Author Topic: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)  (Read 6075 times)

Offline Cinth

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2012, 11:48:35 AM »
Yeah... I go overboard with those homeworld things  :P

But even with the extreme amount of goodies I have at my disposal there, I've had a hard time getting out in front of that first wave.

Edit: Went back and reread the post were you said you lost to the early wave.... Yeah, early AM reading comp fail  ::)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 11:57:01 AM by Cinth »
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Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2012, 08:44:53 PM »
Game Day #3

Alright. Time to start working towards these data centers.

I'm going to try the cloaked Siege Engines again so I send the rest of my fleet into the next system I'm going to clear to knock out the tachyon guardian on the entry wormhole.

It's a Mk II system with 400 ships and 8 guardposts.

By the time I've got the Tachyon Guardian down, it's up to 600 ships in system.

I'm guessing this is the new special forces mechanic? I pull my ships back to see how this plays out.

Boy, am I glad I did. 2 minutes later there are 2,000 AI ships in system, that's a serious response.

Giving them a couple minutes more, they all leave the system towards the AI homeworlds and I loose track of them.

Will have to remember that however, apparently my next system is one they decided to defend, probably due to the ARS present.

However, during these few minutes the next wave arrives, it's only 120 ships.

It's 120 freking Zenith Bombards. ARGH!!!! And here's me without my fortress to match their range.

Takes me several minutes to chase the wave down, although I get my leech starships involved and come out 20 Bombards better for my fleet.

Was not worth losing my bomber and riot starship caps however.


*************** edit1

Ugh. And my newly conquered system is apparently the new target for the SHadow Frigates, did not have enough turrets, again.

Command station rebuild incoming.

As for the system I'm working on, I'm going to snipe the command station with siege engines and take the hit on my turrets. Let's see if I can sneak them in without cover now that the tachyon guardian is down.


************** edit 2

Well, the good news is I was able to sneak in and my cloaked siege engines are working their way around to the command stations shield guard post.

The bad news is the special forces did not like that. I am still waiting on getting my seige engines in range to attack and it is now up to 3,000 AI ships in system.

This will be fun.

************* edit 3

Wow. Those are my ships in the top left running away after popping the command shield guard post.
That is a wall of 3,000 special forces ships coming for my little 30 ship fleet.


I'm a little outnumbered?


************* edit 4

Interesting.

When you destroy a command station on a planet with special forces ships on it, about half of them attacked my system and the other half retreated. But my threat count never went up to account for them so they were still flagged special forces?

Anyways, a 1000 strong Youngling Vulture wave followed by a 240 strong zenith bombard wave are keeping me from rebuilding still.

I should get the command station up to capture that ARS soon, but I can't really define soon at this point.


************ edit 4

And ARS captured, I got Youngling Nanoswarms, those could come in useful.

The ARS system is not clear however as the guard posts are all still up, to have to clear those next, it is a 7 resource point system which I need badly.

I actually skipped rebuilding one of my other systems as it only has a single resource point and I wanted to rush the ARS system faster.

I'm also going to have to stop and consolidate my fleet and do some data center raids, AIP is 112. My free knowledge is also back up to 10K but I'm going to have to be careful, this next chunck of knowledge will be most of the knowledge I capture this game, I'll need to make sure my mobile fleet is big enough and not dump it all into turrets.

Also, done for the night at this point. I've been riding the bottomed out economy all night so things have not been as fast as I'd like.

That is more because I'm losing my entire fleet to stop waves, not because of any sort of offensive action but it really slows down the progress I can actually make in the game while I'm fighting to stay alive.

Regardless, will continue this tomorrow.

D.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 11:12:15 PM by Diazo »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2012, 10:14:25 AM »
By the time I've got the Tachyon Guardian down, it's up to 600 ships in system.

I'm guessing this is the new special forces mechanic? I pull my ships back to see how this plays out.

