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Author Topic: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons  (Read 12636 times)

Vayra

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 05:01:29 AM »

I tend to almost exclusively use beam weapons on high-tech frigatesanything with energy mounts because I like the utility of being able to murder fighters, missiles, errant debris and asteroids just as easily as I kill ships. They also tend to be the most flux-efficient weapons, which is important because nearly every fully loaded ship tends to build way more flux than it can dissipate, and if you're mounting all energy weapons anyway there's no reason not to want to fire everything, all the time. Am I doing it wrong? :v

I wouldn't be opposed to a little offensive bonus from high CR in some form (I like the idea of flux use reduction, it would emphasize their strengths over other weapons in vanilla) but it's hardly required for them to remain useful even with an elite ship and high combat skill. Beam weapons are pretty cool the way they are. :)
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Borgoid

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2013, 08:41:08 AM »

Vayra you're not inherently doing anything wrong but heres the issue:

Beam weapons specifically require -nearly- completely focused fire because they have to overcome the flux dissipation ( modified by shield ratio ) of the ship they're shooting at. One Tactical Laser is never going to overload a Lasher for example, but a single Dual Autocannon will meaning that if you're going to use beams you either have to use a LOT of them ( as demonstrated by their inherently low damage per slot ) or you have to combine them with something else that adds hard flux... but there's the problem. Everything that adds hard flux tends toward being a better weapon.

I quite enjoy using beam based ships, they're a lot of fun aesthetically but in almost all cases the ships mounting them are actually being used as "tank" ships. One of the few things Beam weapons have going for them is typically they're only available to ships with inherently high flux dissipation and good shield ratios, effectively compensating for the weapon output problem.

Don't get me wrong, beam weapons DO work, with only a few exceptions vanilla beams can be used quite effectively on all ships that can mount them. But having such a cool weapon type scale poorly with player skills and larger ships (Note: Frigates/smaller ships mounted with Beam weaponry are unable to engage ships with high dissipation due to hard flux requirement. Paragon vs swarm of Wolfs for example) is a bit off




Now you are getting a little too aggressive, though. Better stop now.

I think you're making a bit of an unfounded assumption.
If we can't have a frank discussion about the facts of a situation without being considered rude then we might as well just assume every action has a negative consequence. Then we could all sit about all day, talking to no one and doing nothing until we starved to death. At least then we wouldn't offend anyone.


You shouldn't try to hijack a mechanics based discussion on the basis of LORE or STORY. I mean for pitties sake you're playing a 2d space game.

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Seeing things from a lore perspective is perfectly valid and does not equal "hijacking". Of course the game mechanics come first, but they don't exist in a vacuum. Uh, except that of space.

Hijacking not in the forum jargon sense but rather in the "Reductio ad absurdum" -Exactly like one paragraph ago- sense.
You can't just say that a mechanic shouldn't exist or that something shouldn't be balanced simply because the lore -which is a construct designed entirely to justify and accommodate mechanics- is sketchy in places.
Game mechanics DO exist in a vacuum. The only required justification for any mechanic from a game design standpoint is "I want it to be this way".


If I were to grant beam weapons a CR bonus I'd probably consider direct increase in damage (clear optical system lead to sharper focusing and less energy loss) or reduction in flux generation (cooling system/heat sink working properly).

IMO Whether beam are weak actually comes down to each individual weapon itself - the more I think of it the more I find DPS comparison to be beside the point. We've seen some pretty nasty beams in mods (eg. neutrino, Freespace 2, Fairy Empire), and the fact that such powerful beam weapons being so difficult to respond to (accurate, continuous, no "wasted" damage on an overload shot, either receive the flux or take it on armor), not to mention their utility made me think the stat on the vanilla beams to be quite fair.

Either a straight ( But small ) damage increase or an efficiency increase would both work.

The utility of beam weapons is there, to a point... I can't speak for anything other than Neutrino for you examples but for that:
All the Neutrino beam weapons are BURST beams and all of them scale with fire rate (Except the pulsed beam cannon and its large variant). And frankly it shows, they're powerful weapons despite generating no hard flux. That said because they're burst beams there IS wasted damage because they're not continuous so missing is possible and a large penalty. Though it is nice that there's no overload wastage.

