Balancing the outcasts (& preview images)


#1

Right here are the details of ships for the upcoming outcasts expansion. I appreciate any commentary on balance changing suggestions. These are my first thoughts:

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  1. Caesium Frigate (size 90)


    5 turrets 5 normal slots power produced: 9 cost 135.
    8% speed boost and 20% power boost
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  2. Gallium Frigate (size 80)


    4 turrets 5 normal slots power produced: 9 cost 80
    12% speed boost and 4% power boost
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    3)Thorium Frigate (size 90)


    5 turrets 6 normal slots power produced 11 cost 156
    6% speed boost 6% integrity boost
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  3. Titanium Fighter (size 14)


    2 turrets three standard slots power produced 4.3 cost 68
    12% speed boost
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  4. Iridium Fighter (size 13)


    1 turret 3 normal slots power produced 4 cost 51
    25% armor boost
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  5. Chromium Fighter (size 11)


    1 turret 3 normal slots power produced 3 cost 46
    18% speed boost
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  6. Plutonium Cruiser (size 176)


    7 turrets 8 normal slots power produced 9 cost 160
    7% speed boost 15% power boost
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  7. Palladium Cruiser (size 170)


    8 turrets 7 normal slots power produced 7 cost 195
    19% speed boost
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  8. Strontium Cruiser (size 185)


    7 turrets 8 normal slots power produced 8 cost 150
    15% shield boost 7% speed boost
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  9. Radium Cruiser (size 200)


    7 turrets 10 normal slots power produced 10 cost 180
    8% power boost 6% armor boost 4% integrity boost
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I think this may be too conservative. I’m considering upping the hull costs of most of the frigates and cruisers and in return swapping some of their normal slots for turrets. Thoughts?
Obviously there will be new race-specific modules too, but this is a separate discussion.


#2

I can say the fighters here are rather weak and expensive. I also am unsure what a Fighter can do with 1 turret to 4 slots? You should have at least a double turret fighter. Also for cruiser hull costs its pretty negligible. The hull costs are about 1/15 of the actual cruiser cost whereas the fighter hull is about half the hull cost.

Berny
I never realized it but you can’t scan currency!


#3

First of all, love the design aesthetic. I’m looking forward to playing around with these ships.

I like the idea of skewing the Outcasts toward an above-average number of turrets per ship. As I have found during my modding efforts, it does put some pressure on the race-specific weapons to make sure there are at least a few combinations that can effectively make use of all the turrets (instead of needing to sacrifice them for generators, shields, engines etc). I think the relatively high power numbers and power bonuses should help with that.

The only pertinent hull stat you haven’t given us is hull size. From what I’ve seen in challenges and things I’ve read around the forums, that is a major balancing issue - a fair number of people won’t use an over-large hull at all unless you give it a significant advantage to counteract the size disadvantage (and it sounds to me that just dropping the hull cost some doesn’t make a large hull usable in some folks’ minds).

Given that none of the fighters have nultiple turrets, I would hope that maybe the Outcasts have a new exciting fighter weapon? Also some special armor would be good to make the hull armor bonuses useful; again from my reading around the forums, most people don’t bother with fighter armor because it makes them too slow. Without a speed bonus, a lot of folks won’t see the use of a fighter hull that’s got an armor bonus they can’t use effectively.

Overall I do like the feel of this new race so far. Looking forward to it! :slight_smile:


#4

If you want to talk about balance though, you are missing the most important stat, the hull size.


#5

Interesting. I had considered a 2-turret fighter, I think I shall make that change. I am also determined to add a few more outcast-specific fighter modules, especially power-supplies and armor.
I’ll edit to include the sizes, which I haven’t really considered in much depth yet.


#6

I’d suggest that the Titanium Fighter becomes the two-turret fighter, since there isn’t really that much call for four standard modules on a fighter. It just gets too expensive and too slow to be particularly worthwhile, though it might make a halfway decent armored torpedo fighter.

