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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Author Topic: The Frigate Bias  (Read 14177 times)

Thaago

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #195 on: May 26, 2021, 03:19:27 PM »

I'm a fan of ion beams, though 4 of them are a bit flux intensive.
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Draba

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #196 on: May 26, 2021, 03:30:30 PM »

Yup, can confirm watching an AI controlled tempest with all its bonuses just fly up and gun down a conquest head to head is silly. Sure its a non-officered, D mod conquest with a mediocre build, and I'm going down the leadership 9 Tech 5 route, but thats some serious powerup on the frigate!
Hiruma Kai already addressed how much the different buffs matter, that capitals aren't necessarily good in solo fights, and sim loadouts are not the best.
Would like to second that, and emphasize that the Conquest isn't for brawling (90°/1.4 shields are mostly there to protect from beams/chip damage, armor is mediocre for a capital).

Faster ships having less weapon range means that they have to absorb some fire on their way in to attack a target. It also means that enemy ships can focus fire more easily on them -- they have to get within the range of multiple enemy ships to do their damage.
...
I think it's a lot more useful from a feedback standpoint to talk in terms of whether or not the changes skewed the risk vs reward ratio a bit too much toward one side or the other.
IMO most "OP" ships are relatively strong because they are fast (in the "can pick their fights" sense).
Ziggurat, Doom, Fury, ...

Slow ships obviously can't keep weapons on the target, and trying to coordinate even groups of 2-3 seems very hard.
They are constantly bumping into each other, small ships block some weapons with a very wide safety margin, movement orders are really unreliable so it's mostly escort or eliminate ...
Paired with how tough shields are it's really hard to simply batter down enemies with slow ballistic/beam ships.
Paragon is good because it has enough range and naturally focuses enough power to hurt things before they can escape.

Missiles could be a very nice solution, burst enemies down when they are close or finish them when they try to pull out at high flux. ECCM missiles are great and with skill+builtin racks the limit is extremely generous for "standard" use.
I think that's a sore spot, AI just seems to *** them off like there is no tomorrow.
Some lone fighters? SABOT! Lone hound? SABOT! Overloaded Brilliant with full armor? SABOT! 0 flux lone Lumen 1000 units away? MIRV!
Missiles fall off a cliff in tough fights where my fleet isn't bumrushing the enemy. A massive portion gets spammed at long range against the wrong targets.

So I feel speedy things are on the strong side now in general, not frigates or wolfpack specifically.
High tech frigates are mostly used simply because low and midline don't have a good high-DP option, and pop too easily (low DP is obviously weaker to start with AND there aren't enough officers to go around).
Usual exception, Monitor is still the best frigate in the game :)

I think I got flamed but the post got edited out lmao
Didn't miss out on much, more of the same you can see earlier in the thread :)
Welcome to the forums!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 06:48:29 PM by Draba »
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WeiTuLo

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #197 on: May 26, 2021, 03:39:14 PM »

Hmm... maybe Hurricanes should stop targeting frigates. And maybe fast destroyers too, unless they are high on flux/really close/have no shields.
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Vextor

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #198 on: May 26, 2021, 05:54:14 PM »

A massive portion gets spammed at long range against the wrong targets.
Or when a ship dies without firing single missile... while facing directly its killer with 4x reaper torpedoes at about 300 range
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WeiTuLo

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #199 on: May 26, 2021, 07:23:49 PM »

Yeah, panic dumping missiles is reasonable behavior.
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TaLaR

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #200 on: May 27, 2021, 12:05:29 AM »

...Why does that Radiant have 4 Gravitons in SYnergy slots that could very well fit harpoons or sabots? Even 4 Ion BEams would be a better investment....
Wait, why does it have no PD and uses the 5 Cheapest to fire large energy weapons where it could very well use 5 Tach Lances as a starting option anyway?

It's designed to duel capitals with maximum efficiency without relying on limited resources. So anything irrelevant to this goal is traded for hullmods/vents/caps.
It was tested in unskilled combat in 0.91 (which is more or less same as skilled in 0.95 in regards to armor), 5xAutopulses eat through Onslaught's armor is seconds, there simply is no need for a specialized anti-armor tool at that point. Though I suppose trading one of them for Plasma may be an improvement overall (would need to be tested).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 12:12:52 AM by TaLaR »
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Vextor

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #201 on: May 27, 2021, 08:45:17 AM »

I do it always in FPS games if I have a grenade left though, or a rocket, it just makes sense to make the most of your equipment before guaranteed death
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #202 on: May 27, 2021, 09:04:13 AM »