I'll agree that it comes down to a weapon-by-weapon basis but the Vanilla beams feel particularly lackluster.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 08:44:22 AM by Borgoid »
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2013, 09:24:32 AM »

General buff skills that aren't weapon-type restricted (like the missile skills) need to work on everything not just everything except beams. If Fire-Rate buffs don't affect beams, there needs to be a second part to those skills and buffs that gives something to beams. Straight up extra damage, a little extra range, more flux efficiency, doesn't matter. But something has to be there.
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Gothars

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2013, 11:09:28 AM »

I think you're making a bit of an unfounded assumption. If we can't have a frank discussion about the facts of a situation without being considered rude

If you imply that someone doesn't care for game mechanics and thus should leave [the community], I call that aggressive, yes. Maybe you meant to say something different, but that's what I read from your statement. So, either way, review your formulation. Being considered rude is as much a matter of tone as of content.


Game mechanics DO exist in a vacuum. The only required justification for any mechanic from a game design standpoint is "I want it to be this way".

A game simulates an experience. Game mechanics are one way to generate that experience, but things like graphics, music, atmosphere, story and lore also contribute to it. If mechanics were the only relevant factor Alex could replace fighters with automobiles or ballistic projectiles with flying fish and no one would care.
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Megas

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2013, 11:41:03 AM »

Since quickening fire rate of weapons effectively increases damage and flux cost (and ammo cost) per second, beams can simulate this by doing likewise - higher damage and flux cost per second.
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Borgoid

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 11:51:23 AM »


If you imply that someone doesn't care for game mechanics and thus should leave [the community], I call that aggressive, yes. Maybe you meant to say something different, but that's what I read from your statement. So, either way, review your formulation. Being considered rude is as much a matter of tone as of content.

Granted, you have to cater to your intended audience to a point. There are limitations to how effectively you can communicate your intent and beyond that if you want to argue about the intention behind the words let me just point out the multitude of ways your own posts could be interpreted.

Should I interpret you as a condescending? Forthright? Informative? Placid?

It's possible to assume ANY implication from nearly any statement, so lets stick to the facts.

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A game simulates an experience. Game mechanics are one way to generate that experience, but things like graphics, music, atmosphere, story and lore also contribute to it. If mechanics were the only relevant factor Alex could replace fighters with automobiles or ballistic projectiles with flying fish and no one would care.

Plenty of games are without music, without graphics, and without story. They function regardless.
Frankly there's a fair chance that a mod will eventually turn projectiles into flying fish and people will enjoy it.

This derailment aside - Can anyone come up with a mechanical or balance based reason for Beam weapons not scaling with CR?

Edit:
Since quickening fire rate of weapons effectively increases damage and flux cost (and ammo cost) per second, beams can simulate this by doing likewise - higher damage and flux cost per second.

It would be nice if they did. :(
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Gothars

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »

If you imply that someone doesn't care for game mechanics and thus should leave [the community], I call that aggressive, yes. Maybe you meant to say something different, but that's what I read from your statement. So, either way, review your formulation. Being considered rude is as much a matter of tone as of content.
Granted, you have to cater to your intended audience to a point. There are limitations to how effectively you can communicate your intent and beyond that if you want to argue about the intention behind the words let me just point out the multitude of ways your own posts could be interpreted.

Right, and to determine if that "point" has been reached is part of my job as a moderator. I do not want to argue about the intention behind the words, I'm telling you that they can too easily be interpreted as rude, seen from outside the discussion. So please just accept that and carry on, there is nothing to gain from arguing here, except more derailment.



On Topic: I think with the time pressure and armor buff beams have been handed the short end of the stick with this update, but the lack of scaling with CR in itself is not that much of a problem. The bonus is pretty insignificant anyway, at least when compared to skill bonuses. Maybe they just did not get an equivalent damage bonus because that would not have fit into the tooltip.
I'm still in favor of an overall buff like suggested here

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Borgoid

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2013, 01:55:05 PM »

You've misinterpreted what I've said spectacularly. Replace "To a point" with "Up to a point"
Your job is to moderate not mediate. People will disagree and your presence won't change that. In fact there's a fair chance it'll exacerbate the issue as it has here.
As an aside, there's always something to be gained a disagreement - It's just not particularly relevant


With regards to CR. The bonuses gained from high CR are actually quite significant when compared to skills. 100% CR = 25% fire rate along with the increased accuracy which is vital for ballistic weapons.
In reference to fire rate's effect on Beams, CR is literally half the problem.
It couldn't conceivably be a tooltip issue, that's insane.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 01:59:52 PM by Borgoid »
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Alfalfa

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 02:32:29 PM »

A game simulates an experience. Game mechanics are one way to generate that experience, but things like graphics, music, atmosphere, story and lore also contribute to it. If mechanics were the only relevant factor Alex could replace fighters with automobiles or ballistic projectiles with flying fish and no one would care.

