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Author Topic: How do we balance fighter spam?  (Read 4569 times)

SonnaBanana

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2021, 04:21:20 AM »

Half the fix is already in-dev: Paladin got buffed
Now for the Devestator to not suck.......
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Serenitis

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2021, 05:45:17 AM »

If you want fighters to return to thier carriers periodically, give them a PPT and have them return when they run out the timer.
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hydremajor

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2021, 06:48:55 AM »

@Megas

So wait you make yourself a specialised carrier character build (or whatever that is) and you are now in the process of complaining that:

the character build MADE TO MAKE CARRIERS VIABLE is ACTUALLY VIABLE ?

Am I the ONLY ONE thinking this sounds immensely *** ?
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SonnaBanana

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 07:09:17 AM »

If you want fighters to return to thier carriers periodically, give them a PPT and have them return when they run out the timer.
PPT/CR mechanics are a mess. Just give them limited ammo on everything, not like they miss much in the first place.
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Megas

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2021, 01:11:01 PM »

@ hydremajor:  I was pointing out that fighters (aside from maybe the Drover and Spark combo) are not that overpowering unless player specializes in them.  With Expanded Deck Crew and skills being the biggest culprit.  (Fleet with nothing but carriers is another way, too.)  However, fighters are better than Pilum spam, and one reason why I call fighters better missiles than missiles.

As for specializing in fighters, I do not like the way player can specialize in fighters.

Expanded Deck Crew is a significant OP tax for all dedicated carriers and Legion.  Legion needs both ITU and Expanded Deck Crew.  Combined with good fighters costing 8 OP or more, there is usually not enough OP left to properly support guns, so it is a good idea to leave carriers mostly or wholly unarmed.  Sure, carrier could eschew Deck Crew, but it hurts like other ships not taking ITU to support their guns.  Carriers have mounts, and they should use them, but the current gameplay discourages that.

Most carrier skills are piloted-only.  This may be fine for officers, but for the player who cannot re-spec skills, this really hurts because it locks the flagship to Drover, Mora, Heron, or Astral for the rest of the game.  (On the other hand, player can grab generalist skills and be good with warships or phase ships, and there are many more of them than carriers.)  Carrier specialist gimps conventional combat power much the same way a colony industrialist would by spending skill points in highly specialized skills (that he may not use once he is not in a carrier) instead of more general combat skills that should be given to a combat character, and the game is mostly about combat.
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Retry

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2021, 02:07:28 PM »

Half the fix is already in-dev: Paladin got buffed
Now for the Devestator to not suck.......
Devastator is also getting buffed.  Or fixed, depending on your perspective.  Devastator's explosion radius (maximum range explosion shot can deal damage at) & core explosion radius (range where Devastator shot deals full damage) is being increased, and the proximity fuse radius (range which tells the shot when to explode) is being reduced .

Current Devastator's proximity fuse radius appears to be less than the core explosion radius, so the shots detonate prematurely and the Devastator cannot physically reach its stated damage in the stat card.  From the in-dev patch notes, this issue appears to be rectified.
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sector_terror

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2021, 12:29:16 AM »

I haven't had a lot of success(or fun) from carrier spam so I can only add so much to this conversation without spending quite a while playing just to test, but I can add this much. I find -fighters- to be perfectly balanced and fair when they are harassing enemies with minor but constant attacks. When I cant protect my back because fighters keep digging into it then I'm quite happy with them. A bother yes but hardly horrifying. I also have no issues with some bombers or support requiring me to pop shields or taking advantage of high flux to cut through said shields. As far as that's concerned I'm perfectly fine.

The issue I have is with some bombers like daggers having high damage homing torpedos with no limit or punishment for spam while I can barely hold a handful of them. A good mid-teir ship might have 4-6 atraphose class torpedoes, but a hero effectively has 6 of them for repeated use. In terms of damage it's fine but it nearly invalidates missiles since a single sufficient bomber wing might as well be a repeat firing reloadable but less controllable missile of the same time. Either the torpedos they get need to be toned down but harder to hit(matching with small arms fighters would use) or some other change needs to occur so I don't watch my own hero units fly down on the ship I'M fighting and ram 6 yellow murder missiles right up it's face for the 3rd time.

