Author Topic: Comprehensive Strategic/tactical mechanics, weapons and module suggestions.  (Read 2749 times)


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I apologize in advance as this is essentially a giant wall of text (this thing spans 4 posts), and can be seen as a feedback/suggestion thread. If you are going to just reply with TL/DR then please don’t unless you are responding to a section, it doesn’t contribute to the conversation otherwise, I know its too long already :)

So I have been reading through the forums and have seen a ton of posts of suggestions concerning engines, fleet mechanics, weapons, and the lean towards bigger is better. I have been thinking on this and have some ideas/suggestions, and hope to open some discussion on it. Some of it is from other’s suggestions, which I have added into my suggestion thread.

Quick Disclaimer: I really enjoy this game, and I think a large part of its charm is how open it is, so one person’s idea of how they think the game should be will not necessarily match someone else’s, but they can simply just build their own ships to match their own idea of how they want it to play.  Personally, as a hobbyist writer I do not like it when people tell me how they think my stories should go, but do like when people bounce ideas off me, usually from that I further formulate my own ideas, so I hope this post is seen as nothing more than list of ideas and concept discussion that koonschi can use to have even better ideas.  In summary: Its your vision, but hopefully you can gleam some ideas from it.

I am going to start with the biggest influence of all aspects of the game, however all my suggestions tie together:
(special note, while I know logistics can affect some of what I am bringing up, I am ignoring that due to Avorion not taking into account logistics beyond personnel  and torpedoes– ammo, fuel, etc)

Considerations: When I am posting I am taking several things into consideration - I have taken this list from a Naval Analyst who summed it up nicely:
Strategic Assumptions
Strategic Goals
Fleet missions
Fleet Design
Force Size
Force Management

Shields (Strategic Assumption, Goal and Fleet Design):
Shields change a lot of things because all of human history is pretty much our ability to destroy almost always exceeding our ability to defend; our nature to adapt and overcome. Thus the saying “The best defense is a good offense.”

Its why we protect mission critical assets with escorts. Think WWII fleets protecting carriers, or supply ships. The goal is to destroy whatever the threat is before it can get to its target.

Another example is the Phalanx system, or sea whiz  (CIWS) as some US Navy peeps call it. It’s a multi barreled active radar anti-fighter, anti-missile defense system. (Ground version used to protect against artillery.) It destroys the missiles or shells before they can reach whatever it is they are protecting. However it can be overwhelmed, and there is a “chance” things can get through.  We see this in game with Point Defense against Torpedoes, which I absolutely love.
Shields however are different. They are what I would call an “absolute defense”.  This changes the dynamic. Take that same WWII fleet, and apply to a space fleet with shields. Well now with shields, you do not need a surrounding escort to eliminate any chance of threats reaching their target. A military is going to invest in what it know WILL protect an asset as oppose to something that “may”. In the case of shields it simply has to survive long enough till the threat is destroyed.  Not sure it will survive long? SLAP MOAR SHIELDS ON IT!!! Now all you have to do is wait till the giga-class super battleship next to it wipes out all the enemies. No need for any escort beyond that to prevent penetrations through a “defense screen”. – Not saying there wouldn’t be escorts if shields were present, but it would eliminate a portion of the need for them as well as certain aspects of point defense – all depending on how shields work too of course. I know this is a bit of an over simplification, but I feel it fits. I also feel the Dev has a good handle on this as he has torpedoes that can Penetrate shields, and also the module that hardens shields for large shield point and charge time costs.

The same principle applies to fighter dynamics. The Yamato was destroyed by US air power. Such a concern were fighters that they went from 24 AA guns to 162 AA guns (this is not emplacement count, which could accommodate up to 4 guns). This large amount of AA still didn’t save it.

Battlegroups would have cruisers and other support ships around to provide additional AA fire, thereby creating a “defense screen” for other ships.  (Special note, this added to the Yamato’s demise, where the multiple cruisers and support ships with additional AA guns were not present or destroyed prior to when it was finally sunk)

With shields, again this becomes less necessary.  I as a player love the idea of a fleet with escorts, some providing anti-fighter defense, and some as additional firepower, etc. However the truth is, it’s not really all that necessary from a mechanics point of view, why? Shields is one of them. No single fighter (in this game) is a threat to a mission critical ship because you can stack more shields on it. Not enough shields? Shield upgrade and boom, you have a near impenetrable box. (unless they have 120 fighters with overpowered weapons, in which case balance drastically swings the other way – more on that later ( I never see the AI have this though). Some players forgo armor and hull completely because they can just stack shields and some integrity fields and be done with it.  Nothing wrong with this, as it can look cool or functional, but I think like with anything, it should be a design choice with vulnerabilities. I see some great answers to this, such as rail guns and the pulse weapons.

Pulse weapons can penetrate shields, and thus return the need for some “layered defenses” but the DPS is fairly low, and big system blocks with integrity fields can likely tank it long enough to be a balance. I think railguns are great for  needing a form of “layered defense”

In summary: Shield’s remove the need for “defensive screens,” and “Layered Defenses” and contribute to BIGGER IS BETTER. (Partially resolved with Shield pen torpedoes and things like tesla and plasma weapons which has bonuses against shields.)

Possible solution ideas:
Diminishing returns on shield count: Using interpolation math,  y=1/F, or exponent functions of less than 1. (Some math guys can confirm that, I may have that wrong.)
  • From a lore perspective, you can just say that the nature of shields cause this affect
    Bonus module idea: You could have a special module that lessens this diminishing return. – though current shield upgrades would likely be enough.

Exponential power demands: Make it so the shields require exponential amounts of power as they get past a certain point. Could use interpolation math on this too – or even tie the power requirement per shield to volume.
  • From a lore perspective, more power (or exponential power past a certain point) required to cover larger and larger ships
  • Power modules could play more into the game besides just adding power blocks, and modules that give % of shield in exchange % of power need to be more carefully considered by players.
  • A variation of this idea: You could have power requirements related to volume, and the shield blocks related to points? Or Shield blocks a mix of both in addition to power requirements for volume.

Diminishing return on shield based on upgrades/volume: Tie in the return on shield blocks to upgrade slots.
  • Lore perspective, more shield modules required to cover more volume of the ship for same shield strength – like density.
    I am not as big of a fan of this one because it could lead to people cutting a few units of volume off their ship to go down one upgrade slot and having way more hitpoints – depending on the curve set for this.
(You could also mix A and B)

Benefits to suggestion:
Bigger will not always be better, my other suggestions will come into play for this later. As an example a 15 upgrade super ship with lots of shield blocks and all turret upgrades, may in fact have less shields than say an 11 upgrade ship with one or 2 shield upgrade modules. Unless the 15 Upgrade ship is super huge – trying to increase shield numbers by sheer volume of shield blocks as opposed to upgrades-, but if that is the case, its cost (resource and power consumption) would become near exponential as you get further diminishing returns.
Super large ships may consider more armor since after a certain point as it would become cheaper (crew, power, resource, and mass wise) per hitpoint than shields.

-  Great in lore explanation as to why space stations don’t pack more shields, or if they do, why they wouldn’t be in the billions.
 - Encouragement to have other small ships in fleet with shields, and not pack it all into one ship.
 - Possibly help the balance point of endgame, whereas the answer to the end game will not be simply a bigger ship with MOAR SHIELDS!!!! AI ships with
    more omicron could become scary since you cannot simply shield tank everything. This could in turn encourage either large heavily armored ships, or
    smaller more nimble ships to dodge fire. Maneuverability is also Ina way an absolute defense - which segways into the next section.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:28:40 AM by WSY »


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Engines, thrust, maneuverability (Strategic Assumption, Goal, Force Management, Fleet Mission and Fleet Design):
Another major contributor to bigger is better is how thrust works. I know originally you had it set to surface area – which makes perfect sense as that is essentially how it works IRL to an extent (thrust is function of surface area and not volume - to an extent-), however players quickly found a way to abuse it.

You fixed the abuse, but in turn another problem still occurs: Super MEGA Star Destroyer interceptor fighter ships!!! WHEEEE!!!!!

