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v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
04-17-2012, 05:12 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 05:42 AM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #21
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 04:59 AM)rocco Wrote:  Could be we just change gauss from piercing to be +150%. Or laser to +125% armor, but drop structure to +80%.

As far as torps / nukes, any thoughts on if they should stay +100% across the board?

For torps/nukes I kind of like the 100% across the board, not being weak or strong against anything.

For gauss: I'm torn. I like having the armor-piercing for gauss, since it opens up the strategy of building ships with a lot of gauss and maybe some lasers or plasma to take out shields, then charge in close range and be able to ignore armor for quicker kills. I kinda think gauss need that bonus since they can't actually attack until they GET to close range, then they have to stay there, which means you either need smaller ships than your opponent in order to be faster, or else you need to use combat engines/auxillery thrusers.

The first means your ships are quite a bit weaker and you need more of them because of the reduced number of weapons and defenses, the second means while you have the same size ship and same weapons, you have less space for defensive systems, so again, your ships are weaker than your opponents.

On the other hand, if lasers are changed to be 125% against armor and 80% against structure, then there's nothing good against structure until you get to IPC. Though I suppose that 125% against armor and 80% against structure would actually be better than the current 80% hull and 100% structure early game. With no extra systems, it'll burn through faster since it's a bigger armor bonus than the current has against structure, and since armor shows up before bulkheads, having the bonus against armor would be better early game even than a bonus vs hull if it had one right now.

Maybe if that change is made the bonus against shields should be reduced to 150 or 175%? I think it actually makes sense to make Plasma better against shields than lasers - if nothing else so that all the plasma and gauss each have a specialty - plasma is best against shields, gauss is best against armor. IPC is still best against hull once you get there, then lasers are good against armor and shields, but not as good as gauss or plasma.
Actually, thinking about it for later game it doens't really matter what bonus lasers have.

As it stands, there's really a couple of tiers of weapons if you look at their damage:
1. Lasers - Max 10 damage
2. Gauss and Plasma - Max 27 damage
3. IPC3 - Max 144 damage every 2 rounds (or 72 per round average)

Nukes would fit between 1 & 2, torpedoes between 2&3, though if you have fast missile launchers they would each bump up a slot (nukes between 2&3, torpedoes after 3).

By the time you're using IPC3, if you wanted something to take out the armor for you, a bonus on lasers isn't going to help any. At 72 damage (assuming close range) on IPC3 with a 75% penalty, it's still doing 54 per hit to the armor, putting it on par with a non-fast launched torpedo. Given that that's 540% of laser 3s max damage, no bonus is going to make lasers worth using late game to get rid of armor.

Even gauss probably wouldn't be worth using late game, since if you assume equal amounts of armor and hull (same number of HAP/RB), the piercing is the equivalent of doing 200% damage to hull and armor both, so it's doing 54 damage per round. Since IPC3 gets the 150% bonus to hull, it's do the same equivalent damage to armor as a Gauss turret would, but FAR more to hull (108 per round).

Plasma would still be using late game to take out shields, since at 200% damage it's doing 54 damage per round to shields, vs 18 from IPC3.

Nukes and torpedoes are definitely worth using in 2 situations
1: Your opponent doesn't have PDS
2: Your opponent has PDS, but you have fast missile launchers

If your opponent has pds and you don't have fast missile launchers, nukes are useless (assuming he's maxing pds and you're maxing nukes, they cancel each other out). When you add the launchers, you have double the number of nukes as they have PDS, so they're still good. Torpedoes can still be useful against pds since if they max pds and you max torpedoes, they can only stop half of your torps. Even better if you have FML as they now only stop a quarter of your torpedoes.

If you're opponent gets ECM and puts 4+ on each ship, torps and nukes pretty much become useless.

I'm kind of thinking we need 1 more high level weapon alongside IPC3. The way the game stands now, IPC3 is far and away the best weapon. Torpedoes are as good or better, but only if your opponent doesn't use ECM, which they'll rush for as soon as they see you using missiles, so if you're first attack doesn't work, the rest aren't going to either.

One more high level weapon similar to IPC3 would give a little more choice in how to equip your ships and you could actually have multiple weapons per ship. I'm thinking something with a bonus against armor, weak against hull. It could be 100% against shields, or some smaller bonus or penalty (but better than IPC most likely), since Plasma is still viable at high level to take out shields at a decent rate.

