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Author Topic: Energy Weapon Mastery  (Read 930 times)

BigBrainEnergy

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Energy Weapon Mastery
« on: June 24, 2022, 02:13:04 PM »

I'd like to know what the average bonus damage a ship gets throughout the battle when it takes EWM, because in its current state I wouldn't be surprised if it was usually less than 10% even on close range ships because the AI is going to back off when its flux gets so high. Of course, if it didn't back off casualty rates would skyrocket.

A possible "fix" for EWM is make it start at a 10% damage bonus and scale up to 30% at maximum flux. This would guarantee you're always getting at least 10% bonus damage, except that it actually doesn't because you still need to be within 600 range of the target. EWM has a very high ceiling for its bonus at 30% damage, but the reality is you're going to spend most the time near the floor because it scales on range and flux at the same time. Adding a respectable floor to the flux scaling would nice considering BM gives you 10% damage and range all the time no matter what.

Alternatively it could still start at 0% but scale up faster so it reaches the full bonus at 75% flux, although I'm less fond of this option. Both would get 20% at half flux but this version would only surpass the other when over 50% flux, which is when the AI starts backing off so it would overall be less effective.
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Megas

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 03:08:43 PM »

I like to see the bonus not decay because of range.  I only think about getting EW if it is made elite for the -10% flux.  If I cannot get eEM, I do not think about getting it unless I want to stack AMBs on Afflictor.

Probably be better if the effects were flipped, so that normal gives the flux discount, and the elite gives the decaying damage bonus if it stays as it is.
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Thaago

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2022, 04:35:25 PM »

Watching AI ships, I'd guess it hovers at around 20% bonus for aggressive ships, but I certainly see ships riding it higher. It rewards building above flux neutrality, though the AI will naturally start throttling shots below 100% flux. Its very good for energy point defense in tough situations, as usually flux is very high in that case.

In terms of range, its disappointing for energy capitals/the large energy mount on Apogee/Champion (though reckless/remnant enemies will get in the max damage band anyways), but works out well for the ships that use medium energy and below. Those ships often want to get closer than maximum range anyways so that the target can't get away with a system activation. The elite effect is very good for those larger ships though.

I'm not entirely sure if the bonus works on AM blasters from phase ships or not: the ship gains flux right before the shot is fired, but I don't think that flux is counted for the bonus? I would need to test to see for sure.
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Megas

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2022, 06:21:25 PM »

In terms of range, its disappointing for energy capitals/the large energy mount on Apogee/Champion (though reckless/remnant enemies will get in the max damage band anyways), but works out well for the ships that use medium energy and below. Those ships often want to get closer than maximum range anyways so that the target can't get away with a system activation.
The range restriction is a huge disappointment.  Ballistic Mastery does not have weird conditions; it just works, with or without elite.  (Basic) Energy Mastery needs to be similarly reliable or do something useful when energy weapons are used.  Currently, without elite effect, Energy Mastery is either weak or useless if attacker wants to take advantage of range bonuses granted by ITU, skills, and/or hullmods; or simply wants to use 1000 range beams.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2022, 06:57:51 PM »

Personally I don't like EMs main bonus very much for the AI because high tech ships have low armor meaning they are completely reliant on shields for defense. I only ever take it for the elite flux cost reduction (which ironically works against the main bonus). For high tech, overfluxing and using up effective shield HP for a damage bonus is sort of the opposite of what I want. It can be ok in small fights or 1v1s but in big fleet fights, it's better to save capacity for defence IMO. Especially for small ships that are in danger of getting one-shot/bursted down against bigger ships. They just can't afford to be high on flux IMO unless you don't mind paying for restorations constantly.
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Grievous69

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2022, 11:13:57 PM »

I'll just say I agree, don't have much to add honestly. EWM without the elite part is very lacklustre, only being worth it on few high tech ships which would probably die even more if they tried to maximize the bonus. Being better with SO is yet another reason for me to hate it.
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gG_pilot

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2022, 01:52:46 AM »

Watching AI ships, I'd guess it hovers at around 20% bonus for aggressive ships,

 Its very good for energy point defense in tough situations, as usually flux is very high in that case.
In terms of range, its disappointing for energy capitals/the
Make it clear, Paragon pilot with EWM waste feat. Although you might see 20% build up bonus, range penalty turn thee bonus back to zero.

Maybe designer expected usage  EWM skill with High scatter amplifier hull mode, but all bonuses combined dont give me usable ship. Feel free post After battle stats to show I am wrong :-]

I think skills should be easy to  understand, easy to predict outcome. So the fix would be  make EWM the same bonuses like like Ballistic mastery but for Energy.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 01:57:06 AM by gG_pilot »
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BigBrainEnergy

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2022, 02:15:18 AM »

I understand why Alex wants it to scale with range: the idea being that energy projectiles, including beams, disperse as they travel. This is a very real phenomena and we see it used in other sci-fi games (in MOO II lasers do more damage up close while mass drivers do the same damage at all ranges). This distinguishes them from ballistic projectiles which have much better cohesion due to being made of solid matter. I believe we're in the current state because the old version went up to 50% bonus damage and did not scale with flux at all, which was insanely overpowered and highly incentivized close-range energy ships because they could abuse it.

This leaves me thinking we could overhaul the skill even further. Make the damage bonus 10% at no flux and 30% at max flux. Then make the damage falloff based on the weapon's range instead of a flat 1000: so rather than x0 bonus at 1000 range it would be x0 at whatever the weapon's maximum range is, then it would scale up to x1 at 500 range. So a paragon's tach lance would get x0 at 2000 range, x0.5 at 1250 range, and x1 at 500 range. Any weapon with 500 range or less would just get a x1 modifier. Although I guess the problem there would be anything with 600 range would be really awkward for the AI to use properly. We could have the lowest range for the x0 modifier be 1000, but I imagine the text on this hypothetical skill is getting a little messy. Any thoughts?

