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"Fixing" the game

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wundergoat

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 3:36 am

So, coming into the conversation late, but a few observations:

IMO a +4/1dmg shot is roughly equivalent to 2/3s of a +3/1dmg shot, so as currently statted a 4200 turret is roughly 2/3s as strong as a 6400 turret. This is based on a weighted average of targets with 3+, 4+, 4++, and 5+ saves.

If UCM 4200s had 3 shots, they would be as strong as 6400s, meaning that not only would UCM turret ships have equivalent firepower to ambers, they would have 50% more in the side arcs. This is partly why the Moscow can be pretty powerful while Rios are underwhelming and Osakas straight up suck.

UCM turret ships are 'bad' while ambers and occulus scourge are 'good' because ambers and occulus ships have the best damage output in their factions while UCM cobra carriers have that distinction. This is the result of balance issues inside of factions making particular ships the 'best' in their faction and pushing out other options.

On to the actual discussion:

Upping 4200s to 3 shots and linking them will bring UCM gunboat max damage output in line with other factions and up significantly for WF side volleys. Given that scourge will still have better overall firepower and ambers have other advantages, I could see this working though I don't think it is ideal since it makes 6400s and 4200s roughly equal in spite of fluff expectations.

If you add an extra shot to 4200s, linking becomes a problem since each turret is equivalent to a 6400 turret. Basically San Frans, Madrids, and Berlins would have full cruiser gun batteries, which causes obvious balance issues. Keeping the batteries split means they have 1/2 a cruiser-level gun battery on standard orders, which is in line with Scourge non-occulus cruisers.

Adding fusillade(1) and linking the 4200s doesn't change much for the UCM gunboat situation compared to adding a shot, but buffs 4200s on non-gunboats without running into the 6400=4200 problem. The more I think about this option, the more I like it.

The issue in that case is that it does nothing for the Osaka, the worst UCM warship. I was thinking about adding the "crit on 1 higher" rule that PHR heavies have (hereafter referred to as "wrecking"), and while interesting, it doesn't add that much overall. Rough estimation is that it cuts the damage difference between 6400s vs Cobras in half. Doing this makes the guns one of the strongest cruiser level guns though, slightly stronger than an occulus array in scald range. I don't know if mixing this change with the 4200 fusillade+link is too much or not.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 3:58 am

Adding Fusillade(1) to the 4200's and linking them is an interesting thought and one worth keeping in mind for sure.
However, while it -does- solve the problem with the Rios and Moscows, it doesn't do anything at all for the Osaka, and the same argument applies on how it doesn't really help the Madrid/SanFran. You end up with them doing 1.333 damage on standard orders, and taking all the penalties of going weapons free to up that to 2.000 damage. I just feel like there's no situation where they would go weapons free because of the penalties involved, despite the fact that they -can- go weapons free and benefit from it.

Linking the 4200's as they are now is both about improving the UCM's capabilities in somewhat fringe situations, as well as rectifying a subtle design mistake that ends up gimping the Madrid/Sanfran even more.

However, in regards to the 6400's, the following shows off some possible changes to them and their respective stats against 4+ armor:
http://anydice.com/program/d859

"Basic 2x 6400" is exactly as they are: 3+ lock, 4 attack, 1 damage
"-1 crit threshold on WF" is as it sounds; crits take a roll of one less than usual on WF
The rest are all self explanatory.
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wundergoat

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 5:53 am

With the 4200s linked, the San Fran and Madrid compare well to the Chimera and Hydra. 4x 4+/1 shots is in general better than the piddly occulus weapons on those scourge ships. Keeping in mind that part of the UCM identity is specialized warships, I don't think adding combat capability to those two UCM ships makes sense. I would be more inclined to play with their points (and the Chimera's) instead.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 6:26 am

Exactly. In fact, straight up compared to the Oculus Beams that the Hydra/Chimera/Whatever have for the front, linked 4200's are straight up superior. They do 4/3 the damage in the front, and 2/3 the damage on either side, while the Oculus Beams can only shoot straight forward. Even with the benefit of Scald, the linked 4200's out damage the beams.

This just further confirms, for me at least, that linking up all 4200's (singular or paired) is the way to go, coupled with buffing the 6400's. And really, looking at the math, the only option in regards to that is -1 lock on Weapons Free. It brings the Rio just up to par with the Amber, but unfortunately brings the Moscow to a 6.667 average damage per weapons free which is a bit in excess of the other two, but might just be balanced out by the shenlong's cloak/stealth and the Onyx's range.
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Gauntlet

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 1:34 pm

I assume the 4200s would only be linked in the event they are targeting the same ship yes? That would keep the advantage only in times the target is in the front arc... and keeps the 4200 in the "kinda lame" category of weapons they are meant to be most likely.

Still doesn't help the Osaka, but perhaps that ship just needs a cost reduction.
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Cry of the Wind

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 7:22 pm

Gauntlet wrote:I assume the 4200s would only be linked in the event they are targeting the same ship yes? That would keep the advantage only in times the target is in the front arc... and keeps the 4200 in the "kinda lame" category of weapons they are meant to be most likely.

