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"Fixing" the game

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brandothecommando

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 8:49 pm

One of the thoughts I was having for corvettes would be to make their "air-to-air" missiles have swarmer while in atmosphere. Would make them much better against strike cruisers and other corvettes as their CAW are specifically designed for that function. Would that be too good though? It would still not make a corvette swarm amazing as they're still not any better vs. capital ships but they're far more effective against their actual intended targets. This might also encourage people to take things other than strike carriers as they're now more vulnerable. Might also unintentionally fix the gate issue as now they're once again vulnerable to corvettes.
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Shikatanai

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 11:28 pm

brandothecommando wrote:One of the thoughts I was having for corvettes would be to make their "air-to-air" missiles have swarmer while in atmosphere. Would make them much better against strike cruisers and other corvettes as their CAW are specifically designed for that function. Would that be too good though? It would still not make a corvette swarm amazing as they're still not any better vs. capital ships but they're far more effective against their actual intended targets. This might also encourage people to take things other than strike carriers as they're now more vulnerable. Might also unintentionally fix the gate issue as now they're once again vulnerable to corvettes.


I also would buff the corvettes in atmosphere but I would reduce their ability in Orbit as well. If two Corvettes can reliably kill a Strikecarrier they acutally are worth taking in smaller groups while spamming would be useless or at least a gamble when their CAW is not as good in Orbit.
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Admiral JCJF

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 11:55 pm

Shikatanai wrote:I also would buff the corvettes in atmosphere but I would reduce their ability in Orbit as well. If two Corvettes can reliably kill a Strikecarrier they acutally are worth taking in smaller groups while spamming would be useless or at least a gamble when their CAW is not as good in Orbit.


It could be worked into the "Air-to-Air" rule pretty easily.

Maybe something like "Caliber" rule which alters lock values circumstantially?
Why would we waste words on Prey?
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 12:33 am

brandothecommando wrote:Well, this has unfortunately been strictly talking about UCM issues and it's beginning to spiral here; obviously not everyone will agree with proposed changes.

However, I am quite partial to the linking of the 4200 railguns (obviously) and I really don't mind the idea of the fusillade (1) rule as well. I'm strongly considering play testing these with my gaming group to see the effects. While I it sounds like the math makes the Moscow "a little too good", it could certainly use a boost. Would it work to make the linked 4200 turrets only get one extra shot between them for fusillade; would mean they have a slight "disadvantage" for being linked. Other option to slightly reduce Moscow would be to not give fusillade to the 4200s ("historically" heavy cruisers aren't much upgraded beyond guns from regular cruisers and this could reflect it's reduced power output). It's a minor change, but it might just be enough.

I still disagree about the fire arcs issue; players who also have experience can help to limit your weapons free options by moving their ships smartly to avoid that frontal fire arc, especially against scourge. Much harder to do against UCM gun boats.

IMO, just giving the 6400's -1 lock on WF and linking the 4200's with no further changes is the best way to go. Just Fusilade(1) isn't quite enough to bring the Rio up to par, and it still pushes the Moscow over the edge some, so just going a bit more to -1 lock on WF and pushing the Moscow up to 6.67 damage works out the best in my opinion. Moscow gets the best arcs and overall most damage, but the Shenlong can quickly make up for that (and then some) against a target of equivalent armor that the Moscow is shooting at if they take advantage of Scald.
Likewise, stealth/cloak helps the Shenlong take a little less damage overall, and the extra scan on the Onyx gives it a potential entire extra turn of firing compared to other factions, or otherwise denying other factions a turn of shooting from how far back it can sit back.
What's important, though, is that all changes are applied consistently.

brandothecommando wrote:Regardless, would like to hear thoughts on other items/ships.

How can we make half of the Shaltari ships worth playing? How do we fix the perceived gate issue?

How can we fix the Osaka to actually be worth taking? What about the Perseus and other "paperweights?"

Big burning one for me; what can we do about most battleships? Reduced points? Reduced signature? More options on how to fire multiple guns? Increased hull points? Less susceptible to crippling damage (i.e. needs to take more damage prior to crippling)? Only take a minor spike for going weapons free but can't take the double turn order (too ponderous)? I still think the only ones worth taking are the Shaltari's as they have the speed, small signature, useful/unique weapons load outs, and overall effectiveness to justify their costs. PHR ones, while tougher, still die very quickly (even with ECM suites) or are too easily avoided to really be worth the cost. Also, the Minos' CAW definitely needs at least swarmer; I get it's a supplementary weapons system, but it's super underwhelming when it's critical's can be stopped by a reasonable point defence.


Not too sure on the Shaltari and gates, those definitely need some thought.

