Thoughts on the general balance of the game currently

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Nov 12, 2019
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321
#1
So, these are just my thoughts and a little bit of a view I'm having as an alpha tester, versus what my knowledge of the devs vision is.

I've not participated in a lot of fights in the last few months, but I recently dueled the infamous Subway and Solon from Collective. My take away from it was that there is something goofy about the toughness of materials, and the strength of weapons. As well as the number of weapons. Now, the scenario here was a light fighter with 2 laser cannons, and built to be small, versus heavy fighters in single combat. This is obviously not how organic combat will look like.

What this did show me though is that perhaps weapons like rail cannons and plasma cannons are a few things in the negative. There is no reason to not use them. They do a lot of damage, and can be used on a relatively small ship. The weapons aren't heavy or large enough either, making trying to snipe them off a ship not exactly a viable strategy. They can also be used with a spray and pray strategy. Just fill the space with munitions and hope something hits. With rail cannons, this seems counter to their intended use.

I think perhaps instead of a limit of 30 weapons, its 30 points. Lasers and autocannons getting low point values and plasma and rail cannon getting higher ones.

I also think that these two weapons should be larger. Physically, and by mass. There should be pro's and cons to every weapon in every use case, but it seems the idea is that they can all be used equally in all cases (barring the RC's need for more power).

The vision I've understood from the devs is that they want more WW2-esque combat. So wouldn't it make more sense for lasers and autocannons on fighters to be the idea? Sure those WW2 fights may have packed in a good number of machine guns and cannons, but disintegrating an opponent in one or two hits was not realistic. Much less a warship. I think an analog to a RC equipped fighter could be a bomber or a torpedo bomber, but then with 100 shots in the mag, they can stay in the fight awhile.

Another thing is that light fighters should be in some manner competitive, just like corvettes and so on should be. But they aren't. They get no advantage in any way. Nor do corvettes.

The trouble is in the current design of the game, there isn't anything disbarring the use of anything. Anything we could come up with to help either of these groups, like warships, would be usable by heavy fighters, that just get larger and tougher, but their tactics don't change. Its a glaring problem. While I do have ideas on how to deal with it, the thing is, they all just help the heavy fighters be better than they already are. Backend things that could help are speed restrictions, and adjustments to maneuverability, but I don't know enough about that to describe further what I would propose, while the exponential speed scale has been discussed quite a bit.

Maybe when something like radar cross section and radar guided weapons come about, we may see an end to heavy fighter meta, but I don't see it in the current setup and my knowledge of whats on the horizon. Which is a pity. I like large ships myself, meant for crews and cooperation. Some like sneaky little expendable fighters.

I also want to be clear, I'm in no way out to slight Solon and Subway. I learned a lot in those fights. They are also much more skilled in the fighter pilot realm than I am. Their ships are also the product of many people taking a lot of time to make really good ships. I designed mine myself on my own. So kudos to those guys for awesome ships, and those ships makers.
 

five

Master endo
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#2
So, these are just my thoughts and a little bit of a view I'm having as an alpha tester, versus what
The vision I've understood from the devs is that they want more WW2-esque combat. So wouldn't it make more sense for lasers and autocannons on fighters to be the idea? Sure those WW2 fights may have packed in a good number of machine guns and cannons, but disintegrating an opponent in one or two hits was not realistic. Much less a warship. I think an analog to a RC equipped fighter could be a bomber or a torpedo bomber, but then with 100 shots in the mag, they can stay in the fight awhile.
Have you perhaps ever played WarThunder. It's by far not 100% realistic but you know what is realistic? A Spitfire cutting off a Bf109s Wing with its total of 8 Machine-guns, not cannons. They might not have killed a warship in 1 strafe run but take operation obviate where british mosquitos obliterated transporters for ammunition with minimal effort. I think a better equivalent to an Railcannon equipped fighter is something like the Ju-88 P-1 or P-5(which was never built) who had a literal tank cannon built in. or take an A-10 Warthog, it doesnt have a single fire large cannon but the 30mm GAU-8 Avenger could shred a modern warship in one strafe run. No matter if it is using HE or depleted uranium ammunition. to be fair the A-10 is a modern CAS vehicle but take the Ju-87 G as an example it had 2 flakcannons mounted under its wings
 
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#3
Well tank cannon on an airplane is a bit of an overkill and it was not intended against fighters, but 37mm cannons were used regularly in an air-to-air combat during WW2. The point system sounds interesting though. It'd be better to limit it via mass/energy/dps/..., but I woudn't mind the point system now since the game is in a CA.
IMO high rate of fire weapons should be superrior in close range, especially against light armor and long range and heavy weapons should have some disadvantages for fighters, just like in real world - they often carried 1 cannon and 2 or more machine guns, because cannon and its ammo is much heavier (like several times heavier) and hitting a target with 3 rps cannon is just harder than hitting with several 13 rps machine guns.
 

five

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#4
Well tank cannon on an airplane is a bit of an overkill and it was not intended against fighters, but 37mm cannons were used regularly in an air-to-air combat during WW2. The point system sounds interesting though. It'd be better to limit it via mass/energy/dps/..., but I woudn't mind the point system now since the game is in a CA.
IMO high rate of fire weapons should be superrior in close range, especially against light armor and long range and heavy weapons should have some disadvantages for fighters, just like in real world - they often carried 1 cannon and 2 or more machine guns, because cannon and its ammo is much heavier (like several times heavier) and hitting a target with 3 rps cannon is just harder than hitting with several 13 rps machine guns.
109s usually only flew till they ran out machinecannon ammo. And while the 88mm that supposed to go into the ju-88 P-5 wasnt meant to kill other fighters, it was supposed to kill tanks, large ships like corvettes in starbases should and or would qualify as a very slow target, like tanks
 
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#5
None of the examples presented used 6-10 cannons, much less tank and flak ones, though. Their weight and degradation to fighter performance were a factor.
 