Boy, am I glad I did. 2 minutes later there are 2,000 AI ships in system, that's a serious response.
Yea, it does introduce an interesting mechanic of a quasi-time-limit on limited-objective attacks where you don't want fleetball-v-fleetball to happen.

Quote
It's 120 freking Zenith Bombards. ARGH!!!! And here's me without my fortress to match their range.
Ah, they are a special kind of frustrating, aren't they? ;)

Quote
I'm a little outnumbered?
Perhaps the AI is beginning to grasp the concept of concentration of force; be afraid ;)

Quote
When you destroy a command station on a planet with special forces ships on it, about half of them attacked my system and the other half retreated. But my threat count never went up to account for them so they were still flagged special forces?
Yea, once you kill the command station they no longer consider it a planet in need of defense (because it isn't AI-owned), so some of them still have target queues to work through but otherwise they'll probably pull back.

Quote
And ARS captured, I got Youngling Nanoswarms, those could come in useful.
I suspect that sending a fullbore nano-stream into a planet that the special forces will rally to could have interesting results.
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Offline KDR_11k

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2012, 10:26:22 AM »
I'm guessing it won't be all that useful, reclaiming MkIs doesn't give all that much benefit and the SF ships respawn as fast as you kill them, right?

Offline Diazo

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2012, 10:45:54 AM »
Well, I am going to make a point of hunting bombards for reclamation, those things are useful.

On the special forces, it seems to be mixed Mk I and II ships. I did not stop to actually count the relative numbers but there certainly were Mk II ships in the special forces pack chasing me.

On the game itself, I need to slow down and consolidate.

The Shadow Frigates the Heroic AI sends after me are not an actual threat now, what they are doing is taking a chunk of my defenses with them when they die which I then have to cover for with my fleet.

Then when a wave arrives I don't have the turrets rebuilt and so I lose a chunk of my fleet to the wave which prevents me from going out with the fleet and making progress.

Certainly unlocking some turrets next, I'm also thinking about going Military Command Mk III.

My logic for that is I am going to have 5 border systems once I secure my corner of the galaxy. +100% damage to my defenses in 5 different systems is worth a good chunk of Knowledge as it effectively doubles my turret caps.

I need to confirm the actual knowledge cost, I think it's 4,000 (I already have Mk II Military unlocked) and make sure that all my turrets can actually be boosted 100% and are not limited to a small attack boost like starships.

But we'll see, I have a freshly captured system with 8 guardposts alive still I have to clear and then it's data center hunting time.

D.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2012, 11:51:45 AM »
I'm guessing it won't be all that useful, reclaiming MkIs doesn't give all that much benefit and the SF ships respawn as fast as you kill them, right?
Kill them?  Nanoswarms have little to do with killing them :)

And that which is not killed, does not respawn.
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Offline Winge

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2012, 04:59:36 PM »
I'm guessing it won't be all that useful, reclaiming MkIs doesn't give all that much benefit and the SF ships respawn as fast as you kill them, right?
Kill them?  Nanoswarms have little to do with killing them :)

And that which is not killed, does not respawn.

Mass Paralysis FTW!   8)
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2012, 05:23:40 PM »
I prefer the full cap of riots I-III. But whatever gets the job done.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2012, 05:32:50 PM »
Mass Paralysis FTW!   8)
Mass Engine Damage is the main thing I'm interested in :)

And yea, Riots can do it too, but the nanoswarms are typically more flexible cost-wise.  Throwing a full cap of Riot I/II/IIIs into a suicide delaying action requires more m+c and more micro.

Of course, it also doesn't require a specific bonus ship type.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2012, 09:21:24 PM »
Game day #4

And the waves keep coming.

I get a wave from each AI and a CPA in the first half hour but I am able to finally kill all the guard posts in the system I most recently captured.

However the CPA then promptly kills my command station in that system so I am back down to 3 controlled and 2 empty systems.

And the CPA is being a pain. The two waves were no big deal but this CPA won't actually attack.

It is sitting on the other side of the wormhole waiting to pounce on my home system and is 1,300 ships strong.

