Author Topic: Swarmer ships  (Read 3960 times)

Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2013, 12:07:35 AM »
I'm voting against a % damage reduction by default, unless that can be easily determined by a unit's stats in a couple seconds... just for the record.

Offline _K_

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2013, 12:37:06 AM »
Quote
The swarmers have 10-80% more Cap DPS than Fighters, and many of them have special abilities as well.

Yeah the problem is that we keep using the basic cap DPS instead of cap DPS against target with X armor. And every damn ship in this game has armor.

I dont know why people believe there are fundamental problems in the current armor mechanic. There arent. The problem is that every ship has it.

Armor is basically a value of "how strong swarmers are against this ship", and thats how it should be used. Not as an arbitrary value given to every unit that is kinda suposed to be tough.

Most fleet ships should not have any armor at all. Even some starships could have their armor reduced to 0. Then swarmers would have a niche, given their cap DPS is high enough.
The problem might be with targeting. Small high-cap ships have low armor and health but high DPS, so they are probably going to be very high in the enemy target list. What this means is that your swarmers are going to be focused, but they are ALSO going to run out of targets they are good against because everything is focusing those as well.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2013, 04:23:43 AM »
Quote
The swarmers have 10-80% more Cap DPS than Fighters, and many of them have special abilities as well.

Yeah the problem is that we keep using the basic cap DPS instead of cap DPS against target with X armor. And every damn ship in this game has armor.

I dont know why people believe there are fundamental problems in the current armor mechanic. There arent. The problem is that every ship has it.

Armor is basically a value of "how strong swarmers are against this ship", and thats how it should be used. Not as an arbitrary value given to every unit that is kinda suposed to be tough.

Most fleet ships should not have any armor at all. Even some starships could have their armor reduced to 0. Then swarmers would have a niche, given their cap DPS is high enough.
The problem might be with targeting. Small high-cap ships have low armor and health but high DPS, so they are probably going to be very high in the enemy target list. What this means is that your swarmers are going to be focused, but they are ALSO going to run out of targets they are good against because everything is focusing those as well.
Only about 2/3 of fleetships have armor, and only 1/3 have armor values above 300.  So, there's not a LOT of armor out there... just enough to mess with low-damage, quick-firing units.
Reducing most units to zero armor completely destroys the Armor Polarizer, though. 
Some swarmers have Armor Piercing, though, which should help.  But somehow, it doesn't.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2013, 06:15:35 AM »
EDIT1: ARRRR the "?" = square root. Apparently this forum doesn't support those fancy symbols

I keep thinking through armor reworks, though, and I'm not really happy with any of the ideas thus far.  Just taking it out altogether is honestly the most appealing option, though that also requires other adjustments.
Damage multiplier=1-1/(?Damage/Armor)/100
Damage done=Damage multiplier*Damage=(1-(1/(?Damage/Armor)/100))*Damage*NumberOfShots*HullBonus
Damage reduction=(1-Damage multiplier)*100=(1-(1-1/(?Damage/Armor)/100))*100
Armor=Armor-ArmorPenetration
If armor < 1 set armor 1
If Damage multiplier < 0,2 set Damage multiplier 0,2. Thus the maximum damage reduction is 80%.
If Damage multiplier > 1 set Damage multiplier 1. I don't think Damage Multiplier can ever go above 1 though.

Fighter
Damage: 4.080
Armor: 300

Missile Frigate
Damage: 9.800
Armor: 300
Multiplier vs Fighter: 6

MRLS
Damage: 8*3.280
Armor: 1.200
Multiplier vs Fighter: 2

Plasma Siege Starship
Damage: 720.000
Armor: 300

Eye Bot
Damage: 8.160
Armor: 0

Armored Golem
Damage: 5*1.000.000
Armor: 100.000

Stats taken from the AIW Wiki

Fighter vs 300 armor target
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?4080/300)/100=0,95
Damage done: (1-(1/(?4080/300)/100))*4080=3888
Fighter vs 600 armor target
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?4080/600)/100=0,90
Damage done: (1-(1/(?4080/600)/100))*4080=3697

Missile Frigate vs 300 armor target
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?9800/300)/100=0,97
Damage done: (1-(1/(?9800/300)/100))*9800=9503
Missile Frigate vs 600 armor target
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?9800/600)/100=0,94
Damage done: (1-(1/(?9800/600)/100))*9800=9206


