This is not an attempt to start a new balance thread, as there’s already one for the current game mechanics. Rather, this started out as an attempt to quantify the value of a hull, and ended up exposing some areas where the game could be improved. I also accidentally discovered exactly what makes The Tribe so over-powered. Anyway, read on…
Hull Values in GSB
The credit is the true resource of the game. Speed, power, offensive/defensive capability are all subject to this. Speed by the number of engines, which costs you credits. Power by the number of generators, which costs you credits. Offensive capability by the number and type of weapons on your ship, which cost you credits etc…
The true value of a hull is in how much money it will save you while still accomplishing your goals, leaving you more money to buy more hulls.
Hull Bonuses are there to reduce(or increase) the cost of the attribute they effect, thereby saving(or costing) you credits.
Hull Integrity boosts are different. They increase the intrinsic hull value of EVERY ITEM added to the ship. This means you increase the value of EVERY ITEM, yet it’s cost remains the same.
[*]This is what makes The Tribe OP. Every time you add a module or turret to your ship, you increase the longevity of the ship. If you actually add armor or shields, you STILL add hull points as well. Yes, the armor/shield amount/power is reduced, but it’s resistance is NOT. You get all the benefits of the shield/armor you added in terms of resistances, half the damage absorbable, but have added a full +100% of the hp of the module to your hull. The ships just will NOT die. Their shields will drop, their armor will get pounded, but that’s just the icing on the cake for them. You’ve got to DESTROY them to stop them, and they keep coming at you while you do it. Take any other race and you’ll see their armor or shields cannot stand up to a pounding for even a fraction of the time a tribe hull can, and here’s the rub. The other races have to buy dedicated items to take advantage of their bonuses. Tribe? Nah… We get our hull bonus just by buying crap for our ships, no matter WHAT it is. Nowhere is this disparity more evident than in buying weapons. A weapon increases the offensive power of your ship. A weapon for the tribe increases offensive power AND defensive power. If you want to win, play Tribe… At least until Cliffski fixes this.
If you don’t have tribe, picking a hull with the highest hull bonus possible can give you the biggest bang for your buck.
The true value of a hull is therefore it’s cost divided by it’s potential cost savings.
Hull Integrity increases the defensive capability with every item added to the ship, so each percentage point of hull integrity carries the highest value.
For armor, power, shield, and speed, use the following paragraph, substituting the word for .
- On hungry ships, boosts can give you an extra module that you would have otherwise used for another module, but more likely it will just allow you to use smaller, less expensive modules. Most of the time you know how much you need, and will add modules until you get that amount or more. The end result is it saves you some credits, but probably not very many. Each percentage point of boost therefore potentially saves you amount of money, but does not directly add to the survivability of the hull. How much money? Well… read on…
- As of right now, my limited mind is unable to work out the true value of a given hull, because I can’t see how you can quantify "x% of boost is equal to z amount of credits. Maybe someone with a better grasp of this sort of thing can figure this out? Until such time as this happens, I will assume that quantifying is not possible given the current mechanics.
In my opinion, the value of a hull is really how much money it can save you while getting the job done. You should be able to put a credit value on “10% powerbost”, or “-50%” shield boost". But you cannot, because the modules that they effect, as far as I can tell, don’t cost the same amount per power consumed/created, damage caused, hull points added, etc…
So, if it was known exactly how much each percent boost the above should cost, then hull, module, and weapon values could be computed and assigned dynamically by the game, rather than read from the config file for the item, thus assuring equality. The performance of the game would be the same, all that would be adjusted is the cost of the items.
Perhaps someone really good at this stuff could figure out how much various things should cost… I’ll keep working at it, but I feel like maybe I haven’t had enough math classes…