Armour plating balancing

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Sloth
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#16 Post by Sloth »

Vezzra wrote:However, if we decide to introduce this kind of mechanic (heavy ship parts slowing down the ship), we shouln't do it halfway, but consistently and thoroughly. Then each ship part should impose a certain speed limit, and engines provide a ship's propulsion. More engines -> faster ship, but less slots for other stuff. Stuffing a hull to the brim with ship parts provide more power, but slows ship. Ship parts of the "epic" kind (like nove bombs) could be especially "heavy", that is, impose a speed penalty that requires several engine parts to get a movable ship at all. Thus requiring a hull with a sufficient number of slots to carry these uber-heavy epic ship parts (otherwise you end up with an expensive, immobile piece of ship that's most probably of no use at all). Effectively eleminating the need to add an additional slot type to restrict "epic" ship parts to "big" hulls.
I agree that the speed penalties could be expanded to other ship parts (especially nova bombs) to balance them, but giving all ship parts speed penalties doesn't seem necessary to me. It would make designing a ship more complex without adding anything.

Removing all speed penalties on the other hand would deprive the player of options for designing ships with specific roles.

So here is my suggested plan:
- Add speed penalties to some other existing ship parts.
- Remove the speed penalty from one or two of the existing armors.
- Add one or two new armors without speed penalties (that about half of them reduce speed).
- Design some new epic ship parts with speed penalties (Super photon demon cannon of doom and death).
...
- profit.
Vezzra wrote:First of all, it already takes them ages to move around, slowing them down even more makes using them annoying, un-fun and even micromanagy, especially later in the game when you have a bigger empire and the distances your fleets have to travel increase.
Why not add a tech that gives the lighthouse effect or something similar to all your systems.
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Dilvish
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#17 Post by Dilvish »

I feel the need to offer up my reaction, which is that a speed cost to armor and other parts is more of a nuisance than anything else, kind of boring and un-fun. purely my subjective reaction
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yandonman
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#18 Post by yandonman »

The speed penalty was intended to differentiate armor from shields (they were too similar before). Speed penalties on other parts make less sense as most other parts are reasonably differentiated. If additional differentiation is needed, I would not recommend the speed penalty for them.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#19 Post by Geoff the Medio »

yandonman wrote:The speed penalty was intended to differentiate armor from shields (they were too similar before).
I'm leaning towards reworking ship shields after v0.4.2 to provide damage reduction on each hit instead of being essentially an extra pool of structure that nearly duplicates the function of armour. This might make planetary shields that function like but don't duplicate armour a bit weird, though...

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Dilvish
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#20 Post by Dilvish »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
yandonman wrote:The speed penalty was intended to differentiate armor from shields (they were too similar before).
I'm leaning towards reworking ship shields after v0.4.2 to provide damage reduction on each hit instead of being essentially an extra pool of structure that nearly duplicates the function of armour. This might make planetary shields that function like but don't duplicate armour a bit weird, though...

IMHO, far greater than the speed difference are both (i) slot difference, and (ii) the fact that shields will regen fully each turn, whereas arrmor regen depends on tech and for much of the game will only regen at a drydock or slowly, and therefore armor values are allowed to be greater than shield values. At least where the speed penalty is right now, it is not enough matter in my ship design planning, it's merely a minor nuisance to be put up with and periodically curse :) .

Although I think slot and regen characteristics are plenty distinction between the armor and shields, I don't find fault with the idea of armor carrying a speed penalty even though other parts don't, because armor implicitly carries the idea of being massive, much moreso than any other part. Assuming we do keep the speed difference, I would argue to not have speed penalties for other parts, and to make a bigger tradeoff than now for armor -- let the values be a bit higher, but extract an even bigger speed cost than now. I think the faster ships should have more of a penalty for carrying armor than slow ones --,the speed penalty could be put into the form of a percentage of max speed rather than a fixed penalty. Alternately, armor could impose an absolute max speed like 100 - n * k where n is the number of armor parts and k is the per part penalty for that type of armor -- some slow lumbering ships might not carry any extra speed cost for carrying a little armor.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#21 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Dilvish wrote:...shields will regen fully each turn, whereas arrmor regen [doesn't]...
How important is that, really? How often are your ships moving around damaged and not immediately getting into another battle? If things are working correctly, the shield regen should be happening only on turns when there wasn't a battle, so being in a multi-turn battle would presumably prevent any regen from being important. And at least at the start of the game, weapons strengths tend to be quite high, so ships end up destroyed after just a few hits (which partly motivated recently reducing the number of rounds in a combat) and likely have little chance to regen anyway. I don't playtest that much, so my impressions / expectations about this might be quite off, though.