This I think could be difficult because some players are going to want the more maneuverable fast super big ships like star trek, and others like myself, are going to want have the lumbering capitals of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica. Not to say star trek is not great (please no Star Wars vs star trek posts – I am a fan of both) it is just personal preference of how I want my space battleships to slug it out. I think a solution can be found for both sides as this comes down to player preference.

Quick Anecdote here: I have read people defending bigger is better for speed and maneuverability, and it appears a majority are against bigger ALWAYS being better, but don’t necessarily want their Star Destroyer or Spirit of fire to become a worthless brick either to which I agree. Some on this forum have posted that bigger ships having faster acceleration, top speed, and maneuverability is more realistic – which (Given current understanding of even currently plausible  -not theoretical or sci-fi conjecture- Engine technology and how traditional thrust works aside) short of mass or space time countering technology this is simply incorrect, – and I don’t believe those technologies are intended to be in this game; feel free to correct if I am wrong.

Compression, Moment of Inertia, centrifugal, and centripetal forces would destroy a massive ship trying to turn or accelerate fast. A massive “traditional” engine able to actually output the necessary thrust to rapidly accelerate a massive starship would cause a large compression force on the midsection of the ship without adequate superstructure.  However the superstructure would begin to start taking up a larger internal part of the ship resulting in diminishing returns in useful space as the ship grew larger, and short of a technology, or metallurgical jump would still have a max size before becoming impractical.  Limiting your acceleration to lower Gs or less than 1 G would be a common behavior/consequence - AKA bigger moves more slowly and carefully so it doesn't rip itself apart.

A quick example is our lack of ability to build a space elevator. In 1 G of gravity we are prevented from building a practical space elevator without a technology leap (such as mass production of carbon nano-tube). This example is relevant because of Einstein’s Equivalence Principle. Now apply multiple Gs of acceleration to that scenario which is what a lot of ships I see accelerate at in Avorion.

Now Compression  forces can be countered a few ways *using known technologies* on starships, such as length running spinal mount engines, or additional engines along the length of the ship, or building a SPACE PANCAKE, but moment of inertia, and centrifugal forces would be a lot more difficult if the thing turns, requiring a complex of engines dotting the surface of the ship, and even then due to law of cubed (Which doesn’t scale exact due to how spaceships with human living space etc work) could become an issue. Especially if the ship is also accelerating or decelerating on top of that.  Anyhow I have digressed enough, back on topic.

(Happy to have a discussion on this in a separate thread or pm - however please have a source if you would like to tell me I am wrong, happy to be wrong and learning something new then just keep being wrong :) , but please have a source, no armchair professor generals who think they heard something different from their uncle who new guy who's cat's groomer applied to be astronaut once please. If I am wrong, I will update this feedback/suggestion thread)

Super Mega Star Destroyer Interceptor fighters WHEEEE!!! (Really, I just like typing this)

Possible Solutions
Diminishing returns on acceleration, braking and maneuverability tied to the mass or volume of the ship. (Maybe you already have this to an extent with how physics work in game?) Keep the engines as they are, and just make it so at some point, your ship being bigger just won’t allow you to be very maneuverable. Sure, your top speed can still be ridiculous but it will take a while to get there and forever to stop, so it’s a “use at your own risk”. I doubt we would see massive ships doing this often. I think this perfectly “emulates” thrust being a factor of surface with what I hope to be a relative simple calculation using the system you have in place to prevent abuse.

 - Allow special modules that counteract a percentage of mass to a maximum number. This will allow players to fly around all nimbly pimbly in their Defiant or
    Bird of Prey, but at sacrifice to shield, power or weapons capability (upgrade slot use) vs a heavy ship. Similar to star trek ships in general, “Typically” they
    only have a set number of phaser banks and torpedo launchers, but they still have the advantage of maneuverability – to me an elegant balance. (current
     engine bonus modules may be enough for this.)

         - Reason a percentage of mass up to a maximum number for new module: if you have it as only a percentage, it will be abused; players will build the super
            armor reaper spikes of imminent death that are 10^100 Mass of oganite heavy armor, make all 15 upgrades percentage based mass negation and ram
         - Why a percentage to a maximum number and not a set number: So it can benefit smaller ships, but not be overpowered. Otherwise you will see small to
            medium ships with 1 dinky engine move around like a speed ball on crack because 99% of its mass is negated by one module.
        -  Lastly, this creates an additional need for the engine module.

Strait cap of ship acceleration and maneuverability tiered through either slot size or volume size.
    Example, No caps until you get 6 or 7 slots then 7th slot, has a maximum acceleration and Rad/s rotation speed.

 - Allow configuration of multiplier of standard mass of thrusters/engines.
        -  Allowing this, means that if you change it so thrusters/engines are 50 to 200% of mass, means you can directly control the returns thrusters give ships,
            however this is static, and negatively affects smaller and early iron ships, but would provide a quick dirty option that players can control.
                   -  You could use this as a server option that enables scaling that starts at a set number of upgrades curving to the maximum specified in this variable
                       for server config. This would allow a customizable scaling solution.

 - Leave engine physics alone and enable ship damage and morale damage if you exceed acceleration thresholds on ships beyond a certain size.
          - Make it so up to a certain size, or acceleration point, or a mix of both, ships have an innate anti-g field, however after a certain size, anti-g blocks or
             modules are needed to counter ship damage and morale damage are required. - I would say not to link this to speed.
                   -  This adds a unique mechanic that enforces the use afterburners on large ships as detrimental. Represents a good emergency maneuver etc. that
                        would strain the ship, but something you do in an emergency to avoid death.
                   -   Modules would need to have a negative percentage to power generation, this represents re-routing ship power to a g-force compensators or
                        similar.  - same as if it is a block, should require a massive amount of power.
Of course link the scaling of all the above to the material used on the engine, example: avorion could go onto a 7 upgrade ship before diminishing returns, while iron after 2 upgrades has the detriment to Acceleration.

The return of the need for a fleet from a combat perspective: If someone is flying a fast-nimble ship that keeps dodging in and out of range of your giga destroyer, you need a couple smaller ships in your fleet that can run him down, or seriously amped fighters. Don’t get me wrong, you can be outmaneuvered by a smarter player still (with tons of engine upgrades and circling back with your picket ships too far out to help, but you in turn could set all the picket ships on a perimeter around yours, and change them out, allowing shields to recharge.) At this point it becomes player vs player in a fun way, not just, “I’m BIGGER MWHAHAHA ROFL STOMP!!!!”

 - Bigger will not always mean better:
    Smaller ships can disengage easier than their big brothers, (Bigger ships can too by jumping, in theory they would have the tank to wait till they can align,
    charge and jump)
 - Smaller ships could stay in blind spots and continue to engage large ships
 - Medium to medium-large could have the maneuverability and shield advantage (if considering my shield suggestion) if built right, though the bigger slower
    ship may have the shield, armor and stacks of turrets to still hold their own.
 - This also will come into play with spinal mount weapons – where smaller to medium ships can more easily bring spinals to bear, and super massive capitals
    may need to rely on turrets, or if they do have spinals, (Qaud Barreled MAC anyone?) may not be able to bring them to bear fast, but…it would be your own
    fault if you didn’t move out of that big ol barrels way. Though I would like to see spinals at lower levels of the game- maybe oganite, or even xanion.
 - If you are being outmaneuvered by a player, you need to consider retreat from the system, not just a dash – this can make pvp fights less aggravating, as
    smaller ships won’t have to just chase big ships flying backwards. Nothing more irritating than the infamous “reverse turret” maneuver in every fight.
         -  Especially if the large ship has the range on you, and you can never catch it. (You are addressing the fact that players can’t just dash away from NPC
             since they will chase now which is great.)
 - This interacts with suggested shield changes, so bigger and bigger ships become even slower and heavier since they will start relying on armor. This
    represents a diminishing return reach a point where practicality becomes a concern.

