The ultimate drone R&D thread

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    also: "You don't build carriers as you do in our real world"...
    sounds like a good enough reason to re-instate / raise "free stabilisation", it is only important for small ships.
    And why does it force me to have drones and stuff in my ship's hull anyway ?
     
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    Keptick

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    ^
    And there is an advantage to using a carrier in star-made. The drones will benefit from the carrier's upgraded jump drives, so faster travel from place to place.
     

    Tsnonak

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    And why does it force me to have drones and stuff in my ship's hull anyway ?
    It seems I am too stupid to even understand the question...

    as I have stated before; nobody is being "forced" to do anything!

    Edit:
    Furthermore, I will go out on a limb here; to me it seems like elite-meta-exploit-PVPers are" attempting" to "force" everyone to build like they do... Make everyone play like they want to, the game like they want it...
    Systems without a doubt need balancing, but raising power needs of systems 4x, is in my opinion; a little overkill.
    Making fighters @ "15m x 15m x 9m" and less than 100 mass pointless.
    Stuff the actual community builds and I assume would like to continue building.

    Apologies Keptic, for causing semi-Off-Topic-blabbering, just a statement of opinion.
     
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    So, why do the drones that small? They are like a fraction of a fraction of a ship's mass. QF armour was specifically done to do away with output spam being the most effective way to do block damage. Thus splitting outputs between a lot of guns or drones is suboptimal. Why not try a smaller bunch of larger drones in 500-1k range? You can specialise them better and they will live for longer.
     

    Tsnonak

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    sure... We allow up to 20 x 1.5k mass fighters per carrier on the server.
    Players have thier own visions of how they want to implement carriers/drones/fighters.
    ... and not everyone plays on public servers.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    It seems I am too stupid to even understand the question...

    as I have stated before; nobody is being "forced" to do anything!

    Edit:
    Furthermore, I will go out on a limb here; to me it seems like elite-meta-exploit-PVPers are" attempting" to "force" everyone to build like they do... Make everyone play like they want to, the game like they want it...
    Systems without a doubt need balancing, but raising power needs of systems 4x, is in my opinion; a little overkill.
    Making fighters @ "15m x 15m x 9m" and less than 100 mass pointless.
    Stuff the actual community builds and I assume would like to continue building.

    Apologies Keptic, for causing semi-Off-Topic-blabbering, just a statement of opinion.
    While I would prefer not to delve back into the PVP vs PVE vs RP argument again, I will say that the current iteration of the game definitely caters to larger craft, due to heavy armor and shield tanking. As such, we are indeed, being forced to build above a certain size class.

    So, why do the drones that small? They are like a fraction of a fraction of a ship's mass. QF armour was specifically done to do away with output spam being the most effective way to do block damage. Thus splitting outputs between a lot of guns or drones is suboptimal. Why not try a smaller bunch of larger drones in 500-1k range? You can specialise them better and they will live for longer.
    Why make them that small? Three reasons...

    1) Because I want to. Not trying to come off as rude but this is a creative game. I've made torpedo bombers and stable cloakers on power 1.0 even smaller than 15x15x9. I simply enjoy pressing the envelope, with regard to small scale units. The fact of the matter is that changes were made that make smaller craft far less effective than they were in past versions of the game.

    2) Because it's a realistic fighter size that not only exists and functions well in real life but (loosely) translates well into many sci-fi franchises. IRL, strike aircraft are a major threat to naval warships; even in modern times. I don't expect a single fighter to pull a "Luke Skywalker" on a capital ship but it doesn't take 100 F18s to take out a navy destroyer. Likewise, 4000 mass worth of combat optimized fighters should not have been so easily defeated by 4000 mass worth of RP ship.

    3) Because I don't have the kind of free time required to build a carrier that will fit your aforementioned 500-1000 mass drones.

    Regarding weapon output spam: Acid damage already addressed that issue. All the armor tweaks did was force players to build even larger guns by making it even harder for fighters and smaller turrets to do any damage.

    I'm not going to tell people that they should play "the way I want"; as has been done to me by others in the past, but I think it's kinda messed up that not only are my fighters useless in multiplayer but I can't even use them in single player.

    sure... We allow up to 20 x 1.5k mass fighters per carrier on the server.
    Players have thier own visions of how they want to implement carriers/drones/fighters.
    ... and not everyone plays on public servers.
    I like your free-spirited approach to this issue, but I am forced to ask...
    What exactly do you think 20 1.5K mass fighters are going to do to something that can carry 20 1.5K mass fighters?
     
