GSB: My thoughts

Got the beta the other day (running it on 1.10) and all in all I thoroughly enjoy it, however I’m going to pick it apart and scream about everything I don’t like (well that IS the point of a beta). I’ve played through all the missions with 3 races (all except empire) and had a play around with various ship setups. So here goes my take on the game, in categories:

I like the designs, there’s enough variety within classes, but the power-crazed maniac in me is thinking “Cruisers? That’s the best he can do?”. I want battleships, dreadnoughts, carriers, whatever. I’ve seen the idea of a single large flagship thrown around on the forums, and I don’t really care about the specifics of implementation. We’ve been given our star destroyers (ie. cruisers), but now I want to play around with a super star destroyer, I want an absurdly large and powerful centrepiece ship that only the biggest budget fleets can have more than one of (hell, something small budget fleets couldn’t realistically have ANY of). Furthermore, the empire have weapon platforms, this idea interests me. Space stations of varying shapes and sizes could be cool. Perhaps constraints prohibiting engines on stationary platforms and mandatory inclusion of engines on ships would distinguish them.

Again, I like. Visually each race has its own flavour, and hardpoint loadouts tend towards certain patterns for certain races, making different types of ship superior in different ways. However I’d like even more individuality between races. In terms of modules I’ve only noticed two uniques (both alliance modules) with the rest being generic and statistically identical. Perhaps even include an entire unique class of weapon for each race, carrying inherent weaknesses and strengths.

What there is, is good. What there isn’t is noticable. No projectile weapons for one thing. Artillery, autocannons, flak cannons, rail guns. An entire category that shouldnt be too hard to implement or balance. Visually just a simply projectile, but with a bang on the other end. Low energy consumption, high weight/crew requirement. Lightning weapons are touched on with an alliance unique weapon, but not taken further. Pulse lasers seem to lack any visual oomph, they look like a bland projectile, while I imagine them as something more along the lines of the turbolasers in star wars (large and colourful). Also, different types of weapon doing the same thing seem rather pointless. Cruiser beam lasers for instance, there are two types of slightly varying range, damage and other stats. But the variation seems too small to justify a second module. Perhaps making one variation more drastically short ranged and far more powerful could create different tactical options that can viably be used.

Another idea for weapons I’ve seen touched on is big superweapons. This, I like (particularly in conjunction with bigger ships :P). Slow firing, massively power/crew/weight consuming weapons with a rate of fire that could only be called rapid on a geological scale, but powerful toys nonetheless. Nuclear missiles, big death star-esque lasers, giant railguns. Whatever, it’s shiny, it makes for brilliant cinematic battles in the movies, it would be awesome in this game.

I can’t think of much to complain about here, barring that the modules - within their categories - seem a bit homogenous. That is to say the differences between, for example, a supercharged engine and a regular engine are pretty tiny. Also, while cruisers enjoy a wide range of toys to play with, frigates have hardly anything (and fighters even less).

General Balance:
Short(er) ranged weapon classes seem to get shafted quite badly. Increasing the number of engines on a ship has very little effect on speed, and reduces the number of defensive modules you can equip. End result, you still don’t close the distance very quickly, but get ripped apart as you approach all the more. This renders anti-shield lasers in particular pointless, especially since missiles and plasma perform admirably in the anti-shield role anyway. Fighter size weapons seem overly effective too. Their lasers tear apart even large heavily protected ships in no time, this shouldn’t be the case in my opinion. Bombers should be required to destroy cruisers while fighters can only deal with lighter enemies.

So to summarise:
Ships - want bigger ones, stations would be interesting
Races - want more individuality and uniqueness
Weapons - want more types, want bigger ones
Modules - want more variation, want more for smaller ships
Balance - short range weapons need boosting, peashooters shouldnt kill cruisers

All in all though, a great game with even more potential. I hope that potential is realised :slight_smile:

There’s a few tricks here.

Cruiser Lasers cause horrifying amounts of damage very quickly which is why they have short range. And when you get close enough the missiles/plasma can’t even fire at you. I’ve seen a single laser cruiser take on 4 plasma cruisers and win because of this. The trick is that some players create uber-stacked plasma fleets which require specialized assault designs to get close to.

Fighters lasers have an armor penetration of 8, which means that any ship that wants to survive any length of time while being fighter-swarmed needs to have ~10 armor or greater, preferably with a repair module. Most fighter shots will simply bounce against armored vessels, though they can still score critical hits which will cause damage anyway. Fighters are a good reason to have armor even if you mostly rely on shields.

Yeah I’ve just been trying out the Empire with some new ideas and I’ve found just how fast anti-shield lasers tear enemies apart once they’re in range. I’ve been using slow moving heavily shield tanked cruisers to creep in range, taking down shields with cruiser lasers and armour with cruiser beam lasers. Once armour is down cruiser lasers do indeed inflict horrific hull damage. My only problem is getting them in range. If I heavily tank my ships, they’re slow as hell. If I speed them up, I sacrifice defence and am more likely not to even reach range against a fleet with enough firepower. Still, I haven’t experimented against player fleets yet, I’m still getting my bearings playing the missions. As it stands though, slow, tanked ships seem to fare better, courtesy of the fast regeneration of shields making most incoming fire moot.

On a seperate note, does ECM shielding actually do anything? I’ve put one on my cruisers and they seem to get zapped by enemy ECM on the first shot half the time anyway.

And is armour tanking even remotely feasible? I know armour just shrugs off light hits (and even some pretty heavy hits), but it seems to begin to fold under much lighter firepower than shields (probably courtesy of shield regen) and armour repairers do next to nothing. A bit of armour is always good for giving a buffer against enemy fighters, but aside from that armour seems useless.

Oh, another question, what does cloaking actually do? I’ve seen the AI use it a fair bit, but it seems to have little to no effect on the survivability of their ships.

Ships become very difficult to hit when the camo shield finishes activating. Enemy ships still consider you a normal target though and theyll waste a ton of shots. It is pretty hilarious actually.

The AI ships that camo arn’t really tough enough to take advantage of it.

Armor tanking can be very powerful when you get enough armor to bounce plasma/missile shots (~50), it’s just very expensive to do and you will have to sacrifice weapons firepower to get there. And if the other guy has beams somewhere they’ll damage the armor enough for plasma to punch through pretty quick.

Another consideration with armor is that reactor explosions (on ship death) go right through shields, and they will batter frigates into uselessness pretty quick if there is no armor. It kinda sucks to have 6 frigates with 4 operational weapons systems between them. Been there. xD

I’m not sure if ECM shielding actually works.

The camo module would be wicked if only we could have an order that says: cloak until within X range of Y unit type. Oooh. that would be nasty.

I maintain we need much more variety in weapons, especially fighter weapons… but large ship-size slug throwing monsters with enormous explosions… it makes me drool just thinking about it!