For the Osaka, even with the above buff (-1 lock on 6400's on WF), it's still underwhelming to its direct competitor, the New Cairo, as well as it's Scourge counterpart, the Yokai.
I think the big mistake with the UCM, thus far, is the fact that the Beam Ships just aren't priced properly.
The Pete is either too expensive for what it does, or just not good enough.
The Berlin costs exactly as much as the Rio, and is unequivocally better on everything. Even with the Rio's buffed as discussed above, only then are they potentially beaten out on WF.
the Cairo is just exceedingly efficient.

Keeping in mind the changes discussed above, I'd personally do something like the following:

Firstly, get rid of the Siphon rule on the Pete. Add the following:
Twin Cobra Heavy Lasers: Lock 3+, Attack 4, Damage 1, F(N), BTL(12), Alt-1,2, Capital*
Capital*: This weapon may only be fired on WF special orders (working name, doesn't really matter; potentially make this a generic rule as well that can be applied to future ships with exceptionally big guns)
Naturally, give the Single Cobra's Alt-1 and Alt-2, respectively.
Perhaps lower its cost to 150 as well, but likely not that much of an issue; it's still the overall cheapest heavy cruiser.

Secondly, up the Berlin to 110 points. No other changes, it just needs to be more expensive than the Rio.

Thirdly, up the Cairo to 90 points and bring the Osaka down to 85, maybe even less points.
(Likewise, I'm of the opinion that the Aquamarine/Azurite should be brought down closer to 80 points; the Azurite has the firepower of two Toulons but can only fire directly forward (even with vectored), and it makes absolutely no sense that they cost nearly two and a half times one)

As for the Perseus, I'm afraid to say that's just an intrinsically bad design. If I could go back in time, I would say "make it a heavy/medium with a beam" rather than what it is, but we have to work with what we have.
As it stands, there are only really two things that can be fiddled with it; the heavy cannons (which, even with the buff they got, are mediocre in comparison to mediums and lights), as well as how exactly PHR broadsides as a whole should work. I wont be going into those right now, as this post is going to be long as is and I haven't given them quite enough thought, but those are the two main issues.
Oh, and it certainly needs to be brought down to 100 points like the Ajax.

The battleships, on the other hand, are a very simple fix! Simply reduce the base signature across the UCM, Scourge, and PHR to 9" rather than 12", with the Scourge getting their usual +2" signature malus.
Most other changes proposed (pseudo-cloak, pseudo-WF, etc) mess with balance too much in my opinion, but a signature reduction and points reduction are solely needed.
The exception, of course, is the crippling threshold idea. Reducing it to 1/3 total health, rather than 1/2, would be an excellent idea!
The question is, of course, whether to make it an intrinsic quality of superheavy ships in general, or if it should be a special rule applied to the UCM, Scourge, and PHR.
If the crippling threshold is reduced in conjunction with the signature reduction, then the points should stay as they are.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 1:12 am

As for corvettes, it has to be decided how many corvettes are needed to do their job.
As it stands, in general it takes about two corvettes to "probably" bring a strike carrier to crippled (almost 2.5 in the case of Cloudfliers) across all strike carriers (the exact number obviously differs, but it's a good rule of thumb), with three being nearly guranteed to cripple, but still unlikely to outright kill. This doesn't even take into account the differing amounts of PD present on the varying strike carriers, so that brings it down even more, to where a full three corvettes are required to even reliably cripple a strike carrier, let alone outright kill them.

The general sentiment seems to be that this just isn't enough, and I agree. When talking about balancing attempts, it's important to define what we think the ships -should- be able to do. As of right now, this is what the corvettes do:

1 Corvette: Possibly cripple a strike carrier, but highly unlikely.
2 Corvette: Probably cripple a strike carrier, but not overwhelmingly likely.
3 Corvette: Definitely cripple a strike carrier, but likely not to outright destroy it.

Now, while this is balanced out somewhat by most crippling effects resulting in the destruction of a strike carrier (except in the case of the Medea, damn PHR), I think we can all agree that it's just not enough compared to the investment. If I have to spend almost three times as much as a strike carrier to kill an enemy strike carrier, why wouldn't I instead just take 2 more strike carriers and beat the opponent on the ground?
As such, the goal for the corvettes should, in my opinion, be the following:

1 Corvette: Possibly cripple a strike carrier, but not likely.
2 Corvette: Very probably cripple a strike carrier, and possibly (but not likely) destroy it.
3 Corvette: Definitely cripple a strike carrier, and likely destroy it.