Still doesn't help the Osaka, but perhaps that ship just needs a cost reduction.


Link as a rule allows you to split fire between the different weapons. Honestly there are very few cases where you'd want to do that anyway so I see no reason to make a special special rule to force them to fire at the same. 4 lock 4+ shots are always going to be lame and splitting their fire is going to be a long shot regardless of what you are aiming at.

Osaka seems fine on paper if it was cheaper. The only issue with that is if you make them too cheap they might step on destroyer toes. Then again since they are boring no frills gunships that might not be the case if destroyers are more unique in weapons/abilities.
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Lordprinceps

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 7:31 pm

Gauntlet wrote:I assume the 4200s would only be linked in the event they are targeting the same ship yes? That would keep the advantage only in times the target is in the front arc... and keeps the 4200 in the "kinda lame" category of weapons they are meant to be most likely.

Still doesn't help the Osaka, but perhaps that ship just needs a cost reduction.


Well, they'd be linked all the time, but they'd only be able to shoot at the same ship in the front arc, yeah. With them linked, there are exactly 2 scenarios in which they are beneficial

1) There are two near death targets (1 hull remaining) that are not in the same side arc.
Given that the enemy ships have 4+ or 5+ armor , it's fairly likely that at least one will be destroyed (14 to 20% chance that both 4200's do no damage), while allowing for the possibility that both might be destroyed.
Basically, it would allows ships to (potentially) clear out more near death ships, preferably these being the Sanfran, Madrid, and beam ships that don't have targets, reducing the need for gun ships to waste their firepower on overkilling clean up.
Of course, this assumes that both targets are in seperate side arcs, or one's in the front and one at the side, or both are in the front.
If both are in the same side arc, it's much better to just take the shot with the main 6400's, if the ship has them.

2) Beam ships have something in their front arc, but not within their narrow arc
The arcs of all weapons can actually be extended by +45 degrees since ships can always turn before firing (except on WF and such). Thus, the front arc is actually +/- 90 degrees from heading, before turning, while the front narrow arc is actually +/- 56 degree from heading, before turning.
Obviously, this pretty much doubles beam ship's gun firepower on standard orders, but this is okay for two reasons:
One, the gun firepower of beam ships' is pretty much negligible anyways, except for something like the Avalon.
Two, beam ships are ALWAYS going to be trying to have their beams in arc, since their beams are ALWAYS better than even those combined guns, even for the Avalon.

As for the Osaka, it'd presumably get the same "WF only" buff that the rest of the gun ships would get on their 6400's; a price reduction would be nice as well, though.
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brandothecommando

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 5:17 pm

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.

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.
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Shikatanai

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 6:26 pm

brandothecommando wrote: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.


I think the Gate issue is the hardest to fix properly without nerfing Shaltari into the ground for competitive play. Either make them a little more expensive or make them much more expensive and give them back their 3rd hull. The biggest issue I see with the gates is pure spamming gaining a battery on any cluster you want without sacrificing much. I would have liked this change initially instead of reducing them to 2 HP... if they e.g. cost 30 pts it is really hard to spamm and the shaltari has to consider where to bring his gates (as others need to do for their strikecraft) while the gates are harder to destroy which they need if you cannot bring a lot of spare gates.

The particle ship just need straight up buffs. E.g. 2+ lock, links or more shots. Right now they have lower damage potential and worse arcs compared to desintegrators.

Osakas need more damage potential or need a cost reduction. I'm a little bit pessimistic about a pts reduction as I have the feeling that they will still either not be worth taking or are so cheap that they get so spammable that they outright beat other ships in the end... PHR cruisers in general should gain some damage buffs imho. They are still subpar both intra-faction and inter-faction imho.

As discussed previously in another thread Battleships need a decrease in signature and maybe a weapon rework (Scourge, Beijing, Heracles). The most crucial thing in DFC is the signature / scan game as Ships generally are not close to tanky without some exceptions that are coming with special rules and / or support ships. The only BS that I would call playable are Diamond, Platinum and Minos.
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Nobody

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Re: "Fixing" the game

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 7:14 pm

Corvettes: need a rework, 3/4 of them are considered subpar and the 4th is only considered good because it can take on orbital ships. If Destroyers are good at killing ships in the atmosphere then they'll become extinct.

Battleships: too slow, sig is too large, not enough bang for the buck unless you make your sig really huge. Dropping the sig would be a start (say, 9" instead of 12" for the UCM ones as a base), but it's still slow to get into the fight and with rare exception doesn't contribute the firepower of an equivalent cost in cruisers.

Torpedos: seen as a tax to take certain ships. Dunno best way to approach these (side note, my only encounter with one so far was brutal, but it was a PHR one so...).

UCM Mass Drivers: the tortoise to the BTL hare, but that means there's little reason to take more than the minimum of them. Special mention goes to the 4200 wing turrets on most cruisers which can't even tempt Berlins into going Weapons Free.
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