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Author Topic: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses  (Read 7777 times)

pairedeciseaux

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"Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:47 AM »

[This is a rambling about player/officer skills, combat readiness, and player's awareness of some mechanics. At the end of this post I have made a few naming/UI tweak suggestions. Please note I am not a native speaker, so some of the issues I point below may be due to misunderstanding on my part.]

Reading a recent discussion about officer skills [1], I learned something I had completely overlooked (or forgotten?) about the "Combat Endurance" skill and the bonuses/penalties related to the combat readiness of a ship.

I guess one general issue for me is: Starsector has so much depth, it's easy to miss important information.

First let me say that in my mind the meaning of "Combat Endurance" is "ability to stay longer in combat". Let's check the in-game description:

Quote
   Through experience and planning, a seasoned officer has the ability to extend the effective warfighting time of ship and crew during the extreme conditions of combat deployment.

Sounds about right. Right?

Also I am aware that a ship at low CR has degraded performance. As a player you get several notifications and other visual elements that tells you this. So every Starsector player is fully aware of this, right?

Having said that, ships at low CR is not that common in my fleets. Basicilly low CR is a non issue for me and thus for a long time I would almost never use CR increasing skills. I only started using level 3 Fleet Logistics recently after increasing the player level cap, but I would usually get it after level 40 because I would consider that low priority. And I would not even consider using Combat Endurance.

A minor issue for me is: the current player level 40 cap in version 0.8.1 is kind of low. The level 50 cap for version 0.9 sounds like a nice improvement [2] ! Sure, having the player choose some skills and bypass other skills - rather than take it all - is OK.

Now let's have a closer look at those skills.

Level 1 Combat Endurance is "+25% peak operating time" -> indeed, ship can stay longer in combat

Level 2 Combat Endurance is "-50% chance of malfunctions when at low combat readiness" -> does not affect operating time, reduces one specific penalty when at low CR, so I would argue we are not really talking about endurance anymore, it's more about ship's reliability, in other words the ship gets less degraded performance

Level 3 Combat Endurance (and Fleet Logistics) is "+15% maximum combat readiness" -> sounds like "can stay longer in combat" again, because if CR starts at a higher value, it takes longer to get low, right ? ... but here comes the magic stuff ... when CR is higher than 70% (which now becomes possible using these skills), the ship gets many bonuses, in other words the ship has increased performance

The part I had overlooked for so long is: "high CR" = bonuses. Information was there in the game. And now I see it was explained in a 2013 blog post [3] and in the "Combat readiness" article on the wiki [4].

These are the main issues for me:
  • Looking at the skills I was lead to think that having Combat Endurance and increasing CR would only translate into "ship can stay longer in combat"
  • In several places in the game - especially battles - the fact that a ship currently has CR bonuses applied is not visible enough.

Suggestions for Combat Endurance:
  • rename "Combat Endurance" skill to "Combat Peak Performance"
  • change skill description to "Through experience and planning, a seasoned officer has the ability to increase the effective warfighting time and performance of ship and crew during the extreme conditions of combat deployment." (replace "extend" by "increase", add "and performance")
  • change the level 3 description to "+15% maximum combat readiness, will increase ship performance while CR is highier than 70%"

Suggestions for Fleet Logistics:
  • change skill description to "Making sure supplies and other materiel get where they need to be is not a glorious task. It is, however, critical - in dealing with emergencies, ensuring smooth day-to-day operations, and ultimately increasing fleet performance." (remove "both", adjust "and" and comma, add "and ultimately increasing fleet performance")
  • change the level 3 description to "+15% maximum combat readiness, will increase ship performance while CR is highier than 70%"

Misc suggestions:
  • add a tip on the main menu screen with a message like "Combat readiness of a ship affects its performance and reliability in combat : more than 70% means increased performance, between 50% and %70% means normal performance, less than 50% means degraded performance and reliability issues."
  • any place CR is displayed during battle, have an obvious visual element that tells the player what's the current status: either increased performance (>70%), normal performance (50% to 70%), or degraded performance (<50%) - this is already visible for the player ship, but not other ships

Anyway, I will certainly consider level 3 Fleet Logistics and to a certain degree level 3 Combat Endurance high priority skills now.  ;D


[1] http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=13739.0
[2] http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=13445.0
[3] http://fractalsoftworks.com/2013/02/19/combat-readiness/
[4] http://starsector.wikia.com/wiki/Combat_readiness
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Megas

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 06:21:00 AM »

The bonuses for CR higher 70% are gravy.  With cowardly AI, the most important part of very high CR is being able to "stay longer in combat".  In some match-ups, outlasting the enemy with less peak performance than you is the only or safest way to win.  Another benefit of high CR is for blood knights being able to chain-battle more (provided they do not need to outlast enemy in a stalling war).

