Changing Module Stats - my experiment


#1

I got this game a few days ago, and its beautiful and awesome, but there are a lot of little things that bother me. Fortunately, the game seems so easy to modify that I can correct some of those things myself. For my own experimentation, I’m going to spend the next few days and re-work some of the modules with the help of some of my friends.

So far I’m playing with the ARMOR idea listed below, but these are just a list of things I intend to try out:

ARMOR
This is my biggest gripe in the game right now.

  1. Armor peels off your ship the moment your shields go down, even when fired at with weapons that are generally ineffective against armor.
  2. If the enemy has even a single weapon capable of penetrating your armor, your armor strength goes down real fast and then even small lasers can penetrate and peel it off.
  3. Armor is kind of an all-or-nothing deal. There’s rarely an incentive to put one more armor module on, but rather you’ll need 2 or 3 more before you notice an effect. This is largely due to the extreme differences in armor penetration and the difficulty in raising your “average armor level” after the first armor module.

I would like to make armor to work more like shields. But I can’t do that.
What I can do, is this:

I’m multiplying the armor penetration values of all weapons by x10, and multiplying the damage absorption quality of armor by x10.

This way I can keep the ratio of which weapons beat armor effectively (for now). I haven’t changed how effective armor is, but I’ve made it LAST LONGER. This has a couple different effects:

  1. There’s a legitimate reason to add a little bit of extra armor onto a ship, even if it doesn’t raise your average armor high enough to break the penetration thresholds of weapons. There’s always a net benefit to the survivability of your ship, measured in time.
  2. Ships stay “in the red” quite a bit longer, allowing them to keep fighting at full effectiveness even after their shields have gone down.
  3. Armor becomes a viable means of helping frigates to last longer when closing on the enemy. It’s not the only method, maybe not even the best method, but its an option now.

This is the only one of these ideas I’ve actually played with, and so far and I’m pretty happy with the results. I no longer am “burning” three or four modules just to last 1 or 2 more seconds in the battle.

ABLATIVE ARMOR
The concept of ablative armor is that it’s supposed to break off when hit, dispersing the impact of an incoming attack away from the ship. I think its better to think of all armor in this game as being ablative. The armor essentially allows itself to be destroyed so that the impact doesn’t destroy the ship. So I’m thinking rather that adding armor points like the other armor (which will help make you immune to weapons fire, as opposed to purposefully breaking off), that ablative armor should add substantial hull points to your ship.

CREW
Having both crew and power as resources seems pointless in my mind. I get that beams use more power than other weapons, but I can’t really tell how “crew” requirements are determined. If it’s just a substitute for power requirements, that seems like a poor reason to have a separate resource. Just make everything use power. I understand the need for power OR crew, but both? In addition to costs and weight? It just seems like a bit much.

So I’m thinking of ditching the crew requirements of most modules altogether… I haven’t decided yet. If I do, I’ll have to analyze power supply and consumption, of course.

But more importantly, I’m considering the benefits of having crew on the ship – perhaps even much more than needed. To that end, instead of having crew requirements for modules, I’m considering re-writing the crew modules to represent key aspects of the ship and its crew functions. For example, a “Crew Module” might provide some basic repair capability and improve the accuracy of your weapons (like a targeting booster).

Instead of a fighter targeting booster we should have a “Gunner’s Cockpit”, effectively giving you a co-pilot that will increase the accuracy of your shooting. (Alternatively, I suppose you could have a lightweight “droid cockpit” with a little R2 unit that repairs your fighter… )

If I decide not to do away with crew requirements, I may introduce “Crew modules” that are similiar to the “micro crew module” that add some crew to the ship, but also have a small secondary feature – for example, the Engineering Section or the Command Deck.

CLOAK
The camouflage device seems pointless. You rarely cloak, and its not for very long at all. You often cloak at the wrong times, and even when you are cloaked the enemy can still hit you. I would like to improve the to-hit penalties granted by the cloaking device, but I’m not sure if that’s possible. I think the only variable I have to play with is the length of time you can cloak for.

I’m picturing a Cloaking Device that consumes quite a bit of power, but can cloak your ship for a very long time – somewhere between 2-5 times the current length of cloaking time. I still question the effectiveness of cloaking in the first place, but if you’re going to cloak it should be much more than a few seconds. The recharge time might also take longer, so you wouldn’t be able to cloak as often.

Alternatively, if its possible, I might give the cloaking device some inherent damage repair capability, since its kind of pointless by itself, and it seems weird to have a module that’s only effective if you have another specific module. As it is, it’s already requiring power.

ECM
I know it could be potentially unbalancing, both ways depending on AI intelligence, but I would like to see ECM last a bit longer. This may hold true for other “timed” attack-types too, such as radiation and disruption, but I definitely think ECM – especially since it has such an impressive visual effect – should be a big deal. To that end, I think all ECM weapons should have a lower rate of fire, lower tracking speed, and a much longer duration. (Again, somewhere between 2-5 times as long…) It would also give much more of an incentive to have an ECM defense module. (Although this, too, seems like a module crying out for a secondary function.)


#2

Armor at x10 was just a bit too much – i think x5 will work better.

Also, working on Fighter Missiles.


#3

I agree that armor in its vanilla state seems kind of pointless. I use it for ‘not getting owned by fighters’ purposes, i.e. having an average value of 12 or more.

And now that you’ve pointed it out, the crew does seem slightly arbitrary. This is the future, things do themselves now! Robots picking up laundry, washing it and putting it in the drawer again and stuff. Guns fire themselves now, too. Tweaking the crew and its effects would seem interesting at least.

Cloak… well, it’s still pointless, but at least pointless and cool.

ECM… well, reducing tracking speed would make target assists more needed. High risk, high reward with the longer reload time and the longer effect time.

All in all, the words that I would use to describe your experiments would be “very interesting”. :wink: