The great big balance suggestion thread for Eternity Port!

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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Shrike
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Fri May 13, 2016 12:28 am

Since George wanted to hear people's thoughts on balance at some point, he's starting a playthrough on next week's stream, and EP is in the pipeline for rebalancing, time for a new thread to gather some hearsay evidence.


As usual, share your own thoughts on particular bits of Eternity Port that you feel need some attention and rebalancing. Keep things nice, don't get bogged down in disagreements, and remember that ultimately, George is gonna do his own thing anyway (we're just here for feedback. :) ).

So! Let us begin!


......


.....Um.....a bit of a confession here, but I haven't played EP for months, so I don't have much to share immediately. I do have Thoughts about the neuroplague launcher though. It's a weapon that is overly powerful against the player, and incredibly underpowered against NPCs. It's always going to be super-hard to balance, but given how hard it is for the player to get one it should at least be fun to mess around with.
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Fri May 13, 2016 12:39 am

Bolts for Archura launcher need WMD.
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gunship256
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Fri May 13, 2016 12:40 am

Some quick preliminary thoughts:

The European energy missiles in EP seem to suffer from the same lack-of-WMD problem that energy weapons in vanilla did before 1.7. They could use some kind of buff to offset their lack of WMD. That could be done by giving them more damage, making them fragment, or just giving them more WMD than they currently have.

Some combination of the above would make them more interesting and not just energy versions of missiles that are already in the game.

EDIT: PM just said the same thing at the same time.

EDIT #2: I don't know if this is intentional or not, but it takes a long time to get military ID in midgame compared to what I'm used to in vanilla. There are no Korolov shipping missions and no arena, so it's not possible to pick up an ID at St. Kat's. That might be a good thing if the player is intended to feel weak and have to run away from things due to being restricted to using level 6 armor and shields for so long.
Last edited by gunship256 on Fri May 13, 2016 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Fri May 13, 2016 12:45 am

Bolts for Archura launcher cause a lot of damage... to gunships. They have no WMD whatsoever, except for the best ion bolt. This makes Archura mostly worthless against a large swath of targets.

More than one bolt should have significant WMD.

Without WMD, Takao or NAMI launchers are much more attractive for tracking and WMD when you need it.

P.S.
@ gunship256: Korolov stations can appear in Kibo and maybe few other systems if you are lucky. If so, you can get Commonwealth military ID at St. K's.
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Fri May 13, 2016 12:52 am

The Nandao bolt and Thera fragments both have WMD 4, and they're both pretty deadly missiles at the point where they show up. That might be a good place to start for the energy missiles in EP.

On the military ID issue: If the player is intended to use military-grade equipment soon after leaving Kibo, a guaranteed Korolov at Kibo should do the trick. (EDIT: Again, PM said what I was going to say while I was still typing it out!)
Last edited by gunship256 on Fri May 13, 2016 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Fri May 13, 2016 12:53 am

Big one right off the top of my head is that Archura bolts need WMD

I'll do a playthrough later on and make a bigger post
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Fri May 13, 2016 5:38 am

Equipment:

The nanoforged armor could be made more worthwhile, to compensate for the effort required to obtain it. I believe this would best be done by nerfing existing armor in the rework, and leaving it as - is.

The ED's main weapons feel somewhat underwhelming, though they seem technically balanced.

ED missiles need to be made useful in some way. They definitely need a capship - killer weapon, and some of the missiles could fill this role, but the other missiles could be given effects like EMP, blinding, or device disruption to make them unique relative to the myriad other brands of missiles.

Enemy/NPC factions:

Spawning is a bit odd. We see the First Hunters out past where they're anywhere near competitive, for example.

The First Hunter capital ship has a very strong defense, but a very weak offense. This makes fighting it somewhat tedious, especially considering the loot it provides doesn't make up for the missiles a low - level player's ship would have to spend destroying it.

The lighter Resurrector stations could do with some more loot to compensate for the fact that they are much more dangerous than the things they show up alongside.

The heavier Resurrector stations should probably have some more/better guards to match their larger size. It's rather odd that the three tiers of Resurrector bases all have roughly the same level of defenses.