Return of the fleet:
 - Your large ships are not going to be able to dart across the sector to assist that ship sending a distress call, in turn you may have to rely on smaller escort
    ships with the speed to get there quickly, or fighters.  YAY an actual sensible need for fighters besides “Cool…” (may require fighters to have some sort of
    ability to boost)
 - Freighter or supply ships in the fleet. Now with weight suddenly being an issue, you may want to have a dedicated freight ship so your own combat ship isn’t
    too vulnerable or sluggish from that big ol cargo bay, and can still get around a system quickly. Which could lead into the next point.
 - Need for fleets to protect mission critical ships, (especially true if you see spinal mounts) player fighters could catch that ship that may be too slow and
    destroy it. Or even pirates, depending on their maneuverability vs your ships.
 - A player may forgo the large ship completely and just a have a fleet of medium ships that can zoom around with them for cheaper.

Strategy, Tactics, Commitment to the fight.
 - If you’re in a massive ship, your decisions are going to matter more. When your sensors cannot handle the number of signals about to enter the system, you
    need to deeply consider your options because you’re not just going to boost away in a massive ship to recharge you shields - which are now also limited. 
    You’re going to have to jump, which can take time, which if you take too long, is going to cost you your ship. (plays well with my shield suggestion as well) –
    this amplifies in systems where there is hyperspace jamming, or if players can implement hyperspace jamming. – careful balance may be required to make it
    so it is not a frustrating mechanic
 - Fighters have more purpose. If your engaging a faster enemy ship, or one that is good at staying in your blind spot (big engines on back of your ship) you may
    need those fighters to cover your aft. Or you could build smart and have turrets on that aft, it’s all up to the player.
 - Fighters also will be a bigger threat to you as a bigger ship, you’re not going to be able to outrun them while giggling gleefully at the waste of resources they
 - If you decide to fly the giga carrier – you may have a hard time bringing your quad barreled auto-loaded super mac to bear on the target. You’re going to
    need to rely on other ships in the fleet to use theirs for that nice dps spike. However when you do bring them to bear…I imagine there will be smiles. Or as a
    player with a couple smaller fast ships, you could engage much larger ships, and possibly for cheaper, and still win.
 - Inversely, a couple enemies with smaller ships loaded with spinal mount weapons could be a threat to you, you’re going to have to consider how you
    respond carefully or jump…
 - You’re going to have to consider your options more carefully also when engaging pirate fleets, faction wars, or even pirate missions when you jump into the
    sector where you may be surrounded.
-  Ai ships will be able to more easily hit you, you can’t just strafe or boost and come back to have them miss their shots when your a massive ship. This means
   more effective DPS against players with super ships.
 - The end of the circling dance of death capital engagements. Fighters doing it is one thing, but watching two capital ships do it is…it feels wrong. Even in star
    trek the ships flew around each other. Not dancing while facing each other - even it makes more sense for vector physics.
 - Boss fights coupled with shield changes could be a lot more challenging and/or engaging. Repair ships could matter more.
 - No quick retreat of your capital to “shield recharge” then burn back to resume the fight.

(One disadvantage would be the fact that depending on the number of players and power of spinal weapons, one needs to be careful to not encourage a meta game of roving bands of light player ships loaded with spinals – this would need to be considered when balancing appropriately when ships start to become very slow, and power of spinal ships as well as energy requirements to keep little ships from spinal spamming – or a upgrade or size requirement) Though it seems you have this in hand with them taking a lot more slots to use.

While super big ships will still have advantage of max turrets, ever growing fighter capacity, massive hit points and still able to add more shields, they won’t be the end all be all that they are now. You as a player are going to have to make sacrifices to have that “Presence” in a sector. Massive ships will be the brute force answer, and anything smaller would have the option to be maneuverable, etc. Keep in mind I am not sure where that maneuverability drop should occur. Possibly the “typical” mass/volume around what you(or on average – maybe using normal hull blocks) find around 8  upgrades, (not including upgrade (computer core blocks) which can skew this).

But you say, “Then how am I ever going to kill that faster nimble ship!!!!, ITS NOT FAIR!!!” Well, they aren’t likely to be able to kill you either, it’s a draw (falcon vs star destroyer anyone?). However, as the player with the bigger ship with more eggs in the basket, you could get lucky (or have some skills), and land some rail gun or pulse weapon shots on the engines, or have fighters that land some shots on those engines – hit scan will still have the advantage depending on the size of your turrets. Keep in mind that small ship will have made some serious sacrifices in modules etc to have that large speed and maneuverability, most likely they will have less turrets.

The absolute one thing that I see some games do that to me is a failure, is they try to balance it so a small little ship can take out the giga titan. In almost every case this really should never happen. Sure if there is some amazing player skill on the little ships side, the larger ship could decide to jump, but honestly if that big ship has 100+ turret, and 100+ fighters, the likely hood of making it through the 2nd pass should be close to null. Sure the little ship may be able to fly by full boost and get away, but never should it be able to turn around and engage and expect to live to tell the tale. On the other hand, the massive ship shouldn’t be nigh invulnerable either.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:11:00 AM by WSY »


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Fighters (Strategic Assumption, Goal, Force Management, Force size, Fleet Mission and Fleet Design):
So this is a tricky one. I have another thread from some time ago I had been using to post my testing of these fighters and through that testing I have ran into a couple things, and from some updates some additional ideas to address. However, that post was a while ago, and in turn you have made a few updates over the last many months - (ok last year now, I wrote this thing before some family events happened that pulled me away for some time), and I have seen some definite bonuses and improvements.

The biggest elephant in the room for this section that  I want to address first: People want their fighters to not die too quickly, and yet want to be able to kill enemy fighters (player enjoyment vs realism balance). Right now it is not much of an issue I think because the enemy never really spawns that many nor are they ever a threat.  There are two camps probably at this point. People just want to play and enjoy the game and not focus on rebuilding their fighters, and then there is the other side. The other side (the one I am part of) is the cold realization that hey guess what….fighters die. You release your best squadron against MEGA FLACK DESTROYA!!!, you are going to lose them. However, I feel there are tools that could be implemented that as the captain will further engage the player to track and keep an eye on them, to help ensure their survivability.

Now some of this probably also depends on Dev vision of fighters. If you see most ships as usually not having more than two squadrons, then fighters are fine as they are as the few you do have need survivability. However in most cases I see players with several squadrons, and if you are to engage NPC fleets with 4+ squadrons of fighters, the below changes make more sense. There is also probably some performance considerations at play I am sure for some of approaches to them, so maybe some of my suggestions may not work.

1st and foremost from my other threads findings. Fighters with any transverse velocity in relation to an auto-targeting turret are pretty much invulnerable. Torpedoes are easily hit because they fly straight lined right towards the target. This has drastically improved since I first brought this up. Point Defense turrets can do a decent job if they have a little spread on them. Flak turrets are great thanks to AoE, and lasers really are ineffective; the laser trails behind the fighters, may as well be an imperial guardsman standing outside on your ship with a las rifle yelling "pew, pew!" into know, where sound doesn't even cary...

Fighters are only hit when they are really close, or flying at or away from the ship firing at it. Even when flying at a ship, if the ship is large enough, the turrets that are further away from the fighter are experiencing enough transverse velocity in relation to their position on the ship that they miss. –Even with changes they still seem to miss a bit which is fine if they miss a bit, just when you add in dodge mechanics it compounds into a problem. ( Flack turrets do help mitigate this issue).

I am going to elaborate on the fact that it is a “compounding” fighter problem more, because I think it does become a near exponential problem the more enemy fighters you have to deal with.

 Example: If you have a single ace fighter, it comes into range of your 10 Point defense cannons. Even with all 10 firing at it, it has about half a minute worth of dodge animations which make the fighter invulnerable (As transverse velocity = fighter invulnerability to tracking dependent weapons and start mechanics invulnerability while dodging anyway). Then the dodge cool down is short enough, that if the 10 guns take to long for whatever reason to kill it, say it's circling around, thus giving it adequate transverse velocity to not be hit, its then invulnerable for another almost half minute -flaks do well at countering this issue and are the perfect answer to this problem.  Sadly, it could be 70 PD turrets and still be invulnerable for about 30 seconds because of the dodging . While a lot of the transverse velocity issues are resolve with flak weapons from what I have tested, PD lasers are near worthless. PD chain guns don’t do as horrible since they try to predict where the fighter is and especially with spread - but they still aren’t as great. - this however is fine given some suggestions I have for this later on.

