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    [Weapons Update] Missile Turning Rate inverse to damage

    Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Esarai, Jun 6, 2018.

    1. Esarai

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      With the new Cannon penetration mechanics intended to encourage the use of weapons that are appropriate to the target being fired on, I'd like to suggest something similar for missiles: Turning rate and velocity that is inversely proportional to the missile's damage (another way to describe it would be a turning radius that is directly proportional with a velocity that is inversely proportional).

      The higher the damage a missile does, the harder it should be to use it against a fast, highly-mobile target, encouraging the use of weapons that are appropriate for the target being faced.

      Part of the reason missiles dominated combat in earlier weapons revisions was that they were universally effective against all targets. It didn't matter if you were firing a small anti-fighter missile or a planet-buster, the missile would turn at exactly the same speeds whether you were doing 10 damage or 10,000,000 damage. The only saving grace was that a fighter could easily outrun a missile+pulse combo weapon, but a larger missile+beam combo doing the same damage was essentially a guaranteed kill.

      This made it very difficult to use lighter vessels and employ hunter-killer squad tactics against heavier vessels--You couldn't dodge warheads meant for larger targets, since every anti-capital missile is also an anti-fighter missile, just better at killing the fighter.
       
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    2. Coyote27

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      Turning rate should depend on, and be proportional to, missile speed right now (as of current devbuilds). The fastest guided missiles in devbuild are missile-beam with a 0% beam ratio - increasing the beam secondary ratio ups the missile's damage but slows it down: 0% beam secondary fires a missile at 450 speed, a 50% beam secondary gives 300 speed, and 100% beam secondary drops that speed down to only 150! There's definitely a tradeoff between raw damage and speed, and a lighter but faster missile should both be much harder to evade and a more difficult target for PD. A big slow missile will have a lot of hitpoints for PD to whittle away at, but it'll be under fire for much longer, and if it's slow enough you can simply run away until either your PD kills it or it passes maximum range.
       
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    3. MacThule

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      This makes perfect sense. Because missile HP are now proportional to damage, which implies greater mass, armor or shielding on the missile itself. The added mass should reduce turn rate. Excellent idea.
       
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    4. JNC

      JNC

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      We used to have sliders for missiles that did just that.... Why cant we fine tune our missile creations anymore? :[
       
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    5. Nosajimiki

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      This might have been a decent idea under power 1.0 missiles mechanics, but would suck for power 2.0 because of the way ammo now works. Also, I'm with JNC here. With as many option as have been removed with the loose of terciaries and pulse, I think the new system deserves some better tweaking options for balancing things like damage/turn rate/ speed/ etc.
       
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    6. Esarai

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      Ooh that's cool, I missed that in my experiments with missiles. Pretty close to what I was intending, actually, just I think the base missile system should still adjust turning radius so that huge block counts can't fly-swat smaller ships with ludicrous ease.

      Right there with you on the second part, but I can't agree with the first. Having limited ammo and needing to carefully aim with your shots doesn't justify letting missiles be equally likely to hit all targets. From a game design perspective, making missiles that universally good undoes what limited ammo was meant to achieve--it turns missiles back into a default tactic rather than a special attack you need to be careful with.

      This is especially relevant when the fast maneuverable target might not have enough PDCs to kill a planet-buster by the time it hits. It's leaving the paradigm of 'bigger always wins' in place, and that's what I'm trying to break.

      I personally would find it more enjoyable to need to maneuver into a good firing stance and know what type of missile is best for the situation at hand rather than having one type that I can launch and expect to win against anything lower mass than me. It creates a more dynamic strategic interaction.
       
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    7. Coyote27

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      I'm not entirely sure about my supposition that missile turn rate is a function of missile speed, as a disclaimer, I'm just thinking that that's how it works but I don't have any solid proof or confirmation yet. It seems like missiles should work that way.
       
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    8. Agame3

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      A fishing boat should never be able to hurt a 5000 tons man of war under any circumstances. Not even a fleet of fishing boats should. It would be expected for the man of war to have real difficulties hitting them, but also having no reason at all to waste ammo and time with them.

      But when fishing boats are actually 100 tons fast response no armor all weapons destroyers, sure things look different.

