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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

Author Topic: Fighter nerf when swarming a target  (Read 1025 times)

PreConceptor

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Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« on: February 29, 2020, 02:22:19 AM »

Idea: potential nerf to fighter spam by either:

> Reducing the damage individual fighters deal/a target receives the more friendly/enemy fighters nearby
and/or
> Increasing the damage fighters receive/a target deals to fighters the more friendly/enemy fighters nearby
alternatively
> Base the penalty/bonus on the number of wings targeting the ship, thus retaining fighter lethality against untargeted close-in enemies

> Fighters not affected by proximity of or targeting by other fighters
> Low initial penalties, ramping fast as space around a target becomes more 'crowded'
> Threshold before fighter penalties start applying lower for smaller ship classes (fighter swarms less effective against frigates/destroyers, they're smaller/more agile so it makes sense for balance and fluff)

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 02:31:24 AM by PreConceptor »
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TaLaR

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2020, 02:32:41 AM »

Starsector design overall avoids ham-fisted mechanics like this, and I'd like to keep it this way. Could do any of: nerf replenishment, nerf individual fighters that stand out too much, rework Expanded Deck Crew  hullmod, buff AoE.
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PreConceptor

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2020, 02:50:45 AM »

Could do any of: nerf replenishment, nerf individual fighters that stand out too much, rework Expanded Deck Crew  hullmod, buff AoE.

Nerf replenishment - just bring more carriers to swarm, or carriers become too easily depleted of effective offense/defense and just sit there for half the fight
Nerf individual fighters - nerf whack-a-mole until they're all useless
Rework expanded deck crew - just bring more carriers to swarm
Buff AoE - any PD that isn't Flak becomes useless

Or - fighter swarms become less effective and easier to sweep down when threatening a target, targeted fighter strikes more desirable, smaller ships less helpless against carriers thus carriers need escorts more often, fighter vs fighter balance maintained, fighters and non-flak PD still effective, carriers still interesting to play
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 02:58:07 AM by PreConceptor »
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Plantissue

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2020, 06:39:02 AM »

I prefer simpler mechanics. As it is the game is default 300 battle size and max battle size without going into game files is 500. If the game can be balanced so the tipping point is out of 500, I view that as positive balance change. The only problem is that this may make fighters seem worse before that point so ideally, you want a flat progression and that's where the difficulty of balancing by changing stats can occur.

The alternastive of introducing the game mechanics you propose is that they need to be communicated and make sense preferably. Why would wepons deal less damage or the fighters receive more damage as there are more friendly fighters nearby? This might work for a tile turn based game, but not for a simulationist real time game. It would create a visual discreptancy.

Fighter spam isn't really that much of a problem for the player as AI fleets do not fighter spam. For the ones that do, the real danger is bomber type fighters, not the heavy fighter/intercetpor type fighters. Mostly, as the player tend to create ships to fight against peer opponents, anti fighter wepons are often neglected which is why I think the fighter threat from AI seem so overblown. That and fighters inherently make ship loss more likely due to damage spikes.
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Linnis

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 11:33:56 AM »

Same thing as Talar said.

But honestly, I don't see fighters needing a nerf. Yes, they are bad in small fleet fights and good in large fleet fights, but that seems pretty normal and a part of the game.

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Schwartz

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2020, 11:45:27 AM »

The other thread touched on this. Before we think about a weird game-y nerf like this, consider that fighters have only received a very cursory balance pass for the new fighters-as-weapons mechanic. They are largely the same as they were before when they were still independent units on the playing field.

There are also ways for the player to prepare against fighter-heavy fleets. Less charge-based PD, less PD in general. More accurate small slots that are effective vs. fighters such as Railgun, IR Pulse, LAG, Tac Laser + Gyros.
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Vind

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2020, 02:09:10 PM »

Vanilla strike craft is fine - modded strike craft however vastly more powerful with little regard to balance most of the time. So the problem is OP strike craft vs poor PD systems which is mostly frag/energy - useless vs fast shielded strike craft most of the mods employ.
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IronBorn

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2020, 07:48:21 PM »

I don't think fighters need nerfs. Would be better to have hard counters to fighter swarms instead. Hull mods that are designed to counter fighters. Some hull mod ideas:

Fighter Jammers: Works like ECCM, and reduces the range fighters can deploy. Larger ship hulls would provide stronger effects, also reducing speed and damage of fighters. Stacked jammers in a fleet would increase the effects.
Coordinated Ops: Allows PD weapon coverage to be shared. This hullmod would allow equipped ship's PD weapons to pass over friendly ships.

Since fighter swarms are more of an issue in large Battle Size games, these hull mods ordnance points could scale with Battle Size. The bigger the Battle Size, the cheaper the Hull Mods. Just an idea.

Also could make PD more effective vs fighters. Lots of PD is fragmentation, which only does 25% vs armor/shields. Could be boosted to 50% vs fighters. Lore would be since fighters get in so close, the weapons are more effective.
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Mordodrukow

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2020, 03:20:38 AM »

Imo, reasonably limited replacements and some AoE improvements will be enough.

1st one needed just because the best frigate right now is fighter (except for Afflictor, Omen and other specialists). Fighter wing can do the same things, and if you lose it, you can just create another one. Pretty balanced, yeah...
2nd one is good, because you dont nerf fighters. If you stand against few carriers, your AoE will kill some fighters, but not too much. Especially if they attack from different angles. If you stand against a screen full of fighters, your AoE will kill a lot. It is natural counterplay to fighter spam, and making counterplay is way better than just nerfing things. Why AoE need to be improved then? Well, because right now PDs are not counterplay to big swarms. They are severe necessity for survival. While counterplay means "a way to win easily against thing X". I dont wanna my fleet to 80% consist of PDs and i dont wanna to fly to my colonies every time i need to face carrier fleet. I dont do that for any other type of fleets, why carriers must be so special?
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Igncom1

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Re: Fighter nerf when swarming a target
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2020, 03:21:45 AM »

I'm still on team "make anti-fighter missiles have infinite missiles!"

If they couldn't deal with frigates too that would be even better.
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