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Dilvish
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#22 Post by Dilvish »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Dilvish wrote:...shields will regen fully each turn, whereas arrmor regen [doesn't]...
How important is that, really? How often are your ships moving around damaged and not immediately getting into another battle? If things are working correctly, the shield regen should be happening only on turns when there wasn't a battle, so being in a multi-turn battle would presumably prevent any regen from being important. And at least at the start of the game, weapons strengths tend to be quite high, so ships end up destroyed after just a few hits (which partly motivated recently reducing the number of rounds in a combat) and likely have little chance to regen anyway. I don't playtest that much, so my impressions / expectations about this might be quite off, though.
It's quite common for me that my ships will engage in battle and then have a turn our 2 out of battle before they get in another one. The ones that have lost a lot of structure I will send back to a drydock to repair, but that generally means at least several turns out of action. Compared to just one turn out of action, it's a very notable difference.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#23 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Dilvish wrote:It's quite common for me that my ships will engage in battle and then have a turn our 2 out of battle before they get in another one.
Hmm. Well, I still think free regen is not the best way to distinguish shields from armour... It's a bit too subtle as a secondary property, rather than a distinction on the primary purpose, which are "more hit points" for both. Armour regen could easily be added to select hulls or parts with effects anyway, so doesn't need to be an inherent property of shields in the game engine...

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Re: Armour plating balancing

#24 Post by yandonman »

Structure regen (aka: fleet repair and other research) are, of course, already a part of the game, further undifferentiating armor and shields.
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unjashfan
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#25 Post by unjashfan »

speed penalties hurt the slow hulls much more than the fast ones......slowing them down even more makes using them annoying, un-fun and even micromanagy, especially later in the game when you have a bigger empire and the distances your fleets have to travel increase...... as the speed penalties are implemented as fixed numbers, slower hulls suffer more from them because proportionally their speed is reduced more.
I have considered this factor and I agree. I'm pretty sure by late game, anyone would have been able to unlock some of the faster hulls (especially with the way the hulls are designed right now, organic hulls are practically a must, and they are really fast), and I seriously doubt players would use the slowest hulls for the entire course of the game. From my interpretations, the slower hulls, most notably the asteroid hulls, are designed for defensive purposes, and were never meant to be sent to the front line.
The speed penalty was intended to differentiate armor from shields (they were too similar before). Speed penalties on other parts make less sense as most other parts are reasonably differentiated. If additional differentiation is needed, I would not recommend the speed penalty for them.
Agreed. The best way to solve this differentiation problem would be just to work on changing the shields ASAP. This can save some time, effort, and brainpower :wink: .
I'm leaning towards reworking ship shields after v0.4.2 to provide damage reduction on each hit instead of being essentially an extra pool of structure that nearly duplicates the function of armour.
Seconded. Because:
With regards to shields fully regenerating strength, the best way to abuse it is to have two or more fleets in a "tag team". When one fleet has finished a battle, it can switch with another fleet nearby. The first fleet will regenerate all its shields while the second fleet does the dirty work. Rinse and repeat. This makes ships in said fleets extremely difficult to kill, since they are healing off a large portion of their HP each turn. Also, if one fleet gets destroyed, the other one can retreat, minimizing losses. Try this against the AI; it will mow them down like dominoes :wink: . In this regard, I am edging on reworking shields ASAP.
This might make planetary shields that function like but don't duplicate armour a bit weird, though...
To me, it feels like that planetary defense and shields act as the planet's "hit points". The difference is that planetary defense is active and will fry attackers while the shields are there to absorb damage. Planets and ships are different and should be treated as such, so having shields that work differently shouldn't be too confusing.