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    Regarding weapon output spam: Acid damage already addressed that issue. All the armor tweaks did was force players to build even larger guns by making it even harder for fighters and smaller turrets to do any damage.
    The thing is it didn't. Acid loses to output spam in pure block damage. If not for armour it would not be worth it to use big guns most of the time. Mostly it comes down to the time it takes for the acid to apply which is not exactly zero and couldn't be. But there are also pretty big losses. Sometimes up to 3/4 of damage could go out the window. Though most of the time it is around 30%. As in 700k damage will destroy 450-500 mass.

    Guns that kill 1-10 blocks per shot work much better if you want just to destroy a ship block by block. Armour stops that. There is no difference between 40 fighters per 4k mass of the ship and a 50k ships with 400+ outputs. And due to the same creative nature of the game there is no way to work around this. Either we allow armour to be armour and stop small guns fire or we will need supercomputers to calculate all the shots.

    In past versions of the game (as well as real life) small craft thrived due to pretty heavy weapon lead over defences. Unless defences were done by someone who really did go all in into engineering part - like PVPers. After the weapon update it was even worse with most defensive features being severely outclassed. Thus allowing for small craft to deal good damage.

    ---

    Currently mini-drones will need a lot of work to make them, well, work. Though they do still have a hefty advantage over large ships in how much energy they can put to their weapons due to thrust curve. As in 50k in drones will have more percentage of reactor allocated to the guns than a single 50k ship (unless this ship is really, really slow or has no defences to speak of).

    I may suggest to try and mix CC or maybe BM (i think it should work with AI) fighters for large DPS to bring down shields with a small contingent of bombers armed with MB (1 beam block for lock on) or full 100% MB launched later in the fight after shields were dropped.

    EDIT: But yeah, the scale is a little too small for missiles to be able to work properly destroying good chunks of armour.
     
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    Keptick

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    Dr. Whammy I think that the issue might just be your drones. Mine have no problem taking out ships if the total mass is equivalent... I haven't tested them against targets with lots of armor, will do that tomorrow. Against targets with 1-2 layers of armor they work fine though.

    I also did a bunch of tests with different weapons, will also post the results soon.
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    The thing is it didn't. Acid loses to output spam in pure block damage. If not for armour it would not be worth it to use big guns most of the time. Mostly it comes down to the time it takes for the acid to apply which is not exactly zero and couldn't be. But there are also pretty big losses. Sometimes up to 3/4 of damage could go out the window. Though most of the time it is around 30%. As in 700k damage will destroy 450-500 mass.

    Guns that kill 1-10 blocks per shot work much better if you want just to destroy a ship block by block. Armour stops that. There is no difference between 40 fighters per 4k mass of the ship and a 50k ships with 400+ outputs. And due to the same creative nature of the game there is no way to work around this. Either we allow armour to be armour and stop small guns fire or we will need supercomputers to calculate all the shots.

    In past versions of the game (as well as real life) small craft thrived due to pretty heavy weapon lead over defences. Unless defences were done by someone who really did go all in into engineering part - like PVPers. After the weapon update it was even worse with most defensive features being severely outclassed. Thus allowing for small craft to deal good damage.

    ---

    Currently mini-drones will need a lot of work to make them, well, work. Though they do still have a hefty advantage over large ships in how much energy they can put to their weapons due to thrust curve. As in 50k in drones will have more percentage of reactor allocated to the guns than a single 50k ship (unless this ship is really, really slow or has no defences to speak of).

    I may suggest to try and mix CC or maybe BM (i think it should work with AI) fighters for large DPS to bring down shields with a small contingent of bombers armed with MB (1 beam block for lock on) or full 100% MB launched later in the fight after shields were dropped.

    EDIT: But yeah, the scale is a little too small for missiles to be able to work properly destroying good chunks of armour.
    Regarding Acid Damage vs output spam: My tests with acid damage have shown that (like missiles) if you fire a single weapon and it pierces the armor, you break through and cause a "crater" on your target depending on how powerful the weapon is and how much of the radius encompasses nearby blocks. I don't recall ever losing damage unless...
    - firing multiple projectiles at the same spot on a target. Much like missiles, the acid/explosions will hit empty space; wasting damage.
    - striking an isolated block with few blocks near enough to receive acid damage.
    - crossing sectors... (face palms)

    I agree with everything you've said about "waffling", with regard to builds above a certain size threshold. But I'm not building 50K mass ships, ships with 5m advanced armor or anything large enough to throw effective "waffle" damage.

