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Author Topic: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.  (Read 17105 times)

SafariJohn

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #45 on: October 29, 2014, 06:19:33 AM »

Related to this, currently all actions in station are pretty much instant. Given that NPC fleets now spend some time doing their thing (trade fleets offloading cargo), perhaps the player should too. Making hull refits take time would be a good start.
I agree, and here is something along the same lines that's been buried by the surge of threads following the release: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=8143.0
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Megas

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #46 on: October 29, 2014, 08:31:25 AM »

Quote
Yeah, I very much agree that this sort of micro is indicative of a design problem. Nothing comes to mind, though - what I'd like is for AE to not be a no-brainer hullmod on freighters, where the OP cost basically doesn't matter, and neither do combat penalties. So, open to suggestions!
The easiest solution would be to remove the burn speed bonus and the penalties and call it a day, at least until repair and refit are no longer instant.  More top speed and no damage penalties would make Augmented Engines better than Unstable Injector.  No burn bonus on engine hullmods would make Navigation 10 too attractive, practically a skill point tax.

Depending how skills are allocated, for some characters, there may never be a time when an engine hullmod on a logistics ship is not a no-brainer.  For me, without access to armor hullmods, my only options are Blast Doors (bulk-up for boarding), engine hullmods, or weapons.  Weapons are only good for missile defense, and if push-comes-to-shove, they can be omitted in favor of hullmods (because if attackers catch up, freighter will die, armed or not).  If my freighters get forced into a fight, I want them to leave as soon as possible, so any engine hullmod, even current Unstable Injector, is a no-brainer.

My most recent food shortage exploit was from Sindria to Volturn (who had a worsened food crisis), which is an extremely short one-way trip (thanks to path from stargate to Salus).  I took off Augmented Engines off of about ten ships (including two Atlas) to maximize cargo space, hauled about 5000 food to Volturn, sold it for over a million credits and gained half a level from 45 to 46.  Then I put Augmented Engines back on the all of my ships (for +2 burn) and made my way back to Sindria.  Once back, I replaced Augmented Engines, took another 5000 food, and made another trip to Volturn for an encore.  Mission complete, Augmented Engines was put back.  Had I not swapped hullmods, it would have taken three trips instead of two, and Volturn's food shortage was over shortly after the second trip (it timed out - I did not have enough food to end it).  After all was said and done, I earned over two million credits and enough experience to level from 45 to 46.

The only other hullmod that might be prone to swapping is Automated Repair Unit, but I rarely use the ships that can afford the hullmod and benefit the most from it (namely Dominator and Onslaught).
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nand633

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #47 on: October 29, 2014, 09:08:17 AM »

I think the Refit things are too simplified.

Need to be faster? Buy engines and install them. They cost money, space and weight. It makes sense.

Need more armor? A better targetting system or reinforced power supply to your firepower? Everything should be done in a shipyard and cost you money and supplies.

I understand that above changes may happen or not. At least, please disable Refit unless I'm docked. 1000 supplies in my cargo space doesn't mean I have extra engines or install/remove them repeatly during fast-than-light flight.
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Gothars

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2014, 11:52:10 AM »

Yeah, I very much agree that this sort of micro is indicative of a design problem. Nothing comes to mind, though - what I'd like is for AE to not be a no-brainer hullmod on freighters, where the OP cost basically doesn't matter, and neither do combat penalties. So, open to suggestions!

I like the "station refit" approach, mainly for it exploratory aspects. There was the idea of being able to install (but not maintain) even hullmods you have not unlocked yet on stations (but they degrade over time).
An alternative that was not mentioned yet is the reversal of the current implementation:

You could reduce the burn speed bonus Augmented Engines provide in relation to a ship's cargo/fuel capacity (ship size staggered). So freighters don't get a bonus in the first place, pure assault ships like the Hyperion get a bigger bonus. Not a huge fan of that myself, though.

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Debido

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2014, 12:09:32 PM »

Doesn't encourage micromanagement, unless you're so  desperate for cash you salvage everything from every battle and don't have enough cargo space because you don't have enough freighters or whatever.

There is no issue with the augmented engines, with the extra 2 burn speed you could just get to your destination faster to sell off the loot. I really am scratching my head why you would be even inclined to be swapping out a hullmod for extra cash when there is sooooo much money to be made elsewhere.

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Megas

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #50 on: October 29, 2014, 02:13:53 PM »

Quote
There is no issue with the augmented engines, with the extra 2 burn speed you could just get to your destination faster to sell off the loot. I really am scratching my head why you would be even inclined to be swapping out a hullmod for extra cash when there is sooooo much money to be made elsewhere.
So I can make even more money by carrying more loot and/or not leaving loot behind, especially if the destination is close, but not so close I can get there without burning too many supplies and/or losing speed from being overburdened.  In case of food runs, not only money, but also experience.  At the endgame, it is easier to gain money and experience by doing food runs than trying to hunt down every endgame bounty fleet featuring max Combat capitals and spending fifteen or so minutes trying to kill them without losing ships.

