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    A Manifesto on the Relationship Between Fighters, Titans and AI

    Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Yetimania, Jun 24, 2014.

    ?

    What do you think about my ideas?

    1. I totally agree

      88.0%
    2. I agree somewhat (Please post to explain)

      8.1%
    3. I disagree with your assumptions, but largely agree with your conclusions (Please post to explain)

      0.8%
    4. I agree with your assumptions, but disagree with your conclusions (Please post to explain)

      0.3%
    5. I disagree with your assumptions and your conclusions (Please post to explain)

      0.8%
    6. Too long; didn't read.

      2.0%
    1. Kaamio

      Joined:
      Jun 23, 2013
      Messages:
      136
      Hi all, thought I'd share my ideas for handling drone wings. Sorry for possibly poor formatting, writing this on phone...

      Idea is to make drone wing a weapon for the carrier, causing space and energy loss similar to building a weapon array. It's not supposed to make carrier unable to fight directly unless they go all out on drones. Carrier could reasonably have, say, 5 drones amounting 1/5 of carrier mass and still have regular shields and a powerful main gun for capital bashing. Not as good as dedicated battlecruiser of same size, but in the same league still.

      I think we want independent area denial drones we have now, as well as customisable, soft capped carrier drones that can be controlled and easily managed and repaired. Thus I suggest using Drone controller computer linked with docking modules, with enhancing drone control modules to increase capacity.

      Drone Control Computer would be installed in carrier, providing basic wing control capacity. Added bonus: easily add drone wings to toolbar and easy way to handle spare flights to switch into.

      Docking modules linked to drone control computer to mark them as drone docks.

      Drone control module linked with computer on the carrier to increase controlled drone amount and/or mass. Linked with bobby ai on drone ship to increase drone maximum mass (maybe)

      There are few ways to go about limiting drone size and numbers.

      1.
      Drone controller could have basic amount, like 5 drones (no mass limit)

      Control modules could add 1 drone per 200 blocks perhaps, for the carrier.

      Bobby ai could handle a drone of 100 mass alone, and each linked cobtrol module on drone could increase maximum mass by 1.

      Computer might use power similarly to weapons, based on amount of drones and control modules. Or it might not. Module requirement might be enough to deter huge wings.

      2.
      computer on the carrier could handle certain mass of drones, such as 500, no limit on drone number

      control modules increase mass limit on carrier

      Control computer uses power similar to weapons to cripple a ship that has too many drones.

      Control modules not necessary on drone because limiting is carrier based, could be still used though.


      I mght be forgetting something, but this ought to be a good start :)

      Pros:

      Soft capping

      easily configurable

      allows easy wing deployment and build

      allows distinguishing drones from player controlled large ships as drones have inefficient builds due to control modules

      Cons:

      Might be a bit of a task to make building system note and inform the player about design faults/issues, such as insufficient modules, power drain and so on.

      trying to make power drain based on drone amount and mass update real time might get laggy, but then again you could just update it as drones are docked or lost.

      having to include control modules in drones isn't intuitive, although it's exucable with antennas and firewalling, extra sensor suites etc.


      Edit:

      Regarding viability of small ships, I'd love seeing the same power/block ratio in small ships as suggested earlier. I'd also like to see shape matter in more modules... but I understand if that's not desirable.

      I'd also be happy with increased efficiency in small thrusters and shield capacitors (not rechargers), or in other words higher effect/block that has diminishing returns to the level we have them now.

      Combined with controllable drone restrictions it should not be gamebreaking while making the early game ships and specialised small ships more reasonable.
       
      #101 Kaamio, Apr 14, 2015
      Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
      • Like Like x 2
    2. Nekrolysis

      Joined:
      Mar 3, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Just a random idea I had while eating my chicken salad,

      The bigger the ship,
      1. Shield regeneration speed takes a penalty. [Could even have it where it's more effiecient on smaller ships than larger ships]
      2.Or it takes more power to regenerate the shields instead of just using a linear power usage as now.
      Both based on ship mass.

