Poll

What most needs a buff?

AI Guard Posts (the normal ones, not the homeworld core guard posts)
13 (12.1%)
AI Mothership
1 (0.9%)
Advanced Hybrids
0 (0%)
Decoy Drone (human-side, not AI-side)
13 (12.1%)
Deflector Drone
4 (3.7%)
Hardened Force Field Generator
3 (2.8%)
Hybrids
4 (3.7%)
Missile Silo
8 (7.5%)
Neinzul Enclave Starship IV
8 (7.5%)
Regenerator Golem
8 (7.5%)
Sniper (the fleetship)
2 (1.9%)
Spire Gravity Ripper
8 (7.5%)
Spire Starship
9 (8.4%)
Spirecraft Implosion Artillery
2 (1.9%)
Spirecraft Siege Tower
4 (3.7%)
Tachyon Drone
6 (5.6%)
Tachyon Microfighter
1 (0.9%)
Zenith Reprocessor
5 (4.7%)
Zenith Starship
8 (7.5%)
None of the above
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 37

Author Topic: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)  (Read 4614 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« on: February 27, 2013, 11:51:49 AM »
Nominations from this thread.

(note: The AI selectively ignores nominations that don't follow directions.  There's always the next poll :) )

So, who's next?  3 votes per person this time, and I'll try to do something with the top 3 results (excluding anything which fails to do better than the "None of the above" option), but probably not more than that because "processing" the results tends to significantly bog down if there's a ton of winners.

Thanks for the feedback :)
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 02:49:31 PM »
Well, here we go.

Decoy drone of course, that unit is just pitiful at the moment.

My other two votes actually went to the Spire and Zenith starship.

My logic for this is more about starships in general actually, just the Spire and Zenith seem to show it the best.

I do like running all starship fleets but from a balance perspective they don't quite match up.

Because starships are such a low cap, losing a single one hurts tremendously in an engagement as that is a significant portion of your firepower gone and because they have lower DPS, they don't put out as much damage as expected before dying.

Therefore making a straight balance where starships have twice the health and half the DPS favors the fleet ships. I'd like to suggest that a cap of starships has something like 60% the DPS and 210% the health of the equivalent cap of fleet ships.

On paper this sounds like I'm favoring the starships, but in the game losing the DPS in exchange for gaining the survivability is a poor trade.

D.

Offline Winge

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 07:07:15 PM »
Well, here we go.

Decoy drone of course, that unit is just pitiful at the moment.

My other two votes actually went to the Spire and Zenith starship.

My logic for this is more about starships in general actually, just the Spire and Zenith seem to show it the best.

I do like running all starship fleets but from a balance perspective they don't quite match up.

Because starships are such a low cap, losing a single one hurts tremendously in an engagement as that is a significant portion of your firepower gone and because they have lower DPS, they don't put out as much damage as expected before dying.

Therefore making a straight balance where starships have twice the health and half the DPS favors the fleet ships. I'd like to suggest that a cap of starships has something like 60% the DPS and 210% the health of the equivalent cap of fleet ships.

On paper this sounds like I'm favoring the starships, but in the game losing the DPS in exchange for gaining the survivability is a poor trade.

D.

I agree 100% on the Decoy Drone.  However, I feel that the Spire Gravity Ripper is in a worse place than the Zenith and Spire Starships.  And Tachyon Drones are just depressing.  I end up having to unlock Decloakers in most games to spot for my ships on offense and defense.  You can barely cover a wormhole with Tachyon Drones, and a cap of 2 is incredibly limiting.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 07:29:09 PM »
And here I thought Winge was going to nominate the Counterattack Guard Post ;)
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Offline Diazo

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 08:30:09 PM »
@Winge

Heh. Gravity Rippers are actually one of the units I fear most in the AIs hands when I run a starship fleet. Reason being that when a starship gets hit, it slows down and falls behind.

This is not as big a deal for a fleet ship as those are expected to see losses and are cheaper to replace.

When a starship falls behind and gets mulched, that is a lot more painful.

Having said that, in player hands there really is not an equivalent situation so I'm not sure.