Make it clear, Paragon pilot with EWM waste feat. Although you might see 20% build up bonus, range penalty turn thee bonus back to zero.

Maybe designer expected usage  EWM skill with High scatter amplifier hull mode, but all bonuses combined dont give me usable ship. Feel free post After battle stats to show I am wrong :-]

I think skills should be easy to  understand, easy to predict outcome. So the fix would be  make EWM the same bonuses like like Ballistic mastery but for Energy.
Unfortunately, it's hard to prove how effective a skill is even with battle stats because you can't track how much damage each skill added. It's not hard to make a strong paragon even if you pick 1 or 2 bad skills.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 02:30:16 AM by BigBrainEnergy »
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Megas

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2022, 05:19:09 AM »

Ballistic Mastery is useful even to high-tech ships that can mount few critical ballistics.  Nice on Paragon or Ziggurat with Heavy Needlers.  I would like Energy Mastery to be similarly useful for atypical ships with energy weapons, like Onslaught and its TPCs.

This leaves me thinking we could overhaul the skill even further. Make the damage bonus 10% at no flux and 30% at max flux. Then make the damage falloff based on the weapon's range instead of a flat 1000: so rather than x0 bonus at 1000 range it would be x0 at whatever the weapon's maximum range is, then it would scale up to x1 at 500 range. So a paragon's tach lance would get x0 at 2000 range, x0.5 at 1250 range, and x1 at 500 range. Any weapon with 500 range or less would just get a x1 modifier. Although I guess the problem there would be anything with 600 range would be really awkward for the AI to use properly. We could have the lowest range for the x0 modifier be 1000, but I imagine the text on this hypothetical skill is getting a little messy. Any thoughts?
I prefer a steady damage bonus.  I am okay with flux supercharge alone.

Ships generally want to attack at maximum range, player and AI alike.  Also, some ships may have energy weapons of varying range, like beams and plasma cannons.

Based on weapon range would probably hurt ships that have very short range to begin with, AMB Afflictor or HSA Phase Lance Harbinger, who probably need to attack at maximum range.

Basic Ballistic Mastery have two perks, +10% damage and better accuracy.  Basic Energy Mastery could have damage and more damage as its two perks.  (+10% plus more from flux supercharge.)
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FooF

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2022, 08:47:09 AM »

Just a thought:

Invert the benefit. As ships raise their flux level, Energy Weapons require less flux to fire, up to 30% less at 100% flux. Elite effect is +10% damage. You could remove the range restriction entirely.

The range restriction of the skill right now is necessary to keep High Tech Frigates and Phase Ships in range of other ships to receive maximum benefit (a very good thing) but basically negates any benefit from Cruisers/Capitals with ITU (a very bad thing). You can't really work around it without compromising one or the other. So just rework the benefit so that it's more universal across the board.

Now, I can already hear the argument that this does nothing for a ship built to be flux-neutral. To some degree, yes, a ship that is flux neutral would want more damage, but I think where this would come into play is knowing that you can support that Heavy Blaster instead of a Pulse Laser or you could put less vents on a ship and add a hull-mod. Cruisers and Capitals that primarily rely on shields could sustain their fire longer with heavier weapons and win flux war battles because they're not punching themselves out.



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Grievous69

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2022, 08:52:45 AM »

Now, I can already hear the argument that this does nothing for a ship built to be flux-neutral. To some degree, yes, a ship that is flux neutral would want more damage, but I think where this would come into play is knowing that you can support that Heavy Blaster instead of a Pulse Laser or you could put less vents on a ship and add a hull-mod. Cruisers and Capitals that primarily rely on shields could sustain their fire longer with heavier weapons and win flux war battles because they're not punching themselves out.
Even that isn't a realistic outcome since the ship will very likely take damage on shields in combat. I like your idea a lot, it's simple and doesn't involve any wacky abuse of mechanics.
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Megas

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2022, 09:24:03 AM »

Energy Mastery should be useful to an AI ship with a human officer that is not guaranteed to get EM at elite level.  AI ship cannot be relied on to behave like a player can.
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BigBrainEnergy

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2022, 01:14:11 PM »

I think the "safe" option is to remove range scaling from EWM and give it 10-30% bonus damage based on the ship's flux level. Although this could lead to the paragon fluxing itself out from max range to get as much damage as possible without putting itself at risk.

Invert the benefit. As ships raise their flux level, Energy Weapons require less flux to fire, up to 30% less at 100% flux.
That sounds like a fun mechanic and I'm surprised I've never seen it before, even in mods.
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SCC

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2022, 11:48:33 PM »

I find the skill fine as it is. It's useful for the majority of high-tech ships (except for Paragon, Odyssey and Apogee, I guess) and in the majority of situations, and the range damage drop off isn't really an issue often. Damage boost itself makes your weapons more flux efficient. I am also fine with it not being useful for certain ships. Gunnery Implants is the alternate and general purpose skill.

Brainwright

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Re: Energy Weapon Mastery
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2022, 08:59:35 AM »

If we must change EWM, I would only set the maximum damage boost at 80% of the flux capacity.

It's not a bad skill as it is, just unwieldly.  My Odysseys are typically sitting 80%-90% flux when fully engaged, and EWM makes for one spicy tamale for any ships that try to swarm it.
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