The great big balance alteration suggestion thread for 1.7

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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sun1404
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:10 pm

DPS is Damage Per Second, all right. Though it is a little tricky to calculate that for some weapons, such as particle clouds or penetrating shots. Mostly it represent the average damage a weapon can inflict per one second.
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TheLoneWolf
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:15 pm

Light Ion blaster has particle effect?

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:37 pm

No. I was simply stating what DPS is and its Transcendence-related details. Light Ion Blaster's DPS is simply it's average damage per shot times shot per second. Xenophobe Ion Lancer's DPS though, for example, would be 'average damage per shot' * 'shot per salvo' * 'salvo per second'.

Morningstar's DPS, though, would depend on how many of the particles hit the target. The damage stated in game is the average damage if every particle hits, which is practically impossible. So you'll have to take your into account the hit rate if you would calculate it's DPS for comparison to other weapons.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:41 pm

Atarlost wrote:The Xenophobe Lancer used to do level 8 damage because it used to be a level 8 weapon when first introduced.
What version? v0.99 did not have it, and it was level 7 at 1.01+. (I do not have any of the 1.0 releases to check this.)
NMS wrote:Although it isn't apparent in-game, the Hanzo blaster and the dual TeV-9 have the exact same DPS (135). I think their stats are OK for level 7, they just don't fill any role well (having no omni and no WMD) and tend to show up at the same time as level 8 weapons.
Before thermo power creep, the level 7 TeV weapons were okay, if not great.

The TeV 9 blaster and dual TeV 9 blaster probably should either fire five times per second (instead of 3.75) and/or have high armor penetrator (armor:5 or armor:6). Not sure what to do about Hanzo or Omni TeV 9.

Come to think of it, perhaps the stock level 7 thermo weapons may be a bit overpowered. Tritium cannon would have level 8 DPS in a previous version, and the thermo cannon has DPS comparable to stronger level 9 thermo weapons (namely dual FusionFire). The advanced Kuma repeater (in Eternity Port) is not as strong as tritium cannon (but it is probably easier to use, and Raijin gets swivel with it.)

Also, advanced tritium cannon has not changed. Its shot damage remains at 30, while other thermo weapons' shots went from 26 to 39. Its max DPS for about six seconds is 300 DPS. It can shoot between two or three shots per second without building up temp.
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Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:35 pm

TheLoneWolf wrote:How do you calculate DPS? And i guess its not damage per second here.
Actually, it is. We are in a "real" time game.

There's a firerate in the xml. Divide it by 2 rounding up. (The odd increments matter when firerateadjust is applied, but we're talking about balancing guns not ships.) Divide 30 by that to get the shots per second. Multiply the average damage per shot (usually the average of the lowest and highest possible rolls) by the shots per second and number of shots for damage per second.

Very occasionally you'll see DPT which means damage per tick and is DPS divided by 30.

For anything but a simple gun you then need to make a judgement call. George uses total/6 for fragment damage in the dev guidelines. Passthrough is a simple infinite sum in the world of perfectly spherical frictionless cows, but even the Transcendence engine isn't that world so you need to make a judgement call about how much target depth is reasonable. For shockwaves the same. For spread weapons of any sort you again have to make a judgement call about how many shots should hit on average against a "typical" target. Or what fraction of the shot for particles.

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:06 pm

Thanks guys! Now i actually know whats going on. Maybe we should configure ion weapons to be powerful against shields and compartments.

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Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:08 pm

TheLoneWolf wrote:Thanks guys! Now i actually know whats going on. Maybe we should configure ion weapons to be powerful against shields and compartments.
Making them stronger against shields would make one of the omnithor devices redundant, but the suggestion to increase the WMD on the EI ion blasters is to make them more powerful against compartments.
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Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:58 pm

Mod note: Split topic to move everything after this point (regarding internal compartments and HP) to its own topic here. Please use that thread for discussions of internals, and use this one for other balance issues. Internals are such a big topic that they'd swamp this one. :)
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Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:56 am

Ok, let's talk late game omnis.

