The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1.7

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1.7

Post by Shrike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:41 am

1.7 is bringing awesome new effects, but there's still a lot of gear that's been rendered useless by power creep, change in features, or jut wasn't set up well in the first place. George has mentioned he's interested in putting some balance changes into guns while working on them....and I think we can be helpful by having a thread about it. I've put together my quick thoughts on stuff, and I'm interested in seeing other people's as well. As such, people are welcome to suggest stuff, and critique suggestions. However, because this is supposed to be a helpful thread there will be some rules, which I will enforce strictly.

The focus of this thread is quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (how things actually work/feel) balance. The main focus is on weapons, but issues with other stuff that you consider to be critical/of high importance is also fair game.

Please do not make this into just bashing the internals/WMD system. It sucks, I know it sucks, you know it sucks. But this thread is for the stuff that can be fixed a bit more easily.


The rules!

1. Back up your arguments. Doesn't have to be super in-depth, but say why you think there's a problem. And if it's not obvious, why your suggested fix makes sense.

2. Be civil

3. Only balance issues, and only ones that are A: fixable easily(ish) and B: Important (So I don't whinge about the CLAW series)

4. Check ministry first (for example, the issues with the Ion9 are known and ticket and slated to be worked on, so it doesn't go in this thread)

5. Make suggestions as to how to fix issues that you raise.

6. Check the thread before you post, and don't double up on things. You can loudly agree with things though!


7. Keep bashing of internals and WMD to a minimum
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Shrike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:41 am

Summary of discussions

Katana Starcannon: Some people think it's a bit OP, most people think that this is only because the other ion weapons suck. Can be considered "Balanced enough".
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Shrike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:41 am

Here's my big bunch of weapons stuff. All except for one of these (the katana) are for buffs that I think are needed:


Note on range adjustments: I give a range for the lifetime increases for the ion blasters. The lower value is what SM&M++ gave the weapon. The upper limit is the current value for the Katana starcannon. To be effective long range, low ROF weapons, the lifetime has to be somewhere in or around this range.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The mining laser

The problem: Damage thresholds! This thing isn't really able to do it's job. In combat it's also terrible...the short range is not offset by its ability to do damage.

A simple solution: Change damage roll per shot to 1d4+2, from 1d4. This lets the gun mine a bit further, and makes it a very potent short-range weapon. The range is low enough to still make it far less useful than a specialised weapon in the longer term.


Laser Cannon Array

The problem:
[16:36] The_Shrike "Hey, Frank! I've got this great idea for a new laser weapon that will make the company a fortune!"
[16:36] The_Shrike "What is it?"
[16:37] The_Shrike "Well, you know our super-successful dual laser cannon, where we took two lasers and had them fire at the same target?"
[16:37] The_Shrike "Yes!"
[16:38] The_Shrike "Well, I think we should take *three* lasers, bolt them together, and here's the clever bit, you'll like this....have them fire in *different directions* so they *don't* fire at the same target!"
[16:38] Atarlost "..."
[16:38] The_Shrike "............I love it. Give it to the factory peeps and we'll start work immediately"
Spread3 is an awful configuration that shouldn't be used by anything. Your effective range is in the single digits of light-seconds, and you do less actual damage than a dual laser cannon in almost all cases.

The simple solution: Swap to a custom configuration that uses a narrower spread, like the TK10 Trident. This makes the gun actually capable of being used as a short range weapon

Ideal Solution: Make it something interesting, like an IM90-like multi-targeting omni weapon.

The shuriken neutron blaster, and both of the Tau beam weapons from Eternity Port

The problem: Low damage per shot gives poor performance in general, and horrible roundoff effects against resistant armor and shields

Simple solution: Add a special modifier to make them perform better, or up the damage per shot?