Quite true, but the mechanics are still the core focus of design.  Say you had a dynamic music system set up to heighten the tension during critical moments, but it had a tendency to drown out important audio cues (mechanic).  When these two collide, the mechanic will almost always win.  You might lessen the intrusiveness of the music system, or you might make the audio cues more obvious, but the point is focus is being taken away from the music system (non-mechanic) and given to the actual game mechanic.  In regards to the current topic, I doubt non-scalable beams is part of the mythos Alex is trying to create.

    'And so, in the Final Days before the Collapse, the Tri-Tachyon council decreed further engineering of beam weaponry forbidden.  For these endeavors attempted to raise such lesser weapons to the celestial heights of the Holy Tachyon Lance, and thus were blasphemy.'

Lol, sorry.  ;D  I've been reading this series I picked up in a used bookstore, S. Andrew Swann's Apotheosis, which is kind of like Cyberpunk meets the Crusades.
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Magician

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 06:27:40 PM »

From my personal experience as a player I really like energy weapons. I just feel stronger when I am using energy weapons. Though after playing with Thule and ValkyriaL mods I found how to play ballistic way, still I don't think less of beams and prefer to have them in my fleet.

First. Ballistic weapons were designed to be slightly stronger, because they have ammo.
Second. Ballistic weapons are less universal, they are more specialized in what they do. You will need all 3 types to balance out your ship - fractal, kinetic, HE. They are very inefficient outside of their field of expertise. Also they are specialized in another sense. If most energy weapons are suitable for most situations, ballistic weapons are not very universal against different types of targets.
Third. Ballistic weapons have bad accuracy and are bad with target chasing turns.
Fourth. Ballistic weapons power is concentrated in projectiles. They are not very fast, they disappear when they hit garbage or something. In other words if your bullet hits damn  annihilator rocket, your dps will be zero, null, void. Regardless of how powerfull your weapons is.

Thats why ballistic weapons need those bonuses. Because ballistic weapons have drawbacks already.
In the first place there are triad of weapon buffs - Ammo accelerator, Missile racks, Energy focus. All three encrease weapons efficiency significantly. But you have to consider that flux gives bonus to energy damage. And there is a difference in ships. Not every ship has mentioned shipsystem, and different ships have different weapon mounts. I think these groups don't interfere much, so there is no need to fear that energy weapons will be outshined by ballistic. Which is ridiculous for all the reasons already mentioned.
You have to consider how the flow of the combat goes. There is no meaning in comparing DPS of weapons out of the blue. Because we play the game. And in the game weapons are attached to ships, and they are restricted by different game rules, and also some rules which were not defined by Alex, but which were born from the interactions of random elements. And when I compare ships in game I don't see why energy weapons need such strong buff.

I even find it completely unneeded, because usually energy weapons have enough dps. But your ships doesn't have enough flux. Giving me Energy Accelerator wont do anything good. On the contrary it will only either create godmode monster or just cripple flux harmony and make my shipsystem unusable. And those small buffs to ballistic weapons - they were needed, in v.0.54 I felt that ballistic weapons are less usable.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 06:32:45 PM by Magician »
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Borgoid

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2013, 07:35:17 PM »


First. Ballistic weapons were designed to be slightly stronger, because they have ammo.
The last time I ran out of ammo on a ship it was a BRDY Karkinos vs an ENTIRE Caliph fleet solo, without Expanded Magazines and even then it was only the low total damage weapons that suffered. I don't consider ammo to be a constraint in the current game balance.
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Second. Ballistic weapons are less universal, they are more specialized in what they do. You will need all 3 types to balance out your ship - fractal, kinetic, HE. They are very inefficient outside of their field of expertise. Also they are specialized in another sense. If most energy weapons are suitable for most situations, ballistic weapons are not very universal against different types of targets.
As I already pointed out in my 2 small slot example - 2 Ballistic slots provide three times the dps of two Tactical Lasers vs both armor and shields with the added benefit of generating hard flux. To say that Ballistic weapons are less versatile is just silly when considered on a ship-wide scale.