Perhaps it's emotional but I even when it's from my side I take issue with it.
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hydremajor

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2021, 03:58:02 AM »

Ultimately Fighters are tied to Carriers

so one can't be changed without considering the other

Only game I played that had satisfying carrier gameplay was warship gunner 2 and that not exactly a good referrence since carriers in that game are:

A: the naval kind

and

B: good due to the sheer missile spam they can bring to assist their aircraft in combat

and considering missiles in this game is a GADGET and not a WEAPON, that option simply ain't possible, the other option would be to turn Carriers into dakka boats that can delete entire hordes of fighters at wich point the game devolves the problem into
"fighters are worthless unless you have a carrier"

You're gonna have to compromise on SOMETHING...
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Morbo513

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2021, 09:51:49 AM »

Reiterating my suggestions on the fighter issue:

Give fighters an evasion rate - meaning projectiles fired from non-fighters will pass through more often. Anything targeting fighter specifically would be guaranteed hits (as long as the projectile connects), ditto with splash-damage. This means you won't get fighters constantly blocking high-power single-shots.
In turn, reduce fighters' health/armour/shields

Reduce non-bomber damage vs normal ships to 25%, meaning fighter fighters are just that and not very useful for much else except as fodder.

Allow PD (and maybe small) weapons to pass through friendly ships and wreckage to hit targeted fighters, since the fighters can fire from behind an enemy ship to hit another, or hover above a ship/wreck to become essentially invulnerable for a time.

Make fighter wings have to dock to replenish their wing, instead of being constantly reinforced.

Tie replacement rate and the carriers' CR together; each fighter replaced costs CR - making attrition much more dangerous for carrier-based fleets, and enabling the neutralisation of fighters/their carriers by simply destroying a lot of them.
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Goumindong

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2021, 11:21:07 AM »

One thing that would reduce the power of fighters is better shield management from battleships.

So if you recall the old thread about how the “Onslaught wasn’t a real battleship” one of the things that I had to deal with in designing my Broadslaughts was what to do with fighters. The solution was largely just “well more Vulcans plus IPDAI” but this doesn’t work on all ships.

However what does work is the same principle with different weapons. Short range high burst weapons. You need to trade flux immediately now in order to kill the fighters. Killing fighters faster is almost always better than killing them slower and eating their attacks.

A problem that AI ships have is that they reduce the amount of flux they have available to them to do this by putting their shields up even when the majority of incoming damage is very low armor damage. A broadsword wing comes in and... dumps it’s LMG right into the front shield of every ship, doing thousands of damage on shields instead of letting the damage hit armor. (The shields may be reacting to the swarmers though). And then the ship keeps trying to put its shields up.

Even through those issues a high volume of fire will absolutely defeat swarms of fighters. But the AI doesn’t have a lot of ships that are set up to buzzsaw fighters like that. (Especially the harder AI factions)

So maybe the change to the Paladin will help? Or maybe a fitting evaluation for energy based ships (more IRPulse lasers or regular PD lasers) would reduce the impact of fighters against high tech fleets?
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hydremajor

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2021, 11:33:03 AM »

@Goumindong

the whole point of battleships not having great AA cover is to emulate WW2 battleships that can do great against large vehicles but struggle immensely against smaller faster targets, in that sense strikecraft spam is MEANT to be a hard-counter to battleships....

FURTHER

I'd like to add that this whole "weapon triangle" situation is supposed to be closed with quick strike ships like frigates and destroyers being the hard-counter to carriers by closing in quick and shredding the carrier before the strike crafts can react and muster enough firepower forcng them on a wild goose chase everytime such ships close in for engagement

in fact a very good parallel to this would be boxing's triangle theory shown here:



not QUITE the right ressource to examplify it but you get my point and parallels to combat in starsector can be easily drawn
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Goumindong

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2021, 02:32:19 PM »

@Goumindong

the whole point of battleships not having great AA cover is to emulate WW2 battleships that can do great against large vehicles but struggle immensely against smaller faster targets, in that sense strikecraft spam is MEANT to be a hard-counter to battleships....


Battleships are exceptional at killing fighters. The problem is not that they're bad at it but that they're not always fit well to consider the threat.
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Thaago

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2021, 03:11:46 PM »

(WWII battleships were also great at killing/surviving fighters, at least compared to other units. Its just that the fighters tended to concentrate force and spam. WWII capital units were however very vulnerable to submarines.)
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Goumindong

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2021, 05:49:36 PM »

They weren’t that vulnerable to submarines either. Battleships went out of favor because the purpose of a battleship is either force projection or the prevention of enemy force projection. And carriers project force further, and therefore better. And battleships aren’t fast enough to catch a carrier... 

None of these issues exist in Starsector though. Warships are “just fine” to maybe even too strong (well, the big ones) (I don’t really feel like fighters are that OP in general. But I can understand how people feel that way for various reasons)
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sector_terror

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Re: How do we balance fighter spam?
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2021, 12:21:19 AM »

I'd also like to add in letting the thematic image of something decide your gameplay beyond concept phase and into the details of implementation is a mistake. Even if it is true that the ships were emulations of WW2 battleships, it wouldn't change they arent WW2 battleship, they are spaceships competing with other naval designs in the universe of starsector. At this stage, the inspiration has to take a secondary to balancing for both world-building and gameplay reasons
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