Weapon balance proposal

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Atarlost
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:52 pm

gunship256 wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:Damagetypes higher than ion/thermo have few to no enhancers. This makes it nearly impossible for some of them to compete. While the APC and Iocrym weapons are powerful enough as it is, and the APA can be boosted with a speedloader, other weapons of higher types need a bit of a buff in endgame to compensate for the lack of enhancers.
I've noticed this too. I use howitzers to finish the second half of the late game and almost always regret it when I don't. The late game non-howitzers aren't powerful enough to take out a Phobos or an Ares shipyard with all its guards, though some of them may do okay against the ICS.

If we had enhancers or cubes that added fragmentation, radius, tracking, or WMD to level 9 and 10 weapons, that would definitely help. Alternatively, really heavy missiles that are actually available in shops would also do the trick.
The problem is the way Ares capital ships are designed. You can take on almost any non-Ares capital ship at short range because they have if not blind spots then at least less horribly beweaponed spots.

The lightning turrets are just too deadly for mid-range omni weapons. They're too long ranged for exploiting the timing to be interesting because you can't get in with a heavy short range weapon and back out between volleys. Especially on the Phobos with its fire rate penalty.

I'd suggest experimenting with different weapon fits for the Phobos. The Deimos is a bit less nasty with its longer gap between volleys, but the weapon may need its fire/recharge cycle stretched out so a Deimos can be hit and run usefully with a short range weapon before the turret reactivates. I'm pretty sure no nerf to the ALT that doesn't render it completely useless will allow a Phobos to be engaged at close range. I'd suggest using micronuke cannons since those have a minimum range.

Also, buff the Ranx DN, either by buffing the Kiloton or by giving it a second or even third. The minimum range makes them good for encouraging short range tactics.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:39 pm

Atarlost wrote:
The problem is the way Ares capital ships are designed. You can take on almost any non-Ares capital ship at short range because they have if not blind spots then at least less horribly beweaponed spots.
This is definitely part of the problem. The DPS differential between an upgraded, enhancer boosted howitzer and anything else in the game is, however, another part of this that cannot be ignored.
The lightning turrets are just too deadly for mid-range omni weapons. They're too long ranged for exploiting the timing to be interesting because you can't get in with a heavy short range weapon and back out between volleys. Especially on the Phobos with its fire rate penalty.


I fully agree with your assessment there, and I've actually been thinking about this for a while. I believe the best solution here may be to give them a bit of a spread, such that their damage at max range is significantly lower. This would have two additional benefits:

1. Medium range accuracy becomes the niche of the Omni Ion Blaster, giving it the hard advantage over the ALT that it needs to be practical as a weapon.

2. The aiming of the turret becomes a bit less exploitable. With a bit of a spread, it's harder to game the omnidirectionality system.

Lowering the rate at which the turrets recharge is also a good idea. Right now, they appear to be designed with the idea that a weapon that deals out 100dps and can fire half the time is equal to a 50dps weapon that can fire constantly, but as one burst can kill most enemies, that could probably be adjusted.
Also, buff the Ranx DN, either by buffing the Kiloton or by giving it a second or even third. The minimum range makes them good for encouraging short range tactics.
Definitely agree on buffing the RDN. Multiple kilotons would look sort of ridiculous(and wouldn't solve the problem of the Kiloton being underpowered), so I'd say buffing its range and damage to the point where it'd be a threat again is the best way of going about this.

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Atarlost
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:10 am

JohnBWatson wrote:Definitely agree on buffing the RDN. Multiple kilotons would look sort of ridiculous(and wouldn't solve the problem of the Kiloton being underpowered), so I'd say buffing its range and damage to the point where it'd be a threat again is the best way of going about this.
It already has 120 ls range. If you can outrange it with anything but the Rasiermesser Launcher, Orkan Launcher, Ares Launcher, Micronuke Cannon, of APA, the AI range bug still hasn't been fixed and you should help nag George about it.

The damage is probably a little low, but I think giving the RDN more copies would be more effective at buffing the ship than improving the gun and leaving it at one copy because more shells would be harder to dodge.
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:16 am

I'm a little worried that ZG24 will be a little overpowered with the buff - maybe the fragmentation calculations gave it a low score - but I'll wait to playtest it first.
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:21 am

The latest set of changes to the ticket look good to me. I'm going to enjoy having the katana no longer be a super-long-range cure-all to every enemy in the game. MAGs...I'll have to see what happens there. The cluster MAG was always a nice weapon, but the area of effect was ridiculously big. I'm not sure that NAMI missiles needed many buffs, as it is the dominant missile launcher for most of the game. The Burak launcher is theoretically overpowered, but no one uses it because of the missing Uzon scanner that robs it of tracking. Do we need to keep looking under the sofa for that thing?

