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Author Topic: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty  (Read 5622 times)

Gennadios

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I've been playing the latest update for about a week now, and overall it's been really fun.

What *hasn't* been really fun is beating back bombardment fleets, and there's a Luddic Path starbase that I haven't been able to crack since I started the game.

The main issue in defending a new colony is having absolutely no help, dealing with one or two deathstacks at once AND having to swallow a 40 DP strength deficit. I don't understand the balancing rationale behind the mechanic, the campaign already has CR and the smaller fleet will already decay in effectiveness and peter out in a battle of attrition. What this mechanic does is make fleet actions take hours and makes the battles supremely boring defensive actions where you camp a corner with your hardened subsystems carriers waiting for the enemy to decay in CR.

Not to mention I see red every time I have to go through 5 fleet battles on the way to the Luddic Path starbase that always has it's own deathstack in orbit, and then having the pleasure of trying to fight a starbase and reinforcements with one Capital and two cruisers.

It's time to rebalance combat deployment. I even came up with an in-game lore reason *handwave*a smaller fleet should be easier to organize and make battle ready than a larger one *handwave*

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intrinsic_parity

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 02:51:23 PM »

You can build space stations and fleet command buildings at your colony that will defend it. You can also join their battles. It's not particularly difficult to set up colonies with strong enough defenses that you can ignore raids entirely.
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Alex

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 03:16:03 PM »

Btw, it sounds like your battle size is set to the lowest value - if you go into settings, under the "gameplay" tab, you can increase it. That's probably most of the trouble, especially as you say in vs-station fights - for .1, those will have more deployment points since they're much tougher at a low setting.
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RedHellion

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 04:05:52 PM »

It's time to rebalance combat deployment. I even came up with an in-game lore reason *handwave*a smaller fleet should be easier to organize and make battle ready than a larger one *handwave*

This proposed change seems counter-intuitive to me. The way it is right now, it's designed to reflect strategic superiority (more and/or bigger ships in one fleet than the other, outnumbering/outgunning the enemy) on the tactical level (being able to have more/bigger ships on the battlefield at once, outnumbering/outgunning the enemy). Having a big fleet to crush your enemies but always being tactically outnumbered/outgunned by a strategically outnumbered enemy seems frustrating for unrealistic reasons.

At most, I could see an argument for just doing away with the DP deficit for outnumbered fleets and relying on having a bigger CR pool as being the only tactical advantage of a larger fleet. But then players aren't as challenged when facing larger enemy fleets, and conversely can't give themselves an advantage against a tough enemy fleet by outnumbering them.
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Gennadios

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 05:41:56 PM »


This proposed change seems counter-intuitive to me. The way it is right now, it's designed to reflect strategic superiority (more and/or bigger ships in one fleet than the other, outnumbering/outgunning the enemy) on the tactical level (being able to have more/bigger ships on the battlefield at once, outnumbering/outgunning the enemy). Having a big fleet to crush your enemies but always being tactically outnumbered/outgunned by a strategically outnumbered enemy seems frustrating for unrealistic reasons.


In the planetary raid context, the enemy's bulked up numbers are a direct result of the numbers of tankers and troop transports they towing. There's no outgunning or any real outnumbering because I don't see the enemy fleets throwing their tankers in in the early waves, it's basically the player fleet versus the enemy fleets combat ships + 60% of any nearby fleets combat ships thanks to the passenger liners and phaetons.

On that topic, planetary defence combats, for me at least, usually lead to one or two combats with the war ships, and then an additional 3-5 combats with tankers and transports that for some reason refuse to withdraw once the war ships are destroyed, which usually translates into 3 all tanker strikeforces retreating as soon as combat starts followed by 2 more combats of them exploding on the field due to low CR while whatever combat worthy ships on my side get sent in to mop up.

I stand by my original assertion that two huge ass fleets with that kind of logistical profile can not be well enough organized to deserve that kind of deployment point boost.