Ideal solution: The armor and shield systems get changed so that high ROF, low damage-per-shot guns are actually viable. Right now....they really aren't an option in many cases

All of the low ROF single-shot Rasiermesser guns introduced in Corporate Command

The problem: They work on the Freyr, and only on the freyr. They're useless for all other purposes and are worse than other guns at the same level

Simple solution: Various. These are boring guns, but adding flavor to them would help. I would improve the range of the lasers to 75ls or so to make them unique and useful, and look at ways to make the other energy weapons more appealing with special traits. I'd also give them WMD2 or 3. I would improve the Sabel designs by giving them WMD5 or 6, and possibly a little extra damage or the shieldbuster trait (without overly penalising damage). Rasiermesser is supposedly an innovative company, but these guns really don't show it....Dvalin presumably had a cold or was too busy excitedly taking delivery of a centauri recoilless or something.

Ideal solution: We really need a better interior system, but these guns would need improvements anyway.


The Hanzo Blaster

The Problem: Low damage per second for its level, and very low per-shot damage. This gun suffers badly from roundoff against almost all particle-resistant armor, and is consistently out-performed by the dual TeV9......which is massively cheaper. And has better range.

The easy solution: Boost the damage per shot to something reasonable.

Ideal solution: Tone down the rate of fire slightly and raise the damage per shot. This means it'll do more damage per shot than a TeV9, thus being better against heavy armor and shields. I did this for SM&M++, but only because the custom sounds I was using didn't work with high rate-of-fire weapons. But this gun needs something to justify the high price tag.

The Katana Starcannon

The problem: So overpowered it almost breaks the damage theshold rules for SNAPSS. Excellent range, reasonable damage, passtrhough giving it great practical WMD and damage.....there's nothing bad about it.

A simple solution: Nerf the range by reducing lifetime to 40 (from 60). This forces it to become a medium range weapon and lets other guns have a niche.

Sidenote: It's also worth noting that firing a passthrough weapon at a reflecting shield (or armor) causes massive shot multiplication. This is best seen in TSB, on the Austroraptor class capital ships.

Edit: A lot of uproar on this one. Range reductions hurt some NPC ships that might need a rebalance if the range is cut, or re-equipping with different guns. I still think it does need the nerf though. Check in with Atarlost and the like though before taking my advice on it at face value....this one's a tricky one to work with.

The Ion Blaster

The problem: WMD1 on an ion weapon does absolutely nothing useful, and the low rate of fire makes this heavy weapon useless against heavy targets (IE: exactly the things it is designed to kill). In addition, it is out-ranged by the katana.

The simple solution: Swap to WMD3. Increase lifetime to 45-60. Consider upping the damage potentially?

Ideal solution: Make this a long range heavy beam, and nerf the range of the katana so that that gun becomes the medium-range fighting weapon and this is the long-range weapon

The heavy ion blaster

The problem: Again, the WMD hasn't been upgraded for the new internals system. The range is poor. This gun also has huge problems penetrating the shield on the ICS because of the low rate of fire. And then....you get the internals.

The simple solution: Increase WMD to 3 or 5, from 1. Increase lifetime to 45-60 (from 30). Definitely consider damage buffs or shieldbusting.

Ideal solution: Make this a long range heavy beam, and nerf the range of the katana so that that gun becomes the medium-range fighting weapon and this is the long-range weapon. Suffice to say that I think the katana is a bit overpowered right now because of its rather long range. This gun should be able to kill the ICS, so test it against it for that annoying shield regen.

Omnidirectional ion blaster

The problem: Firstly, it's named incorrectly. This is a light ion blaster. And it sucks. It takes the light ion blaster (which is a fine enough, albiet somewhat boring gun), makes it worse, and puts it at level 9. As such, you have a WMD1 gun with a terrible fire rate. This thing cannot face level 9 foes effectively.

The simple solution: Massively increase the rate of fire on this weapon. I would honestly suggest moving it to 15 (from 30). Increase lifetime to 45-60 (from 30).

Ideal solution: Alter the balance curve documentation so that the modifier for omni weapons isn't so awful to non-WMD omnis. Or fix WMD.