My radiant build is 2 autopulse, 2 plasma, 1 paladin PD and a bunch of sabots. Honestly, I don't really get the argument for not using sabots. With 4 pods, you would have to 1v1 duel like 6+ capitals to run out, they make you MUCH better at fighting capitals while you have ammo, and if you invest in extra ammo, you probably won't even run out in any reasonable fight.
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Arcagnello

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #203 on: May 27, 2021, 11:21:09 AM »

My radiant build is 2 autopulse, 2 plasma, 1 paladin PD and a bunch of sabots. Honestly, I don't really get the argument for not using sabots. With 4 pods, you would have to 1v1 duel like 6+ capitals to run out, they make you MUCH better at fighting capitals while you have ammo, and if you invest in extra ammo, you probably won't even run out in any reasonable fight.

This.
Do you really want to skip the opportunity of giving your Radiant 128 Sabots and 120 Reaper Torpedoes with Expanded Missile racks/Missile Expertise (not to mention the absurd 50% increase in both fire rate and reload speed)? I don't think we need to do the math to realize how much murder that many missiles will cause, even assuming only a third of them hits. The Ludd-forsaken abomination is litterally going to run out of enemies to blend before the missiles run dry 90% of the time.

The ship even gets 3 large energy slots to play with after that's installed. More than enough to fully use the flux dissipation with a combination of autopulses and plasma cannons, with maybe a single Paladin PD.

Addendum: While I do see the reasoning behind using a Radiant without an officer and all that for the sake of testing, virtually every encounter with the ship is accopanied by an Alpha core, which boosts missile ammunition, health and reload times/rates of fire by absurd amounts most of the time. You can get 300% ammo on 90 Ordinance Points worth of weapons. If that's not value then I really don't know what is.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 11:24:32 AM by Arcagnello »
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Lucky33

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #204 on: May 27, 2021, 04:37:19 PM »

My radiant build is 2 autopulse, 2 plasma, 1 paladin PD and a bunch of sabots. Honestly, I don't really get the argument for not using sabots. With 4 pods, you would have to 1v1 duel like 6+ capitals to run out, they make you MUCH better at fighting capitals while you have ammo, and if you invest in extra ammo, you probably won't even run out in any reasonable fight.

Because this is not yours Radiant. It is SIM Radiant. It doesn't have skills. And exploiting the 8 sec interval between sabot shots is too easy. And it doesn't work against real Radiant.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #205 on: May 27, 2021, 04:47:30 PM »

Are we specifically talking about making variants to test player controlled builds against in the sim? I guess that's fine then since player knows how to waste sabots and it's mostly just a waste of time. I personally don't care enough to try and make 'sim opponent' builds though. They're never going to be realistic representations of the enemies you will face without skills. As long as everything get's tested against the same opponents and you understand the tactics you're using to win, you can get relative comparisons of your builds, which is all I care about, although I will admit I stole someone elses sim builds mod just to get some slightly stronger builds to test against.
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Lucky33

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #206 on: May 27, 2021, 09:35:33 PM »

Yes, I'm talking specifically about sim test dummy to train against. All those "I destroyed sim Onslaught head on" happening against ship variant what was considered obsolete even from the game's lore perspective. And yet it comes as an argument for the balancing debate. Again and again.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #207 on: May 27, 2021, 09:42:15 PM »

Idk, most cruisers and destroyers cannot kill the sim onslaught head on, and most frigates under AI control will not kill it either. I think it's a reasonable measuring stick, you just have to understand when you're beating it by exploiting it's weaknesses vs beating it in-spite of its strengths (i.e. head on). You can always test against paragon too. Testing against a radiant is going to be useless for 90% of ships because they will just die without achieving anything.
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Lucky33

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #208 on: May 27, 2021, 11:59:40 PM »

I've already shown my measuring stick. Obviously I'm using it to build ships what will not die to Redacted in general and the Radiant in particular. From that I can downgrade to optimize builds against easier targets. And this is my logic: from top to bottom. "Good ships" = "ships capable of standing up to the Radiant". Everything else are "those other ships".
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Vanshilar

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Re: The Frigate Bias
« Reply #209 on: June 07, 2021, 02:50:00 AM »

There is a both a conceptual and balance issue with a hullmod doubling flux dissipation. For the former it doesn't make sense that 'overriding safeties' should accomplish anything like this. Gameplay-wise it is an overpowering (and overpowered) effect.

Why not? *All* ships are capable of doubling their flux dissipation -- when they're actively venting. Just that normally, active venting disables shield and weapons, whereas SO means the ship is able to use its shield and weapons while actively venting.