    Considering that my above ship is 4400 mass (basic hull) and actually has it's own fighter bay, your idea of "small" is undoubtedly different than mine.

    In any case, I've been working on this on my end to try and find a solution. I've made some interesting combinations but to be honest, I'm starting to wonder if maybe large and small build styles are simply incompatible with one another. This size issue is part of the reason I never came back to multiplayer (especially after the release of power 2.0). I'm not interested in playing a game where every ship I encounter outguns me by more than 10:1 due to sheer size alone.

    Like I said, I'm not telling anyone here how to play the game. I just want to be able to enjoy the game in single player and those few servers that encourage smaller builds.

    Dr. Whammy I think that the issue might just be your drones. Mine have no problem taking out ships if the total mass is equivalent... I haven't tested them against targets with lots of armor, will do that tomorrow. Against targets with 1-2 layers of armor they work fine though.

    I also did a bunch of tests with different weapons, will also post the results soon.
    I don't think the problem is their mass; but more so the fact that the escort has a reactor capacity 70 times greater than the fighters.

    Your mass can be increased via armor, docked entities or excessive decorations; as is the case with my partial RP interior and chamber effects.

    To give my escort better survivability, I over-sized my reactor to over 1400 blocks, adjusted its reactor alignments, gave it full stabilization and built for a 2:1 shield capacity/regen ratio. The fighters have 20 reactor blocks, with adjusted reactor alignments and full stability. As it stands now, they simply don't have enough output to drop the escort's shields due to their size.

    I'll admit; I am building for aesthetics as well as combat effectiveness. With that having been said, I'd be interested to see the specs of your fighters if you don't mind sharing.
     

    Keptick

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    That's the problem, stop playing in vanilla and use the QF configs... And sure, I'll share once I'm on a computer.
     

    Ckeeze

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    as I have stated before; nobody is being "forced" to do anything!

    Edit:
    Furthermore, I will go out on a limb here; to me it seems like elite-meta-exploit-PVPers are" attempting" to "force" everyone to build like they do... Make everyone play like they want to, the game like they want it...
    Systems without a doubt need balancing, but raising power needs of systems 4x, is in my opinion; a little overkill.
    Making fighters @ "15m x 15m x 9m" and less than 100 mass pointless.
    Stuff the actual community builds and I assume would like to continue building.

    Apologies Keptic, for causing semi-Off-Topic-blabbering, just a statement of opinion.
    Yes we are not forced, with the fleet mechanic you can just sent them out on their merry way to take out whatever target, however having them in a carrier wich has advanced jump drives, a jump inhibitor to stop the enemy from retreating and additional firepower directly under your controll makes the whole thing much more effective

    Regarding drone size I find fighter/bombers below 400 mass pointless, my current designs weigh 600, of course I can't field as many but unlike the tiny pointless drones they can penetrate armor, wich in the quickfire config is more and more viable.
     

    Ckeeze

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    Considering that my above ship is 4400 mass (basic hull) and actually has it's own fighter bay, your idea of "small" is undoubtedly different than mine.

    In any case, I've been working on this on my end to try and find a solution. I've made some interesting combinations but to be honest, I'm starting to wonder if maybe large and small build styles are simply incompatible with one another. This size issue is part of the reason I never came back to multiplayer (especially after the release of power 2.0). I'm not interested in playing a game where every ship I encounter outguns me by more than 10:1 due to sheer size alone.
    If you are not willing to build 100k mass carriers instead of 10k mass than that's purely your problem that they are not viable, you rambled about "Realism" regarding fighter size, well guess what carriers weigh 100k tons in real life,
    If you would make a carrier hundreds of meters long with over 70k mass you could fit a number of 500 mass fighters wich may seem oversized for you but are dwarfed by what you may encounter.

    Obviusly I can't tell you how to play, I'm not say you should tryhard shipbuilds and make doomsticks or whatever, But if you REFUSE to be in the same sizeclass as the meta then don't complain that the meta hands your ass to you. No amount of balancing would make your sub 10k carriers work.

    90% of your problems could be solved by upping the scale (we are in space you SHOULD expect large ships)
    yet when we tell you to make larger drones and larger carriers you are like "don't tell me what to do" then what's the point of your winging?
     