The Dreaming Raiders are cool, but nearly impossible to kill fairly at their current level. Nerfing their equipment a bit in exchange for a speed increase would even things out.

The final battle in the APD campaign is somewhat underwhelming, given that it's supposed to be in endgame territory. Particle weapons like the ones fielded against the player have long been obsolete.

The first few missions of the ED campaign were somewhat dangerous compared to where they took place.

The Explorer - class vessels of the APD have turrets that are far too weak and short ranged to do them any good. They're balanced for the player, but not massive capital ships. This is one of the reasons why I support having capital ship turrets be *omnidirectional fixed weapons, rather than omni weapons - balancing an omni weapon as a capship gun will either make it too weak for the capship or too powerful for the player.

The turrets of the ED stealth capships suffer from a similar problem, but not as badly.

The NAU escort mission is self - solving due to the extreme offensive and defensive power of the ship being protected. In one instance, it took on the entire enemy force that attacked it, then flew both ways directly through a Dwarg Fortress and survived.

The UAS escort mission is similarly easy - the heavy gunships of both factions could use a buff, and the light gunships are simply obsolete.

Failsafe is too easy to kill by kiting. This is more of an AI issue, but it could be fixed by making him just attack once the player makes it clear that he's not letting up.

The new Luminous ships and stations sort of show up out of nowhere, and then disappear back into the ether when they're done with their part in the game. Integrating them into the faction as a whole could solve issues like the Hunter - killers being extremely powerful yet never actually fighting the player directly(which is a bit of a waste, in my opinion, given that they're very cool ships), and Luminous soldiers being completely unexplained when they appear for one mission. Could also help with Luminous being a pushover outside of its home system despite the plot treating it as the primary threat to humanity.

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Fri May 13, 2016 1:17 pm

JohnBWatson wrote: The nanoforged armor could be made more worthwhile, to compensate for the effort required to obtain it. I believe this would best be done by nerfing existing armor in the rework, and leaving it as - is.

ED missiles need to be made useful in some way. They definitely need a capship - killer weapon, and some of the missiles could fill this role, but the other missiles could be given effects like EMP, blinding, or device disruption to make them unique relative to the myriad other brands of missiles.
Baseline armor does not need to be weakened just so nanoforged can be useful, and not everyone will play Eternity Port. That is like lowering all standard weapons' DPS by half for the sake of a few crafted weapons.

For Archura bolts, they do have one capship killer, but it is a high-level top-of-the-line missile. We definitely need more basic bolts with some WMD so that they are effective against stations or capships. For ion effects, blinding is only anti-player (NPCs ignore blinding); EMP is good, but cannot kill (only one bolt should use this); disruption would be good. Other effects like passthrough, armor-penetrator, or shield-buster could be useful.
JohnBWatson wrote: The Dreaming Raiders are cool, but nearly impossible to kill fairly at their current level. Nerfing their equipment a bit in exchange for a speed increase would even things out.
Those shields are strong, supposedly balanced that they do bad things when brought down. Still does not make the raiders easier to take down initially.
JohnBWatson wrote: The final battle in the APD campaign is somewhat underwhelming, given that it's supposed to be in endgame territory. Particle weapons like the ones fielded against the player have long been obsolete.
I am not sure about that. Particle may be useless against some enemies and players with anti-energy defenses. Against a player with underleveled or even balanced defenses, those bolts hurt, and the capship you need to kill before it gates out has ion weaponry to back those mostly invisible gunships. Those stealth gunships are a pain to find and kill, and they hurt. When I played the mission, I won, but it was not easy.

