The new outcast Modules balance thread

Ok, this is a thread for discussion of new weapons and modules that will be race-specific to the new outcasts expansion pack. here are the current proposals:

1) Holographic decoy projector beam
A turret module, for cruisers only that projects a ‘fake’ ship. the projection is placed between the owning ship and the biggest enemy ship at the time of activation. A video showing it in use is here:
Enemy ships will treat the decoy as a perfect (but undamaged) copy of the host ship. After a while the AI realizes the shots do no damage and they will stop targeting it. The projector consumes energy when running and needs to recharge. it constantly projects a target when it has enough energy.

cost: 110
power: 10
crew: 8
weight: 135
hitpoints: 100
rechargerate: 0.0001
consumption rate: 0.0001
(Effectively these similar values mean that the projector is working 50% of the time)

2) Two-Stage Missile Launcher
A turret module for frigates only, that is basically a normal missile launcher, but the missiles have tow stages. A slow stage up until a set amount of time, and then a much faster accelerated stage, when they are closer to the enemy, to make them harder to shoot before impact. You can see this module in action here:

armour_penetration = 22
cost = 53
crew_required = 8
damage = 12
fire_interval = 3900
fuel = 1400
hitpoints = 10
max_range = 1200
min_range = 375
missilespeed = 0.21
powerconsumed = 1.2
shield_penetration = 28
tracking_speed = 1.5
turnspeed = 0.42
weight = 35
stage_separation_delay = 350
second_stage_speed = 1.21
second_stage_turnspeed = 4.01

3) Multi-target tractor beam.
Essentially a single tractor beam module that has multiple completely independent beams. Code is in place to ensure they always target separate ships, and they will never combine on the same target. Each beam works separately with regard to recharging etc.

weight = 29
hitpoints = 3
cost = 68
crew_required = 15
beamweight = 11
beampower = 2300
powerusage = 1
powerrecharge = 0.45
range = 400
powerconsumed = 13
turret_sprite = “tractor_turret_v2”
projectors = 3

4) Frigate Pulse gun.
A salvo based laser-blast weapon for frigates that acts like a souped-up ion-cannon. Longer range, better armor penetration and hitpoints etc. I calculate it as being 2% better than the ion cannon for crude DPS, plus it has mroe chances to hit and a better tracking speed. (also lower crew requirement).

armour_penetration = 15
cost = 73
crew_required = 3
damage = 7.2
fire_interval = 45
hitpoints = 14
min_range = 205
max_range = 530
optimum_range = 575
powerconsumed = 8.5
shield_penetration = 38
speed = 18
tracking_speed = 2.2
weight = 30
salvo_size = 4
salvo_interval = 900

5) The Frigate Solar Power Collector
Essentially a better-than-all-others power generator for frigates, with higher costs etc but much higher output than before.

weight = 62
hitpoints = 8
cost = 140
crew_required = 26
powerproduced = 30

6) Frigate Sniper Laser
Essentially a very long-range version of the frigate beam laser, with some associated cost and power increases as a result. This should make sitting by the cruiser line and still engaging the enemy viable at last.

armour_penetration = 49
beam_duration = 700
cost = 38
crew_required = 11
damage = 28
fire_interval = 2000
hitpoints = 20
max_range = 1200
min_range = 380
optimum_range = 950
powerconsumed = 11
shield_penetration = 18
tracking_speed = 1.4

weight = 24

Let me know your balance suggestions and concerns :smiley:

Do we really need a better ion cannon? It’s the best frigate weapon already. I do like the sniper beam, as the cruiser beam weapons all have a shorter range. The others seem good. By the way, what’s the maximum number of beams for multi-target tractor beams? There are some interesting modding possibilities.

It’s a worse ion cannon, not a better one… Don’t forget the salvo.

I still say the 2 stage frigate missile needs shield piercing above 27. Every cruiser use a reflective shield, so this missile won’t deal any damage at all. It defeats the whole gimmick of “bleach enemy scrambler” if it’s just going to fizzle on the shield. And if I got enough MWM to punch through shields as is, then I want more MWM instead of the 2 stage missile.