    Tsnonak

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    I like your free-spirited approach to this issue, but I am forced to ask...
    What exactly do you think 20 1.5K mass fighters are going to do to something that can carry 20 1.5K mass fighters?
    Well... I'm going to have to say... that depends on the variables, and there are quite afew to consider...
    and the question is a little vague.
    For simplicity I will only list the first most important variables that come to mind.

    1. Build-style /expertise
    Good builds have a prooven track record of taking down larger, badly built ships, makes sense.

    2. Size definition: what can carry 20 x 1.5k mass, the question is too vague.
    I will limit my answer to equal sized/built ships...

    I think... generally, a battle of two equal ships, with equally skilled pilots, would end in a stalemate, unless one of the pilots makes mistakes.
    I also think Eve Online makes a good reference point, two carriers duelling = stalemate, unless one of the pilots is inexperienced or makes mistakes, (disclaimer: last known stand, yes I have an Archon).

    [insert Teamwork here]...

    I will have to go with: I think a ship that can carry 20 x 1.5k mass fighters is going to be able to tank 20 x 1.5k mass fighters.
     
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    A good solution to the problem is capping ship size low enough for the biggest ships to be 1k: it not only reduce lag a lot but it also helps small ships to work.
    If you also cap ship count you can guarantee to only have lag if a player abuse the game intentionally(such as making logic bombs)
     
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    Keptick

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    A good solution to the problem is capping ship size low enough for the biggest ships to be 1k: it not only reduce lag a lot but it also helps small ships to work.
    If you also cap ship count you can guarantee to only have lag if a player abuse the game intentionally(such as making logic bombs)
    Yea, no... Seriously, no.

    Ship mass capped at 1k mass would so ridiculously limiting.
     

    Dr. Whammy

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    If you are not willing to build 100k mass carriers instead of 10k mass than that's purely your problem that they are not viable, you rambled about "Realism" regarding fighter size, well guess what carriers weigh 100k tons in real life,
    If you would make a carrier hundreds of meters long with over 70k mass you could fit a number of 500 mass fighters wich may seem oversized for you but are dwarfed by what you may encounter.

    Obviusly I can't tell you how to play, I'm not say you should tryhard shipbuilds and make doomsticks or whatever, But if you REFUSE to be in the same sizeclass as the meta then don't complain that the meta hands your ass to you. No amount of balancing would make your sub 10k carriers work.

    90% of your problems could be solved by upping the scale (we are in space you SHOULD expect large ships)
    yet when we tell you to make larger drones and larger carriers you are like "don't tell me what to do" then what's the point of your winging?
    "Build bigger"? That's your solution? Typical.

    You basically ignored everything I said and jumped face first onto the PVP bandwagon in the same way as others mentioned. As such, your "advice"; condescending as it sounds, does not apply to my situation.

    To be clear, I'm trying to create more challenging AI units for my own server and other servers that encourage small builds. If you want remain civil and actually discuss how to make effective drones (regardless of size) then by all means, let's keep talking. Otherwise, kindly stay true to your word and "don't tell other people how to play the game".

    That's the problem, stop playing in vanilla and use the QF configs... And sure, I'll share once I'm on a computer.
    And this is definitely "official"? ...as in, WILL be implemented as the new game defaults? Hell, might as well try it out then.

    Can you confirm that this is the correct download location? I'll be grabbing it tonight if that's the case.
    alterintel/Quickfire

    Well... I'm going to have to say... that depends on the variables, and there are quite afew to consider...
    and the question is a little vague.
    For simplicity I will only list the first most important variables that come to mind.

    1. Build-style /expertise
    Good builds have a prooven track record of taking down larger, badly built ships, makes sense.

    2. Size definition: what can carry 20 x 1.5k mass, the question is too vague.
    I will limit my answer to equal sized/built ships...

    I think... generally, a battle of two equal ships, with equally skilled pilots, would end in a stalemate, unless one of the pilots makes mistakes.
    I also think Eve Online makes a good reference point, two carriers duelling = stalemate, unless one of the pilots is inexperienced or makes mistakes, (disclaimer: last known stand, yes I have an Archon).

    [insert Teamwork here]...

    I will have to go with: I think a ship that can carry 20 x 1.5k mass fighters is going to be able to tank 20 x 1.5k mass fighters.
    Regarding Build-style/Expertise: I agree with you, although, I find it unfortunate that power 2.0 forces you to build in certain shapes or simply bigger to get the kind of power you want.

