Ways to limit gun spam and glass cannons

CalenLoki

Master endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
741
#1
Arguably, glass cannon meta is not fun.
And it seems that it's what ruling the battlefields now.
Here's an example of good adaptation of current mechanics: Nightblade used by Collective
Nightblade.png


Since we're in CA, it's a perfect time to think of some way to discourage it.
Preferably without dumb hard limits (Crossout style), unless they're dictated by technical limitations.


Current ideas I came across. One or combination of several ones could solve the problem:

1. Give ship weapons recoil, so too many on too small ship will make it tumble/slow down/stop.
Most likely requires 2. as well to be consistent with thrusters.

2. Make guns apply stress to the ship frame, same way as thrusters currently do. Too many guns close together will fell from the ship.
It would require hinges, sliders and turrets to transfer forces to the frame.
(by Kenetor)

3. Make firing each gun increase heat of all the weapons on the ship by certain amount, divided by ship mass.
So for given mass you'd be limited to certain amount of sustained firepower that can't be increased by adding more guns.
Or make ship mass affect gun cooling speed (more mass, higher radiation speed)
Spamming guns would be still useful for alpha strikes.
(initial idea by Dr. Dangerously Dynamic, heavily modified by me)

4. Make ammo have bigger boom, so unarmoured guns are as dangerous to the user as to enemy.
That requires stronger turrets, so big ships can protect their guns with plating.

5. Make batteries explosive, so there is no way to power so many guns on a fighter without becoming an flying bomb. Explosion doesn't need to be big - just large enough that stacked bats and beams connected to them pop together.

6. Increase guns power use even further, so you need more explosive internal parts for every used gun.

7. Weapon with very high muzzle velocity (possibly hitscan, but that's boring) and low penetration, dedicated to shoot down agile unarmoured targets. (By Quinc)


Already planned features that may fix the problem:

a. Stronger armour materials.

b. AoE weapons like Flak cannon.

c. Mouse and joystick support would make hitting targets easier, thus lowering importance of speed and volume of fire.

d. Cap on batteries output forces ships to have more generators.

What do ye think?
Is the gun spam meta good or bad?
How could it be changed?
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
1
#3
My opinion on it is that heat is probably an effective way to nerf gunchairs without artificial hard constraints. The heat I would see goes into the frame and slows the cooling depending on how much stuff there is. A fighter that size could realistically sustain say, two guns at the current performance but if more are added they slow the cooldown rate and possibly increase the rate that the guns gain heat. This would make it so you could fire, but not for long and not very sustainably.
 

Recatek

Meat Popsicle
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
286
#4
I think this is more a (predictable) consequence of the very short TTK on ships. Why invest in a big, expensive, heavily armored ship if it only affords you mere seconds of additional survival? It's worth withholding judgment here until we have armor plates that inherit material properties, but I think the way to fix this is to make ships last longer in general in combat.
 

Quevin

Active endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
30
#5
I think this is more a (predictable) consequence of the very short TTK on ships. Why invest in a big, expensive, heavily armored ship if it only affords you mere seconds of additional survival? It's worth withholding judgment here until we have armor plates that inherit material properties, but I think the way to fix this is to make ships last longer in general in combat.
It's not about very short TTK though, It's about small fighter having too many guns!
 

XenoCow

Master endo
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
572
#6
I like the recoil idea since it doesn't prevent this kind of behavior, just makes the glass that much thinner and more challenging to use/design.

I do worry about the heat effects being used to manage the number of guns so directly. If anyone here has played Mechwarrior: Online, this should ring your "Ghost Heat" bells.

Lastly, I Also think that armor differentiation is going to make a big difference in the future. I expect the flack cannon will also play a big role in swatting the flies.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
576
#7
Currently, I think we're missing too many features to be able to tell what we should have done. We need the material properties added in for sure. Balancing of reactors, cooling needs, and so on, may also be called for.
 

Azelous

Veteran endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
100
#8
The game needs a reason not to have a ship covered only in guns, being small is a reaction to that meta. A buff in armor or an increase cost for using so many guns, both would see fewer guns used.

Suggestions:
  • Ammo heavier
  • Ammo require more space on ship
  • Turrets heavier to reduce turn rate on ships with high turret to volume ratio
  • Nerf thrusters, requiring more of them to get desired combat speed, and requiring more ship surface dedicated to maneuverability and not turrets.
 
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
7
#9
I am always amazed by how everyone is so ready to swing the nerf bat, this time at the "glass canons." Lets start with the fact that all of the features have not been implemented to fully balance the game. I suggest we change this thread to "suggestion for items or tactics to counter" this issue.

First, from all of the videos that I have seen there is only one thickness of plating. Maybe Frozenbyte could add some plating that is x2 or x3 thickness to reduce that number of plates/bolts that is required for heavier armor. When this is added to better armor values of other plate material (not implemented yet), armor would not be completely useless. On a larger ship, this would give you time to have repair parties fix the damage in the middle of the fight.

