Tweaking the Minotaur (+ more player ships)

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
Post Reply
User avatar
CMircea
Anarchist
Anarchist
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:28 am
Location: teh intarwebz

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:14 pm

I've been toying with adding additional player ships from later in the game, to see how playable they are and maybe rebalance them a little (Benedict's Asterion gunship, Hugo Sandoval's Armstrong freighter, Centurion for dual-fire weapons, etc.). Might release them as they are just for feedback, they feel quite nice for upgrades, especially having from the Corporate side (not just Wolfen, Sapphire, EI freighters and maybe a stray Centurion). I tried the Elixir Megayacht, but it's huge and would probably be ridiculously overpowered or make no sense at all - maybe a scaled-down version between Elixir and Sapphire.

The one that's quite ridiculously overpowered and also quite unplayable at the same time is the Minotaur. Having a secondary omnidirectional weapon firing at the same time is huge - end-game you can stick IM90, Ares Lightning Turret or even an Omni Thermo Cannon and pretty much mop curbstomp everything. However, it's also challenging due to the power requirements for most end-game weapons (Omni Thermo is the outlier here - low power usage, uses ammo but you have an ammo fabricator device which doesn't use too much power IIRC) and the ship is very sluggish - a drive upgrade helps, but the maneuverability is still terrible (maybe the drive upgrades should also improve maneuverability - we used to have side thrust effects, so it makes some sense).

I was thinking that it would make sense to have the top turret secondary fire instead of linked fire so that you could fire the weapon with another button. It would make much more sense - especially if it was restricted to capacitor weapons, like the Ares Lightning Turret. Or if you could fire both weapons only for a limited time until they would overheat or something like that, to balance the ship a bit.

I've been also playing with making the ship much more maneuverable (which is quite fun with dual-fire weapons but the selection end-game is limited), to giving it a large cargo hold and use the NAMI Auton Bay (suffers from stupid auton AI - mindlessly chasing every target with no prioritization, lack of commands - especially to recall all autons, a pain with many of them, and the lack of autons end-game - upgrading Lumiere is okay-ish, but not that great).

What I would like and would probably fit the Minotaur better (being a heavily armed corvette) is more dual-fire weapons, especially launchers (a dual/alternating Makyev maybe?) and energy weapons (last one is Tev9 I believe).

What do you guys think?

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2415
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:45 pm

Minotaur is about a maneuverable as a freighter. It is not great, but not too bad. If player can handle a freighter, he can handle Minotaur. Two primary weapons on top of good all-around stats aside from turning speed makes it better than every other ship except maybe EI200 for cargo capacity. Minotaur's only weakness is maneuverability.

I do not want to always hold down two buttons to fire primary weapons most of the time. That is like always holding the run button in Doom to move at normal speed instead of at reduced speed. If player wants to use launcher, that is three buttons for firing weapons alone. Basic keyboards have a limit to how many buttons can be held down and respond.

If player uses a ship with many guns, it makes sense to link them together instead of having a fire button for each weapon.

As for fixing the Minotaur, there probably should be more high-end options, instead of it and maybe EI200.
Download and Play in 1.9 alpha...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!

Other playable mods from 1.8 and 1.7, waiting to be updated...
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones (WIP): Acquire more wingmen from Ship Broker. Unfinished, but updated to 1.8 beta.
Drake Technologies (Alpha) for 1.8: If you do not have 1.9 alpha 1...

User avatar
CMircea
Anarchist
Anarchist
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:28 am
Location: teh intarwebz

Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:45 pm

I haven't considered the concurrent key press limitations of most membrane keyboards. That might be a problem :?
I was thinking of reducing the firepower upgrade by allowing you to fire both weapons only for a short time, so you'd fire either the primary or secondary (primary for stations/capital ships, secondary omni for lots of wimpy ships, like Sung).

The problem with the Minotaur is it's overpowered compared to all other player ships. Unless you have a specific reason for keeping your current ship, switching to the Minotaur is going to make the game much easier. It's pretty much a race to get it as soon as you can past St. K's and you're going to curbstomp pretty much anything until the middle of outer realm, even with the default loadout. Especially the Marauders and Sung Slavers pose little challenge anymore. That might be the point, but it makes the game too easy with double the firepower.