    Regarding size: My concern stems from the fact that anything small enough to be held on/in a carrier can often be quickly destroyed by something as big as that carrier. While you could just bring a large ship with a bunch of bolt-on starships posing as "fighters" docked to it, this is a rather restrictive build requirement that is still prone to a progressive loss of firepower as fighters are destroyed..

    What are your thoughts on this? Do you find attrition to have a major impact on your carriers vs non-carrier ships of equal combined mass?
     
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    Dr. Whammy

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    A good solution to the problem is capping ship size low enough for the biggest ships to be 1k: it not only reduce lag a lot but it also helps small ships to work.
    If you also cap ship count you can guarantee to only have lag if a player abuse the game intentionally(such as making logic bombs)
    As much as I like smaller builds, I must respectfully disagree with this idea.

    Just as we don't want other people to force their chosen play style on us, we should not try to impose ours on them.

    It should be noted that there were once several servers (minimade and micromade to name a few) that played with those kinds of (admin-imposed) size limits. Maybe a server config is closer to what you're looking for.
     

    Ckeeze

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    As much as I like smaller builds, I must respectfully disagree with this idea.

    Just as we don't want other people to force their chosen play style on us, we should not try to impose ours on them.

    It should be noted that there were once several servers (minimade and micromade to name a few) that played with those kinds of (admin-imposed) size limits. Maybe a server config is closer to what you're looking for.
    So you agree that large builds SHOULD exist, but you refuse to scale up your carrier and not heed any of my advise.... and then you are still winging here that you can't compete, The only reason I sound annoyed becouse you desperatly ask for advice yet turn it down when offered.
    100 mass drones will never work no matter what you do, get over it scale up your stuff and you'll have awesome carriers with awesome drones, it's that symple.
    While starmade and other sandboxes do encourage to be creative you can't just say "this particular build should work, i don't care that it's impractical why doesn't it work reeebalance reee"
    Use your creativity to come up with something that looks good, devietes from meta but still can compete with meta, THAT IS CARRIERS THAT ARE AS LARGE AS META SHIPS.
    If you seriously want to stick by your iny-tiny carrier and useless little mosquito drones than make a custom config that has a harsher TWR curve. But if you want to build something others can also use or compete against in MOST servers, heed my word and just scale it up a bit. This is litelary your only major problem, it doesn't matter how much you rage against anyone telling you the truth it IS the truth.

    You want to build small stuff, fine, You want them to work well? make a costum config!
    You want them to work well on most servers? that needs a reballance and such a huge reballance that it would limit everyone to build at 10k mass instead of 100k. You don't want that? tough luck you need to scale up to them. I don't understand Why is it such a huge problem for you.
    Wouldn't you be able to make both the carrier and the drones look better at larger scale? does it physically hurt you to build at a scale that makes sense gameplaywise? Do you also whine that toothpics can't kill elephants instead of getting a bigger stick?
     
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    Can you confirm that this is the correct download location? I'll be grabbing it tonight if that's the case.
    Yeah, that's the one. You may also want to grab the server.cfg from there or change the sector size to 16 km yourself.

    "Dedicated" small ships weapons on QF are CAN-MIS, MIS-MIS and probably pure MIS or MIS with 1 block of beam for lock on.

    CAN-MIS can't be used by AI at all due to its charge up mechanics. So it needs to be used by hand. And it is a close range weapon but its damage and DPS is way higher than on all the other weapons except MIS-MIS. If you can get into close range you should be able to deal damage as a ship of 3-5 times your size. Considering that you also will have much higher manoeuvrability that leads to a pretty nice if fragile combination.

    MIS-MIS is bomb. The one that uses ship speed and direction as its own. So AI also can't use it. Ignores shields. Deals ridiculous amounts of damage. A single 1-2k mass bomber probably can cripple even a 100k ship if it lands the bomb in a good place. For comparison CAN-MIS deals 190 damage per block, per shot - bomb does 7600. But it can be used only at short range and is incredibly hard to hit with.

    MIS is just an unguided missile with good DPS that doesn't care about how thick is the armour of the target. Build it big enough and it's gonna gouge big holes into anything it hits (4k mass ship is more than enough for this ). And it's DPS is good enough to be decent even against shields.
    ___

    But your drones probably are best to be built in support role - to bring down the shields with CAN-CAN or even BEAM-MIS.
     

    Keptick

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    Yeah, that's the one. You may also want to grab the server.cfg from there or change the sector size to 16 km yourself.
    He has to change some other settings as well (like max speed).

    Dr. Whammy I recommend that you simply replace your server.cfg file with the QF one, and adjust it to your liking from there.