Point taken on shields.
Why are you saying it’s a worse ion cannon? My brief maths showed it delivering more damage over a set period.
Very happy to be shown to be wrong :smiley:

Because it has a lower overall DPS.

The battle doesn’t end after 4 shots; the battle ends when every ship on the field is dead. The only weapon that ever needs to overwhelm active defenses in a cluster are missiles, and they can’t fire more than one per launcher (sadly).

The only other reason to overload quickly is to break enemy shield fast enough such that the time difference*shield recovery > damage lost from reduce DPS. But of course, swarm of frigates with ion cannons breaks a shield in under 2 seconds so this doesn’t apply.

Also, the 45 fire interval is very misleading because a ship cannot even fire at that interval in practice. I can’t tell you exactly why (probably due to video framerate issues), but firing rate under 100 does not work as advertised. A 10 damage 100 fire_interval weapon will always outperform a 5 damage 50 fire_interval weapon. The game just won’t let things fire that fast. So, if you change the fire interval to 100 instead and make the salvo time to 680, it would be a much better gun.

Despite the shortcoming, the increased range does look promising and might still be useful in staying out of enemy Cruiser Laser range. Not that CLs were ever the main problem of frigate rushing, of course.

For arguments sake, is the new race getting too many race specific weapons?
I do wonder if it will weaken the existing races that have one or no race specific weapons.

I am investigating this, because that is not my experience. it looks like it’s a combination of frame rate and game speed. The decision to fire is taken each frame, but if you have a fairly low frame rate (say 40 FPS) that means 25ms per frame, and at 4x speed, that means 100ms per frame. Annoyingly, the game does not adjust for this. (GTB handles this sort of things much much better).
This may actually be quite easy to fix in code, simply looping through fire opportunities until none more are needed within a single frame)

I would hate to compromise the weapon design to fix a code peculiarity, I’d rather fix the code to support super-rapid firing weapons, which look kinda cool :smiley:

…ok I’ve been working on that issue today. I now have hopefully fixed it, so even if you have a weapon firing every 4 ms (4 times a frame) it should now work ok. It certainly seems to be ok in my tests. Theoretically this means that the cruiser howitzer and frigate rapid-fire gun may now be slightly more effective at 4x speed on relatively low-spec PC’s, but that’s hardly going to break the game :smiley: It also means modders cane xperiment a bit more, and means my pulse gun now does what it says on the tin.

My original calcs were faulty so I’ve rejigged the damage now:
The way I think about it is if there are 4 shots with a 45 ms pause, between them then a 900 pause, then there is an average pause per shot of ((45*3) + 900)/4 = 258ms to do 7.2 damage. So that is 27.90 DPS.
By contrast the ion cannon has a DPS of 25.86

Questions about the Holoprojector module:

  1. If I were to design a ship with, say, three holoprojector modules, would that ship be capable of producing three fake ships, or would only one image be active at any given time (essentially wasting a projector)?
  2. If I designed a ship with multiple holoprojector modules, would they all fire at the same time, or would they stagger their firing periods so that roughly half are active at any moment?
  3. Will holoprojector modules try to become active when another cruiser or the cruiser carrying the holoprojector becomes cloaked (assuming holoprojectors can fire while cloaked)?

You can mount multiple independent projectors. They do not synchronize. Currently they start off with their power banks randomly full, so the chances are there will be some overlapping if you have multiple projectors.

Right I’ve made some other tweaks to the numbers. The pulse gun was way too good, so it’s range has dropped down now, and the holo projectors consumption/recharge numbers are fixed, plus shield penetration for the two stage missile is now higher, as suggested.

after a bit of testing, I’ve discovered that the multi-target tractor needs more ‘stopping power’ top be as effective as I wanted, so I’ll be upping that…

I love the idea of being able to create a wall of distractions… or perhaps even a holographic army? This is just like GW2 Mesmer all over again… Which one is real? :slight_smile: Brilliant idea!