Big ships aren’t worth as much as little ships, unless you’re using them as tanks - but you’ve already set the Praetorian up to be a tank cruiser. Unless you want to make the Centurion into a ship that brings lots of firepower to the field, it just isn’t going to be worth as much as a pair of Legion cruiser (which I suspect you can design for ~2000 credits apiece with all modules filled). The Centurion is more likely to be useful as a medium cruiser than a Praetorian-sized ship that carries less firepower than a Legion at much greater cost.
A very fair point. Right, back to the drawing board with that one. I’m struggling quite a bit to find a niche for this hull,
- Praetorian: defensive
- Imperator: offensive
- Legion: small and cheap
- Centurion: unexceptional in just about every way.
I don’t really want to ignore it because hulls that had no reason to exist were part of the reason I tried my hand at modding in the first place, but I’m not sure what else to do. Thanks for the honest criticism though, much appreciated.
Also nice guess on the Legion prices, they come in around 2000-2500 creds apiece and they seem to perform reasonably well in their intended role. Tend to be quite fragile though.
Incidentally I’ll be releasing the first version of this mod soon if anyone wants to give it a try.
Could you compile a list in one spot of the cruisers, their sizes and module slots, costs and bonuses? It might help for suggesting a role for the Centurion. For example:
Imperator Cruiser, 215m, 7 hardpoints, 9 standard modules, 9.3 installed power, $215, +10% Shields and +8% Speed.
One thing you could try, though, is perhaps separating the ‘offensive’ cruiser type to create a cruiser hull which is better for beam-heavy designs and a different hull which favors less energy-intensive designs. Or creating a cruiser that acts as a compromise between the Praetorian and the Imperator (which is what the base-game Centurion is), or a compromise between the Imperator and the Legion. Perhaps it could be a somewhat more expensive enhanced version of the Legion or Imperator cruiser? Slightly larger, slightly enhanced bonuses and power generation, an extra bonus, maybe an extra module slot or hardpoint, something like that. For example:
Legion: $172, 200m, 10 installed power, 6 hardpoints, 11 modules, +16% shields
Centurion (enhanced Legion): $185, 210m, 15 installed power, 6 hardpoints, 11 modules, +16% shields, +8% hull
You pay an extra $13 for 5 more base power and an 8% hull bonus. There are probably configurations where the Legion hull would be the cheap option, and others where the Centurion hull would be the cheap option, with neither being obviously superior to the other in all situations. The Centurion gets a minor hull bonus to compensate for being a bit more vulnerable to strafing, and has a higher base energy production to allow for the potential to downgrade the powerplant (or mount slightly more energy-intensive modules).
You might also garner more interest in this thread if it were over in the modding subforum - that seems as though it’s the more active forum at this point in time.
What about making the Centurion the Cruiser-version of the Imperial Weapons Platform? The cute thing with the IWP is that it is the only frigate that allows 4 Plasma Launchers and a EMP missile while still having shields, armor and propulsion (iirc). At least I found it a viable design unlike other frigates with 5 hard points (are there any? can’t remember). I can produce like 13-14 of them in a turn, or was it 15-16? In any case, three weeks and I have a EMP+plasma spam fleet protected by 10 shield boosters/anti-rush and 8 anti-fighter frigates. With a bit of luck it can beat cruiser armies 4-5x its hit point strength in the campaign.
A cruiser with 10-12 hardpoints and 5-6 normal, plus an ample power bonus and the usual 10% shield bonus could certainly open up some tactical possibilities
I have managed to make good assault frigates and cruisers with the Empire, though. What is lacking is a proper MWM spam hull, so I combined Plasma + MWM hulls (with anti-fighter backup of course) in the same fleet and that one is unbeaten so far. The first new thing I have done in a while!
But on the other hand this means I am doing the same thing with every race, finding the Empire just fine, really.
It should be possible to make every race more unique while avoiding rock-scissors-paper gameplay! I think promoting fleet diversity over extreme single purpose fleets is the way to go. One way of going about this is to make the battles larger in scale and tying fighters to carrier cruisers. I also like the dreadnaught idea; it could have a figher and frigate production capacity so that breaching the defenses to take it down quickly would open up new strategic paths to the game. But this belongs in the GSB2 debate, I presume.
Answering point by point:
I’d like to mention: prices haven’t been totally balanced yet and in some cases I forgot to tweak them at all. Derp.
Praetorian: 235m, 5 hardpoint, 15 standard, 14 power, +25% shield, +10% armour, -10% speed, 240 cost
Imperator: 190m, 8 hardpoint, 8 standard, 9.3 power, +6% shield, +10% power, 160 cost
Legion: 160m, 5 hardpoint, 10 standard, 10 power, +13% speed, -10% cost, 135 cost
… That is genius. What I could do is take the power bonus off the Imperator and replace it with something else (or maybe just one flat bonus to shields) and then make the Centurion into something like:
Centurion: 190m, 7 hardpoint, 11 standard, 12 power, +10% shield, +12% power, 190 cost
End result is two heavy weapon cruiser options, but one is much better optimised for missiles and one is better for plasma/lasers.
The middle-of-the-road cruiser is also an idea that appeals to me, but I’ve noticed what tends to happen with ships that don’t have a speciality is that they get ignored in favour of specialised options.
I plan to in the next day or so.
Thanks very much for your constructive and very informative feedback.
Now onto Stig:
An idea I did consider actually, but I think the IWP style upscaled to cruiser level weaponry would be incredibly broken and would obsolete the Imperator on the spot. (Lack of tank isn’t really a factor as both hulls would be glass cannons.)
It’s not unplayable by any means, but the harsh fact is there is nothing the Empire does that another race can’t do better. IWPs are the only really unique thing they have, but other races have much better frigates anyway (see swarm, rebel, tribe etc.) so that’s barely even an advantage.
Would certainly be good, but is outside both my abilities and the scope of this little project.
Feedback much appreciated, and seems we thought along similar lines with the cruiser-sized weapon platform
Original post updated with the current state of the mod.