Compartments making bosses a bit too tough?

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:06 am

I have a somewhat different idea: we should modify massive armor segments to provide the bulk of capital ship resistance. Right now, the armor of Phobii, Worldships, and the ICS is barely heavier than what is used by the player, so of course these ships are in need of additional damage - sponging ability to not be trivial to kill, and this is provided in the form of internal HP. I'd argue that if we were to make the difference between gunship and capital ship armor more realistic, we could fix this easily enough, and be able to nerf internal HP without taking away capital ships' ability to present a threat.

Taking the Phobos as an example, massive Tharsis plate currently weighs 25 tons and has 700 hit points. A capital ship massively larger than the player is fielding armor that is only barely above what gunships are using. The ICS is even more absurd, using armor that a Manticore pilot could just as easily attach to his own ship. A possible solution to this issue is to add a new set of modifiers to armor segments intended for capital ships, giving them a certain degree of resistance to lower levels of WMD damage, while increasing their weight to better match the vast size differential between the ships fielding them and that of the player.

Armor plating intended for dreadnoughts, CSCs, and motherships, such as the Ark or ICS, could be called 'supermassive'. This armor could, in addition to its own resistances, modify the damage received by its WMD rating divided by 6(giving ratings above 6 100% damage instead). Due to its size, it could weigh somewhere around 75 tons, making it clear that only very large capital ships could field it. Armor intended for standard capital ships like the Deimos, Xeno defender, and Aquila could weigh around 40 tons while using the modifier WMD / 5, while frigates and other small capital ships like the Heliotrope destroyer could have armor within reach for the heaviest player ships that only weakens the first 3 levels of WMD damage.

Internal structure, now being decently protected, could be brought down to something of a 'last chance' damage absorber, providing a small amount of typeless HP that shares the previous system's chance of being instantly destroyed when hit by a WMD weapon.

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Shrike
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Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:18 am

I think the upper limit for most armor should be around 30-40t. That makes it possible to carry around (if you really want to) without a cargo hold. But I'd definitly support a general shift towards mass playing a bigger role in armor.

Edit: Of course, the alternative is to spread out the range of armor masses in general, then drop the mass limits on playerships so that they can generally fit lighter things than they have now. But that would be complex.
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Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:34 am

From a realism standpoint, it does make some sense for more of capital ships' protection to come from armor. I don't think we should move too far in that direction, though. After all, aside from compartments being hard to damage with most weapons, armor is the most annoying form of protection, since it has the best resistances and damage from different directions doesn't stack. It definitely shouldn't also require WMD, since the point of this thread is that WMD is already too important.

There are a few ways to make capital ships' armor tougher:
- Give them higher level armor. Because of the damage curve, this makes upgrading to better damage types even more important.
- Add more armors with significantly more hp than usual for their level. These could be made too massive for player ships, in order to prevent them from being unbalanced as loot.
- Give capital ships' armor slots an inherent hp multiplier, to represent them having multiple "layers" of a type of armor that can be used on lighter ships.

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JohnBWatson
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Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:54 am

Shrike wrote:I think the upper limit for most armor should be around 30-40t. That makes it possible to carry around (if you really want to) without a cargo hold. But I'd definitly support a general shift towards mass playing a bigger role in armor.
Superheavy armor isn't really worth that much, and there are few enough things that the standard cargo expansion gives you that I wouldn't mind having some things be too large for ships without it to haul. This stuff would only be found on Worldships, Phobii, CSCs, Arks, and the ICS, the upper limit for everything else would be around 40 tons.

From a realism standpoint, it does make some sense for more of capital ships' protection to come from armor. I don't think we should move too far in that direction, though. After all, aside from compartments being hard to damage with most weapons, armor is the most annoying form of protection, since it has the best resistances and damage from different directions doesn't stack. It definitely shouldn't also require WMD, since the point of this thread is that WMD is already too important.
I think WMD is essential here. A massive capital ship shouldn't take as much damage from a strafing run with a peashooter as it would from a direct hit from heavy weapons fire. While it should be possible to deal scratch damage to them this way, it really ought to take heavy weapons fire to destroy massive, heavily armored ships.

However, I do believe that the degree to which larger ships endure damage across multiple segments could do to be changed. Given improved heavy armor mechanics, the number of segments could be reduced to make hitting more than one a more fair challenge, making methods of fighting other than kiting the enemy with howitzer recoil or rushing in with overpowered equipment and tanking all their hits more viable, and making combat between multiple capital ships less random.


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Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:05 am

I'd say the system of multiple armor segments is the most realistic feature of Transcendence combat. It makes capital ships much more resilient to being surrounded by small ships, without needing to buff up the armor HP. It's unfortunate that all capital ships can be kited somewhat easily. Perhaps we can make capital ships try to keep their damaged segments away from damage. For example, when a ship sense an incoming shot, it turns just slightly to meet the shot with an undamaged segment without thrusting, then resume the same course it was following.
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Shrike
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Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:36 pm

sun1404 wrote:I'd say the system of multiple armor segments is the most realistic feature of Transcendence combat. It makes capital ships much more resilient to being surrounded by small ships, without needing to buff up the armor HP. It's unfortunate that all capital ships can be kited somewhat easily. Perhaps we can make capital ships try to keep their damaged segments away from damage. For example, when a ship sense an incoming shot, it turns just slightly to meet the shot with an undamaged segment without thrusting, then resume the same course it was following.
There was a ticket on multiverse for that at one stage.
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Atarlost
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Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:37 am

Armor heavier than 20t, 1kg is pointless. Indeed, I would suggest that there should be no armor heavier than 20t.

