[Mod] Unity v2.032 - A New Threat


#781

I honestly cant remember if i rolled everything into one zip or not now . .
If the download is missing viral versions of the dreads then i have to put it back together again.


#782

I must confess…I find Uni-T RELATIVELY well balanced, though it is balanced in unorthodox ways

Yes, Uni-T has considerable firepower and tactical options unimaginaed by the other races…even Union doesn’t have a weapon with a 1540 range (the extended beam laser)…balanced because of it’s extremely high MINIMUM range…once any ship gets inside that minimum range such weapons become useless.

Now concerning his heavy/rapid…the big thing you need to consider, in conjunction with Uni-T hulls, is weight. Consider that he DID NOT make more powerful engines for Uni-T…so module weight is going to have a significant effect on ship speed. And as we all know ship speed is a huge factor on survivability.

True many of his ships are fighter-sized and carry frigate-class weaponry. But the added weight of his weapons (and indeed many of his standard modules) means reduced speed. So what you get is a tiny, and relatively slow frigate with it’s only defenses being frigate level (or weaker) shielding and it’s relatively small size, which thanks to it’s slow speed doesn’t offer a great deal of defense…especially with the -50% hull integrity his ships have.

Concerning his cruisers (and I may be using an outdated version but I don’t think so) one of them has a speed boost, another a shield boost and the last a power boost at 40% but their SIZE means that even the speed boost is only marginally helpful in avoiding enemy fire, the slow speed of the other two means that even that 40% extra shielding can be chewed through relatively quickly. And while the power boost means the ability to carry more than one of Uni-T’s trademark super weapons, that ship isn’t going to be moving at any kind of worthwhile speed.

And of course with their -50% hull…even the fastest of Uni-T’s cruisers is vulnerable to a figter attack…especially from the Swarm.

His Dreadnaughts have similar problems…except exacerbated by their even larger size, and decreased ability to concentrate firepower.


#783

Yeah, it was bundled with the main download. Thanks.
I forgot how cool the Unity ships look - it’s been a while since played.
I’m assuming you’re working on viral parasites? Or do you have other projects planned?


#784

Viral Parasites . . . interesting.
Just thinking on how i would set that up.

I am always working on a project or two, i just cant mention them unless the author gives me permission.
(for example Preators and the Turrets i have build for the PI mod)

So all i can say for now is that I have 3 members of the forum that i am helping with various aspects of their mod, so once i have finished helping them i will see if i can get wrap by brain around Unity once more.


#785

When reading that, I was struck by the apparent redundancy of it. It looks funny in print. :slight_smile:

In all seriousness, I think that having Parasite ships become “assimilated” by Uni-T would be cool. I mean, look how those evil creeps have wisely split up and spread stealthily across the width of the game galaxy! That greatly multiplied the odds that sooner or later, a Uni-T Cleaning Squad would encounter a Parasite fleet and recognize MORE trash to be disposed of.


#786

I see what your saying - yes your right, one of the Parasite locations is extreamly close to where Uni-T has a recycling center

If i do go ahead with adding the doubly redundant viral parasites, I will make the mod in such a way that if the player does not have the Parasites already installed, the game will crash. (if i cant do that, then I will delay the release a lot longer)


#787

A Solarian Union task group had a run-in with a Uni-T flotilla. This was the mission “Valley of Death” on expert.

So, it was a battleship, two light cruisers, three strikefighter squadrons, two assault fighter squadrons, and a bunch of interdiction and attack drones. Good times. Uni-T didn’t too well, but I think that’s because there weren’t enough fighters to achieve supremacy, which let my assault fighters run amok on the capital ships.

Also, the Uni-T music is awesome to rock out to, haha.

youtu.be/JxZSftZ6tsY


#788

The Uni-T ships didn’t stand a chance. Even if The Drones managed to achieve space dominance, the Unity cruisers moved too slow. With the SU Cruisers using hit n run tactics, it was only a matter of time.

I think i am going to have to revisit some of those ship designs.

So question Forge:
WHO are the Solarian Union which is kicking chrome ?
Are you planning to turn it into an official mod ?


#789

Humans from Earth. Solarian = Sol = the sun. As for making it mod, in the sense that I’ll (someday) release a Solarian Union as a faction, yes. I’m utterly incompetent when it comes to graphics design, so don’t expect flashy new graphics. I might dust of what little I remember with Photoshop to maybe mod some of the Rebel ships into something distinct, but meh. Modules and concepts first.

