Playership speed, thrust, and turn rate

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Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:14 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:I think the ability to outmaneuver and outturn targets, combined with the ability to dodge and present a much smaller target, are enough to make the Wolfen viable without having the gimmick of just being able to avoid 90% of fights. I use it in most of my runs, and haven't been disappointed.
I doubt this will be possible. A significant number of early/mid-game enemies are at least .20c and at least as maneuverable as, if not more than, the playership. Late in the game, Luminous and smaller Ares ships turn faster than everyone (max rotation of 18), and bigger ships simply use swivel and omni weapons with near pinpoint accuracy.

As I wrote before, adding rotation stats much higher than the Wolfen's will effectively reduce the number of facings the playership has (by skipping frames), and this will be undesirable.

Avoiding fights without an engine upgrade is the Wolfen's strength, and not a bad one. Maneuverability alone is not enough - Sapphire can do this too almost as well, and have better capacity and versatility.
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Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:29 pm

gunship256 wrote:My second problem with the Wolfen, after the main problem concerning device slot flexibility, is that it could be a better missile platform with just a little tweaking. Having four weapon slots practically begs for the ship to use a launcher, but its small default cargo hold doesn't let it carry many missiles. If the cargo hold is upgraded and stuffed full with missiles and trading goods, the Wolfen's excellent acceleration bogs down to a crawl.
That reminds me of a mod I made called Ammo Clips, which added an item that stored ammo or fuel, and the item took a weapon slot. I retired the mod when one of the more recent versions of Transcendence made every device that took a weapon slot selectable as a weapon. (Some of my other non-weapons that used to take a weapon slot were changed to take the shield slot instead.)

Many weapons slots are not very useful unless they can be linked and fired simultaneously.
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Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:43 am

Multiple weapon slots may be useful if you can hold down the fire button and change weapons while firing. Then you can fire a battery of howitzers or switch between a few of capacitor weapons, without allowing a full linked-fire system, which might be overpowered.
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Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:58 pm

sun1404 wrote:Multiple weapon slots may be useful if you can hold down the fire button and change weapons while firing. Then you can fire a battery of howitzers or switch between a few of capacitor weapons, without allowing a full linked-fire system, which might be overpowered.
That's a good point. I tried hard to balance the ship so it would be competitive with the Sapphire and still different. The ship is basically finished except for one nagging bug that's keeping me from posting an alpha.

Wolfen/A vs. Sapphire
Same cargo space
Slightly higher armor limit (8 tons vs. 6 tons)
Weapon mass limit (6 tons)
Higher thrust and slightly higher top speed
5 non-weapon device slots vs. 8
* If the Sapphire installs two weapons, it effectively has 6 non-weapon slots
* The Wolfen/A has a 6-ton hard limit on weapon mass, so assume that a linked-fire weapon + normal weapon will not quite have the same benefit as a full normal weapon with no mass limitation. I assume this benefit is not double, but somewhere between 40% and 100%. 40% to 75% enhancement is about what I would expect from having the 5th slot anyway. So the Sapphire still seems to have an advantage in having 6 non-weapon slots.

So, essentially, the Wolfen/A is getting higher thrust, slightly higher top speed, a slightly higher armor mass limit, a fourth weapon slot to install a backup weapon that isn't linked-fire, and it gives up a slot where an engine could have been installed.

Let me know if that feels balanced so far. I'll post an alpha once the mod is finished.

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Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:47 pm

sun1404 wrote:Multiple weapon slots may be useful if you can hold down the fire button and change weapons while firing. Then you can fire a battery of howitzers or switch between a few of capacitor weapons, without allowing a full linked-fire system, which might be overpowered.
I think this was a feature from very early versions of Transcendence (maybe pre-1.0), but was patched because people could fire weapons faster than their fire rate. This is why a fire delay is enforced after you change weapons. For most weapons, it is fast enough to not be noticeable, but change to a howitzer or other slow-firing weapon and you cannot fire immediately if you try.

Ship with even one linked-fire weapon will be very powerful. It would need a severe drawback to compensate for that power, if balanced with other official playerships.
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:17 am

PM wrote:
sun1404 wrote:Multiple weapon slots may be useful if you can hold down the fire button and change weapons while firing. Then you can fire a battery of howitzers or switch between a few of capacitor weapons, without allowing a full linked-fire system, which might be overpowered.
I think this was a feature from very early versions of Transcendence (maybe pre-1.0), but was patched because people could fire weapons faster than their fire rate. This is why a fire delay is enforced after you change weapons. For most weapons, it is fast enough to not be noticeable, but change to a howitzer or other slow-firing weapon and you cannot fire immediately if you try.
Specifically, you have to wait a full reload time after swapping, before the weapon can fire. Otherwise you'd just hold the "fire" and "change weapon" key and fire 2 or more weapons as fast as the engine can handle it.
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Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:42 am

PM wrote:Ship with even one linked-fire weapon will be very powerful. It would need a severe drawback to compensate for that power, if balanced with other official playerships.
I think you're right. I examined some weapon masses, and it looks like a 6-ton weapon mass limit may not be enough.