      I'm sure whatever method to generate the shield already uses quite a bit of power, but to cover a larger area would need much more power. As of now you can build massive ships that have shield regen in the hundreds of thousands per second..maybe even way more.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    3. Dire Badger

      Joined:
      Jul 21, 2013
      Messages:
      156
      My suggestions:

      drone controls require power and ship mass requirements squared, but only drones that are 'active'. Thus you might have a carrier with 24 drones, but due to power requirements you will only launch 6 at a time. 'light' ships with lots of drone swarm space are useless unless they only launch small numbers of drones at a time, which allows support 'waves' instead of just launching everything you have and staying well the heck away. It will also encourage larger ships to fill up interior space with hull and increase their overall cost.

      lower turret speeds based upon their mass, much like lowering turn speed works currently

      "preferred Shoot at highest mass in range' and 'preferred shoot at lowest mass in range" ai instructions. make point defense work as point defense, and big turrets work as big turrets.

      Frankly I am looking forward to seeing how rails change battle, making 'armored' doors and close-packed fighters (for wave storage) If they replace the old turret/landing system completely. It might lead to a higher level of ship design and more multirole... as an ex-carrier man myself, I always hated carriers having to be lightly armored due to the fragility of Plexdoors, or having fighter 'waves' be fragile and easily destroyed on the hull of a capship.

      These suggestions are in addition to the original Poster's
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. Loadout

      Joined:
      Apr 8, 2014
      Messages:
      535
      first idea, sounds good but itd be punishing a large variety of designs while others would simply ignore it entirely. I think it might be easier to acheive something similar by adding a power cost to docking/undocking. Then you would have to pay to undock a larger number of entities at once. There's always going to be a drawback somewhere though as penalties to anything are generally frowned upon.

      realistically speaking though, there's no cost that cannot be overcome by some extra design features. take cloaking for example, the cost is rediculously high, but perma cloak is still possible. so to compare mass launch if penalized similarly could still be overcome.

      second idea, preferred targets would be nice but right now the ai isnt really capable of dealing with multi-axis turrets. so until that is settled, target preferences are probably going to be a very low priority. hopefully in the future though it will be possible to have this, I too would love to see actual point defense turrets as opposed to anti-capital turrets with water pistols.

      tldr? I think you have some good ideas here. hopefully they find some way to make it in.
       
    5. Forgedrake

      Joined:
      Feb 13, 2015
      Messages:
      40
      I think the biggest problem is simply the use of fighters - if you think of them as pure damage or aerodynamic flying machines you don't think of the other 100 uses

      I personally add 100% stop beam weapons on them with a beam + cannon design (around 15k block fighters x 10) once deployed they can lock down ships with low thrust to mass ratios while 2 built in anti missile turrets cover the main ship as it shoots down incoming missiles and defends itself from swarm missiles - against people not used to squadrons its pretty scary for them to be losing speed while a titan is locking main guns on it and unable to move out of the shots path making ballistic and beam weapons more viable in combat
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    6. 0Samuel0

      Joined:
      May 19, 2015
      Messages:
      267
      I agree for the most part, but one assumption you made is that the reason that people like bigger ships is the increased versatility. However, the current clumsiness of the weapons menu and the limited space on the hotbar makes it such that you are forced to trade versatility for that extra salvo of missiles. Therefore, some change must be made to the hotbar or weapons menu mechanics to allow the versatility you metioned.
       
    7. rcmustain

      Joined:
      May 28, 2015
      Messages:
      11
      I chose somewhat. I say this because size is indicative of role. You assume that with a limited economy, the empires of our favorite sci-fi fantasies would all build massive ships to rule the stars. Size is determined by role, not just economics. In starmade, the only advantage of being small is that you accelerate a little faster, stop quicker, and turn faster... essentially, you are more nimble. Since fuel is not a factor, and missiles are just as likely to hit a quick target as a small one (less likely, actually, considering PD turrets), this is basically a null factor aside from roleplay.