Even after I move my fleet into an adjacent system so I'm down to only 300 military units in my home system it still will not come through and attack.

My mobile fleet is still weak enough if I send it though premptively it will just get slaughtered so I am kind of stuck.

I may have to warhead it, if I actually pull my fleet out for real those 1,300 ships will steamroll my homeworld.


********** edit 1

Oh, they were waiting for the next wave of Spire Frigates.

Owies.

I survive but everything is dead really, fleet, turrets, it's all gone.

Total rebuild incoming.

*********** edit 2

Game night cut short during rebuild, nothing more of note tonight.

D.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 12:02:52 AM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2012, 10:09:12 AM »
Okay, real life has been a bit odd, this post will be a compilation of several short play sessions.

Because of that, have some observations and notes instead of more play-by-play.

Heroic Shadow Champions:: Oddly enough, these have become a non-issue. My AIP has climbed up to the 130 range and now that wave sizes have hit about 1,000 ships average, the firepower increase from the Champion is not as big, relatively speaking. Now that I have the defenses out to handle those big waves, Champions are still enough of a threat they kill a few turrets, but they have not been a danger to a command station in quite some time.

When killing Data Centers, kill Data Centers: As for why my AIP is so high, I blame the short play sessions. One session was setting up to kill Data Centers then I had to quit the game. When I came back I thought I had actually killed the Data Centers and went back to securing my corner of the galaxy.  Oops. I now have several hundred more AI ships to hammer through to get the Data Centers as those systems have now been on alert for a while. I'm working on it, my raid starship crews must hate me by now.

Multi-System Defence: This is what is really hurting me. It has probably been 15 or so games since I tried to defend more then a single chokepoint. I have apparently forgotten how to do so. My empire has never been in danger but I'm losing defenses and the occasional command station to the AI waves as my mobile fleet rushes to support. I'm hoping once I get my corner secured and the knowledge to unlock more turrets I'll be able to lock it down better so I can take my mobile fleet out on attack runs without losing half my empire to an AI wave while they are gone.


Siege Engines: I maintain that these things are weird. My more recent sessions have been on 5.080 so I have the nerfed version at the moment and they are okay I guess.

On defense they rock as they can setup before the AI's forces arrive.

On offense they are more problematic. I can't figure out a use for them in my fleet ball as it moves too much so I'm using them on their own to take out guardposts which requires cloaking starship escorts to get them there. Even then, they have to run away after a single salvo otherwise the AI's forces are able to close and eat them for lunch.

This makes them one of the most micro-intensive units in the game and I'm not sure they are worth the extra attention they require at the moment.

See the patch 5.080 for a couple suggestions I have on them.

Overall, I think I'm doing okay. I'm getting a bit frustrated with how leaky my defenses are but I'm in no serious danger from the AI at the moment.

I'll probably hold off on my next AAR post until I secure my corner of the galaxy which is going to be a few play sessions, and so a few days.

D.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 10:31:40 AM by Diazo »

Offline Diazo

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2012, 10:20:39 PM »
Okay.

This is going to sound bad but there's no other way to put it.

Zenith Siege Engines are broken. Not in the overpowered way, but in the 'these things do not fit into the game' way. It is bad enough that I'm calling this game here. I'm in a decent position strategically but using these siege engines is an exercise in frustration.

However, I need other people to speak up about their experiences with them, especially at lower difficulties. I don't want to be calling for a total revamp based on a single game of my own.

Having said that, here is my experiance that prompts me to say this:

First, I play high difficulty which means I'm always outnumbered. Therefore my ships have to be mobile or they are dead so fast you might as well have not attacked.

However, the Siege engine has to stay stationary for 10 seconds before firing. I can't remember the last time my fleet ball stayed stationary for 10 seconds while in an AI system and the less said about my early experiments in trying to work the siege engines into my fleet ball the better. At best they were meat shields for my other units. At worst stopping the fleet ball to let them fire got my entire fleet ball wiped out as the AI units caught up.