Advanced stealth armor, despite low hp, is overpowered for the player if he can loot enough segments (highly unlikely). It is a good thing advanced stealth armor is a notrandom, one-of-a-kind item. Most things have perception less than 6, and will ignore the player unless he is dumb enough to move over them. Stealth of 8 and perception of 4 means stealthed target needs to be within about range 6 before it can get targeted.
JohnBWatson wrote: The new Luminous ships and stations sort of show up out of nowhere, and then disappear back into the ether when they're done with their part in the game. Integrating them into the faction as a whole could solve issues like the Hunter - killers being extremely powerful yet never actually fighting the player directly(which is a bit of a waste, in my opinion, given that they're very cool ships), and Luminous soldiers being completely unexplained when they appear for one mission. Could also help with Luminous being a pushover outside of its home system despite the plot treating it as the primary threat to humanity.
I only noticed Luminous in the final system. I expected more Luminous ships beyond the drones; that is, I expected Luminous assemblers to crank out more than just drones. I only saw them in a few missions and in the final system. As far as I am concerned, the cold war between Asian Pacific and Eurasian Diarchy is the primary event of the game, not CDM or Luminous.

It would also be nice if NAU and UAS have endgame missions and rewards. Currently, only APD and ED are worth pursuing.

One more thing: Please add a Eurasian Diarchy ship, either Demir or Evren, to the starter ship lineup. APD has Raijin, NAU has Spartan, and UAS has Hercules. ED offers nothing.
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Fri May 13, 2016 6:05 pm

Baseline armor does not need to be weakened just so nanoforged can be useful, and not everyone will play Eternity Port. That is like lowering all standard weapons' DPS by half for the sake of a few crafted weapons.
I meant that it ought to be passed over when a lot of armor is (likely) nerfed in the armor balancing process - some armors are a lot more powerful than the threats they show up alongside, and the ability to just loot or buy armor that's more than good enough is the main reason nanoforged is ignored.
For Archura bolts, they do have one capship killer, but it is a high-level top-of-the-line missile. We definitely need more basic bolts with some WMD so that they are effective against stations or capships. For ion effects, blinding is only anti-player (NPCs ignore blinding); EMP is good, but cannot kill (only one bolt should use this); disruption would be good. Other effects like passthrough, armor-penetrator, or shield-buster could be useful.
I certainly didn't mean only one capship - killer, a set of different tiers of anti - capital missiles is certainly desirable. Those other effects would be great too.
Those shields are strong, supposedly balanced that they do bad things when brought down. Still does not make the raiders easier to take down initially.
Definitely. It's one of those things that cuts the usefulness of something for the player, but not for NPCs(which aren't going to last very long once the shield goes down regardless, as the player's hunting them now).
JohnBWatson wrote: I am not sure about that. Particle may be useless against some enemies and players with anti-energy defenses. Against a player with underleveled or even balanced defenses, those bolts hurt, and the capship you need to kill before it gates out has ion weaponry to back those mostly invisible gunships. Those stealth gunships are a pain to find and kill, and they hurt. When I played the mission, I won, but it was not easy.
The gunships escort the capship and are trivial to drag out of its protection, so finding them is a breeze once that's known. After the capship's dead, they'll just follow the player, even to a friendly station(and, as I said, their weaponry isn't great, so the threat's gone after that point). It felt reminiscent of the Fleet mission where the player attacks a Polar, only with much better equipment for the player.

The mission's certainly interesting and fun, but the enemy equipment could use a bit of a buff. With a brilliant AI that coordinates the gunships and keeps them close to their mothership, it might not need that help, but I don't think we can plan for that just yet.

Advanced stealth armor, despite low hp, is overpowered for the player if he can loot enough segments (highly unlikely). It is a good thing advanced stealth armor is a notrandom, one-of-a-kind item. Most things have perception less than 6, and will ignore the player unless he is dumb enough to move over them. Stealth of 8 and perception of 4 means stealthed target needs to be within about range 6 before it can get targeted.
Absolutely. Stealth as a whole needs a rework - enemies that are hard - coded to attack will always do so, and everything else has the mentality of a guard in an early stealth game.
It would also be nice if NAU and UAS have endgame missions and rewards. Currently, only APD and ED are worth pursuing.
I believe that's already planned. Part II is probably going to come first, but he's definitely heard us out on this.