I like the idea of the flak gun. Maybe different ammo for the guns. But a proximity warhead for a missile could do the same thing (I believe I heard this was planned, I could be wrong)

The idea I like the most and haven't seen anyone attempt would be the tractor beam. Can a large ship tractor beam a moving object? What if a much larger ship catches a smaller one in a tractor beam, the smaller ship can still go full thrust but now has to attempt to drag the larger one with it. Now you have placed the smaller ship at the mercy of the larger one. Of course this could work in reverse also. Five or six fighters get a tractor beam on a frigate to keep it from fleeing or make it easier to hit with torpedoes or whatever else you can think of. This may even work now and it maybe that no one has tried it.

But for me, I would prefer new ideas instead of nerf,nerf,nerf.
 

Azelous

Veteran endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
100
#10
I am always amazed by how everyone is so ready to swing the nerf bat, this time at the "glass canons." Lets start with the fact that all of the features have not been implemented to fully balance the game. I suggest we change this thread to "suggestion for items or tactics to counter" this issue.

First, from all of the videos that I have seen there is only one thickness of plating. Maybe Frozenbyte could add some plating that is x2 or x3 thickness to reduce that number of plates/bolts that is required for heavier armor. When this is added to better armor values of other plate material (not implemented yet), armor would not be completely useless. On a larger ship, this would give you time to have repair parties fix the damage in the middle of the fight.

I like the idea of the flak gun. Maybe different ammo for the guns. But a proximity warhead for a missile could do the same thing (I believe I heard this was planned, I could be wrong)

The idea I like the most and haven't seen anyone attempt would be the tractor beam. Can a large ship tractor beam a moving object? What if a much larger ship catches a smaller one in a tractor beam, the smaller ship can still go full thrust but now has to attempt to drag the larger one with it. Now you have placed the smaller ship at the mercy of the larger one. Of course this could work in reverse also. Five or six fighters get a tractor beam on a frigate to keep it from fleeing or make it easier to hit with torpedoes or whatever else you can think of. This may even work now and it maybe that no one has tried it.

But for me, I would prefer new ideas instead of nerf,nerf,nerf.
Quite agree. New ideas that the community would appreciate could tip the balance too far if implemented with a nerf. Should the new features not create optimal balance, I think this conversation would be relevant.
 

CalenLoki

Master endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
741
#11
I am always amazed by how everyone is so ready to swing the nerf bat, this time at the "glass canons." Lets start with the fact that all of the features have not been implemented to fully balance the game. I suggest we change this thread to "suggestion for items or tactics to counter" this issue.

First, from all of the videos that I have seen there is only one thickness of plating. Maybe Frozenbyte could add some plating that is x2 or x3 thickness to reduce that number of plates/bolts that is required for heavier armor. When this is added to better armor values of other plate material (not implemented yet), armor would not be completely useless. On a larger ship, this would give you time to have repair parties fix the damage in the middle of the fight.

I like the idea of the flak gun. Maybe different ammo for the guns. But a proximity warhead for a missile could do the same thing (I believe I heard this was planned, I could be wrong)

The idea I like the most and haven't seen anyone attempt would be the tractor beam. Can a large ship tractor beam a moving object? What if a much larger ship catches a smaller one in a tractor beam, the smaller ship can still go full thrust but now has to attempt to drag the larger one with it. Now you have placed the smaller ship at the mercy of the larger one. Of course this could work in reverse also. Five or six fighters get a tractor beam on a frigate to keep it from fleeing or make it easier to hit with torpedoes or whatever else you can think of. This may even work now and it maybe that no one has tried it.

But for me, I would prefer new ideas instead of nerf,nerf,nerf.
I'm always amazed that by how many people answer in threads without reading even the first post. It's written there that already planned features may fix the problem. Which doesn't change the fact that we can think about other changes, in case of the planned one aren't enough.

There are plates 3,4,12,24 and 48cm thick in game.
People just don't use them, because they think that there is no difference.
The thinnest one are the most mass efficient, the thickest pretty much worthless. That's because of current damage mechanics.

Proximity warhead for missiles are planned, but I didn't heard anything about frag warheads. Current explosion ignore direct line of sight (phase through armour), so it can't be used with increased radius as AoE weapon - it would be too powerful against slow targets (destroying cables through plating) and rather useless against fast ships (missiles are slow and dumbfire).
But I hope that devs will find a way, when they'll be working on flak.

I don't really see tractor beam being too useful. It has (and should have) much lower force per mass than thrusters, so you'd need huge amount of them to stop even a single fighter. It's also rather short range.
And if you can hit a fighter with it, then surely you can hit it with railcannon as well, which is instant KO.
Unless you meant some completely different device, in which case please elaborate.
 
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
7
#12
Thickness is one thing but you are still miss what material it is made of. Linked are the material properties from the wiki Bastium (which is what everything is currently made of) has an armor value of 500 and a density of 50. Now if we look at Oninum, it has an armor value of 3500 and a density of 120. So just the armor value alone is seven times higher than what everyone is using.