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em3
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#26 Post by em3 »

What if, for each hull type, several hull variants were provided?
Instead of only asteroid hull, we would have:
  • Destroyer asteroid hull (medium speed, medium resistance)
  • Protector asteroid hull (low speed, high resistance)
  • Frigate asteroid hull (high speed, low resistance)
  • Dreadnought asteroid hull (high speed, high resistance, high price)
There could be either a four-variant set for each of present hull type (consistent and easy to understand, one you get the concept for initial hulls), or more varied variants for each hull type (for example differentiating numbers of slots).

If managing four variants sound like too much, at least two could be added (one resistant and one fast).

This would be an alternative solution to current speed management (balancing armour weight and engines), leaving a player with fewer but more meaningful choices - as well as being closer to KISS, I believe.
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#27 Post by Vezzra »

unjashfan wrote:
The speed penalty was intended to differentiate armor from shields (they were too similar before). Speed penalties on other parts make less sense as most other parts are reasonably differentiated. If additional differentiation is needed, I would not recommend the speed penalty for them.
Agreed. The best way to solve this differentiation problem would be just to work on changing the shields ASAP. This can save some time, effort, and brainpower :wink: .
I couldn't agree more ;) If the speed reduction was a means to differentiate armor from shields, I'm even more against it - I don't think it's a good idea to differentiate too similar concepts by putting an arbitrary penalty like that on one of them (arbitrary because I can't agree with the perception of armor as so much more massive than all the other parts). Make them work really differently is far more creative (and interesting!).
Geoff the Medio wrote:I'm leaning towards reworking ship shields after v0.4.2 to provide damage reduction on each hit instead of being essentially an extra pool of structure that nearly duplicates the function of armour. This might make planetary shields that function like but don't duplicate armour a bit weird, though...
I really like this idea and want to second it. We have already a thread discussing this idea, where initial concerns I had have been addressed.

I say, let's do that and get rid of the speed penalty :D

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Re: Armour plating balancing

#28 Post by unjashfan »

As suggested by Vezzra, I've removed all speed penalties from all armours, and also balanced them out a bit. Here's a rundown of the changes I've made:
  • Changes from yandonman's neutronium patch are included
  • Changed the RP cost of almost all armours so that it more or less scales with armour strength
  • Slightly nerfed the zortrium plating
  • Added a mid-level armour plating: Diamond armour plating (with the idea to refer to rich minerals)
  • Commented out the aggregate asteroid hull unlock from asteroid reformation
  • Rock armour plating's description now links to Asteroid Reformation Processor
  • Removed all references to speed penalties in the descriptions
I wasn't able to code the new armour plating so that it can only be built if the empire owns a planet with a Rich Minerals special. I've set it up according to my backup plan, which is to place it after zortrium plating. If anyone can make it work, it would be appreciated :) . Here are the files. Please let me know if the patches don't work; I'll upload the actual txt files in that case:
armour_balance_patch.zip
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Vezzra
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Re: Armour plating balancing

#29 Post by Vezzra »

unjashfan wrote:As suggested by Vezzra, I've removed all speed penalties from all armours, and also balanced them out a bit. Here's a rundown of the changes I've made

[...]
Looks fine to me at a first glance, a good step into the right direction :) I think they can be committed, but eleazar should get the chance to at least briefly review them.

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Re: Armour plating balancing

#30 Post by Bigjoe5 »

unjashfan wrote:As suggested by Vezzra, I've removed all speed penalties from all armours, and also balanced them out a bit. Here's a rundown of the changes I've made:
  • Changes from yandonman's neutronium patch are included
  • Changed the RP cost of almost all armours so that it more or less scales with armour strength
  • Slightly nerfed the zortrium plating
  • Added a mid-level armour plating: Diamond armour plating (with the idea to refer to rich minerals)
  • Commented out the aggregate asteroid hull unlock from asteroid reformation
  • Rock armour plating's description now links to Asteroid Reformation Processor
  • Removed all references to speed penalties in the descriptions
I wasn't able to code the new armour plating so that it can only be built if the empire owns a planet with a Rich Minerals special. I've set it up according to my backup plan, which is to place it after zortrium plating. If anyone can make it work, it would be appreciated :) .
I can make Diamond Armour work the way you want it to, but at this stage before a release, just making it another regular armour type is the safest bet. I can take a look at this patch this afternoon if eleazar hasn't taken care of it by then.
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