I'd still probably argue for making the change to lasers to be 125% vs armor, 80% vs structure, as it would make it more competitive still against plasma and gauss earlier in the game. It'll do less overall damage than either of the others, but is more versatile.
Another option could be to have additional ranks of Lasers past laser 3, maybe ranks 4 shows up around the time IPC1 and Torpedo 1 do, and Laser 4, 5, and 6 make it more competitive with the high level weapons. Then if it's changed to have the bonus vs armor, penalty vs struct, and maybe reduce the shield bonus damage, it would fulfill exactly what I was saying without adding an actual new weapon.

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04-17-2012, 05:43 AM
Post: #22
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
I like. Barring any arguments against it, we'll try going with Laser being +125% armor, +60% structure, +150% shields in the next patch ( my thought being it needs to be a bit weaker against structure otherwise its all laser ).

I'll look into stacking penalties for ECM as well.
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04-17-2012, 06:30 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 06:48 AM by rocco.)
Post: #23
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
The theory doesn't hold up in practice; I've tested an all IPC mammoth vs a hybrid mammoth (lasers, gauss, IPC, and plasma), same systems layout (HA, RS, SHIELDS), and the hybrid wins out every time.

Much of it has to do with the volatility of distance in battle. Sure, if the two ships were broadside to broadside the whole time the IPC might win, but when they're weaving in and out at close-mid range the IPC's damage is dramatically lower.



Did some more tests; two mammoths, each with 3 plasma III, one with all gauss III and one with all IPC III. When they both have shields, the gauss mammoth wins handily. If neither ship has shields, the IPC wins handily.

Bottom line, shields are needed to keep IPC in check (good), and once shields are in the equations all kinds of opportunities arise.
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04-17-2012, 06:45 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 06:46 AM by Bruin.)
Post: #24
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 04:59 AM)rocco Wrote:  Could be we just change gauss from piercing to be +150%. Or laser to +125% armor, but drop structure to +80%.

As far as torps / nukes, any thoughts on if they should stay +100% across the board?

(I started typing this earlier but got caught up with work. I was typing this before VanderLegion's response, so it doesn't really take his thoughts into account, aside from a paragraph at the end.)

I can't say I've got enough experience to offer the best input on the above, but one thing I have been contemplating is the Nuke/Torpedo ships and some of the other technologies like Ion Pulse Cannons. I'll share my thoughts so others can comment as I wouldn't say I've had enough experience testing these weapon systems to truly stand behind my observations, concerns, or suggestions.

Gauss Turrets have received a good amount of discussion but my initial experiences with Ion Pulse Cannons have suggested some of the same frustrations associated with distance and improved maneuverability. I would be very curious of feedback from other people in regard to them.

I think the reason why Nuke/Torpedo ships are so attractive is that they can provide a relatively comprehensive solution (frustrated only by ECM, but not necessarily to the point of obsolesces) through research of only two weapon types. In fact, without the appropriate defenses they are extremely brutal. Focusing on the likes of Gauss Turrets or Ion Pulse Cannons, conversely, seems to require supplemental weapons systems for good combat performance. In other words, a ship with balanced weaponry can be very effective, but preparing such a thing may require significantly more research than preparing the Nuke/Torpedo boats we're seeing right now might.

Back to Gauss Turrets and Ion Pulse Cannons. I experimented with them a little in a single player game against the AI, which opted for plasma and missiles. Bigger close-combat-oriented ships (with, say, Lasers and Ion Pulse Cannons) couldn't get close enough to do real damage. Smaller ships were taken apart rather effectively by bigger ships on the opposing side. I re-loaded various times to test different tactical approaches. (Admittedly, the test environment would really be the ideal way to evaluate something like this).

I'm not sure, yet, what solutions or changes I might suggest as a result of these observations. Some price adjustments might be worth considering. For example, if a weapon system played more of a supplemental role, but could not be depended upon exclusively, it might be appropriate to price it a little more affordably than a weapon system which can be used independently to build an effective fleet. Or other adjustments to weapon impact could be made to create the desired balance.

(And now, back to present as I wrap up this message).

VanderLegion mentioned that IPC is a fantastic weapon, but based on my limited experience I would say that is true in terms of potential damage only. In practice, it feels, to me, like between the cost of research (and the consequences of investing that research in a weapon which needs considerable support to be effective), and its range (a greater hinderance due to an improved ability of opposing ships to keep its distance) that IPC is left rather wanting for the time being.

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04-17-2012, 09:12 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 09:13 AM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #25
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 06:30 AM)rocco Wrote:  The theory doesn't hold up in practice; I've tested an all IPC mammoth vs a hybrid mammoth (lasers, gauss, IPC, and plasma), same systems layout (HA, RS, SHIELDS), and the hybrid wins out every time.