Thoughts on balance:
All of the cruisers have seven turrets, three of them have eight standard modules, and the three with eight standard modules have nearly identical speed bonuses and are the same size. A bit more variation would be good, especially in module selection (turret to standard module ratio), module count, and ship size.

The fighter hulls are a bit on the expensive side, and if you fill them with modules the price tag will only get worse. I think either the Iridium or the Titanium Fighter should get a second turret (my preference is for the Titanium to get the second turret, because four standard modules on a fighter aren’t very useful to me in most scenarios).

The Thorium and Caesium Frigates are essentially the same ship - the difference in the power boost is only going to be about 0.5 power per mark III generator, and the difference in speed isn’t likely to be any more than 0.02 for a three Engine III frigate. This leaves the modules and turrets, which are the same across both ships, the cost (Thorium loses by 21 here), the sizes, which are equal, and the installed power (Thorium has a slight advantage here - an extra 2 power). Increasing the number of turrets on either of these ships might be wasted, since I think that the minimum number of standard modules a frigate needs to be useful is four or more (power generator, defense of choice, crew module, engine, probably replacing the defense of choice with a second crew module or power generator depending on weapon load-out and design intent). Same goes for the thought of generally increasing the number of turrets on all the frigates.

It would be very nice if the Thorium cruiser were in some way clearly better than the Caesium Frigate, aside from the installed power since the increased cost of the ship negates the benefit of potentially not needing to install an improved power generator, though it might be good if I only needed two more power for my design and would need to install a second power generator rather than an improved power generator.

Also, looking at the images in the official Race Preview thread, the sizes of the ships seem more to be:
Radium - 233m (based on comparison to Tribe Harmony and Swarm Ra cruisers)
Strontium - 190m (based on comparison with Radium Cruiser)
Palladium - 195m (based on comparison with Gallium frigate)
Plutonium - about 230m (based on comparison with the Parasite Hydrozoa fighter)
Gallium - 86.6m (based on comparison with Radium cruiser)
Caesium - seven times the length of the Iridium fighter (91m, now that you’ve posted the lengths of the ships)
Thorium - unknown, no available image with something to compare against
Chromium - 10.8m (based on comparison with Gallium frigate)
Iridium - one-seventh the length of the Caesium frigate (so, if Caesium frigates are 90m, this would be about 12.9m)
Titanium - unknown, no available image with something to compare against

Your size numbers keep the ratios between the ships that I compared against roughly the same (at least, size ratios between Outcast ships I compared to one another - this isn’t true for ships I compared against that were not Outcast ships), but change the implied ratios between ships that did not get compared directly against one another. You can look at the first post on page three of the Race Preview thread for a bit more detail on what I thought about several of the ships based on the images presented up to that point.


#7

The sizes posted are definitely correct. I agree that there is not enough variation between the various ships, and I think I might generally convert a bunch of standard modules to turrets. I wanted to have a general theme of power and speed bonuses, because the design of the ships suggests that.


#8

It seems odd to me that a fighter can generate half the power that a cruiser can.


#9

Consider it left over power. Cruisers have much more in the way of life support systems and escape pods and lighting and plumbing and all that good stuff. Fighters get none of that, hence the much higher net power output in comparison.


#10

Looking at these stats, the chromium fighter hull is clearly the best. Nobody uses fighter armor so the other fighters’ armor boosts are useless, the other two hulls are more expensive, it has a good speed boost, and it’s also the smallest. If the titanium fighter becomes the outcast’s dual weapon fighter, then the iridium fighter will need to be changed as well.


#11

Well, if you had the Iridium become the two-weapon fighter of the Outcasts, what would you do with the Titanium?

Maybe give the Iridium hull bonuses that put it as a bit of a compromise between the Chromium and the Titanium fighters? A modest speed boost and a modest armor boost? Exchange the armor boost for a health boost?