The IM90

The problem: The nerfs to this gun made it obsolete. Then WMD made it useless. You get a spread3 weapon with all the issues of the omni ion blaster....it's heavy....it's power-hungry....the damage is terrible.

Simple solution: ......I honestly don't know.....this gun needs some serious attention. I'd start by removing the spread3, swapping to a narrower band. Then maybe changing the three beams from being light ion blaster bolts (which suck at this level) to being at least Ion blaster levels of damage, then rebalancing from that.

QAC and Lamplighter

The problem: They're out-performed by non-quest weapons and are hard to get. Particularly the poor QAC, which also has an ancient and annoying reload system.

The simple solution: Move the QAC up to a damage and DPS level just under the current lamplighter, improve the damage per shot on the lamplighter. I don't have exact numbers because we don't have a balance table modifier for "requires really annoying quest". Leave the lamplighter prototype where it is, more or less. Edit the longzhu sphere dockscreen to always put the QAC at the top of the dockscreen.

The gaian demolition cannon

The problem: You get 15 shots. They fire once per second. They do 78 damage per second. You cannot recharge it. This is, without a doubt, the single worst gun for its level in the entire game. Did I mention it's multi-slot as well?

A simple solution: There isn't one.

Ideal solution: Do something interesting with this gun. In my thread on making disintegration into a nano-perk I suggest making this gun a nano weapon that slowly dissolves its targets and is recharged with degen nanites found in the Gaian dustbins. That would work. Many other things would also work. But as it is? This gun is appalling. It's not supposed to be used by the player, but it should at least make sense.

The penitent peashooter

Ok, maybe this one's almost as bad.....

The problem: This gun has to be a midgame exotic weapon, and also a gun for the tutorial mission. This means it has to be useless, or it will be overpowered.

A solution: Give the penitents a different weapon for low-level ships, or make the escort mission feature mercenaries hired by the penitents, not the penitents themselves. Then balance this gun for a mid-leve encounter as per the ships that use it. Maybe even drop the damage type to a different exotic type. Doesn't really matter if it's dark acid or singularity if it's not in human space, and it might balance a bit better.

Ideal solution: The armor adjustment for exotic damage types over different levels really does need to be a little less evil.

--------------------------------------------------------



I am certain that there are more. Let's keep this thread to the serious offenders if possible. Have fun, peeps!

General themes in my stuff:

-Low damage, high ROF guns are underperforming against armor
-High damage, low WMD weapons massively underperform against anything with internals
-They also have issues with fast-regen shields, but that's because the only current stat that matters on a shield is regen, unless it's the Invincible which can ignore most low-damage weapons entirely.
-In fact everything underperforms against internals without WMD.
-WMD1 is a bit useless
-The katana's exceptional (and overpowered) performance means there's no reason to use the other, less effective weapons. Even if they're buffed, I'd personally recommend a range nerf on it.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Atarlost » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:00 am

The Aquila, Terra, and some TSB designs need the Katana to keep its range. Damage reduction can be compensated for, but not range reduction.

It's also not vastly overpowered. It does 65 dps. The Mark V Howitzer does 87. Well, 86 and 2/3. In the best case passthrough 50 doubles damage, but the best case is firing down an infinitely long ship. The katana is better against very deep targets, but the Mark V has WMD and is easier to enhance. A small damage nerf is possible, but nothing drastic is necessary.

The real problem is that all ion weapons except the katana, ares lightning turret, ventari disruptor and maybe ion flame cannon in an anti-projectile role are just bad.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Shrike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:16 am

Also from IRC (Atarlost points he didn't put above): The Katana may be overpowered just because all the other ion guns suck. Personally I'm not convinced, but I'd definitely say that other ion guns should be buffed before the katana is nerfed, if it is nerfed.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by AssumedPseudonym » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:42 am