Much of it has to do with the volatility of distance in battle. Sure, if the two ships were broadside to broadside the whole time the IPC might win, but when they're weaving in and out at close-mid range the IPC's damage is dramatically lower.



Did some more tests; two mammoths, each with 3 plasma III, one with all gauss III and one with all IPC III. When they both have shields, the gauss mammoth wins handily. If neither ship has shields, the IPC wins handily.

Bottom line, shields are needed to keep IPC in check (good), and once shields are in the equations all kinds of opportunities arise.

Out of curiosity, what build were you using on the hybrid ship. You said you were using all 4 of the non-missile weapons, how many of each? Did you test using any other weapon builds (I'll do this later if I can). I would think that when you're using hybrid weapons, IPC should beat gauss just about every time. I'm assuming the reason the gauss mammoth beat the IPC one in your test there has something to do with the fact that IPC3 fires every other turn. Wastes more damage against shields maybe?

Interestingly, if you boost both of those mammoths to 4 Plasma 3 and 10 gauss3 or IPC3, they kill each other. At 5 and 9, the gauss wins again (by 1 shot it looks like). Using battleships instead of mammoths, 3 plasma and the rest gauss or IPC3, the IPC wins.

The problem with testing 1v1 though is that isn't how battles actually work. I dont' know that I've ever had a 1v1 battle outside of starting scouts or destroyers. It's always bigger fleets fighting it out. I did a bunch of test battles 3v3 and 12v12. One side had 4 plasma, 10 gauss, the other had 4 plasma 10 IPC3. Both had 3 HAP2, 3 RB2, shields, energy controller, shield modulation, combat engines and auxiliary thrusters.

Every single battle with larger fleets, the IPC3 fleet won. How much it won by depended on what orders were used (whether there was primary target, escort, etc), but it was always the IPCs that won.

I would imagine that for large battles, a mix of IPC and Plasma is going to be the best combination. Plasma is going to be better than Lasers for killing shields, and IPC is going to be better than gauss for killing armor and hull.
Would also be interesting to test an all plasma or plasma/laser fleet vs a plasma/IPC fleet. See what difference it makes when your opponent is using long range.

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04-17-2012, 11:17 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 11:33 AM by rocco.)
Post: #26
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 09:12 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  Out of curiosity, what build were you using on the hybrid ship. You said you were using all 4 of the non-missile weapons, how many of each? Did you test using any other weapon builds (I'll do this later if I can).

My hybrid was 3 LS3, 3 gauss3, 4 plasma3, 4 IPC3. I just picked it randomly. Both has 3 HA2, 3 RS2, shield, mod, controller, thrusters, engines.

(04-17-2012 09:12 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  Would also be interesting to test an all plasma or plasma/laser fleet vs a plasma/IPC fleet. See what difference it makes when your opponent is using long range.

Playing around with it now. 12 mammoths vs 12 mammoths.

12 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo, 3 thrusters (evasion / weakest) vs 8 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 3 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo(close / closest)

9 plasma mammoths survive.

12 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo, 3 thrusters (evasion / weakest) vs 8 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo, 3 combat engines(close / closest)

1 IPC3 mammoth survive

12 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo, 3 combat (evasion / weakest) vs 8 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo, 3 combat engines(close / closest)

None survive.

8 Plasma3, 4 LS3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo, 3 combat (evasion / weakest) vs 8 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 1 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo, 3 combat engines(close / closest)

3 IPC3 mammoths survive.

3 GT2, 3 LS3, 4PL3, 3IPC3, 3 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo (close / closest) vs 10 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 3 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo (close / closest)

4 IPC3 mammoths survive


10 GT2, 4PL3, 3 RS2, 3 HA2, shield combo (close / closest) vs 10 IPC3, 4 Plasma3, 3 RS2, 3 HA2, shields combo (close / closest)

3 IPC3 mammoths survive



One change will come out of this testing; I now need to code the ships to fire weapons in a different order, as it makes a huge difference when the gauss turrets first before the plasma's where shields are concerned Tongue



It's worth noting I've been testing with lasers matching the new dmg rule, 125% / 60% / 150%
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04-17-2012, 11:45 AM
Post: #27
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 11:17 AM)rocco Wrote:  One change will come out of this testing; I now need to code the ships to fire weapons in a different order, as it makes a huge difference when the gauss turrets first before the plasma's where shields are concerned Tongue

Yah, that would make a huge difference with gauss firing before plasma. Would make a fairly significant difference for IPC as well i'd imagine. IPC does more damage vs shields than gauss does, but with being limited to one big shot every two rounds, wasting some of that against shields hurts (how exactly does damage work if the shot does more damage than there is shields remaining? Does the rest go through to armor, and if so, how does the damage modifier work? Does it all do the damage it normally would against shields (so less damage vs armor), or does it do however much it can against shields, than multiply the remaining damage out to get the correct modifier for the armor?)