What if it was restricted to fleet officers with a certain rank or require a mission to unlock? It might also make sense to have the military version restricted to officers and the civilian version to Corporate security officers.


We can certainly add more high-end ships, but they should have some kind of gimmick/tradeoff, not be just a matter of equipment level. There are several good ship choices already in the game to repurpose as playerships, but I'm not sure what trade-offs to make. As I said, I was playing with them, we have Asterion for a heavy gunship, Armstrong for a big freighter and various Centurions. The first two could basically be upgrades for Manticore and Armstrong, although it might make more sense to make them starting ships and somehow balance Asterion, Armstrong and Constellation - they are all based on the same model after all.

For Centurions maybe we could add some restrictions to separate them a bit, like unable to mount dual-shot weapons to the basic one, unable to mount single-source weapons to the dual one, maybe no omnidirectional either. But then what might be the advantages for choosing them? They should have a gimmick of their own, I'm struggling to think of one.

PS: One limitation of the linked-fire implementation is you can't enhance the linked-fire weapon without removing it, installing a dummy one, then the weapon you want to enhance (so it show's up in the weapon selection).

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2415
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm

By the time Centurions appear, so do the Minotaur. Centurion/X might be a fun ship to play with, except I want Minotaur when I can get either.

Minotaur is not overpowered merely due to just two weapons, it is also eight all-purpose slots, 100 base cargo expandable to 200, and heavy armor does not hurt it too much. With an enhanced Titan, its mobility is good too. (Megadrive is not an option if you want two high level primary weapons.)

With Wolfen, I want light armor because heavier armor really hurts its agility. With Minotaur, it can use heavy armor without losing too much speed.

For an alternative high-end ship like Centurion/X or Britannia, it could have another bonus, like a global +50% to weapon damage or something.

George seems okay with the idea of buying a better ship (that is clearly superior to the starters). The problem is there is only one or two choices that are clearly better than the starters. The rest (like Centurions) are trivial upgrades or sidegrades.
Download and Play in 1.9 alpha...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!

Other playable mods from 1.8 and 1.7, waiting to be updated...
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones (WIP): Acquire more wingmen from Ship Broker. Unfinished, but updated to 1.8 beta.
Drake Technologies (Alpha) for 1.8: If you do not have 1.9 alpha 1...

Derakon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 am

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:48 pm

The problem isn't just that the Minotaur is stronger than the other options, it's also that the game was balanced around the starters, so introducing ships that are significant upgrades to the starters makes the game easier. I mean, it's already possible to more-or-less trivialize the game even with the starters -- a +200% omni thermo cannon with nanofac is pretty hard to beat. But it takes significant effort to achieve that level of power. Minotaurs are just handed out at the shipyards, and all you need to get one is money.

You could make the endgame harder, which would have the effect of pushing the player more towards upgrading their ship. This is fairly common in other games in the genre, where swapping ships is a big part of how you "level up". You could downgrade the new ships, but that makes the player question why they would bother upgrading.

I think on the whole I'm okay with the Minotaur being the strongest combat ship, but it might be too strong currently. Maybe its omni mount should get a halved fire rate and power draw?

User avatar
CMircea
Anarchist
Anarchist
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:28 am
Location: teh intarwebz

Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:40 pm

PM wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm
By the time Centurions appear, so do the Minotaur. Centurion/X might be a fun ship to play with, except I want Minotaur when I can get either.
Right now Centurions are quite crappy. They are worse than the starting ships in pretty much all aspects. But that can be easily changed, I'm playing various games to tweak the ships.
PM wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm
Minotaur is not overpowered merely due to just two weapons, it is also eight all-purpose slots, 100 base cargo expandable to 200, and heavy armor does not hurt it too much. With an enhanced Titan, its mobility is good too. (Megadrive is not an option if you want two high level primary weapons.)
You can get the megadrive too, with either a low-power omni (omni thermo?) or an enhanced reactor (ingenuity) or both.
PM wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm
With Wolfen, I want light armor because heavier armor really hurts its agility. With Minotaur, it can use heavy armor without losing too much speed.
That's the point of a heavy gunship/corvette. Wolfen is a light gunship. I think the current armor system is very well balanced - you can use heavier armor (to a point), but it hurts the speed, thrust and maneuvrability.
PM wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm
For an alternative high-end ship like Centurion/X or Britannia, it could have another bonus, like a global +50% to weapon damage or something.
That's what I'm struggling with, what bonus to give to the Centurion or Britannia. Having enhanced weapons across the board feels a bit like cheating. Maybe one Centurion could also have a linked-fire system, for single origin weapons, so you could hack together a dual Katana for example. Maybe have a built-in targeting scanner that makes all missles tracking (so you can have tracking M5 with the NAMI Heavy). Or even a built-in +fast enhacement for all weapons.
PM wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:11 pm
George seems okay with the idea of buying a better ship (that is clearly superior to the starters). The problem is there is only one or two choices that are clearly better than the starters. The rest (like Centurions) are trivial upgrades or sidegrades.
If we're OK with having purchasable ships with a clear advantage over starting ships, then the only problem is balance - the rest of the game is balanced for the starting ships, so it's easy to curbstomp almost everything, as Derakon says.

So I still stand by the idea of locking the best ships under a mission and being able to buy only mediocre upgrades. For example, you might be able to buy the Centurion variants (with different trade-offs) for a few hundred thousand credits, maybe the Brittania for like 500k. But the Minotaur would require a mission to unlock, say maybe get it as a reward in Point Juno or add a mission arc in Eta Ceti. Then we can buff the latter part of the game by 50-100% so you'll really struggle without a better ship. To lock out the endgame weapons we could also play more with the multislot option and have the Minotaur & equivalents simply have more device slots.

As for the linked-fire system, I think the weapon should be part of the weapon selection rotation. That way you can fire it independently (eg. without firing a main howitzer just to kill a few ships) and also easily enhance it with usables. Externals should remain as they are.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2415
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:01 am

The first Centurion is unremarkable, but the X is decent. If Minotaur was not available, I would consider upgrading from Sapphire or Wolfen to Centurion/X.

My point about megadrive is if you want to use two primary level 10 ammoless weapons, like two IM90s (or IM90 plus plasma cannon), plus Taikon-200, Megadrive requires too much power. Titan is good enough for a fraction of the powerUse.

My point about Wolfen versus other ships is Wolfen cannot use heavy armor very well, while Minotaur is almost unaffected by it. (Centurion may also handle heavy armor fairly well too.) That is part of the reason why Minotaur is so powerful. If all Minotaur had was two primary weapons, it would be strong but with clear shortcomings. But Minotaur has more than just two primary weapons, Minotaur is simply good at everything aside from maneuverability in addition to the extra firepower. It is a bit sluggish without a drive, but so are most ships. (Wolfen is an exception.)

Sure, starters can be powerful. It was pointed out to George on Twitch that Minotaur is noticeably stronger than the starters, and he has said at least twice that he is okay with that, at least on a ship that is not a starter but can be acquired later in the game. He (seems to) see it as something to look forward to as part of progression.

Yes, the game was balanced for starters because acquiring different ships before 1.8 was not possible (outside of mods). Before 1.8, player picked one ship to start with and stuck with it. Ship changing seems to have been planned as the main way to upgrade in Vault of the Galaxy, and the code for ship changing was implemented long before that, although only mods made use of ship changing until 1.8. (Around 1.02 or 1.03 when ship changing code was added, Prophet wrote a ship change mod, then I wrote Playership Drones soon after.)

I like Minotaur's linked-fire system. There ought to be more ships like it instead of only one. My biggest problem with Minotaur is it is the only playable ship of its kind. With only one ship clearly better than the rest, it might as well be a one ship game as soon as the player can find and afford one. At least EI200 has a point of much more cargo if player cares more about hauling than fighting. (I favor combat.)