The most effective I was able to make them was using them on their own to alpha strike a single high-value target and then run away, using cloaker starships to allow them to do so. The DPS really is not there for this tactic to be effective however. If it was a structure they had a multiplier against it tended to die in a single salvo so I could run away and have most of them survive.

Against units they did not have a bonus however they usually took more then a single salvo, at which point I was simply praying that enough of them would survive long enough to get a second shot off to kill the target before my sieges were wiped out.

The most memorable was an EMP guardian. I have a full cap of Mk I and II siege engines perfectly setup and they get their first salvo off beautifully. The EMP guardian survives with 40% HP left.  I have to leave my sieges in as I can't let an EMP guardian get loose. Fortunately the follow up salvo does have enough left to kill the EMP guardian, but my sieges are quickly wiped out as I left them in position to launch that second salvo.

And that was not uncommon, I was losing my entire siege engine strike force more often then not while clearing a system.

 if siege engines are going to work on their own (which is the only way I see them working), they need a pretty big buff. My reasoning for asking for the buff is the fact that the siege engine does not fire when its cooldown period is finished. Because of the being stationary requirement a siege engine will get 1 (occasionally 2) shots off per combat engagement, even if said engagement lasts several minutes as you are crossing the system they still only get that 1 (or 2) salvos off and the DPS baseline for them does not reflect that.

Alright, but how do you fix it?

What I'd like to see is the Siege Engine turned into a mini-Artillery Golem. High-damage, high-reload that acknowledges that due to the being stationary requirement they are only going to get 1 shot off per engagement so make their attack stats reflect this. Probably leave the range as it is to differentiate it from the Bombard I guess.

Regardless, something pretty major has to happen to them. The 'being stationary for 10 seconds before firing' is a huge negative to the siege engines as it means their actual DPS is magnitudes lower then the on-paper expected DPS because the ability to stay stationary for 10 seconds is rare, at least in my playstyle.

Having said that, how do you guys use the siege engines? Is there something I've overlooked?

D.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 11:27:33 PM by Diazo »

Offline Toranth

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2012, 09:04:54 AM »
Having said that, how do you guys use the siege engines? Is there something I've overlooked?
Defense.  That's where the AI gets to abuse them, and it's where the human player can get use out of them, as well.  Stick them near an incoming wormhole on one of your systems, and with the "Don't FRD" change from 5.080 they'll actually sit still long enough to fire.  Kind of like semi-mobile turrets, actually.

In general, though, I think I prefer Plasma Siege Starships.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #43 on: October 01, 2012, 09:12:46 AM »
The original name for the unit was "Zenith Siege Turret", actually, but I went with Engine instead of Turret to avoid endless confusion of "why is there a turret on the space dock menu?", "why is this turret mobile?" and so on.

But anyway, it's not really suited to normal blob combat, it's suited to situations where the thing can sit still long enough to get the job done.  Defense is one case, sieging a forcefield or fortress is another.  A third would be deploying them with some escorts (shield bearers come to mind) separate from your main blob so that when you pull back your main force the enemies eat a full salvo of plasma.

In other words: no, you can't use a ZSE as part of a normal blob, it just doesn't work.  Is that a problem?
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Heroic Fortress King (9/9 balance report and stuff)
« Reply #44 on: October 01, 2012, 09:23:38 AM »

In other words: no, you can't use a ZSE as part of a normal blob, it just doesn't work.  Is that a problem?

So far in the meta game the general attack strategies are either raiding or blobbing. The above showed why blobbing is hard, and their lack of speed and deploy time make them not so suited to raiding.

They are fine for defense sort of, but like fortresses by targetting a specific target you reset their reload cycle, so their first volley is pretty random (if wormhole camping they hit fighters) so they still got to wait for the second volley to hit a specific target you want.

They do excel against forts and shields. It's just all they can really do on offense.

I think they would benefit from a slight shortening of deployment time in return for having the bomber starship's "only hit big things" logic. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 09:27:27 AM by chemical_art »
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