"Boring" (high defense, low offense) enemies

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JohnBWatson
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Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:31 am

I agree with both of those. I'd lower the firerate slowdown on Steel Slavers, and fix the Urak destroyers by tripling their howitzer damage and doubling the turret range.

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Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:16 am

The Urak weapons already are pretty lackluster to start with. Should be buffed on that ground to start, and then work on adjusting the ships from there.

The RDN definitely needs a buff. Its current performance is abysmal.
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Song
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Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:29 am

The urak howitzer suffers from proximity detonation issues....if detonated right next to the hull it's not that bad.....but even if that got fixed up it's a bit lackluster when it actually shows up in any kind of quantity. The mass driver is actually surprisingly lethal in the early game. A more advanced version of their little drones fitting the advanced driver would be a better lategame guard than the initial model of sentinel.

Giving more range to the advanced version would also make perfect sense and be a nice addition.
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Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:56 pm

Deltax wrote:Two more ships that I believe fall into this category are steel slavers, and urak destroyers. Steel slavers have a single particle beam weapon, but fire it so slowly that they struggle to get through shields that are level 3 and higher.
I think Steel slavers are intended to be a support ship, launching cyberattacks while Wind slavers / particle turrets / Earth slavers deal out the big damage. It might be interesting if they were correspondingly more vulnerable to certain hybercubes (similar to luminous drones), CDM powers, or a new class of disposable device (similar to scanners) that causes cyberattacks to generate some sort of feedback damage on their source.

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Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:47 am

I definitely agree about the Urak Destroyer. I killed a couple today with a lancer cannon. To be fair, I had an Invincible deflector, which is rather overpowered in the midgame.

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JohnBWatson
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Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:29 am

Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote: I think Steel slavers are intended to be a support ship, launching cyberattacks while Wind slavers / particle turrets / Earth slavers deal out the big damage.
That seems logical. It'd be nice if they could call in Wind Slavers to back them up like the Charon Frigates do, given that they tend to show up alone.

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Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:27 pm

I was thinking about the Tripoli, and I think an interesting and appropriate weapon to replace their turbolasers would be the lancer cannon. They might need a better reactor, such as the 150NX, to explain how they can fire them (if we imagine that they fire all four at full fire rate and actually draw power from the reactor).


Another ship that has this issue is the Hurin-class destroyer, though they're not so much boring as frustrating, with 250 internal hp, level 6 regenerating armor, and a level 5 shield with bonus resistances and effectively 25 hp/sec regen and no down time. They're armed with 6 swiveling level 4 slam cannons, which are slated to be nerfed in the next version. They can put out a lot of shots, but they're effectively powerless against enemies at a distance or that can dodge well.

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:26 pm

NMS wrote:I was thinking about the Tripoli, and I think an interesting and appropriate weapon to replace their turbolasers would be the lancer cannon. They might need a better reactor, such as the 150NX, to explain how they can fire them (if we imagine that they fire all four at full fire rate and actually draw power from the reactor).
Four lancers would make them stronger than a Xeno defender(those have fallen victim to severe power creep, but I'd still say it's a bit much). What about giving them an extra two NAMI launchers in place of the forward turbolasers? It's a cheap way of adding anti - freighter firepower without much extra power draw, which seems like the route pirates would take.

I'd also up the range of the missiles they fire, to slightly exceed that of a howitzer. They're ammo weapons, so they should be able to fight their non - ammo counterparts effectively.
Another ship that has this issue is the Hurin-class destroyer, though they're not so much boring as frustrating, with 250 internal hp, level 6 regenerating armor, and a level 5 shield with bonus resistances and effectively 25 hp/sec regen and no down time. They're armed with 6 swiveling level 4 slam cannons, which are slated to be nerfed in the next version. They can put out a lot of shots, but they're effectively powerless against enemies at a distance or that can dodge well.
Their defenses generally feel balanced enough to me whenever I encounter them(and their speed lets them be used as a makeshift battering ram against Sung stations with little consequence). The issue with their range is definitely a big one, though. I've suggested before that they be given some sort of power related to 'The Light' that enables them to attack distant targets. It'd make them interesting and unique to fight, providing something other than the long ranged missile/howitzer or fast escort ship that are the only options for other slow capital ships.

Come to think of it, the Earth Slaver could solve this issue with a speed hack. If the enemy is between 80 and 200 ls away, it could use a cyberattack that lowers the target's speed, allowing it to catch up and deal damage.

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Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:57 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:Four lancers would make them stronger than a Xeno defender(those have fallen victim to severe power creep, but I'd still say it's a bit much). What about giving them an extra two NAMI launchers in place of the forward turbolasers? It's a cheap way of adding anti - freighter firepower without much extra power draw, which seems like the route pirates would take.
I was forgetting that Xenophobe defenders use the lancer. Well, they have level 5 armor with unusually good resistances, 120 main compartment hp, and level 5-6 weapons. So they're pretty balanced, but weak for the part of the game where they appear most frequently.

