Starter Frigate vs Starter Frigate Battles

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by aReclusiveMind, Jul 15, 2017 at 3:30 AM.

  1. aReclusiveMind

    aReclusiveMind Moderator Lieutenant

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    The battle between two initial starter frigates appears to be unwinnable for either side. Both ships appear to only be able to do 1 damage to each other's shields with the 1 starting laser they come equipped with. The shield recharges afterward leaving the ship at full health. I also tried overloading my laser and it did 2 damage but it was still unable to penetrate the enemy shield before it recharged back to 5. After several minutes of us firing back and forth at one another I ended up picking auto-resolve and the game decided I lost.

    I'm not sure what the best resolution is for this issue but I can't imagine the current situation is desirable. Unless of course I'm missing something?
     
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  2. Konstantine

    Konstantine Moderator Captain

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    Correct on that, I use that reality in game.
    I begin by adding more ships, and in cases where I meet the AI very early, I drop whatever research I have going and start on nukes.
    I know I cant force anything until I get to build missile frigates, one of those will take down a ship of its own size before running out of ammo
    We could have a 1 level tech added to the tree, " Chemical missile" or something like that which is known at the start. Damage would be four.
    Keep the space requirements kind of low
    The problem then focuses on that the laser still sucks. Ok how about at least doubling it in power. Two starting frigates being able to fight a stalemate is understandable and would not change but once the player can get some missiles and lasers firing in the same battle, someone would lose ships. In this way getting missiles into the field could happen much sooner but they would not be as destructive as Nukes, we would still have to research that
     
  3. Adam Solo

    Adam Solo Developer Administrator Commander

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    Yes, that stalemate scenario is currently on the table. And, like you, I'm also not sure what the best solution to address that is at the moment, if it even needs to / should be addressed.

    Now, every shot that hits the opponent's shields will cause extra heat on the opponent, which can escalate to critical heat and ultimately to the ship's explosion, even if no damage to the structure was made whatsoever. However, you can always hit cool-off and dissipate all the heat, and the AI will do the same, returning everyone back to square one. Because, as you say, the shield regenerates in greater proportion than the inflicted damage in those cases.

    We could add more firepower or reduce the shield's effectiveness to address the issue to some extent. But, let's face it, you could always run into other stalemate situations if you want. Everytime your shields can absorb all damage from a rival and vice versa, you'll have a stalemate, so I can see this happening in other ship to ship configurations (e.g. class X shield cruiser with low-end weapons vs another class X shield cruiser also with low-end weapons). Or am I missing something?

    If the stalemate issue becomes a problem, we may find a way to address it through the heat system. We could increase the cool-off cooldown, for instance. Or, we could keep the heat cool-off cooldown as it is but force the shields to be shut down while you cool-off. This way, the first ship that decides to cooloff will get structure damage in the next couple of turns. Of course, we must understand if shutting down the shields completely would be desirable in a cool-off situation. We could only disable its regenerating ability. That could work.

    What do you think?
     
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  4. Konstantine

    Konstantine Moderator Captain

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    I think the critical point that Keith makes, is that early on a player can find himself in a situation that is not fun, even though it is perfectly justified.
    The easiest solution without messing around much is to ensure that this situation is over rather quickly if it happens. That's where a starting missile could help.

    Personally and intellectually I know this type of stalemate is perfectly logical when two equal ships battle but it isn't a lot of fun. Let's look into cutting down the window that this event is an issue.
     
  5. Edward the Hun

    Edward the Hun Moderator Ensign

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    The idea of having the cool off cause a moment of vulnerability seems logical. The question becomes at what severity. I'd test both only killing regen or disabling the shields for that moment. See how it pans out in this situation and in later stage battles internally to see which one works better. You want it to be significant but not overdo it either, as it will impact late game battles too.

    Thematically it makes sense the ship will be more vulnerable during this phase. It also makes the choice of when to do it more critical. It might even encourage a player to pull a ship away from a more vulnerable position before venting heat, which can lead to more tactical choices one has to make.
     
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  6. aReclusiveMind

    aReclusiveMind Moderator Lieutenant

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    The problem I have with the stalemate is you have to flee and let the AI win or auto-resolve and let the AI win. That's not really fair since they wouldn't have been able to win the fight either, but as a human you have a life to lead and a game to play and the AI is immortal (unless your PC loses power) will press end turn all day long.

    I'd rather see combat end with both sides fleeing the system after a certain number of turns when no lasting non-shield damage is dealt. This would be a pretty easy and elegant way to solve the problem now that I think about it. Auto-resolve should end the same with both sides fleeing.