Would people use a two-weapon three standard module Titanium over a two-weapon two standard module Iridium, if the hull bonuses and installed power remained the same as it currently is, or would the Titanium just be ignored because the Iridium is cheaper and the Chromium is faster?

A crazy and probably unbalanced idea: three weapons on the Titanium, two on the Iridium, leave the hull bonuses, costs, and total number of modules alone.


#12

Hull size is so important because

  1. receive significantly less damage, especially from fighters due to shield blocking
  2. compact means more concentrated firepower and concentrated scrambler net

That is why the only ship that ever gets used are the smallest one (or armor tank). Hull size matters so much in this game that even Tribe became balanced just by banning the utopia hull.

So right now with the smallest cruiser at 202, it is practically unusable.


#13

Surely that’s not too big? Even the smallest empire cruiser is 200.


#14

It’s the point!
Why the Empire is considered the less powerful specie of GSB?
Because their hull are too big!

In this game, big=bad.
If you really want people to use the biggest one, you need to include a biggest number of turret/module, bigger bonuses.
The Panther is one of the most powerful cruiser in the game for now cause it’s small and have a lot of weapons.


#15

I agree with GATC. when it comes to online competitive challanges you try to use the smallest hull as possible.
From the Comprehensive GSB Battle Guide by 123stw

So in competitive play. a ship with a size of 200 is a death sentence.
(unless that particular hull has access to something that can overcome this).

For example, when the Multiple Shield Support Beam’s could boost the shield on one ship, the Empire became a powerhouse despite the size of the hulls. (Since the Empire could now create Shield Tanks)

An interesting experiment would be the Fed Panther vs a Plutonium Cruiser in an one on one match.


#16

interesting. I hadn’t really appreciated the effect that a smaller hull has on the time to deal with incoming missiles.
I can quite easily do a general reduction in the hull size of all of the outcasts cruisers, I shall definitely factor that in, and re-balance them.


#17

It’s not the time to incoming missiles, it’s the tight formation which lets more scramblers cover the same ship.

When your ship is 160m, each ship is covered by the scramblers from 5 other ships next to it. When your ship is over 200m, the scrambler from other ships can’t cover it anymore. The same goes for attacking, the smaller the hull, the better they are at covering each other with firepower. Remember stacking? It’s the same principle. This game doesn’t have AOE so the tighter the formation the better.

It’s fine if you want the hulls to remain big, but you gotta start giving them like 10 weapon modules or something crazy like 100% shield or 15% armor.

Also, I am glad you take out some of the power boost, it’s like the worst bonus in the game… Think about it, a cruiser has like what, a few hundred credit worth of power plants? a 8% boost comes to a 20-30 credits savings? Or 1 to 2% total cost reduction? If you are serious in power boost making a difference it needs like 50% at least.

I wish it’s as minor as to only affect competitive plays… Like as OP as Tribe is people still build fleets from other race, but you will almost never see anything but the smallest hull being used in even a half decent online fleet (excluding armor tanks). Not surprising anyway since being large is nothing but penalty in this game.


#18

Parasites Flak cannon is AoE.

Or are you saying that there is no Cruiser level vanilla weapon suited for Formation Busting . .
(As an example - the Meagaton missile gets an AoE warhead upgrade)

While i had included online challanges as competitive play - but yes, i see your point, there is a difference between the two.


#19

If it could create an explosion like a frigate or cruiser dying, it would have a nice shockwave that damages ships, but leaves fighters alone. The mechanic does already quasi exist.


#20

Well since we are on the subject of balancing outcasts, it is only natural that I am speaking exclusively of vanilla GSB.

I just wish there is an AOE that doesn’t affect fighters (beside shockwave damage), AOE guns that damage cruisers 100%, frigates 25%, and fighter 0% would change the current playing strategy a lot. A general AOE that damage everything equally isn’t a good idea since it will render fighters and frigates unusable. So the Flak isn’t really too good for modding purpose aside from being another Flak.