Author Topic: Immunities and Ammo  (Read 400 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Immunities and Ammo
« on: August 31, 2016, 04:49:37 AM »
Hull type + bonus AND ammo + immunity AND armor + armor piercing = TOO MUCH
GOAL: make the game more READABLE (but do NOT make it more simple); make it more coherent, thus more easy to understand and to learn.

Ammo describe what an attack effect is. All ships with a common ammo must have the same effect, and a specific effect must concern only one ammo. Ammo shouldn't convey inability to harm a specific kind of target; that's the job of hull types and zero-hull-multiplier. Ammo must convey theme (and theme only) or mechanism.

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   Example of things which are wrong

* Zombard have a bonus against structural, but their ammo is antimatter and FFields (one of the rare structural things) is immune to antimatter bombs.
* Human raid starship has a bonus against turrets but AIs don't use turrets since a long time.
* Eye bots are immune to missiles and are refractive, but the triangle ship that has a bonus against refractive is also the one that has missile ammo. That seems particularly unfair, especially considering the double ability of eye bots to be cloaked and to ignore FFields.
* Some reclamation immunities are important; other sounds abusive. Rules on reclamation should be more consistent: only fleetships but the ones that do reclamation, the short lived ones (younglings), the suicidal ones, and the self-reproducing one (Viral Shredder). Other fleetships with reclamation immunity must loose it or, if they have a cap<10 and instakill immunity, join the starship pool.
* Immunity to blade/fusion cutter is too widely spread: nearly all starships and GPosts are immune to fusion cutters. If this is a question of balance for the sole vampire claw, it must be a restriction ON the vampire claw! (Like "can only attack fleetships / mobile-small".) And if one day (maybe today) this restriction (for the sole vampire claw) seems too restrictive and imbalanced, only the concerned unit must change, not 90% of AIW's units!!!
* Nothing should be immune to thematic ammunition. However some rare ammo immunities might be okay, but some units have too much of them: sniper + missile for leech starship and eye bot, for instance, or rad.damp + missile immunity for raid starships. That allows AI's units to be a real pain on some turret packs and player's units to destroy missile GPosts with complete impunity. For instance, MkII+ raid starships make neutering so easy and boring: chain-target all missile and MLRS GPosts and go for the next. Worst: missile/MLRS GPosts are the only ones to have bonus against ULight! High mark raid starships are able to take down non-missile GPosts under FFields; not without impunity but able; that makes a good dynamic (similar to risk/reward). Also, their rad.damp makes them potent at sneaking in AI territory and under long ranged GPosts' area; unfortunately, the longer ranged GPost is the missile GP, which entirely ruins that otherwise interesting dynamic. For instance, sniper guardians have bonus against ULight and maximum armor piercing, and are able to cause tremendous damages to raid starships, but only at closer range thanks to their rad.damp. That makes a good dynamic: players must avoid sniper guardians or destroy them in absolute priority, but they are still able to sneak in AI territory: that's balanced and interesting. Missile immunity is neither.

   More general things that aren't right

* Units have immunities to effects and ammo types, which makes some very long and complicated lists. There is also a confusion between immunities and interdictions, like immunity to transport, repair, cloaking, etc.
* Hull bonuses and ammo types aren't related. This is utterly confusing. Ammo shouldn't has an impact on the gameplay; not displaying it in ship's ID card would be good, sound and image are enough.
* Missile immunity is ill balanced, sometimes nasty surprises and often just frustrating, like on leeches.
* Many units have numerous, very specific ammo immunities, like fusion cutters, blade attacks, ram, dark matter, antimatter, etc, which are use by very few and rare ships. It clutters the immunity line on so many ships and buildings.
* Other side of the same problem: some ammo type are very specific (sometimes only one ship, IIRC) and convey no coherence, which a thematic feature such as ammo must convey. (If it's gameplay, it can be specific for balance reasons, but if it's roleplay, it must unite the whole game and be utterly coherent while having no impact on the gameplay.)
* The sniper-shot immunity is highly disturbing because it's not even an ammo type. Radar dampening mush be enough; however some units are "immune" to radar dampening.
* Immunities are positive perks. Restrictions like repair-immunity, cloaking-immunity, armor-, attack- and speed-boost (and personal attack-boost limit too), must be listed in a separated list, incidentally named "Restrictions".

   Design rules that must be respected

Ammo describe what an attack effect is. All ships with a common ammo must have the same effect, and a specific effect must concern only one ammo. Ammo shouldn't convey inability to harm a specific kind of target; that's the job of hull types and zero-hull-multiplier. Ammo must convey theme (and theme only) or mechanism.

Inability for a ship to attack a target must be worn by the attacking ship, because the reason of this inability come from the attacking ship (it would be imbalanced to let a ship with some very special ability, like teleporting or FField-ignore attack key targets).

