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Author Topic: Hammerhead Balance Theories  (Read 4997 times)

Plantissue

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Hammerhead Balance Theories
« on: January 15, 2020, 07:09:23 AM »

The competitors as player piloted ships would be Afflictor, Shade and Harbinger. Not saying that Falcon (P) doesn't need a nerf, but it's hardly the most absurdly powerful and DP efficient player ship.
Don't forget an honorable mention for the Safety override hammerhead! It definitely has much harsher limitations, but when it shines it cleans house.
I do not understand the cult of SO Hammerhead. SO Medusa is better anyways. The phase frigates and Afflictor outmatch the SO Hammerhead in destruction and consistency and safety.


My point is that if there is a way to exploit an advantage, then player will make it work. In the end it all comes back to the simplest  "who has more dakka" question.
Timing matters. Defences matters. And speed. And range. And layout. And every other factor that matters in a fleet game. You cannot boil down the analysis of a ship and its weapons to simply DPS.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 07:26:30 AM by Plantissue »
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Goumindong

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 07:29:15 PM »

I do not understand the cult of SO Hammerhead. SO Medusa is better anyways. The phase frigates and Afflictor outmatch the SO Hammerhead in destruction and consistency and safety.

Ease of acquiring.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 08:30:18 PM »

SO hammerhead is only super good because the assault chaingun is very over-tuned right now. Without that, it is nowhere near as good.
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 09:45:41 PM »

SO hammerhead is only super good because the assault chaingun is very over-tuned right now. Without that, it is nowhere near as good.

AC is fine. AAF is broken. Double dps free of charge. It turns destroyer into heavy cruiser. I think its something rudimental. Leftover from the times of limited ammo. And therefore not affecting dp costs.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2020, 10:14:11 PM »

SO hammerhead is only super good because the assault chaingun is very over-tuned right now. Without that, it is nowhere near as good.

AC is fine. AAF is broken. Double dps free of charge. It turns destroyer into heavy cruiser. I think its something rudimental. Leftover from the times of limited ammo. And therefore not affecting dp costs.

AAF is not left over from the times of limited ammo. A while ago (long after ammo changes) it used to double flux cost as well as damage and the hammerhead was considered a low tier destroyer because it would immediately flux itself out when it activated its system. AAF got buffed to its current state because it was useless for the AI and situational at best for the player. It could probably be a 50% damage boost without being underpowered, but 'heavy cruiser' is a massive overstatement. It's basically 4 medium slots instead of two while the system is activated, which is definitely more light cruiser territory. It also doesn't give the increased range, capacity, and hull/armor of a cruiser so I wouldn't even claim it raises the hammerhead to the level of a light cruiser, but it definitely gives it more firepower than other destroyers.

AC is definitely over-tuned. It has much much better efficiency than any other HE weapon along with an absurd 600 dps: better than any large HE weapon (I think plasma cannon is the only weapon with better hull DPS but that has almost double the flux cost). The only downside is the terrible range, but SO already kills range, so there is no downside on SO ships and a bunch of extra dissipation to handle the high flux cost. It's like a heavy blaster but with good efficiency and better dps. Any SO ship will be way way better with AC than with any other HE weapon.
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 11:00:31 PM »

AAF was indeed buffed because of Hammerhead.
Assault Chaingun buff was bigger than expected. It used to have decent DPS and middling hit strength. Now its hit strength is decent, DPS is excellent (surpassed only by storm needler) and so is the efficiency. I expect it to lose some RoF to put it back to 400 DPS.

Falcon (P) is, I believe, a prize ship, not really playing by normal, though perhaps it isn't rare enough right now. It can either be made rarer, or be less, uh, explosive. Something like making medium turrets missile only and medium hardpoints ballistic only.

Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2020, 11:01:37 PM »

SO hammerhead is only super good because the assault chaingun is very over-tuned right now. Without that, it is nowhere near as good.

AC is fine. AAF is broken. Double dps free of charge. It turns destroyer into heavy cruiser. I think its something rudimental. Leftover from the times of limited ammo. And therefore not affecting dp costs.

AAF is not left over from the times of limited ammo. A while ago (long after ammo changes) it used to double flux cost as well as damage and the hammerhead was considered a low tier destroyer because it would immediately flux itself out when it activated its system. AAF got buffed to its current state because it was useless for the AI and situational at best for the player. It could probably be a 50% damage boost without being underpowered, but 'heavy cruiser' is a massive overstatement. It's basically 4 medium slots instead of two while the system is activated, which is definitely more light cruiser territory. It also doesn't give the increased range, capacity, and hull/armor of a cruiser so I wouldn't even claim it raises the hammerhead to the level of a light cruiser, but it definitely gives it more firepower than other destroyers.