 Regarding the Katana, one of my usual ways to check balance on a weapon is (typGetProperty weaponUNID 'damage). I have no idea exactly how the game calculates this value, but it seems to be a fairly reliable gauge for most weapons (as long as you don’t do anything particularly exotic in <Events> or something). I routinely use that value to help balance my weapons in TBR. The 'damage value for the Katana is 1170. There is not another ion weapon in vanilla, CC, or EP that reaches this value. The Dvalin Ion9 is the only one that even gets close (1125). Even looking at thermo weapons, with the exception of the ammo-based thermo cannon, the first weapons in V/CC/EP that can match or surpass that 'damage rating are two levels higher than the Katana, and one of those is a capacitor weapon. (I tend not to be impressed when people say they’ve beaten the ICS with the Katana. I know what a Katana is capable of, and then there’s the fact that you can take the ICS out without it even being on the LRS display.)

 Arco Vaughn. Either he is severely underpowered or severely overpowered. There seems to be no middle of the road with him. If he doesn’t have missiles, it’s entirely possible to take him out in a stock EI500, or even a Sapphire if your aim is good or lucky enough. He’s even easier if you’ve completed the Benedictine tutorial and have the SmartCannon. If he does have missile, though, he can be a pain to take down even if you are using the missiles you got at Raisu, especially if you’re still using an otherwise stock setup, and it can be even worse if you haven’t found a targeting ROM (since he can target you from off-screen, but not vice versa).
 Suggestions? Setting him up with an <OnSystemObjAttacked> to negate any damage done from laser or kinetic weapons is one idea; another is to give him properly immunize him against laser and kinetic damage and make sure his armor can’t fall into the player’s hands (which would let them basically coast most of the way to St. Kat’s) by removing it in <OnDestroy>. Balancing either of those options against taking away his chance at having missiles (I know it’s only a 25% chance, but still) and maybe giving him an A-class deflector screen and a CLAW could make him a credible challenge without overwhelming (or underwhelming) new players.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Shrike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:54 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote: Arco Vaughn. Either he is severely underpowered or severely overpowered. There seems to be no middle of the road with him. If he doesn’t have missiles, it’s entirely possible to take him out in a stock EI500, or even a Sapphire if your aim is good or lucky enough. He’s even easier if you’ve completed the Benedictine tutorial and have the SmartCannon. If he does have missile, though, he can be a pain to take down even if you are using the missiles you got at Raisu, especially if you’re still using an otherwise stock setup, and it can be even worse if you haven’t found a targeting ROM (since he can target you from off-screen, but not vice versa).
 Suggestions? Setting him up with an <OnSystemObjAttacked> to negate any damage done from laser or kinetic weapons is one idea; another is to give him properly immunize him against laser and kinetic damage and make sure his armor can’t fall into the player’s hands (which would let them basically coast most of the way to St. Kat’s) by removing it in <OnDestroy>. Balancing either of those options against taking away his chance at having missiles (I know it’s only a 25% chance, but still) and maybe giving him an A-class deflector screen and a CLAW could make him a credible challenge without overwhelming (or underwhelming) new players.
I'd agree with this. He's a tutorial boss who should teach you about damage types and resistances....and right now, he doesn't do that very well. And the KM500 is serious overkill...with the buffs it's received......it's really NOT a good missile to be throwing at stock or near-stock playerships. But yeah, Arco's main threat is from his guns, not his armor. It might be cool (longer term) to work him into Benedict's stuff a bit more closely.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by TheLoneWolf » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:42 am

What do I want:
HIRO WEAPON OPTIMIZER (higher speed)
Reason:
:D
Alright! Enough spamming! So I read the thread and agree on the mining laser, but not on the Katana. Look at the name! The name of the weapon tells you its gonna slice your enemies in half (hence the penetrating) and even that in a quick flash (hence the speed). The Katana is supposed to be deadly! It is only surpassed by the superfast ion shredder the Phobii use. Maybe lower its shield busting capabilities or lower its rate of fire (I like the latter one).

2.
WHAT I WANT:
PK75 Starburst Cannon
The PK particle series gets an Ion version.
REASON:
Nice shield-buster and compartment killer, but range would be a barrier. If someone mods it, I would be greatful.