The ultra-fast omniTev9 that can be looted off of a heavy IAV and the Ares Lightning turret seem to leave the others in the dust, with the ion turret being too heavily resisted and slow, the omniThermo requiring cargo space and thus more attention, and the IM90 being too weak after the nerf. Anything that can be done to balance that?

Also, the Omni Turbolaser is strong enough to cover the player until the Outer Realm. Midgame enemies really need better laser resistence, as of now it's practically better than particle in the Ungoverned Territories due to more consistent damage.

The Lancer and Flenser are quite overpowered, and likely to be even moreso after the inevitable nerf to howitzers.

I'll also add my thoughts on howitzer weapons from the George's run thread:
I notice George is using missiles and close ranged weaponry to kill stations. It's a lot easier to just hammer them from 100 distance with a howitzer and the 'a' and '.' keys held, and it costs nothing but a small amount of fuel.

That said, fighting stations at close range looks quite a bit more epic, and appears to add much more challenge to the game. I think that it may be a good idea for George to consider nerfing the range and/or accuracy of gunship - mounted howitzers, which would also make fast gunships with long - ranged weapons less unbeatable. A 40% range reduction on the range of bombardment weapons used by non - capital ships, perhaps combined with a damage or WMD buff to them overall, could do a lot to make the game a more balanced challenge, and would also make missiles more practically useful. Howitzers would still work as basecrackers and capship - finishers, but they would no longer be effectively an exploit that lets the player skip most of the game's challenge past the New Beyond.

If anyone reading this knows of a good way to get whether a ship is a capital(can we check for internal HP?) and modify a weapon's range based on this, I'd love to test this out and see how it works in practice.

Also, weapon effects:

EMP seems to work as is. Needs to be adjusted to prevent stacking, as that's pretty overpowered against an already stationary target.

Radiation is not any kind of threat where it is, which is bad because the faction fielding it relies on it as their main means of posing any kind of danger to the player. The player can use it to kill some capital ships fairly easily when they get access to it, but the only radiation using enemies in the game show up long after the player's likely gotten radiation immune armor. The Sapiens need to be moved further back. Radiation's only got one faction fielding it, which seems to provide a rather diverse set of weapons, but given how useful it is to pirates and other unscrupulous factions that don't care when something dies as long as it dies, it could do to be given to more things. Perhaps a few reapers in a Marauder Corsair II's hold would work well? Right now those ships present no threat whatsoever to anything in the UT.

Blind is the 'starter effect', which becomes useless before any other effect. The player is thus unlikely to be vulnerable to it in midgame. Heliotrope outposts could thus do to be placed much earlier on, like they were before, with somewhat less powerful variants of their signature weapon. Midgame Colonies should spawn with gunships that do not have blinder cannons. As it isn't at all useful to the player it should stay on its one weapon, as a somewhat unique effect.

Disrupt needs to be used by ships that can take advantage of it. Putting time based offensive penalties on a ship that can easily escape and come back isn't really doing much. I'd suggest giving it to a Ventari interceptor that helps out the faction's destroyers, or moving it over to the Kobol who would use it quite well. A particularly crazy idea I had was moving the effect over to the Tev9, making the Rogue Fleet an actual threat and making the Centurion seem more powerful early on. It'd also justify the Ares' use of swarms of Sandstorms(small groups of elite ships can be crippled easily), make the Aurochs less pathetic, and make commanding Centurions more fun. The ultrafast Heavy IAV Omni-Tev9 would definitely have to be removed in this scenario.

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Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:00 pm

We need radiation MAGs too. It would make sense to have radiation MAGs, if we have radiation missiles.

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Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:06 pm

How are Flensers overpowered? The only thing I see is perhaps long range. Level 4 Flensers have lower DPS than other level 4 kinetics, but have other advantages (fast, long range). The level 5 dual Flenser has less DPS than (dual) X-ray laser.

Similarly, how is lancer overpowered? Its main advantage over dual particle beam is long range. Is it the long range that makes the weapon overpowered? That said, lancer and dual particle beam DPS exceeds Shuriken neutron blaster (and PM6 Slicer cannon) and almost matches the TeV 9 blaster.