    Now, if you want to go with something more exotic, here are some ideas and comments on ideas already suggested:

    Heat Solution
    The solution regarding cooling off (venting) shutting down shields is very reminiscent of how Starsector works. Starsector has real-time action oriented combat though so there is a lot more finesse involved in doing it at the right time. It does add a tactical element in larger battles where you can heat (flux in that game) ships up and then retreat them back behind other ships. Edward's points are essentially how it works in that game but in real-time. Also in that game weapons generate a varying amount of heat (flux) which means you have to decide when to fire all weapons and when to hold some back to conserve.

    Fragile Ship Systems
    Another thing Starsector does (sorry it's a great space game I've played a lot recently!) to prevent endless battles is attach a CR "combat readiness" to each ship. This degrades during the battle and eventually causes ships to malfunction and even self damage if the ship stays in combat too long. Some ships are more robust and can stay in combat longer while others are powerful but their systems are very fragile and degrade quickly in prolonged fights.

    Maximum Ship Regen Pool

    Shields currently can regen themselves infinitely. We could consider giving each shield a maximum pool of regen points to pull from. For instance each shield could regen at most 2x it's normal value. For example, a shield with 30 strength could regen up to 60 points before being depleted. In the starter frigate vs. starter frigate example, each ship would only get to regen up to 10 points (since their starting shield is 5) which would be burned through pretty quickly, within a few turns anyway.
     
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  7. Konstantine

    Konstantine Moderator Captain

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    I really like this, an effective starting solution that is easily implemented. Good step to take quickly
     
  8. Marzipan

    Marzipan Cadet

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    Maybe have shields as a later tech, most races in Sci Fi have to research shields.

    It makes sense for earlier ships to be fragile things.
     
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  9. Konstantine

    Konstantine Moderator Captain

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    That would be an effective instant fix Marzipan, I like that. Just push all shield tech up by one level on the existing tree, it would offer a partial solution straight away.
     
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  10. Speedy2511

    Speedy2511 Cadet

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    I agree with that. The first ships should be without shields.
     
  11. Adam Solo

    Adam Solo Developer Administrator Commander

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    Ok guys, let's try it with no shields at the beginning. Everybody has to research shields now. This will be available in the next version and should address the stalemate issue partially, at least at the beginning of a game.

    As for the full stalemate issue, we may try @aReclusiveMind's ideas later. I especially like the "Maximum Ship Regen Pool" one. Certainly something worth exploring, even from an overall combat fun point of view. Having finite shield regen may bring more urgency and lead to interesting new dynamics.
     
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  12. Konstantine

    Konstantine Moderator Captain

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    Oh I'm sure it will address quite a lot. Dropping shields as a starting tech will instantly un-nerf early weapons such as lasers and Nukes, even if it is only for a while. I suspect the ripple effect of having to research shield one before designing and building a ship with it installed will do a bit of good.
    Suggest that if shield one is researchable as a first level tech, it should cost 15-20 turns if research is begun on turn one. That means we should not see any actual shielded frigates till around turn 60, by that time other options become available so the whole stalemate issue may change naturally. I'm really looking forward to testing this when it becomes available
     
  13. Adam Solo

    Adam Solo Developer Administrator Commander

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    9 to 20 turns (Moltar, Humans, Draguul) is what it takes to research Shields Class I at 30% and 0% tax (which is the same as researching the Robotic Factory, give or take). We could think in increasing it a bit later, however we should also allow for the military path strategies to be viable at the beginning. Let's see how this works.
     
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  14. aReclusiveMind

    aReclusiveMind Moderator Lieutenant

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    Removing shields from the starting tech sounds like a good approach to resolve the issue. It will prevent starter ships with weak weapons from getting locked into a stalemate with each other. Will we see stalemates later on with ships whose shields outpace weaponry? Possibly, but in my experience larger ships can fit a lot of powerful weapons that can pretty easily overcome (existing) shield technology and regen.
     
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  15. Mark

    Mark Ensign

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    Its an excellent move to remove shields from starting ships. MOO 2 didn't have shields as a starting technology for a very good reason, see what happens when you stray too far from the MOO 2 design choices? It never ceases to amaze me how smart those devs were and how how much effort they put into getting their game design right, even with seemingly minor things like shieldless starting ships.

    Starting with shieldless ships is also highly desirable from a roleplaying / immersion perspective. Its good to start with more plausible, near-future tech and eventually work your way up towards Star Trek levels of science wizardry. Starting a fledgling civilization with what we would today consider almost magical technology seems very..... premature.
     
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