Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

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Lone_Wolf
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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Lone_Wolf »

cim wrote:Another idea - while I'm looking at "allowing NPCs to keep a primary target in certain conditions" - is to modify the cloaking device a bit. At the moment it can be ridiculously overpowered (especially if an OXP ship has marginally higher energy recharge than the stock FDL) to the extent that many mission OXPs find some way to prevent or discourage its use.

What if instead it:
- prevented NPCs from selecting you as a primary target or a defense target (plasma turret target, etc.)
- prevented NPCs from firing missiles (hardheads as before will continue to aim at your last known position)
- significantly worsened NPC aim at you
...but didn't make them lose primary target completely.

You can't just press 0 to escape a fight, but if you press it before they start attacking you can probably sneak past, and in a more general furball they'll get distracted onto someone else and then won't be able to reacquire you.

I think this would make the NPC behaviour to player cloak match the player ability to respond to NPC cloak a bit better - it makes things more difficult, especially at long range, but you can still shoot at them. What do you think?
Cim, i think i like that.

The cloak would then add stealth functionality instead of making something invisbile .
(afaik stealth airplanes have reduced radar echo, but are still very visible to the human eye)

Imo implementing this would bring npcs closer to player-like behaviour, and less AI-like.
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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Norby »

ralph_hh wrote:the mass lock radius of the station (or is it the planet?)
Stations are exactly at the masslock border of the planet and has normal sphere (r=25.6km) of masslock field (except rock hermits). The two fields together looks like a smaller hemisphere on the top of a large bubble. If you approach from the witchpoint and the station is farther from you than the centre of the planet then the shortest way is not the fastest due to you will cross the field of the planet. [wiki]Telescope[/wiki] show these borders if you are in green alert or turned off your weapons.

You can reduce the travel time if you hold down the Injectors button from _before_ you got masslock. You can do it wihout fuel usage until you are not masslocked and your speed decay will be significantly slower. Then [wiki]ILS[/wiki] can help you to approach the dock in injector speeds. With some practice you can dock within 30 seconds after you are masslocked by the station.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by cim »

ralph_hh wrote:Having read through 3 pages of combat balancing suggestions and arguments, I wonder if there is a kind of conclusion, a summary of the things that are actually going to be implemented - and those that aren't?
Already implemented in the development code, or planned:
  • NPCs have reaction times, so will hit you far less if you're trying to dodge their fire, and take a little while to respond to incoming fire.
  • Beam and military laser have reduced damage+heat per shot
  • Torus deceleration under masslock is made sharper
  • Missile damage is less variable
  • NPC combat odds assessment is made more optimistic, so the smaller pirate groups will go for a player Cobra III.
  • (still to do) better NPC targeting handling for cloaked/sniping attackers
  • (still to do) better NPC injector tactics
  • OXP customisation of difficulty level is easier
Not planned are any of the "backup plans" ideas from the original post - I'm satisfied that they're not necessary.
ralph_hh wrote:Another thought occurs regarding the mass lock: I like to jump almost into a station to reduce docking time. This relies on soft brakes. Hard brakes would require longer fuel injection, bad, if the fuel was used up. Maybe the mass lock radius of the station (or is it the planet?) can be reduced to compensate for the fast brake.
It's a trade-off. You have (depending on what the traffic around the station is like, what angle you approach from, and how many ships are in the docking queue) probably about an extra half-minute of flight time into the station from the faster torus deceleration. Obviously if there are ships ahead of you in the docking queue that's not relevant because it'll usually take them longer than that to dock themselves, but it's a bit of time. (With money you can buy a docking computer and hit Shift-C to skip the real time entirely, at a cost of some extra in-game time, if the station aegis doesn't interest you much)

On the other hand, faster masslocking when you hit the planet area is beneficial, because it means that if you want to fly away from the planet for a bit to try to go back on to torus to loop round to the station, you're probably only 10 seconds from the boundary rather than a minute or two.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Norby »

cim wrote:Not planned are any of the "backup plans" ideas from the original post
A light laser dissipation like 50% or less at max. range would be good imho to reduce fast kills of new commanders when arrive into the laser range of a pirate group. There isn't better warning to flee than some heavy hits on your ship, even more if you know this will be harder if you go nearer.
Also reduce the current prevail of sniper tactics over dogfight (but still usable), leave more chance to ships with beam lasers to attack military laser-equipped ones and improve the survival rate when breaking off from fights after a sudden important equipment damage.