Thankfully, without getting too much into the precise and exact math, this can be solved reasonably well!
For the Santiago and Echos, simply increase the attack value of both the Stingray Missiles and Vespa Drones to 4 attacks. No need for any special rules or anythings, but just a touch more firepower.
For the Nickar, I'd say it needs not just one, but three things.
Firstly, it needs to have outlier like other corvettes (I forget if this was addressed in errata yet or not)
Secondly, it needs to have scald on its Plasma Squall (why it didn't have this already is beyond me)
As for its lock or number of attacks, there's two options: Either raise it to 3+ lock like other Scourge CAW, or increase its attacks to D6+2.
Unfortunately, both buff the Nickar to being almost likely to crippled a strike carrier on its own (no math for this, but I have got a simple simulation that doesn't account for PD), however, a buff to 2d3 DOES work extremely well; it results in the exact same average number of attacks as the Santiago and the Echo, while allowing for some (but not too much) variability, on top of the benefit of Scald. Not too sure how the Shaltari would feel about the Scourge butting in on their monopoly on d3's, but it works out wonderfully for the Nickar.

EDIT: Alternately, as put forward in a different thread (for entirely different reasons :lol: ), why not give the Nickar an Oculus Ray? As a replacement to it getting 2d3 attacks, it'd be suitably weak to not be that much of an issue. Would probably require a points increase to maybe 24 or 25.
Alternately, rather than a points increase, make it a CAW(Beam) weapon as well, just one without A2A. Call it something like the Oculus Flare or something.

As for the Glass, I'd just give them CAW(beam); it's simple, fits with the Shaltari, and bumps their damage up just the right amount.
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brandothecommando

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 4:39 am

Everything about corvettes not being good enough totally holds water. Why invest 2-3 times the points to maybe kill a strike carrier/turn when you could simply invest in more yourself and compete in the ground war? However, I can see some issues in your planned fixes...

Corvettes should kill strike carriers effectively, not capitol ships effectively. If you make them have too many CAW shots, they'll become too powerful and the dreaded corvette spam will occur. Considering I've had an opponent's 4 Echos put their CAW (as throw away rear shots) into my basically undamaged Ganymede and kill it, in a single volley, I was not impressed.

So, more CAW shots makes them much better in the space game, which they really don't need to be. They simply need to be more effective in atmosphere.

This also works for the nickar not having "scald". These would be terrifying to face with most capitol ships if they had more shots and scald as they would tear through those capitol ships for a tiny amount of points, a huge strike range (22" against a silent running ship is scary), and a small signature that doesn't daisy chain when killed...they'd just be way too gross.

Hence, this is why I said maybe something like swarmer in atmosphere would make them effective enough vs. strike carriers.
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Nobody

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 5:50 am

While I can understand the allure of just boosting the number of shots, I also agree that giving Corvettes some kind of additional damage while in the atmosphere helps to reinforce that they're supposed to kill Strike Carriers and other Corvettes, not participate in capital ship killing.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 6:27 am

brandothecommando wrote:Everything about corvettes not being good enough totally holds water. Why invest 2-3 times the points to maybe kill a strike carrier/turn when you could simply invest in more yourself and compete in the ground war? However, I can see some issues in your planned fixes...

Corvettes should kill strike carriers effectively, not capitol ships effectively. If you make them have too many CAW shots, they'll become too powerful and the dreaded corvette spam will occur. Considering I've had an opponent's 4 Echos put their CAW (as throw away rear shots) into my basically undamaged Ganymede and kill it, in a single volley, I was not impressed.

So, more CAW shots makes them much better in the space game, which they really don't need to be. They simply need to be more effective in atmosphere.

This also works for the nickar not having "scald". These would be terrifying to face with most capitol ships if they had more shots and scald as they would tear through those capitol ships for a tiny amount of points, a huge strike range (22" against a silent running ship is scary), and a small signature that doesn't daisy chain when killed...they'd just be way too gross.

Hence, this is why I said maybe something like swarmer in atmosphere would make them effective enough vs. strike carriers.


Nobody wrote:While I can understand the allure of just boosting the number of shots, I also agree that giving Corvettes some kind of additional damage while in the atmosphere helps to reinforce that they're supposed to kill Strike Carriers and other Corvettes, not participate in capital ship killing.


Fair points! Although I have to comment beforehand, whatever dice your friend used for those Echos, Brando, I'd have them floated before you play your next game ;)
But in all seriousness, assuming your Ganymede was at no less than 10 hull, even before considering PD, your friend would have needed to do at least ten damage out of a maximum 12 to bring that Ganymede down without a crippling kill. With crippling, and under the assumption that it was only 2 damage extra, that would be at least 8 damage out of 12 (again, ignoring PD). In rough probabilities, that had about .5% chance of occurring! While the possibility is there, exceedingly rare outliers of excellent or terrible performance shouldn't be given too much weight.

As for the corvettes being too powerful in orbit, I agree, but not quite for the same reason. It's not that their weapons are too powerful for their points cost, or that they don't suffer catastrophic results, but rather that big ships just can't split their fire adequately enough. Pretty much any main gun on any ship is significant overkill against corvettes, and when taken in mass they can simply win the battle via attrition; the enemy can't kill them fast enough before they get in range!

