I want to talk about the direction of gameplay. I don't feel it is good.

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
PM
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Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:22 pm

@ wnmnkh: Freyr's mount is internal and should not take damage. The ship with external swivel mounts is the Raijin in Eternity Port, with APD weapons.

Sapphire is the baseline ship. The human of Transcendence ships. Its biggest strength is all-purpose slots, without eating the Manticore shield penalty. It also starts with more money, although not enough to match the equipment other ships get. Another strength it has is it is a small sprite. (It can be bad if you want to tank hits for escorts, though.) Every other playable ship aside from Wolfen is bigger. Sapphire is a slower Wolfen with a more flexible slot system and more cargo space. Its inability to equip heavy armor is not as bad as a weakness as it looks. If it could equip super-heavy armor, its agility would suffer.

EI500's biggest strength is slots, and its biggest weakness is the two weapon limit.

Wolfen is fast, to the point that some think it is overpowered and should be nerfed or removed as a starter and placed as a later-game upgrade. For me, it is the only starter that can get by without any engine upgrade - other ships are too slow. It can equip heavier armor than Sapphire, but doing so makes it sluggish, and it hurts, killing the point of using Wolfen. Wolfen effectively has an armor limit of medium. Light armor is even better so it can haul more before it gets weighed down by junk. For what it is worth, when I play in Eternity Port, where Wolfen is not a starter ship, I try to change (from Raijin or Spartan) to Wolfen as soon as possible. It base speed is almost unfair, and that is all the strength it needs, at least for early game. (By midgame or later, I want either Minotaur or Evern.)

Freyr is a disappointment. The only reason to use it is if I want to start in Tau Ceti with the ship that is not slow. The swivel the Freyr has would be good if there was a Rasiermesser weapon on par with Lamplighter or at least a big thermo weapon with high WMD. (Thorin has bad WMD.) As it is, it is simply an inferior (and bigger) Wolfen with more cargo space.

Constellation itself is not too bad. It is more agile than EI500 and can equip three weapons. It also has nine slots total and 150 base cargo space, which is nice for auton bay or other mod bays that do not add cargo space. However, auton bay is a gimmick because there are no high-level autons that can use most of the high-level weapons they need late in the game.

Not fond of Manticore because I feel locked into the Novaya and repairer combo. If I use shields, it eats a penalty. Yuck! Also, its weapons are off-center too much. However, it has eight all-purpose slots like Sapphire and can haul up to 200 with a hold. If it did not have the shield penalty, I would consider using it more as an EI500 substitute (before I can buy Minotaur or Evern).

As for EP ships...
Hercules feels like an extra large Sapphire without the extra money.

Raijin is the Wolfen substitute when Wolfen was not available. External mounts do the ship more harm than good, since shields are not a reliable defense. I do not want APD weapons on APD ships because they become external (aside from the omni kinetic) and will break.

Spartan is a low-budget Centurion. No frills, the starter gunship to use if player wants to use APD weapons without them breaking.
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wnmnkh
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Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:28 pm

@ PM : Thank you for pointing that out regarding Freyr. I was confused.

The armor penalty of Sapphire is quite severe though. Really as current balance you either going to make it tank with heaviest armor possible or equip light armor and do hit & run. A lot of extremely good armors are either super-heavy or massive (though you can definitely do Dvalin quest and grab those armor pieces). There are a lot of "damn" moment when I found really good massive armor pieces and I realized my ship can only take super-heavy.


Problem of Sapphire is that it can't do neither well. It can't tank well, yet it is not really fast enough. I have to remind you that Sapphire is actually slower than Manticore, and that alone really cripples the ship too much. It is small, and looks nimble yet it moves just slightly better than freighter.


Starting difference is really gimmick at best. It is basically same situation as EI500's starting omni-directional laser. Yeah it is good to have better weapon and more cash.... for first or two systems and they have no lasting effect.