Concerning the seemingly one-sided battle, those three capital ships, fighters, and drones were all I could field on the budget. They’re individually powerful, but hideously expensive. Maybe too expensive and too individually powerful (the light cruisers were about 10k each, and the battleships was roundabouts 28.5k). Anyhow, concerning your drone fighters, I noticed not many of them had space superiority weaponry, and they were the chunky corvettes, I think. In the “Take Out The Trash” mission, there were a lot more of those heavy fighters, with shields and anti-fighter weapons. They’re able to survive several direct hits from the suicide drones, and when they came to grips with my own fighters they ripped them a new one. I needed some good old fighter spam to keep them from nibbling my big ships to death.

But yeah, if you didn’t notice, the SU ships love fighting from range. Get some fast ships + antimissile defenses, and they won’t like it much. Won’t be completely one-sided, though, since there’s still sprint missiles, graviton beams, and mass drivers, not to mention the ultras, but yeah.

Sorry for the derailing the thread, too. I really have to make my own, haha.


#790

No worries, it just pays to know how tough a stain is so you can select the correct cleaning armada !


#791

I very explicitly checked the stats comparing vanilla and extended, heavy, rapid fire versions of several weapons. While some cost-related stats are doubled, some are only +50% and some are the same.

Ok, look at cruiser pulse laser:

Vanilla: 123 cost, 8 crew, 7 power, 100 weight.
Rapid: 234 cost, 8 crew(still), 14 power, 150 weight.

So cost and power were doubled, but weight was only 50% and crew was identical. Slot space is identical.

It is worthwhile to note that you cannot necessarily compensate for increased offense with decreased defense. Ships with a significant firepower advantage at long range will be able to blow away opposing ships before they can even get into range. Imagine if the federation had 100 times the firepower, but only 1% of the hull strength. Would it be balanced?
Heck no! They would utterly obliterate all comers before even taking any damage.
It is worth noting that hull damage is the last thing that happens, after shields and armor. By that time, the ship’s capabilities start diminishing pretty quickly anyways. It is still a significant factor, but it does not necessarily balance out.

Also, some mod makers assume that 1 monolithic ship is balanced with 4 smaller ones if cost is the same. For example Union. Even if perfectly balanced and you had a Big Ship with 100 firepower and 800 defense vs 4 ships with 25 firepower and 200 defense.
What would happen is 2 rounds later, Big is at 600defense and 100 firepower and the small ships are at 75 firepower and 200x3 defense.
2 rounds later, Big = 450 D, small = 50F,400D.
2 later, Big = 350D, small = 25F,200D.
2 rounds later Big wins at 300D.


Finally, I don’t think the hulls are all that bad. Looking at Unity prime elite barrager cruiser.
200 width,height = big. 400 cost = bad. 50% integrity = bad.

BUT, 120 starting power produced = really really good.
40% boost to all power generated = really good.
with 12 turrets, 8 slots.

Recon Drone is pretty good too. 60 cost fighter, 1 weapon, 3 slots, 4 power with 10% speedboost. Ability to use corvette weaponry/stuff is pretty strong. Ditto with the other speed-class fighters.
Corvette anti-fighter missiles = really good. about as good as frigate AAs.
Corvette torpedos are a sick beating too.
It seems possible to make decent fighter-class ships that are costeffective and a lot easier on the pilot counts.


Math and stuff aside, I know that I do a HECK of a lot better with both Unity Prime and Unity Viral when playing campaign, challenges for sure, and scenarios.

Kinda reminds me of early days World of Warcraft… “So I rolled a Rogue and all the sudden I got like 10 times better and am a skilled ninja!.. but when I go back to my druid or warlock, I suck again! Wierd…”


#792

I don’t know if it’s that simple, about 1 heavy ship vs four smaller ones.

I can think of some general scenarios where the four can beat the one.

If the smaller ships are faster, they’re more likely to dodge incoming fire. If they all mount EMP cannons, they can continously stunlock the large ship. If they can come in from different vectors, the large ship will be forced to distribute its fire amont the small ships, while the small ships only have one (big) target to pot away against.

As for cost, it doesn’t always scale that way, either. One large ship might cost the same as four small ships, but the large ship might have 500 attack and 1000 defense, while the combined smaller ships can have 600 attack and 1200 defense, and so on.

Not saying you’re necessarily wrong in theory, but it’s certainly not a blanket statement.