EDIT:  And when I need Augmented Engines, I put the hullmod on; and when I need cargo space more, I remove it.  Get the benefits of either with careful management.  CR cost is minor on fighting ships and irrelevant on freighters.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 02:17:28 PM by Megas »
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CopperCoyote

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2014, 04:42:56 PM »

Now that UI doesn't improve burnspeed it feels weird that AU adds 2. Might be better if it only added 1. It'd feel less "must have" then.

A possible way to hand wave not allowing AU to be field modified is by saying all mods over X size require specialized facilities. So if the same size as or larger than AU it'd also stop Unstable Injectors and Heavy Armor. If smaller like the size of Hardened Shields then it'd stop much more(that i can't name off the top of my head).

Another possible deterrent is by making it so ships below 50% CR (for example) have reduced burnspeed too. That'd make it more painful to change it and make it harder to know if it's worthwhile. While concurrently making the CR loss due to modifications increase (especially AU). The reduced speed below X% CR would also stop cargo ships from ignoring CR and repairs (which feels super gamey to me).

Another way to make it less of a must have is making the ship cost more LR. It'd not only reduce you potential fleet size, but also cost CR on the ships you aren't even changing (by making the extra available LR smaller it'd reduce the max CR, or push you over 100%LR). This would be a massive massive debuff though so you'd probably want to remove most the other penalties. I'd still put it on most combat frigates and some combat destroyers but nearly never on cruisers or capitals with this change.

You could also just limit the amount of over capacitance cargo you can take on from salvage. No point to change if you can't load yourself so much that you'd slow down more than you'd gain.

Lastly you could just remove the burnspeed bonus. No reason to have it on cargo ships then except to flee chase scenarios better. By that point you're pretty SOL in most cases anyway. I personally would still put it on hermes and tarsus in this case.
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Wyvern

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2014, 04:55:40 PM »

Ooh, I like having it increase logistics footprint of the ship it's on.  That's a good one.  Maybe 20% increase?  Could give unstable injector the same logistics increase and restore its +1 burn speed, too.

This would, of course, require removing the current reduction to cargo / fuel capacity.  And technically you might still have some cases to micromanage, if you were trying to go over capacity but still stay under your logistics cap... but I wouldn't expect that to be worthwhile, given that that's also the sort of case where you're burning supplies at an absurd rate and you're probably better off just dumping things to get down to cap and then heading to sell at the increased burn speed.
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Lucian Greymark

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2014, 05:13:15 PM »

I'm particularly unfamiliar with the augmented engines perk myself, but from what I've been reading it seems to either take up some cargo space, or reduce it?

Perhaps a simple fix for the issue of fiddling about would be to simply apply the same effect to unstable injector, or simply remove it altogether?

Just a thought.
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ahrenjb

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2014, 05:29:29 PM »

I don't agree that this hull mod results in any kind of micromanagement for the way the vast majority of players are going to choose to play the game. I mean augmented engines comes in at what skill level, 7? By the time the player has dumped enough aptitude and skill points into engineering the 25% penalty doesn't really seem to matter. I like my fleets to move fast, and augmented engines are an absolute must on every ship in my fleet. Navigation 10 is the first skill I max out.

By the time I'm able to mount that on ships, I usually don't have an issue with cargo space. Either because the way my fleets scale goes hand in hand with the size of the fleets I'm fighting (and their loot) or because if I'm pillaging on the regular tossing a freighter into my fleet seems like a no-brainer.

Then again, I'm not a min-max player.
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Aeson

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2014, 09:03:17 PM »

A possible way to hand wave not allowing AU to be field modified is by saying all mods over X size require specialized facilities.
I really don't think that there's any need to hand wave an explanation for why Augmented Engines might require specialized facilities to install. After all, you're making presumably significant modifications to your ship's engines, which should in theory be offline while you're doing this. Since you're also reducing the cargo space by installing Augmented Engines, it appears you're also rearranging the ship's interior and expanding the engine compartments, which suggests that you're cutting through interior bulkheads and rerouting power and cooling and fuel lines and installing the apparently sizable equipment that augments your engines. Since the ship speed (both tactical and burn) is increased, you're also probably looking at work on at least the thruster exhaust ports to prevent them from being damaged by the increased force exerted by the thruster exhaust.

If you think just a little bit about it, there's a considerable amount of work that would need to be performed in order to install or remove Augmented Engines, even if the ships of Starsector are all built with cargo holds arranged in such a manner that 25% of the available cargo space can easily be converted to engine compartments (i.e. all the required power, cooling, fuel, and exhaust lines are in place, there's reasonably convenient internal access for the crews, the compartments are airtight and connected to the ship's life support systems in a way suitable for more than temporary visits, there's adequate lighting, etc, and "all" that you need to do is clear the area and assemble the equipment). In my opinion, it's a lot easier to justify "Augmented Engines can only be installed/removed at a location with adequate shipyard facilities" than "Augmented Engines can be installed/removed whenever you want."

I'm particularly unfamiliar with the augmented engines perk myself, but from what I've been reading it seems to either take up some cargo space, or reduce it?