If a unit or structure needs to be protected from ships with special abilities, it shouldn't list all the abilities it is immune to, but instead BE a key target (which several ships will individually be unable to attack). The command-grade hull type is made for that.

To implement that, all ammo immunities must disappear, ammo must have no impact on gameplay (and can be removed from ships' ID cards and relayed to only sound and image) and special ships must take a hull "bonus" of zero against said targets, essentially command-grade and eventually structural. Ships with both cloaking and FField-ignore abilities must be unable to hit command-grade; infinite range might. Also, the command-grade hull must be slightly more common, specially on capturable key structures (see hull revamp).

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   List of current ammunition:
Acid: thematic.
Antimatter bomb: remove.
Artillery: remove.
Beam weapon: specify. Split between Zenith beam (linear AoE), Human beam (instantaneous carving) and Spire beam (slow carving).
Blade: thematic (remove immunity to blade; it's the role of the ship to explicit what it cannot harm).
Dark Matter: remove (same as blade).
Energy Bomb: thematic.
Energy Bomb: thematic.
Energy Wave: thematic.
Flame Wave: thematic.
Flare: "no weapon".
Fusion Cutter: merge with blade.
Implosion: mechanical (damage proportional to target's HP).
Impulse Reaction: mechanical (damage proportional to target's Energy).
Ion Beam: mechanical (instakill fleetship with <= Mk).
Laser: thematic.
Major Electric: mechanical (centered AoE).
Mass Driver: mechanical (can target only big things).
Minor Electric: thematic (if tele-things must be unable to harm specific things, use zero-hull-bonus instead).
Missile: thematic.
Railgun: thematic (if things are immune to sniper shots, give them radar dampening; also "sniper shot" isn't an ammo).
Ram: thematic/suicidal.
Shell: thematic.

   Comment:
Too much "thematic only", many mechanisms without ammo (reclamation, zombie-insanity, polarizer, paralyzer, etc).

   Ammo List Proposal:
Zenith Beam
Spire Beam
Human Beam / Heat Beam
Plasma Bomb (for Plasma Starship, ZSEngine, Plasma Eye, Plasma Guardian, etc; if the firing ship has special (engine, reclamation, etc) damage, the splash also do that damage.)
?? (reclamation damage) "Reclamation Nanites"?
?? (insanity damage) "Insanity Nanites"?
?? (armor damage; for SARotter, ACannon MPod... that's all?) "Acid"?
?? (engine damage; for all "spider" things and RiotCSS's shotgun)
?? (Impulse Reaction)
?? (Implosion)
?? (Doom-accelerator; NYVulture and champion module.)
?? (Translocation)
?? (Paralysis)
Railgun (no travel time; not necesarilly infinite range; not necesarilly bumpback-translocation.)
Ion Beam (instakill fleetship with <= Mk; no need for instakill immunity on starships; rename "ion immunity" for immune fleetships.)
Dark Matter (always paired with a zero-hull-multiplier against Command-Grade, which should be more widely and accurately spread, like on all "chivalric" un-targets. NO IMMUNITY TO ANTIMATTER AND DARK MATTER!)
Blade (thematic/contact; Fusion Cutter merged with this; no immunity to blade attacks, instead zero-hull-bonus against Command-Grade.)
Ram (for suicidal, including ZABomb, NYNanoswarm, etc.)
Major Electric (for centered AoE)
Artillery (can't target fleetships; for OMD, Arachnid things, Artillery Golem.)
Flare (1-damage weapons.)

   Thematic Ammunition:
Missile
Shell
Energy Bomb ( != Plasma Bomb)
Laser
   Thematic Exotic Ammunition:
Acid
Flame Wave
Minor Electric
Energy Busrt (Meh)
Energy Wave (Meh)

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   Current rules for immunity attribution:
- All tractors are immune to tractors.
- All reclaimers are immune to reclamation.
- All swallowers are immune to swallow.
- All teleporters are immune to tractors.

   Allowed Immunities Proposal:
Ion Beam: "Instakill" convey a wrong idea.
AoE: both Zenith Beam, Major Electric and Plasma splash.
Translocation: both bumpback and true translocation.
Tractor: both normal and widow version.
Reclamation: also works for insanity; can be named "nanites immunity".
Engine Damage: instead of "Inf. Engine Health"?
Paralysis: only the corresponding ammo.
Mines
Swallow
Force Field (might be moved as "ignore FFields" perk)
   Disallowed Immunities Proposal:
Sniper Shot: radar dampening instead.
Missile: radar dampening instead.
Minor Electric: command-grade hull instead.
Blade & Fusion Cutter: command-grade hull instead.
Beam weapons: utterly confusing.
Swallow: also, ships with the swallow perk must precise if they can swallow only fleetships or only big ships (starships, guardians; golems and dire guardians must be in a class above starship).

