Armor balance discussion

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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by giantcabbage » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:35 pm

Currently the freighter has an initial mass of 165 (150 hull, 10 armor, 5 device) and thrustRatio of 1.5
This gives initial engine thrust of 165 * 1.5 = 247.5

The Wolfen has an initial mass 46 (30 hull, 11 armor, 5 devices) and thrustRatio of 13
Gives engine thrust of 46 * 13 = 598

So the Wolfen is currently both lighter and has a much more powerful engine.
JohnBWatson wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:50 pm
Focusing on cargo is realistic, but isn't as good for gameplay, in my opinion. Having freighters handle heavier armor better than gunships feels right - large ships should suffer less from mounting heavier armor segments rather than more.
The game already does this by calculating accelleration (thrust ratio) from the ship's total mass. As the freighter has a 150 ton hull, adding 40 tons of armor has much less impact than adding the same 40 tons to a light fighter.

Currently armor mass is effectively meaningless as all nearly all armor is "light" (i.e. fits on the Sapphire) and has little impact on maneuverability as it weighs less than the ship hull.

If there was a wider range of armor masses I would generally expect the hp to be proportional to mass (double the mass, double the hp). So I'd basically have the choice of flying a fast & maneuverable ship, but would have to use that maneuverability to avoid being hit too much. Or get heavy armor with two or three times as many hp, but pretty much give up on being able to dodge anything.

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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by JohnBWatson » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:42 pm

It goes without saying that speed loss should be worth it. Right now, the only things faster than a Wolfen are ultra-light gunships that die within seconds when faced with even heavily outdated flyswatter weapons. Rebalancing the armors used by such ships will help with that, but, longer term, there should be formidable enemy gunships that can keep up with a Wolfen, which would make max speed less of a stat to rule all stats.

From a gameplay standpoint, max speed loss feels like a qualitative penalty, and it's hard to make up qualitative penalties with quantitative benefits. Providing a qualitative benefit to high mass armor, such as resistance to non - WMD damage, self - repair, or immunity/+reflect to a given damagetype would make armor choice feel more significant and make people feel better about taking the loss. Such a change would greatly improve the Grome armor while making them feel more interesting as an enemy faction.

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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by PM » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:56 pm

Not just Wolfen, but any playership with enhanced Titan or better engine. Wolfen just has the advantage of not needing an engine, provided it does not equip too much mass, otherwise, Wolfen will want an engine anyway just to have fast enough acceleration. Even so, .28c from enhanced Titan, let alone .33c from enhanced megadrive, is still much better than .25c.
JohnBWatson wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:42 pm
It goes without saying that speed loss should be worth it. Right now, the only things faster than a Wolfen are ultra-light gunships that die within seconds when faced with even heavily outdated flyswatter weapons. Rebalancing the armors used by such ships will help with that, but, longer term, there should be formidable enemy gunships that can keep up with a Wolfen, which would make max speed less of a stat to rule all stats.
Some of the ships in Corporate Command during its beta used to be a bit faster, but were slowed down because they could not be fled from (as easily if possible).
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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by PM » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:18 pm

Also, Wind Slavers used to be much more sturdy with four armor segments instead of one. Their armor was just as weak, but it is much less likely to hit single segment with all of the shots (which were likely less damaging energy weapons). Perhaps Wind Slavers could have two armor segments; they are a bit big to have only one. Also, Ares Sandstorms are similar size. Maybe they can go faster, but get only two segments (they still have four segments). Currently, all non-expansion enemies in Outer Realm top at .20c (except imports from Ungoverned Territories like Wind Slavers and Xenophobe Fighters), which is slow and lets the player kite things more easily than earlier in the game.
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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by JohnBWatson » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:18 pm