Perhaps a simple fix for the issue of fiddling about would be to simply apply the same effect to unstable injector, or simply remove it altogether?
The issue that Megas has with Augmented Engines is that they reduce cargo space on his ships in return for increased burn speed. Since Megas feels that he or she needs to pick up every last piece of loot from every last battle and must always have as much burn speed as possible, he or she finds it worthwhile to install Augmented Engines for the burn speed bonus, catch and kill fleets, and loot them until he or she has acquired enough junk to return to port. Since cargo overflow reduces burn speed and Augmented Engines reduce cargo capacity, Megas finds it worthwhile to go through and remove Augmented Engines hullmods from each of his or her vessels every time he or she acquires enough to cause a cargo overflow that reduces burn speed significantly, because removing augmented engines from every ship in the fleet increases fleet cargo capacity by 33% (assuming every ship in the fleet had Augmented Engines in the first place), which effectively boosts the fleet's speed because the cargo overflow is reduced or removed, and does so in a manner which is better than the burn speed bonus that Augmented Engines grant. This is an optimization that maximizes profits - dropping the Augmented Engines increases the fleet's speed and reduces cargo overflow, which results in a reduction in the amount of supplies consumed by the fleet en route to the closest station worth selling the junk to, which maximizes the profitability of the operation. Then, once all the junk has been sold, you can reinstall Augmented Engines to boost your burn speed again, and go around and do it again.

As a quick example, let's say you had a "fleet" of one Hammerhead destroyer. It has a basic cargo capacity of 100 and a base burn speed of 4. If you add Augmented Engines to this, the burn speed increases by 2, but the cargo capacity is reduced to 75. Let's say that you have a Hammerhead, install Augmented Engines to boost your burn speed to 6, fight a few battles, and pick up enough loot that you have X cargo where X is in the interval [150, 200) in your cargo holds. The current rule is that if you're carrying more than twice your fleet capacity of fuel, cargo, or crew, your burn speed is reduced to 1. Since 75*2 = 150 <= X, your Hammerhead with Augmented Engines is now reduced to a burn speed of 1. However, if you remove the Augmented Engines, your cargo capacity jumps back up to 100 units, and since 100*2 = 200 > X, your Hammerhead jumps back up to a burn speed of 4. Then, when you sell off all your junk and reduce the cargo carried back down to whatever your normal carried supplies are, you can reinstall the Augmented Engines and boost your Hammerhead back up to a burn speed of 6.
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Vind

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #56 on: October 30, 2014, 12:56:56 AM »

Make augmented engines permanent once installed on a ship(like shielded cargohold) and make this hullmod only changeable at shipyard for a big price.
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Megas

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #57 on: October 30, 2014, 06:36:03 AM »

I noticed I swap the most under these two conditions:
  • Killing endgame fleets with a small fast fleet (40 DP or less for no objective fights):  Often more loot than I can carry even if I dump low value cargo.  Max Combat flagships are easier to kill when they do not have boosts from objectives.
  • Trade (food) runs:  Load up as many freighters as I can support (can be more than a dozen), use Unstable Injectors while cargo is full.  After I offload cargo, go through all of my ships and swap Unstable Injectors for Augmented Engines.
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Punchclock

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2014, 10:37:39 AM »

Never really felt the need to swap out/in augmented engines on the fly, the only vessel I have it installed on is a dominator solely because I had no other way to match the burn speed of my destroyers. For cargoships I can see why temporarily strapping them on would be considered-especially if tugs aren't an attractive option, but I don't know why this would be considered a bad thing-especially with other options to make one go like sanic.
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Lucian Greymark

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Re: Augmented Engines cargo penalty encourages micromanagement.
« Reply #59 on: October 30, 2014, 08:32:17 PM »

I guess the biggest confusion I have with this is that I've never felt the need to actually loot anything from downed fleets except fuel/supplies/weapons I'm actively hunting for. Imho the best way to accumulate money if you're already hunting fleets is to simply go to places where there are bounties for those fleets. Pirates are an excellent example of a fleet that usually has many bounties across the sector, sometimes multiple bounties in the same sector resulting in increased profits.

I haven't sold a damn thing, ever, on my current fleet, and I have over 1.3 million credits, a capital ship, and eight destroyers, with only about four-five hours of play. Typically I could make more money from selling my spoils, yes, but frankly it's just unnecessary. Unless I'm fixated on having a tiny fleet that can't pick up the larger bounties I don't think I'd ever need to use cargo space for anything other than supplies and weapons.

It's worth mentioning that (and I can't be sure about this, just an observation) that the larger your fleet is the larger the bounties you can make off other fleets, typically pirate fleets with named captains, because they in turn get larger.

Why does this matter in a discussion about micromanaging your cargo space? Because at the end of the day the OP is just making life harder for them self, instead of going after cargo, which tends to end up using more supplies through over capped cargo space. They should be filling up their holds with supplies at a friendly port, and butchering as many fleets as they can in each run from wherever they have their home base.

TLDR; You're making this hard for yourself, go after bounties, not cargo, your profits will increase dramatically.
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