark drop rate: Thanks! That is a little extreme. Due to the strike-craft-heavy nature of the mod, they need access to a large amount of them. But the drop rate should definitely be reduced. I'll try and squeeze that in.

Quote
Also, my save file.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=107Yk0T2HYceKBou2cBcUotpMfxMdg94D

Mods
- Archean Order
- Nexerelin + LazyzLib
- Active Gates
- Resist Inspections
- SpeedUp

Quick Description: I have a lot of gates activated for convenience. One directly in Jahannam Where the high danger sector situated, this save will start off here. All my stuff is stored on Surganna planet in Karkara which also has a gate. Trantor, another settlement, also has a gate as well as multiple places in the core sector but not all of them.

Thanks! Won't be tonight, but I'll take a look to see if I can get additional insight for the release after this one! I appreciate the effort you have taken here!

Quote
You should check out Directorship Headquarters with 7 industries.

Already fixed for the release.  :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 12:35:30 AM by Morrokain »
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Frod

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Thank you for detailed answer.

If you don't mind I will coment just one part right now.

Quote
Exactly! If armored close range units outnumber shielded long range units, there is an actual fight instead of a kiting to victory scenario where numbers don't even matter. Numbers should always matter here.

(Btw kiting glass cannons are always super OP in the players hands and cause the game to be much easier for skilled pilots. The AI can't compare to a skilled pilot. So in that sense to increase the difficulty while keeping a larger variety of viable ships- this is intended- at least in part)

But!- that being said... remember that escort mentality I was talking about? Try equipping some speedier ships with flux free weapons and defense mods, then have those escort those glass cannons. Suddenly I think you will find that they perform much better when they dart in- unleash hell- then safely retreat behind their escorts.

So if we are talking about large numbers. The maximum number you can have is 30 ships + probably not all of them will perfom in battle. And right now fitting a fast and long range vessel is not vitable at all. There is no need in it. It will occupie a slot of an armored close range/more damage unit, wich will perform better in every situation. Also according to the flux free weapons. There are too many of them wich perform better than flux cost one, with the difference like 100 range or 1 point of ordnance, with comparable dmg/sec, this seems strange a little. Also all energy type flux free has 100% type damage to everything. For example compare small size heavy blaster with heavy pulse. Heavy pulse is better in everything though costs less. Actually for myself I have found no better weapon for small energy. Heavy pulse in every slot + void driver for point defence.What is the point in range if we are talking about mass fight. So as I noticed the most long range cannons either have very little damage like beams, (by the way I have found no use of them) or have a very big flux cost / ordnance cost and really good dmg. The second option is OK, because you can have a ship wich deals massive damage from afar guarded by allies. Usually it generates flux more than he can dissipate. I found a good use of them. But what is the point of so called support ships and weapons? wich have big range / flux cost / and not a big dmg compared to everything. In vanilla game you can use a pack of same vessel to kite enemy pack. Here because we can't kite is there any point in such weapon? I mean if we assume that we have a limit of 30 ships and for example that we also have a limited amount of money (so this 30 won't be all capital) Is there a place for a fast long range ship taking in to consideration it will replace someone.
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Frod

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It is definitely logical, I agree. The problem for me, is that then masses of cruiser-sized carriers annihilate battleships because they can infinitely kite without retribution of any kind- even in a fleet scenario. In the mod, if a commander knows what is going on they can actually chase down and kill the carriers piecemeal- or in the best case scenario all at once. Unless, that is, the carriers have escorts to provide a screen to the carriers and delay the assault push long enough for the strikes to weaken the battleship.


I need to notice if we are talking about kite - player can. But AI can't. The map has borders here. Even the player will have to retreat maybe dealing some losses to the battleships. Is it bad btw? Also I haven't found carriers deal sugnifficant damage espessially to heavy ships. There are too few efficent bombers especcialy low/mid grade. Plenty of good gunships and interceptors -+ yes, they can deal with small ships but with large one it is more like suppressive fire generating flux to the enemy. Torbedo bombers peformance is quite strange, they shoot torpedo from a distance closer than point defence work. And if it is pirate crafts for example sometime they can't even shot their torpedo dying earlier. We have a lot slots to fill with PD. So even if assume that we will remove the bonus of speed there is no way the cruiser/destroyer carrier fitted by you, will destroy the capital ship also fitted by you. It is my experience of course.

What I mean right now I can't see stone paper scissor system. To simplify armored/slow beats fast close range, but loose to long range / medium speed. While the last loose to the second. And if we are talking about fleet composition ideally if every ship has some role and value. So for example a well balanced fleet made by you can beat the same fleet consisting of one type ship also made by you if we assume both fleets have the same value and cost of equipment in total. If it is so it is great.
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Morrokain

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Thank you for detailed answer.

