Author Topic: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships  (Read 5321 times)

Offline Wingflier

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(Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« on: April 10, 2013, 04:05:28 PM »
So I've been mentioning in some other threads how big of a disparity there currently is between High-Cap Swarmers and Low-Cap Pseudo-Starships.

Recently I started a game with Laser Gatlings (randomly) and was very unimpressed by how ineffective they were compared to what I usually pick.

Remember that Low-Cap ships already have these innate advantages over High-Cap Swarmers:
1. They usually have several immunities if not more.
2. They're much easier to keep alive, so therefore you save a lot of money not having to constantly rebuild them.
3. They're much less vulnerable to AoE attacks.
3. They're low cap, so they don't trigger Eyes.
4. They can't be reclaimed and turned against you.
6. They can all be boosted by a Flagship, which increases their DPS much more than high cap swarmers, which can't all be boosted by the munitions bonus, since there are hundreds of them.

So with all this in mind, I expected the high-cap swarmers to have significantly better stats because of their inherent disadvantages. I was pretty surprised by the results:

Laser Gatling -

Cap Health: 10.7million,
Cap DPS: 163,200
Cap DPS with bonuses: 293,760
Cap Cost: 54,400

Raider -
Cap Health: 10.2 million
Cap DPS: 98,000
Cap DPS vs with bonuses: 392,000
Cap Cost: 60,760

Zenith Reprocessor -

Cap Health: 14.9 million
Cap DPS: 89,600
Cap DPS vs bonuses: 716,000
Cap Cost: 32,000 (did I mention it earns you money?)

Spire Railcluster -
Cap Health: 16.75 million
Cap DPS: 137,500
Cap DPS vs bonuses: 687,500
Cap Cost: 90,000

----

Similar patterns can be drawn from the rest of the high-cap swarmers vs. the low-cap pseudo-starships.

The point is that given ALL the advantages of a ship having a low cap, such as its immunities, much higher survival rate, lower susceptibility to AoE, and many other things, you would expect these ships to have significantly WORSE stats, and HIGHER costs, than their swarmer counterparts.

This is unfortunately not the case.  Especially where damage vs. their bonus ships are concerned, the low-cap ships win by a landslide. They also win the health department as well, which is somewhat odd considering that their survivability is already so much better to begin with by being low-capped.

When I say that the balance of the bonus ships needs to be reviewed, this is what I mean.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 04:09:59 PM by Wingflier »
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 04:09:06 PM »
I think Keith may have mentioned he would look into making high-cap ships have better cap stats (both HP and DPS), even though individually they are weaker.
There is some of that going on right now, but not enough to make up for the innate advantages low cap ships get.

This would be a nifty balance thing to tackle right now that is "low risk impact", like armor and energy and stuff are.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 04:12:56 PM »
Also, what about the idea floating around to make the bonus "Psuedo-starships" into full fledged bonus starships?, with the different balance target, limitations (both human and AI) that this entails?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 04:18:47 PM »
Also, what about the idea floating around to make the bonus "Psuedo-starships" into full fledged bonus starships?, with the different balance target, limitations (both human and AI) that this entails?
Actually the only bonus starship in the game (the Spire Corvette) uses the fleet ship balance targets, not the starship ones.

On the stats of high-cap vs low-cap ones, a broader comparison would be helpful but I do grant that high-cap stuff generally gets the short end of the stick.
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 04:24:12 PM »
Even comparing Low-Cap ships to Medium-Cap ships, such as bombers, they still win by a pretty large margin and have most of the same advantages.

Space Tank -
Cap Health - 10million
Cap DPS - 100,000
Cap DPS vs bonuses - 600,000
Cap Cost - 134,400 (expensive!)

-I'm aware that Space Tanks get the armor bonus, but they also have a cap of 96, and their cap health is worse than the even swarmers (I've seen flocks of them die very quickly to anti-armor AoE such as Lightning Guardians).

Zenith Chameleon -
Cap Health - 19.7 million
Cap DPS - 129,600
Cap DPS vs bonuses - 470,400
Cap Cost - 134,000 (also expensive)

-Chameleons have a significantly better cap health than most low-cap bonus ships, but spread across 96 ships, with the close combat hull type, it doesn't translate to much in-game.

So while the Bombers do significantly better than the Swarmers in stats, they still have many of the same weaknesses, and are still far inferior to the Low-Cap ships for all intents and purposes.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 04:26:21 PM »
So, are you asking for a buff of high-cap stuff, a nerf in low-cap stuff, or a bit of both?
I'm assuming that mid-cap stuff is considered a decent "balance target" that the others should have their cap effectiveness scaled upon when deviating from mid-caps?

Offline Wingflier

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 04:27:09 PM »
Also, what about the idea floating around to make the bonus "Psuedo-starships" into full fledged bonus starships?, with the different balance target, limitations (both human and AI) that this entails?
Actually the only bonus starship in the game (the Spire Corvette) uses the fleet ship balance targets, not the starship ones.

On the stats of high-cap vs low-cap ones, a broader comparison would be helpful but I do grant that high-cap stuff generally gets the short end of the stick.
The reason I didn't use a "broader stroke" was because I was trying to pick the simplest examples possible. All of the ships I've listed are very basic with very few "special abilities". I thought it would muddle up the demonstration if I started adding things like Spire Maws or Zenith Anti-Armor ships, even though they both technically belong to the right category.
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Offline RCIX

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 05:26:25 PM »
Zenith Reprocessor -
Cap Health: 14.9 million
Cap DPS: 89,600
Cap DPS vs bonuses: 716,000
Cap Cost: 32,000 (did I mention it earns you money?)

holy crap o.O
Avid League player and apparently back from the dead!