With regards to the Ion9, I support buffs to it, because it's an awesome weapon that is, regrettably, not very good. However, not also this older ticket which is also relevant: the Ion9 previously gained Quest-weapon bonuses via automatic enhancement. If the gun is getting buffed up to level, those need to stay. If it's getting buffed to quest-weapon level, it should lose the automatic enhancement.

All in all, looking reasonable still, although I'm expecting a lot of sadness from katana addicts.
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:55 am

Atarlost wrote:
It already has 120 ls range. If you can outrange it with anything but the Rasiermesser Launcher, Orkan Launcher, Ares Launcher, Micronuke Cannon, of APA, the AI range bug still hasn't been fixed and you should help nag George about it.
The micronuke cannon has more than 120 range?

The Tundra AI could be made a *lot* more interesting.

In any case, a bit higher wouldn't hurt. There are plenty of weapons in its region with around the same range that don't require expensive, heavy ammunition, and can duck in and out of its max range easily enough. It's also a ship without any fast escorts, so it could really use the ability to hit targets at a better distance.
The damage is probably a little low, but I think giving the RDN more copies would be more effective at buffing the ship than improving the gun and leaving it at one copy because more shells would be harder to dodge.
Given that the Kiloton needs a damage increase for balance purposes anyways, I'd recommend trying that out first. If the RDN remains on the easy side after a range and damage buff, I'd back the idea of adding a second mount a bit further towards the bow, as the minimum range of the Kiloton and the low damage of its Akans means that it most likely doesn't run the risk of being too unbeatable in any case.

With regards to the Ion9, I support buffs to it, because it's an awesome weapon that is, regrettably, not very good. However, not also this older ticket which is also relevant: the Ion9 previously gained Quest-weapon bonuses via automatic enhancement. If the gun is getting buffed up to level, those need to stay. If it's getting buffed to quest-weapon level, it should lose the automatic enhancement.
On that subject, does it still take a ton of time to acquire?
All in all, looking reasonable still, although I'm expecting a lot of sadness from katana addicts.
The Terra will need to get better about keeping its NAMI Heavy stocked. (does the NH need a range buff to keep up with Ares howitzers?)

Also, the Rogue Fleet could probably stand to lose their massive firerateadj now.

In any case, it didn't really seem better than any other weapon of similar range. Can't say I used it extensively, though.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:18 pm

I think the Phobos is fine. It's very skill-intensive to engage at close range, but not impossible with appropriate equipment. You have to dodge or shoot down the APA shots (though shooting them down may get harder in the next version) and anticipate when the turrets are about to fire so you can get far enough away to dodge most of the shots. The unbalanced part is how easy it is when you can outrange it.

I agree the Ranx DN needs a buff (see https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7080). I concluded that the kiloton cannon isn't that terrible for level 7, though. So either it should be raised to level 8 and adjusted accordingly, or the cannon should be buffed only slightly, but the dreadnought should get a much better fire rate, which would also improve the effectiveness of its Akans.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:12 pm

NMS wrote:I think the Phobos is fine. It's very skill-intensive to engage at close range, but not impossible with appropriate equipment. You have to dodge or shoot down the APA shots (though shooting them down may get harder in the next version) and anticipate when the turrets are about to fire so you can get far enough away to dodge most of the shots. The unbalanced part is how easy it is when you can outrange it.

I agree the Ranx DN needs a buff (see https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7080). I concluded that the kiloton cannon isn't that terrible for level 7, though. So either it should be raised to level 8 and adjusted accordingly, or the cannon should be buffed only slightly, but the dreadnought should get a much better fire rate, which would also improve the effectiveness of its Akans.
What equipment do you use at close range? I've tried it with an ion disruptor and a dual Fusionfire, but avoiding both the APA and the lightning turrets and having to shoot back with a level 7 fixed-angle weapon is pretty tough.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:38 pm

NMS wrote:I think the Phobos is fine. It's very skill-intensive to engage at close range, but not impossible with appropriate equipment. You have to dodge or shoot down the APA shots (though shooting them down may get harder in the next version) and anticipate when the turrets are about to fire so you can get far enough away to dodge most of the shots. The unbalanced part is how easy it is when you can outrange it.
Thinking back on it, I'd say you're exactly right. I can't think of a solution to this, though.
I agree the Ranx DN needs a buff (see https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7080). I concluded that the kiloton cannon isn't that terrible for level 7, though. So either it should be raised to level 8 and adjusted accordingly, or the cannon should be buffed only slightly, but the dreadnought should get a much better fire rate, which would also improve the effectiveness of its Akans.
I'd support upgrading it to fit standards for level 8. Right now it's really a lackluster weapon, as we see with the balance stats, such that it isn't even balanced for level 7, but given how tough a playership is likely to be when encountering the first RDN, giving it a level 8 weapon is viable.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:43 pm

gunship256 wrote:What equipment do you use at close range? I've tried it with an ion disruptor and a dual Fusionfire, but avoiding both the APA and the lightning turrets and having to shoot back with a level 7 fixed-angle weapon is pretty tough.
I don't do this a lot - it's really dangerous. But the dual Fusionfire, Mk. VII howitzer, APA, and EI plasma cannon are the kinds of things I would use. A Makayev or Rasiermesser launcher is good, too. I've never tried the ion disruptor. The important things are to have defenses that can tank a few hits from the APA in case you screw up and to be flying the Wolfen and/or have a good drive installed for dodging. I wouldn't try it without a shield like the Taikon-200 or Kaidun.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:15 pm

