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Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - Printable Version

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Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - rocco - 04-08-2013 03:09 AM

Here are a few changes going to be introduced in the next beta patch. They are a combination of previous suggestions plus some new twists.

Fast missile launcher now applies to torpedoes as well
This was suggested previously when the ambiguity of FML was presented. At the time I adjusted the documentation to reflect the actual coding of FML. Now I would like to try it with FML working on torps.


All base shield points are now double what they were. Shield base damage blocking changed to 2/4/6/8 (was 1/2/3/4).
Shields will now be more effective than before. Who doesn't want that?


Ships set to evasion or retreat will now suffer a 20% chance to miss with non-projectile weapons (so penalty does not apply to nukes or torpedo).
This as been suggested in the past, that ships busy evading on retreating should suffer a penalty for it. I am going with a flat 20% chance to miss for anything that is not nukes or torps.


Ships in combat will now lose movement speed the more structure damage they sustain ( right now its is half linear, so if you are at 50% structure lose 25% of your movement points )
This is something I have want to put in for a while. As your ship takes damage to structure, it will slow down. This starts to introduce differentiation between armor and structure damage.


Nuclear missiles now do bonus damage to ship structure equal to 5% of the current ship structure (bonus damage only applies to damage that makes it past shields)
This introduces an interesting twist for an often unused weapon. Nukes now do bonus damage directly to the structure of a ship. This present numerous reasons to want nukes:

- Nukes will now do large amounts of damage to ships with large amounts of structure ( aka, starbases! ), but less damage to ships with less structure.

- Nukes are the longest range weapon in the game. Combined with the "structure damage slows ships" rule above nukes provide the ability to slow target ships down, allowing slower ships to catch up for the kill.

- Does this make nukes OP? Nukes are still easily shut down by PDS and ECM jammer. In addition, the buff to shields will also act as a counter to nukes, as the bonus structure damage only happens if the shields are down.


All races and ships will now perform emergency combat repairs to ship structure during combat (ship structure will regenerate at a very small rate). This healing stacks with Fantastic Engineers and CLA healing.
All races can now perform basic, emergency repairs to their damaged structure. This is being added to help offset the new importance to structure damage.



In summary, these changes should introduce even more strategic options to fleet composition.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - elph - 04-08-2013 05:43 AM

I think ships retreating should get the 20% across the board. An often used tactic is to set frigs with nukes to evasion to stay out of the battle.

I've also had the idea of how to diversify people's fleets. All too often people will build all of one type of ship. I thought it would be interesting for the smaller ships to give bonuses to capital ships. Like frigs give 1% bonus each to a defense, destroyers give 1% bonus each to offense, cruisers give bonus to something else.

This way, you wouldn't find large fleets of just mammoths, but a diversified fleet made of all types of ships working in synergy.

My $0.02 worth.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - rocco - 04-08-2013 07:01 AM

(04-08-2013 05:43 AM)elph Wrote:  I've also had the idea of how to diversify people's fleets. All too often people will build all of one type of ship. I thought it would be interesting for the smaller ships to give bonuses to capital ships. Like frigs give 1% bonus each to a defense, destroyers give 1% bonus each to offense, cruisers give bonus to something else.

Could be interesting if this idea were instead tied to the escorting mechanic. Possible examples:

Frigates provide a +1% chance to evasion on the ship they are escorting.

Or in reverse, a system tech (flagship module?) that gives +1% damage to ships of a smaller size that are escorting it.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - elph - 04-08-2013 08:30 AM

(04-08-2013 07:01 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(04-08-2013 05:43 AM)elph Wrote:  I've also had the idea of how to diversify people's fleets. All too often people will build all of one type of ship. I thought it would be interesting for the smaller ships to give bonuses to capital ships. Like frigs give 1% bonus each to a defense, destroyers give 1% bonus each to offense, cruisers give bonus to something else.

Could be interesting if this idea were instead tied to the escorting mechanic. Possible examples:

Frigates provide a +1% chance to evasion on the ship they are escorting.

Or in reverse, a system tech (flagship module?) that gives +1% damage to ships of a smaller size that are escorting it.

Hrm.... Different kinds of flagship modules does open it up to more strategy, but would also increase the tech tree. Something to think about.

What do others think?


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - Diebo - 04-08-2013 09:11 AM

RE: Proton and FML. That one is sorta hard. I didn't like it when I found out FML didn't work with proton, as I had been putting it on every ship. But having FML not apply to Proton I think is a good thing. It makes PDS worthwhile. And by extension, fleets of small ships. Otherwise, Proton would pretty much tear through PDS, and people would have to pick ECM. Which means only putting it on big ships = building only big ships once proton is on the scene. Which means less fleet diversity. I am in favor of leaving FML to be nuke-only. With the improvement to nukes, there will still be a reason to get nukes and FML.

RE: Ship structure damage. Cool idea. Might really weaken plasma relative to IPC, especially with the changes to combat movement. Needs to be tested and weapon damage tweaked to balance. So 10 plasma mammoth and 10 IPC mammoth and 10 proton mammoth should probably be able to just about kill each other, all other things held constant. Add engines to either IPC or plasma, and that one wins. But adding speed sacrifices hit points so Proton wins.