Lets now attack with a squadron. 12 fighters attacking a ship with 20 PD weapons. I gave more PD to adequately represent what I am trying to communicate as a compounding problem. The twelve fighters attack, normally all turrets with same arch will fire on one fighter (an issue I will get into later), so lets say you have 5 turrets per a quarter sphere or quadrant of coverage around your ship. All five turrets firing on one fighter, (we will make it an ACE fighter,) so about 30 seconds of invulnerability of dodge. Now lets say the fighter moves into another arch of fire, and leaves the arch of the five turrets firing at it. The new arch it moves into is already engaging a fighter, so now the fighter is not getting fired at and its dodging cool down resets eventually trading with another fighting and using its 30 seconds invulnerable dodging again. Essentially when a battle starts, with each arch, your engaging 4 fighters and the rest are fighting without dodging, and as the fighters change into other archs which are already firing at a dodging fighter, their cool down resets.

Now in this example, since you have more turrets than fighters, eventually as the battle goes on, you will wear down the numbers and kill them. Though its dependant on a bit of luck, because if the fighters are switching between the turrets archs of fire enough it could take a long time.

The other consideration for this example will be as it leaves one arch, the arch it left, all the turrets will pick a closest fighter to each tirret, so they may all engage a couple different fighters after the first leaves their arch/range.  This example also assumes the fighters immediately spreading out and engaging evenly in each quadrant, normally the fighters stick to their angle of attack close to their hemisphere of approach for some time and a few will slowly change their angle of attack, meaning that some of those PD (Point defense) turrets are useless due to wasted coverage that fighters are not attacking from.
However, this problem becomes worse the more fighters you have due to the nature of multiple PD turrets typically picking the same target regardless of the number of PD turrets. If you have more fighters than turrets, the fighters have a near guaranteed invulnerability. This typically never becomes an issue, or I believe noticed because NPC fighters normally do a dismissive amount of damage to the player, and/or the player can just afterburn away from fighters. This moving away from fighters resets all the fighters back to having the same angle of attack at first -that is if they can catch up.

Ok so back on track:
I think the dodge mechanic is a fantastic idea but needs a counter balance, and I have worked in some suggestions around it:
Problem: Transverse velocity = fighter invulnerability,
 Adding too many dodges on ace fighters = near invulnerability
(Both of these become ever compounding issues the more fighters are on the field)
Solution 1: Remove dodge invulnerability.
Max level pilots where fighters can spend nearly half of a minute in dodge animations, just remove the invulnerability dodge provides. With the lower damage anti fighter/point defense weapons, maybe allow fighter hit points to have more of a play, and on the off chance they do get hit by a big weapon, BOOM, as should happen. (X-wing or tie-fighters don’t do well if they do get hit by turbolasers, but should be a rare event.)
As a counter balance to fighters now being more vulnerable, some UI changes for fighters will be necessary for players so they can recall their squadrons if they seem them either, A, taking damage, or B dropping like flies.  Like a little set of boxes next to the squadron button color coded, and that color changes from green down to red much like a HP bar of the ship.
Lower accuracy of Point defense weapons a bit. Though this may make players more vulnerable to torpedoes, but I do not think it will.

Solution 2: Decrease dodges so non veteran fighters do not have dodge mechanics, but ace pilots get one or two, with longer dodge cooldown and allow fighter HP to play a role in their survivability.
Along with this, start lowering accuracy a bit of weapons? Though this may make players more vulnerable to torpedoes, but I do not think it will.
Improve fighter to fighter mechanics
Make it so fighters can always intercept and hurt other fighters.

(If you do this, thus allowing fighters to die more often, may want to change how long fighters take to build, or allow fighter build upgrades – so someone literally could have the drone boat that while burning through resources, keeps spamming fighters)

Fighter vs fighter mechanics and ships vs fighter mechanics
Unless you are a ship covered in anti-fighter weapons or have escorts covered in anti-fighter weapons, if someone launches 100+ fighters all capable of 100 DPS or more which can be easy, you’re in deep dooty if you’re a heavy ship with speed nerf mechanics as I have suggested above.  See “The Yamato”.  Or even in general if you’re a slower moving ship.

What would you likely do? Have your own fighters. When it comes down to it, the best answer to a fighter…is another fighter – kill them before they can kill you, sure some would get through but you would then have your own point defense as well. Or MOAR ARMOR AND SHIELDS!!!!!! Though most likely you would have your own set of fighters to deal with the enemy fighters. (Unless you are a lighter fast moving ship to evade enemy fighters)

Unfortunately, as it is now, fighters cannot realistically engage each other, and if you are like me, and have managed to build 600 DPS fighters (got a lucky OP Chain gun), 125 of them could completely wipe an opponent before their fighters can even do anything.

Ironically enough, it still takes these 600 DPS chain gun (rapid fire 12 rounds per second) fighters a while to engage and destroy one opponent fighter. Not long mind you, but long enough where an entire squadron firing at one fighter becomes an issue. Way more efficient to ignore enemy fighters, wipe the entire battle zone of all ships (so you’re not wasting DPS), and then let them engage the fighters leisurely.

There are a couple causes to this that I have seen:
Like turrets, you have groups of your fighters (I have seen about 20 – count could be off as they move around) engaging 1 fighter, who lets say has a dodge, so he has about 5-10 seconds of not taking damage. Then as they have transverse velocity and flight around, still hard to kill. Though this time to kill is a lot shorter since fighters are closer and behind it, thus eliminating Transvers velocity at times and allowing a near instant kill.

There are a couple things that I think could address this. I am not sure what is easier or more difficult for the dev so I just have a list of suggestions (you may have addressed this, I have not had a chance to test this with as much depth as I have in the past):

Improved fighter targeting mechanics. 
I am not sure on this, but it seems a squadron in defense mode tends to all engage the same fighter, (probably like a turret, they engage the closest first until it is destroyed.. )Since the dodge mechanic takes a few seconds, a fighter with a max level  pilot can spend nearly half of a minute in dodge animation, that is an entire squadron wasting 30 seconds of pew pew time on one fighter if it maintains decent transverse velocity.  Maybe enable a max of two or three fighters to engage one target, - though would be fixed if dodging while fighter to fighter fighting is addressed.

Improve Point Defense weapon targeting mechanics.
Same situation as above, only a few turrets engage the same target unless no other targets available, or not needed if dodging mechanic has been addressed.

Max DPS on fighters
This one is an iffy one because it begins to put a hardline on dps max which you seem to want to avoid, but putting max DPS on fighters, or give them a scaling DPS depending on their target may help. So when engaging another fighter (if you have followed some of the dodging answer suggestions from above fighter section) your fighters can still be a threat to other fighters, and yet be a threat to the ship they are engaging without being so ridiculously overpowered as to wipe them out in a single pass.  Though this could easily come down that you need to have a squadron of fighters with lasers, point defense chain fun or flak as their weapon to effectively engage other fighters.

I see fighters as glass cannons, so if you have 124 fighters coming at you, you should be able to set your squadrons to perform defense, and assisted with your PD, you will come out on top, though will either lose some fighter or take some good damage. Fighters should be scary, but not gods. As it is now, there is a chance your fighters and turrets will only engage a handful of fighters, and while they are wasting valuable DPS on a few dodging fighters, the rest of the swarm is killing you.   - however since the AI hardly ever uses large fighter swarms, or fighters that do any threatening damage a lot of this is not readily noticeable.

Now something else that players will want, is they will want their fighters to survive most of the time or more often if they are Aces, and the enemy to fall faster than their aces. Maybe either give scaling HP to veteran pilots, or make it you do not get dodges until you get to ace, however still address a check so the enemies turrets are not still all firing on one fighter. Though may not be as big of an issue if they only have 1 dodge.

Lastly, I would love to see Fighters either have an afterburner or multiplier to their speed when not engaging a target so they can catch ships trying to run, or be useful to slow big ships to get across the system a little quicker, giving fighters more use. Maybe you don’t have this for performance reasons or  because it allows players to counter fighters by afterburning away since Point defense takes too long to kill them.