Combat Endurance 2 is junk.  Ideally, your ships should be off the field before CR decays too much.  If CR gets low due to decay, then it is not long before CR hits zero and this merely delays the inevitable.  If you need to deploy low CR ships, that one skill in Industry that halves malfunction floors (Safety Procedures 2, I think) is probably more useful, and works for the whole fleet.

Combat Endurance 3 is a nice perk to have, but with not enough skill points (and gated behind a junk perk in level 2), I do not get that perk for my character.  I would rather get more Officer Management, have those two officers get Combat Endurance 3, then swap to either of their ships if I really want to squeeze out more peak performance time via CR.

Fleet Logistics 3 is perhaps the #3 perk in the whole game (and all of Fleet Logistics perks are good).  #2 is Loadout Design 3 (fleetwide and so good that paying the one or two junk perk toll gate is worth it for all characters), and #1 is Electronic Warfare 1.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 06:27:22 AM by Megas »
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Alex

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 09:28:45 AM »

The part I had overlooked for so long is: "high CR" = bonuses. Information was there in the game.

Hey! Just want to say thank you for the suggestion; in particular this part is a valuable insight. Let me make a note about this; too much other stuff going on right now to even take a little detour, but I'll definitely keep this in mind as "a thing that needs to be mentioned somewhere more prominent". I guess on the bright side, the bonuses are fairly minor, so you're not missing a critical component of the gameplay.
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 08:25:41 PM »

CR is an awful system. It literally punishes you for playing the game. Would make it a lot better to remove combat readiness degradation and have it be a flat decrease after the fight. The fun part of this game is usualy the big epic fights....cant really have those anymore thanks to this system. CR degredation makes sense with the phase ships because they are a hit and run ship for harassing smaller fleets...not dragged out fights but CR degredation is absurd against the player. You can win a fight because you have more CR but in the end you have like 5% CR left or something and the next npc fleet roles in to ruin you. In the WORSE case after taking all your CR for the big fun fights you have to sit around and seat spin until it goes back to tolerable levels. Point is it is not fun, it is not intuitive, it punishes the player more then any of the NPC's who dont have to work for their fleets and it wastes players *** times. Would be cool if there were other commanders that used a better version of CR that grind their own fleets too like is Space Pirates and Zombies 2 but alas it is just there to mostly ruin the players experience.
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Thaago

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 08:34:55 PM »

CR is a great system. It literally rewards you for playing the game aggressively. Would make it a lot better to remove fights that take hours of player time and are just exploiting kiting...

Seriously though, peak performance time is not an issue once you start playing with it in mind. It does alter gameplay but so does every other stat on a ship.
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2018, 09:43:16 PM »

Buddy I play the game a lot. I would rather have no peak performance and remove or heavily limit the CR system
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Megas

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 08:25:14 AM »

First CR implementation in 0.6 was an abomination.

It became tolerable when ballistics became unlimited (among other tweaks).

In 0.8, it is a real annoyance due to AI stalling, acting like they have unlimited CR.  It is one step above Timid officer AI.  I do not use frigates and most destroyers in endgame fights because they do not have enough PPT to hang in as long as it takes to take down the cowardly AI.  Carriers and their fighters take the role of frigates, and Falcons take the role of destroyers.
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2018, 08:41:46 AM »

Frigates would offer good cover and distraction if there was not CR at all. Just ruines the game by making you wait around or run from a fight because "OOPS Your CR is degrading from your lazy pilots they need a breather". It is nonsense how much damage this cr system is. Would make sense for carrier and damaged ships but, like the government, it is putting its paws into things it has no reason being in.
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Nawyria

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2018, 03:54:51 AM »

Frigates would offer good cover and distraction if there was not CR at all. Just ruines the game by making you wait around or run from a fight because "OOPS Your CR is degrading from your lazy pilots they need a breather". It is nonsense how much damage this cr system is. Would make sense for carrier and damaged ships but, like the government, it is putting its paws into things it has no reason being in.

I think there's some very good merits to Combat Readiness that you're not seeing there. Having to think about combat readiness creates some strategic depth and fun.