PM wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:18 pm
Also, Wind Slavers used to be much more sturdy with four armor segments instead of one. Their armor was just as weak, but it is much less likely to hit single segment with all of the shots (which were likely less damaging energy weapons). Perhaps Wind Slavers could have two armor segments; they are a bit big to have only one. Also, Ares Sandstorms are similar size. Maybe they can go faster, but get only two segments (they still have four segments). Currently, all non-expansion enemies in Outer Realm top at .20c (except imports from Ungoverned Territories like Wind Slavers and Xenophobe Fighters), which is slow and lets the player kite things more easily than earlier in the game.
Absolutely agree, with the exception that I don't really see extra segments helping the Wind Slaver. It's maneuverable enough that it's always going to be facing the player anyways, after all. Buffing its resistance to kinetic and laser damage significantly would probably be more effective, while also making it useful to the player(which is, in my opinion, vital - it's very often found as loot in the New Beyond, but is presently worthless, and all of the better early game armor choices are purchasable, and thus present in nearly every generated game).

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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by PM » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:21 pm

All I can say to that is Wind Slaver losing three armor segments made it significantly easier to kill, despite armor stats being unchanged (except the resistance swap from particle to blast), at least from low-powered, low-level weapons. Wind Slavers with four armor segments were very dangerous to underequipped players. Today, Wind Slavers are very fragile. Yes, it would seem that Wind Slavers would always take damage at their front segment, but that was not always the case in practice.

Wind Slaver does not necessarily need more resistance to laser or kinetic above the baseline, although being resistant to kinetic could make sense. But I would not recommended that because kinetic is already at a disadvantage. If light Sung armor really needs to be tougher, just add (maybe) five more hit points.
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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by JohnBWatson » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:48 pm

If that's the case, it's probably due to how segments used to be calculated. A shot that hit the front but was moving perpendicular to the ship it hit would be counted as hitting the side, which is no longer the case. This made a lot of omni weapons, which lead their targets in effective but sometimes odd - looking ways, kill things quite a bit faster.

Light Sung Armor absolutely needs to be tougher in order to be balanced, and 5 more HP isn't sufficient. Would an additional 5 HP make you consider using it over armors of equivalent level? What lore there is on the subject suggests that they are used for jumping small civilian ships and taking the crew as slaves. Those ships overwhelmingly use laser, so it makes sense that the armor designed exclusively for a ship that fights them should be able to handle enough laser damage that doing this is worthwhile.

It's worth noting that LSA is even more underpowered than the table suggests - +35 of its balance comes from immunities, but it has no hope of surviving the damage that shows up alongside the effects(and the effects do not show up anywhere near where the player might use the armor), so effect immunity is irrelevant. +20 more comes from balCost, which should be completely discounted for items with the +notForSale attribute. That'd be bad even if it weren't a level 2 armor that showed up paired with an expensive level 5 weapon from St. Kat's to Jiang's Star.

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Re: Armor balance discussion

Post by PM » Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:20 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:48 pm
Light Sung Armor absolutely needs to be tougher in order to be balanced, and 5 more HP isn't sufficient. Would an additional 5 HP make you consider using it over armors of equivalent level? What lore there is on the subject suggests that they are used for jumping small civilian ships and taking the crew as slaves. Those ships overwhelmingly use laser, so it makes sense that the armor designed exclusively for a ship that fights them should be able to handle enough laser damage that doing this is worthwhile.
Since light Sung armor is built mainly for cannon-fodder NPC use, I do not care much about using it much like I do not care about using level 1 armor. It is more important that cannon fodder is not so fragile that they die quickly even to level 1 or 2 weapons. It seems the point of the modern Wind Slaver is to be a slightly tougher Hornet with a much bigger gun. It may need just enough defenses to not die to low level weapons. When Wind Slaver had four segments, playerships that did not upgrade their starter equipment died because Wind Slavers did not die so fast. Today, Wind Slavers are weak enough that they may die to more powerful starters instead. Currently, 20 hp is just four times more than 5 hp ultra-light titanium that Hornets use.

I suggested +5 hp as a better defense against (starter) ships piloted by players with bad aim and flailing away at Wind Slavers with low damage weapons such as red laser or recoilless cannons.
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