Systems that aren't quite working out


#1

Just a few things I feel should be looked at.

Fighter Torpedoes:

The recent change to allow idle weapons to attack targets that do not have orders (e.g. “attack fighters” deleted) was primarily a good thing. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the last straw for torpedo fighters. This new behavior combined with their long reload time and awkward min/max range circle causes them to dump a significant number of torpedoes at meaningless targets such as fighters and anything else nearby. Megatons suffer from this to some degree as well.

They do too low of a damage over time with such a poor survivability to effectively operate with this level of inconsistency.

Even when up against a single target, they have difficulty with:
Shielded or moving Frigates
Multishielded targets
Scramblers or other point defense

Pretty much their only reliable purpose was to assassinate the odd isolated 15+ armor frigate that was set up to catch rocket fighters. The price torpedoes pay for the penetration they have is far too great to be worthwhile right now.

Of all things, I think this weapon system needs an overhaul - perhaps torpedoes could serve a different function.

Disruptor bombs:

Disruptors do a different type of damage - shield stability. Since there’s currentlly no such thing as a “half disrupted” shield, disruptor bombs are an all-or-nothing affair. They do not assist with or are not assisted by other weaponry, and until they fully bring a shield down, they have no consequence on the deployment whatsoever. This requires a significant minimum investment.

They are also subject to interference from the ubiquitous scrambler, driving the threshold higher.

This binary (and unreliable) nature of this weapon combined with its pricetag makes it a very unattractive alternative to the very versatile ion cannon. This is especially relevant as of late as it seems the new Order race is designed around disruptor use.

Point defense:

There’s something wrong with non-scrambler point defense solutions. They do not fire as consistently or as frequently as the scrambler does (despite the advertised fire rates), and when they do, it’s too often a miss against the weapons players generally employ. They seem to work much better against slow missiles like the megaton, so perhaps they are tracking limited?

This may seem like a non-issue due to the scrambler’s availability as a substitute, but frigates do not have this option, leading to the need to park frigates in dangerous and explodable clusters around a cruiser with no ability to roam with their superior speed.

The fact that many missiles fire in quick volume or with decoys is bad enough - the additional PD misses due to tracking don’t seem fair.

Plasma:

The use of this system is declining. Plasma is theoretically balanced as an “uncounterable” weapon with its low tracking DPS and stringent range requirements. Any closer than the optimal range of 800 and DPS drops further. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this balancing methodology, it just means that this weapon system is not one you want to mount on forward-moving units.

The problem in practice, however, is twofold:

  1. Keeping a unit at the optimal standoff range of 800m stretches the AI to the limit. It can be done to a limited degree with very creative interpretations of the order set, but all it takes is something unexpected, like a target with “cautious” orders, to break this. On the face of things, if a unit is both faster and of significantly longer range than another, it should have a severe tactical advantage until the edge of the map comes into play. If anything needs a ‘minimum range’ order and AI to survive, it’s plasma weaponry.

  2. The low DPS of plasma put it at a disadvantage against significant recharge shielding and repair systems in the past. But, forget about fast cruisers and stacked shields… The advent of the Tribe completely killed the plasma fleet. Those fat green unstoppable zombies eat plasma like it was going out of style.


#2

Agreed on all points, especially the Torpedo launchers.

I think a lot of these problems could be solved by “ignore” order for fighters, frigates, and cruisers that would have the same effect that deleting attack orders formerly did.


#3

i think plasma weapons are fine, there just for picking off those lightly sheilded frigates or the support cruiser, with a plasma fleet (not a spamer fleet though) i find it quite effective at long range causing havock when my fighters/frigates bring down there sjheilds


#4

Except for the issue with point defense, most of these issues sound like they could be fixed with AI enhancements. If ships could skirmish properly, maintaining optimal range bands would be less difficult and faster cruiser designs wouldn’t be completely pointless. If ships could actually be ordered to ignore certain targets, slow-reloading munitions wouldn’t be wasted on impossible targets. If ships could be ordered to concentrate fire effectively, and prioritize targets by shield status, then the disruptor could be used effectively.


#5

The AI Ignoring shielded targets only goes so far - the weapon just isn’t compatible with other damage types as long as it stays a binary effect.

The disruption effect I think should simply allow a percentage of shots through the shield correlating with the shield stability bar. 75% of a white bar means 25% shots slip through.

Incidentally, I think armor could probably work the same way (condition determines bypass percentage) instead of dropping resistance with damage. It might help even out the damage curve, and allow medium/light armor values to offer some degree of protection.


#6

I’ve only skimmed this, so apologies if this repeats something already mentioned…

Perhaps weapons should have a threshold of targeting speed vs. target’s speed; targets that are VERY unlikely to be hit by the weapon just don’t get shot at. So those torp fighters fly by other fighters and don’t fire, because of the strong mismatch between the targeting speed of their torps vs. the speed of their target.

Make sense?


#7

The “lucky hit” percentage is nontrivial, so you don’t want to universally disallow shooting for all weapons just because the percent chance to hit is low. Throwing idle weapons at fighters as an option should be for the user to decide on.

Torpedoes also have enough tracking to hit very slow fighters (like other bombers) anyway.

When given the simultaneous choice of a cruiser and a fighter, the torpedo bombers actually choose the correct target. The problem occurs because of the poor reload rate of torpedoes and the relatively fast nature of fighters - the gunner only ‘sees’ what it can shoot at the very moment, and often chooses a fighter because it might be the only option at a particular time. Their large minrange circle makes them a bit scatterbrained even when there aren’t any fighters around, spreading their fire over multiple targets.

Then again, EMP weapons never fire on fighters as some part of their internal logic. If we could make fighter torpedoes some kind of EMP weapon that also does damage, that would give the bombers a fairly useful function - one they desperately need, since they really don’t do much in the way of damage.


#8

Alll armor repair modules are useless compared to nanobots. Also the range of decoy launhers is far to short to actually be usefull in conjunction with other missiles.


#9

The EMP Shield is pretty much useless as well there is no protecting effect.
Ships get stunned at the same rate not matter if you have a EMP shield installed or not.


#10

That’s absolutely false. You need 4 EMP defense units to get a 100% chance to counter one EMP strength unit, that’s it. And of course, it’s not a hard 100%, there’s always the lucky shot that gets throught. Please, don’t claim anything unless you can back it up. I can.