RE: Escorting. I like this, but the benefit would have to be a whole lot higher than 1 percent to make it worth the CP loss. Rocco - that frigate PDS shield I had around my starbase was pretty cool. What if you had escort targets (like frigates) and when an enemy targeted a primary ships, there was a percent chance that the escort would take the damage. So a whole IPC load gets wasted of a frigate instead of hitting the main mammoth? And I do like synergy, like increased damage or increased defenses. Don't know if you really need a tech for this, or if this is perhaps something that just comes as a freebie.

RE: Retreat w/20% damage penalty. Meh. If you are retreating, you are generally going to get your ships shot up pretty good anyway. Except perhaps for Morth + Nuke ships. Just flying around in a circle on the outer ring is a pretty good penalty.

RE: Shields. Probably for the best to improve them. I usually don't bother with shields; anything that made them a bit more worthwhile is probably good. If anything, I would recommend strengthening them more. Make them part of a defensive build. Because to research them, you have to sort of give up a whole weapon path.

Love the structure idea, it just needs to be balanced.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - rocco - 04-08-2013 12:44 PM

I could see torps and FML either way (obviously, since I made the initial decision for it!). Let's test this out in beta, and we can revert it if necessary.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - VanderLegion - 04-08-2013 03:55 PM

(04-08-2013 09:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  RE: Ship structure damage. Cool idea. Might really weaken plasma relative to IPC, especially with the changes to combat movement. Needs to be tested and weapon damage tweaked to balance. So 10 plasma mammoth and 10 IPC mammoth and 10 proton mammoth should probably be able to just about kill each other, all other things held constant. Add engines to either IPC or plasma, and that one wins. But adding speed sacrifices hit points so Proton wins.

I actually think that if anything, this change my weaken IPC relative to plasma as opposed to the other way around. The plasma ships have far lnoger range, so they get the first shots off to start slowing down the opponent's ships. It all depends basically on if the IPC can get in range to get the damage in to the plasma ships before the plasma get the IPC down.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - Diebo - 04-08-2013 11:41 PM

(04-08-2013 03:55 PM)VanderLegion Wrote:  
(04-08-2013 09:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  RE: Ship structure damage. Cool idea. Might really weaken plasma relative to IPC, especially with the changes to combat movement. Needs to be tested and weapon damage tweaked to balance. So 10 plasma mammoth and 10 IPC mammoth and 10 proton mammoth should probably be able to just about kill each other, all other things held constant. Add engines to either IPC or plasma, and that one wins. But adding speed sacrifices hit points so Proton wins.

I actually think that if anything, this change my weaken IPC relative to plasma as opposed to the other way around. The plasma ships have far lnoger range, so they get the first shots off to start slowing down the opponent's ships. It all depends basically on if the IPC can get in range to get the damage in to the plasma ships before the plasma get the IPC down.

I tried it out with the test pass-and-play using 6 mammoth per side, each with 3 engines, 2 HA2, 2BH2, 2 ECM and either 12 IPC or 12 Plasma.

Test 1: Plasma keep long, target closest. IPC charge close, target weakest. Result: 2 IPC survive, 23% health.

Test 2: Plasma keep long, target closest. IPC charge close, target closest. My thought here is maybe IPC could slow all the ships down if they could hit structure. Result: 2 Plasma survive, 28% health. What happened here is the IPC didn't punch through the armor on the first pass, leaving 2 extra plasma alive (versus target weakest).

Ideally, I think it would be nice if Test 1 resulted in a +/ 5-10 percent chance that one or the other side would win, given those setups. Sometimes IPC would win, sometimes Plasma. Boosting Plasma damage a little bit, or reducing IPC, would get at a little better equity.

I haven't tried it yet, but Gauss might actually have a chance now as a weapon on mammoth. First pass target closest (or actual ships). Get into their structure, slow them down.

Update: Tried it with Gauss vs Plasma.

Test 1: Plasma keep long, target closet. Gauss charge close, target closest. 3/6 plasma survive, 49% health. If plasma can survive the initial wave, they have a good chance of making it.

Test 2: Plasma keep long, target closet. Gauss charge close, target closest, pick primary target so each gauss mammoth is targeting a specific plasma. Result: 6/6 gauss survive, 57% health.

Gauss is now a viable mammoth build! This is a good thing.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - rocco - 04-09-2013 12:53 AM

Quote:Ideally, I think it would be nice if Test 1 resulted in a +/ 5-10 percent chance that one or the other side would win, given those setups. Sometimes IPC would win, sometimes Plasma. Boosting Plasma damage a little bit, or reducing IPC, would get at a little better equity.

For this you need to run the battle again but on a different turn. If you rerun it on the same turn, it uses the same random number sequence. So having your combat on another turn should provide slightly different results.

In addition, the change should encourage more hybrid weapon configurations. For example, giving either side a couple of nukes (assuming you don't null them out with PDS etc) would drastically tip the odds in their favor due to the long range slow.

Also, there is a new targeting order MULTIPLE SHIPS. I added it for cases like this, where you might include a nuke ship and want it to slow as many other ships as possible, it will spread its fire out among as many targets as it can.


RE: Round Table: Miscellaneous combat changes - rocco - 04-09-2013 12:58 AM

I am writing some unit testing code today (ie something that will quickly run a bunch of combats under different scenarios and print out the results). If you have suggestions on scenarios I should include, please post them.