      In a universe with active shields like this, small craft would not be used in fleet actions, as they would just be fodder for the big ships. In our fantasy sci-fi universes, shields had to be constantly played with with minute (if any) explanation as to their failures in order for the fighters to be relevant. We can't do that here because this isn't Star Trek - where if you don't want some amazing technology to work there will be a [insert anomaly here] to keep things interesting.

      In the Starmade universe, small ships (because of their speed) would be used to scout out enemy locations and report back, or perhaps attack secondary objectives to spread the enemy fleet out, or draw attention. They might be used to probe for weaknesses or attack undefended economic targets, like miners, factories or cities. They might be used to hit soft military targets like troop transports or supply ships. But since cities are unnecessary in this game, and star bases are likely to destroy any fighter within range in a matter of seconds, that option is out. Miners might be hit, but you're only going to gank a newb - all others will have +shields/PD turrets/warpx2. There are no soft military targets in this game because troops = lol and logistics are not a concern. The best utilization for fighters in a fleet action (though inefficient) would be to attack enemy turrets after the 50% drain has taken place. If you find a use for fighter on offense, the enemy will have to employ them on defense. Until that day, they are an outmoded concept due to the lack of depth in the universe, not in the rules of the game.
       
      #107 rcmustain, Jun 3, 2015
      Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
      • Agree Agree x 1
    8. Crusher23b

      Joined:
      Mar 17, 2014
      Messages:
      2
      I'm not a big fan of peculiar limitations. While, I myself do not use large ships often, I am in no way supportive of limiting the amount of turrets or bobby AI's or other similar limitations. Those titanics don't need to be slowed down or have their mobility any more crippled. Shield systems, I find, can use some reworking but I don't think they should be nerfed. I'm unwilling to buy at this point that weapons or too powerful or not powerful enough. At least, until we've explored other mechanics.

      Namely, I feel a properly implemented infiltration mechanic would expose what should be an already obvious weakness to these juggernauts. Unfortunately, since the shield system applies to all blocks on the ship, trying to break into it and do damage to critical systems is pointless. But let's put the shield simply on the exterior of the ship. Or let's say player weapons do direct damage to blocks. Add a few saboteur items and we have a mechanic that allows a small crew, an assault team, break into a capital ship and sabotage it from the inside. They can do damage to it's power systems, it's weapon systems, or damage it's shield allowing for the main force to deal more damage to the capital ship. Add to that, the shield systems should require computers to be effective, like weapon systems, but are also critical targets for infiltrators as destroying that computer renders all the shield capacitors connected to it inoperative. This would also go well with this AI Swarm thing, in addition to being able to use it on a more practical level. Instead of needing 200 drones to take down a whole ship, you might get by with 10 to cover for an assault team.

      I also feel like there should be some trap mechanics. Mines you can build as you would a station, any size and shape, that could also pose a serious threat to these juggernauts as well as any other ships. Again, this would give small maneuverable ships an advantage that's logical. Or maybe a gravity mine that can trap a capital ship and do collision damage proportional to its mass. Energy drain traps or what not. For some reason, there's no traps at all.

      I don't really feel like these ships are overpowered, but that we aren't given the tools to exploit their weaknesses. They're slow, lack mobility, filled with blind spots, and largely unmanned.
       
    9. shadowulf

      Joined:
      Feb 8, 2015
      Messages:
      226
      I ag
      I agree with your assessment, but also remember that titans have more room for turrets. Blind spots are there, however I do believe that, as you stated, internal sabotage is a good mechanic to add. However, if shield computers and computers are vulnerable to players, what's stopping the builder to stash them behind bulkheads? I personally do this, and I don't build anything near titan size. Also, I am not disagreeing, I'm pointing out a flaw. I wholeheartedly agree this kind of mechanic should be implemented.
       
    10. Brobiwan_Kenobi

      Joined:
      Nov 22, 2014
      Messages:
      3
      If computers are hidden behind bulkheads, use a device that can detect the computers (this is theoretical) without revealing what system it is connected to.
       
    11. Brain_Dawgs

      Joined:
      Jun 24, 2013
      Messages:
      206
      Another issue to think about would be maneuvering.