I am not sure if delaying Minotaur until near the end is the way to go. The end is still the same (you kill the final boss with your souped-up Minotaur). The only difference is you are stuck with a weaker ship (your starter) longer.
Download and Play in 1.9 alpha...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!

Other playable mods from 1.8 and 1.7, waiting to be updated...
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones (WIP): Acquire more wingmen from Ship Broker. Unfinished, but updated to 1.8 beta.
Drake Technologies (Alpha) for 1.8: If you do not have 1.9 alpha 1...

relanat
Militia Captain
Militia Captain
Posts: 816
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 am

Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:58 am

CMircea wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:40 pm

Maybe one Centurion could also have a linked-fire system, for single origin weapons, so you could hack together a dual Katana for example. Maybe have a built-in targeting scanner that makes all missles tracking (so you can have tracking M5 with the NAMI Heavy). Or even a built-in +fast enhacement for all weapons.
I haven't had time to go thorugh the topic in detail but these are great ideas. A linked fire Cent/X variant sounds great. Make the linked-fire system built-in and up the price. The tracking upgrade could reduce missile speed to balance. And the +fast could be limited by weapon damage type or weapon manufacturer.
Attach what you've got to a Drawing Board topic, please. That way interested people can have a go with them. I would love to do this type of thing but other mods are taking all my time.
Stupid code. Do what I want, not what I typed in!

Tiber
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:19 am

If u wanna future proof bigger and better ships u should probably do 3 things;

1. Make some sort of chance hit/ miss system, as upgrade (and in addition / not replacement!) to the facing system.

2. Have the guns+slots and their types limits in place.

3. Have a system for balancing out heavy-er and more guns = harder opponents


Examples;

1. Have for example Small Medium Large eXtra-Large and Capital weapons in place (S, M, L, XL, C) C guns would have a default of 95% miss on small ships, While S guns almost always hit both small and large ships, like 60% on small ships hit chance 80% hit-chance on medium ships and 100% on L and above.

2. current 2 slot guns can be made L (large weapons) suitable for Minotaur and heavyer ships. M slots / weapons are the ''heavy's'' for small and medium ships (starters all the way to centuy-X) S or small would be small weapons foe example to lvl 6 or 5. T weapons are turret weapons, and need a turret slot, these also come in the S M L system, and TS Slot for example would be suitable for the starting El500, however, since thats your main primary, that slot should be a MT medium turrets slot, whit the small turret laser in it. An MT would be able to accommodate MT St weapons, but not LT (Large Turrets) nor should it be able to handle Linear weapons, or even swiffel ones.

Furter specification can be made due to make some weapon slots capable of Howitzer Energy Projectile ( projectile energy would be the quanlong or ares archon plasma cloud or graviton ehh chimera guns, and ofc lamplighter) and Single and Dual capable. Along whit A for Any, both projectile and energy. So, and LED would be what is currently on the ares dual turrets that protect thier bases. Ares base also have LES same ion turrets that shoot one less both, and last but not least the ares deploy LEPS those are also Large weapon slots whit Energy Projectile and ofcourse Single shot, Dit u guess what it is? yes it is the ares Positron gun on that stationary. However, since the above does not account for it to rotate 360degrees, the stationary nature of those object should ad the the capability of the gun in question.

3. to compensate for bigger better and more linket systems and guns ect ect, having for exaplme, have a trigger system in place like;
Minotaur + omni lvl 8 ion detected = +10-30% (random or adaptive algoritm?) live resists damage per shot and shots per second, per any enemy ship. PER newly visited system. So, when fitting the ion omni to replace your (ehh that green crappy one.. forgot its name lol ) means u also get heavier enemy's, up that to ''lvl 9 omni ares burst ion.. thingy'' and get yet another +5% per new visited system. This can be ofc duplicated for main guns(s) external(s)guns shield armor and reactor.