If we weren't going for your money, you wouldn't have gotten as much value for it!

Oh, wait... *causation loop detonates*

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 05:35:18 PM »
6. They can all be boosted by a Flagship, which increases their DPS much more than high cap swarmers, which can't all be boosted by the munitions bonus, since there are hundreds of them.

Just a minor nitpick, but the story is a bit more complicated than that.

IIRC, the maximum number "boosts" that limited boosters get (aka, not planetary like the planetary armor booster) is proportional to the area of the physical ship sizes of the ships being boosted. Put another way, the booster gets so much unit type "area" it can boost. This and probably collision ejection are the only cases I can think of where physical size that has a noticeable impact on balance (except for forcefields, their physical size matters very much).

So, if you have an especially physically large low cap ship (like the Spire tractor platform) vs something with a very physically small high cap ship (like laser gattlings or autocanon minipods), you might be able to boost a higher portion of their ship cap with the higher cap ships.


This doesn't negate the other five points (though point 5 is really just a subset of point 1)

Offline Wingflier

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 06:18:10 PM »
6. They can all be boosted by a Flagship, which increases their DPS much more than high cap swarmers, which can't all be boosted by the munitions bonus, since there are hundreds of them.

Just a minor nitpick, but the story is a bit more complicated than that.

IIRC, the maximum number "boosts" that limited boosters get (aka, not planetary like the planetary armor booster) is proportional to the area of the physical ship sizes of the ships being boosted. Put another way, the booster gets so much unit type "area" it can boost. This and probably collision ejection are the only cases I can think of where physical size that has a noticeable impact on balance (except for forcefields, their physical size matters very much).

So, if you have an especially physically large low cap ship (like the Spire tractor platform) vs something with a very physically small high cap ship (like laser gattlings or autocanon minipods), you might be able to boost a higher portion of their ship cap with the higher cap ships.


This doesn't negate the other five points (though point 5 is really just a subset of point 1)
Sorry I think you're overcomplicating it.

From my understanding Flagships have a maximum number of ships they can boost.  It doesn't work like you say it does:

In this picture there are Gatlings right beside the Flagship that aren't being boosted:



In this picture with both MK1 and MK2 Gatling caps are present:



In this picture both MK1 and MK2 Shield Bearers are present:



Because they are a much lower cap, they all get the bonus.
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Offline Diazo

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 06:56:38 PM »
6. They can all be boosted by a Flagship, which increases their DPS much more than high cap swarmers, which can't all be boosted by the munitions bonus, since there are hundreds of them.

Just a minor nitpick, but the story is a bit more complicated than that.

IIRC, the maximum number "boosts" that limited boosters get (aka, not planetary like the planetary armor booster) is proportional to the area of the physical ship sizes of the ships being boosted. Put another way, the booster gets so much unit type "area" it can boost. This and probably collision ejection are the only cases I can think of where physical size that has a noticeable impact on balance (except for forcefields, their physical size matters very much).

So, if you have an especially physically large low cap ship (like the Spire tractor platform) vs something with a very physically small high cap ship (like laser gattlings or autocanon minipods), you might be able to boost a higher portion of their ship cap with the higher cap ships.


This doesn't negate the other five points (though point 5 is really just a subset of point 1)
Sorry I think you're overcomplicating it.

From my understanding Flagships have a maximum number of ships they can boost.  It doesn't work like you say it does:

From the discussion when I was starting on the wiki and trying to clarify all this stuff, boosts do not boost a set number of ships. Rather, they have a number of 'boost points' with other units in the game costing a certain number of 'boost points' to actually boost and so get the yellow line drawn.

We don't actually know the numbers in terms of how many 'boost points' the various boosting units have, or how many 'boost points' a unit takes to be boosted, beyond the stated fact that small units take less and large units take more 'boost points'.

That's straight from Keith and I don't think there's been any changes to boosting in the months since it last came up.

D.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 07:07:18 PM »
It's based on the boosted-unit's circle radius (called in the code and ref sheet "LoneUnitRadius").  Shield Bearers have a low cap but a fairly normal radius.  Starships have a larger radius, though not astronomically so.  Boosting a spire dreadnought would consume much of (if not all of) a flagship's boosting, though, because those things are huge.

In general it's difficult to do much in the way of tactical theory other than "saturate fleet ball with boosters".
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 07:22:28 PM »
All I know is that when I use full fleets of low-cap fleetships (and Starships), which already have a higher firepower in general than the higher-cap ships, they all seem to be affected by the munitions booster as in shown in the example above.

Higher-cap armies don't tend to work this way, as also shown in the example above.

Therefore based on my experiences, this is a significant advantage for lower cap armies.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 07:33:52 PM »
Therefore based on my experiences, this is a significant advantage for lower cap armies.
I agree.  It's much easier to saturate a low cap fleetball.
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Offline Bognor

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 09:41:32 AM »
You can see ships' radius on the User-friendly Spreadsheet.

I posted before that in addition to the reasons already given, I think the brutal guard posts in homeworlds also favour low-cap ships.  Repeating for convenience:

Here is what I conclude when I see the different possible brutal picks:
  • Eye (any type): don't want to trigger that --> avoid high-cap ships
  • Grav Generator: drones do area-effect damage --> minimise targets by avoiding high-cap ships
  • Teuthida: zombification hurts --> focus on ships immune to reclamation (none of the high-cap ships, all of the pseudo-starships)
  • Wrath Lance: need ships with individually high hit points --> starships/superweapons/pseudo-starships (definitely not high-cap ships)
  • Raid Engine: (no special consideration)
  • CPA Guard Post: (no special consideration)
Most notably, all three of the brutal picks introduced in Ancient Shadows tend to favour low-cap ships.
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