      It always kind of bothered me how pointless small fightercraft were. I always thought it would be neat to rely on quick reflexes and superior maneuverability to doge enemy fire so that you didn't necessarily have to be a damage sponge, but alas... Space combat is still more or less pointing your nose at the enemy and flying in a straight line, shooting until they die.

      Maneuvering is pointless against an enemy AI since they tend to run away in a straight line and their fire is so inhumanly accurate that your can't dodge them.
       
    12. shadowulf

      Joined:
      Feb 8, 2015
      Messages:
      226
      Untrue with fighters. Yesterday I tested many fighters and of course the heavier armed one won, but with two players in identical ships, the player who was quicker to react to break a strafe/orbit without losing target won. Fighters are super manueverable, use it to get out of their sight line, and then pop on a jammer, and then pound them to overheat. I found out the hard way how effective that tactic is.....
       
    13. Agent_Bladelock

      Joined:
      May 14, 2015
      Messages:
      24
      Reading this was great. Thank you very much.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    14. TranzorZed

      Joined:
      Jun 30, 2015
      Messages:
      16
      You forgot Assumption Five: As players are shoehorned into covering their ships with turrets, it would be nice if FPS didn't drop to 3 whenever two or more ships showed up at the station

      As for a suggestion, how about independant Stop Effect computers affecting turning speed as part of the antigravity effect
       
      #114 TranzorZed, Jul 20, 2015
      Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
    15. Jolly Roger

      Joined:
      Jun 29, 2013
      Messages:
      95
      I mostly agree. All except for the economy. If you want a swarm of small ships instead of 1 big cap ship, isn't that going to cost about the same in materials? We should not have a realistic economy. This is a game about space combat and building, not how to start a business and have a controling share in the universe's resources. You don't need an economy for balance.

      The difficulty setting needs to be completely changed. If AI accuracy is the only factor tweaked, the problem is when they are at 100%, so are your turrets. There should be programming for flight paths and maneuvers.
       
    16. Agent_Bladelock

      Joined:
      May 14, 2015
      Messages:
      24
      When is this being implemented?

      EDIT: Sorry, wrong thread!!
       
    17. EMC007

      EMC007 The guy who's always in way over his head

      Joined:
      Aug 8, 2014
      Messages:
      132
      Drone control could be implemented by adding a new computer into the game, I don't know what it would be called, but when you use it, it would bring up a 3d map of the sector you and all other entities are in, and would allow you to draw flight and attack paths for your drones to follow.

      The ships would have to be just symbols of course, like the galaxy map, but on a much much smaller scale. So you wouldn't get to see the battle from the control mode, you would just have to look out the window. Which is fine.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. <SCRIPTKITTY>

      Joined:
      Mar 22, 2015
      Messages:
      120
      The Devz should take this into account. *hint*
       
    19. RODLON

      Joined:
      Dec 31, 2014
      Messages:
      56
      Why build 10 small ships if you can build one big and more powerful for the same cost at expense of it speed? Or of you have enough time, what's the problem with building 10 big ships while hidding in a far away sector?

      Balancing in ship size and power would be cool, but not at expense of adding artificial restrictions just because yes. If big ships and small ships use the same components and some of them benefit from being in big groups, players are going to build big ships.
       
    20. Loadout

      Joined:
      Apr 8, 2014
      Messages:
      535
      Just pointing out: A game is literally a collection of artificial limitations imposed for the sake of fun.

      Why build 10 smaller ones vs 1 big one? Cause the 10 smaller ships will vastly overpower the one larger one. It literally has nothing to do with speed in the current iteration. It's 10x the amount of targets and bobby AI cannot handle that, neither can players honestly. It actually takes less mass with more ships to overpower a larger one. 3k mass of drones will readily rip a 12k mass cruiser to shreds.

      The more numbers you have the less total mass they actually need to overpower the larger vessel. It's a bit disproportionate but somehow it works, virtually every time I might add.

      So yeah, skip out on titans and go for cruiser size instead. If you can field a dozen a cruisers in the same amount of mats you took to build one super titan you'll be much better off. Even though it's the same total mats and the same relative mass.
       
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