Why shield regeneration? It’s impossible to make shields that can stand up to an sort of pounding by plasma or most missiles, or a few other weapons, a fraction of the time a heavy armor ship can. In fact doing so would require a rebalance of the game, or it would require you to massively up the individual shield strength to mitigate the effect. Also regeneration rewards players who are able to quickly destroy enemy ships so that their shield have time to regenerate, it would also make the armor problem worse because then instead of having ships that can last against armors indefinitely because of their shields your armor will eventually wear the shield down. Even worse then shields just become armor but with lower resistance values. If you really thing that shield regeneration is drawing things out or that cruiser nanorepair (the one that repairs systems) is causing battles vaguely as long as what armor you just need to find an effective ship design for taking down shields. Otherwise the rounds would last pretty much as long as it took for one side to reach range as they would be eggshells fighting each other with sledgehammers.
I agree about not being able to build ships without engines, but why destroy a ship because it lost an engine? I can’t figure a reason to do that at all. The empire weapons platform is, as far as I can tell, almost worthless as a direct combatant and any weapon you can put on it you can find an equally long ranged or longer ranged variant on a cruiser that can pound it from outside it’s own range. You might win once against a fleet that wasn’t prepared, but it would be a one shot deal at best, and you’d need to hope your massive missile spam worked before they hit beam range.
I think that adding a game mode that required massive rebalancing of shields versus would be a bit much to ask, nor is there a reason since it’s not like regenerating shields take that long to go down.
The new changes are pretty good. I’d say that anti-fighter weapons are still lacking though. You can still build fighters with 3.00+ speed that just don’t get shot down fast enough by anything other then if they get caught in a tractor-beam. And just tractor-beams aren’t good enough. When fighters get stuck in a tractor-beam there is no guaranty they will be shot, so you just have to overload on anti-fighter weapons and hope something decides to target that fighter caught in the tractor-beam for the few seconds it’s there.
P.S. Could you clear out all the old challenges from before this last patch? Hard to test strategies when half the enemy fleet is missing because the designs are invalid.
I think armor should have the absorb that it does and not regen, and shield should lack any absorb and regen. I don’t like the reflectivity of shields because it seems like they are the best of both worlds that way.
Since the basic ideas of shields and armour are, respectively to stop damage before it reaches the hull and to minimise damage, it makes more sense if shields absorb damage and armour mitigates it.
On a slightly different note, I think the pilot resource should be re-thought. Currently, fleets tend not be composed of some Cruisers, more Frigates and most Fighters, and that could be addressed simply by having different crew types for each.
Could you add a break for which patch the changes happens? I see that “Rebel Atlantis bomber hull cost increased and power output reduced” was updated in 1.08. If you do a major balance change in a patch it will be easy to see what has changed.
Something still needs to be done about fast fighter. I can still make a fighter with 3.08 speed with a laser canon. It destroys all but the most armored frigates, can kill slower fighters, and only well armored cruisers can stand up to it. Now I’ve made “balanced” fleets that can kill fighter spam like this, usually with dozens of tractor-beams is the only answer. The problem is this fleet now sucks against anything besides mass fighters.
One glaring error I see is “anti-fighter” weapons still don’t work on fast fighters. The only way to kill them is to slow them down with the tractor beam. But now that they are slow you don’t need “anti-fighter” weapons. So I’ve actually found that a mix tractor-beams and cruiser lasers or ion cannons work best. This is because these weapons have enough damage to actually cripple/kill the fighter in the shot or two that actually land when the ship is in the tractor beam.
Solution. Make it so “anti-fighter” weapons work against a fighter at any speed. Or make it so fighters can’t go so fast these “anti-fighter” weapons can’t hit them without a tractor-beam.
