AutoShield defense devices

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gunship256
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AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:43 am

AUTOSHIELD DEFENSE DEVICES

Download link to current version:
0.12 alpha

This mod contains a series of auto-defense devices that fit in the shield slot. They are designed to intercept beams, missiles, and enemy ships.

This is an alpha release. Any feedback and suggestions are welcomed!


QUESTIONS

* Are these devices balanced?

* How can I improve them?

(EDIT 2016 April 3: Updated the download link for 0.12 alpha.)
Last edited by gunship256 on Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:42 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:43 am

BALANCE CALCULATIONS

All of the AutoShields are matter weapons. Beams aren't able to interact with each other, so I had to choose between creating matter weapons and missiles. Matter weapons are easier to balance.

Missile fragments and particle-based weapons (for example, the Morning Star) are unable to stop beams, so the main benefit of using missiles (fragmentation) is not helpful for AutoShields.

For each AutoShield, I started with the DPS of a vanilla weapon of the same damage type and level. Since these are matter weapons, I often used howitzer DPS.

I then nerfed the range to 30 ls and raised interaction to a minimum of 80. I then cut DPS in half, since autoShields are essentially self-targeting linked-fire omni weapons, and Transcendence 1.7 alpha 1 assumes that omni is worth a 100% DPS bonus. Power use was not lowered, even though DPS was cut in half. The DPS target was achieved by raising fire rate to 10 shots/second and lowering damage/shot accordingly.

Assumption: the use of the shield slot and the limited range may (or may not?) balance out the advantage of what is essentially a linked-fire omni weapon that can target beams, missiles, and enemy ships. Is this a fair assumption?

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by PM » Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:44 am

Beams merely have default interaction and hitPoints of zero. Your beams can override interaction (and hitPoints) if you want them to hit and stop other beams.

Losing a proper shield is a huge drawback. Whatever replaces the shield had better be powerful.

I would balance a missile defense device as an omnidirectional weapon (which you tried, it seems). I would not penalize it as a linked-fire weapon if it replaces the shield or other vital special slot.

I ran few of the weapons through the balance algorithm. Level 1 is underpowered. Level 2 may be slightly overpowered. I did not bother with the rest.

Keep it mind that if your autoshield is meant to shoot at enemies, one or two damage, especially if it is kinetic (or any non-generic if level-appropriate) will not be effective at harming things.

As for the weapons, they seem effective at missile defense, but you will still get clobbered or killed in some fights. No shields is a big drawback. Also, no friendly fire detection, but any friendly-fire casualties do not seem to count against you. (You do not get charged, and you can get away with murder.)

How to improve them? Make their stats closer to the weapons they were derived from? Maybe make some of the weapons a bit different from each other?
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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:56 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I re-did the mod based on your advice. Here's a new alpha, which includes a spreadsheet with the balance calculations:
d064_AutoShield 0.11 alpha.zip
(21.06 KiB) Downloaded 44 times
Beams merely have default interaction and hitPoints of zero. Your beams can override interaction (and hitPoints) if you want them to hit and stop other beams....

Also, no friendly fire detection, but any friendly-fire casualties do not seem to count against you. (You do not get charged, and you can get away with murder.)
I tried what you said, and it worked: giving beams interaction="100" makes them stop other beams. The vanilla point defense algorithm still seems to be broken, though, as I often saw the beams shooting behind the playership as if missiles were going to pass right through the ship, keep going, and then get intercepted after passing through. The faster the weapon used for point defense, the more of a problem this seems to be.

I need to fix that problem as well as add friendly fire detection. Where do you suggest I start? Is the code from PD mod still applicable to 1.7 alpha?
Losing a proper shield is a huge drawback. Whatever replaces the shield had better be powerful.

I would balance a missile defense device as an omnidirectional weapon (which you tried, it seems). I would not penalize it as a linked-fire weapon if it replaces the shield or other vital special slot.
I went ahead and re-did all of the weapons, balancing them as normal weapons without a linked-fire penalty. That is, I treated the shield slot as a linked-fire weapon slot for balance purposes. Hopefully, they'll feel powerful enough to justify the loss of a shield.
I ran few of the weapons through the balance algorithm. Level 1 is underpowered. Level 2 may be slightly overpowered. I did not bother with the rest.
Do you mean the algorithm George uses here? https://github.com/kronosaur/Mammoth/bl ... nClass.cpp

I rebalanced everything for the new alpha based on what George has in that file. I made a spreadsheet, which is included with the mod, with all of the calculations in it.

