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Author Topic: Armor vs. Shields  (Read 3717 times)

naufrago

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Armor vs. Shields
« on: April 30, 2012, 09:40:01 PM »

I feel that high-tech ships that use shields offer too many advantages over low-tech ships that use armor. My concerns are somewhat mollified by the change in the patch notes where fewer crew members are killed by hull damage, but problems are still present. My suggestion is that, to make things slightly more even, low-tech ships should have increased armor, but less hull integrity to compensate (but still more hull integrity than their high-tech counterparts, for the most part).

The low-tech ships should be able to take about as much (or more) damage than they can currently, but less hull damage means fewer crew members get killed, which greatly reduces one of the main incentives the player has for using high-tech ships. This would be less of a problem if (or when?) ship armor could be repaired during battle, but until then I think this would be preferable to the current state of things.


EDIT: It occurred to me that I may have worded things poorly initially, or out of order or something. The suggestion I'm making isn't to change the amount of damage low-tech, high armor ships can take, it's to redistribute some of the hitpoints of the hull integrity into armor in order to reduce the amount of crew that dies when it takes damage. Bringing up shields may have been a mistake, but I was trying to point out that ships that tank with the shield don't have that problem since they can avoid hull damage altogether, for the most part. The disparity between ships that shield tank and ships that armor tank is a bit too large in regards to how much crew dies, imo.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:37:52 PM by naufrago »
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jdb1917

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2012, 10:05:56 PM »

i like it, but i feel that lowtech ships are fine just due the the money difference between them and the higher tiered ones.
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Catra

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2012, 10:09:32 PM »

and that's why heavy armor / armored weapon emplacements / reinforced bulkheads / insulated engine assembly exist.

lower hull integrity as "compensation" just sounds badly thought out.
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naufrago

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 10:23:41 PM »

and that's why heavy armor / armored weapon emplacements / reinforced bulkheads / insulated engine assembly exist.

lower hull integrity as "compensation" just sounds badly thought out.

...really? It's like you didn't bother to read the part where I said they'd "take about as much (or more) damage as they do currently." Same or similar overall ability to take damage, but less of it is hull damage, which means fewer crew members killed, and making crew losses more even between low-tech and high-tech ships.

Honestly, actually read the suggestion before trying to knock it.

I'm not trying to change the power balance between low-tech and high-tech. It's just that low-tech ships have a tendency to take a lot more hull damage overall, which makes engagements more costly. Longer repair times are acceptable, but the crew losses are disproportionately higher, which is the main issue I'm trying to address.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 10:29:21 PM by naufrago »
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Catra

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 10:37:53 PM »

and that's why heavy armor / armored weapon emplacements / reinforced bulkheads / insulated engine assembly exist.

lower hull integrity as "compensation" just sounds badly thought out.

...really? It's like you didn't bother to read the part where I said they'd "take about as much (or more) damage as they do currently." Same or similar overall ability to take damage, but less of it is hull damage, which means fewer crew members killed, and making crew losses more even between low-tech and high-tech ships.

Honestly, actually read the suggestion before trying to knock it.

I'm not trying to change the power balance between low-tech and high-tech. It's just that low-tech ships have a tendency to take a lot more hull damage overall, which makes engagements more costly. Longer repair times are acceptable, but the crew losses are disproportionately higher, which is the main issue I'm trying to address.

honestly, you shouldnt give suggestions if youre going to get this mad and offended when someone knocks the idea.
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vagyr

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 10:46:05 PM »

but having lower hull to compensate for higher armor makes little sense...
if you put armor plates on a ship you will make sure that you reinforce the hull integrity of the ship since you know that your armor will be hit. You will put more bulkheads, thicker walls potentially etc. If anything shield
ships should have lower hull integrity since they have to use the space for redundant fire suppression systems bulkheads in every corridor etc to hold a larger generator and more shield and bigger shield emmiters that
will take over the space around the ship. Maybe a natural bonus to ship bonuses like reinforced bulkheads and insulated engine assembly to reduce their op cost by half?

Also when you buy a cheap ship you would expect that the crew you place in that ship is going to die.
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naufrago

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 11:06:50 PM »

and that's why heavy armor / armored weapon emplacements / reinforced bulkheads / insulated engine assembly exist.

lower hull integrity as "compensation" just sounds badly thought out.

...really? It's like you didn't bother to read the part where I said they'd "take about as much (or more) damage as they do currently." Same or similar overall ability to take damage, but less of it is hull damage, which means fewer crew members killed, and making crew losses more even between low-tech and high-tech ships.

Honestly, actually read the suggestion before trying to knock it.

I'm not trying to change the power balance between low-tech and high-tech. It's just that low-tech ships have a tendency to take a lot more hull damage overall, which makes engagements more costly. Longer repair times are acceptable, but the crew losses are disproportionately higher, which is the main issue I'm trying to address.

honestly, you shouldnt give suggestions if youre going to get this mad and offended when someone knocks the idea.

I pointed out where and why I thought your argument was flawed. Claiming I'm 'mad and offended' really doesn't help further the discussion. Maybe try to be more constructive instead of trying to divine my emotional state? I admit, I probably came across as a bit inflammatory, but your argument didn't really address the problem I mentioned.

but having lower hull to compensate for higher armor makes little sense...
if you put armor plates on a ship you will make sure that you reinforce the hull integrity of the ship since you know that your armor will be hit. You will put more bulkheads, thicker walls potentially etc. If anything shieldships should have lower hull integrity since they have to use the space for redundant fire suppression systems bulkheads in every corridor etc to hold a larger generator and more shield and bigger shield emmiters that will take over the space around the ship. Maybe a natural bonus to ship bonuses like reinforced bulkheads and insulated engine assembly to reduce their op cost by half?