I think there is a room in the new weapon_info field for a dissipation value, in this way at least an OXP can redefine the original lasers with additional dissipation for those who like it.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Falcon777 »

Norby wrote:
cim wrote:Not planned are any of the "backup plans" ideas from the original post
A light laser dissipation like 50% or less at max. range would be good imho to reduce fast kills of new commanders when arrive into the laser range of a pirate group. There isn't better warning to flee than some heavy hits on your ship, even more if you know this will be harder if you go nearer.
Also reduce the current prevail of sniper tactics over dogfight (but still usable), leave more chance to ships with beam lasers to attack military laser-equipped ones and improve the survival rate when breaking off from fights after a sudden important equipment damage.

There is a room in the new weapon_info field for a dissipation value, in this way at least an OXP can redefine the original lasers with additional dissipation for those who like it.


I can't emphasize no to this idea any more than this: :evil: No! No no no no no no no! Absolutely not. If you guys want to have this in your games then oxp it, but I'd like to be able to continue to play an updated game while being able to still hunt for my bounties sniper style. Dogfighting was the way of elite because you basically had to in order to hit an enemy (that and you had to confirm that THAT particular ship was attacking you if you wanted to keep a clean status). However, now with enemies having beam and military lasers and the increase in size of a group, jumping into a dogfight like you did in Elite isn't just asking to get killed, it's not fighting intelligently. Killing one, two, or even three enemies before you engage close range can dramatically increase your chances of survival. And then on top of that you would completely remove the ability of people like me to hunt for our bounties the way we want to. Beam lasers are not supposed to be able to compete with military if that is the only difference. No, if it came down to that, I just wouldn't update my game anymore.

Frankly, giving pirates the code to wait a few moments for the player to respond to their demands for cargo is the way to solve that problem, not removing (or reducing in ANY way) the option to snipe.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by streb2001 »

Falcon777 wrote:Frankly, giving pirates the code to wait a few moments for the player to respond to their demands for cargo is the way to solve that problem, not removing (or reducing in ANY way) the option to snipe.
+1

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Norby »

Falcon777 wrote:not removing (or reducing in ANY way) the option to snipe.
A simple solution: we can define a new laser with the same ability as the original military so players can snipe as before after bought the new laser but NPCs will use the default dissipating one (at least mostly). But I am fine with an OXP solution also.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Falcon777 »

Norby wrote:
Falcon777 wrote:not removing (or reducing in ANY way) the option to snipe.
A simple solution: we can define a new laser with the same ability as the original military so players can snipe as before after bought the new laser but NPCs will use the default dissipating one (at least mostly). But I am fine with an OXP solution also.

This....while a solution in a way, would go against the non-player centric...theme/goal of oolite.

Out of curiosity, how has the testing gone with the lasers that are weaker and have longer heat accumulation? That right there strikes at the same problem and solution as reducing the long range damage from military lasers.



Also...I apologize if I offended anyone with how strongly I opposed your idea, Norby. Sniping may be my way of doing things, but if nearly everyone else does not use it for the majority of their fights, well, then it wouldn't make sense for sniping to remain the most viable form of combat. I would be satisfied if there was a way to keep sniping in via oxp, presuming it wouldn't be changed dramatically from what it is now.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Diziet Sma »

Falcon777 wrote:Sniping may be my way of doing things, but if nearly everyone else does not use it for the majority of their fights, well, then it wouldn't make sense for sniping to remain the most viable form of combat. I would be satisfied if there was a way to keep sniping in via oxp, presuming it wouldn't be changed dramatically from what it is now.
Well, I'm a sniper and a dogfighter.. I love dogfighting, but let's face it, if you're doing a top-of-the-line Random Hits job, you've got to thin out the herd of henchmen a bit, before engaging the mark, otherwise you stand almost no chance against the pack. Furthermore, using sniping against such a wolfpack also requires careful observation, planning, tactics, stealth and stalking skills, if one is to avoid having the entire horde descend upon you before you're ready/able to deal with them. When you manage to pull it off cleanly, it's a very satisfying feeling.