  • If you're looking to do some major fighting in a system, it incentivizes you to stagger your engagements. When fighting one fleet, you're forced to think about what's going to happen after - how will degraded performance affect a second encounter? Do I have enough time to recover before getting into another fight.
  • By having your ships cost supplies to deploy (even if they don't take damage), there's a cost-benefit analysis that goes into every engagement. If only damage (and not combat time) had a supply tax, you could probably make a tidy profit picking on targets much weaker than yourself and overpower them. Having CR in the game means the player has a profit incentive to pick on targets your own size and to deploy the minimal amount of ships needed to win the battle. For me, this makes the game a lot more fun: I can happily ignore all the little fleets running away from me without feeling I'm losing out. Fighting them probably costs more money in supplies than I'll get in loot.
  • It creates some very cool niches for high-tech frigates. If you've won a battle and some enemy ships are retreating, chances are your slow hog of an Eagle can't catch up to enough of them to make the CR investment worth it. A well-piloted Wolf, Afflictor or Hyperion, however, can single-handedly dismember a whole retreating fleet without costing too much.
  • It interacts nicely with environmental hazards. Spending time in a corona, magnetic storm or hyperspace storm doesn't just cost you in the purse, it also makes flying around a little bit more dangerous.
  • It makes the Emergency Burn ability interesting. If there was no degradation to CR when using it, there's no reason not to use at every possible instance. Not much of an 'Emergency', then, is it?

You could argue that the system could use some tweaking, especially when it comes to the low Peak Operating Time of Frigates and the A.I.'s current cowardly behaviour. But to say that the system is just flat out bad in every possible way is simply indefensible.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 03:57:28 AM by Nawyria »
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Cosmitz

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2018, 03:32:46 AM »

The part I had overlooked for so long is: "high CR" = bonuses. Information was there in the game.

Hey! Just want to say thank you for the suggestion; in particular this part is a valuable insight. Let me make a note about this; too much other stuff going on right now to even take a little detour, but I'll definitely keep this in mind as "a thing that needs to be mentioned somewhere more prominent". I guess on the bright side, the bonuses are fairly minor, so you're not missing a critical component of the gameplay.

To be ultra fair, the only real reason i fully understand CR is because i played through it's introduction and know how ridiculous it is to have a 100% CR ship. The breakpoints and bonuses should be spelled out a bit better/more. But talking about other mechanics...now Electronic Warfare.. that's a hidden jewel.
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 04:16:55 PM »

Frigates would offer good cover and distraction if there was not CR at all. Just ruines the game by making you wait around or run from a fight because "OOPS Your CR is degrading from your lazy pilots they need a breather". It is nonsense how much damage this cr system is. Would make sense for carrier and damaged ships but, like the government, it is putting its paws into things it has no reason being in.

I think there's some very good merits to Combat Readiness that you're not seeing there. Having to think about combat readiness creates some strategic depth and fun.

  • If you're looking to do some major fighting in a system, it incentivizes you to stagger your engagements. When fighting one fleet, you're forced to think about what's going to happen after - how will degraded performance affect a second encounter? Do I have enough time to recover before getting into another fight.
  • By having your ships cost supplies to deploy (even if they don't take damage), there's a cost-benefit analysis that goes into every engagement. If only damage (and not combat time) had a supply tax, you could probably make a tidy profit picking on targets much weaker than yourself and overpower them. Having CR in the game means the player has a profit incentive to pick on targets your own size and to deploy the minimal amount of ships needed to win the battle. For me, this makes the game a lot more fun: I can happily ignore all the little fleets running away from me without feeling I'm losing out. Fighting them probably costs more money in supplies than I'll get in loot.
  • It creates some very cool niches for high-tech frigates. If you've won a battle and some enemy ships are retreating, chances are your slow hog of an Eagle can't catch up to enough of them to make the CR investment worth it. A well-piloted Wolf, Afflictor or Hyperion, however, can single-handedly dismember a whole retreating fleet without costing too much.
  • It interacts nicely with environmental hazards. Spending time in a corona, magnetic storm or hyperspace storm doesn't just cost you in the purse, it also makes flying around a little bit more dangerous.
  • It makes the Emergency Burn ability interesting. If there was no degradation to CR when using it, there's no reason not to use at every possible instance. Not much of an 'Emergency', then, is it?

You could argue that the system could use some tweaking, especially when it comes to the low Peak Operating Time of Frigates and the A.I.'s current cowardly behavior. But to say that the system is just flat out bad in every possible way is simply indefensible.

