Are carriers too cheap?

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wobbly
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#16 Post by wobbly »

How would people feel about carriers being moved later, to give mass drivers and lasers more room to breathe.

1 possibility for pre-requisites:
Nanotech Productions (miniaturization)
Improved Engine Couplings(engines)
Dueterium Fuel(fuel)

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Oberlus
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#17 Post by Oberlus »

BlueAward wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:50 am I know what you're getting at, but hah, it's not that easy.
Agree! My example was silly. My simplification only works when considering only the two factors to be balanced (guns vs fighters in this case) and nothing else.
Actually, I would move RP cost from one to the other (instead of increase one OR decrease one) to keep the total weight of weapons research similar with respect the rest of the tree.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#18 Post by BlueAward »

how were monsters with shields balanced against the proposition of carriers? Cause one other thing that carriers have going for them is ability to punch through some monsters much sooner (or at least much faster) than direct weapons

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#19 Post by Oberlus »

BlueAward wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 1:16 pm how were monsters with shields balanced against the proposition of carriers? Cause one other thing that carriers have going for them is ability to punch through some monsters much sooner (or at least much faster) than direct weapons
At the start many monsters became cheesed with carriers (as well as all the rest of the game, at start fighters were valid targets for guns so the chaff effect was brutal and every fleet should consist of fighters and nothing else beside the planet damage needed to flat planetary defenses), so they got some flaks and the such, with some rebalance later on. And that's it.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#20 Post by BlueAward »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 1:40 pm
BlueAward wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 1:16 pm how were monsters with shields balanced against the proposition of carriers? Cause one other thing that carriers have going for them is ability to punch through some monsters much sooner (or at least much faster) than direct weapons
At the start many monsters became cheesed with carriers (as well as all the rest of the game, at start fighters were valid targets for guns so the chaff effect was brutal and every fleet should consist of fighters and nothing else beside the planet damage needed to flat planetary defenses), so they got some flaks and the such, with some rebalance later on. And that's it.
OK. Was asking mainly in the context of making carriers available somewhat later, that would presumably make those monsters harder, but presumably to the level before carriers? Hard for me to judge that, how difficult they were before and after. Juggernauts especially would seem to be scarier.

Was there ever an idea that making fighters stronger would require stronger weapon tech as prerequisite? Like to have stronger fighters, you'd actually need to research lasers or something. I think those were named as if they had lasers, but didn't ACTUALLY require laser tech, so were just named fighters 2, 3, 4? I suppose the idea actually was to begin with that they are specifically not direct weapons so you could go either way or both, but that's another angle if you want to convince people to use more direct weapons is to force them to research them anyway. Though maybe it could be some theoretical prereq that fits to getting both deadlier direct weapons and deadlier fighters, rather than directly depending on deadlier direct weapon to get deadlier fighter huh

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#21 Post by wobbly »

Laser Fighters required lasers and Plasma Fighters required Plasma, but I don't believe it changes the fundamental problem. If a carrier is better then a laser ship having to research lasers wont make people start building them. Lasers need the upgrades to get decent, if you can build carriers while you are waiting on plasma there's still no incentive to upgrade lasers.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#22 Post by Ophiuchus »

BlueAward wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 2:03 pm OK. Was asking mainly in the context of making carriers available somewhat later, that would presumably make those monsters harder, but presumably to the level before carriers? Hard for me to judge that, how difficult they were before and after. Juggernauts especially would seem to be scarier.
making the research costs for fighter upgrades higher will shift balance stronger to direct weapons. it also highlights a investment tradeoff between research and industry, with good research empires rather going for the long term upgradable fighters and good industry empires may decide for throw-away military.

or boost anti-fighter options. i am totally for a core-slot grav pulse (early use in composite flux hulls); dunno 12 shots in bout 2, else zero shots 40 PP; not subject to species skills; unlock with Force-Field harmonics or Architectural Monofilaments.

allow flak to be mounted in internal slots (fluff sais wtf? balance sais sure why not). give flak +1 shot. or make it "heavier" e.g. 6 shots 40 PP.
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#23 Post by wobbly »

Ophiuchus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 5:34 pm allow flak to be mounted in internal slots (fluff sais wtf? balance sais sure why not). give flak +1 shot. or make it "heavier" e.g. 6 shots 40 PP.
Maybe mass driver 4 tech could add a shot to flak cannons? Or flak cannons can start at 2 shots and gain a shot at mass driver 2 and 4? Could go even further and have flak cannons 2-5 shots. Carriers being weak to flak cannons, direct weapons being weak to shields, shields being weak to carriers.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#24 Post by wobbly »

I think my preferred option would be:
  • Flaks are 2 - 5 shots, upgraded by mass driver tech
  • Monsters with flak cannons have 4 shots
  • Fighter tech requires the 1st engine tech and 1st fuel tech(which also requires fusion gen)
  • Game option for hangers to cost upkeep, charged at 0.25 ships/hanger
  • Add an extra internal slot to the heavy asteroid hull
Edit: 2 additional changes I'd like to see:
  • If flaks are reaching 5 shots(7 with great pilots), +10 to PP cost
  • Reduce mass driver cost by 5 PP. Corvettes used to be the cheapest armed ship, and flux lance steps on its toes

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#25 Post by Oberlus »

What about upgrade flak shots with the second to last refinement of MD and Laser techs? Laser PD is a thing, and it would make research lasers more interesting.
It would be 3-5 shots, plus pilot skill. Or add in another upgrade at a plasma refinement. This would be instead of all the upgrades in MD.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#26 Post by wobbly »

Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:08 pm What about upgrade flak shots with the second to last refinement of MD and Laser techs? Laser PD is a thing, and it would make research lasers more interesting.
It would be 3-5 shots, plus pilot skill. Or add in another upgrade at a plasma refinement. This would be instead of all the upgrades in MD.
Sounds good. MD3 and laser3, maybe. Not sure what to do about the name "flak cannon" if it's actually a laser PD.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#27 Post by Ophiuchus »

wobbly wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 5:53 am
Oberlus wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:08 pm What about upgrade flak shots with the second to last refinement of MD and Laser techs? Laser PD is a thing, and it would make research lasers more interesting.
It would be 3-5 shots, plus pilot skill. Or add in another upgrade at a plasma refinement. This would be instead of all the upgrades in MD.
Sounds good. MD3 and laser3, maybe. Not sure what to do about the name "flak cannon" if it's actually a laser PD.
FlAK means Flugabwehrkanone "Cannon against flying attackers". Nothing changes if if it is using lasers. Rename of the cannon cannon would be of course also fine.

i also prefer the +1 shot for a high level research level than +1 for each mass driver level. gives some small reward if one researches all the direct weapon tech lines. (also having plasma and death ray pd bonus for consistency would be fine)

edit1:
wobbly wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:06 pm Fighter tech requires the 1st engine tech and 1st fuel tech(which also requires fusion gen)
i think fighter tech should be available early. upgrade tech can come later (either direct RP or indirectly via prereqs). The basic idea was that empires should early commit to one or two of the weapon lines (arc disruptors, fighters, direct weapons).

The answer to arcs would be shields, to which the answer would be to add fighters (or the arc concentrator).

Shields should be a valid answer to direct weapons, to which the answer would be better direct weapons.

The answer to fighters should be interceptors, flak or arcs. With current balancing I think it is fine to make flak a useful counter if going for direct weapons.
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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#28 Post by wobbly »

Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 7:32 am i think fighter tech should be available early. upgrade tech can come later (either direct RP or indirectly via prereqs). The basic idea was that empires should early commit to one or two of the weapon lines (arc disruptors, fighters, direct weapons).
Creates the problem where a carrier is immediately better then the direct weapons you have avaliable to you and infinitely upgradable. Your welcome to look at BlueAward's comments about carriers vs Monsters and Infinite upgradability above.

Note: I also believe they should be avaliable "early". Where they are now is, "before you build your 1st military ship".
Ophiuchus wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 7:32 am The answer to arcs would be shields, to which the answer would be to add fighters (or the arc concentrator).

Shields should be a valid answer to direct weapons, to which the answer would be better direct weapons.

The answer to fighters should be interceptors, flak or arcs. With current balancing I think it is fine to make flak a useful counter if going for direct weapons.
I think this is 1 of the those things where the logic and reasoning makes sense but the practical reality is completely different. With balance as it is currently the answer to all of them is more fighters.

"The answer to arcs would be shields" - Interceptor spam is great against arcs. Arguably shields are betters here, but interceptors work against everything not just arcs.
"Shields should be a valid answer to direct weapons, to which the answer would be better direct weapons." - Or you could just have fighters and the shields are a complete waste.
"The answer to fighters should be"
  • interceptors - interceptors aren't exactly an answer, unless having more of something is an answer. e.g. The way to combat carriers is having more carriers then your opponent.
  • flak - Fair enough on this one.
  • arcs. - In theory arcs are anti-fighter weapons. In practice interceptors are better anti-arc weapons.
Last edited by wobbly on Sat May 04, 2024 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#29 Post by wobbly »

Lets for instance look at some numbers for taking down a sentry guarding a special in the early game. Note a sentry has no shields and an anti-fighter weapon.

Ungrown symbiot with standard plate, needs to kill in 2nd round to guarantee no loses:
Single Hanger Bomber (12 RP) - 4 ships x 46 PP = 192 PP
MD 4 (40 RP) - 4 ships x 36 PP = 144 PP
Laser 1 (64 RP) - 5 ships x 46 PP = 230 PP

Ungrown symbiot wit zortium plate, needs to kill in 3rd round to guarantee no loses:
Double Hanger Bomber - 2 ships x 68 PP = 136 PP
MD 4 - 3 ships x 38 PP = 114 PP
Laser 1 - 4 ships x 48 PP = 192 PP

Ok, technically its a little cheaper to use a mass driver, but those ships will always be mass driver ships. Those double hanger bombers will often survive all the way to Fighter level 3.

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Re: Are carriers too cheap?

#30 Post by wobbly »

A general comment on where some stuff is in the research tree and how much of a choice they present to the player.

Flux Lance(10 RP, unlocked at base) - A 4 PP part that turns any ship into a bockader with some anti-fighter capability. The next cheapest blockading weapon is a mass driver at 20 PP. Choice = no choice, you just need to add it to the research queue 2 turns in advance of building the 1st lance ship.

Fighters(12 RP, unlocked at base) - Endgame strength weapon that can be built from game start, easily researchable before building 1st military ship. Requires extremely minimal research investment. Is unlocked at base, thus not requiring you to go out of your way to get it. Favoured weapon of most players. Choice = no choice

Arc Disruptors(12 RP, unlocked at base) - Okish. Probably the weakest weapon line, but has it points. Balance-wise its fine where it is but if the others moved off of base, I'd probably move this 1 too.

Edit: A note about the flux lance. A small hulled corvette is 30 PP and an organic lancer is 12 PP (organic corvette is 28 PP). The introduction was actually a fairly large reduction in the investment required to keep out enemy scouts.

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