However, things like speed, armor restrictions, or something that scales as game goes (e.g Novaya) are always valuable for whole game. Wolfen's speed does not become worthless at high level system, nor Manticore's Novaya (actually, in current balance it gets stronger). Or that 2 slots can make some good difference for Freighter but I have to be honest its ability to equip massive armor is the best feature of the ship.


The main problem of imbalance among starting ships is that there has been little or no balance changes on the ships themselves while there were tons of other important balance changes on weapons, shield and armor. Sapphire actually worked really well before major shield/armor rebalance, but because it has not been compensated for the shield/armor changes, it is a very weak ship in every possible angles.

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Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:04 am

Sapphire and Wolfen have low mass. Heavier armor (or too much heavy equipment) will kill their agility if equipped (if they can). Trying to tank with Saph/Wolfen is a bad idea. Only heavier ships like heavy gunships and Minotaur can use heavy armor comfortably. Sapphire needs an engine to be fast, which it can with eight all-purpose slots. I have a hard time squeezing engine on the likes of Freyr/Spartan/Raijin, and that often means cargo hold gets dumped eventually due to four non-weapon slot limit. Wolfen is fast enough to not need an engine, and the four non-weapon limit is more tolerable on it, but still annoying.

It is true the money is not really an advantage for the Sapphire. However, eight all-purpose slots is good. The only other starters that have that are Manticore, which has a shield penalty, and Hercules, which is a bigger and slower Sapphire without the extra cash. Other ships with all all-pupose slots (Minotaur and Evern) are midgame or late-game upgrades that are stronger than every other ship.

I am more of a light armor guy. I prefer the extra top speed over more HP, and prefer to use light armor on heavy gunships and the like if I can get +.02c or more from doing that (although I often aim for light armor even on Minotaur, who only gets +.01c), but I will use heavy armor on a sufficiently heavy ship if I find it before I find good light armor. I avoid equipping massive armor regardless of ship class even if it can use it.
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Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:18 pm

@PM

I really don't think device limits is a complicated concept. You have let's say 4 weapon ports and 6 weapon slots. Well that means you can at most put 4 weapons and or 6 slots worth of weapons. General slots would just increase the potential amount of weapon slots but not the amount of weapons. The reason why I want limits is otherwise adding more device slots would homogenize ship identity. In general, Transcendence ships each can have a lot of different roles overlapping with other ships. This is stark contrast to a lot of other games. For example, I can slap on a massive engine on my Freighter and make it play almost like a fighter. The only issue is that Freighter does not have the weapon slots to make that happen. If we were to add device slots to all ships and not limit the amount of weapons, you would have a freighter with the same practical firepower and flexibility as a Wolfen since both ships can shoot the same amount of weapons at any time. Let's be honest, you can use the same weapon loadouts for most ships and it would still work. This is a problem if we want to differentiate ships. Thus if we want to add more device slots, then have to introduce limits to retain the identity of current ships. The problem with the current implementation is that it accomplishes it's goal of differentiating ships but also hurts the already limited loadouts and device preferences we see players use. We don't want to solve the problem while making another. Thus, adding these device limits while adding slots would accomplish both differentiating ships and expanding the amount of loadouts and device preferences players would want to use.

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Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:06 pm

Limits can be complicated if there are too many types of slots to remember. Type A slots, B slots, C slots, D slots, E slots... too many. Your suggestion with the flowchart-like picture appeared like that.

As for freighter, there is also acceleration and turning speed too, although that is mitigated in that ships with fast turning become slugs when they equip and/or carry too much, while the freighters or heavy warships are mildly inconvenienced (slower accel). There are no standard engines with turning speed improvements, so freighters and Minotaur will always turn a bit sluggish.

Loadouts are mostly the same now because I do not have enough slots to get anything beyond the necessities. Non-weapon slots are reactor, shield, cargo hold, jumpdrive, and engine. For the slow gunships that only have four-non weapons, that means I do not use them, or if I am forced to, cargo hold gets dumped until I upgrade to a better ship. (I dump Raijin or Spartan for Wolfen ASAP in Eternity Port.) For ships with two non-weapons, that means omni weapon and launcher (or WMD weapon).

