asking for cliff's opinions

im by no means intentionally disrespecting you or questioning your ability to make a great game…

but by opinion… there seem to be 2 overpowered modules in the game:

the shield support beam
and the cruiser laser

the shield support beam makes shields virtually impregnable in large scale combat…

and the CL (if my calculations are correct) has the highest DPS at almost twice the second place: the howitzer… (dps are 4.6 and 2.4 respectively by my calculation)

just thought i’d ask cliff for his opinions on these 2 modules…

I agree with the shield support beam - I used it and in the three battles with the high score postings and I was able to post in it. I have only been able to do that once.

For the CL - I am on the fence about it. Most CL spam can be blown away at standoff distance. Personally I think the howitzer should be upped a little to give the tribe an edge at knife fighting range. I mean it is a very gutsy move to get within 450m from your enemy… i usually keep one on most of my cruisers - they make good AAA when tied in with a tractor (or someone else’s).


I agree on the shield support beam.

As for the CL, there really is a set of 3 weapons that stand out. CL, Order Rad Guns and Tribe Howitzers. Using Total damage the Rad Guns have a slightly higher dps than CL. Tribe Howitzers have half the dps but also significantly lower cost and resource requirements. A Howitzer equipped fleet will have slightly lower total dps than a CL equipped fleet, but they’re in the same ballpark.

The best way to deal with a CL fleet is to kill it before it gets into range. CL fleets therefore like to be speedy, but speed in cruisers is very expensive. Try defeating something like Challenge # 4579200 with a CL fleet. It’s not easy.

I think the CL is OK as it is.

What about CL with Shield Support Beam?

But rather than just nerf SSB, I think SSB needed a limited supply, so round don’t last 10 minutes with 0 kills. Also disruptor bomb can be buffed (increase range) to make it a better hard counter.

Strong hard counters are generally not a good idea. They result in very boring “my fleet will crush your fleet, but in turn lose to anything else” situations. We really want to avoid that. An option should be strong against other options, and weaker against others, but not automatically win or lose. That is the main issue with shield support beams, missile and CL spam.

what i’m saying is that CL can basically achieve monopoly in cruiser arsenals as there’s no real hard counters for them:
for plasma you have speed
for missile you have scrambler and smart bomb
for beam you have shield
and that leaves those “blaster” class weapons (as i call them) which you have really little against

ORG does a good amount of damage… but only if you have no armor, even if you have ONE bit of armor lying around and your shield’s up, you can hold the radiation off indefinitely.
Howitzers offers half the DPS at more than half the cost… so it doesn’t really break the CL monopoly… the fact it’s only tribe doesn’t help either

depends on your definition of speed… most ppl won’t set their cruisers to move out when enemies are within CL range… the few that do will probably result in cruisers waiting outside of range for the enemies 2 come in… not tactical

This post is dead on. The problem with SSBs and CL spam and missile spam is that there’s a relatively simple way to counter each one (disruptor bombs/fighters, a fleet with long-range weapons and high speed, scramblers), but doing so results in a fleet that is, at the very best, sub-optimal against other sorts of fleet, whether it be due to equipment, deployment, or orders. That is not a particularly good place to be in terms of balance.

Look, CL has the highest DPS. Something is always going to have the highest DPS, no matter what you do to the CL.

It’s uses are: killing cruisers and slow frigates. Obviously it’s a useful niche, so you’re going to see a lot of them.

The other significant counter probably would have been armor, if armor had any staying power.

I’ve found that mixed fleets tend to be far stronger than most people give credit to. A fleet with plasma, some beam weapons, and a GS on each ship can handle most threats with ease. The cruisers are also ordered to engage frigates over cruisers, so frigates get popped before cruisers are engaged.

Plasma drops shields. Beam weapons carve up unprotected hulls. GS protects the fleet from missiles. Its definitely not a min/max sort of fleet, but thats the point. Its flexible and able to counter most threats reasonable well. Its not unbeatable. A specialist fleet could of course easily defeat the generalist fleet, but whereas the generalist fleet has many strengths and few weaknesses, the specialist fleet has many, many weaknesses. The main weakness of a CL fleet is a very short range. Long range weapons can decimate a CL fleet before the CL fleet even gets within range to fire.

In the campaign you’re going to want a generalist fleet over a specialist fleet.

I also try and use more generalized fleets. I have tankers up front followed by Heavy cruisers with weapons that work well at close ranges, followed by plasma heavy cruisers and missile cruisers behind. Beam weapons take the flank. Frigates are nestled between in hopes to survive - but thanks to Hyndis they tend to get carved up early.

