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    The Quickfire Initiative: Rebalancing StarMade.

    Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Quickfire Initiative, Jun 13, 2019.

    1. SchnellBier

      Joined:
      Sep 10, 2014
      Messages:
      191
      That's exactly the point of low RC costs. If they're too high people will have to spend their RC points on the best options without having any variance. Our goal was to make ships good in 2 things at least. For example if you want to build a scout you want to have a ship that is fast and has good scanners. This was not possible in the vanilla chamber settings. I won't tell you that it is perfect as it is (because it's obviously not) but the main goal is to give ships more options.
       
    2. EricBlank

      Joined:
      Jul 1, 2013
      Messages:
      471
      Ah, that's a fair goal.

      But this config did bring back the dreaded perma-cloaker, and made it easy to do at max stealth strength. And simultaneously run a permanent max strength scanner. And that combo doesnt even use more than 40% reactor power on the little test ship I made, no attempt to use power reduction chambers.

      What if you balanced it more so that it was easy to arrive at the mid-way point in multiple trees, and have good, strong functionality there (better than vanilla), but higher costs up the tree, with even better reward for that specialization. Any ship can be good at any two or three things, but to have perfected any one chamber tree requires specialization with enough left over for moderate improvement in another field.

      It does seem to me too much that one ship can be a master of so much, and it makes that perfection in that field less special, and less valuable
       
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    3. Neon_42

      Joined:
      Sep 11, 2013
      Messages:
      341

      100% this. I don't see why this isn't summarized somewhere. It would be very helpful information.
       
    4. Zoolimar

      Joined:
      Aug 14, 2017
      Messages:
      290
      I'll try to outline the problems with weapons. Most of them are related to how geometry works.

      What are the main characteristics which determine if the ship can dodge a cannon shot? Cross-section presented to the enemy and acceleration. If the ship can displace itself by diameter of its cross-section (or largest axis if its not a circle) in time while the cannon shot travels to the ship there is no way to hit it except due to extreme luck. Lasers have their own problems with hitting smaller fast moving targets but they are much better than cannons at it.

      By making weapons smaller you make them not more vulnerable but less. They get smaller, their cross-section gets smaller, their volume gets smaller, their surface area gets smaller. The smaller the cross-section of the system the harder it is to target, especially if all other systems still retain their original volume. They are easier to bury behind layers and layers of shield caps, floating turrets become smaller and smaller. As a result even luck probably won't get you far enough.

      During tests the only way to actually target anything deliberately on the enemy ship was to get within 1km or less and to have 0.5+ advantage in TWR. And even in that case most of the time if the weapons were built with even minor regard to their survivability they would be one of the last systems to be destroyed.

      ___

      Additionally one of the goals of Quickfire server was to make armour actually matter. The smaller your systems/weapons get, while retaining the same power and mass, the easier it is to protect them with armour. Scale the weapon 8 times down and you'll be able to have almost 4 times the armour covering it.
       
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    5. Neon_42

      Joined:
      Sep 11, 2013
      Messages:
      341

      That's an interesting way to think about the problem of hitting subsystems.

      I think in terms of balancing a few parts are missing though.
      1) large ships ships shouldn't be able to dodge quickly. These ships should create structure on the battlefield and be able to tank a ton of damage and shield more dps heavy but structurally weaker craft. So acceleration should be minimal. For small ships like fighters its an all or nothing game. So targeting subsystems doesn't really matter.

      2) Cannons don't need to be super accurate and really shouldn't be. Beam weapons fill this role. The cannon has an area of effect(AOE). So we have to compare AOE vs subsystem cross section. A larger AOE means it is easier to hit a smaller subsystem. This assumes that a cannon should be used to target subsystems. I think this could be true for short range cannons but long-range large-damage cannons should really only be used to target armor, and maybe large subsystems.
       
    6. EricBlank

      Joined:
      Jul 1, 2013
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      471
      Zoolimar That is excellent logic, and a problem when facing small craft. The aiming ai is infact so horrendous right now that isanths are almost invincible vs beam or cannon turrets.

      Which is a little exasperated by the balance in the current quickfire settings; things are weighted pretty heavily towards the defenders, making brawls between equally matched fighter sized ships at least horribly drawn out. Is there a way to scale up damage tanking for larger craft while leaving combat quick and dirty for smaller fighters? It would almost certainly become unbalanced even further unfortunately...
       
    7. Zoolimar

      Joined:
      Aug 14, 2017
      Messages:
      290
      They are not actually weighted for the defenders. It's just how armour works in Starmade. If it is balanced for the ship of size X than for every ship that is smaller than X armour would be better. So if armour balanced around 50k than for ships at 1-5k it would be very good.

      Exponential armour formula mentioned in the OP post deals with this problem but you need a full remake of Block Config armour parts for it to work. In attached file the old config with it. Don't know if it will work properly on the latest version and it lacks a lot of parts done later. Especially chambers as they were not touched at all at the time. I'm not even sure weapons besides cannons are set up properly. But I kind of have trouble testing anything since my video card died.

      The Exponential armour works like this - base armour is weak. 200-100-50 HP. But it reduces damage depending on how thick it is in geometrical progression. Thus 10 layers of armour is around equal to 1000 weapon blocks in a weapon. Missiles due to how they work are very good at stripping armour with this formula in action. Especially since Advanced Armour has the lowest HP of the three.

      This means that for ships which have more or less the same amount of mass dedicated to armour will have similar protection level of protection against threats in their own weight class. It also absolutely kills any attempts at output spam.

      You could do it by using less drives and more weapons/armour/shields. You could probably even do something like Jumpships from Battletech - enormous barely mobile ships that carry actual combat craft. With jump chambers.

      Beams also have AOE in Quickfire config. As not having proper AOE was one of the main incentives to split them.
       

      Attached Files:

      #27 Zoolimar, Jul 13, 2019 at 7:30 PM
      Last edited: Jul 14, 2019 at 7:18 AM
    8. Ithirahad

      Ithirahad Arana'Aethi

      Joined:
      Nov 14, 2013
      Messages:
      4,113
      More precisely: Beams also have AoE, period. And if they didn't, players just split up the outputs, creating an AoE of arbitrary radius. All this talk of 'comparing AoE vs. subsystem cross section' doesn't mean much.

      What we did in Quickfire's config is cause beams to put all of their leftover damage into AoE after breaking the initial block rather than half, meaning that it is now more useful to actually have large beam systems, rather than millions of beams that can each break one block :P
       
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