Author Topic: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields  (Read 4093 times)

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,562
No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« on: September 06, 2012, 04:36:01 PM »
Something interesting I remembered when reading Dazio's AAR: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11393.0.html
This post is copied from: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,11393.msg119741.html#msg119741

Yes, but infiltrators are FF immune.

That is something that has been bugging me a while.
There is no (general purpose) alternate mechanic to do what forcefields do.

If you want to hamper the movement of something, you have engine damage, tractor beams, and gravity. Each one of those is a different mechanic, but they all have the same purpose, make it harder for something to get somewhere. This prevents any one of those mechanics and any one of the immunities to those mechanics from being overpowered.
Similarly, for armor, you have two ways of countering it, armor peircing, and armor rotting.

However, there is no such alternate mechanic for forcefields. Because there is no such general purpose alternate mechanic for "I'll take the damage for you", this inflates the value (and danger) of force field immunity to crazy levels.

Yes, I know there are some alternate mechanics for this stuff, decoy/shot attraction, and exo-shields. But the shot attraction mechanic is only available from the rare experimental unit or only works for certain ammo types, and exo-shields can only be applied to one type of thing currently, harvesters. Thus, they fail the general purpose condition.

Offline Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,226
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 06:21:28 PM »
and exo-shields can only be applied to one type of thing currently

And provide cloaking to said harvesters, completely nullifying any "I take damage for you" potential.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,723
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 08:43:01 PM »
So you're saying, alternative types of damage mitigation need to be more widespread, then. Rather than the common global 'take damage for you' force field being the only major thing.
Eh, I like variety, so I'd stand in agreement here. I also did have my home command sniped off by a single raid starship that my fleet was nowhere near enough to kill, so I'm mildly annoyed with 'immune to forcefield' being as awesome as it is... but that awesomeness does apply to me as well, so I don't really know.

...what this does make me want to do is come up with defensive beacons that apply a similar defensive effect... so, I'm going into a crazy fruitless brainstorming mode! :D

Armor Beacon: This similar-to-forcefield defensive structure will create a thin barrier around any structure it stands near. It will take 75% of the damage those structures would take instead, and cannot be ignored by anything that is immune to force fields. It also does not reduce the damage of ships beneath it, and does not protect ordinary ships from damage at all.
Decoy Beacon: If you give the Decoy Beacon a defensive target, it will act as a decoy for that target and that target alone, taking all of the damage specifically that target will take. Decoy Beacons cannot act as a decoy for anything with a weapon.
Point Defense Turret: This special turret acts as an attachment for a force field, and will, once every X seconds, shoot down an enemy attack that is inside of it, in an effort to hold off enemy raiders.
Cloak Field: This "force field" has next to no health, and instead defends things inside of it by turning them invisible. Structures inside of a Cloak Field cannot attack, and units cannot be cloaked by it. If the Cloak Field Generator is revealed by tachyon beams, so is everything underneath it. (Couple this with the AI possibly putting forth more effort into decloaking things)

...This was largely unfocused but maybe there are some discussable ideas in there that someone wouldn't mind polishing up?

Offline RCIX

  • Core Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,808
  • Avatar credit goes to Spookypatrol on League forum
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:24:35 PM »
There are various decoy solutions aren't there? Nothing to the degree of the anti-motion examples you listed, but stuff does exist. Edit: never mind, didn't read :P
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 09:27:19 PM by RCIX »
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 Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,226
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 12:26:37 AM »
We had a discussion about "cloaking turrets" not too long ago, and it resolved along the lines of "The AI doesn't know how to deal with cloaking" and shelved as overpowered in the current gamestate.

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 12:35:02 AM »
I don't see a lack of alternate defence as a problem. I like that ff immunity is special, and that the only real defence in that case is a good offence.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,723
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 12:44:51 AM »
We had a discussion about "cloaking turrets" not too long ago, and it resolved along the lines of "The AI doesn't know how to deal with cloaking" and shelved as overpowered in the current gamestate.
If it's so unfeasible, I'm willing to let it go, of course.
That was me unchaining my brain and letting it go to make somewhat reasonableish ideas.