#793

There’s not a single Unity fleet I can think of that I can’t rush anymore. So I think that’s balanced enough. The 50% hull penalty is combined with those super gigantic hulls, so anything that gets near will kill them.

Again, you can’t simply compare Unity with existing online fleets since they are optimized to beat other vanilla fleets. Obviously they are going to kill those 0.05 speed MWM spams with armor tanks because strategy with range > 1200 was nonexistent in vanilla. Nobody is going to put more than 1 engine on their MWM spams. It doesn’t mean that Unity isn’t balanced if people start compensating their strategies against them.

Granted, every modded race with more than 2 usable hulls and 1 optimum strategy is bound to be OP compared to vanilla.


#794

First off, thankyou to everyone for taking the time to post your feedback :slight_smile:

After looking over joe1512 post - he raises some rather interesting points about the balancing in Unity and some of the concepts I used. So I decided to take the time and explore joes examples and post the results. (There are a few screenies from the Increased Damage vs Decreased Defense Experiment)

At the time - these ratios seemed to give me the best results for balancing out the increase in firepower.

I found with the weight - it doesn’t really come into play for the cruisers as much. 200% or 50% the cruiser will still be slow. (watch Forges vid to see how a slow cruiser gets stomped)

As for slot space - while I would love for Cliffski to have implemented the Hi-Tech Slot (octagon in shape) so I could make these variant weapons “hi-Tech” weapons which would in turn limit the number per hull - its not gonna happen (unless one of the forum modding members wins a large sum of cash and “contracts” Cliff to make the changes.)

Crew has always been touch and go. I have long been thinking of introducing an increase in crew requirements as a nerf
(it would just be freakin painful for me since I would have to revisit EVERY SHIP DESIGN !!)

While i agree the weapons are slightly overpowered, i think that they are balanced out by the weaker hulls.

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I have to disagree on this one. I think that you can always compensate an increase in offence with a decrease in the defence - so long as the game mechanics allows you to implement them. Because tactical planning starts to play a major role - (well that’s my theory anyways)

I recreated this example in my game by creating an enemy fleet is using Uni-T extended range weapons.
( i loaded up 3 long range cruisers and used 3 federation eagle cruisers)

Attempt 1: So deploy my armour tanks, slow as a glacial but they can take the punishment. . . Result - LOSS, yeap - you are right, my fleet was picked apart before they could even get a shot in.

Attempt 2: Need for speed, - so I deploy my rush fleet, quick but tend to fall apart even quicker. Result - WIN. While I lost a few as they closed the gap, but my ships were within the minimum range, they were safe and wiped out the enemy. The trick was to close the gap as fast as possible - Ask any Aussie from the light Calvary :wink:

Yes your absolutely right and I concur - that there is NO direct relationship between any two factors when it comes to balancing.

However when you introduce more variables you can achieve a balance, Using the same example, mod the weapon to have 100 times the cost and power requirements to help offset the 100 times damage - then maybe yeah its roughly balanced. (Tweaks would be required to perfect it, but its not a bad starting point). Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 negatives to offset a positive.

If you only used 2 variables to balance as in your above example - yeah, I agree. (but add a few more negative effects into the mix to help offset the damage and it gets interesting) Since I personally think the best place to find out if what works is by using it IN the game and your idea was rather intriguing - I HAD to try it out this extreme version :slight_smile:

<>
Take one Cruiser Laser and multiply by 100

[config]
unlockcost = 0
lockable = 0
armour_penetration = 15
blasttexture = "turret_blast_red.dds"
category = "WEAPONS"
classname = "SIM_BulletWeaponModule"
color = 1
cost = 11300
crew_required = 4
damage = 2000
description = "Powar Extreme"
fire_interval = 430
guiname = "Century Laser"
height = 80.3
hitpoints = 100
icon = turret
min_range = 90
max_range = 490
name = "cruiser_century_laser"
optimum_range = 400
powerconsumed = 1100
shield_penetration = 55
size = "CRUISER"
sound = data/sounds/swarm_gun_08.ogg
soundvolume = 1.0
speed = 6
tracking_speed = 0.9
turret_sprite = "turret_bull_v1"
turretsize = 60.0
weight = 1350
width = 20.2
slot_type = TURRET
uisortpos = 1

For this experiment I used the Unity Formula - Since the damage was a factor of 100 the power and cost was also increased by the same amount.