CalenLoki

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#6
I wouldn't really waste too much time to balance weapons now, with so many features missing.

Also current meta is medium fighters, as heavy ones are too drifty.

I.e. without precise controls and zoom for pilots/gunners combat is forced into brawling distance.
It favours weapons with high alpha damage (rail/plasma) and those with low projectile velocity (again: plasma)

Having no viable turrets (either pilot or gunner controlled) shorten the distance even more, as you're forced to aim in the same direction as you fly.
Games like Crossout confirms that: fixed weapons + single travel direction + high speed while firing = short distance.

Armour system is just broken. Large plates (that every competitive design use) are almost immune to AC/LC, even with their minimal armour value.

PC and RC are as big as they are, and that won't change. You do balance with numbers, not by changing the model. I.e. any eps increase we had made ship:guns ratio more sane.
I'd love bigger PC (the size of RC), but it would be just dumb to remove small short range type of weapon.

Also none of the current meta ships would be really hindered by limiting AC/RC to 15 per ship, as they use that amount anyway.

Hard limits are the stupidest way of balancing things. They're good for performance, not for balancing. And by that logic AC and LC should cost more points, because they're lagging the game more.

Natural reason to use light fighter would be it's cost. It's a minor balancing factor (manpower is the real limit anyway), but it could have an impact on what people will use. Of course ATM it's nonexistent, because of vouchers.
 
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#7
Item size and mass effects center of gravity and ship design in general. If its a massive large gun, it means massive and large ships.
 
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#8
What about a limit of weapons per seat filled by a player? Just throwing it out there. I haven't thought about anything specific on it.
 

CalenLoki

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#9
Why do you seek for magic gamey solutions rather than physical ones?

What if the seat or player get shoot off? The whole ship suddenly stops moving? Or can't fire any guns?
Why encouraging afk multi-boxing by rewarding it with extra guns?

Want ships to have fewer guns? Make them require more power and upkeep power (same as RC - to discourage battery based alpha strikers).
Want to force multi crew? Make reloads more frequent, make combat repairs more viable, make turrets better (both higher torque and better controls)
Want to encourage armoured ships? Make damage more about penetration than stripping armour layer after layer. So very squishy internals and armour that doesn't loose it's effectiveness (much) under tons of low-calibre dakka.
Or make high VV to gun ratio affect gun cooling speed.
 
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#10
I don't disagree on requiring them to suck down more power.

I'm pretty sure you don't mean to be so aggressive, but I think you know I agree with most of what you say here Calen.

I do think size and mass should also factor in. Powerful weapons should be heavy, large, and meant for larger craft that however is an opinion. Rurrets definitely need a lot of help and I'm bothered by how the new ones haven't yet appeared in the game.
 
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#11
What if the seat or player get shoot off? The whole ship suddenly stops moving? Or can't fire any guns?
Why encouraging afk multi-boxing by rewarding it with extra guns?
I wanted to get to this actually.

I don't think its necessarily bad for weaponry to stop working at the loss of a seat and its occupant. I think many would actually like being able to have a player be able to fire from a CIC, which is frankly much, much easier to design around. However, thus far that isn't in the devs purported vision. As I said though, it wasn't a thought out idea, and it doesn't necessarily bar weaponry by size, but it does set its use by crew size.
 

CalenLoki

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#12
'm pretty sure you don't mean to be so aggressive, but I think you know I agree with most of what you say here Calen.
I didn't mean to be aggressive, sorry if it sounded that. 4 AM makes me a bit too direct and blunt.

There is one problem with making powerful guns big: it will make them too big for mounting on turrets, thus in the end reinforcing fighter-style forward facing setup. So increasing the size of support equipment (that can be outside the turret) instead of the gun itself sounds like a better solution IMO.

Player sitting in a chair is not (necessarily) a crew. More like a passenger. Crew is someone who performs complex meaningful task (like aiming guns, reloading, repairing, fending off boarders, ect.) not just sits.
Allowing passengers to increase ship firepower is illogical. And would lead to AFK players (or just multiboxing alts) being used for extra dakka.
It also discourage having actual crew (other than gunners) as they need to get out of the chair to do their job.

The more abstract balance idea you'll come up with, the more silly way to cheese it will be used.


Another way to encourage crew would be giving each gun a coolant cell. The hotter it gets, the lower gun cooling and ROF. But unlike ammo, which either is or isn't depleted, it's gradual. So crew can provide DPS boost from the very start of the battle, rather than having to wait for ammo to completely run out.
It's also more fair for fighters, as they are punished for not having a crew by gradual DPS reduction, rather than sudden ">click< you're armless now".
 
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#13
If more parts were internal, it would be nice. That and turrets that could be fully enclosed. Enclosing a turret is a pain. But, just because something is large doesn't mean its unable to be used on a turret. I've suggested personally adding a fairly large turret base that has a hatch space in the floor that you can build off of. Then you can mount larger guns into turrets of your own design.
 
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