D.

Offline Winge

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 09:55:54 PM »
And here I thought Winge was going to nominate the Counterattack Guard Post ;)

Considering I just caused Counterattack Posts to defeat AI War.exe, I think they need a small nerf  ;D.  Or perhaps a buff to the engine, memory allocation, or garbage collector?


@Diazo
Yeah, I can see Rippers being very irritating in the AI's hands.  The problem for the player is their short range, which prevents them from being useful compared to other Gravity/Tractor Beam options.  I guess my real beef with Rippers is that, given the choice between Spire Gravity Rippers and Spire Gravity Drains, I would rather use Drains every single time.  In addition, given the choice of which to fight against, I would choose to fight Rippers every single time.  I agree that having ships fall behind--especially Starships or high-value fleetships--is very annoying.  That said, Gravity Drains have the added bonus of crippling melee ships, Blade Spawners, and even Tackle Drone Launchers (TDLs were surprisingly weak for me in the game I just played because the AI started off with Drains as one of the bonus ships).

I do agree that the Spire Starship could really use a buff--they are still tricky to use because of the 'damage over time' beam, and their defenses feel too weak to me.  I would either improve their defenses or make the beam fire faster (same DPS, but lower recharge...or make the damage instant like a HBC).  That said, Spire Starships are wonderful for Gravity Drill worlds  8).
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 09:59:46 PM »
@Winge

Heh. Gravity Rippers are actually one of the units I fear most in the AIs hands when I run a starship fleet. Reason being that when a starship gets hit, it slows down and falls behind.

This is not as big a deal for a fleet ship as those are expected to see losses and are cheaper to replace.

When a starship falls behind and gets mulched, that is a lot more painful.

Having said that, in player hands there really is not an equivalent situation so I'm not sure.

D.

I don't know. When you are facing a starship heavy based AI (Starship commander or Spire hammer), having a way to slow the approach starships, especially at higher marks, can be pretty nifty. Or at least in cases where your gravity turrets won't stall them long enough, or if you need to stall opposition on offense.

But yea, thanks to the painfully unstrategic layout of AI defenses (sadly not an easy thing to fix without adding a ton of new logic), fleet ships with defensive utility are usually much more useful to the AI than humans.

Quote

Because starships are such a low cap, losing a single one hurts tremendously in an engagement as that is a significant portion of your firepower gone and because they have lower DPS, they don't put out as much damage as expected before dying.

Therefore making a straight balance where starships have twice the health and half the DPS favors the fleet ships. I'd like to suggest that a cap of starships has something like 60% the DPS and 210% the health of the equivalent cap of fleet ships.

On paper this sounds like I'm favoring the starships, but in the game losing the DPS in exchange for gaining the survivability is a poor trade.

Agreed that starship would feel much more natural if their balance target was made a bit less skewed in durability vs. firepower in comparison to fleet ships.
Then again, the great durability of starships has saved my butt on a several occasions.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 11:42:38 PM »
I'm kind of slapping myself for not voting Decoy Drones, because I remember getting a fab for them... and finding no use for them whatsoever. Sure, they draw fire... and then die in like 2 shots... at least if I'm remembering right.

Offline Aeson

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 10:44:50 AM »
My votes were for the Decoy Drone, Deflector Drone, and Spire Gravity Ripper.

Decoy Drone, because you get all of nine of them so they last very little time, even if the first few attacks by an AI force are wasted because it all hit one drone.

Deflector Drone, because it seems like lasers are usually a rare weapon type for the AI to use, so the laser-dampening effect is of limited use in most cases.

Spire Gravity Ripper, because it doesn't do anything that Spire Gravity Drains and Zenith Paralyzers don't do better. While Gravity Rippers do stop a ship from fleeing, they don't stop it from firing, whereas each Zenith Paralyzer can stop several ships from fleeing and prevent them from firing, and does this at 2.5 times the range of the Gravity Ripper and twice the ship cap (and far more than that for the number of ships stopped). Compared to Gravity Drains, the Gravity Ripper stops a ship (which the Gravity Drains don't quite do), but Gravity Drains affect everything within 8000 range of the ship, while Gravity Rippers can only affect one ship per shot at 2000 range, and on top of that the ships have the same cap size and similar speeds. I think that either the special ability of the Gravity Ripper needs to be re-worked, or it needs to receive an attack range and attack number bonus.