While I do agree that a change that makes them better only in atmos would work, probably to the Air To Air rule itself, I want to explore changes to the more fundamental problem of "lots of tiny ships when the basic shooting mechanics are geared around shooting fewer big ships".

This is avoided with frigates because of the catastrophic daisy chains; although not guranteed to do so, with luck and proper firing you can take out more frigates in a turn than you otherwise would normally be able to. An obvious solution to the problem of Corvettes (and Voidgates, even), is what if they were subject to crippling and catastrophic results as well? Not necessarily the same tables, but something that would make them taking even a single point of damage threatening (and thus not as equally tough as 4 hull ships), as well as possibly cleaning up their compatriots.

Back to A2A, there's two ways I see this going. A2A can either provide a bonus to weapons which are fired in atmos against targets in atmos, or they can provide a penalty when NOT fired in atmos or against targets that are in atmos.

For the former, Swarmer doesn't really do much. The likely damage gained from it is negligible considering how small PD for strike carriers already is, so the bonus has to come in a form that really ups their damage.
An obvious solution is to simply reduce their lock by 1 like what JCJF said, the circumstance being when fired in atmosphere against targets which are also in atmosphere; Stingrays, Squall, and Vespa become 3+, Ion Lances become 4+, ez pz.

EDIT: I still say that Squall needs Scald regardless, partially because it's the only Scourge CAW without it (and the only Scourge weapons which don't have Scald are the furnace cannons or Charybdis/Scylla weapons), and partially because d6 attacks isn't -that- much better than 3 attacks. Scald, accompanied with a slightly higher price, would definitely make Nickars as terrifying as they're supposed to be.

Another idea for the latter, making A2A give a malus, is equally simple. Combined with the buffs I described above (4 attack on Stingrays/Vespa, 2d3 and Scald on Squall, CAW(beam) on the Ion Lances), simply have that weapon's lock increased by 1 if it's out of atmosphere, or if it fires at anything out of atmosphere. Similar precedent is already shown with void-based weapons having a massive lock penalty for shooting into or from atmosphere, so likewise A2A weapons (when combined with a buff to actually make them good against Strike Carriers) could have a more mild penalty for shooting into or from orbit.

Personally, I like the latter because it implies the weapons statline is what it was designed for, in atmosphere, and it gets a penalty for doing stuff out of atmosphere. This is opposed to it being an air to air weapon, but it's stats (for some reason) describing how it would perform in orbit.
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Doktor

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 7:45 am

I think the easier solution is to play with point costs more are with rules less. For exapmle - if Rio would cost between 90 and 95 points it would compete for space with New Cairo, and I consider that a fair comparison (also it makes UCM fleets as numerous in comparison to other fleets as tey should be ;) ).
The corvetes need a rule thou. Maybe -1 lock in atmo and +1 out of it. There were few good ideas posted before.
Perseus with points reduction and ALL weapons linked might be an interesting choice.
I do not play Shaltari, but I'd love to see more of their light cruisers in action. Aquamari e should get reliable Impel (like 2+ lock 1 attack Impel-1 gun or 3+/3/ Impel-2). The other one would benefit from large point decrease (as Osaka it should cost like 2 gun frigates).
Battleships are another matter. But initial decrease in sig is a good step forward. I really like the idea that battleships could be able to fire one additiona weapon on all orders and Diamond supergun gets it's lock decreased to 3+, but many people dont like that idea unfortunately. (battleships being able to have the firepower of two cruisers on standard orders are not overpowered as two cruisers cost less).
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 9:28 am

Eh, I'd be a bit wary of compound rules like that, with +1 lock with X conditions and -1 lock with Y conditions! Besides just doubling up on the complexity of a rule, it just doesn't feel right in my opinion. Air to Air, by its name, implies the weapons are made to shoot in atmosphere against atmospheric targets (for whatever fluff reasons you feel are appropriate).

I was going to continue advocating for "+1 lock in atmos" as a sufficient buff, but when I started running the numbers and simulating, it was actually way, way too much! While it ended up working fairly well for the Santiago/Echo, as well as for the Nickar if Scald was left off (albeit with a single Nickar almost reliably being able to cripple Gargoyles), it became utterly broken on the Glass. So broken, in fact, that a single glass was out damaging even the Santiago/Echo with their +1 lock.

Going by the raw numbers, the Santiago/Nickar/Echo would benefit from +1 lock when firing against things in atmosphere while in atmosphere, and the Glass would be best served by staying exactly as it is, but with CAW(beam). How this would be implemented in the rules without a needlessly specific rule, I don't know.
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