To elaborate on this, I see fighters having three states:

Travelling to target state: When have chosen a target and are flying towards it (or returning to mothership/carrier), much like a torpedo they are flying and accelerating to a much higher top speed than normal.

Engaged State: Here the fighter has entered into engagement range (weapons range x1.5?) and has slowed down to the speed that you see when your building the fighter. (Represents routing power to anti-g systems, weapons etc.) If taking my suggestions above, this has more effect on their survivability. Since higher speed while getting shot at while dodging around = survivability.

Landing State: While I haven’t  talked about this, it would be nice if fighters slowed down to their engage speed, then flew to the very end of the hangar white entrance bar, then turned into the hangar. Would avoid so much of the weird clipping and fighter return issues I see in nicely detailed carriers. Or, just remove clipping of the owners ship, so their approach is “good enough” for the optical illusion they are returning to a hangar.

Fighters really are tricky, as I am glad they are in the game, but beyond floating turrets around a carrier or for mining/salvage operations, I am not seeing a lot of purpose to them. As they are implemented now, I feel they do not truly fit into  Strategic Goals, Force Management, Force size, Fleet Missions and Fleet Design beyond the purpose of really being the slow floaty turrets, which are rendered ineffective the way ships maneuver and dash around in high speed combat now. 

I was in a battle with the AI for testing, probably was a good 10-15 minute long battle while I was in a carrier. I had a ridiculous amount of shields but wanted to see how things went.  I watched as my poor squadron (just one) ran to the giant AI ship, then the AI dashed to the other side of my carrier, and the fighters slowly followed. Then it dashed away again as they got in range, so again they chased the AI ship. Keep in mind this entire time I was not moving my carrier, so it was just dashing a few Kilometers to each side of my ship. The fighters spent a majority of the battle travelling to their target, firing shots for a second or two, then chasing the ship again.  Yes I know I can upgrade the speed of fighters, but that is ridiculous expensive to the build/construction effort, and even then wouldn’t fully solve the problem I think, and would end up up looking silly with dancing super speed fighters.

Anyhow as the battle went on, when it broke apart and the pieces that came off didn’t immediately move away, the fighters were able to engage and clean up the mess before going back to the main AI ships.  Keep in mind this entire time, the AI is firing a massive amount of point defense turrets at my fighters.

After about 7 minutes the xsotan showed up, and things got even more fun. Anyhow 10-15 minutes after battle start, everything was dead. Two things were apparent:
With all ships having the ability to dash (afterburn) -This particular combat behavior of dashing to and from is common in most NPC ships- Fighters need the ability to more effectively pursue their targets.
Second, I only lost 3 fighters, yes thats right...3. Maybe 4 at most. That is not an acceptable TTK for fighters from a large fleet of xsotan with point defense ships and the AI’s point defenses. TTK for fighters probably would have been faster I will admit if it had FLAK guns and not just PD chainguns.
If fighters really are just a flavor thing, then I would say just Hard cap the damage they could ever do per difficulty and be done with it then.

Another fighter suggest in next thread.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 06:23:59 AM by WSY »


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One more possibility for fighters and I feel this would be practical is: Re-label the current "fighter" ship type as either "Simple fighter" or "drone". Make them cheaper to build, build faster, no afterburn, just basic speed like now and no dodge.  Essentially becoming the disposable fighter.  Think like a tie fighter, or disposable space combat drone.

Introduce a second type of fighter. An actual Starfighter. (Or call it a Corvette)  A more complex and smaller numbered fighter. Now I assume these would probably be more game resource intensive so you will want limiting mechanics of some form. These things will need to be made to an appropriate scale. What I mean by that, is even a 15 slot ship, unless dedicating a massive percentage of it's mass to hangar space, is going to struggle to deploy 24-36 of these. Think of a longsword fighter from Halo. The thing is over half the size of a Boeing 747. Actual same wingspan, but greater displacement and weight, while 2/3rd or so length (or like the Millennium Falcon -similar size-) . A real fighter with armor or shields, maybe even a secondary weapon (missiles or a PD turret), can afterburn, hell with a limit to a smaller number give it a  decent health pool, giving players time to pull them back if they start taking damage too quickly, maybe even a single dodge.

These should instill fear in a capital ship, and even smaller more maneuverable and speedy ships. Maybe make it so a player has to equip a special carrier module in order to use it, and a lower number per player and ship hard limit on top of the hangar sizing soft limit. Each of these fighters requires 5 or so additional engineers, or a new personnel type "hangar mechanic" or something.  Maybe even give them a 300 block limit. However for each Starfighter/Corvette squadron, you lose/use 2 basic fighter/drone squadrons capacity. They are also more easily hit by PD weapons, but still hard for regular weapons.

This would give players that more fighter management, survivability and elite feel, while allowing others to still have their base disposable fighters or drones.
The disposable drone/fighter mechanic also plays well with the air module, saving money on replacing pilots.

Enemy Fleet Compositions:

One of my favorite battles is the mission where you are offered a very substantial reward for artifacts (keeping it vague to avoid spoilers). The repair ship made the battle way more fun, I had to target and eliminate the repair ship first.
More fleets with logistical support. I think you have been working on this, but I would like to see more carriers and logistical ships. The use of long range torpedo carrying ships, and anti-fighter ships is great.
Carriers probably only if you address some of the fighter and fighter targeting stuff, otherwise will get annoying have to spend several long minutes trying to swat at the little mosquitoes that barely do anything to you. – Of course, you could buff them and make them scarier too, but I would say you def need to address TTK of fighters before doing this.

Now I am going to move onto weapons.
I feel One of the biggest elephants in the weapon room is scaling. The scaling works well if you can only ever get weapons dropped by NPCs, with the occasional decent drop.

Factories simply break this. Poof, boom, gonzo. I now have Super Saiyan Railguns and Fury Mode cannons. All of which 1 shot any and all enemies. Bosses? Bah, 1 of my 57 turrets can kill the boss.

If you farm drops enough this can also occur.  However for the most part, not so much. Research? I don’t know how many hours of researching better weapons I have done, only to have my legendary Xanion weapons be weaker than a green iron machine gun – I feel this needs some tweaking…maybe it has been? Its has been a while since I have tested, I simply gave up as it was a huge waste. Researching module? 'Très bien'! Turrets? Not much reward, or point I feel.  I will say though, I have been testing a bit the last two weeks and it does seem better.

Because of the factories, and sometimes really lucky drops, you can get halfway through the galaxy and have one shot kill capability vs pretty much anything. This of course creates problems, and just upscaling the damage on the enemies creates shorter battles, and teaches the player to upscale their health and shields (which with suggestions above can be limited), but doesn’t really address the enemies dying faster.

A lot of these problems probably comes from random rolling, and seeds of the turret factories. I my honest opinion if you really want to address the core of the matter, your going to have to develop min and max damages, ranges, projectile speeds, etc, which I feel you a want to avoid to keep the sandbox feel. Because of that, I have some other suggestions which may help:

Rail Guns:
The best weapon in the game. Due to the nature of most auto generated enemies, once the shields are gone, my high DPS 7 (essentially a x7 damage) block penetration weapon can one shot kill ANYTHING. Build a blob of these, and they are extremely lethal. Sure, maybe a barrage on the shields, and then POP. Do not get me wrong, that pop is very satisfying, and DPS chasing is always a fun pass time, but once you get to this point….your a god in ship form. Now, lets add the extreme range, AND...HIT SCAN…., WHOOP DE WHOOP! SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT!

AND...I’m bored…. once a player reaches this point...not a reason to grab bigger and better weapons, sure you can maybe get even bigger DPS, but, once you hit one shot capability...who cares? From a PVP perspective, these are the win guns. (When your not thrusting at high velocity and spamming missiles/torpedoes, which is about the only counter.) These guns make it a straight up, who shoots first, or has more straight DPS output wins otherwise. Which honestly is realistic, but players are able to field so many of these, they stay out of range and missile spam - effectively the counter is to never get in range so the enemy can ever have a chance to hit you. (This is of course not surprising, we see this in real life, see: cruise missiles)

From PVE perspective the challenge is all but gone when I hit this point. Unless random generated ships start coating themselves in armor, railguns are the endgame. though the ability and mod to add other universes ships as AI factions does counter this a bit, since people can design ships coated in armor.
I have a couple suggestions/idea on these, some may hate them though as these bad boys need some sort of drawback:

They do 15-25% damage against shields

Make them so they are more in line with shorter range weapons, where we see the max range out to 8-9 KM.
Make it so every shot initiates  the overheat mechanic and from there drastically drains the power from your ship to the point that either you need to be massive to deal with power demands or have batteries or a couple power upgrades. If you can, also have a charge mechanic too or shot delay. This would require players to do some form of weapons management, so drain the shields, then fire them railguns.