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Fri May 13, 2016 6:12 pm

JohnBWatson wrote: I meant that it ought to be passed over when a lot of armor is (likely) nerfed in the armor balancing process - some armors are a lot more powerful than the threats they show up alongside, and the ability to just loot or buy armor that's more than good enough is the main reason nanoforged is ignored.
The biggest reason nanoforged armour is ignored is because the materials are hard to get. There's no question that they're strong enough. You can get Orthosteel armour in the first system if you're lucky.
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Fri May 13, 2016 6:50 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:The gunships escort the capship and are trivial to drag out of its protection, so finding them is a breeze once that's known.
Evren X1s usually find me first, if I try to attack the capship. I usually see big green bolts coming out of nowhere, and they hurt unless I have anti-energy defenses. At the time I played the mission, I did not know all of ED's capabilities, so I did not bother finding and equipping anti-particle items. (I had level 9 weapons and high level armor, just not stuff optimized against energy damage.) Trying to target the X1s is a pain because I need to be within range 6 before I can get a lock. If I cannot do that, I need to fire blind at them. Meanwhile, I cannot totally ignore the capship else it escapes, I fail and lose the Baihu archcannon.

Killing the capship before it gates, while getting shot at by both capship and stealth ships, is the challenge. Once capship is dead, then the stealth ships are trivial because they act no different than other orphaned enemies.
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Fri May 13, 2016 9:05 pm

Xephyr wrote:
The biggest reason nanoforged armour is ignored is because the materials are hard to get. There's no question that they're strong enough. You can get Orthosteel armour in the first system if you're lucky.
My understanding is that, at the start of the game, blast plate is much easier to acquire, and is all you need to be all but impervious to enemy attacks. Towards the end of the game, you can get level 10 armor by throwing down a trivial amount of credits. There's not really a point at which the player has any strong motivation to go and get a special armor, given that the much simpler, easier methods of getting armor work well enough.

Regarding the X1s, I just killed the capship immediately - it's not a very tough enemy, after all, as long as you keep firing on it. Killing it also removes the time limit on the mission. Might be harder your way.

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Fri May 13, 2016 9:19 pm

I would kill the capship immediately if I could. When I tried, my shields were going down, and I was taking damage. X1s are not tough, but their stealth makes them hard to find and hit. If I had dedicated anti-energy defenses, I probably could have crushed the mission; but I did not, and as a first-timer, it was not that easy. Had I tried to tank-and-spank the capship, my ship would have been dead first.
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PM wrote:I would kill the capship immediately if I could. When I tried, my shields were going down, and I was taking damage. X1s are not tough, but their stealth makes them hard to find and hit. If I had dedicated anti-energy defenses, I probably could have crushed the mission; but I did not, and as a first-timer, it was not that easy. Had I tried to tank-and-spank the capship, my ship would have been dead first.
I was able to kill it within a few seconds with an endgame weapon loadout, but it's possible I just got lucky a few times. It's also possible that we recieved the mission at different points in the game.

This reminds me: there needs to be a lock on which missions can show up at which sections. Otherwise, taking an early mission at a high - tier station or faction battleship can result in using up a late - game mission opportunity that was needed to complete the full set of missions. This happened to me a few times.

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Sat May 14, 2016 12:51 pm

I got the final APD mission two systems before the end. My weapons were Ares positron cannon, Nomad blaster, tritium cannon (better WMD than Nomad blaster), and Takao launcher with a bunch of T-105s. Armor was probably somewhat lower level, and I think my shield was plasma shield generator. Defenses seemed weak enough that Ranx dreadnoughts and some weaker late-game threats were dangerous. My ship was Raijin with enhanced megadrive (for .33c). Enemies were not a problem if I could engage on my own terms (i.e., divide and conquer), which timed missions make more difficult.

The system after that had the final APD cruiser, which spawned next to an Ares shipyard with a Phobos and one or two Deimos pre-spawned. The APD cruiser did not have a chance, and it was dead long before I found it. Looted several intact reactors and a level 8 APD howitzer (which I did not need thanks to a shiny new Baihu archcannon).

Yes, I can see players wasting cruisers on low level missions. I took the Ungoverned Territories branch (instead of listening to Lilith to rush to the end) to look for more stations and not miss any missions. I think I got one more mission, but the side-trip was mostly a grind.
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