3.
WHAT I WANT:
Miner Auton!
REASON:
Need I state?

4.
WHAT I WANT:
Slicer M.k.2
REASON:
Dual Katana starcannon to rip the Iocrym apart.

5.
WHAT I WANT:
New SteelSlaver.
REASON:
Present one sucks (more on it later)...

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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by TheLoneWolf » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:18 pm

5. (cont)

To the Steel Slaver! It sucks. Its a flying saucer for Pete's sake! I upvote wind slaver design like THIS:
Let /|\ be the wind slaver. So the steel slaver will look good if it is formed by two wind slaver joined by a bridge. So the steel slaver:- /|=|\ and if you imagine it correctly, it looks good! This guy must have a dual particle beam weapon.

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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by Ferdinand » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:52 pm

The NAMI Heavy Launcher and its missiles

The problem: If you get the launcher (at all) You barely get to use it because the missiles for it are generally nowhere to find, or they come in such small numbers that they are insufficient to kill anything other than small gunships with it. I don't equip it ever, Right now it is better used to get rins by selling it to the teratons when you find the launcher or it's missiles. With those rins you can by more useful launchers or missiles.

The solution: Make the missiles easier to get and available in bigger numbers, keep them (very) expensive for balance, this will give the Nami Heavy launcher better useability.

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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by JohnBWatson » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:02 pm

Ferdinand wrote:The NAMI Heavy Launcher and its missiles

The problem: If you get the launcher (at all) You barely get to use it because the missiles for it are generally nowhere to find, or they come in such small numbers that they are insufficient to kill anything other than small gunships with it. I don't equip it ever, Right now it is better used to get rins by selling it to the teratons when you find the launcher or it's missiles. With those rins you can by more useful launchers or missiles.

The solution: Make the missiles easier to get and available in bigger numbers, keep them (very) expensive for balance, this will give the Nami Heavy launcher better useability.
I'd say they should be comparable to the Ares Warhammer launcher. They're similarly rare and similarly located. The Warhammer should be easier to get ammo for, and the NAMI Heavy should have better firepower, but overall they should be balanced against each other.

On the Starcannon: It's definitely that other ion weapons are underpowered. It's comparable to similarly priced thermo howitzers, balanced against the APC which is similarly located and about as easy to acquire, and far weaker than the Brit's other weapons, to the point where it'd be useless for them to have it if it were any weaker, especially without the range and with the current AI. I'd say the player tends to overestimate them because of the fact that they appear on the Terra, which can bring 4 of them to bear on anything for long enough to kill it, and the Aquila, which is one of the first ships to field long - ranged turrets against the player.

Regardless, the major issue with the game's current weapons setup is that there isn't really a use for dogfighting weapons after you get your first omni turbolaser. The player can outmaneuver any hostile gunship that isn't an Anarchist Battlepod so that an Omni weapon can pick them apart easily, and those are useless against anything with an omni weapon anyways. Thus, a fixed angle gun is suboptimal for fighting off gunships, and with the changes to capital ships they are also effectively useless there. This is a huge problem for a weapon class that constitutes a majority of the game's guns, and there's no easy fix there.

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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by PM » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:44 pm

Dual recoilless cannon
Problem: Bad DPS and overleveled by 1. The laser version, dual laser cannon is only level 2.
Solution: Reduce to level 2, and lower other stats as appropriate.

Omni laser cannon
Problem: Overleveled by 1. Most other similar omni weapons are only one level above the base weapon.
Solution: Reduce to level 2, and lower cost to match.

Most particle weapons
Problem: In most cases, not the guns themselves, but too many major enemies beyond St. K's resist particle damage. Only viable because midgame often includes many early-game enemies or slightly upgraded versions of them (e.g., Marauders' and Outlaws' ships). Even some of the expansion enemies have additional particle resistance, so it is not merely limited to the otherwise common Sung and Dwarg.
Solution: I don't know, maybe add armor-penetrator level 1, 2, or 3 (muon cannon has armor:2) to most of them to offset resistance, like muon cannons from Corporate Command.