The six-ton limit causes problems for endgame setups because the APA, dual FusionFire, and Mark VII can't be installed. Cobbling together a dual FusionFire using two FusionFires isn't helpful, since a non-weapon slot is then being wasted on the device that adds a linked-fire slot when the Sapphire doesn't have to suffer that penalty.

Pre-endgame setups appear to be too powerful, though. Here's a list of high-mass weapons that come to mind:

dual Fusionfire: 12 tons
APA: 10 tons
dual Mark III: 10 tons
dual TeV 9: 9 tons
mark VII: 8 tons
side-mounted Fusionfire: 7 tons
side-mounted mark V: 7 tons
Fusionfire: 6 tons
omni thermo cannon: 6 tons
omni tritium cannon: 6 tons
repeating mark V: 6 tons
mark V: 6 tons
dual Flenser: 6 tons
Lamplighter: 5.5 tons
Ares micronuke cannon: 5 tons
thermo cannon: 5 tons
omni ion blaster: 5 tons
omni TeV 9: 5 tons
mark III: 5 tons
heavy ion blaster: 4.5 tons
mark I: 4.5 tons
dual muon cannon: 4.5 tons
omni muon cannon: 4.5 tons
ion blaster: 4 tons
Moskva repeater: 4 tons
dual Moskva: 4 tons
side-mounted ion blaster: 3.5 tons
Thorin repeater: 3.5 tons
dual particle beam weapon: 3.5 tons
light ion blaster: 3 tons
Quianlong: 2.5 tons
EI plasma cannon: 2 tons
omni particle cannon: 2 tons
omni x-ray: 2.5 tons

The 6-ton weapon limit penalizes endgame setups but leaves pre-endgame setups pretty flexible.

My inclination is to penalize the ship further by giving it a 5-ton weapon mass limit. This will force it to install only skirmish weapons and make the ship's launcher more important. As compensation, I may need to increase the ship's thrust and increase its cargo space to 70 tons so it can hold more missiles.

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Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:25 am

Here's the alpha of the Wolfen with the linked-fire slot:

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7561

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Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:24 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:I think the ability to outmaneuver and outturn targets, combined with the ability to dodge and present a much smaller target, are enough to make the Wolfen viable without having the gimmick of just being able to avoid 90% of fights. I use it in most of my runs, and haven't been disappointed.
If you think the Wolfen is too easy because of its speed, just don't play it. Don't demand the game be ruined for everyone else.
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:53 am

gunship256 wrote:Here's the alpha of the Wolfen with the linked-fire slot:

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7561
Neat! A first looks seems fairly balanced. The additional power cost of a linked fire weapon might have an impact on it, but the Hyperion can probably handle that without any issues.

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Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:43 am

JohnBWatson wrote:
gunship256 wrote:Here's the alpha of the Wolfen with the linked-fire slot:

https://forums.kronosaur.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7561
Neat! A first looks seems fairly balanced. The additional power cost of a linked fire weapon might have an impact on it, but the Hyperion can probably handle that without any issues.
Glad you like it so far! I've made a few changes and bug fixes since the first alpha and haven't uploaded the new file yet. Here are the ones that are relevant to balance:

===
Lowered max cargo space from 150 to 120 and raised the Wolfen's thrust ratio from 18 to 21 as a compromise. (For some reason, raising the thrust ratio to 21 in the code causes the thrust ratio to register as 20.10 in the ship selection screen.) Since the Wolfen probably won't install an engine, the value of a cargo expansion with the extra mass involved is dubious except if the hold is for smuggling. The Sapphire should feel more like a trader than the Wolfen.
===

The power use of the extra weapon and the weapon mass limit do seem to limit the power of the ship. The 6-ton armor mass limit is also inconvenient in midgame because heavy blast plate isn't installable. I've been more worried about the ship being overpowered than underpowered, though, which is why I dropped the weapon mass limit to 5 tons and the armor mass limit to 6 tons.

Let me know how the ship feels in gameplay. If I need to make it stronger or weaker, I'm definitely willing to do the tweaks.

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