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Third. Ballistic weapons have bad accuracy and are bad with target chasing turns.
Fourth. Ballistic weapons power is concentrated in projectiles. They are not very fast, they disappear when they hit garbage or something. In other words if your bullet hits damn  annihilator rocket, your dps will be zero, null, void. Regardless of how powerfull your weapons is.
Most Ballistic weapons have no or simply very minor recoil so they're not inherently very inaccurate. When it comes to projectile velocity it's just not that hard to lead a target and failing that the AI does a good job of it assuming you don't screw it up by piloting illogically.
Having a projectile from say, a Hellbore Cannon hit an annihilator is definitely bad for dps I'll give you that, but given that ballistic weapons generate hard flux it's much easier to pick and choose the moments in order to be the most effective, mitigating most if not all of the potential dps loss from the projectile based nature.
You're not required to fire CONSTANTLY to maintain the soft flux buildup.
It should also be noted that beams are notoriously bad at killing annihilators without an utter crapload of them and suffer similarly in the dps department so that's pretty much void.

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Thats why ballistic weapons need those bonuses. Because ballistic weapons have drawbacks already.
In the first place there are triad of weapon buffs - Ammo accelerator, Missile racks, Energy focus. All three increase weapons efficiency significantly. But you have to consider that flux gives bonus to energy damage. And there is a difference in ships. Not every ship has mentioned shipsystem, and different ships have different weapon mounts. I think these groups don't interfere much, so there is no need to fear that energy weapons will be outshined by ballistic. Which is ridiculous for all the reasons already mentioned.

I've already covered the ballistic drawbacks you mentioned, they're mostly incorrect. The ship systems have little to no bearing on the weapon balance.


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You have to consider how the flow of the combat goes. There is no meaning in comparing DPS of weapons out of the blue. Because we play the game. And in the game weapons are attached to ships, and they are restricted by different game rules, and also some rules which were not defined by Alex, but which were born from the interactions of random elements. And when I compare ships in game I don't see why energy weapons need such strong buff.
I'm not comparing dps in a vacuum, I've already pointed out multiple times the numerous other penalties beam weapons suffer.

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I even find it completely unneeded, because usually energy weapons have enough dps. But your ships doesn't have enough flux. Giving me Energy Accelerator wont do anything good. On the contrary it will only either create godmode monster or just cripple flux harmony and make my shipsystem unusable. And those small buffs to ballistic weapons - they were needed, in v.0.54 I felt that ballistic weapons are less usable.

I... honestly have no clue what you're saying here....
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 07:36:53 PM by Borgoid »
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Magician

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2013, 08:08:57 PM »

I already hinted that ballistic and energy weapons are not the same thing with different sprites.
They have different concept.
They have different specialization.
They have different strenghts and weaknesses.
They are used by different ships with different shipsystems.
You can't compare them in such manner. Though they all are weapons, they have too many differencies.

If you love logic, what about missiles? They need love too. There are indeed a lot of work to do with balancing and other things in Starsector, but in our case, in this thread, I think its not the main reason.
I think the main reason is how you play the game. You have your own playstyle, and because of it you perceive energy weapons lacking. I don't say that other people don't do it, including me. But this thread is less about balance and more about preferences and playstyles. If other people find energy weapons overpowered, there is a reason and logic behind it. And I doubt that there is one truth, rather there are many different things and they all may be true in different ways.
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Histidine

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2013, 08:20:54 PM »

+1 to Andy's idea of giving beams a flat damage bonus with RoF increase - perhaps without a corresponding flux/s increase, 1) to throw beam weapons a bone and 2) because we can afford to; it's really a minor inconsistency compared to the whole soft flux thing.
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Andy H.K.

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2013, 08:40:16 PM »

What we've all been missing throughout the discussion is that CR effects goes both away: by receiving a bonus from high CR, it would also suffer a penalty due to low CR. In this sense, arguably one of beam weapons's advantage is that it doesn't suffer DPS and accuracy loss due to low CR.

If we're talking about short straw I'd say missile had it worse: they require a minimum CR to simply have enough of what's already severely limited ammo in the first place!. And I don't even think the ROF bonus work on them, too... Not that I'm complaining, me as a gamer see it as a flavor to each weapon system and once again as a gamer, such drawback isn't something I can't cope with.