MRLS vs Fighter
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?3280/300)/100=0,95
Damage done: (1-(1/(?3280/300)/100))*3280*8*2=49730

Plasma Siege Starship vs Eye Bot
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?720000/1)/100=0,999988..
Damage done: (1-(1/(?720000/1)/100))*720000=719992

Armored Golem vs Eye Bot
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?1000000/1)/100=0,99999
Damage done: (1-(1/(?1000000/1)/100))*1000000*5=4999950

Eye Bot vs Armored Golem
Damage multiplier: 1-1/(?8160/100000)/100=-10 --> 0,2 (If Damage multiplier < 0,2 set Damage multiplier 0,2)
Damage done: (1-(1/(?8160/100000)/100))*8160=crazy stuff so ---> 0,2*8160=1632

EDIT2: ok I attached the .txt file if it's easier to read. At least it has the square root sign.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 06:30:12 AM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
echo Check out my AI War strategy guide and find your inner Super Cat!
echo 2592 hours of AI War and counting!
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Offline Bognor

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2013, 08:43:04 AM »
I tend to avoid swarmers for a totally different reason.  I like to scout extensively and early, and use knowledge of what's on the homeworlds to guide my choices about which higher marks to research, which ARSs to hack, and which fabricators to grab.  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 them high-cap ships)
  • Wrath Lance: need ships with individually high hit points --> starships/superweapons/ultra-low-cap ships (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.

      *     *     *

Unrelated to the above, I find it weird that Infiltrators and Laser Gatlings have armor piercing, as it seems contrary to what I thought was the whole point of armor: to make armored ships resistant to lots of small hits.  Compounding the problem, Infiltrators' descriptions describe them as firing "armor-piercing shots", yet their armor piercing is a tiny proportion of their base shot damage, so whether an opponent is armored is a minor factor in how they fare against Infiltrators (Infiltrators are strong against ships like Spire Stealth Battleships with Ultra-heavy hulls but zero armor).  I'd like to have a strong "tough ships resist little guys" mechanic, so I'd suggest eliminating armor piercing in Infiltrators and perhaps other high-cap ships.  I'd also increase armor piercing to 999,999 in Laser Gatlings, uniquely differentiating them as a swarmer that excels against strongly armored ships.
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2013, 09:55:26 AM »
Buffing Swarmers (would also buff some "not so useful" stuff like MRLS turrets and ships

Infiltrators
Infiltrators are the only good/ok swarmers at the moment. If I remember correctly Keith "chose these new stats" himself (weren't suggested by players or something (buffing was suggested stats weren't)) so I'm going to compare other swarmers to kind of compare other swarmers to infiltrators.
Cap: 160
Cap health: 14.880.000
Cap dps: 138.666
Cap dps with bonus: 554.666

Laser Gatlings
Atm| Buffed
Cap: 272|
Cap health: 10.716.800|
Cap dps: 163.200| 231.200
Cap dps with bonus: 293.760| 416.160
I don't think their health needs to be buffed. Missile Frigates would 1 shot these anyway (without OP buffing).
Individual damage 600 to 850

Autocannons
Atm| Buffed
Cap: 196|
Cap health: 10.701.600| 12.661.600
Cap dps: 109.760| 158.760
Cap dps with bonus: 351.232| 476.280
Individual health from 54.600 to 64.600. Missile Frigates would no longer 1 shot Autocannons
Individual damage from 560 to 810
Damage multipliers from 3,2 to 3
Now Autocannons might be worth using. At least they would be scary in AI's hands!

Deflector Drones
Atm| Buffed
Cap: 196| 272
Cap health: 5.213.600| 9.955.200
Cap dps: 109.760| 148.240
Cap dps with bonus: 263.424| 355.776
Individual health from 26600 to 36600
Individual damage reduced from 5600 to 5450
AoE of the laser damage reduction tripled

Paper Planes.. I mean.. Anti-Armor
Atm| Buffed
Cap:196|
Cap health: 5.488.000| 11.524.800
Cap dps: 148.960|
Cap dps with bonus: 357.504|
Individual health from 28000 to 59800. Anti Armors will no longer be 1 shot by Missile Frigates if they're on full health.

