Weapon balance v3

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Xephyr
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Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:27 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:That's already present, at least in some capacity - the EP playerships definitely have trouble with it when using their starting equipment. I, personally, see that as something that isn't too horrible; the player can go back to the station a bit humbler but otherwise unharmed, and Vanilla's agriculture station mission, while not as hardcore as it used to be, is similarly very challenging without upgrades.
So it's an issue in vanilla but not in EP?
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:03 am

NMS wrote: The net effect of the changes to the Ion9 is a DPS reduction from 187.5 to 163.6. That takes it from better than the heavy ion blaster to slightly worse. And it's significantly worse than ammoless level 9 thermo weapons, even with the nerfs some of them are getting. It does have shield busting, but I think that's pretty overvalued because shields are relatively easy to damage and it gets less effective against stronger targets. There also doesn't seem to be a balance adjustment for having spread or inaccuracy, which limits its effectiveness beyond point-blank range.

And it's a quest weapon which requires the donation of a huge mass of low to mid level loot, or a smaller but much more valuable amount of high level loot, making it 1-2 orders of magnitude more inconvenient or expensive to acquire than other weapons of its level.
I think a major part of the Ion9's issue is how tedious it is to acquire. When a Fusionfire can just be looted from a Teraton nest(or bought after plundering a few Ares sentries), an APC can be acquired from a commune with fairly little effort, and an FPC can be looted by killing a Ferian nest's warriors(which, though challenging with level appropriate equipment, is easy enough if you backtrack), A weapon that requires about an hour of work to get isn't going to be desirable unless it's far and away the best thing in the game. I don't think the weapon's all that unbalanced right now, especially with how well it kills enemy weapons, but there's definitely an issue with the mechanism required for obtaining it.

Now, I'm not entirely sure how to go about fixing this, but it's definitely something that should be looked into.

On the topic of shields, the defensive balance definitely needs a bit of a readjustment in their favor. They cost a fair amount more than armor to acquire, use, and maintain, and provide comparatively low benefits, considering the high resistance and low repair cost of armor. Right now I hardly use them until Master Sergeant.

So it's an issue in vanilla but not in EP?
I'm not sure what you mean by this.

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Xephyr
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:12 am

JohnBWatson wrote: I'm not sure what you mean by this.
You suggested that the player would not reasonably be expected to encounter a Drake until Charon in vanilla, so it's reasonable that they would not be vulnerable to light weapons. However, the player is expected to be able to take on a Drake in the earliest NAU mission available in Eternity Port. One of these, conversely, must be an issue to you.
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:25 am

Xephyr wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote: I'm not sure what you mean by this.
You suggested that the player would not reasonably be expected to encounter a Drake until Charon in vanilla, so it's reasonable that they would not be vulnerable to light weapons. However, the player is expected to be able to take on a Drake in the earliest NAU mission available in Eternity Port. One of these, conversely, must be an issue to you.
The player can encounter Drakes that don't hunt him very early in both versions. In Vanilla, they only need to be distracted, and if the player fails they'll just lose a mission and realize an upgrade is needed. The situation is similar in EP, with the player backing up two other ships that also have the ability to deal damage, and the Drake leaving if the mission is failed.

The EP mission does have its own issues, though, especially considering the number of glitches it has. It may be altered quite a bit in later versions, so it might not be best to plan our balancing around it

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Atarlost
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:33 am

Drakes can appear in the second system if there's a Korolov with enough missions. The idea that you should have to just let them kill the freighters die while you run away is not going to go over well with most players or with George.
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:50 pm

Atarlost wrote:Drakes can appear in the second system if there's a Korolov with enough missions. The idea that you should have to just let them kill the freighters die while you run away is not going to go over well with most players or with George.
That is not even remotely what I said.

They can be distracted while the freighters complete their mission; they do not need to be killed. In earlier versions, when Frigates were a lot harder to kill, this was the strategy I used against them almost exclusively.

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Xephyr
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:08 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:That is not even remotely what I said.
You did heavily imply that losing the missions isn't a big deal here:
JohnBWatson wrote:In Vanilla, they only need to be distracted, and if the player fails they'll just lose a mission and realize an upgrade is needed. The situation is similar in EP, with the player backing up two other ships that also have the ability to deal damage, and the Drake leaving if the mission is failed.
Missions should have a reasonable chance to be won, and unless drakes are going to be pushed further into the game, weapons that are not WMD heavy need to be capable of handling them.
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JohnBWatson
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Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:00 pm

You did heavily imply that losing the missions isn't a big deal here:
It isn't a big deal to lose them, but I by no means suggested that it is or should be impossible to win them. Even so, a WMD weapon can typically be acquired in the first or second system for ships that don't start out with one.

In any case, I believe George said that he was looking into making capital ships rely more on armor, including multiple layers, which will probably lead to WMD being beneficial rather than necessary, which I think strikes a good balance between our ideas on the subject.

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