Many ion weapons
Problem: Aside from light ion blaster, most have much less DPS than ammoless thermo weapons of equal level. (Katana Star cannon is fine due to its other properties.)
Solution: Raise DPS to be competitive with thermo weapons.

Omni tritium cannon (Corporate Command)
Problem: Tritium cannon damage was upgraded from 26 per shot to 39, but not this.
Solution: Raise damage to 39 per shot.

Positron lancer
Problem: This has been unchanged while many other weapons gained more damage. In addition, its powerUse is 350 MW, more than better weapons. 135 positron DPS, and no WMD, and less range than every other lancer, is a joke at level 10. Ares positron cannon is better than this in every way except 75% DPS against armor.
Solution: Raise damage, and possibly range. Maybe lower powerUse to 300MW. Adding some WMD would be nice too; positrons are a form of antimatter.


Re: weapons in previous posts
Katana Star cannon: The damage is fine, but the range is excessive. Then again, other guns like lancer cannon and Ares positron cannon, both great weapons for their level, have similar range too.

Omnidirectonal ion blaster: It was slightly weak when it did 5d6 damage, but now it is very weak at 4d6 damage. Its level should be lowered to 8 or its damage raised at least to its former value.

IM90: The weapon weighs too much. Also, multitargeting works strangely; playership needs to be very close to targets and sometimes, the multitargeting aims secondary shots five degrees to the side, missing the target completely. DPS would be fine if the spread was less and multitargeting worked properly and at greater range. At a minimum, the mass needs to be much less than 16 tons.

Agreed on antimatter weapons. Plasma weapons outdamage them in every way except against the final boss, barely.
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by TheLoneWolf » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:56 pm

DWARG ARMOUR
Its supposed to reflect particle and ion. A dwarg raider should not die coz of Slicer cannon. They are supposed to be immune, arent they? But the damage counter still increases when they are under fire from the Slicer cannon.
SOLUTION
Make the dwarg armour do what it is supposed to do.
Btw in my thread I said that all weapons belonging to the energy tier should be better against shields (damage remains the same, but a bonus against shields), while matter based weapons should be better against armour and hull (damage remains same, but a bonus against armour). Compartments remain neutral to both :D

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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by PM » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:39 pm

Few more weapons I forgot to mention...

Slam cannon
Problem: For the in-game hype it gets, this is underwhelming. Slightly low DPS and minimal WMD is a disappointment.
Solution: This (and its heavier upgrade) needs more WMD, at least a 2, preferably a 3. It is a blast weapon, and I expect explosives to blow stuff up, not act as bigger palette-swapped kinetics on the gear treadmill.

TeV 9 Blaster
Problem: It has barely more DPS than dual particle beam weapon or lancer cannon, yet it is level 6 and military. Combined with too many resistant enemies, this weapon is sub-par. The only good thing about this weapon is selling it at a profit at Black Markets.
Solution: Needs more DPS and/or armor-penetrator, probably faster fire rate.

PM6 Slicer Cannon
Problem: Its stats are inferior to the dual particle beam weapon. Given that it is a major NPC's signature weapon, and unlikely to be used by player, and the weapon seems fine (to use against the player) otherwise, this is a minor problem.
Solution: Lower level to 5, and reduce other stats like powerUse as appropriate.
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TheLoneWolf
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Re: The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1

Post by TheLoneWolf » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:33 pm

For the PM6 slicer:
Let the damage be 3/5 of the dual particle beam weapon, but let the rate of fire be 1/2 more than the dual particle beam weapon. Or let it be transformed into a sorta dual lance cannon, only that the individual particle beams are visible. It should be the sword, instead of the axe. Faster, but hit lighter, instead of slower, but hit harder. Also please tell me are you guys content with the current CSC design?

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