AC is definitely over-tuned. It has much much better efficiency than any other HE weapon along with an absurd 600 dps: better than any large HE weapon (I think plasma cannon is the only weapon with better hull DPS but that has almost double the flux cost). The only downside is the terrible range, but SO already kills range, so there is no downside on SO ships and a bunch of extra dissipation to handle the high flux cost. It's like a heavy blaster but with good efficiency and better dps. Any SO ship will be way way better with AC than with any other HE weapon.

You just said that indeed its a leftover and it was pushed into the new system for no reason apart from keeping already existing assets. First version after infinte ammo was a straighforward balancing attempt (no cheating) and who would guessed that it wouldnt work. Cheating worked because sure it did. Thats all.

No, "heavy cruiser" is not an overstatement. You just forgot 4 small mounts. At the press of the "F" buton railgun's 167 DPS turns into 334. Mark IX has 348.

We dont have any other shipborne HE weapons with 450 range. And yes all weapons are balanced in terms of range/flux. Compare HMG-Arbalest-HAC-HVD-Gauss. Range costs flux. This is exactly why SO gives you double dissipation at the cost of range.

Comparison with the energy weapons should take into account that it can be mounted only on midline and hitech ships and they already have more dissipation without SO. Compare Shrike/Medusa and Enforcer. Thats double dissipation built-in.
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Goumindong

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2020, 11:18:50 PM »

Nah its really the AC buff. ACs were fine before they were buffed and now theyre insane
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 11:27:19 PM »

If AAF decreasing flux usage is cheating, is High Energy Focus, too? Is flux skimmer? I don't think it's a meaningful statement.
What can be said instead is that AAF is an overpowered ship system,  which is something I would necessarily disagree with. It also has to be kept in mind that ship systems should be judged with ships that use them. At the moment, Hammerhead's firepower is disproportionate, if compared to that of Falcon or Eagle, but not so towards other cruisers.

intrinsic_parity

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 11:35:45 PM »


You just said that indeed its a leftover and it was pushed into the new system for no reason apart from keeping already existing assets. First version after infinte ammo was a straighforward balancing attempt (no cheating) and who would guessed that it wouldnt work. Cheating worked because sure it did. Thats all.

I don't know what you mean by 'leftover' but it is not the conventional meaning of the word. A system would be leftover if it was balanced around a previous state of the game, and the rest of the game changed while the system stayed the same. This version of AAF never existed while limited ammo existed so it can't be left over. It's only ever been balanced around infinite ammo. It was implemented because the hammerhead was too weak to compete with other destroyers without it, not for 'no reason'.

Also, calling it 'cheating' is silly. Does the aurora cheat when it doubles its speed? Or does the paragon cheat when it reduces incoming damage by 90%? They are unique ship systems that make the ships more powerful. The ships are balanced around having those special abilities. It is likely that the hammerhead is a bit over tuned and should be balanced, but there is no reason why a ship can't be balanced while also having systems that don't follow the normal rules.

And yes all weapons are balanced in terms of range/flux. Compare HMG-Arbalest-HAC-HVD-Gauss. Range costs flux. This is exactly why SO gives you double dissipation at the cost of range.

This is exactly why AC is too strong in SO loadouts. It already has 450 range so the downside of SO doesn't effect it at all, but the upsides still buff it by a huge amount. AC fits well into the range/flux balance of normal ships, but SO gives it a huge dissipation boost with no range reduction (since SO reduces all weapons range to 450) which breaks the flux/range balance. SO also gives a big speed bonus letting the ship close range much more easily. AC is too strong in SO loadouts, but fine in normal loadouts.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 01:34:13 AM »

*raises hand*

I spent a long time thinking the Hammerhead was a shining example of a well-rounded destroyer design. In hindsight, perhaps a little too good, in that it was basically impossible to mess up with. Then in the last update it had a maintenance cost increase, and IMHO it's no longer an "obvious choice", but just another balanced general purpose destroyer. It has places it works and places it doesn't (admittedly the latter list is still pretty short). I agree that the new Assault Chaingun is a much bigger cause for grief than the Hammerhead ship or AAF system - its current DPS is already highly respectable, and on a Safety Overrides build it's just a beast. Needs an SO caveat if you ask me, just a small one.

In other thoughts...

Arguing that AAF is the equivalent of having twice the number of ballistic weapons is sorta fine... Except that it only gets that for effectively half the time in combat. Less than, in fact: The system has about 6 seconds of active duration and a 10 second cooldown. So (since you want to bring math into this) if you're spamming AAF off cooldown, a Hammerhead has double guns for two fifths of its active combat time. Or, on average 1.4x guns.