Sorry but it doesnt create ANY good scenario....it just makes me fly in circles until I have enough to fight people. It even taxes your resources too hard...even more then repairs do and that a *** stretch because how does it take more supplies to eat and poop then it does to repair YOUR ENTIRE SHIP. High tech does not take much more but it harms them way more lore wise and practicality wise. Why does something more advanced become less efficient. The Hyperion is completely useless because after like 2 minutes it has to leave and it doesnt even usually carry very much firepower so you can barely have fun in it before its time to pack up and go home to eat dinner. It would be a lot better if CR did not degrade MID FIGHT but instead has the normal amount thats removed after a fight. This doesnt help that the ai barely have to care about thier CR issues as they come by the numbers and their death means nothing to anyone because they usually are replaced fairly quickly meanwhile you are a lone pilot thats now thrown at a disadvantage because it hurts your fleet and your content that much harder. I cant even get to the edges of the map with a good fleet without have about 300k credits and thats not accounting the the Barrage of those STUPID ASS STORM CLOUDS WHICH ARE NOW WORSE AND SLAUGHTER YOUR CR MORE AS THEY SLINGSHOT YOU INTO MORE CLOUDS (reminds me of the avgn scen for superman on commodore 64 where if superman gets hit he flies back). Im sorry but CR is a HUGE problem and only hurts the player 3 times more then the ai. Would help if ike in Space Pirates and Zombies 2 where there s other commanders with their own personalities, growths, struggles and triumphs and even better they have the same type of progression as you. Then then CR would makes a bit more sense but instead here comes about 10 disposable fleets coming at you...warp 9.
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 11:43:56 AM »

YEP I WOULD HAVE BEATEN THIS GIANT ARMY THROUGH SHEER SKILL BUT I AM TOO BUSY LOSING CR MID BATTLE. I am going to keep complaining until this *** system goes away. You are going to have to find another system because this one has failed
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Megas

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 11:52:28 AM »

My last post here was before 0.9 came out, and now that has been released...

CR is generally worse in 0.9 because endgame fleets are bigger than what they were in 0.8, not to mention battlestation fights.  The AI often has about 40 ships in a typical endgame fleet.  (That even includes my own faction's patrols after my colonies grow big enough!  Why can't I have that too!)  And if you are forced to fight in corona or event horizon because a pirate or pather battlestation was built in there, peak performance is even worse.

Also, I recently tried low battle map size to try to speed up gameplay, but the results were not pretty.  Only few ships on both sides, and game played more like Star Control with ship duels than fleet battle, and replacements trickling in like Star Control's SuperMelee.  Peak performance was expiring on cruisers, and I was just fighting normally and not trying to stall!  Now, my endgame fleet's warships are nearly all capitals, plus some Mora and Heron for carriers, and Harbinger for easy cheese kills.

For small ships to be useful late, peak performance needs to be longer across the board, and the player's fleet cap needs to be bigger because I need several big ships to match the enemy fleets when I also need spare fleet slots for logistics ships and possible vacancies for recovered ships.

P.S.  I generally like storms, and when I have a big fleet, I do want to plow through several in a row to zip in the fast line and go where I want to faster.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 12:01:39 PM by Megas »
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Lopunny Zen

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 12:25:54 PM »

I said it on other topic I will say it here because it is a fact. The CR system id a complete failure and gives nothing but frustration to the player. I lost a fight I should have won by pure skill because CR degraded on my ships.

The problem is your colonies never seemt to have the supplies or the income from itself. You hate someone then your economy collapsing does not help. Even more so is your base despite how many cores or industry you have never seem t make fleets worth enough of dealing with the pirate problems themselves so your eco becomes even less. I have a planet with 6 million people and yet they can barely pay for my industries and in tur your colony cant pay for your fleets. When you go hostile on someone you can kiss your chances goodbye because the your eco goes sub zero. I hate to say this but people on a colony would not care that hard about you not liking someone....even more so on a far out isolated colony

Oh btw did I mention the Communist Clouds that rob your CR is bad and why are they littered everywhere...its like the developers know it will cause problems.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 12:28:23 PM by Lopunny Zen »
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Megas

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Re: "Combat Endurance", combat readiness, performance bonuses
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 12:46:06 PM »

Oh btw did I mention the Communist Clouds that rob your CR is bad and why are they littered everywhere...its like the developers know it will cause problems.
By the time I have a big fleet, I have colonies and rich enough that the time saved far outweighs the CR drain, and I can easily afford the CR hit.  Especially if I am rushing to save my colony from a sudden Pirate Activity alert (penalties eat lots of income in a system with multiple colonies) or Pather cell that is no longer disrupted and needs to be stopped for another year before they wreck an industry.

Storms can be annoying earlier if I am not that rich yet and do not have Solar Shielding available, but my pre-endgame fleet is probably small enough that I do not need to deal with them.

It is an improvement over how storms used to be, and in late 0.8, they killed Sustained Burn and practically immobilized AND quickly drained CR from the whole fleet (and Emergency Burn took too long to activate if you were caught with Sustained Burn on).  If I could not get out fast enough, I simply reloaded and try again.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 12:50:57 PM by Megas »
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