Offline Diazo

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,717
  • I love/hate Diff 10
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 10:51:44 AM »
Going back to the opening post that prompted this and the strategy that initiated my comments.

Because my HW was going to be taking the AI waves the entire game, I built my strategy around my home command acting as bait and the FFs over top of it taking a beating while my turrets went to town.

The AI's first two unlocks were then both FF immune which gave me problems the entire game.

If I go with a FFs centered defensive strategy that the AI hard counters with FF-immune units, I should be in for a hard time as the AI has hard-countered me.

Which boils down to me trying to say I'm not sure any changes are really necessary here.

The only change I'd like to see is the Home FF (and only the Home FF) got immunity to FF-immune so that a few FF-immune units that sneak through are not able to snipe your home command station on you and make you lose the game.

D.

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,562
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 10:55:36 AM »
The only change I'd like to see is the Home FF (and only the Home FF) got immunity to FF-immune so that a few FF-immune units that sneak through are not able to snipe your home command station on you and make you lose the game.

D.

That was proposed when the Home FF buff ideas were tossed around, but Keith said that thanks to how forcefields are implemented, adding an immunity to forcefield immunity would be a nightmare to code. The gravity and tachyon emission was agreed to be an acceptable compromise.

However, I wouldn't mind something like a Command station exo-forcefield (which unlike the harvester versions, would NOT cloak).

Offline Diazo

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,717
  • I love/hate Diff 10
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 11:03:04 AM »
Ah.

Hmm.

I guess my vote is leaving it as it is then.

On the forcefields front anyway. I just checked and the Home Command station only has 2mil HP.

As a way of kind of doing the same thing, can we get an HP boost? Maybe to 5 million?

If a wave makes it through and batters your defenses down, 2mil vs. 5mil is not going to make a difference but it will give you more time to kill those leakers that sneak through.

Assuming Mk II as this is really a mid to late game issue when you attention is away from your homeworld, it only takes 10 Raid Starship shots to kill your home command as it stands.

That's assuming the relative fragility of your home command station is not a design decision to make sure you don't ignore your homeworld during the later part of the game.

D.

Offline KDR_11k

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 01:04:21 PM »
Getting it boosted from 300k to 2M HP was already like pulling Chris's teeth.

Also unless it has changed FF immunity means immunity to decoy drones as well.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 02:43:47 PM by KDR_11k »

Offline doctorfrog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 591
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 05:56:42 PM »
Would giving FF-immune units .01 against Command hulls do it, or would this swing the pendulum too far in the other direction?

Offline Lancefighter

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,440
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 08:19:40 PM »
If its done for player units, suddenly you cant raid commandstations for reasonable reasons (cutting off supply is a big one actually).

Decoy drones are not available in every game. AI raid starships are.

I feel like the player should somehow be able to make his home station stronger. Maybe for each adjacent planet with a player command station, it gains hp? or invulnerability? I dunno. I think giving the home command station some way to scale into the lategame would be useful, but I am not really sure how.
Ideas? Suggestions? Concerns? Bugs to be squashed? Report them on the Mantis Bugtracker!

Author of the Dyson Project and the Spire Gambit

Offline Diazo

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,717
  • I love/hate Diff 10
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 09:31:24 AM »
Hmmm, good point about the AI command stations.

Really, what I'm after is a way to make the home command more survivable. I am a big fan of stacking more FFs on top of my command station to do so as that is the only way to actually make the command station more durable.

And FF immune units come along making all that effort into protecting my home command worthless.

Maybe an unlock of some sort so you only needed it if that game seed required it? (IE: the AI has lots of FF immune units).

D.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

  • Master Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,723
Re: No Alternate Mechanic for Forcefields
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 10:37:17 AM »
What about a unit or turret that specifically operated to counter FF-immune units? What is their "weakness"? The strength is obvious, but a nice functionally anti-raider thing would probably solve your problem.