The way I understand beam weapon is that while it may look inferior by generating soft flux, I believe that's exactly their point. In the combat tutorial, it's said that "these flux still need to be vented". The reality of what beam weapon does, IMO, is shutting off a portion of enemy vessel's vent, and hopefully with its always improving efficiency, to help win the flux war. When one analyse a beam weapon, I believe one should compare it to the venting power of a ship, eg. tactical laser against a lasher. By doing so, you'll see the number is in fact not that bad. (pardon my lack of numbers here since I don't have the codex readily on hand.... I'm at work ;D)

High flux is high flux be it soft or hard, you either drop shield or stop shooting at that point. Hard flux do so by filling the pool, soft flux do so by restricting the drainage. Keep in mind that shooting also fill your own flux pool... since we've been talking about ROF, one can say that by having shield up to block those beams and keep firing, he is essentially hurting himself, and an improved ROF only serve to make one hit the cap sooner. I think this is a concept that people need to understand to really appreciate the role of beam weapon as a support weapon.

ps. Missing a shot isn't exactly a problem with the weapon itself.... Besides scattering, I believe player skill/autofire AI plays a more important factor. Not to mention if you miss say a torpedo, all damage is loss. If  you miss a burst beam, if it have something akin to duration you can trail the beam back on target to salvage what's left of the damage potential.

EDIT: grammar ><
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 08:47:51 PM by Andy H.K. »
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Borgoid

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Re: Increased Fire Rate's effect on Charge and Beam weapons
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2013, 09:04:37 PM »

I think the main reason is how you play the game. You have your own playstyle, and because of it you perceive energy weapons lacking. I don't say that other people don't do it, including me. But this thread is less about balance and more about preferences and playstyles. If other people find energy weapons overpowered, there is a reason and logic behind it. And I doubt that there is one truth, rather there are many different things and they all may be true in different ways.

... Nope that's bollocks. There's a logically correct answer to the question " is this balanced "
I personally prefer beam weapons, they're fun to use. Despite that I can look at the various attributes of the weapons and firmly say that beams scale poorly with level and CR.

What we've all been missing throughout the discussion is that CR effects goes both away: by receiving a bonus from high CR, it would also suffer a penalty due to low CR. In this sense, arguably one of beam weapons's advantage is that it doesn't suffer DPS and accuracy loss due to low CR.
Well that's true... I'd like to point out the CR consumption on most ships that can mount energy weapons is significantly higher though, as is typically the downtime.

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If we're talking about short straw I'd say missile had it worse: they require a minimum CR to simply have enough of what's already severely limited ammo in the first place!. And I don't even think the ROF bonus work on them, too... Not that I'm complaining, me as a gamer see it as a flavor to each weapon system and once again as a gamer, such drawback isn't something I can't cope with.
Yeah missiles got screwed by CR but at least they've got their own associated Skill. It's much harder if not impossible to compare missiles and standard weapons due to their significantly different objectives which is fine by me.

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The way I understand beam weapon is that while it may look inferior by generating soft flux, I believe that's exactly their point. In the combat tutorial, it's said that "these flux still need to be vented". The reality of what beam weapon does, IMO, is shutting off a portion of enemy vessel's vent, and hopefully with its always improving efficiency, to help win the flux war. When one analyse a beam weapon, I believe one should compare it to the venting power of a ship, eg. tactical laser against a lasher. By doing so, you'll see the number is in fact not that bad. (pardon my lack of numbers here since I don't have the codex readily on hand.... I'm at work ;D)
While it's true that beams effectively reduce the opposing ship's flux dissipation equal to their dps... The same is true for hard flux generating weapons. Anything that generates hard flux generates 1-1 hard flux for every point of damage dealt ( I think that's right, can anyone confirm that?) effectively reducing the dissipation of the ship by the same amount as a beam of similar dps would with the added advantage that it FORCES the shield to be lowered
If you'd like me to break out the numbers then I can do that, but I can tell you for a certainty that MORE energy slots are required to overload any ship type than ballistic slots.
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High flux is high flux be it soft or hard, you either drop shield or stop shooting at that point. Hard flux do so by filling the pool, soft flux do so by restricting the drainage. Keep in mind that shooting also fill your own flux pool... since we've been talking about ROF, one can say that by having shield up to block those beams and keep firing, he is essentially hurting himself, and an improved ROF only serve to make one hit the cap sooner. I think this is a concept that people need to understand to really appreciate the role of beam weapon as a support weapon.

I covered this above but long story short... Hard flux is better!
Unless the ratio of damage-> hard flux isn't 1-1. If that's the case then this entire thread and all my assumptions need to be overhauled.
Which would be awesome!


The problem I have is that beams don't inherently seem to be a " support " weapon, they just seem to be an inferior weapon.

Frankly Soft Flux doesn't really suit the support role, neither does Energy damage.
If I want a ship to support me in killing another, I want it to overload that ship as fast as possible to prevent it firing and to facilitate killing it in a timely fashion. Dead things do considerably less damage and kinetic hard flux is pretty much the best tool for the job
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