As for omni weapons, if Corporate Command is available, the best omni is the omni thermo cannon combined with thermo shell nanofac. Otherwise, two or three Ares lightning turrets for ships with more than two weapon slots is ideal. (Drain one turret, switch and drain the next turret.) For EI500 or other ships with limited weapon slots, IM90 is probably better than Ares lightning turret. (Morana archcannon from Eternity Port does not count; as an endgame quest reward, it comes too late and is not always a viable option. It is a great omni if obtained, though.)
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Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:11 pm

Re: Disrupt
Disruption/Ionization is already a dangerous status effect, if the playership suffers from it. This is because if an ionized device gets ionized again, it becomes permanently damaged instead. A player that suffers from ionization should flee if possible if he values his equipment dearly.

The old device damage property was one strike and you are out. Disrupt/ionization is two strikes and you are out.
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Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:25 pm

TheLoneWolf wrote:We need radiation MAGs too. It would make sense to have radiation MAGs, if we have radiation missiles.
As I see it, the radiation missile is a Sapien or Tinker - made missile that was made for the NAMI launcher because of its ubiquity and ease of acquisition, rather than made by NAMI itself. MAG launchers are much less common and significantly more expensive, and thus the sort of shady independent factions that might make a radiation - based munition wouldn't be as interested in it.

PM wrote:How are Flensers overpowered? The only thing I see is perhaps long range. Level 4 Flensers have lower DPS than other level 4 kinetics, but have other advantages (fast, long range). The level 5 dual Flenser has less DPS than (dual) X-ray laser.
I'd say it's mostly the combination of range, speed, decent WMD, and damage. There isn't really anything they're particularly bad against, and nothing starts resisting Kinetic enough to make them obsolete until the Outer Realm. In essence, they're cheap, reliable, and extremely versatile.
Similarly, how is lancer overpowered? Its main advantage over dual particle beam is long range. Is it the long range that makes the weapon overpowered? That said, lancer and dual particle beam DPS exceeds Shuriken neutron blaster (and PM6 Slicer cannon) and almost matches the TeV 9 blaster.
Range and extremely fast damage, in my opinion. It kills capital ships and stations very easily, and can still swat down gunships without difficulty.

Both of these weapons are also quite light, meaning that in the event of a weapon slot restriction on things like howitzers(in order to reduce kiting and make fighting stations more challenging) they'd get away without any issues.
As for omni weapons, if Corporate Command is available, the best omni is the omni thermo cannon combined with thermo shell nanofac. Otherwise, two or three Ares lightning turrets for ships with more than two weapon slots is ideal. (Drain one turret, switch and drain the next turret.) For EI500 or other ships with limited weapon slots, IM90 is probably better than Ares lightning turret. (Morana archcannon from Eternity Port does not count; as an endgame quest reward, it comes too late and is not always a viable option. It is a great omni if obtained, though.)
I've recently felt like the IM90 isn't really worth using anymore. It may provide more constant damage than the ALT, but it's spread across multiple targets, harder to focus, and thus less useful at picking off enemies when it's really needed.

The Omni Ion Blaster, similarly, provides a steady amount of damage, but anything that can endure an ALT burst is probably too durable to handle with an OIB anyways.

I'm not really sure what I'd do with these two other than just increase the raw damage and see if that helps.

The notes on EP and CC are all quite true. The Morana Archcannon is definitely something I'll try to test out further once the glitches surrounding its acquisition are worked out.

Disruption/Ionization is already a dangerous status effect, if the playership suffers from it. This is because if an ionized device gets ionized again, it becomes permanently damaged instead. A player that suffers from ionization should flee if possible if he values his equipment dearly.
I did not know that. Definitely changes things regarding balance. Probably wouldn't work with something as common as the Tev9, in that case, given how the Kobol use it, but could still stand to be used more effectively by the Ventari. Ultimately, how this would be done depends on how George balances it against ranged threats.