Is there a Lisp function that can tell me how balanced a weapon is, or should I continue to expand the spreadsheet and do the calculations myself?
How to improve them? Make their stats closer to the weapons they were derived from? Maybe make some of the weapons a bit different from each other?
This is exactly what the mod needed. After I changed the ten devices so that each one uses a different vanilla weapon, upgrading became more interesting, a lot more like trying out a new weapon than just installing a more powerful shield. The Nandao bolt, in particular, is very good at stopping beams because of its effect's large size, and it does a lot of damage to ships as well.

The AutoShields seem to be worse at stopping beams and better at fighting ships than they were before, mostly due to the higher damage and lower rate of fire that was necessary to imitate vanilla weapons. They're definitely more interesting to use now.

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:41 am

Here's a new version (0.12 alpha):
d064_AutoShield 0.12 alpha.zip
(21.66 KiB) Downloaded 47 times
CHANGES

Increased shots/second for all devices because we weren't fully accounting for the use of the shield slot before. See included spreadsheet for calculations.

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by RPC » Fri May 20, 2016 3:10 am

Autoshield device suggestion:

Code: Select all

    <Weapon
                type=            "missile"
                damage=            "kinetic:0"
                repeating=          "150000"
                fireRate=         "30"
                hitPoints=      "3"
                missileSpeed=      "10"
                lifetime=         "45"
                powerUse=         "100"
                accelerationFactor="90"
                >            
             <Configuration aimTolerance="5">
                <Shot angle="0-180"/>
                <Shot angle="360-181"/>
                <Shot angle="0-180"/>
                <Shot angle="360-181"/>
                <Shot angle="0-180"/>
                <Shot angle="360-181"/>
             </Configuration>         
             <Effect>
                <Image imageID="&rsMissiles4;" imageX="0" imageY="0" imageWidth="16" imageHeight="16" imageFrameCount="4" imageTicksPerFrame="1" randomStartFrame="true"/>
             </Effect>
          </Weapon>
No idea how to make it balanced but the idea is it makes a cloak of particles to block damage. Maybe just make the cloak thinner or have less particle emission per second.
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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by TheLoneWolf » Fri May 20, 2016 6:01 am

I just have had an idea. It involves an Iocrym Repeller in a shield slot :D

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Fri May 20, 2016 12:46 pm

RPC, thanks for the suggestion! I'll try making a new device for that weapon to see how it works.

TheLoneWolf, this mod is going the way of the dinosaur. Some of the devices will get incorporated into the PDmod update, whcih I hope to release this weekend. The Iocrym repeller is a level 10 point-defense device in PDmod and makes the ICS a worthy opponent.

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by TheLoneWolf » Sat May 21, 2016 1:54 pm

Best of luck :D

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Sat May 21, 2016 2:47 pm

RPC wrote:No idea how to make it balanced but the idea is it makes a cloak of particles to block damage. Maybe just make the cloak thinner or have less particle emission per second.
I'm thinking about how we can incorporate this device into the PDmod update. It does look very difficult to balance.

What do you think about taking away the hitpoints and giving each shot a damage of 1? That would make it possible to balance against vanilla devices.

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by TheLoneWolf » Sat May 21, 2016 2:51 pm

gunship256 wrote:
RPC wrote:No idea how to make it balanced but the idea is it makes a cloak of particles to block damage. Maybe just make the cloak thinner or have less particle emission per second.
I'm thinking about how we can incorporate this device into the PDmod update. It does look very difficult to balance.

What do you think about taking away the hitpoints and giving each shot a damage of 1? That would make it possible to balance against vanilla devices.
Battleship Sierra mod? I was seriously hard pressed to replicate such a thing, but to no avail :(

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by RPC » Sat May 21, 2016 2:57 pm

What do you think about taking away the hitpoints and giving each shot a damage of 1? That would make it possible to balance against vanilla devices.
Yeah that would be fine, so it would basically be an area denial for missiles but still let beams go through.
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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by gunship256 » Sat May 21, 2016 3:14 pm

RPC wrote:
What do you think about taking away the hitpoints and giving each shot a damage of 1? That would make it possible to balance against vanilla devices.
Yeah that would be fine, so it would basically be an area denial for missiles but still let beams go through.
It sounds like we need to take the 360-degree spread into consideration when we balance the device. How much do you suggest increasing damage by relative to a normal weapon? Should DPS double? Triple?

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Re: AutoShield defense devices

Post by RPC » Sat May 21, 2016 3:24 pm

It depends, if it has really high damage players might be tempted to use it as a battering ram :P

I would just stick to normal dps relative to other weapons of a similar *level. Since it's short range I don't think we need to worry about having players use it for unintended purposes.

*edit level not weapon R I P
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