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    Is 2.0 power optimization actually meta?

    Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MacThule, Jan 17, 2018.

    1. MacThule

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      Has anyone conducted any real combat tests of finished ships (ie having viable thrust, shields, armor, weapons) built in 2.0?

      A long tube gets max per-block power efficiency from reactors, but it makes "coring" the stabilizer and reactor core pretty easy since you always know where they are. It also reduces reactor stability to rely on a single - easily located - stab group compared to using multiple groups at shorter range.

      The only cost to shedding these drawbacks is literally a very small increase in mass from multiplying stabilizers. Is saving that tiny bit of weight even worth embracing such an instable and vulnerable dong config in the first place, or is min-maxing the raw power numbers out of context actually a net loss here?

      After building a few things in dev, I am progressively getting the impression that a lot of the 'problems' with 2.0 are literally only the result of clinging to min-max reactor numbers because that used to be the key to unlocking meta for so many years.

      For example, "we are 'forced' to build in long tubes, then our ships are super brittle because the whole ship is basically a wrapped reactor stream." Well, we aren't actually forced to tube... that's a choice, and it is literally the choice that is causing the additional fragility in our ships. Accepting a few hundred or even thousand stabs to reach dong-power with (gasp) a non-phallic shape might end up resulting in a ship that isn't infuriatingly fragile, and that mass difference is pretty marginal when compared to the increase in both freedom and survivability it conveys.

      Power min-maxing in 2.0 is starting to look an awful lot like an "Efficiency Trap" specifically targetted at engineers clinging to numeric optimization (meta-seekers). There are still bugs and imbalances, obviously, and I am hating the stab streams, but I am starting to wonder if the apparent meta is really the actual meta in the dev pre-release, or if the raw numbers are deceiving.
       
      #1 MacThule, Jan 17, 2018
      Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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    2. Sachys

      Sachys Hermit.

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      No useful input from me here. Only this:

      Looks like we have the docks first Electro-grindcore band.
       
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    3. YamiHikari

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      It's funny that you mentioned this, MacThule, because I recently came to the same conclusion myself. Maximizing power output comes with the drawback of vulnerability. Furthermore, the differences that come with changing up reactor and stabilizer placement aren't actually that drastic.
       
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    4. Scypio

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      Nobody cares about survavibility when you're too fast for you ennemy to track down and/or cloaked.
       
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    5. CyberTao

      CyberTao 鬼佬

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      Wait did they actually bring back coring?
       
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    6. MacThule

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      Not precisely. Someone in a thread about the fragility of new reactor rigs jokingly called power 2.0 "coring 2.0" because of how easily certain reactor configs can be taken out. I don't see a ton of equivalence, but there is a rough comparison I guess. So that's out there...
       
    7. Scypio

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      To be more precise, your ship's HP are based on your reactor blocks HP. Nothing else matter.

      You do what you want with that, but to me that's coring.
       
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    8. CyberTao

      CyberTao 鬼佬

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      [​IMG]
       
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    9. Magrim

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      All things being equal, the dong ship has a higher max potential energy output than a non dong ship. Yes, the conventional ship can produce the same e\sec as a 100% efficient dong by reducing distance and increasing block count but so can the dong.

      Keeping it's length the same, the dong can also add more blocks to produce more power, with a less efficient reactor, than the non dong ever could. With that advantage, it can bring more offense and defense to the fight, giving it the upper hand in this regard. This imbalance with distance based power systems can't be fixed by adjusting numbers. As long as distance is involved there will be dickships.

      As far as an enemy knowing the location of a dong's power systems; It can scan the conventional ship to see reactor locations, leveling the playing field and from my experience, most fights are won and lost at a distance where aiming at a specific location on a ship is very difficult and you're just happy to land a hit. Even if I'm wrong here, it's still creating advantages and disadvantages based on shape, which I think is a horrible direction for a creative sandbox spaceship building game.
       
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    10. nulitor

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      Well you did not see symetrical dongs.(the new meta shape if you want to avoid being cored)
      Maybe you reduce efficiency but there is no way of coring(simply: make a stabilizer stick going through the powergen and make a blob on each side of the stick at the 100% efficiency distance)
      But since all starmade ships are made of cardboard(armor is a joke) you are better off making spaghetti and having all the powergen system very far away from the ship(like 65k distance from the rest of the ship) at maximum efficiency
       
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    11. Dire Venom

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      I for one will trust in the guidance of the War Veterans that have spent hundreds of hours building and battling in the most compedative enviroments known to starmade :P

      That being said anyone with even a faint understanding of maths can see the flaws in the new system.
      It is most certiantly possible to create a durable and potent min max design that can bring far more to the table than another ship of the same block count and mass.