Space Plane
These are supposed to be "glass cannons"? Well they're not.. not yet.
Atm| Buffed
Cap: 172|
Cap health: 5.022.400| 6.742.400
Cap dps: 136.836| 175.058
Cap dps with bonus: 437.874| 560.185
Individual health buffed from 29200 to 39200
Individual damage buffed from 7160 to 9160

Etherjet
"Don't sneeze at me plz!"
Atm| Buffed
Cap: 144|
Cap health: 4.896.000| 8.352.000
Cap dps: 117.120|
Cap dps with bonus: 468.480|
Individual health buffed from 34000

Tachyon Microfighter
These things are awesome. They just cost a bit too much imo.
Atm| Buffed
Cap:144|
Cap health: 14.400.000|
Cap dps: 113.280|
Cap dps with bonus: 679.680|
Individual Metal cost changed from 100 to 120
Individual Crystal cost changed from 400 to 320
Total cap cost changed from 72000 to 63360
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 10:07:53 AM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
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) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2013, 10:11:00 AM »
I dont know why people believe there are fundamental problems in the current armor mechanic. There arent. The problem is that every ship has it.
No, there are fundamental problem with the armor system, and they've been explained multiple times in multiple threads on it.  But the short version to catch you up on it has to do with different Mark ships:

A Mark I ships has half the health and damage of a Mark II.  This effectively means two Mark I ships equal a Mark II.  In a perfect world, the 2-on-1 ends with all three ships dying at the same time.  Once you add armor, this breaks.  Neither a fixed armor rating or scaling it with Mark works.  Armor piercing causes similar problems.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2013, 10:46:13 AM »
A Mark I ships has half the health and damage of a Mark II.  This effectively means two Mark I ships equal a Mark II.  In a perfect world, the 2-on-1 ends with all three ships dying at the same time.  Once you add armor, this breaks.  Neither a fixed armor rating or scaling it with Mark works.  Armor piercing causes similar problems.
EDIT: Why should they die at the same time? Who cares?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 11:29:03 AM by Kahuna »
set /A diff=10
if %diff%==max (
   set /A me=:)
) else (
   set /A me=SadPanda
)
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Offline Winge

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2013, 10:58:25 AM »
@Kahuna
2 comments on the ships you listed:
I wouldn't buff Anti-armors quite that much.  Yes, they will be one-shot by Missile Frigates.  However, they have good range and decent speed.  As-is, Missile Frigates can't even catch them.

Space Planes are amazing--if microed.  They are not nearly as good in a fleetball, though.  They have a Radar Dampening range that is shorter than their attack range, which gives them free reign to attack stationary targets.  They are also fast enough to kite most enemy ships.  Once the Ion Cannons and Radar Dampening Immune ships are gone, Space Planes can clear an entire planet.  I've even used them to take out enemy AI Superforts with few, if any, losses (whatever AI ships spawned in the area before I could kite).

More on topic:  I agree with Hearteater that armor needs a rework.  I'm just not sure what form it should take.
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Offline Kahuna

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2013, 11:34:50 AM »
@Kahuna
2 comments on the ships you listed:
I wouldn't buff Anti-armors quite that much.  Yes, they will be one-shot by Missile Frigates.  However, they have good range and decent speed.  As-is, Missile Frigates can't even catch them.

Space Planes are amazing--if microed.  They are not nearly as good in a fleetball, though.  They have a Radar Dampening range that is shorter than their attack range, which gives them free reign to attack stationary targets.  They are also fast enough to kite most enemy ships.  Once the Ion Cannons and Radar Dampening Immune ships are gone, Space Planes can clear an entire planet.  I've even used them to take out enemy AI Superforts with few, if any, losses (whatever AI ships spawned in the area before I could kite).
True
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Offline Aeson

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2013, 12:48:13 PM »
@Hearteater:
In the situation you described, the Mark II ship should destroy both Mark I ships even if it foolishly switched targets with every shot. If it instead focused on one ship at a time, then the Mark II ship should survive with about a quarter of its health remaining and the first Mark I ship would die when the Mark II ship hit ~50% health.

If the Mark II ship had twice as many shots with the same damage per shot as the Mark I instead of having twice the damage per shot and the same number of shots as the Mark I ship, then your scenario could be correct, if the Mark II ship fired half of its shots at one ship and half at the other with each volley.

For everything above, I've assumed that the ships have no armor (or sufficient armor penetration that armor doesn't matter), that the attack ranges are equal at Mark I and Mark II (or they have non-scaling radar dampening to force the engagement range), and that all ships fired at the same time.