      There must be a limit on what drones and small fighters can fight against, and I think 1:100 mass is more than reasonable. This would probably remove the usage of mass destruction weapons of any kind against small ships;)
       
    9. JNC

      JNC

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      Ever heard of the USS Cole? Q-ships are a thing as well... Bigger ships usually relay on a fleet of smaller ships to screen them from this stuff, while they focus on other big things. Powerful weapons can come in small packages, in RL, but we dont really see that in Starmade, at least not until the bomb mechanics are straightened out.

      Speedboat full of explosives
      [​IMG]
       
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    10. MacThule

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      How dare you waste our time with reality?? Awesome, cool-looking warships being gutted by ingenious guerillas in horrible, ugly little craft is not in keeping with either Star Wars or Star Trek, and therefore not relevant! :ROFLMAO:

      Plus, my propaganda tells me that the billions of dollars taxed away from the blood and sweat of my people to buy contracts for these huge warships protect will us from villainy. It's impossible that all that spending could just be pork barrel politics and a fleet of scarecrows meant to deter attacks more than actually repel them. >:-| >:-| >:-|
       
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    11. JNC

      JNC

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      Ship vs three 100lb missiles.... If, perhaps, a fishing ship replaced a couple of its fishing poles for a couple "harpoons" im sure some damage could be done, each of those are 1500lbs. If your big warship doesnt have AMS than.... yup
      [​IMG]
       
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    12. MacThule

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      Yeah, real ships aren't actually armored against anything heavier than a light machine gun. Because in the arms-vs-armor race, arms always win. At a certain point you just can't carry enough armor, but increasing the energy of projectiles and explosives is far less demanding. Which is also why soldiers don't even bother wearing armor as they did before firearms... They just try not to get shot.
       
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    13. Nosajimiki

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      You seem to miss the point of why it is a problem. Ammo mechanics and AMS priorities were introduced to nerf heterogeneous missile loadouts. If you are busy arming your ship with Anti-fighter sidewinders, you are investing the same ammo into them as you are your heavy cruise missiles. Ammo is intended to force players to fire only the biggest warheads they can reasonably support. Fighters are inherently harder to hit because they are easier to pack higher ttm on, they turn and accelerate much faster, and they lure missiles into a narrower pattern making them much easier to shoot down. The game does not need to inflate these advantages, if you're getting hit by missiles in a fighter, then are already doing something wrong.

      And on a related note, why the heck do people keep acting like small ships need to be stronger? This isn't Battlestar Galactica Online where losing a ship of the line is no different than losing a striker. There is a HUGE difference in cost between a fighter and a cruiser. This game is as much about economics as it is about the battle. The only reason to fly a small ship vs one that is significantly bigger than you is so that you are in an expendable trolling ship that can hopefully do enough damage before dying to make it worth while. Sorry, but there is no other way to balance the game that does not unbalance the economy.

      Not entirely true, this has gone back and forth since the beginning of time. Even post firearms age, there were many defensive innovations that could beat the standard armaments of their day including Rampart fortifications, Ironclads, WWI tanks, etc. Even in modern warfare, militaries are starting to re-adopt the practice of personal body armor thanks to innovations with super-ridgid ceramics and force dissipating materials, and limits of the human body to control recoil on weapons powerful enough to penetrate such body armor, but if you are talking about Starmade specifically, then yes, this is pretty true.
       
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    14. MacThule

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      That's what bipods are for!;)

      Recent discussions I've read seem to indicate that the (very expensive) U.S. naval superiority formula may have actually become obsolete because of advances in missile technology, but we'll never know for sure until someone tests it. I know that even in the late 90s advances in SAM technology in advanced countries had already made most traditional air superiority formulae obsolete (except versus an opponent without the technology and military-industrial infrastructure to consistently field new generation anti aircraft weaponry).

      I've heard and read chatter about the "Soon" development of new body armor based on composites, advanced synthetics, new gen ceramics, spider silk, and various other things since at least the early 90s, but as with the cold fusion grail, 30 years on "just around the corner" remains "just around the corner" and the entire buzz probably originates in copy coming out of various lab funding requests. "We can totally, absolutely deliver super-armor - the science is already here it only remains to see who develops the tech first. We, erm... we just need, uh - 5 more years and, maybe... 17 million more dollars in research funding?"

      But yes, it definitely does go back and forth from time to time. Has in the past anyway.
       
