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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:55 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Currently, the PP cost per damage point given by each weapon decreases with the tech level (i.e. death rays are more PP efficient than plasmas, which are more efficient than lasers, etc.).

I know that, at least me, my first impulse is to give better efficiency PP/damage ratios to newer parts (as it is done in FO right now), because they required way more RP investment than the older techs and that should have its pay back, right? But looking into it more carefully, I see that having better weapons have more advantages:
- Each weapon does more damage per slot, so you can pack up more damage for each hull+shield+stuff (i.e. you get extra cost efficiency), or the same damage for less slots and PPs and add extra armor (so your weapons are more durable).
- Each weapon does more damage per hit, which allows to surpass shield defenses. This means that higher tech weapons become infinitely more efficient (cost/damage) than weapons that became obsolete against newer shields.

The point is I think the combat is relatively unbalanced when a massive old-tech fleet is facing a relatively modest cut-edge fleet. I mean, if the situation allows you to do so (you are stealthed, or map is huge, or can fence off stronger enemies using comsats and defenses), you can neglect army construction and rush research while your enemy keeps pumping more and more ships, then you focus on industry and start pumping ships with hulls and parts one or two tiers higher than his, and with less than half his fleet (in PPs) you trample over them with little loses. That way is rather cost efficient for the one that rushed research (the enemy has lost a lot of PPs that were good for nothing, and you can now ravage system after system). In other words, it is seldom a good idea to devote much resources to early tech armies, because those will be made obsolete soon and you'll be falling behind in the expansion and research races. However, I think going that strategy should be a viable strategy too, just for the sake of diversity and fun.

Therefore, given these advantages that higher tier weapons have over lower tier weapons, I suggest to change the base costs of the weapons to make them all have the same PP cost per damage point (or even make higher tier weapons actually more expensive per PP). This does not gives an advantage to older weapons, just removes one of the advantages of the newest weapons.

Currently:

Weapon - basedmg - maxdmg - bldcost - cost/basedmg - cost/maxdmg
Flak .... --- 3 --- 6 -- 20 -- 6.67 -- 3.33
MD ..... --- 3 --- 6 -- 20 -- 6.67 -- 3.33
Laser .. --- 5 -- 11 -- 30 -- 6.00 -- 2.73
Plasma. --- 9 -- 18 -- 40 -- 4.44 -- 2.22
DR ..... -- 15 -- 30 -- 60 -- 4.00 -- 2.00

Suggested:

Weapon - basedmg - maxdmg - bldcost - cost/basedmg - cost/maxdmg
Flak .... --- 3 --- 6 -- 20 -- 6.67 -- 3.33
MD ..... --- 3 --- 6 -- 20 -- 6.67 -- 3.33
Laser .. --- 5 -- 11 -- 35 -- 7.00 -- 3.19
Plasma. --- 9 -- 18 -- 60 -- 6.67 -- 3.33
DR ..... -- 15 -- 30 - 100 -- 6.67 -- 3.33

If it is not a problem to change base laser damage from 5 to 6, we can get it nicer:
Laser .. --- 6 -- 12 -- 40 -- 6.67 -- 3.33

The gain from this change should be a better balance between old-tech vs new-tech weaponry (maybe extendable to other ship parts like armour).

The unbalanced upkeep of small hulls vs big hulls is still an unsolved issue (correct me if I'm wrong), as commented here (with a useful addition here), and that issue was better treated in another thread that I can't find right now (and I know there was also some thread on upkeep and influence, that once implemented will pay for the increasing upkeep of growing armies, but that's not the solution for the many small vs few huge unbalance). But note the suggestion on this thread is not about the upkeep for the many vs few unbalance but only about base cost of weapons for another different unbalance issue.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:35 am 
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Space Squid

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The converse is that this favors early rush strategies. Those early crummy fleets become relatively more attractive and relatively less crummy.

Far from a boondoggle, these early fleets already have important uses. If later fleets aren't significantly better, why not focus on industry to build an overwhelming tide of junk? (Which isn't as junky as it was.)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:22 am 
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Release Manager, Design
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Hm, I think it is worth a try. Oberlus has some points here.

However, I wouldn't change the damage output of the weapons, as that would create balance issues with armor and shield parts. Instead, I suggest to increase the cost of the higher tier weapon parts.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:37 pm 
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While I would be fine with some increase to the cost of higher end parts, I don't think the situation is quite as lopsided as so far has been presented-- wandering Molecular Clouds do a great deal to flip the balance in favor of a horde of lower-tech ships within their boundaries, and lower tech ships can also always serve the purpose of anti-fighter forces.

So I would be inclined to see the higher tech parts still have some inherent PP cost efficiency, even if less so than now.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:15 pm 
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Space Dragon
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ovarwa wrote:
The converse is that this favors early rush strategies. Those early crummy fleets become relatively more attractive and relatively less crummy.

Far from a boondoggle, these early fleets already have important uses. If later fleets aren't significantly better, why not focus on industry to build an overwhelming tide of junk? (Which isn't as junky as it was.)
I completele agree with you. My point is I think the later fleets are more than significantly better, are OP. When I play using the early rush strategy I get worse results than with more research/expansion focused strategy, with the obvious exception of galaxies cluttered of enemies (<15 systems per player).
I'm not completely sure on this, but it's my impression from my gameplay (that might be wrong, so I will test on my own the suggested change, it only involves FOCS).
Although I would trust way more the opinion on this from a multiplayer FO gamer than my own opinion (we all know that playing only against AI is for the weak).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:17 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Vezzra wrote:
However, I wouldn't change the damage output of the weapons, as that would create balance issues with armor and shield parts. Instead, I suggest to increase the cost of the higher tier weapon parts.
The change on damage output, only suggested for laser (from 5 to 6 base damage) is optional. In fact, the oddness of the numbers for lasers are appealing and gives place for some strategic optimisations.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:27 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Dilvish wrote:
While I would be fine with some increase to the cost of higher end parts, I don't think the situation is quite as lopsided as so far has been presented
Its my fault that I haven't provided a quantitative meassure of the assimetry/unbalance of the situation. For me it is certainly mild, and that's why I suggest very small adjustments to the weapon costs.

Dilvish wrote:
wandering Molecular Clouds do a great deal to flip the balance in favor of a horde of lower-tech ships within their boundaries, and lower tech ships can also always serve the purpose of anti-fighter forces.
All these has their countermeasures. BTW, it's way better anti-fighter to use more fighters. And it's way inneficient to keep for too long the smaller ships (better suicide them) once you have access to better hulls (and then you also have better weapons) because of the unbalanced upkeep.

Dilvish wrote:
So I would be inclined to see the higher tech parts still have some inherent PP cost efficiency, even if less so than now.
Once I have tested the suggestion, if I still see it as a good change, I'd like you to try and see if the small adjustments suggested cause any undesired unbalance or makes it too hard to play research-focused strategies.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:11 am 
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Space Squid

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:22 am
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Oberlus wrote:
(we all know that playing only against AI is for the weak).

And anti-social, like me.


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