One last thing @Lucky33: The Hammerhead isn't the only ship with Accelerated Ammo Feeder as its system. Given your opinion of it so far, what are your thoughts on other ships with AAF?
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Grievous69

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 02:10:19 AM »

If I'm not mistaken AC before had 300 DPS, then Alex buffed it by 100% to what we know today. Maybe a middle ground of 450 DPS would not be broken?
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 02:59:40 AM »

If AAF decreasing flux usage is cheating, is High Energy Focus, too? Is flux skimmer? I don't think it's a meaningful statement.
What can be said instead is that AAF is an overpowered ship system,  which is something I would necessarily disagree with. It also has to be kept in mind that ship systems should be judged with ships that use them. At the moment, Hammerhead's firepower is disproportionate, if compared to that of Falcon or Eagle, but not so towards other cruisers.

Yes. HEF too. Its less pronounced but it still is.

I know nothing about "flux skimmer".

Hammerhead is not a cruiser in the first place. Its a 10 DP destroyer. You shouldnt even be comparing these ships. The fact that you are is doing it provides the best illustration just how broken Hammerhead is.
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Lucky33

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 04:21:07 AM »


You just said that indeed its a leftover and it was pushed into the new system for no reason apart from keeping already existing assets. First version after infinte ammo was a straighforward balancing attempt (no cheating) and who would guessed that it wouldnt work. Cheating worked because sure it did. Thats all.

I don't know what you mean by 'leftover' but it is not the conventional meaning of the word. A system would be leftover if it was balanced around a previous state of the game, and the rest of the game changed while the system stayed the same. This version of AAF never existed while limited ammo existed so it can't be left over. It's only ever been balanced around infinite ammo. It was implemented because the hammerhead was too weak to compete with other destroyers without it, not for 'no reason'.

I never said anything about current version of AAF being in existance in the times of limited ammo. The whole system (doubling the rate of ammo spending) was invented in those times. And it was balanced by the ammo being limited. You can destroy something faster but you cant destroy more than you have ammo. When it became infinite, AAF became a leftover. And the diffrence of the current realization is limited to flux reduction. The very thing that is supposed to balance unlimited ammo.

AAF was introduced in 0.53a.

Also, calling it 'cheating' is silly. Does the aurora cheat when it doubles its speed? Or does the paragon cheat when it reduces incoming damage by 90%? They are unique ship systems that make the ships more powerful. The ships are balanced around having those special abilities. It is likely that the hammerhead is a bit over tuned and should be balanced, but there is no reason why a ship can't be balanced while also having systems that don't follow the normal rules.

Aurora pays for its mobility in DP. Same goes for the Paragon's system. However its more like Paragon trades its FS for its lack of mobility and its DP is a price for the sheer amount of flux and mounts.

Any rule breaking system will only result in inevitable tactical exploitation. You cant balance it. You either follow the rules (by paying the universal price for the given combat capabilities) or you dont. What makes you simply stronger. No amount of blah-blah-blah in the system's description can hide that simple fact.

This is exactly why AC is too strong in SO loadouts. It already has 450 range so the downside of SO doesn't effect it at all, but the upsides still buff it by a huge amount. AC fits well into the range/flux balance of normal ships, but SO gives it a huge dissipation boost with no range reduction (since SO reduces all weapons range to 450) which breaks the flux/range balance. SO also gives a big speed bonus letting the ship close range much more easily. AC is too strong in SO loadouts, but fine in normal loadouts.

SO doesnt buff guns. It only ails them. SO gives you extra dissipation to spend. You can utilize it by mounting more guns. Or by shooting for longer periods of time. AC already gimped to 450 range. By design. SO doesnt make it any stronger. All guns with the range below combat standard have higher dps compared to op costs.

Why it even should be a problem? HB, mounted on the Medusa, can get that extra dissipation without SO. HB has more dps against shield and the same dps against anything with noticable armor.

Generally speaking, AC is the lowtech version of the HB.

Its the AAF what makes a difference.
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SCC

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Re: Hammerhead Balance Theories
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2020, 04:45:45 AM »

I meant the phase skimmer, sorry.
AAF sucked with limited ammo, too. Ballistics were limited by ammo and flux, more so by the latter. It wasn't until it got a discount on flux that it was useful.
AAF doesn't break any rules, because there are no rules saying that a ship system can't be strong, only that ships can't be overly strong. You have a valid point (that a Hammerhead might be too strong), but you are derailing it with an unnecessary claim (that a ship system "cheats", by allowing the ship to do things it normally cannot, which is completely in line with every single ship system in the game).
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 04:55:24 AM by SCC »
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