I am willing to compromise and swallow the deployment tax if the pre-combat system gets organized to not count civilian grade hulls in whatever calculation it does.
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xenoargh

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 05:55:29 PM »

I'm inclined to agree that there might be a case there, to some degree; what it sounds like is that, on the defensive, you're having to wallow through lots of non-combat ships.  On the offensive... I always just "let them go", because I'll chase them out of the path of my fleet as I'm homing in on their base.  Usually, with bases, I play a bit of bull-and-matador and use long passes with my fleet to draw defenders away, then do a loop to prevent them from engaging me (or I just do more Bounties and bulk up a bit more, and steam-roller them piecemeal). 

I actually love the longer engagements with non-carrier fleets, and find carrier CR-grinding kind of dull, but I'm not playing Vanilla's balance ATM and the meta's different.
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Zhentar

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2019, 07:32:09 PM »

I have to agree with this: the deployment penalty is not a good game mechanic. It's a snowball mechanic - whichever party is in the better position to win, gets an extra bonus to make extra sure they do win. Except that it's even worse than that, because it literally never benefits the player (when the player's fleet is the larger, the enemy probably doesn't have enough ships to hit the deployment limit regardless, and even if they do the supply cost severely deters the player from trying to levarage it) - so the only effect on the player is that you get punished for having a 30 ship hard cap that does not apply to your opponents at all.
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Megas

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2019, 09:16:54 AM »

Quote
… the enemy probably doesn't have enough ships to hit the deployment limit regardless,
Varies with map size.  At size 500, yes.  But at the low end, 200 is so small that only few big ships can fight at the same time.

However, that is usually made moot because enemy usually tries to flee if player has an advantage.  In which case, auto-resolve them into the ground with your utility ships.
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SCC

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2019, 12:49:00 PM »

I have to agree with this: the deployment penalty is not a good game mechanic. It's a snowball mechanic - whichever party is in the better position to win, gets an extra bonus to make extra sure they do win.
The difference is that the enemy side doesn't have a player piloting one of their ships. Not to mention that the size of fleets is hardly the only factor that wins or loses the battle.

Gennadios

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 12:28:33 AM »

I have to agree with this: the deployment penalty is not a good game mechanic. It's a snowball mechanic - whichever party is in the better position to win, gets an extra bonus to make extra sure they do win.
The difference is that the enemy side doesn't have a player piloting one of their ships. Not to mention that the size of fleets is hardly the only factor that wins or loses the battle.

Having only combat skills to put points in hasn't been a thing since, what? 0.6?

The closest to a combat skill my first and only 0.9 character has is Fighter Doctrine and am usually more than happy setting my Operations Center legion on autopilot and just giving out orders for particularly tricky battles.

 The only time I feel the need to manually control my ship nowadays is the aforementioned defensive fights where my Legion and 2 Moras have to hold off 3 deathstacks solo, and I only do it to make sure the legion stays in it's designated defence corner.

It is technically correct that the player piloting a ship offers a distinct advantage here, but it's still a situation where both the gameplay and the player loses.
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SCC

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 12:39:01 AM »

Having only combat skills to put points in hasn't been a thing since, what? 0.6?
I don't use any combat skills at all (since they buff only my ship and not the entire fleet) and yet I still always fly the most valuable, elite ships I get. AI in this game is good, but the player is still above it.

The only time I feel the need to manually control my ship nowadays is the aforementioned defensive fights where my Legion and 2 Moras have to hold off 3 deathstacks solo, and I only do it to make sure the legion stays in it's designated defence corner.
That's pretty cheesy, isn't it? Though, in such a situation, I'd rather use an Astral, since it's deleting ships even faster.

SapphireSage

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 06:28:57 AM »

While the Deployment point penalty mechanic might be a snowball mechanic that usually only helps the AI, I would argue that the AI could really use it.