      Relying on armour to protect your reactor ain't gonna do a dam thing when cannon shots can easily pen your whole ship lengthwise imo. The best defense is not getting hit, which a spaced out ship with higher power is far better at.
       
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    12. Captain Fortius

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      This is a very interesting thought. But it got me thinking:

      Take two ships of the same mass, one extra long and as effective and as fragile as possible, and the other as stocky and ineffective as possible but with a well hidden reactor stream.

      The effective but fragile ship is going to output more power, thus able to have stronger shields and shoot with more powerful weapons more frequently than the stocky, ineffective ship.

      Won't the difference be so high that the effective ship never loses it's shields, and easily destroys the comparatively larger amount of blocks hiding the ineffective ship's reactor stream?
       
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    13. MacThule

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      Exactly, and this is one of the #1 things Schine must address if they are insisting on the new system.

      I mentioned it another thread as well. Though probably in the minority, I generally approve of the recent changes to shields (not the bubbles as much, and integrity is 'meh,' but recharge delay is good) as previously they were OP (most good ships wore light to no armor and just poured on tens of millions of shields and regen). It combines poorly with new reactors though. The ships are now too fragile.

      I think that a chamber effect is needed that allows like 25% or 50% regen under fire (to facilitate legit, specialized shield tanks).

      And armor... armor needs a slight buff if they are keeping these reactors. We either need a 4th tier of hyper-armor, or AA needs its base damage resistance upped by 10-20% (just for starters. baby steps.) and SA upped by 20-30%. That would be a step towards balancing the reactor fragility, IMO.



      A ship with more power will be more powerful. I don't think there is any question about that.

      I'm not sure everyone understands the way stabilizer efficiency works.

      Less linear builds don't reduce your maximum power output, they only reduce the efficiency of each stabilizer block, but you can add more stabilizer blocks to compensate and you will have the exact same power, without a dong, and at a very small cost in additional mass.

      A 100-block reactor produces exactly as much power as it produces, regardless of how you shape your ship. The only issue is stability.

      Shape doesn't affect power output.

      Shape only affects the ratio of stabs needed per reactor block to stabilize the given output.

      Regardless of whether you place 90 stabilizers waaay out at 100% efficiency, or 150 stabilizers in2 groups somewhat closer in, or 600 stabilizers in 8 groups relatively near the reactor.

      Doesn't matter - the reactor output stays the same.

      So now re-write that scenario with the long ship and stocky ship at the same power output, only differing in that the stocky ship will sacrifice a tiny amount of power to extra thrust but will also be more maneuverable because of dimensions. The long ship will have terrible turns... and a more maneuverable ship can easily flank it, nullifying its low profile. From there, the long ship is mich more fragile because any shot through its middle will hit the stab stream, and its reactor-stabilizer placement is super obvious even without scanning. Once shields are down you can practically one-shot it. It's over. Meanwhile, the stocky ship is going to have a much more stable reactor and it is harder to even tell where the stabs are unless you've invested chambers in scanning, which definitely offsets the additional thrusters the stocky ship had to pack on for those extra stabs. It would be super nice if hitting one stab group didn't also damage all the others... that kind of sucks, but still...

      The emphasis on long ships is driven entirely by players thinking that more stabilizers are somehow bad, not good, because they see "64%" instead of "100%," and think "64% is not acceptable (also perhaps a phallocentric neurosis - not judging) but that's not how it works out.

      We may be thinking about reactors wrong because we used to optimize ships by starting with the reactor. Making every last block optimal within a given shape for maximum efficiency. So that is how we have approached the new system - wanting every last block (including stabilizers; and that's the trap) to be optimal. Then we see that pure optimization of the stabilizer system can only be one shape that is super awkward and fragile, so we call it broken.

      I think people need to seriously backtrack their thinking.

      Placing stabilizers in the 100% zone is (obviously, at this point) NOT the key to a great power plant. It's become much more complex than that. Stabs don't even affect power generation except at under 25% total stabilization, and refusing to place them at anything less than 100% efficiency just because "optimized" is a real mistake. It isn't optimizing shit. Stabs only protect the reactor, they don't generate.