Spinal mounts range out to 20 or more so KM, do 50-85% damage to shields.
ALL Railgun drops: after maybe 5-6 KM, power demand is multiplicative of each Km of range. So that long range spinal is going to make a big ship hurt in the power department and those turreted rails beyond 5 KM are going to require a lot of power, but not as ridiculous as a spinal which will require a large ship to use.

Change the shot effect? A stream of energy is awesome, but if you could do something like a smoke trail, (See Eraser:
) something like the particles of the round de-stabilizing from speed or near explosive  expansion after ultra magnetic compression (Cool handwavium excuse). Could also use some sort of ring expanding out from the path of the round in segments, or just a static glowing ring to represent where the round went.

Lastly I also know in theory rail guns should have super range, but then so should correctly focused lasers, cannon rounds, and missiles after thrust is gone, but I am aiming for balance at this point, otherwise we would be having 100 to 1000KM engagements.  You want some lore flavor for the shorter range? The projectiles are super heated from such acceleration and kinetic energy dumped into them as they go through the barrel, the slug begins to evaporate into gas near instantaneously.

PLasma Weapons - they are great as they are.
Pulse Weapons:
They need some love, not sure what needs to be done here. Shield penetration is nice, but they feel like they are nothing more than a shield penetrating chain gun. I tried to use them in my testing as rapid fire anti-fighter weapons, but they were not effective in that role either. They are just lackluster as they are now. Honestly the only thing I can come up with is a near complete change. Or make it so when you put them on fighters they do not get a damage nerf. Shield Pen fighters would be scary. -actually this would be really fun.

LASERs - honestly you could probably leave them but I have suggestions anyway :)
Point defense lasers, nope they make sense and are great where they are in concept. However they are useless in that they target behind torpedoes and fighters unless coming strait at them. You may just have to spreadsheet these and leave visuals client side.
Standard lasers:
Make these very long range. To where the rail guns are on average now. Handwavium: There aren’t as many particles in space so range should be longer, but not infinite because we can only focus the light so well?
Anyhow, maybe make these much lower damage at range, but make shorter range version higher damage. Maybe even in factories that if you decrease range, they do more damage? Is game engine able to support diminishing damage based on range while firing? this would be ideal for that instead.
Keep it so they still require a decent amount of power, but this would give range and a cost of power, but not the ridiculous “I-win” capability rail guns enjoy now.

Bolters - good for beginning too a bit of the midgame
Chainguns - Good

Rockets -
Really they are fine, increase the speed a bit, or can you give them acceleration while traveling up to maybe 1.5x what they have now? maybe even 2x after a few seconds?  Really they probably don’t need change.
This will bring me to the final discussion of missile getting additive speed based on the parent ship.  While this totally makes sense, sadly it is easily abused. Either make it so after a certain set speed, they go “Dumb” and cannot track, or really, explode for safety reasons...because…”SPace Safety First” Really just PVP and PVE balance.

However for slow lumbering ships I would love to see that 1.5x to 2x default speed. Also, need prettier smoke trails - because my space barbies want prettier pew pew.

NEW WEAPON TYPE or Change to pulse weapons:
Something like a particle lance, or ion cannon:
Similar to laser ranges like we have now but:

Either hit scan shot like the railgun is now, use the current railgun particle effect, but use an energy weapon sound. Or make them a 1-3 second burst laser like weapon that always has a cool down. They do 100% damage to shields and armor, including heavy armor, and integrity field damage mitigation doesn’t work against them. They require power to shoot like lasers do, but a lot more. In a sense they become the new laser, but more effective at shorter range with higher power draw, which leads to my laser change suggestion above.

Make these weapons also have a power to range multiplication in energy usage. Just not nearly as high as a railgun. Cool handwavium reason: The particles are excited and dissipate over distance, higher intensity discharges are required for more range.

Spinal Mount Version - Much like the railgun, allow greater ranges at higher cost to energy, though KM per KM more energy efficient than the railgun spinal.  The trade off is you don’t get multi block penetration.

I love cannons. Should be as no surprise, I prefer the Star Wars like way of space combat, which is modeled after WW2, and what was prevalent in naval battles of WW2? BIG OL CANNONS!

Personally I love cannons as the general all purpose gun in the game. No gimmicks, no drawbacks just shock and awe of awesome. Every time they fire I hear Macho man say "Oh yea!"

However to give them a little bit more reason to be used over... lets say, railguns, or even my suggested particle weapon, or ion cannon above:
Armor doesn’t mitigate their damage. Sure you have to blast through shields, integrity fields still mitigate their damage, but make it so if you use your slower firing, slower bullet speed cannons and connect, they don’t don’t suffer when they hit stone or heavy armor. They destroy everything equally.

I would also give them a bit of a speed bump to rounds, maybe not much, or make it so they are generally pretty accurate. Also Space barbie requirement : give them a bit of a trail as they fire initially or even as they travel. You could probably just modify the round graphic to have a bit of a particle or very light smoke trail.

Right now, with all the highspeed dashing combat, using cannons is difficult. There are a couple reasons I am seeing from this:
Convergence. Your turrets only accurately converge with the target when you highlight it/put cursor over it. For hit-scan weapons this is fine, for something like cannons this is horrendous, as you only get weapons convergence when highlighting your target. If that target is moving or your moving, after about 5-6 kilometers you are not going to hit - you have to lead the target and thus lose the convergence of your weapons. Moving 70m/s lateral and aiming at a medium asteroid 13 kilometers away my cannons would miss. I can aim in front of or behind and hit, but then I have a large spread, so some would still miss. This wasn’t as big of a deal before the speed update since you could still sorta predict where ships would go, fire and hit, even at a long distance which was SUPER SATISFYING, but now, with ships moving so fast and npc ships afterburning around, and if they are far away, they are on top of you within seconds, so cannons as the long range damage over time, is no longer as effective.

Round speed. Before everything was dashing about, changing directions like an ADHD ridden child having a seizure, guessing about where the target was going and firing your cannons was quite satisfying, now, most of that is gone, I would like to see this return. This leads to the next subject.

I want to talk about  recent changes to everything being able to chase you and dash/afterburn around. I like it since people cannot just run from the them, and yet I also find it incredibly irritating and don’t like it. I will explain below:

The good:

 - Ships follow better.
 - My ships chase down the enemy
    the enemy chases me down - this makes kiting or “reverse turreting” much more difficult.
 -  a dashing dodging ship using missile kiting spam (I have seen both xsotan and I think pirates) is a great fight counter to my play style. I eventually just get
 - ticked and fire off torpedoes >:D This is a great thing to have, not so irritating to make me want to shut off the game, but irritating enough where I get the
 - pleasure out of blowing the little bugger up with a flight of torpedoes.

The bad

 - Long range weapons mostly mean nothing anymore as the enemy immediately dashes into point blank range - exception being ships with cannons. - more
    ships need this.
 - Sometimes they stop temporarily but not long enough for cannons  to reach them at a distance
 - Probably preference: EVERYBODY dashes back and forth in combat now. Moving is ok, but every ship dashing around; pretty much lasers and rail guns, or
    go home. Or if you have all chainguns/bolters because with all the all the movement. You cannot and I mean CANNOT, effectively used mixed arms against
    the enemy at all. difficult before but impossible now. Unless you have independant targeting weapons.
 - Non tracking missile launchers = worthless if your a slower ship. If your playing the exploitive complete dashing around ship build with  shooting missiles at
    enemy it may fine within a limited window. Until the enemy dashes to the side again. However having to build my entire ship around 1 type of build to get
    use out of a single weapon is not great in my opinion.

