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Release Tournament Rules 
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:24 pm
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Deceleration wrote:
Drones can also be OP if the ship that spawns them is very fast and can remain out of range of the other ship indefinitely. In that case the ship can deal damage to the enemy through its drones while taking no damage in return.


Correction: that's the ONLY time drones are OP, and they're only strong because of their inherently long range, not because of unfair damage or cost or K.O. potential.

Drone spamming is entirely dependent on the condition: "remain out of range of the other ship indefinitely". That is why I believe the strength of engines to be the root cause of the problem. If Arthur nerfed probes, people would just switch to rockets. If he nerfed rockets, they would just switch the thing with the next longest range. The reason they're so dominant is because everything with long range is overpowered on ships that have the ability to easily "remain out of range of the other ship indefinitely". I feel like this design is way too effortless right now and if engines were actually given a real cost then the only time a ship would be able to "remain out of range of the other ship indefinitely" is if it had a particularly favorable matchup against a really slow ship. Right now it's just spam engines to win.

While I feel that kiting is an important ability of ships, the ability to kite should never - in any game - be indefinite. This simply defeats all challenge and purpose to a game. Kiting should be able to buy some time. Not all the time. Maybe at least make it so that engines gradually lose power if sustained for too long and need to quickly recharge. This at least gives slower ships a brief opportunity to trade. The way the game works right now, the ability to "remain out of range of the other ship indefinitely" just defeats all design challenges and is the end-all-be-all of strategy.

Deceleration wrote:
Fast ships you talk about trade a large amount of firepower for their engines, and also hull. They can avoid hits, yes, from projectile weapons only.


While it's true that they trade some firepower and hull for engines, it means little if the payoff is literal invincibility. Fast ships avoid hits from everything: missiles, drones, projectiles. Even lasers can simply be avoided by remaining out of range. The only reason fast ships will always be strong is because engines are overpowered. The simple fact that literally every ship that does remotely well in the tournaments is a ship with a very high thrust/mass is proof enough that engines are overpowered. If they weren't then there would be at least some variety.

Game balance is a direct, causal influence on variety. If there is no variety, then that means there is a problem with balance. It really is that simple. mobility is not inherently OP. In fact, nothing is inherently OP. It's simply the state of the game, and it can be fixed. While the game is in a pretty solid state right now, it is obvious watching match after match of boring matches where almost no trading is ever done that there is something wrong.


Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:18 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:11 pm
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I think a great way to make this more interesting would be to add a very large thick asteroid ring around the ships, on top of adding a debris field where they fight.

We have also discussed the possibility of starting ships with just the core and forcing them to rebuild before fighting, and allocating a pile of resources in the center of the map for ships with factories to build fleets as they fight.

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Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:58 am
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Yes, I have heard rumors. Those are all interesting ideas I would like to see. Although they present new balancing issues, they don't really treat the existing issues. Normally I'd like to see existing issues get fixed before new ones are presented.


Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:02 pm
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Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:36 pm
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Camo5 wrote:
I think a great way to make this more interesting would be to add a very large thick asteroid ring around the ships, on top of adding a debris field where they fight.

We have also discussed the possibility of starting ships with just the core and forcing them to rebuild before fighting, and allocating a pile of resources in the center of the map for ships with factories to build fleets as they fight.

This is something that would be neat to see, it wouldn't flat out make drone/fleeing ships unusable, but would stop them from having a cheesy feeling.


Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:11 pm
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Right, the goal isn't to make fleeing drone-spammers unusable. The goal is to make them fair.


Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:53 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:12 pm
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... Make killing drones worth points?

And yes, remaining out of range indefinitely is certainly a pretty cheesy way to win. Perhaps even comparable to making a ship too large to avoid (see Snowcatchers). For proposed solutions: Make projectiles much faster relative to ship speed. Instead of outrunning projectiles, make ships dodge them. If you build a ship that's faster than its opponent and can also outrange it, it's obviously a superior design. I'd disagree with anything that would change this.

As for having ships spawning in as bare cores, that's a pretty good idea that would also show off the main attraction of this game that it's named off of. I think it's funny that the reconstruction rate is artificially slowed for tournament fights that are meant to show off the game. Though I understand the reasoning behind that... fleet 1 cores are OP.

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Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:50 pm
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Double post, but...

You have to remember that "Engines are OP" is only in the context of a tournament. In the regular game, you cannot win fights by running away- you need to actually kill things to get resources. Tournaments feel unbalanced because of their very basic and specific circumstances- a 1v1 fight between 2 ships of nearly equal P value, with an infinite void surrounding both and a time limit where you can win by having dealt more damage than received. A change that makes tournament fights "balanced" might very well unbalance the regular game.

Instead of making a change that applies to the entire game, perhaps only the tournaments themselves should be changed.

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Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:57 pm
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Deceleration wrote:
Instead of making a change that applies to the entire game, perhaps only the tournaments themselves should be changed.

This, very much this.
You're got to remember that tournaments are only a small part of the game.
Making drones give points when killed would be an interesting change, further on from this: should shooting down missiles/rockets/mines give points too?


Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:35 pm
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Also, if you're going to submit cheese ships, at least make them look like cheese. And name them appropriately.


Come on, I was really trying with my puns in the previous tournaments. :(

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Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:56 am
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Deceleration wrote:
If you build a ship that's faster than its opponent and can also outrange it, it's obviously a superior design.


No. Actually I believe that there are several more factors to ship design than just range and speed. At least I believe there should be. To focus entirely on just two attributes of ship design should leave inherent weaknesses that can be taken advantage of. At the moment, it does not, which is why the only option to build entirely focused on those two things and to leave other key features like tankiness, K.O. potential, burst damage and sustained damage by the wayside. That's the definition of overpowered.

As far as only altering the tournament mode, I can get behind it as long as changes are made to address the fact that balance issues are impeding design variety. I feel like the main problem is that this type of ship cannot win by K.O. and relies entirely on winning the tie breaker. Obviously something has to be done if two ships can't K.O. each other but the fact that the most competitive design is to rely entirely on the tie breaker is a clear indication something is wrong. Perhaps putting a ring of asteroids around the field would help put some kind of limit on a ship's ability to infinitely kite. In my head, I feel like it's not as good of a solution as some other things I can think of, but it is still better than leaving things the way they are. Perhaps a quick dirty fix like would be an optimal way to buy more time to diagnose the problem before making more drastic changes.


Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:31 am
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