Are carriers too cheap?

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wobbly
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Are carriers too cheap?

#1 Post by wobbly »

There's a draft pull request over here to make the hanger parts, more expensive:

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/4934

Along with some discussion about whether it's the best way to handle carrier/direct weapon/shield balance, and whether the numbers are right.

BlueAward
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#2 Post by BlueAward »

I don't think carriers are too cheap, I think laser weapons are straight to trash, not worth building because of lack of upgradeability to plasma etc.

Maybe bit of hyperbole, but indeed what I value in carriers above all is their usefulness to the bitter end. I mentioned this elsewhere, too. I would want lasers only if they're upgradeable to plasmas or something similar (like ships scrappable to stockpile). This hurts my butt to no end that spending resources on lasers feels like a waste. So laser tech is just stepping stone to plasma. Well maybe not if I have great pilots but otherwise...

Guess you do want to put premium on that upgradeability but ehhhh it's punishing good stuff instead of boosting bad stuff imho. Maybe fair enough, considering prolly not easy to make lasers more useful (concentrator is an attempt, but is it really good?)

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Oberlus
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#3 Post by Oberlus »

Good output from the cash until obsolete (so good for playing aggressive early) vs worse output but better upgradeability.
The only way to balance that without removing that choice is playing with the cost or the damage output.

I wonder, do laser play a nice role until plasma? I think there is more issue than just the upgradeability, because carriers of the same level are a good match for laser boats, and that makes the choice above useless. But I don't play enough to be sure.

wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#4 Post by wobbly »

Oberlus wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 4:53 pm I wonder, do laser play a nice role until plasma? I think there is more issue than just the upgradeability, because carriers of the same level are a good match for laser boats, and that makes the choice above useless. But I don't play enough to be sure.
Fuel range, the ability to hit planets without using heavy bombers and carriers depend on supply to replenish. I've certainly taken players down with laser at a stage when a carrier lacked the fuel reach. Though that requires a small enough map and some carelessness from your opponent. I suspect the last time I did it was before the fighters were split off from direct weapons.

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Oberlus
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#5 Post by Oberlus »

Fuel and range is worked around with an outpost. It's not exactly cheap, it's worth several early ships, so it costs you fleet strength, but not that much once you hit 10+ ships. And it gets you farther than fuel tanks, and is an investment if the planet is colonizable.

wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#6 Post by wobbly »

Another lever that's lying around is charging upkeep on hanger parts. It makes some sense as you don't have to pay for the replacement fighters.

wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#7 Post by wobbly »

So, some numbers. If you charged 1 ship of upkeep / hanger. 10 carriers is 30% upkeep, 10 gunboats is 10% upkeep and 5 of each is 20% upkeep.

I could put it in to game options, maybe as fighter upkeep.

Edit: Probably .5/hanger would be better if we went that route. Or even .25

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#8 Post by wobbly »

BlueAward wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 3:46 pm Maybe fair enough, considering prolly not easy to make lasers more useful (concentrator is an attempt, but is it really good?)
Concentrators need to be built into the ship and I've previously made the suggestion of 1 concentrator for a fleet in the core slot e.g. 1 sentient upgrading an old fleet of laser organics.

The proposed change to charge where speed matters would probably make lasers compare a bit better on fast ships but wouldn't help on a normal speed ship.

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LienRag
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#9 Post by LienRag »

It has been said many times, if something is to be changed it's not the cost of hangars, it's the cost of launch bays.

wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#10 Post by wobbly »

LienRag wrote: Sat Apr 27, 2024 9:18 pm It has been said many times, if something is to be changed it's not the cost of hangars, it's the cost of launch bays.
If its been said many times, maybe you can point me to someone saying it???

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#11 Post by Ophiuchus »

BlueAward wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 3:46 pm Maybe bit of hyperbole, but indeed what I value in carriers above all is their usefulness to the bitter end. I mentioned this elsewhere, too. I would want lasers only if they're upgradeable to plasmas or something similar (like ships scrappable to stockpile). This hurts my butt to no end that spending resources on lasers feels like a waste. So laser tech is just stepping stone to plasma.
Some echo from a past long gone.. At that time it was one important question if you were able to skip researching (better) lasers. If it worked out you saved a huge investment in RP and that really paid off because of exponential growth.
If it did not work out, you were invaded by some friendly neighbour because your mass drivers were no match.

Reaching robotic hull with lasers and first armour tech was a point in time to put out loads of those full time and pay your neighbor a visit.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Look, ma... four combat bouts!

wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#12 Post by wobbly »

Yeah carriers are endgame weapons that can be built right from the start. Even a crappy basic armour carrier is useful. 10 symbiots launching 2/round is still 10 combat targets and 20 fighter targets on round 2.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#13 Post by wobbly »

BlueAward wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 3:46 pm it's punishing good stuff instead of boosting bad stuff imho.
My perspective on this is a little different having played pre-carrier. Without carriers waiting for plasma = no military. There's a choice of how far you push it between mass drivers/ lasers/ plasmas and if you've already built x laser ships you have tension between upgrading existing lasers and going for plasma.

Carriers were introduced and they obsoleted the older weapons with little real cost to going down that path. Splitting the research off from the direct weapons tree exasperated the issue. It became easier to go a straight fighter build.

Carriers also made it easier to skip military research. You can build the carrier and upgrade it later.

It makes sense to consider carriers the issue when they introduced it in the 1st place. The other solution is to buff everything around it.

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Oberlus
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#14 Post by Oberlus »

Yes, either upping my wage or lowering the cost of housing gets the same effect, it's irrelevant what's buffed or boosted, it's the same.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#15 Post by BlueAward »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 10:29 am Yes, either upping my wage or lowering the cost of housing gets the same effect, it's irrelevant what's buffed or boosted, it's the same.
I know what you're getting at, but hah, it's not that easy. Upping wage by 100€ and lowering housing by that much is absolutely not the same thing. For example taxes on wages. So you need to clarify you meant after tax etc. But then, not everybody lives off wages, so tweaking wages doesn't tweak their ability to get housing. And now you're getting into even more specifics.

Then, even all else being equal, making something cost 100 less or making you get 100 more, yeah that's pretty equal when you consider getting one of those things. But, making something cost 100 less could give you abilty to get two of those things, while giving you 100 more, not (you have 1000, something costs 600... with 1100 you still get only one of the 600 things, but if it costs 500, you can get two of them with 1000..)

There are also other psychological effects like people kinda being more happy finding 10 bucks twice than 20 bucks once, even if mathematically it comes out the same

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