Also when you buy a cheap ship you would expect that the crew you place in that ship is going to die.

I can see your point from a realism standpoint, but from a gameplay standpoint that doesn't seem ideal. Trying to come up with a more accurate way of putting my thoughts, but nothing's coming to me, atm. It's pretty late here, currently.

Also, I agree that you should expect crew to die, but I feel that the amount that die now is currently too punishing. That may change with the next patch, though.


EDIT: It occurred to me that I may have worded things poorly initially, or out of order or something. The suggestion I'm making isn't to change the amount of damage low-tech, high armor ships can take, it's to redistribute some of the hitpoints of the hull integrity into armor in order to reduce the amount of crew that dies when it takes damage. Bringing up shields may have been a mistake, but I was trying to point out that ships that tank with the shield don't have that problem since they can avoid hull damage altogether, for the most part. The disparity between ships that shield tank and ships that armor tank is a bit too large in regards to how much crew dies, imo.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 11:38:06 PM by naufrago »
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Catra

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 12:16:48 AM »

Quote
pointed out where and why I thought your argument was flawed. Claiming I'm 'mad and offended' really doesn't help further the discussion. Maybe try to be more constructive instead of trying to divine my emotional state? I admit, I probably came across as a bit inflammatory, but your argument didn't really address the problem I mentioned.

maybe you should be less offended and mad whenever someone has something negative to say about whatever it is you proposed and not go off the deep end and just say why you think me and anyone else is in the wrong.

also you didn't point out the "flaw" until well after you advised me to "reread" your oh so splendid idea, so don't try and make it appear you're trying to save face here and standing on the high ground by using such words that put you in the good light, cause you are far from that.
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WKOB

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 12:53:38 AM »

You gonna have a theological debate, while you're at it? ::)
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Vandala

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 05:07:46 AM »

All of this is rather irrelevant at the moment since we have not seen the upcoming changes in effect.

Which is rather important since they include reduced crew losses from taking damage.

EDIT: Also something to consider, ships who focus on armor over shields will always have more crew losses overall, ships that focus on shield over armor have higher spikes in crew losses but less over all. This is simply the nature of how these things work. No amount of adding armor will change this. (Although I don't doubt that there are balances that upset this depending on thresholds) Plus trading off hullpoints for anything makes the ship more vulnerable to complete destruction. Also, depending on how crew losses are calculated it might actually be better to have more hull points. If crew losses are calculated on hull damage done point for point then having low hull is better for minimizing crew loss but risky because its easier to lose the ship outright. If crew losses are calculated depending on % of hull loss then having more hull is better both for minimizing crew losses and the complete loss of the ship.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 05:19:03 AM by Vandala »
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Uomoz

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 05:28:38 AM »

The OP idea is interesting from a balance standpoint since usually low tech ships have a lot more of maintenance costs (they often receive both crew+hull dmg). It is probably already "fixed" in next version but I want to point out that redistributing totalHP from HP to armor is a good way to lower both costs:

Armor reduce a lot of damage (before the hulls get hit), damage that actually disappears (like shields). +Armor\-HP = After a battle a lot of damaged ships only have armor damage and no hull damage (less costs to repair), and lost less crew.

That said, Catra stop trolling ;)
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naufrago

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 06:45:54 AM »

Yah, the timing of my posting this was poor. I'll just wait for the next patch before pushing the issue further.

(Pleasantly surprised that the discussion got back on track. I'd basically given up on this thread when I went to bed last night.)
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Alrenous

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Re: Armor vs. Shields
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 06:46:31 AM »

Partially this is an artifact of the current contrived campaign setting.

It's very Dragon Quest. You fight lots of things weaker than you are, to get money and XP to be able to trounce more powerful stuff.
In an even fight, the hi-tech ships would take hull damage too. In a really close fight, you'll lose a bunch of ships. In these cases, lo-tech wins both by being tougher once the shields are sabotted to death and by being cheaper to replace.

I understand the full campaign won't let the player pick only fleets they can overwhelm. You'll have your own fixed points that can be attacked.


Come to think this is another reason I really like how the fleet point system doesn't let you simply deploy everything. There's a reason to drag around a mix of high tech and low. Hi-tech for when you're attacking and going to win.* Lo-tech for when you're being attacked and you know you're going to take losses.

*(Math: Let's say the hi shields can take 10 000 damage, and lo can take 9000, spread across the deployed ships. If you take less than 9000 damage, it doesn't matter. If you take much more than 10 000 damage, you're in a close fight. Between 9000 and much higher than 10 000, each additional hi-tech ship absorbs a bigger percentage of the damage you'd otherwise have to repair, despite only being a slight difference in overall durability. Going from 9000 to 9100 of 10 000 damage is 10% of the damage. Going from 9500 to 9600 is 20% of the remaining damage. I think the real spread is wider, but the principle of increasing returns holds.)



Also, part of the problem is that, right now, losing even a single ship is often huge and is somewhere between very time consuming and impossible to recover from. The cost is way out of proportion to how suddenly ships can die. If one of my capitals goes down, that's hours of fighting to recover from the elite deaths alone, even if its the only ship that took damage. I stopped using fighters due to their overpower, but if I lose enough Thunder wings, they cannot be replaced at all.
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