If you don't mind I will coment just one part right now.

I appreciate the dialogue.  :)

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Exactly! If armored close range units outnumber shielded long range units, there is an actual fight instead of a kiting to victory scenario where numbers don't even matter. Numbers should always matter here.

(Btw kiting glass cannons are always super OP in the players hands and cause the game to be much easier for skilled pilots. The AI can't compare to a skilled pilot. So in that sense to increase the difficulty while keeping a larger variety of viable ships- this is intended- at least in part)

But!- that being said... remember that escort mentality I was talking about? Try equipping some speedier ships with flux free weapons and defense mods, then have those escort those glass cannons. Suddenly I think you will find that they perform much better when they dart in- unleash hell- then safely retreat behind their escorts.

So if we are talking about large numbers. The maximum number you can have is 30 ships + probably not all of them will perfom in battle.

I think the fleet size of enemies might change as a minor caveat to this, but large numbers in battles will likely still be desirable and so I appreciate that the player has limited numbers to work with. Definitely a good point.

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And right now fitting a fast and long range vessel is not vitable at all. There is no need in it. It will occupie a slot of an armored close range/more damage unit, wich will perform better in every situation. Also according to the flux free weapons. There are too many of them wich perform better than flux cost one, with the difference like 100 range or 1 point of ordnance, with comparable dmg/sec, this seems strange a little. Also all energy type flux free has 100% type damage to everything. For example compare small size heavy blaster with heavy pulse. Heavy pulse is better in everything though costs less. Actually for myself I have found no better weapon for small energy. Heavy pulse in every slot + void driver for point defence.What is the point in range if we are talking about mass fight. So as I noticed the most long range cannons either have very little damage like beams, (by the way I have found no use of them) or have a very big flux cost / ordnance cost and really good dmg. The second option is OK, because you can have a ship wich deals massive damage from afar guarded by allies. Usually it generates flux more than he can dissipate. I found a good use of them. But what is the point of so called support ships and weapons? wich have big range / flux cost / and not a big dmg compared to everything. In vanilla game you can use a pack of same vessel to kite enemy pack. Here because we can't kite is there any point in such weapon? I mean if we assume that we have a limit of 30 ships and for example that we also have a limited amount of money (so this 30 won't be all capital) Is there a place for a fast long range ship taking in to consideration it will replace someone.

This answer is awesome! I want to get more feedback on specifics, if you don't mind, (I know I ask a lot of questions but in my mind I want to better understand the mindset going in and the specifics of the problem gives me more details/things to work on/adjust) so in this case:

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[long range vessels] will occupie a slot of an armored close range/more damage unit, wich will perform better in every situation.

If you look at the cost effectiveness of combat deployment: screen + support + strike is far more cost efficient than any one of the same categories of units massed because of the synergy between the tactics of each type of unit. So in that sense, if you feel that assault ships are more cost efficient in large numbers, why do you feel this way? This is not intended to be sure, but specifics will help me make changes. Sure, they are faster and deal continuous damage- but they can't spike damage like strike vessels- which don't sacrifice as much health as fire support vessels to do massive damage all at once and have a larger window to retreat behind better defended vessels. The upfront spike can mean the difference between retreating effectively and regaining shields or, well- not. That is kind of a big difference when assault ships trying to close and do the same thing won't deal the damage as quickly- and so can't perform the same role.

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with the difference like 100 range or 1 point of ordnance, with comparable dmg/sec, this seems strange a little.

I'll look at this, thanks! Do you have examples? Are you reading the tooltips correctly to understand the spike damage? It's not always about dmg/sec, for instance. Damage per salvo is important too- due to the above explanation. Blasting all your damage at once is a large benefit.

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For example compare small size heavy blaster with heavy pulse. Heavy pulse is better in everything though costs less.
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What is the point in range if we are talking about mass fight.

Well, Heavy Pulse Cannon seems better at efficiency and has a lot longer range, but Heavy Blaster has better strike damage but shorter range. These two comments seem to contradict one another based upon your description, so could you clarify? I'm having a bit of trouble understanding what you mean, sorry!

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But what is the point of so called support ships and weapons? wich have big range / flux cost / and not a big dmg compared to everything.

Their range is key. If supported, they contribute damage without any risk. Unsupported, they are subpar. Even on a large map with huge numbers, force concentration is limited to ship collision size and weapon range. The fire support ships (especially missiles) can add extra force concentration with smaller spacial considerations. That is the benefit they bring.

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Here because we can't kite is there any point in such weapon? I mean if we assume that we have a limit of 30 ships and for example that we also have a limited amount of money (so this 30 won't be all capital) Is there a place for a fast long range ship taking in to consideration it will replace someone.