This usually works against CL spam - even when the CL cruisers get in range the tanker cruisers are designed to take in the CL beams - for a while. Meanwhile the missiles and plasma weapons just keep coming in. It does not work as well against Missile spam but -spam is spam.

I also try and use fast spoiler cruisers to get the enemy fleet to go in a different direction so I hit them at an angle - CL spam gets hit hard when they are busy chasing something off to the corner and your ships just stay within plasma/missile range.


range doesnt count?

This is true, but missing the point. Consider the Tribe projectile weapons, which have a DPS of 25 or so, about 10% higher than the theoretical DPS of the next-best weapon and a real DPS of probably 15-20% greater than everything but CLs and radguns (against unarmored targets). If you let a howitzer fleet get close, it’s still going to rip through your ships. The Tribe’s durability is certainly a factor, but if we throw in another 25% over the baseline medium/long-range weapon as a concession to ships which don’t live as long, we end up with ~50% greater than ~20 DPS, for ~30. That’s still a very scary weapon.

The CL currently does 46 DPS. Stick 3 CLs on a ship, and that right there is doing the same damage as a missile cruiser with 6 or 7 launchers. There’s plenty of space to put a beam laser on to deal with armored opponents, and you still have 2-3 slots to play with that the missile cruiser doesn’t. Speed is desirable in CL fleets, but it’s not a major problem to attain, because you simply don’t need to stack as many CLs for a given amount of damage, and you can use those extra slots for three more engines.

Even if CL is lowered to 16 damage, it will still have 37.2 DPS and maintain highly spam-able. So I think it’s damage can be lowered a few points.

Edit: Another thing worth noting is that the CL spams are weak vs frigate spams. Most of the cruisers get emp before they can get in range to fire a shot, making them sitting ducks for frigates to kill.

So perhaps CL don’t really need a nerf.

Please note that the CL is subject to the optimum range stat. All weapons with this stat can do as little as 50% of the stated damage per hit, depending on target range. The actual DPS of the weapon varies wildly between 46.5 and 23.25 due to it’s short range bands. You can see this with the in-game damage numbers - it rarely hits for the full 20.

This is important for any comparison with missiles, which are not governed by this mechanic.

The cruiser laser is powerful, but look at its range it is small comparied to others. And if you look at others that are in its same range the CL is much slower firing, and has a longer min range than others in its same range class. I think maybe a reduction in damage, reduce its range a little more and i feel it might be better. After all this is a PLUSE laser, and not a blaster(high damage, short range) or a laser(long range, low damage)

The problem with relying on short range weapons is that before your ships can even get off a single shot the long range weapons of the other fleet have carved up a good portion of your ships. Even when you close in, lets say your ships have 1 enemy ship in range. Thats all they can shoot at, and then they need to move again.

Well, the other fleet with long range weapons can fire at all of your ships. This means they can far more easily focus fire. I have yet to see any cruiser withstand more than a few seconds of focused plasma from a dozen or more cruisers. Shields drop and then the beams carve up the hull. A shieldless cruiser being hit by 20+ beam weapons and 20+ plasma launchers doesn’t last a very long time.

Before the CL fleet can even get off a single shot the long range fleet will be taking a huge toll on their ships. As each ship comes into range it is focused fired down by all of the long range ships, one after the other. Yes, eventually they will get through due to sheer bulk of ships, but by then they usually don’t have enough firepower left to make much of a difference. You’re basically sacrificing over half of your fleet merely to close to firing range. Meanwhile you have yet to do any damage at all to the enemy. Even if the remaining half of your fleet is victorious, you’re still going to take massive losses, such that you probably will not be able to sustain that sort of fleet in any campaign situation.

And don’t forget about formation depth. Even when a CL cruiser gets close enough to engage it is still getting nailed by the missile/plasma cruisers 2-6 ships behind. Not to mention - whats to stop someone placing a line of CL cruisers to engage the now mauled line of opposing CL cruisers. CL’s have way to short of range for my liking - but I still usually have a CL on all my cruisers - tack on a tractor beam and it is a great AF weapon as well.

I use CL, but I don’t think they’re overpowered at all.

ISSB’s, well yeah those I think are a little over the top.


I think they’re both fine, I usually equip my ships with a decent amount of armor and a nanobot repair system which can resist CL just fine. The empire is very vulnerable to fighters, which can bypass the shields. Every balanced fleet should include some fighters. Shield disruptors can also help. On the dps issue, missiles have a much greater range, which compensates for the relatively low dps.

This is very true, and why I’m very keen on getting the campaign add-on done. It changes (and I think improves) everything.