The only “vanilla” hull that was up to the challange of mounting the Century Lazor was a modified Lion Dreadnought - Teh Kitteh Dreadnought. The hull integrity boost was -100% (well 0.999)


Ok, In the game I was able to deploy this one porcelain Federation ship with a very expensive 1 Century Weapon (all the other slots for /crew/shield/armor) while the Alliance has a standard fleet. (combo of Cruisers / Frigates / Fighters - Defending Sirius for those that want to play along at home)


The battle started and the 2 sheild generators held their own with the armor able to fend off the fighters.
THe first victim of the battle was this frigate, it was a one shot kill that forced the ship back nearly its full lengh



However as the 2 enemy cruisers closed in, this lone ship with is solo cannon could not destroy all the attackers in time as they came within range. Once the shields fell, there was only 2 hitpoints that seperated this ship from Normal to Nova

It was kinda like the Deathstar - kicks the crap outta capships but one plucky fighter pilot with a well placed torpedo and BOOOM !

Overall - I think it comes down to how you balance out the variables. (Using your example - increasing the firepower by 100 and decreasing the hull by 100 is not and equal exchange. You will need to tweak it with power / crew / cost and anything else you want to throw into the mix and adjust those factors as well before you will be able to achieve a balance.)

The Balancing of a mod is not an exact science - it is art

Again, while its great to get a rough balance of stats and ships outside of the game - in the end the tweaking needs to occur in the game to perfect the final product. The scenario you mentioned is quite valid - if the ships are all moving at the same speed and had the same chance of being hit. However in the game the size of the ship relates to the chance of being hit by weapons fire. So the 1 big monolithic ship will be hit by EVERY weapon that is fired at it, while the four smaller ships have a reduced chance of being hit, more so if they have an increased speed.

I wont go into it at this point but there is a whole new dimension to combat - If your really interested, hit up the Tournament part of the forum and have a read through the threads contained within, you will see how the members there have honed the ships to extract the last drop of combat potential. Also its worth looking over 123stw guides on Competitive Play - I have used some of the basic tricks mentioned in there to make some of the missions that bit harder.

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Thanks for that - I am quite proud of the way they turned out, I really like the purple highlights on the . . oh wait, your talking about the stats - sorry.

Hmm, the starting power on the hulls might have to go after all. Especially since it can mitigate the extra power requirements of the variant weapons.

I think its time to place that part under the microscope and have a good look into the impact It has on the balance (which means that I will have to revisit every ship design - DAMNIT)

Drones have always been a pain. The corvette weapons are about 60% of the frigate version.
I don’t know what I am going to do with them at the moment. . .

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Ah, that’s because you have a wide tactical range at your fingertips. You build your ships to suit your playing style and the enemy does not have a chance to adapt. (i.e. if you go range they go rush)

Once again - thankyou for your input and please keep challenging the ideas and concepts in the Unity mod (because it keeps me on my toes and to revisit decisions I made over a year ago)

In summary, I still think there are a few rough patches in the mod where the balance is less than perfect. Based on your examples it looks like I have to work out a way to provide the tactical diversity yet constrain you at the same time . . <>


#795

I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape about it though. The purpose of the mod is to entertain and you have admirably succeeded in that venture. Thats what counts!

I kinda like being able to try new strategies, new ship designs, etc. It has really kept the game fresh for me. Plus I like being able to play the campaign without getting butt-hurt by the 20th round or so. Especially since it crashes all the freaking time and every reload = full attack from all my enemies regardless of threat, who pull ships right out of their bungholes. (not that I’m bitter…)

Still it is good that you have more of an eye and commitment to maintaining some kind of balance, moreso than most mod makers.

Plus, 123 has a good point that all existing fleets are for the current Vanilla metagame. If Unity/Union were actually introduced for reals, then the metagame would shift and you’d see vanilla fleets more capable of dealing with the mod capabilities.

I think it is more than that. When I go campaign, I send the same ships to do everything, so I do wind up fighting everything that vanilla metagame can throw at me. I don’t design to counter particular fleets (whether that is good, scrubby, or whatever I won’t say), so I strive to make a fleet that is capable of taking on all comers.
My Union/Unity ones do a heck of a lot better than my best vanilla efforts even with tribe.


One of the first things I found was that the extended longrange weapons aren’t all that overpowered. They cannot deliver enough firepower to crush enough enemies before the baddies get into their dreaded minimum range. So ext-Plasma, ext-MWM, etc didn’t really work very well.