Keep sniping in the game, please..
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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by ralph_hh »

Reducing the sniping effectivity, even reducing the laser power and compensating this with reduced heat up, makes me wonder, what I'll do with all these Kraits that currently survive a full series of 100% hits from 0 to 100% laser temperature, then simply flee from scanner range. Or with these ASP that flee after two hits, also beyond scanner range. Hunting them requires long range sniping and it will take for ever, if the laser power is somewhat tempered with. Those NPC stay away from dogfighting themselves.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Norby »

Falcon777 wrote:go against the non-player centric...theme/goal of oolite.
This is why I said "mostly" for NPCs: if a new laser founded then we can define some new NPCs with this weapon, so will not be player only, but less frequent than now.
Falcon777 wrote:if there was a way to keep sniping in via oxp
Due to OXPs can define lasers it is possible to define the old ones regardless from the changes in the core. For example the new lower damage and heat is implemented in the trunk now but not so hard to make an OXP which revert all of these to the internal data of 1.80. So do not worry, any combination of changes are selectable via installing the proper OXPs (after somebody made these), regardless of the decision of the core team about the default settings.

What I ask is a new dissipation parameter. When this will available in the trunk then I or anybody can make an OXP which change all old lasers to somewhat dissipating and add a sniper laser without dissipation (plus a few NPCs using this by default).

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by OneoftheLost »

I recently came back from 1.77 or earlier. Did the combat really need to be messed with? Before I could reliably take on groups of 4 or less. I could snipe with the rear laser, inject in and get behind and take out the survivors. If things got bad I could launch a hardhead and scare one off for a bit.

Not so any more. Everyone is packing a military laser and they don't miss. By the time my rear laser is lined up Ive lost half of my boosted shield. Missiles are a joke. All of my hard heads get ECMed. I close in for a dog fight and Im dead. You put a seconds worth of mil fire into one ship and two more violate you.

Dont even get me started on rear lasers. Stupid Cobra Mk IIIs.

Back in the old days you could do reasonably well with a medium laser and an extra energy unit. Now you need an Iron ass just to fly in anything other than corporate.

What happened? I feel like the game became focused on people in super ships, and those who have been playing for 5+ years. Do we really expect new players to stick with the game? Enemy accuracy needs to be toned down for REGULAR pirates. On assassins keep it the same, but as of now, I cant reccomend the game to a newbie. Pirates are to accurate and well equiped. Can we tone down accuracy a bit? Im going to break out the joystick and see if that helps.
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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Disembodied »

If everyone you meet has a military laser, it sounds like you're using a number of older OXPs. The older NPCs were very dumb, and lousy shots, so to make things interesting people tended to beef up their stats and weapons. The new NPCs are a bit smarter (they don't just fly straight and level while you burn them from long range, for example - a welcome change which, for me, means yes, combat did need to be messed with), and are now much more entertaining to fight - but if they're being produced by older OXPs, and are getting their stats boosted as well, then true, it is a bit OTT.

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by Cody »

OneoftheLost wrote:... stuff...
<sighs>

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Re: Proposal for 1.82: combat balance changes

Post by OneoftheLost »

You know. I never thought of that Disembodied. Ill start turning off what OXPs I had.

Cody, no offense man, but if you don't have anything to contribute, then why post at all? Im going to infer that you disagree and hear this alot, thus your reluctance to respond.

My point is that the game is now much harder. Before you didnt need an iron ass to do some combat. Do you disagree?
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