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Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:11 pm

Level 4 and up weapons are not common until after St. K's. Flensers need to be good for midgame. It is probably better than slam cannon, but given its inferior damage type, it should do something well, especially to make up for somewhat sub-par DPS. Admittedly, the other kinetic options are probably harder to use despite better DPS.

Lancer, okay, the multi-hit makes it good against more than gunships. If not for that and long range, it would be worse than dual particle beam weapon. It probably is not overpowered so much as it is too versatile compared to other weapons. The only thing lancer cannot do is smash wrecks.

Omni ion blaster needs to be comparable to either its old self or the current level 9 Sova ion weapon (from Eternity Port), if its level stays at 9. I have no problem if omni ion blaster gets lowered to level 8 (and powerUse and value adjusted accordingly) but otherwise stays as is.

IM90 has problems, but DPS alone is not one of them, although it could use a slight DPS increase (more damage or restore its old fireRate) since it is relatively hard to focus all of that damage. (By relatively hard, I mean you need to get within range 10 or something, which is easy if you have obscenely powerful defenses.)

The main thing that kills IM90 for me is compartments, which hurts almost every energy weapon and some matter weapons (me glaring at slam cannons and Luminous launcher). Also, difficulty enhancing IM90 hurts too. No more longzhu stacking and only one ion enhancer instead of three thermo enhancers per trading post? I probably would go for thermo enhancers.
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Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:22 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:Ok, let's talk late game omnis.

The ultra-fast omniTev9 that can be looted off of a heavy IAV and the Ares Lightning turret seem to leave the others in the dust, with the ion turret being too heavily resisted and slow, the omniThermo requiring cargo space and thus more attention, and the IM90 being too weak after the nerf. Anything that can be done to balance that?

Also, the Omni Turbolaser is strong enough to cover the player until the Outer Realm. Midgame enemies really need better laser resistence, as of now it's practically better than particle in the Ungoverned Territories due to more consistent damage.
The problem isn't inadequate laser resistance. The problem is the ubiquity of particle resistance and the existence of particle reflecting enemies. Particle and ion are the only types for which reflect exists and that alone makes them extremely weak types in the regions where dwarg are generated. Being resisted by the sung and even the non-reflective dwarg doesn't do particle any favors, though. If the Sung lost their particle resistance for blast like sensible people and the dwarg lost their reflect for resist the omni-particle would be a more reasonable choice. I'd still be bad compared to the omni-x-ray or a well enhanced omni-turbo or RK-15, but that would be comparing to a more difficult to acquire peer weapon or a two slot setup.
Also, weapon effects:

EMP seems to work as is. Needs to be adjusted to prevent stacking, as that's pretty overpowered against an already stationary target.
Maybe. EMP weapons do no damage so without stacking they're not worth the slot. Even with stacking they're dubious. EMP missiles can be more useful.
Radiation is not any kind of threat where it is, which is bad because the faction fielding it relies on it as their main means of posing any kind of danger to the player. The player can use it to kill some capital ships fairly easily when they get access to it, but the only radiation using enemies in the game show up long after the player's likely gotten radiation immune armor. The Sapiens need to be moved further back. Radiation's only got one faction fielding it, which seems to provide a rather diverse set of weapons, but given how useful it is to pirates and other unscrupulous factions that don't care when something dies as long as it dies, it could do to be given to more things. Perhaps a few reapers in a Marauder Corsair II's hold would work well? Right now those ships present no threat whatsoever to anything in the UT.
Sapiens appear before radiation immunity is common. Only specially hardened reactive and plasteel armor and blast plate are radiation immune when they show up. Light blast plate is not. That means either using very expensive level 6 armor or weak for its level hardened armor. Or enhancing, which has its own opportunity cost. Radiation is not useful to pirates because it prevents them from looting the wreck. Not being able to loot the wreck defeats the whole point of piracy.
Disrupt needs to be used by ships that can take advantage of it. Putting time based offensive penalties on a ship that can easily escape and come back isn't really doing much.
Others have addressed this. I am in full agreement with them. Disrupt was nerfed for a very good reason. Everyone except you would hate the stuff you're suggesting for disrupt.
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