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    15. Agame3

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      I was not talking about small warhead torpedoes, those are just missiles so big that they actually need to be built with blocks. I was talking about pew-pew small fighters ;)
       
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    16. Nosajimiki

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      His point remains the same. The difference between an anti-ship missile and an anti-fighter missiles IRL is not so much a matter of size as balance. Take the sidewinder vs maverick for example. They are very similar sizes and designed to be loaded on the same missile hardpoints. Side winders are anti-fighter weapons with all their dimensions invested into targeting, speed, maneuverability, etc. Mavericks are all warhead with just enough systems to get it from wing to target. That said, there is nothing stopping you from making a larger missile with the handling of a sidewinder and the damage profile of a maverick, particularly in space where wind shear is not an obstacle.

      In starmade terms, Missile-Beam are your side-winders. They are defined as a certain balance between firepower and mobility. Their size is just the scale at which you make that proportion of systems.
       
    17. Nebulon-B_Frigate_FTW

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      Because if it's always favorable to build bigger, you end up with laggy beast staring each other down in extended peacetime in a game about custom spaceship fighting.
      It's preferable to tilt things a bit toward the small ships so that fighting can happen at more managible scales. Not that small ships should be stronger than large ones, but they should be more resource/combat effectiveness efficient (with fleets of comparable overall resource costs) to a point to encourage size diversity around some max efficiency (bell curve etc.).

      Anyways, since missile/beam is the only lockon anyways, and it sounds like it does this, looks good already.
       
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    18. Esarai

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      I have considered this and concluded that it does not introduce a problem since it is possible to load a ship with more missiles than your refire rate will allow you to launch before a reload cycle, freeing up room for a continuous barrage of anti-fighter missiles and the occasional planet-buster.

      Also, Schine never said anything about 'nerfing heterogenous loadouts' - that's your own interpretation. From their posted media, the design intent is to force players to be careful with launching their missiles in order to reduce server load and remove missile spam as a first-order optimal strategy while still allowing players the freedom to build however they want. They never said anything about forcing players to use only one type of missile. If they wanted to do that they could easily have written code to enforce such a paradigm.

      You have concluded that biggest missiles only is the optimal strategy, and therefore this must be the intent of the designers despite them never having said so, and this is part of my whole point--Biggest missiles only should not be the optimal strategy.

      Here's a more concise version of my point:

      If a planet-buster can hit a target as if it were an anti-fighter missile, the calculus of battle in StarMade resolves to 'bigger is always better' and offers no interesting strategic or tactical choices beyond 'build the biggest ship you can and fire everything.'

      Just because one must be economical with how they utilize missiles in combat does not mean that fighters have a magic shield against missile attack. Given the current mechanics, if someone wants to wipe a fighter off the board with a planet-buster that turns like a sidewinder, they still can do so with ease, especially if said planet-buster is a turret-mounted weapon.

      To prevent the game devolving into a mass-race, where the biggest ships always win with no viable counters save an equally-massed ship, the base turn rate of missiles should decrease as weapon damage increases in order to prevent missiles from being used in a fly-swatter fashion.

      If system ratio is the difference between a Maverick and a Sidewinder, then my point is that weapon damage should be the difference between a Sidewinder and a Minuteman III.

      My terms anti-fighter and planet-buster operate under the assumption of a lockon missile system with the same systems ratios but different sizes. One has ~100 blocks, the other has ~100,000 blocks.

      What Coyote27 described makes it seem like the current system is working to ensure uniformity of missile behavior--as missiles go faster, they turn faster, meaning their turning radius remains the same and they don't overshoot their target, and as they go slower, they turn slower, keeping their turning radius the same.
       
    19. Nosajimiki

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      But, it's not always favorable, nor is it more lagy. The I've seen several fights with 1.5-2mil total mass that went smoothly where only capital ship were involved, yet I see <500k worth of drones drop people to 1 FPS all the time. Going back to the issue of economy: people will get enough resources to make either big ships or same mass fleets of smaller ships. You can not stop that shy of constantly resetting servers every few weeks. However, the smaller ships require more AI cycles, more collision checks, more surface area to render, etc. Encouraging small ship tactics too heavily forces the players to choose what is bad for the server and other people's computers over what is bad for themselves.

      Don't get me wrong, using small ships for gorilla warfare doing things like stealth bomber runs, and screening boarding attacks is a good thing for giving less established players a way to make themselves less worth the cost of beating, but if you push that balance any harder than the game already does, it becomes all about fighter tactics and you kill game performance, balance, and the community. Personally, I feel like overcharged spinal weapons and arc beams are already going way overboard to favor smaller ships when the simple fact that you are distributing your systems between multiple ships is a pretty solid balancing factor to poor AI to begin with. 2-5 small player ships will almost always beat a same mass single player.