The Tripoli has level 3 shields, level 6 armor, 250 main compartment hp, level 3 guns and (usually) level 2 missiles. So it really needs better weapons and/or weaker defenses. I've suggested at least level 3 Brutes for the missiles, but they already sometimes have level 4 Broadswords, so they could always have those. Maybe level 4 particle beam weapons would be good enough for the guns if they also got a big improvement to fire rate (currently 1/4), or they could go all the way to level 6 TeV-9s, but maybe only one per side. (Currently the TeV-9 and the lancer cannon have near identical DPS, but it looks like the TeV-9 is going to get a damage buff while the lancer gets a fire rate nerf, which should make them more appropriate to their levels.)

JohnBWatson wrote:I'd also up the range of the missiles they fire, to slightly exceed that of a howitzer. They're ammo weapons, so they should be able to fight their non - ammo counterparts effectively.
Giving them tracking missiles might help with this. I'm not exactly sure what determines the range the AI uses their weapons at.

JohnBWatson wrote:Their defenses generally feel balanced enough to me whenever I encounter them(and their speed lets them be used as a makeshift battering ram against Sung stations with little consequence). The issue with their range is definitely a big one, though. I've suggested before that they be given some sort of power related to 'The Light' that enables them to attack distant targets. It'd make them interesting and unique to fight, providing something other than the long ranged missile/howitzer or fast escort ship that are the only options for other slow capital ships.
I guess they're supposed to be tough. Giving them a long-range capability might make the wandering patrols too annoying, especially for players who befriend them, since they'll still attack the player's allies. I don't know what to suggest, other than giving them weapons with higher shot speed so they can't be dodged so easily.

JohnBWatson wrote:Come to think of it, the Earth Slaver could solve this issue with a speed hack. If the enemy is between 80 and 200 ls away, it could use a cyberattack that lowers the target's speed, allowing it to catch up and deal damage.
I think the Earth slaver is fine. The Nandao is quite powerful. Making them hard to escape from would be a problem. Also, hacking has limited range (usually 30 ls, I think) for both logical and game balance reasons.

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:31 am

NMS wrote:I was forgetting that Xenophobe defenders use the lancer. Well, they have level 5 armor with unusually good resistances, 120 main compartment hp, and level 5-6 weapons. So they're pretty balanced, but weak for the part of the game where they appear most frequently.
That's a pretty good analysis. I think the best way to go about balancing them is to ensure that they are actually of assistance to the Xenophobe Worldships that they escort, and can survive a 1 on 1 fight with an armed CW colony fairly reliably(with all of their initial escorts backing them up).
The Tripoli has level 3 shields, level 6 armor, 250 main compartment hp, level 3 guns and (usually) level 2 missiles. So it really needs better weapons and/or weaker defenses. I've suggested at least level 3 Brutes for the missiles, but they already sometimes have level 4 Broadswords, so they could always have those. Maybe level 4 particle beam weapons would be good enough for the guns if they also got a big improvement to fire rate (currently 1/4), or they could go all the way to level 6 TeV-9s, but maybe only one per side. (Currently the TeV-9 and the lancer cannon have near identical DPS, but it looks like the TeV-9 is going to get a damage buff while the lancer gets a fire rate nerf, which should make them more appropriate to their levels.)
I'm on board with upgrading them to Brutes and Broadswords. Given that particle weapons are already used heavily by the Sung(including on the Earth Slaver, another capital ship) and they really look like they should have 4 guns, I still think 2 extra launchers would be best for creating a unique enemy ship to fight.
I guess they're supposed to be tough. Giving them a long-range capability might make the wandering patrols too annoying, especially for players who befriend them, since they'll still attack the player's allies. I don't know what to suggest, other than giving them weapons with higher shot speed so they can't be dodged so easily.
The Huari could use more of an exclusion radius anyways, when it comes to CW and CH bases. That said, you still have a point. Coding the Light power to only trigger against powerful enemies that are attacking it(like how CSCs work) could fix this, having it only trigger against things like 100MW+ players, station guards, and Earth Slavers.
I think the Earth slaver is fine. The Nandao is quite powerful. Making them hard to escape from would be a problem. Also, hacking has limited range (usually 30 ls, I think) for both logical and game balance reasons.
Right now they can be bombarded from outside weapon range with no retaliation whatsoever, making for a trivial but incredibly boring fight. That's got to be considered an issue.

As for making them hard to escape from, they only ever chase a player that has destroyed a Sung Citadel. Those are effectively the Sung equivalent of Startons, and should not be trivial to destroy without retaliation or consequences. Destroying a station whose guards you cannot kill except by luring should not be viable.

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:26 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
I think the Earth slaver is fine. The Nandao is quite powerful. Making them hard to escape from would be a problem. Also, hacking has limited range (usually 30 ls, I think) for both logical and game balance reasons.
Right now they can be bombarded from outside weapon range with no retaliation whatsoever, making for a trivial but incredibly boring fight. That's got to be considered an issue.