From a practical perspective, it's also difficult to get actual double flux dissipation due to the high cost of SO. There simply isn't enough OP left over in most cases. And most SO builds pretty much require Hardened Subsystems, which is an additional OP cost (or takes up one of the s-mod slots, which is effectively OP cost). For example, my SO Aurora (with spoilery weapons) ends up with 15400 flux capacity and 2100 dissipation, due to limited remaining OP; but without SO, it would have 16200 flux capacity and 1450 dissipation, so SO really just means 45% more dissipation. Even if I put all remaining OP to dissipation, it would only have 2320 dissipation (60% more dissipation), but at the cost of about 19% of its flux capacity.

Additionally, in practical play, without SO, my gameplay strategy is usually to run up my flux bar killing a ship, then vent as I move on to the next target, thus resetting my flux bar. (So yes, I use very over-fluxed builds.) Thus my average flux dissipation is somewhere between regular and double dissipation. So SO meaning double flux dissipation again doesn't mean double flux dissipation in practice.

Sunder v Legion is not really a good example for the claim that flux dissipation varies unpredictably in relation to ship classes / size. One is a (missile-heavy) carrier, the other is a specialist ship specifically built to be a glass cannon and leverage an oversized, flux-hungry energy mount. On the whole, bigger ship bigger power.

The point however is that while on the whole, bigger ship means more flux dissipation, there is nothing odd about a particular smaller ship having more dissipation than a larger ship size. The spread of dissipation within a ship size is much bigger than the increase from moving a ship size up.

Most fights are trivial (and many can be rendered so by SO). Having to swap out for some minor end-game content doesn't really affect the dynamic afaics, particularly because it takes no particular insight to do so.

More supplies is kind of moot given the extremely low difficulty of the economic side of the game. I play with Ruthless Sector (very good) and even then I couldn't care less about maintenance outside the very early game. That's not a combat drawback.

If you're at the point in the game where fights are trivial and you don't care about supplies, then all this discussion about frigates, SO, balance, etc. is really sort of moot anyway. Might as well as just roll in with a dozen Paragons and not have to worry about any of this stuff.

Re range - again, as mentioned previously, range limitations on SO is kind of a joke since what you want to be doing with a SO ship is get right in the enemies' face anyway.

Short range means you expose yourself to greater enemy fire, meaning you start off with some flux buildup before you do any damage, and meaning it's harder to pull out of a fight (i.e. you're going to be taking damage while you're disengaging), so you need to leave a reserve margin after you stop doing damage. Short range also means you yourself can't snipe a retreating target trying to take cover behind enemy ships (without exposing yourself to additional danger) and it means it's easier for you to get flanked by enemy ships. It's stupid to *want* to fight short range -- whenever possible you should only get as close as you need to for your weapons -- rather short range is a *forced* limitation on SO ships, so that they're forced to take additional risks to make it worthwhile, and with much more time pressure than normal. That's what makes it an interesting tradeoff to make.

Could you send it to me? Thanks.

Sure, how do I sent it? I don't use google files or whatever.

You don't even need omega weapons. 4 AMB, 2 Ion Pulser Doom is probably enough to defeat everything in the game.

Yes, but if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing :) In my case, it's to do as much damage as I can in as little time as possible, preferably during the unphase delay, then re-phase as soon as I can to not take damage. So without spoilery weapons I use 8 AMB on my Doom. However, its short range (and inability to fire through allies plus lack of targeting) means it's a bit harder to position myself, and I sometimes get too close and get hit myself from when the Radiants explode, etc. 8 AMB is enough to kill Brilliants in one volley by the way when aimed right; but spoilery weapons gives me more flexibility to take on smaller targets as well without such a long cooldown.

Anyway, yeah, post your station killing frigate fleet.

(To return this thread to somewhat on-topic...)

I still don't see how frigates are supposed to be too buff in 0.95a, when testing against my "test" [REDACTED] fleet. Even Tempests put out middling amounts of damage, which may be in the ballpark of larger ships like Auroras and Champions on a per-DP basis, but they can't tank and die more frequently. They don't have the persistence to control the battle and basically are just there for harassment and chasing down enemy frigates (and sometimes destroyers). Thus far the only frigate that's worthwhile is non-SO Hyperion, because Elite Helmsmanship means it can still teleport away, so that it can harass but is "slippery" enough to get away when needed. (It also really does have the flux stats of a cruiser, which helps with its damage output and persistence.) This is while using Wolfpack Tactics which means the fleet doesn't benefit from Coordinated Maneuvers, which is a lot more helpful at keeping a battle under control. So it's useful to have a couple of Hyperions, but it's still better for the rest of the fleet to be something else.
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