So I had much better luck optimizing around the 1k range area. Extended cruiser lasers are a sick beating as mentioned, with 1 or 2 tachyon lances to totally hoze armor ships. Smart bombs effectively counter enemy ranged attempts past 1k, so the only thing left is their Plasma spam which gets massively out DPS-ed by my 1k range ships.
One of my designs uses 1.4k positronics to strip shields and damage modestly armored targets at range. These weapons have min range, but it is not nearly as punishing as the ultra-longrange weapons and they are rarely idle.


And finally to clarify: The 1 big vs 4 smaller was meant as an illustration to show that sometimes what appears to be balanced on the surface is actually not so balanced. Same example works with mechwarrior and many other such games, when you have entities that are able to absorb X amount of damage before their capabilities start dropping. In this scenario, one big is usually better than multiple littles who start getting destroyed and losing firepower on that side, while the Big retains full capabilities.

I wasn’t saying that Union/Unity necessarily fall into that category nor is it that simple. It is just something to consider when making Bigger Better stuff.

The offense/defense example about 100x was to show the theory that Offense is usually better than defense. What I meant to say was to imagine ships that have weapons with the same cost,weight,etc, that are 100 times stronger with 1% hull. I wasnt’ really counting on you multiplying the power and cost by 100, as I was showing a generic example not necessarily related to your mod. Though I guess that IS fair since that is what you do in your mod.
You needed a longer range weapon though! Maybe try a Plasma Torpedo or something. Or an MWM.


#796

That’s because you are using the 2 worst possible extended weapons… 1 shot at a time limit kills them.

Try 1 extended Tachyon and 1 extended beam laser per ship, that alone is enough to kill every single slow fleet in existence. Now you have the rest of the slots to pack anti rush defense… Stuff like extended cruiser lasers or heavy cruiser lasers. Now that I think about it that might be an unkillable fleet…

Edit: So yeah I got something I can’t rush… Except it uses ext rad and rapid rad instead of CL. The 1200 ext rad range + 1 ext tachyon + 1 ext beam makes sure I win all long range fights anyway. Drone launcher/rapid pulse/armor seem to be enough fighter defense.

Challenge # 4802755. I can’t do anything to this silly fleet with vanilla. All known Vanilla Rushes dies horribly to it… So yeah you need to do something about that…


#797

Well in any case it shows that the ext MWM/Plasma are balanced at least… :wink:

The 1 at a time mostly affects missiles though, not plasma right? Plasma travels pretty fast and has a 3 second cooldown anyways, which is plenty of time for it to travel the 1900 range or so. So I would think it would still work adequately. But the min-range kills it still. Maybe you are referring more to the ‘overkill effect’ where many many plasmas shoot at 1 crappy frigate then they all have to reload.


Note about Tachyon. The modified Tachyon versions are WIERD. Base Tachyon is freaking awesome. 940 range, 110 penetration, 128 dmg at 4400reload.
But then something odd happens to the modified versions.
Extended goes to 60 penetration, 1880 max, 840min, 67 dmg at 3000 reload. Its a totally different weapon.
The “heavy” version has 60 penetration, 135 dmg/3000. Why does the heavy version deal only 20% more dmg and half the penetration?
Ditto with rapid fire version that hits for 67 dmg every 1500 ms.


I do like those rad guns. They pair very well with pulse lasers who don’t have the shield-busting capabilty but are awesome at anti-fighter and high DPS.


#798

Plasmas are definitely “1 shot in flight, per launcher” weapons. Oh, and the poor accuracy of the weapon can make that long rearming period feel quite agonizing.

The sole exception to the launcher limitation is the Plasma Slinger, which is a racially-unique weapon used by the Parasites (the recently-released DLC race).


#799

Plasma works fine at the 950 range, just not so much at 1900 range.

And cruiser plasma is the only plasma in vanilla I will use, yes even after parasite mod.

But seeing as unity mod has extended tachyon, extended rad gun,and extended CL, I just don’t see why you would want to touch any form of plasma. As for tachyon, I think they got change to this weird from because they were OP as hell. Imagine the heavy one having double the normal damage…

Extended tachyon is awesome because 1 per ship = instant win vs all those sub 0.1 fleets.

As for normal tachyon, You can probably mix tachyon/ext cl to kill everything at the 940 range…


#800

Thanks for picking up that mistake. I had been nerfing the Tach Lance because they were the most OP weapon for awhile. Looking back i can see that i have yet to apply the nerf to the original tach lance. (so i next to fix that in the next patch)

Also need to play Challenge # 4802755