   Immunities moved to "Constraint" Proposal:
Repair
Cloak
Transport
Speed/Armor/Attack boost (and boost-limits)

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Unabilities for ships to hurt some special things must be bore by the attacking ship, not the target. For instance, instead of having special buildings immune to dark matter and fusion cutters and blades and minor electric and etc, make special buildings have the special command-grade hull type and make all ships that shouldn't destroy them (infiltrators, vampire claws, telethings, etc) unable to doing so by giving them the hull multiplier "command-grade 0". That would be much clearer: in the player's mind, ship X has some special abilities that would make it too powerful if IT would be able to destroy key buildings, so IT has the perk that prevent it from doing so. (Currently, certain ships have certain ammo and certain buildings are immune to certain ammo; that is very unclear!)
-> So: no more dark-matter/anti-matter ammo, no more silly immunities like blades, etc, and all special ships (everything that ignores FFields and teleport) has a hull "bonus" of 0 against command-grade. Also make ion/OMD/WHInterceptors, the energy collectors, advanced facto/SShip, core fabricators/controllers, etc have the command-grade hull type. Because this is what they ARE.
-> The main problem is that the hull type doesn't tell what the unit IS. All younglings must be swarmers, most cloaked must have the same hull type, etc. Maybe even starships must all have the same hull (or at least two or three, but at least one that is entirely specific the the starshipness).
-> ultra-light/light/medium/heavy/ultra-heavy are lame hull names and doesn't convey much uniqueness. Other "exotic" hull types must have a better "meaning" by being attributed to similar ships (polycrystal, artillery, swarmer, etc are ok, but neutron, refractive, etc... they're not bad, just unclear / hard to understand).
-> streamline ammo types; it needs to be just flavor, no gameplay. Hull types, bonuses and immunities are here for the gameplay; immunity to ammo is too much. I think ammo must be used to reflect the noise/picture of the shot and eventually name a special feature (reclaim, insanity, lance-kind, etc).
-> REMOVE "UNAFFECTED BY NEGATIVE ENERGY"! This must be an immunity, not a perk, and even as immunity, it must be removed!!!

Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Immunities and Ammo
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 05:16:59 PM »
+1 to this.
I've probably got some quibbles over exact details, but I'm not going to bother.  It's stuff like "I'm ok with dark matter and antimatter as separate ammo types" and not actually a critique on the idea.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Immunities and Ammo
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 05:34:08 PM »
I like the idea proposed there, but I'd go further on the damage immunity part.

Remove the damage immunities altogether, replace them by fixed damage reduction + % damage reduction. Some high enough to provide immunities again... up to a point. Like, a fire won't harm a steel door, but a lightsaber will. Then group the categories proposed there even further into more generic categories, like "plasma, kinetic, laser, cutting..." probably less than 10. Then each units would have their "resistance stats", for all damage types, and weapons could have multiple damage types (exploding bullets: 2 piercing damage, 20 "plasma" damage / shot).

If you do this, it would open the door to "protective units", giving for example 10 damage reduction for one damage type around them. Possibly an alternative to shields.

PS: It could also give way to planetary "bonuses", like fighting in "nebula" planets could give +20% damage on all plasma weapons (because the gaz ignites when plasma hits).
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 05:36:36 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Immunities and Ammo
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 05:39:20 PM »
Then each units would have their "resistance stats", for all damage types, and weapons could have multiple damage types (exploding bullets: 2 piercing damage, 20 "plasma" damage / shot).

This just moves the already-bad hull-type-multipliers from the attacker to the defender.  I'm not ok with that.

I'd rather it be purely based on the hull type: Plasma Bombs don't hurt swarmers like at all, because they can dodge, but fixed structures can't dodge and have to take the full blow (and plasma bombs were designed to blow through structures).

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Immunities and Ammo
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 05:49:04 PM »
I'd rather it be purely based on the hull type: Plasma Bombs don't hurt swarmers like at all, because they can dodge, but fixed structures can't dodge and have to take the full blow (and plasma bombs were designed to blow through structures).

Well, my point was to remove hull types, actually :D. I don't find them intuitive at all. Well, depends what you're calling hull types though. The whole "heavy, light, artillery..." system is among what I'd remove if possible.

That said, I see your point.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Immunities and Ammo
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 05:55:34 PM »
Ammo/Hull is effectively the same as Pokemon's super effective grid (and no one's ever really had a problem with it, just problems with individual pokemon having weird types, or some type bonuses making no sense).

Ammo/Hull is just slightly more flexible (that is: we could mount a water cannon on top of a fire type if we really wanted to).