The ion9 is also a rather competitive close-in weapon against the Phobos. You bombard from medium range, dodging the return fire, until it goes through the armor (which doesn't take long), then you close in and knock out the guns. You lose the loot usually (because often the APA is the first to die, when what you want to kill are the turrets), but for fuel, score and missions? Works reasonably well. THis is because the way the ion9 works, it gets a lot of chances to damage devices.
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Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:36 pm

Shrike wrote:The ion9 is also a rather competitive close-in weapon against the Phobos. You bombard from medium range, dodging the return fire, until it goes through the armor (which doesn't take long), then you close in and knock out the guns. You lose the loot usually (because often the APA is the first to die, when what you want to kill are the turrets), but for fuel, score and missions? Works reasonably well. THis is because the way the ion9 works, it gets a lot of chances to damage devices.
It's a passthrough weapon with a lot of spread, isn't it? Is it pretty good at blocking the Phobos' shots because of that characteristic? That's the kind of thing I wish we had more of in the late game - like a PK Morningstar or Moskva repeater but at levels 9 and 10.

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Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:54 pm

gunship256 wrote:
Shrike wrote:The ion9 is also a rather competitive close-in weapon against the Phobos. You bombard from medium range, dodging the return fire, until it goes through the armor (which doesn't take long), then you close in and knock out the guns. You lose the loot usually (because often the APA is the first to die, when what you want to kill are the turrets), but for fuel, score and missions? Works reasonably well. THis is because the way the ion9 works, it gets a lot of chances to damage devices.
It's a passthrough weapon with a lot of spread, isn't it? Is it pretty good at blocking the Phobos' shots because of that characteristic? That's the kind of thing I wish we had more of in the late game - like a PK Morningstar or Moskva repeater but at levels 9 and 10.
No, it isn't. The Ion9 is a "Particles" weapon (like the plasma torch, Pk25 and ferian plasma cannon), so the damage is split up among a lot of little hits. Every time a shot hits a compartment with a device, it has a chance to disable that device (probably limited to just weapons). Because particle hit detection sometimes lets things hit well inside the image of the ship, and the large number of hits per blast (and the Ion9 has a decent rate of fire as well), that means that while the individual chance to kill a device on a hit is the same, that chance gets rolled a huge number of times.

And it doesn't block ALT fire, of course. It *can* block APA bolts under the right circumstances, and is reasonable against Hecates bolts (although generally you do want to engage a deimos at range, and you'll kill the howitzer very quickly anyway)
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:59 am

Shrike wrote:Every time a shot hits a compartment with a device, it has a chance to disable that device (probably limited to just weapons).
 More specifically, you have to hit the ship from the angle of an armor segment that has been reduced to 0HP at a spot on the sprite more or less where the device in question is located (and no, that is not a redundant statement; hitting the side of a ship from somewhat behind it will damage a different armor segment than hitting that same spot from somewhat in front of the ship). Damaging devices in this manner is not limited to weapons, but since most non-weapon devices don’t have a location specified, their location defaults to the center of the sprite. Incoming fire hits on the edge of the sprite usually, so devices like shields are harder — but not impossible, given the right weapon — to damage by shooting at a ship since you typically can’t inflict damage on the center of the ship. Weapons have a tendency to be located toward the edges, making them more vulnerable.
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Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:06 am

AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Shrike wrote:Every time a shot hits a compartment with a device, it has a chance to disable that device (probably limited to just weapons).
 More specifically, you have to hit the ship from the angle of an armor segment that has been reduced to 0HP at a spot on the sprite more or less where the device in question is located (and no, that is not a redundant statement; hitting the side of a ship from somewhat behind it will damage a different armor segment than hitting that same spot from somewhat in front of the ship). Damaging devices in this manner is not limited to weapons, but since most non-weapon devices don’t have a location specified, their location defaults to the center of the sprite. Incoming fire hits on the edge of the sprite usually, so devices like shields are harder — but not impossible, given the right weapon — to damage by shooting at a ship since you typically can’t inflict damage on the center of the ship. Weapons have a tendency to be located toward the edges, making them more vulnerable.
Correct, since the armor system uses the angle of the hit, not the location of the hit, to determine the area that gets hit. But yeah. Because the Ion9 has a lot of shots, they hit "inside" the graphic, and they've got plenty of spread? There's a lot of chances to knock out something.
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