Mixed (good and bad)
the dashing around while they are point blank range is good and bad. Irritating because my damn cannons even when they are close have a hard time tracking and hitting them (I do get hits when turrets do finally catchup - which is also good because this represents them “getting under” my guns, and shows off the disadvantage of slower turning turrets.  While my secondary weapons have no issue taking care of this problem - which is what they are fore- it is very sad that I hardly ever get to use my main cannons since everything acts like it is under command by Admiral Ackbar and engages me at point blank range :(
Pirate torpedo ships now have the same problem. They get within point blank range, and cannot angle their torpedoes at me, so everything they fire circles around me. Good because “HAHA”, bad because it hardly ever is a threat now, and that is not how they would be used (Strategic Goals, Fleet missions and Fleet Design)

Suggestion - mix the bag a little bit with the behaviors. Or if you implement some thrust movement changes, allow certain “chaser” or “picket” ships the ability to get under the guns and engage point blank (basically allow designated NPC ships the ability to ignore movement penalties and acting as they do now), but still have some long range engagements. As it is now, I am not having much ship to ship combat fun because everything dashes to be at blinding speed, and my secondary auto-targeting weapons have all the fun. Which wouldn't be so bad if I could launch fighters and they could kill them too, but again they dash around and my fighters just kinda follow.

I haven’t used them much, but I like that they cost money and you cannot build spam these. I see torpedoes are your “Oh @#$%” weapons when your in a tight spot, and they work great for that. Honestly, I love their implementation.

I am stopping here as this thing is already long enough, but I would like to see some Carrier fleet support modules, enabling special functions, like group jump etc or your jump range automatically applied to fleet, enhanced auto repair while in range of carrier, or buff to repair turrets, and maybe "Mothership" modules that are defense and manufacturing oriented. I won't post those now, this beast is already long enough :P


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Hadn't really considered the shield aspect too much before.  Maybe because most of the games I've played the hull was all or nothing and not block components?  I do like your ideas, though.  Just to throw out another possibility into the mix (another suggestion), another game I used to play allowed for 10% of all damage to "bleed" through the shields and hit the hull underneath.  I'd almost suggest changing shield penetration chance in this game to be more of a how much of its damage is not absorbed by the shields, then allow all weapons to penetrate.  Weapons currently that don't penetrate shields could then have their numbers set to something like 90/10, where 90% of their damage is inflicted upon the shields and the other 10% to the blocks they subsequently hit (until shields fail, then it's 100% to the blocks).  Then weapons that currently have a say 70% chance of penetrating instead do 30/70 (or 20/80) damage.  Course, this would also require rebalancing a lot of weapon damages, which IMO needs to be done anyway....

Definitely agree with engines and certainly the comment "bigger moves more slowly and carefully so it doesn't rip itself apart."  You also got to figure, even with antigrav tech, how are these forces affecting all of the living people inside of the ships, walking in hallways, sitting on toilets, etc?  I like your suggestions for diminishing returns and counteracting via special modules or having the damage and morale loss on too high of an acceleration.  You made some comments about coaxial's, too.  I feel like these types of weapons should be best served for big to big ship battles, anyway.  Also, I do believe they have Oganite and Xanian coaxials already.  I have a couple in my inventory.  I am playing on a creative galaxy atm, though I don't think that should affect it?  Otherwise, I agree with everything you said here about engines and maneuverability.

For fighters, yeah, I feel as though they aren't properly balanced, yet.  I think a lot of what you said rings true and your suggestions are good.  I like the suggestion with removing the invulnerability during the dodge routines.  While I'm sure no one wants to lose them, they are able to survive way too well right now.  However, I think costs and production times would need to be adjusted accordingly.  I'm also not a fan of the current mechanics for creating the fighters, more specifically the points distribution system that's dependent on the turret used.  I like the more conventional approach with fighters in other games where the more powerful ones are typically larger and slower, but more heavily armored, too, and vice versa for the weaker ones.  Under this system, there really isn't a way to manufacturer and differentiate between fighters, interceptors, and bombers unless you purposely don't spend all of your points.  But I think that goes outside the scope of your suggestions.

There definitely needs to be better fleet composition, but the AI used needs some big improvements, too.  Like not trying to shoot through friendlies....

Weapons definitely need a bit of work, and while I think your ideas are good, I am in the camp where some limits should be imposed on them.  (At the very least their stats should match their rarity and the materials region you're finding them in, but I don't like that we're able to easily get weapons that make the ships we're encountering in the current zone a non-issue.)  I don't think we necessarily need a new weapon type, though.  I absolutely love cannons, too!  And yes, weapon convergence needs a little work.  They should attempt to converge at the range of your currently selected target, regardless if your mouse is over the target or not.  I have found, though, that the AI (either from a ship of yours being controlled by a captain or using independent targeting) seems to do an "ok" job at using them (better than what I can, at least, apparently).  One thing I'd like to see improved on cannons is their heat build up.  I feel like it's entirely too fast for the majority of them (the vast majority of the ones I've been finding only allow 2-4 shots before they need to cool down).

As for torpedoes, I actually would like to see us be able to manufacture them.  I find it primarily an issue to always have to manually restock my ships.  If they could produce their own, this would alleviate that.


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Star Trek online uses shield bleed mechanics. While interesting, unless it's a squishy glass cannon, most ships Hull Regen makes up for it. While it would be cool, I think your proposal would end up supporting the bigger is better meta. Hull Regen is higher numbers on bigger ships as I believe Regen in the game is percentage based.

In addition people I think this would also become tremendously taxing on a server to track all that additional information. On the games that have it, you must remember the ship is one unit, not a collection of entities you would have to track the health of independently.

As for coaxial I haven't seen coaxial on anything except avorian. But this game does have a strange mechanic that once you somehow acquire something, it just starts showing up for you as lower materials.  I have an iron rail gun that does a thousand dps somewhere.

Which kinda opens into weapons a bit. I think the dev is specifically not locking down the numbers for weapons, which is their right, it's their game after all, so I can only make suggestions within the confines of their decided approach.  I also would love to see a pass and lockdown on the numbers, as I think it would make designing or modding other parts easier, but again it's the devs game and we can limit ourselves if we wanted too.

Balancing can be a tremendous task, so leaving it open allows players to play how they want. If you don't use turret factories the game actually is a lot more interesting. Would love to see a little bit of a balance pass on factories,  but I guess there again I can always nerf myself (shrug).

As for torpedoes, it's a logistics thing. You can get some crazy stupid powerful torpedoes, so limiting the ammo on them makes sense. On the other hand, arming more of the enemy with them and making them lootable would I think create a happy balance.

Unless making the torpedoes took cargo components and not just mineral material like titanium or xanion.  This would force a stock of components. Or maybe a module slot too manufacture them. (Would be fair for essentially 9 more weapons. ) Though that's my crappy two sense.  I don't really mind either way on the torpedoes, I just happen to like the need for a little logistics planning. Could make it server configurable? Or in creative they are limitless?

Convergence at range of current target would be awesome. Would love to see something like that, that way you can just not select a target to use the current system!


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Yeah, STO was the game I was thinking of.  Hull regen may be percentage based, but I think it's really freaking small/slow compared to the overall damage that gets inflicted in combat.  Also, there could be different in-combat/out-of-combat regen rates to help solve this.

Also, as for tracking the damage of each individual block, this would be no different than if the ship had no shields/they had already failed, anyway.  Just that the damage inflicted to the blocks would be greatly reduced (and the rest inflicted on the shields, which is a single, solid entity).

Yeah, don't know which coaxial I had gotten first, so can't say for sure about that.

Well, I understand (to a degree) not wanting to hard cap the damage numbers (especially seems they have hard capped the turret numbers), but it does result in some pretty odd snurf.  At the very least, I think that the lower quality/material/level turrets should have ranges that they fall in (to prevent being better/worse than the next tier up/down), while only legendary/avorion/max level (if there is a max level) can be uncapped going up.  I mean, if an uncommon weapon had better stats than a legendary of the same material/level/type, then shouldn't the uncommon one have been legendary?  I get it's just a label, really, but I'm pretty sure the game has % chance drops that are different between the two.