If armor doesn't scale with mark level, then the Mark II ship with as many shots per volley as a single Mark I ship has will be favored by armor while the Mark II ship with as many shots per volley as two Mark I ships will not be favored relative to the Mark I ships. If armor does scale with mark level, both variations of the Mark II ship will be favored by armor, but the Mark II ship with twice the damage per shot as a Mark I ship will be more favored by armor than the Mark II ship with twice as many shots as the Mark I ship, assuming that armor represents a flat damage reduction as it currently does. If armor represents a percentage damage reduction, then both variations of the Mark II ship are equally favored with with mark-scaling armor while neither is favored by non-scaling armor (which is one reason why I don't like percentage armor - it doesn't distinguish between being attacked by housecat or a lion, yet if I'm wearing any kind of armor I'd expect to be essentially immune to the housecat, but not necessarily to the lion). There are other possible ways to deal with armor, but percentages and flat reductions are the easiest to work with for a quick example, and also (in my opinion) the most easily understood ways to deal with armor (if damage_dealt = damage*damage/(damage + armor), how much is armor worth? Higher armor numbers are obviously better, but how much better? And that's a relatively simple formula for damage reduction which is dependent on both armor and damage. Similarly, if damage_dealt = damage*X/(armor + 1), what is armor worth? Especially if you don't know what X is, how are you going to decide if the extra armor is worthwhile? Higher armor is still better, but how much better? With linear and percentage reductions you can at least say that if armor value B is twice armor value A, then armor value B is twice as good as armor value A against the same opponent).

Offline Winge

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2013, 01:06:35 PM »
One standard formula that games like Warcraft and LoL use for armor is as follows:  damage reduction = armor / (armor + constant)

A few reduction examples:
armor = 0.25 * constant; reduction = 20%
armor = 0.33 * constant; reduction = 25%
armor = 0.50 * constant; reduction = 33%
armor = 0.75 * constant; reduction = 43%
armor = 1.00 * constant; reduction = 50%
armor = 2.00 * constant; reduction = 67%

The constant can be set as balance dictates.  This means that more armor eventually has less effect.  A max of 80% reduction could still be enforced (to draw a difference between standard attacks and extremely high armor piercing values).  Note that I am not saying that we have to use this mechanic, although it is my preference.  Starcraft I and II both use integer reduction on attacks (similar to AI War now), and I do not feel that armor is imbalanced in those games.  It is only unbalanced in this game because armor and armor piercing numbers haven't been a focus of balancing.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2013, 01:27:36 PM »
@Kahuna and possible Aeson (I can't tell where he was going with his post):
AIW is designed around a cap of Mark Is is equal to a half-cap of Mark IIs.  And this works...unless a ship type has armor.  Then it breaks, and it can break really bad.  As a result, each ship type has a different relative balance against EACH mark of every other ship type.  That's bad.  In fact, one thing AIW won't ever have is ship upgrades because it breaks the ability of players to evaluate ship performance.  Armor does the same thing.

In short, armor indirectly does something the developers have explicitly stated they don't want in the game.  That's why it is broken.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2013, 01:51:50 PM »
In short, armor indirectly does something the developers have explicitly stated they don't want in the game.  That's why it is broken.
Well then the only solution is to remove armor entirely. Boom! Problem solved!
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Swarmer ships
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2013, 02:00:10 PM »
In short, armor indirectly does something the developers have explicitly stated they don't want in the game.  That's why it is broken.
Well then the only solution is to remove armor entirely. Boom! Problem solved!
It may not be quite that simple. There's controversy over whether the game's mechanics will be complex enough once armor is removed.

Personally, I think it will, but it will require a complete overhaul of basically every ship in the game. And each ship will have to have a much more FOCUSED role than before. You can't just say, well these are both swarmers, but one is good against armor, and one is good against light units. They're going to have to have something else to separate them than that, and with so many bonus ship types, finding meaningful distinctions between them all will be difficult.

Still, this is something that needed to be done anyway. The role overlap was already a problem, and having certain ships that are just blatantly better than others overall is an issue that already exists within the game.

What I would like to do, assuming we remove the armor mechanic entirely, is have an entire thread devoted to giving each bonus ship a role, as voted on by the community, in the wake of armor's disappearance.  This way we could get a nice consensus on what players would actually USE them for, instead of what would be good in theory (such as Spire Armor Rotters or Zenith Chameleons). I wouldn't even mind cutting down the amount of bonus ships by about 25% if the ones that were left were all extremely well-defined and useful, with little overlap. No reason to keep things around just for novelty's sake, but then again, I'm not a very sentimental person.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 02:03:05 PM by Wingflier »
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