I consider lack of slots and over-dominance of WMD weapons worse problem than ship differentiation.
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Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:48 pm

wnmnkh wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:46 am
1) Sapphire: All devices installed on this ship is 40% more efficient. Increase base speed from .20c to .23c

2) Wolfen: Increase speed from 0.25c to 0.27c, and any dual-firing weapons installed on Wolfen is 50% more efficient and does 20% more damage.

3) EI500: Any installed single-point weapon gains omnidirectional. Increase cargo bay to 100 tons from 50 tons.
I'm strongly disagree these three original starter ships (SOTP) having too much modifier to player, unlike CC playerships which are additional content. it would kill their "basic starter" nature and making it more complex specialized ship. Instead of interesting choice of playstyles, players were mildly forced to equips the same configuration of all time if they wanted more power, omnidirectional weapons would generaly become pointless if strong weapon such as Ares Plasma could configured to be omnidirectional, and the game become ways too easy (If players ignore permadeath and other challenges). If that happens, I would see myself making mods for original Sapphire setup in future.
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Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:44 pm

@PM

First, 4 types of straightforward slots is not a lot to remember. Furthermore, it's entirely based on concepts already established in the game. Weapons -> Weapon Slots. Shield -> Protection Slot. Other Equipment -> Auxiliary Slot. Reactor -> Reactor Slot. I would hardly say you have to change your way of thinking to treat it as more complicated. In fact, there are multitudes of examples where this type of slot diversity is just natural in the genre.

"As for freighter, there is also acceleration and turning speed too, although that is mitigated in that ships with fast turning become slugs when they equip and/or carry too much, while the freighters or heavy warships are mildly inconvenienced (slower accel). There are no standard engines with turning speed improvements, so freighters and Minotaur will always turn a bit sluggish."

Yes, you're absolutely right. However, that is exactly my point. Most ships can generally play like other ships as long as you slap a propulsion drive and equip a similar loadout. In fact, a weighted Wolfen (often the case late-game) would move almost like a non-weighted Freighter with a propulsion drive. Due to these device slot differences, it's almost guaranteed that the Freighter moves 80% as well as a Wolfen because the Wolfen cannot afford to have a propulsion drive.

"Loadouts are mostly the same now because I do not have enough slots to get anything beyond the necessities. Non-weapon slots are reactor, shield, cargo hold, jumpdrive, and engine. For the slow gunships that only have four-non weapons, that means I do not use them, or if I am forced to, cargo hold gets dumped until I upgrade to a better ship. (I dump Raijin or Spartan for Wolfen ASAP in Eternity Port.) For ships with two non-weapons, that means omni weapon and launcher (or WMD weapon)."

I think we all agree and made this point. However, adding more device slots without limits only further muddles the differences between ships. In fact, you can argue 90% of player comparable NPC ships can be played similar to each other with little differences except for cargo space (think Ronin, Britannia, Heavy IAV, etc). Which begs the question, how would increasing the amount of slots make these ships anymore different than each other? Transcendence Part 1 has a large variety of ships and it's only going to increase. There are probably 5-20 ships per combination of non-device slots and weapons slots and that number is going to increase. There is only so much you can tweak, before a whole category of ships looks the same. Diversifying slots and adding limits solves this problem. Your argument against it is that it is too complicated but as I mentioned, these are concepts you and most players familiar with the genre would already know about.

"I consider lack of slots and over-dominance of WMD weapons worse problem than ship differentiation."
I agree both issues are priority issues. No doubt about it. I haven't made on comments on which is more important. I have given my 2 cents on WMD and how making shields and other attributes more meaningful. I would appreciate your opinion and what you think of my suggestions. However, I don't see how simply adding more slots would lessen the problem of ship differentiation but instead, only to hurt it.