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 03:04:22 PM »
So wait, do decoys normally take whole salvos? I kinda thought they only blocked the damage they could take until they die.

Offline Aeson

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 03:38:28 PM »
I'm not sure. The Wiki page for Decoy Drones says that they die of significant overkill, which would suggest that they take entire salvos. However, I've never really paid enough attention to tell what happens with them. All I know is that, when I have them, they disappear from my fleet very rapidly if there is any kind of serious opposition, such as the Special Forces or a threat ball on the wormhole.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 03:41:23 PM by Aeson »

Offline Winge

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 03:56:02 PM »
I'm not sure. The Wiki page for Decoy Drones says that they die of significant overkill, which would suggest that they take entire salvos. However, I've never really paid enough attention to tell what happens with them. All I know is that, when I have them, they disappear from my fleet very rapidly if there is any kind of serious opposition, such as the Special Forces or a threat ball on the wormhole.

Missiles now re-target if their intended target dies before the shot reaches the ship.  I think most other weapon types still 'overkill'.  With their low cap and hp (9 and 200,000 on wiki, couldn't find in-game), they really wouldn't absorb much punishment.  They might be useful against a Z Bombard salvo, but other than that, they seem very weak for the player.

Edit:  please correct the stats if they are wrong; I could not find the Decoy Drone among the other ships in the 'help' file.
My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.

Offline Diazo

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 04:00:27 PM »
I'm not sure. The Wiki page for Decoy Drones says that they die of significant overkill, which would suggest that they take entire salvos. However, I've never really paid enough attention to tell what happens with them. All I know is that, when I have them, they disappear from my fleet very rapidly if there is any kind of serious opposition, such as the Special Forces or a threat ball on the wormhole.

They only have 200,000 health so they pretty much die as soon as the AI breathes in the Decoy Drone's general direction.

Where the overkill thing comes in is that any rounds still in the air when the Decoy Drone dies will just vanish. So if an AI fleet launches its entire salvo against a Decoy Drone at max range, the Decoy Drone has effectively 'tanked' everything that is launched before it dies.

Against things with a long range, such as a fortress, this can easily be a ten times increase in damage the Decoy Drone absorbs.

Note that this does not work with Missiles. Missiles that are in the air when their target dies will lock on to a second target.

Still does not make the unit worthwhile, they are not worth it even if you manage to get this trick to work everything.

Actually, maybe that is how to buff them.

How would adding radar dampening to the decoy drones work? It would have to be relatively long ranged, but that would effectively turn the decoy drone into a "Radar Dampening Booster", similar to a the "Armor Booster" and grant nearby units radar dampening.

D.

edit: Argh! Ninja'd!

But yes, the wiki is correct. I updated that specific page from the 6.009 data files and there were no changes to decoy drones in 6.010.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:02:13 PM by Diazo »

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 04:07:54 PM »
Oh, okay. That's kind of what I figured.

Does the AI automatically focus fire on one, or do they just fire on all the decoy drones first? In either case, seems like it's trivial for missile launching ships to instantly kill all of your decoy drones no problem, as long as there's enough of them... and, if too many decoy drones get in range, then the AI will spread its shots between all of them won't it?
Perhaps the drone needs to...
1. Work on missiles if that's at all feasible.
2. Be a bit restructured such that all enemy ships will pick the same one to attack.

Offline Bognor

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Re: Poll: Worst Unit Of The (time interval) Award (XI)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 06:21:10 PM »
2. Be a bit restructured such that all enemy ships will pick the same one to attack.
This is easily achieved with a little micromanagement: just start with them on stand-by mode and bring them online one by one.

I'm curious - how many people have actually tried putting Decoy Drones underneath a huge stack of force fields, not only saving their fleet tens of millions of damage but also annulling most enemy ships' hull bonuses?
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