Instead of making armor that serves no purpose make larger capital ships have enhancing armor slots or virtual armor enhancer devices and spawn additional armor objects on death. The same armor that gives an EI500 600hp could give a Phobos 1800hp. Same armor but three times as thick on the capital ship.
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Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:52 am

Atarlost wrote:Armor heavier than 20t, 1kg is pointless. Indeed, I would suggest that there should be no armor heavier than 20t.
Pointless for player use (barring mods featuring playable capitals). It is one way to restrict armor as NPC-only, assuming NPC is a battleship.
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sun1404
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Sun Oct 04, 2015 4:24 am

NPC(cap ships)-only armors might be realistic, and a good buff to capital ships, but for me it'd be rather frustrating if I take the time to shoot down a cap ship and see tons of armors I can never use. Rather than having capital ships drop useless loots, let them drop no armor at all if you really don't want the player to use a capital ship armor. They could be blew up in the explosion or some for other reasons. Useless, super-heavy loots give no benefit.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:26 am

sun1404 wrote:NPC(cap ships)-only armors might be realistic, and a good buff to capital ships, but for me it'd be rather frustrating if I take the time to shoot down a cap ship and see tons of armors I can never use. Rather than having capital ships drop useless loots, let them drop no armor at all if you really don't want the player to use a capital ship armor. They could be blew up in the explosion or some for other reasons. Useless, super-heavy loots give no benefit.
Adds atmosphere, like the frozen supplies or Korolov crates, and doesn't confuse new players that wonder why capships don't have any armor. Could probably have tinkers and the like break it down into smaller bits that work like the current sets of capital ship armor, though they'd need to set up shop inside CW stations if they were to appear in the Outer Realm.

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Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:31 am

You won't be hauling them to any tinkers if they're heavier than your ship can carry. Commodities, while not serving any actual purpose, are still valuable in trade. Armors weighing 70 tons each aren't, except if you also give them ridiculous price, which I don't think should be done. Reasonable price won't do, since hauling a segment would probably mean having to put half of what you normally carry somewhere safe, and coming back to take them after selling the armor segment or whatever you intend to do with it.
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Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:55 am

sun1404 wrote:You won't be hauling them to any tinkers if they're heavier than your ship can carry. Commodities, while not serving any actual purpose, are still valuable in trade. Armors weighing 70 tons each aren't, except if you also give them ridiculous price, which I don't think should be done. Reasonable price won't do, since hauling a segment would probably mean having to put half of what you normally carry somewhere safe, and coming back to take them after selling the armor segment or whatever you intend to do with it.
Just because you can't carry heavy items in a wolfen doesn't mean that they shouldn't be in the game.

That said, I think that the best way to fix this problem would be to add some kind of a plasma welding/cutting item that, when you are docked with wrecks, would add an action to cut apart certain armor segments to sell them for raw materials or to convert them to armor patches or something.
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Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:38 am

The Ministry ticket Round-off errors when applying damage resistance suggests George is planning to implement stochastic rounding for damage to armor and shields, and maybe compartments. If it is implemented for compartments, then rescaling compartment hp is no longer needed for my proposal. Only the WMD damage adjustment table has to change.

Also, there are other possible factors that could be used besides 3. Here's a table (I certainly don't recommend values higher than 5):
Image
These all use the formula:
damage adjustment = round(base^(WMD/7 - 1) * 100)
I chose this because it has some nice properties. WMD 7 weapons remain the same for any base and the ratio of each WMD rating to the one below it is roughly constant.

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Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:13 am

this is nice, but wouldn't it be simpler to have a new WMD system that explicitly declares the percentage ?
something like:

WMD:0 to WMD:100

where the value is the percentage of the damage of the weapon. (and consequently WMD7 == WMD:100)

- allows fine tuning for modders and game balance.
- it would be much easier to read weapon damages in the sources, no need to remember any table or % values.
- it's a new syntax that is similar to the implemented new syntaxes for other weapon damage modifiers like shield (before was shield4 now it's shield:4)
- maintains backward compatibility as old mods are still allowed the old syntax.

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Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:56 am

digdug wrote:this is nice, but wouldn't it be simpler to have a new WMD system that explicitly declares the percentage ?
something like:

WMD:0 to WMD:100

where the value is the percentage of the damage of the weapon. (and consequently WMD7 == WMD:100)

- allows fine tuning for modders and game balance.
- it would be much easier to read weapon damages in the sources, no need to remember any table or % values.
- it's a new syntax that is similar to the implemented new syntaxes for other weapon damage modifiers like shield (before was shield4 now it's shield:4)
- maintains backward compatibility as old mods are still allowed the old syntax.
Agreed. Sounds more reasonable. I am a beginner modder and I find values very confusing. TransLISP is more difficult than C++ if you ask me. Internal compartments seem tricky. Why have those, when you can do double armour layering on cap ships? Semi caps, like the Xeno defender, should have internal compartments. But on caps, you can go multi hull.
By the way, as the things seem to be going, antimatter weapons would have the most WMD and energy weapons the least. I propose that the energy weapons (laser, particle, ion, positron) have more anti shield power than matter weapons. And matter weapons would have more WMD in return.

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