@DigaRW
"I'm strongly disagree these three original starter ships (SOTP) having too much modifier to player, unlike CC playerships which are additional content. it would kill their "basic starter" nature and making it more complex specialized ship. Instead of interesting choice of playstyles, players were mildly forced to equips the same configuration of all time if they wanted more power, omnidirectional weapons would generaly become pointless if strong weapon such as Ares Plasma could configured to be omnidirectional, and the game become ways too easy (If players ignore permadeath and other challenges). If that happens, I would see myself making mods for original Sapphire setup in future."

I agree with your view that it would minimize choice and playstyle for players. I'm curious. What if player ships had internal hull and you can upgrade them at higher tech dockyards? Would this be something you would like to see in the base starter ships, if assuming it was applied to NPCs as well?

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Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:38 pm

Which begs the question, how would increasing the amount of slots make these ships anymore different than each other? Transcendence Part 1 has a large variety of ships and it's only going to increase.
I might have a slot to spare for luxuries, like a non-omni/non-WMD energy weapon (like dual particle beam cannon) or a mining weapon, or put a solar array or a weapon enhancer on my ship. Having less slots will not make the ships play differently, they will all have the same devices because they need them to function. That is why something like EI500 or Evern is nice, because I have an extra slot to equip a luxury item. For something like Sapphire or Wolfen, I never use less useful items due to lack of slots (or keeping weight under control by removing unnecessary weapons in case of lighter gunships.) Maybe that does not make them different enough to play, but it makes it more fun to play because I can equip some fun but weaker stuff from time to time instead of being locked into the same spartan loadout every game because slot limits are too low.

I do not expect major ship differentiation for part 1 ships. Most of them were made long before ship changing was allowed in 1.8. I highly doubt much time will be spent making them distinct when there is other stuff to be done, especially George finishing up part 2 (after more than a ten year or so wait).

It is fine if some of the ships are nothing more than different clothes for the same basic traditional ship. Also some of those ships (like the smaller IAVs) are clearly weaker than starters, and if a player really wants to change into such a ship, the only things that matter for those is if it is functional and it does not clog hull spawns at the ship broker.

Some ship differentiation will need to come through ship special abilities that cannot be easily copied by devices. Sometimes, those less remarkable ships that will not be used for very long, all they need is signature default equipment loadout, especially if the equipment is unusual and hard to acquire for a while. If a starter ship has a unique gimmick that becomes accessible to all through luck or significant cost later (like Constellation's auton bay), that is fine. By then, player will probably want to upgrade to the one or two overpowered hulls by midgame.

What I would like to see is more overpowered ships that can compete with Minotaur, rather than Minotaur being lonely at the top.

For part 2, ships will be like weapons, from weak to strong, because reactors cannot be swapped there. (No way player will take a Erebien patrol ship and fill it with B-Nine overtech because its 4 GW or so reactor cannot support all of it.)

About WMD...
The targets that need WMD to hurt are most stations and capital ships. Stations have no shields. Capital ships may or may not have them, but it does not matter. Also, the problem with WMD requirement for stations and ships are different. Stations use armor resistances, but ships do not once they use hull for defense. Against ships, level appropriate weapons with low tier damage (e.g., level 6+ laser weapon) will struggle a bit more against armor but will then carve up hull quickly. (Of course, a level 6+ kinetic with high WMD will smash that ship.) Stations do not use hull and armor will block under-tiered damage weapons.

I do not know what can be done about it except get rid of WMD or raise no WMD damage from 10% to 25%. Maybe ion damage can work like mechanist's nano corroder, which bypasses WMD requirement despite no WMD on the weapon. (Damage is done over time through an overlay). Maybe have ion attacks inflict a shocking status that electrocutes the target for damage over time. Hmmm... I might experiment with that for my weapons. Have no idea for existing low-level lasers or particle beams. All kinetics should have some WMD. Low-level kinetics with no WMD are even worse than lasers (because they are slower and of kinetic resistant pirates that plague missions in New Beyond).
Download and Play in 1.9 beta 1...
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Playership Drones: Buy or restore exotic ships to command!

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.

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