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04-17-2012, 11:50 AM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 11:51 AM by rocco.)
Post: #28
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 11:45 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  (how exactly does damage work if the shot does more damage than there is shields remaining? Does the rest go through to armor, and if so, how does the damage modifier work? Does it all do the damage it normally would against shields (so less damage vs armor), or does it do however much it can against shields, than multiply the remaining damage out to get the correct modifier for the armor?)

It should be doing all that correctly. It basically loops through, removing "damage" from the weapon damage at the rate needed to go through what's blocking it. So if a weapon does 50 base damage, and there are 2 shield points and 500 armor points, and the weapon does 50% dmg vs shields, it subtracts 2 points from the base damage for the first shield point, then 2 points from the base damage for the second shield point, then moves on to the armor points at the armor modifier rate.
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04-17-2012, 12:22 PM (This post was last modified: 04-17-2012 01:10 PM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #29
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
(04-17-2012 11:50 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(04-17-2012 11:45 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  (how exactly does damage work if the shot does more damage than there is shields remaining? Does the rest go through to armor, and if so, how does the damage modifier work? Does it all do the damage it normally would against shields (so less damage vs armor), or does it do however much it can against shields, than multiply the remaining damage out to get the correct modifier for the armor?)

It should be doing all that correctly. It basically loops through, removing "damage" from the weapon damage at the rate needed to go through what's blocking it. So if a weapon does 50 base damage, and there are 2 shield points and 500 armor points, and the weapon does 50% dmg vs shields, it subtracts 2 points from the base damage for the first shield point, then 2 points from the base damage for the second shield point, then moves on to the armor points at the armor modifier rate.

Okay, that's good to know at least.
On the subject of the Burrow and Stacked ECM being overpowered, I attacked Elph's burrow with 8 battleships with 7 proton torpedoes each with fast missile launchers and 5 stockpiled ordinance. His burrow had 5 IPC1, 18 Torp 2, 6 Plasma 1, 2 Gauss 2, 6 Nuke 3, 2 fast missile launchers (umm, wow...), 5 ECM, and 7 stockpiled ordinance.

His burrow killed 4 of my battleships before they even got in range to attack it, and the other 4 (28 launchers, so 56 torps per round), managed to do a whopping 6% damage to the burrow before they died - got it down to 1747/2000 armor!!!

My fleet in our other game did better, massed battleships with lasers (and 1 with plasma), vs a burrow with lasers and torpedoes, but no fast launchers or ordinance. I won that one.
The first time I attacked the burrow in the torpedo game, I attacked with nuke 3, FML, and SO. I had 3 battleships and a starbase 1 vs the burrow. I got it WAY lower than I did the second time, probably 1 or 2 more battleships at the time would have killed it. Once it got 5 ECM...no chance.

The other game where I actually killed the burrow, it had 18 laser 3, 20 torp 1, 2 energy shield 2, 5 HAP2, 2 FML, 3 RB1. I had 11 Battlehsips with anywehre from 6-8 lasers (mostly 6), and between 3 and 6 HAP/RB, and 1 battleship with 8 Plasma 3, 3 HAP, 3 RB. I only lost 3 ships to that one.

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04-17-2012, 03:05 PM
Post: #30
RE: v1.1.3 Weapon Damage Modifiers Feedback
Yes, stacked ECM makes missiles worthless. Once you can stack ECM, PDS is also worthless. Think there should be a stacking penalty so PDS is still an attractive option to augment the ECM. Should the PDS only shoot ordinance that the ECM fails to work on?

Or how about instead of a stacking penalty, why not make each ECM give a 15% chance and adding ECM just adds to that %? If 4 ECM = 60%, I might put on 1-2 PDS...... Or something like that.

How it works now it seams, if I see a missile fleet, I'll retro fit my ships accordingly. If openant sees lots of ECM/PDS, they retrofit away from projectiles. But the way retrofitting works now, it takes a long time to retrofit a fleet fast enough with the few good producing planets one does have. Then you're loosing out on all the ships you could have been building instead of retrofitting.

Conundrums.

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