So now as an example, The Minotaur- J has;
-1 LHPS (Large Howitzer Projectile Single) so cant be turret or even dual howy ! as a main, on the pinnacle of the ship (cus its a triangle shape) lets say an Regular 120MW thermo howy.
-directly behind it on the side of this triangle 2 (one on eigther side ) Medium linear single shot Any weapon slots. MAS Medium Any Single, lets say Makayev Mk-1 blast howy as max.
-behind that, 2 (one on eigther side) Small swiffel (arc 30%?or so ) gun slots. Swiffel gun slots should be limited to like guns whit swiffel, or omni as default. like x-ray omni and the dwarg swiffel ehmm snydosist or xiphon, and perhaps akan 30 ''s?'(cant recall)
- behind those swiffels in middle on top of the ship (in front of engines) , 1 MTe good for the 360degree M being medium as max T for turret aka 360 degrees and e for energy only, no projectile weapons like the thermo weapons (whit or whitout ammo) kinetics projectile ... whatever....
Also, this being the J class minotaur, it has no launcher slot... bummer ;-)
Ill make an piture of this... gonna be simple, but easy to understand.

Any idea in here or above means, alot of balance, but also work for George xD
I rather see his current efforts going into combining the EP Eternity Port along whit CC to the main story line, just like he mentioned on his twitch game playtrue.... this in upon itself means you'l be able to pilot the Evren Heavy gunship, easley an match for the current minotaur.
He also mentioned that he wanted to intergrate either specific ship sections like crew quarters or gunnery slots for ''hired'' or rescued (sung slavers?)crew members. Or both?. That, would also be alot of work man... alot.

Tiber
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:21 am

reserved for picture,


coming very soon ^^

edit; tada ;-)

Image


Further Edit;

This kind of fitting of more guns and therefore screenplay spectacle, would let u run out of slots to upgrade those guns very quickly,
Therefore i would suggest an modular system applied to them, example:

the front gun LHPS can be equipped whit an lithium booster and a howy accelerator.
The MAS in case you went MK-I can be done whit howy accelerator and the makayev weapon booster.
The swiffel gun slots in case of x-ray omni's, laser accels and bushido weapon booster.
This items directley applied to the gun that u want it on, allows for the Dwarg swiffel on the right side whit it's ups, and the x-ray on the left side.

Also, regular boosters like particle source upgrade, ... or something, would need a selection list, same as longlu spheres do right now, making it possible to up existing guns in any slot, or taht new shingy gun in the cargo bay for future use.

Note that this layout has no launcher slot or open hull space (aka external guns), cus... you need to balance it a bit huh? ;-)

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2415
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:17 am

Quick comments:
* If the secondary mounts accept omnis, then the ship can fire more omni guns than Minotaur. By even if the mounts do not, that is still significant forward-facing firepower. For killing things in front of the ship, it will make Minotaur look tame. (It would probably be on par or a bit weaker than would player could use in older Playership Drones.)

* This new loadout or configuration would be something... for another ship type instead of the Minotaur. I would not mind seeing this alongside with the Minotaur, instead of replacing the Minotaur.
Download and Play in 1.9 alpha...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!

Other playable mods from 1.8 and 1.7, waiting to be updated...
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones (WIP): Acquire more wingmen from Ship Broker. Unfinished, but updated to 1.8 beta.
Drake Technologies (Alpha) for 1.8: If you do not have 1.9 alpha 1...

Tiber
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:00 pm

Yes indeed, altho it is not a request to make this ship.
This above text post plus the picture post are just examples, as stated.
I made the imaginary J-type to show-case the difference in Small Medium Large and Omni gun slots. (possible limitations for fitting).
Further limitations can be made by the limitations on what type of gun can be mounted on the specific slot, like projectile energy.
Just like there is now, no possibility to fit a gun to the launcher slot on the ship (already ingame). However, when not fitting a launcher, the ''slot count'' of that launcher becomes (or remains) available to fit something else on the ship. Like an ICX or patcher or Shield busting gun.

However, When George is willing/ going bigger on ship all the way to capitals or battleships there should be balance between them.
Such as, battleships not having to many small guns to kill small ships, because that above the armor and shield tanking capability's would make them overpowered very fast.

Example:
Image

Post Reply