Author Topic: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships  (Read 5690 times)

Offline Wingflier

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2013, 07:51:22 PM »
It's funny how "Eye" in this game means "The AI is Unimpressed with your current playstyle and insists that you temporarily use a different one".
Keith is right.

AI Eyes were really just put into the game as a band-aid to the Fleetballing mechanic.

Now that Fleetballing low-cap ships has become the solution, we're just trying to invent another band-aid to put on top of the problem.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2013, 07:52:55 PM »
Now that Fleetballing low-cap ships has become the solution, we're just trying to invent another band-aid to put on top of the problem.
Yep!

Ooh, I know, we can call it the AI Dire Bandaid!
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Offline LordSloth

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2013, 07:55:06 PM »
Now that the starship tweaks and cloaker guardpost changes have made handling Eyes so much less miserable an affair (if you weren't already using raid starships), let's come up with a way to make swarmers competive make the player suffer again!

We truly are our own worst enemy, are we not?

Edit: But seriously, there are too many eyes for a turtle, and starships so good, that you might as well throw everything into starships anyway. It's not like you'll need anything else to handle forts and eyes and missile posts.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 07:59:47 PM by LordSloth »

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2013, 08:08:21 PM »
Can anyone give stats for average spawn rates of the turtle types? I wonder just how high it is right now...


TBH, I'm not sure how you can prevent "ball of death" type situations (whether high cap or low cap or "everything" dominated) if the player is allowed to set the "pace". Even in Starcraft II, if you allow your opponent to turtle (aka, let them control the pace), they will probably "death ball" you. What keeps that from happening all the time is that both players have tools to control the pace, and thus you have incentive to try to adjust it to suit whatever strat you are going for, in hopes that you will disrupt or "counter" your opponent's strat. As the opponent in this game is designed to let players have the majority of the control of the pace, "ball of death" will rise to the top of the metagame. AFIAK, there's no way to fix this without yanking some of that pacing control away from the player (which a lot of the optional game setting (minor factions, AIP over time, etc) allow for actually). As such, I'm not convinced that "fleetball" being the dominant strat in the "metagame" it is a problem.


I see this more as a way to diversify the "anti-fleetball" mechanics. We already have something that counters fleetballs that focus on quantity over quality. So why not have some of them be the inverse instead, targeting attack forces that focus on quality over quantity?

@LordSloth
So do you think the starships were overbuffed? If so, by a lot, or just a bit?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 08:11:57 PM by TechSY730 »

Offline Radiant Phoenix

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2013, 08:15:54 PM »
Why not both? Why not that sort of "sliding scale" for balance goals for low-cap vs high-cap ships, and introduce a new "inverse" of AI eyes?

Also, instead of a new "insta kill" mechanic, why not something of crazy, CRAZY high damage. Like with max armor peircing and just one point of damage away of being able to oneshot a mothership. Done, no special logic needed.

If you are worried about superweapon stuff, I guess you could give it artillery ammo, so things immune to artillery ammo can still face it, but it can still one-shot most things because immunity of artillery ammo is extremely rare. (Notably, most starships are immune to nukes, which is one of the staples of low-cap ship type play)
Umm... Superweapons aren't immune to Artillery ammo.

  • Fallen Spire ships are literally squishier than Spire Starships until you get the Galactic Capitol (A Spire Destroyer has less HP, including shields, than a Mk1 Spire Starship; a Spire Cruiser has less HP, including shields, than a Mk2 Spire Starship; a Spire Battleship has comparable HP to a Mk3 spire Starship; A Spire Dreadnought has only 33% more HP than a Spire Starship Mk5)
  • Champions aren't much better until they level up either. Seriously, before 6.019, the Spire Shadow Frigate had the same DPS and less HP than a Mk1 Spire Starship. A Spire Shadow Battleship with all its heavy slots filled with MkV shields has less than twice as many hitpoints as a Mk5 Spire Starship.
  • Spirecraft are, now that I look at it, laughably pathetic in terms of durability.
Anything that makes you fear for your starships will make you fear for your superweapons even more.