I hope so! It is about fleet synergy increasing cost effectiveness though, rather than any one type of vessel feeling too powerful.

I need to notice if we are talking about kite - player can. But AI can't.

Agreed, at least not as well- though some! I want to remove this from being possible in favor of diverse tactics due to fleet synergy. It's not that I want flying a ship personally to be less important rather than reducing the impact of what I consider OP player strategies that are too attractive and provide too much power creep over other options.

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Also I haven't found carriers deal sugnifficant damage espessially to heavy ships. There are too few efficent bombers especcialy low/mid grade. Plenty of good gunships and interceptors -+ yes, they can deal with small ships but with large one it is more like suppressive fire generating flux to the enemy. Torbedo bombers peformance is quite strange, they shoot torpedo from a distance closer than point defence work. And if it is pirate crafts for example sometime they can't even shot their torpedo dying earlier. We have a lot slots to fill with PD. So even if assume that we will remove the bonus of speed there is no way the cruiser/destroyer carrier fitted by you, will destroy the capital ship also fitted by you. It is my experience of course.

Nice details! This will help and I will reference this later. I already have some changes for bombers in the update, but this detail is great.  :)

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What I mean right now I can't see stone paper scissor system.
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To simplify armored/slow beats fast close range, but loose to long range / medium speed. While the last loose to the second.

The first quote makes me want to know why you feel this way.
The second quote sort of indicates a rock-paper-scissors aspect, and so I'm a little confused.

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So for example a well balanced fleet made by you can beat the same fleet consisting of one type ship also made by you if we assume both fleets have the same value and cost of equipment in total. If it is so it is great.

That's the goal at least.
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Morrokain

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Still hoping for late tonight-early morning tomorrow, but we'll see.

Nope. Going to need to look at a few more things. Lots of changes have been made:

Spoiler
Campaign Content Additions and Balance Changes
-------------

 - Overall Campaign Changes:
-------------
    - Revamped most new factions colonies to better follow industry count rules per colony size and size standards within vanilla factions.
    - Reworked mod economy to be more even in market share and resource spread between factions (in general) while hopefully still nurturing trade opportunities for the player through the simulation environment.
   -NEX Changes
      - Adjusted vanilla factions' starting relationships, diplomacy chance, and max relationships for all new factions.
      - Adjusted some extremes within new factions' starting relations and diplomacy chances. (Trying to stick to lore intentions here, but still learning Nex to a large degree. A first pass.)
      - Added base raiding behavior and increased invasion power of Adamantine Consortium. (should have no allies and needs this to remain a threat to the player/sector is the idea, but feedback welcome)
                - Removed pirate behavior features for Nex with Adamantine Consortium and reduced colonization chance overall. (Still happens occasionally)

 --- Colony Changes:
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    - Reduced Archean Order colony size for several colonies.
    - Removed Orbital Station from Xolydunne so it can be more easily raided.
    - Reduced the resource deposit quality for Ilyss and Arkmaros in some areas.
    - Reduced industry counts on many Adamantine Consortium colonies.
    - Added remote Luddic Church colony with refining, heavy industry and an additional military base with a large hazard rating.
    - Added two additional Sci-Corps colonies to better separate out industries and resources.
    - Removed Orbital Station from Yama and reduced the station at Nachiketa to an Orbital Station (down from a Battlestation).
    - Added Fuel Production and High Command to Gilead (based in the star fortress instead of the surface from a lore perspective)
    - Added Orbital Works to Tartesseus (again not on the surface- see above).
    - Increased size of Traveler's Triumph Station to 5 and added Heavy Industry.
    - Upgraded Traveler's Triumph Station to a Battlestation (up from an Orbital Station).
    - Removed Orbital Station from Salamanca to allow more raiding opportunities there.
    - Changed Kazeron's Military Base to a High Command.
    - Added a standard independent orbital station to Derinkuyu Mining Station to add to its defenses.
    - Removed patrol hq from Yesod and Ilm.
    - Changed ground defenses to heavy batteries on Yesod. Reduced heavy batteries to ground defenses on Mazalot.