      So should I put all my reactor protection in one group, connected by one stream, someplace really obvious?

      100% stabs on a single stream aren't 'meta.'
       
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    14. Zoolimar

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      1. Manoeuvrability maybe but speed will be on the side of the tube.
      2. The middle part could be literally just a thin armour shell tube over the stream and some turrets around it.
      3. Obvious placement gives around 15% more power (accounting for systems installed) at the same mass than the blobby ship. Which could mean up to 30% more power to weapons, shields or drives.

      Are you sure you will have time to manoeuvrer around the tube ship, when it's weapons are 30% more powerful than yours ?
       
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    15. MacThule

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      Pretty sure you either did not read or did not understand.

      In the example I specifically stated that sacrificing a tiny % of power to fuel a few additional thrusters offset the difference in mass from a few extra stabilizers. Test it, if you don't understand. It'll take 2 minutes.

      Two ships with the same speed have the same speed.

      Shape does not make one faster.

      This is extremely misleading, and is what is messing people up.

      Shape does not affect power generation.

      I note that you say "at the same mass," and that is true, but as I say very misleading (and wilfully so, considering I specifically addressed the issue of additional thrusters for the handful of extra blocks).

      You are comparing two ships of equal mass.... why?

      That was nowhere in the example. I said two ships with equal power generation. Not "equal mass."

      Why are you trying to make their masses equal?
       
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    16. Magrim

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      In your scenario where two ships, one long and one stocky, have the same reactor size, with the stocky one running at say 50% stability and the long running at 100%, of course it would be a more even match but what's stopping the long one from fitting a larger reactor and also running at 50% stability? It's increased length allows for a higher max potential energy output than the stocky ship directly because it can fit a larger reactor.
       
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    17. Zoolimar

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      Tiny ? Try it on anything bigger than 10k mass. Thrusters have a 0.85 exponent on thrust scaling, last time I checked, so the more drives you have the less effective they are. To keep the speed parity you'll need around 10-15% more thrusters. And the bigger your ship the bigger will be the power percentage eaten by thrusters.

      Bigger ship - bigger penalty.

      That handful weights a lot.

      Let's see - 1 reactor block can power, currently, 6 weapon blocks or 5 shield recharge blocks. For example.

      For a tube that will weight 0.4(reactor) + 0.2 (stabiliser) + 0.6 (weapons) = 1.2
      For a 50% effectiveness "blob" it will be 1.4 or 16% more mass.

      So you need to cut your energy generation for weapons or shields at least by 16% to keep the drives running (and actually more due to 0.85 exponent on drive scaling).
       
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    18. MacThule

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      Both reactors have 100% total stability.

      The stocky ship has multiple reactor groups at a range from the reactor that each stab block does not get 100% effectiveness, but that does not affect the total maximum stability. It just means you must place a few more stabilizer blocks to achieve 100% stability.:)

      Like this (e.g. - not to scale): your reactor has 10,000 recharge. You add a stab block in the 100% range and get 1% total stabilization to your system. Or you add two stab blocks in the 50% range to get the same 1% total stabilization to your system.
      --- Updated post (merge), Jan 18, 2018, Original Post Date: Jan 18, 2018 ---
      You do not require additional reactors to achieve equal stability*, only stabilizers.
       
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    19. Zoolimar

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      And I counted only additional stabilisers.

      Or did they change the mass again ? Reactors were 0.4 and stabilisers 0.2. So 16% increase.
       
    20. MacThule

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      Again: a 100 block reactor generates the exact same amount regardless of stab formation. No need for extra reactor blocks just because you stabilized in the 50 or 75 percent range, you just increase the number of stabilizers by 50-100%.

      Or...

      You don't. And instead you build a dong and complain about how it's a glass cannon that can't turn and looks like crap. You can do that. You'll get like 4-16%* more net power.

      Probably better to just build your ship 4-16% bigger though.
      --- Updated post (merge), Jan 18, 2018, Original Post Date: Jan 18, 2018 ---
      This is mass equivalency again though. You don't have to keep your ship at a locked mass. You decide how much firepower and shields you want, and build a reactor that supplies that. There is no "cut" unless you adhere to a completely arbitrary mass ceiling.

      Is the ship being 16% more massive (but rebalanced at that mass) a prohibitive cost to achieve the power goal without forcing yourself into a glass dick?
       
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