      Also, while not everyone likes making big ships, they take a lot of time to design and manufacture. This means players spend more time playing which keeps servers more active and reduces attrition of the player base. It also encourages multi-member factions because it makes people lean more on other players to gather the resources, design skills, etc to thrive, and because bigger ships are such an investment, established factions are more likely to recruit and teach newer players so that they can have human pilots to maximize their big investments. Being engaged in a faction also makes a player more likely to stick around, and/or come back after a leave of absence.

      As for your peacetime comment, that has not been true in my experience. In 2017 alone, was involved in about 20 battles ranging from about 500k-5mil mass worth of total assets each, and that is excluding the competitions and special pirate events.
      --- Updated post (merge), Jun 9, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 9, 2018 ---
      Actually, that's exactly what "stopping missile spam" is. The point was to prevent people from firing 100s of tiny distractor missiles to protect their real missiles from AMS. So, if you want to do optimal damage now, you need to make all of your missiles strong, because distractor missiles just subtract from how many "real" missiles you can fire. Because each missiles has an absolute maximum of how much block damage it can do, and each additional missile costs more ammo blocks then the last, and because AMS can now prioritize heavy warheads, mixing smaller missiles with bigger ones is nerfed. While you have the option to loadout smaller missiles with bigger ones, you do so at a heavy cost. Adding an extra 1000ish blocks to go from 20 to 21 missiles is not a huge deal if that extra missile is a max-radius cruise missile, but if it's just a little 50 block sidewinder, and you need to add several of them to actually kill a fighter, then you are looking at a MASSIVE increase in ammo cost to gain the same weapon system that would be tiny if distributed on a couple of small interceptor drones.

      You are still missing the point. Even if a big ship can one-shot a smaller ship, it still does not account for the disparity in numbers. Also, b-m are not an optimal anti-big ship weapon anyway. If you bring a big ship armed with doom beams/charge cannons/ arc beams etc vs a big ship armed with seeker missiles, the seeker missiles will be at a huge disadvantage because of how missiles scale. B-M stop being viable above medium weight classes now.

      A Minuteman III can't hit a fighter because it doesn't need to. It's a freaking ICBM. Instead of Sidewinder and a Minuteman III, think sidewinder and RIM-161. The RIM-161 is 16 times as massive as the sidewinder, but it is designed to intercept fighters, and it does that very well. The problem here is that you think that a big m-b is planet buster and it isn't. They are balanced for interception. Comparing a Sidewinder and a Minuteman III is like comparing a m-b to a m-m... they just aren't the same class of weapon system to begin with.

      FYI, there is never a reason to make b-m more than about 1000 blocks anyway because of radius restrictions.
       
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    20. Esarai

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      This is a good thing. It's still beside my point of a ship being able to carry multiple missile systems designed for different target profiles, and you're still asserting something that isn't true: the designers did not intend to force everyone to min-max their missiles, and this is pre-supposing an assertion that I am suggesting should not be the case for gameplay's sake.

      No weapon should be equally useful good against all targets. This is a staple of Space Combat Sim genres, and StarMade is worse off for not implementing it.

      I'm not talking about distraction missiles. I'm talking about making different size missile weapon groups have different mission profiles.

      No, I'm just failing to see how your points invalidate mine. My point is that no weapon system should be equally good against all targets, especially now that all other weapons have undergone such dramatic changes to how they behave. Your point is that because players have limited ammo, they should have an equal chance to hit any target on the field in order to guarantee usefulness.

      Which is exactly what I am suggesting should not be the case, because it is boring gameplay.

      A Minuteman can't hit a fighter because it wasn't designed to. It was designed to vaporize everything on the base where the fighter was stationed, not hit a fighter in-flight, which is what Sidewinders and the RIM-161 SM3 are designed for.

      This is akin to replacing the planet-buster with another anti-fighter missile. Both the Sidewinder and RIM-161 are built for the mission of interception. A Minuteman is not. And yes, I do think that M-B weapons can still be planet busters because I've seen them used as such to horrific effect on my servers.

      .

      M-B to M-M is more like comparing the RIM-161 SM3 to the Tsar Bomba, let's be real. But also absolutely right, and this is my point exactly. A 100 block missile system should not behave the same way a 10,000 block system with the same support ratios does.

      Interesting and good to know, but with the new Acid model of damage, I wonder how long that will remain in place.
       
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