As for making them hard to escape from, they only ever chase a player that has destroyed a Sung Citadel. Those are effectively the Sung equivalent of Startons, and should not be trivial to destroy without retaliation or consequences. Destroying a station whose guards you cannot kill except by luring should not be viable.
This is the same AI bug as always. Only Rasiermesser missiles, Ares missiles, and the two slot APA outrange the Nandao. Almost all your long range weapon vs capship complaints come down to this one bug. There's no point making any suggestion other than to fix the AI bug.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:08 am

Atarlost wrote: This is the same AI bug as always. Only Rasiermesser missiles, Ares missiles, and the two slot APA outrange the Nandao. Almost all your long range weapon vs capship complaints come down to this one bug. There's no point making any suggestion other than to fix the AI bug.
I would say it's still not much of a fighter at range, even with the bug fixed. At close range it's got 2 particle turrets that can seriously damage any armor the player's likely to be fielding at that level, and uses them very effectively. At long range it only has the one lackluster weapon, and a lot less maneuverability than a similarly armed player. Even with the glitch fixed, it's very lacking in long distance offensive potential.

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Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:33 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:I would say it's still not much of a fighter at range, even with the bug fixed. At close range it's got 2 particle turrets that can seriously damage any armor the player's likely to be fielding at that level, and uses them very effectively. At long range it only has the one lackluster weapon, and a lot less maneuverability than a similarly armed player. Even with the glitch fixed, it's very lacking in long distance offensive potential.
I've found so far that sniping Earth Slavers with howitzers isn't worth the effort, especially since the recoil makes me have to re-aim every few seconds. It's much more expedient to shoot them with Lucifers from far away or to come in close with a rapid-fire weapon like the Moskva repeater and shoot missiles at the same time.

Are you kiting them? How do you get them to chase you without destroying the base first? Hopefully, with the nerf to howitzers, destroying the base to get the guards to give chase is going to get harder to do.

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Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:32 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
Atarlost wrote: This is the same AI bug as always. Only Rasiermesser missiles, Ares missiles, and the two slot APA outrange the Nandao. Almost all your long range weapon vs capship complaints come down to this one bug. There's no point making any suggestion other than to fix the AI bug.
I would say it's still not much of a fighter at range, even with the bug fixed. At close range it's got 2 particle turrets that can seriously damage any armor the player's likely to be fielding at that level, and uses them very effectively. At long range it only has the one lackluster weapon, and a lot less maneuverability than a similarly armed player. Even with the glitch fixed, it's very lacking in long distance offensive potential.
It's the same as the Mark III you decry as overpowered apart from ammo issues that don't effect the AI because they spawn with enough nandao bolts for their expected in-game lifespan.
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:34 am

gunship256 wrote:I've found so far that sniping Earth Slavers with howitzers isn't worth the effort, especially since the recoil makes me have to re-aim every few seconds. It's much more expedient to shoot them with Lucifers from far away or to come in close with a rapid-fire weapon like the Moskva repeater and shoot missiles at the same time.
That's only really workable if you have a good shield and armor, and the power/missile/repair costs make it less effective than just sniping them right now. It's certainly faster and more fun your way, which is why I think something should be done to add a bit more challenge to sniping them, given how easy it is to just dodge their only means of shooting back.
Are you kiting them? How do you get them to chase you without destroying the base first? Hopefully, with the nerf to howitzers, destroying the base to get the guards to give chase is going to get harder to do.
I think the changes to the dynamic of fighting bases at long range will improve this, as you said, but there's still no real advantage to killing the guards first, as you'll just have to kill them again due to the fact that they instantly respawn at the stargate and never stop coming. That said, they can just be tagged every so often with a missile or omni shot if someone's dead set on keeping the station alive to farm them and can't readjust their aim in time to keep them chasing.

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It's the same as the Mark III you decry as overpowered apart from ammo issues that don't effect the AI because they spawn with enough nandao bolts for their expected in-game lifespan.
The Mark III is overpowered in the hands of the player for several reasons:

1. The player is faster than most ships, and can thus use it to attack most enemies with complete impunity. There is a *very good* reason most roguelikes with ranged weapons feature walls that restrict angles of retreat, the inability to fire while moving, enemies that the player cannot move 'through', and an abundance of enemies with faster movement speeds than the player.

2. The player can very easily dodge enemy fire in long ranged fights. Most enemies that are capable of retaliating at a distance are either immobile or large and slow.

3. Its enhancer allows it to go from a good dogfighting weapon to a superb one, and puts its DPS miles above the level curve.

4. Its base DPS is the same as or better than that of other weapons without these advantages, without any drawbacks to compensate.

None of these things apply to the Earth Slaver in any capacity whatsoever, and they are thus irrelevant to the topic at hand.

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