There is definitely another round of balancing that needs doing, and fighters need to be nerfed a bit. Something I noticed in some recent playtesting is that against superfast fighters, tractor beams aren’t as effective as they should be. Tractors should be able to pretty quickly slow any of them to a near-stop long enough for a few shots at them
I don’t think fast fighters are so much the problem, to me its more that there is no effective and reliable counter to them. As mentioned above, anti-fighter systems need to be rebalanced against fast fighters - even it simply meant that current anti-fighter missiles have a better hit ratio than they currently do.
One missile that was used in Freespace 2, mainly by bombers, was an Anti-fighter Area Effect Missile that split into multiple warheads at all exploded at the same time - but I can’t remember the name of it. Perhaps this type of balancing solution might be worth looking into.
Thinking about the other game, it also had specific Anti-Fighter Fighter Missiles - short range, very fast, very maneuverable, very hard to shake.
how about simply making tractor beams stay on longer? And also avoid using multiple beams on the same target as I’ve noticed there’s no difference in slowing power. Either that or make multiple beams have a stronger effect or even start crushing fighters.
Additionally you could have damage on all tractor beams based on the speed of the fighter once it gets too high since they’ll experience more hull stress from being slowed from lightning fast to 0, possibly enough to rip them apart. That would help with the current phenomenon of ultra fast fighters being nigh invincible.
Reverse tractor beam might also be cool. Send the fighter spinning off across space with a little bit damage for good measure. That way it has to make its way back to where the action is thus lowering overall fighter swarm DPS. Also it increases the chance that it will be picked off by ships not currently engaging a fighter. Since a lot of what’s deadly about fighters is the fact that they swarm up on a given ship and only 1/10th of the antifighter weaponry in your fleet can be brought to bear.
Would armor negate tractor beam damage as it’s increasing the structural stability of the fighter or would it make it worse as there’s more mass being suddenly stopped thus creating more stress?
armour should decrease tractor damage. oh i do like the idea of fast fighters taking damage in the beams.
slow lumbering heavy bombers will just go slower, but rice-rockets will get torn up… sounds like a nice balance to the fast fighters to me. and that’d also compensate for the way that even tractored, it’s random chance whether a gunboat fires on that particular fighter at that particular time.
[cruiser tractors obviously hurt more than frigate ones… they might even damage really fast frigates]
Making ships prioritize fighters caught in tractor beams as targets would help a lot. Unless it’s been changed (haven’t used tractor beams in a while, so I could be behind the times), as often as not you’ll see a tractor freeze a fighter, it’ll sit there unmolested while everyone’s randomly shooting at all the other fighters zipping around, and then off it’ll go, none the worse for wear.
Updating tractor beams to do damage as well would certainly be another option. As long as we’re talking fictional tractor-beam physics, though, I wouldn’t think the initial velocity of the slowed object would matter, at least assuming tractor beams work by applying an equal amount of force to, and/or subtracting an equal amount of inertia from, all matter in their area of effect. It would only be a problem for the target if the beam tractored, say, the back half of your fighter, stopping it instantly while the front half is still trying to do 300 meters per second. My preferred explanation for “crusher” beams would be that they are modulated tractor beams that apply wildly varying forces to different areas of the target.
Maybe tractor beams can be rethought? EW pulse that jams a fighter’s controls and shuts off engines?
My space superiority fighters seem to do well enough against fast fighter spam. rebel / 2 fighter lasers, armor, good speed. their orders are to attack fighters , with attacking frigates at 1% priority.
While playing against a fleet that had several tractor beams earlier today, it seemed like slowed fighters were actually getting shot at quite a bit, so maybe it is working pretty well. I guess some more rigorous testing would be in order…
Here is what I have noticed. If you have several frigates with tractor beams, so 8 tractor beams in general, and anti-fighter weapons. A squad of 16 fighters comes in and they will get chewed up fast. Maybe 10-20 seconds. Now say instead of one squad it’s 5 squads. After 10-20 seconds there could easily only be 1-2 fighters killed. If targeting priority worked correctly you would think that the same number of fighters would be destroyed in that time.