Dropping at least one zero from non-superweapons is beginning to look more and more like something that needs to be done.

EDIT: Besides, the thread is about pseudo-starships, not starships.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2013, 08:30:24 PM »
Umm... Superweapons aren't immune to Artillery ammo.

Oh, wait, your right. Whoops. Not sure why I was thinking that. :-[

Quote
Dropping at least one zero from non-superweapons is beginning to look more and more like something that needs to be done.

I've been of this opinion (and stating it too) for like over a year by now.  ;)

Quote
EDIT: Besides, the thread is about pseudo-starships, not starships.

Hmm, that is a good point. Though I guess the fact that they are psuedo-starships naturally makes us want to compare them to the "big brothers", the starships.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2013, 08:32:15 PM »
Quote
Dropping at least one zero from non-superweapons is beginning to look more and more like something that needs to be done.

I've been of this opinion (and stating it too) for like over a year by now.  ;)
I recall the repeated requests, but you were suggesting only doing it for non-superweapons?
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2013, 08:37:57 PM »
Quote
Dropping at least one zero from non-superweapons is beginning to look more and more like something that needs to be done.

I've been of this opinion (and stating it too) for like over a year by now.  ;)
I recall the repeated requests, but you were suggesting only doing it for non-superweapons?

Not specifically no. But since I usually repeated it in response of you saying things like how it has become hard to make superweapons durable even if you pumped up their HP to the max the datatype allowed, I guess this is what I was trying to imply. (Though I also repeated it when people were complaining of being "lost in zeros")

But yea, I think the "inflation" has been lopsided, and has "defavored" the super-weapons and the high cap stuff the worst. And since data type restrictions won't let you bring the top up too much more, then why not bring the rest down?

Offline LordSloth

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #53 on: April 16, 2013, 08:40:42 PM »
Honestly, when it comes to starships? I don't have a clue. I'm still working my way through 6.018. I've been getting home around 7 each night, so i'm falling behind the updates. I have definitely been avoiding too much criticism on that subject, and offering commentary on other subjects where I've been more comfortable.

I can say that I feel I no longer feel like I'm making a huge sacrifice unlocking two lines of MK3 Starships (plasma and bombers) and therefor raiding eye systems doesn't feel anywhere near as prohibitive anymore. Heck, thanks to cloaker starships and mobile repair, Mk3 Heavy Bombers and Mk3 Plasma Siege Starships can even sometimes clear out their direct counter guard posts.

The debates raging around K costs are significant, and honestly, I feel that maybe too many different balance discussions are going on to get a good feel for where things will actually end up - other than with thorough playtesting and feedback after they're implemented.

Before I go further, I want to emphasize that everything below this line is written with dual Defensive AIs in mind, and not the regular gameplay that you get with more middle of the road or offensive AI types. Aside from a game of fallen spire, starfleet commander, and mad bomber I put aside to take on the max AIP challenge, my experience has not caught up with the game as it stands now, with weekly updates. My hours (less than ten, more than three) of non-turtle AI hint that the experience is probably very different to what I'm reporting below. I'm honestly not comfortable commenting on starship balance, but I do hope to see if I can rope my usual team into a co-op game this weekend and try a faster paced marathon or two.

Using starships to take out Eyes is actually an interesting proposition now. Defensive AIs actually promote a significantly different playstyle and much more considered approach to cracking mk3 and 4 systems than before, particularly with the overlapping positions of force fields, fortresses, guard posts. I repeat: I'm actually having some fun facing both a turtle and a fortress baron, something I would have not believed possible a few months ago, when guard posts were uninteresting, starships fragile and k prohibitive, guard posts could cloak themselves, and so on. In a world where every game was against dual defense AIs, I think the game would remain strategically interesting even if fleetship K costs were nerfed to similar levels. Clearing these AI Eye systems now feels more like a puzzle than a punishment game. The only problem is: the answer is always starships, even if fleetship hordes have the right immunities, so why bother ever taking my fleetships on defense? They're more useful guarding my flanks. A variety of system-restricted types of AI super guardians could actually add to the variety of puzzles I have to solve, and if I invest in fleetships more, well, I have a reason to try and use them even in less than ideal circumstances.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 08:47:05 PM by LordSloth »

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2013, 08:44:57 PM »
But yea, I think the "inflation" has been lopsided, and has "defavored" the super-weapons and the high cap stuff the worst. And since data type restrictions won't let you bring the top up too much more, then why not bring the rest down?
I do actually want to lop 2+ zeroes off all the attack-power, health, armor, and armor-piercing numbers.  But only doing it for some units (and not superweapons) would have a rather, um, dramatic impact on balance :)
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Offline LordSloth

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2013, 08:49:12 PM »
There is actually one piece of criticism I feel comfortable giving about starship and guard post balance.
 
Missile Guard Posts should lose ultra-light multipliers, so they no longer counter Raid Starships. Why? Missile posts under forcefield and fortress coverage. I can bring plasma siege against normal shielded missile guard posts, I can bring heavy bombers cloaked mk3 to take out a missile post under a fortress but unshielded. But combine all three and I'm really in a bit of a pickle. Laser Guard posts still present a challenge, but a relatively localized one. Missile Guard Posts are nearly as significant as fortresses now, especially if you achieve overlapping coverage.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2013, 08:49:39 PM »
But yea, I think the "inflation" has been lopsided, and has "defavored" the super-weapons and the high cap stuff the worst. And since data type restrictions won't let you bring the top up too much more, then why not bring the rest down?
I do actually want to lop 2+ zeroes off all the attack-power, health, armor, and armor-piercing numbers.  But only doing it for some units (and not superweapons) would have a rather, um, dramatic impact on balance :)

Why not go for, you guessed it, a compromise? Lop 2 (or 4) zeros off everything but the "superweapons", and for the "superweapons" (both human and AI), lop only 1 (or 2) zeros off? :D
I think the idea is that the superweapons should be 2, 3, or possibly even 4 orders of magnitude above most everything else. (and they used to be) Right now, they are not. So I don't see how "un-deflating" lopsidely would make things worse.

Yes, adjustments would have to be made, but I think that "dramatic impact" would push it closer to what we want superweapons to be and a good balance in general, instead of putting it at a state where it is further away.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2013, 08:56:54 PM »
There is actually one piece of criticism I feel comfortable giving about starship and guard post balance.
 
Missile Guard Posts should lose ultra-light multipliers, so they no longer counter Raid Starships. Why? Missile posts under forcefield and fortress coverage. I can bring plasma siege against normal shielded missile guard posts, I can bring heavy bombers cloaked mk3 to take out a missile post under a fortress but unshielded. But combine all three and I'm really in a bit of a pickle. Laser Guard posts still present a challenge, but a relatively localized one. Missile Guard Posts are nearly as significant as fortresses now, especially if you achieve overlapping coverage.

What about us humans and putting missile turrets under forcefields, especially higher mark ones?
IIRC, our missile turrets decimate AI raid starships too.

Offline Histidine

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2013, 09:23:03 PM »
Divide non-superweapon stats by 10, superweapon stats by 2-5?

Offline chemical_art

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Re: (Bonus Ships) Comparing Swarmers to Pseudo-Starships
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2013, 10:06:46 PM »
There is actually one piece of criticism I feel comfortable giving about starship and guard post balance.
 
Missile Guard Posts should lose ultra-light multipliers, so they no longer counter Raid Starships. Why? Missile posts under forcefield and fortress coverage. I can bring plasma siege against normal shielded missile guard posts, I can bring heavy bombers cloaked mk3 to take out a missile post under a fortress but unshielded. But combine all three and I'm really in a bit of a pickle. Laser Guard posts still present a challenge, but a relatively localized one. Missile Guard Posts are nearly as significant as fortresses now, especially if you achieve overlapping coverage.

What about us humans and putting missile turrets under forcefields, especially higher mark ones?
IIRC, our missile turrets decimate AI raid starships too.

25% damage makes it that their armor can take many hints.

More specifically though, since our sniper turrets vaporize them in most senses of the word you don't need to to use missile turrets.
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