 --- Fleet Composition Changes:
-------------
    - Reduced number of dedicated carriers in Hegemony fleets. (partly for vanilla lore adherence and also to create more faction variety in battle tactics between factions)

-----

Combat Balance Changes
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 - Reduced sustained DPS of Micro Repeater and Dual Micro Repeater.
 - Revamped ballistic weapon FX under these principles:
   - Yellow-Orange-Red color indication of assault-heavy assault-strike weaponry.
   - Bullet size now scales by tier to facilitate an intuitive learning of combat threats to armor and better teach a player when to raise shields.
 - Doubled cooldown of Phase Teleporter.
 - Added weapon slots and increased OP (if necessary) to most civillian ships to help prevent them from being overly vulnerable against fighters and missiles during retreat battles.
 - Added additional weapon slots and increased OP of some pirate and luddic conversion vessels (they are too weak).
 - Added a rear-facing small weapon to the Valkyrie and Valkyrie MkII to help give minor protection to its engines against interdiction-class missiles and upgraded the Valkyrie's central missile weapon size to medium to better combat fighters.
 - Added a built-in beam range increase to the Onslaught XIV hull to support it's built in foward weapons. (The AI uses them as a cost effective alternative more often now - even when equipping Devastators)
 - Added 3 additional small weapons (rear-facing) to Buffalo MkII and reworked variants for better synergy in attack builds.
 - Reduced per shot damage of Excaliber Cannon and Apocalypse Cannon line of weapons. Increased recharge/fire rate for those as well.
 - Made some ballistic weapons Energy damage instead of High Explosive damage.
 - Increased Revenant, Paragon and Megalith armor.
 - Increased Megalith dissipation. (And deployment cost)
 - Decreased Revenant max flux and dissipation.
 - Increased armor and hullpoints for:
    - Pirate Atlas and Prometheus conversions
 - Rebalanced high tier vessel deployment costs. (FP cost slightly adjusted in a couple cases but mostly the same from before)
 - Increased speed of missile projectiles from bombers.
 - Increased attack range for missile projectile bombers.
 - Reduced hitpoints of missile projectiles changed above.
 - Reduced speed of phase orbs from Phantom bombers. Reduced their hit points. Doubled their turn rate.
 - Increased flight time of Hivemind orbs.
-----


Bug Fixes
-------------
 - Updated Salvage Rig and Ox sprites and hullmods. (That slipped through the cracks apparently between my update from .8 and .9)
 - Fixed another rare yet likely possible occurance of the Hegemony Legion not being found while starting a new campaign and causing a crash. (I never encountered a crash, but I caught an outlier in the faction file that used the old id)
 - Fixed the cost of a couple buffalo variants.
 - Fixed some of the buffalo variants' weapon mounts. (they were supposed to be ballistic)
 - Corrected tech name and font color of the XIV Battlegroup vessels.
 - Added tech type to drones.
 - Removed Light Ion Cannon as a base blueprint in favor of it as a Sci-Corps weapon.
 - Removed duplicate industries and diplomacy traits for vanilla factions when running the TC with Nex.
 - Doubled turn rate of Hivemind Orb and Phase Orb to help prevent timeout from maneuverable targets which may cause friendly fire.
-----


Misc
-------------
 - Reduced sound of Micro Repeater and Dual Micro Repeater.
 - Reduced bullet size of Micro Repeater and Dual Micro Repeater.
 - Removed override behavior of the mod on fighter wings, ships, ship systems, and weapons.
 - Reworked the pirate falcon sprite.
 - Removed all non-essential sprites from the graphics folder. (May improve load performance as lots of duplicates from vanilla were kept there as a refence when spriting)
 - Cleaned up a few more descriptions and encounter flavor dialogue. (I try to do this as often as I can but I always find more typos and awkard wording. I'll keep trying to clean this up as I go and as I notice things)
 - Updated descriptions based upon market changes in the campaign.
-----
[close]
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DatonKallandor

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Something to keep in mind: When talking about "fast" ships, that means it needs to have an active speed boost and a loadout that lets it keep the speed boost active. The moment you try to build a long range fast ship and your long range weapons are strike weapons, you're not going to have a fast ship anymore. You can absolutely make a ship like that, and it will absolutely be able to kite (because it's long range weapons will disable the speed boost on the opponent, giving it a massive speed advantage) but you have to be very careful with the weapons you use.

Your heavy pulse vs heavy blaster comparison, for example: The heavy pulse cannon has 0 flux cost, so it's great for builds that want to preserve the speed boost. But it also has much lower per-shot damage, making it extremely bad against armor. And generally armor is an even bigger deal in this than it is in vanilla (and it's already a huge deal in vanilla). It's also got much worse burst damage. Blaster is also much better on an SO ship, due to inherently shorter range and flux cost.

Weapons in AO are a lot more complicated than in base Starsector. Even ship types are - because of the speed boost almost all the ship sizes move at very similar speeds out of combat and it's their role (carrier, line ship, PD frigate), the loadout (0 flux, strike or a mix) and the pressure of being in a fight that's the source of the mobility differences. For example in regular Starsector a smaller ship can flank during an engagement, just because being smaller means it's inherently faster. That doesn't really work here anymore.
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