So again, there is no point worrying about it until we see how it plays out once material is added.

https://wiki.starbasegame.com/index.php/Materials
 
Joined
May 21, 2020
Messages
2
#13
I think adding recoil for the size for the ship the more guns you have the more uncontrollable of a ship you will have to operate making ships of that design unpractical and utterly useless altho my opinion is not something to be taken hardly as i have barley seen and starbase game play besides the promo but i do hope to improve my knowledge when the game comes out
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2019
Messages
576
#14
I think adding recoil for the size for the ship the more guns you have the more uncontrollable of a ship you will have to operate making ships of that design unpractical and utterly useless altho my opinion is not something to be taken hardly as i have barley seen and starbase game play besides the promo but i do hope to improve my knowledge when the game comes out
Its a pain enough to get ships moving when they're large without getting knockback from recoil.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2020
Messages
15
#15
Its a pain enough to get ships moving when they're large without getting knockback from recoil.
If it would be implemented in such a way that it takes mass of the ship it's attached to into account, once you are moving, this would no longer be a problem. Or you would have to just add more thrust to the ship.

Recoil would also open up the interesting possibility of engineering a recoil dampening system with rails or something for large single shot weapons like the rail cannon.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
2
#16
Heat and power output would be an easy way to regulate this. but the community will always find away.
Another idea could be mass locking for example a 1 tonne ship only gets one weapon hard point where as a 2 tone ship gets 2. this will allow ships of bigger sizes to be more sort after for there weapon load outs rather than loading loads of guns on to one ship. again class of weapons would allow you to lock heavy weapons to heavy ships.
 

CalenLoki

Master endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
741
#17
Another idea could be mass locking for example a 1 tonne ship only gets one weapon hard point where as a 2 tone ship gets 2. this will allow ships of bigger sizes to be more sort after for there weapon load outs rather than loading loads of guns on to one ship. again class of weapons would allow you to lock heavy weapons to heavy ships.
Hard artificial limits are never a good way to go. They only show that dev have no idea how to create gradual formulas to limit specific behaviour.
 

Quinc

Well-known endo
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
56
#18
A large part of why the fast and hard to hit ships succeed is the control scheme of the game. I think it is better this way but it is tough to aim your ship. I don't want the more common system where the distance you move your mouse is directly proportional to amount of rotation. In Space Engineers increasing my mouse sensitivity had the exact same effect as adding more gyroscopes (turning devices), that is just wrong. A possible improvement is to have the two rotation levels tied to your mouse or joystick. Such that: move your mouse left to start turning left, move it farther to turn faster, move it back to the center to stop turning. Another idea: An advanced MFC that causes the ship to orient itself to where the pilot is currently looking (of course you can install a button to turn it off and look around).

As VonKronk mentioned there are plans to have multiple materials for armor and the default is one of the worst for armor. You can use almost any material, though ice and Xhalium probably have better uses. A tough but slow ship almost requires a tough but heavy material. The 'armor meta' simply has not been implemented yet. Tracking torpedoes and missiles with proximity detonation are also planned, and those will counter the fragile speedsters, often in the first moments of a fight. We will have to wait and see what the effect will be.

If fragile speedsters continue to dominate we might need a hard counter. Weapons that more easily fast moving targets would be the best direct counter. Having some sort of flak (proximity triggered fragmentation explosion) weapon would obviously be a strong hard counter. Personally I would like to see a hit-scan laser weapon (since lasers move at 300,000,000 m/s not 300 m/s). There are other space ship games that counter small fast ships by introducing a specialized device that literally slows them down, which is the hardest hard counter. These things also work to prevent their escape. As VonKronk also mentioned somebody needs to try out the tractor beam. A developer video suggests you could use cargo lock beams, but that seems impractical.

Adding recoil to weapons could have the opposite effect, as it makes it hard to hit things. Even if only lightweight ships are affected by recoil, they can more easily close distance to compensate for accuracy, and they only slow down when actually firing, i.e. when they have lined up their shot already and slow down for accuracy.
 

CalenLoki

Master endo
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
741
#19
That's true. Current clunky control scheme encourage bullet spam to compensate for imprecision.
Although that may just shift the combat from short range dogfight to long range strafe-dodge slugfest, in which small, hard to hit ships with strong frontal shield and mainly lateral thrust would still dominate large ships. Only time will tell.

I don't think devs would ever go for SE style turning. At lest not exclusively. And turning speed will be always limited by actual manoeuvring thrusters.

I'll mouse/joystick to OP as already planned feature.


I'm very against hitscan weapons, as they both lower required skill and make cheaters life easier. Very fast (i.e. 3000m/s), low penetration and low accuracy gun would be ok. But not hitscan.

I'll add it to OP as well.
Even though it's more aimed at agile ships, while here we focus mostly on gun spam.
 

Verbatos

Veteran endo
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Aug 9, 2019
Messages
220
#20
I think the stress applied from guns would be a good idea, maybe also have a weapon aiming system like in Crossout, where the guns track to the mouse, but the crosshair displayed is only from the closest target, so crosshairs would split if two guns are aiming in different spots.
Even if the ship-mounted guns only have 30-degree movement, it'll be better than nothing.
 
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