Firstly though, the bigger fleet getting more ships in combat makes having a bigger fleet more of a boon by allowing said fleet to leverage its larger numbers tactically which is very important. Otherwise in the tactical sense the bigger fleet would not be able to outnumber the enemy fleet which is a huge behavioral limiter to the AI. If the AI couldn't outnumber my fleet then my ships would have much higher aggression due to local equivalence and could kill faster and safer.

Not to mention that combat wise, the player has a lot of advantages to the AI. Even leaving alone the idea of player piloting/commanding which is better able to take advantage of positioning, tactics, and loadouts the AI couldn't dream of using. The player will likely have much more optimized skills themselves and in their officers, unlike the AI having random skills. The player will likely have a much better setup for their ships as well as their fleet to have stronger advantages in what the player focuses on while covering up any weaknesses while AI fleets will have a minor focus based on doctrine their ship loadouts can sometimes leave something to be desired.

Sure, its annoying when the AI has things like the lack of fleet ship limit, or when they used to E-Burn all the time because they don't have to care about supplies but the deployment limit is one of few things that the AI gets when it comes to the combat where the player has so many more advantages.
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Thaago

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 01:02:10 PM »

I have to agree with this: the deployment penalty is not a good game mechanic. It's a snowball mechanic - whichever party is in the better position to win, gets an extra bonus to make extra sure they do win.
The difference is that the enemy side doesn't have a player piloting one of their ships. Not to mention that the size of fleets is hardly the only factor that wins or loses the battle.

Having only combat skills to put points in hasn't been a thing since, what? 0.6?

The closest to a combat skill my first and only 0.9 character has is Fighter Doctrine and am usually more than happy setting my Operations Center legion on autopilot and just giving out orders for particularly tricky battles.

 The only time I feel the need to manually control my ship nowadays is the aforementioned defensive fights where my Legion and 2 Moras have to hold off 3 deathstacks solo, and I only do it to make sure the legion stays in it's designated defence corner.

It is technically correct that the player piloting a ship offers a distinct advantage here, but it's still a situation where both the gameplay and the player loses.

This is one way to play, but it leaves a lot of potential power on the table. A combat specced played flagship is... I'd say three times more powerful in a single head to head clash, and ten times more powerful in terms of impact to on the battle, than an AI controlled ship.

Having only combat skills to put points in hasn't been a thing since, what? 0.6?
I don't use any combat skills at all (since they buff only my ship and not the entire fleet) and yet I still always fly the most valuable, elite ships I get. AI in this game is good, but the player is still above it.

...

I agree that the player is better, which is why I think that buffing the player ship is more important than many (not all) of the fleet boosting buffs. Loadout design and logistics are still powerful enough to be worth spending points on, but taking a few key combat skills to the correct level makes an incredible difference.
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Zhentar

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 03:41:47 PM »

I have to agree with this: the deployment penalty is not a good game mechanic. It's a snowball mechanic - whichever party is in the better position to win, gets an extra bonus to make extra sure they do win.
The difference is that the enemy side doesn't have a player piloting one of their ships. Not to mention that the size of fleets is hardly the only factor that wins or loses the battle.

I don't disagree! If it were a flat 5:6 ratio, always outnumbering the player by a modest amount (perhaps only for a higher-than-normal difficulty), I'd be quite happy. A scaling ratio that largely serves to add an additional 2:3 ship penalty to only the hardest fights while making the easiest fights even easier makes me rather less happy.
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goduranus

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Re: It's time to do away with the smaller fleet deployment penalty
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 06:38:44 PM »

i’d like the AI fleets get loadout design too. Loadout design, even if it’s only 10% more OP now, it makes a big difference, in an otherwise even fight with a little more OP your ship gain that little bit of flux edge over the opponent every pass, eventually result in your ships winning by grinding the opponent out of flux.

Before the skill system was implemented, I didn’t find myself winning by all that much, and usually lost at least a third of my fleet every time I fought an equally powered force.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2019, 07:04:32 PM by goduranus »
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