But also, as previously mentioned, the power of the ones that you can get already make the game unchallenging.  Even Avorion ships are posing no challenge for me with Naonite and Trinium weapons... where my more powerful ones are Naonite.  It takes a few seconds to shred them and move on to the next.

I think the same deal should be applied to torpedoes.

And yeah, I could live with a module slot for enabling torpedo manufacturing.  Not components, though.  I've given up on turret factories already from how hard it is to get all of the needed components.


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I read two of the four parts of your suggestion a while ago with the intention of reading the rest the next time I play Avorion. I want to tell you that I enjoyed it all, especially because of the detail that you write in. Hope you’re having fun!


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Of course! Always having fun when it comes to Avorian and writing. Glad you enjoyed it.

Avorian has a pretty good community as well. So it is probably one of the only forums I come back too after life keeps me a away for an extended time.


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Reply to original post:
It was very interesting to read all that and very good suggestions too!

Some additional suggestions:
Towards fighters:
- PD/fighters should just not target dodging fighters (while the doge is in progress)
- ... and just target them "randomly" instead of "closest first" (e.g. of 10 that are in range, randomly select one of them)
- fighters need to be a lot faster to be fun to use
- weak fighters should be build quicker and be less expensive

For now I just tried them a few times and then forgot about them because they are too cumbersome to control and too weak/expensive to matter (and there is no tactical need for them).
Especially low tier fighters take way too long to build for how weak they are.

Torpedoes are fun, but I never have them because my AI captain tends to just spam them into the void for no reason.

Group jump: I would love to see this. It really is necessary if you want to manage a real fleet without having to equip lots of hyperspace modules on all the ships. This would also favor a heterogeneous fleet composition: e.g. few larger ships (were one has the hyperspace/group jump upgrade) and multiple smaller ones.


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First of all, interesting read. A bit too much for most people, I assume, but not for me.

Now, compact comments on all provided suggestions:

- I agree with the shield thesis. The correct course of action, in my opinion, is to introduce diminishing returns based on the ship's volume. The greater the volume of the ship, the less percentage of the total shield block output will translate into an actual shield capacity and regeneration. The limit to which that efficiency value goes can be a server-specified value, which can be used to balance more or less against larger ships.

- I mostly agree with acceleration and thrust thesis. As you've said, acceleration of any sort needs a diminishing return formula to counter-balance the larger ship's advantage in being a compact and dense unit of firepower and endurance. Maximum velocity, however, must be universal and be a product of relative Engine power of the ship (% of the ship's volume in Engine blocks) and the mass of that ship. Two ships that are only different in scale, but otherwise made of the same materials with the same relative density and proportion of engine blocks within, must have the same maximum velocity. This way you're making the fast ship by increasing the relative volume of engines, reducing armor coverage and using lighter materials - not by just making it larger.

Another important gripe for me here is engine Boosters. They're used too freely, especially in combat and make cruise engines semi-irrelevant. There should be more adjustments to mechanics to make using Boosters in combat risky or outright detrimental, because the power management we have now does not seem to achieve that, which subtracts from gameplay and especially PvP.

The same goes for Jump Drives, which the player should manually charge prior to the jump. The process should be shorter, but the energy demand should be so high, that the player would be encouraged to adjust the ship systems to prioritize the JumpDrive over other functions, or being forced to stay under fire for longer charge duration if he ever wants to jump out of combat.

- Fighters are a complicated problem. Personally I would just replace them with Drones, make them bigger and more durable, but larger and without any invulnerability stuff.  Maybe a damage reduction like it was before, but with a meaningful amount of HP.  Fighters do not make much sense in the setting of the game, but drones driven remotely by Operators from the parent ship do, and they also would not care about recoil or pulling big Gs, and you would not need to collect ejected pilots. Fighters/Drones should be something that is just expended (and expendable), rather than constricted by the insane replacement costs. Also, as I've said before, Fighters currently are unrealistically small.

- Weapons. Ooooooooh man. Yes, scaling is bad, especially when the overblown stats have inappropriately low demands. Power drain and production cost should be directly related to random positive stats, not being random just as much. The problem with Turret Factories remains the same - it must not produce the best weapons and instead allow you to replicate the turrets you got by any means. Factory should only be able to produce Rare-tier turrets at best.

Railguns. Actually a completely ballistic weapon and must work like one - smaller projectile with high speed, but an actual projectile. Railguns never had anything to do with beams. The penetration must be removed and replaced with something easier to balance. Railguns should be good due to high accuracy at long range, not due to insane DPS. Every point of DPS the railgun gets must be met with the corresponding pump in power demand.

I'm not gonna add notes for other weapons, as I've previously written a lot about all of em, and would hate to repeat myself.
Otherwise, I mostly follow the same intuition for the mentioned aspects of the game.
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Yeah, this is a nice post and the replies have been fun to read.

Railguns. Actually a completely ballistic weapon and must work like one - smaller projectile with high speed, but an actual projectile. Railguns never had anything to do with beams. The penetration must be removed and replaced with something easier to balance. Railguns should be good due to high accuracy at long range, not due to insane DPS. Every point of DPS the railgun gets must be met with the corresponding pump in power demand.
This may be true for small rail guns at minor speeds (like Avorion’s), but if the projectile is traveling at a considerable fraction of the speed of light (say 50%) or is bigger, it deals way more damage! I’ve even heard that the damage dealt by such projectiles scale exponentially (not sure if that’s true). But, of course, our rail guns are pretty small, so you make a good point.

The Halo game’s railguns on their ships are massive and deadly. I want to share this from its wiki just because I like Halo and it’s relevant:
“A standard frigate-based MAC fires slugs of either ferric Tungsten or depleted Uranium measuring approximately 9.1 meters long at around 600,000 meters per second.[2] The high muzzle speed gives the 600-ton slug the kinetic energy and momentum necessary to damage a target and partially mitigates the unguided nature of the slug and its lack of maneuverability; once the round leaves the barrel its trajectory is essentially a straight line and cannot reorient its direction. Orbital Defense Platforms fire a 3,000-ton slug at four-hundredths, or 4% of,[3] the speed of light, around 12,000 kilometers per second. Unlike explosive artillery rounds or missiles and energy weapons, the destructive force of the MAC round is via kinetic energy on impact.”


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This may be true for small rail guns at minor speeds (like Avorion’s), but if the projectile is traveling at a considerable fraction of the speed of light (say 50%) or is bigger, it deals way more damage! I’ve even heard that the damage dealt by such projectiles scale exponentially (not sure if that’s true). But, of course, our rail guns are pretty small, so you make a good point.
Accelerating a 1-kg projectile to 50% of light-speed would require an instant kinetic energy transfer equivalent to an average nuke. Hence the point about energy demand. If there's anything in the game, that should make power management problematic, it is using multiple railguns. I'm not against powerful railguns, but they must fire rarely between recharges and consume massive amount of power.

The Halo game’s railguns on their ships are massive and deadly. I want to share this from its wiki just because I like Halo and it’s relevant:
“A standard frigate-based MAC fires slugs of either ferric Tungsten or depleted Uranium measuring approximately 9.1 meters long at around 600,000 meters per second.[2] The high muzzle speed gives the 600-ton slug the kinetic energy and momentum necessary to damage a target and partially mitigates the unguided nature of the slug and its lack of maneuverability; once the round leaves the barrel its trajectory is essentially a straight line and cannot reorient its direction. Orbital Defense Platforms fire a 3,000-ton slug at four-hundredths, or 4% of,[3] the speed of light, around 12,000 kilometers per second. Unlike explosive artillery rounds or missiles and energy weapons, the destructive force of the MAC round is via kinetic energy on impact.”
Cool, but when you apply physics, looks silly. A 600-ton slug with 600,000 m/s would demolish anything in its way regardless of defenses and should work as a city-killer when fired from orbit.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 01:27:44 AM by DivineEvil »
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The talk about the railguns made me remember a few things I've seen.

The 50% speed of light got me thinking about this XKCD What IF:

Block penetration reminded me of this video I saw of US Navy Railgun tests.  Specifically, a few seconds after the 6 minute mark:

And then the likening of Halo's railguns to being more like city killers reminded me of the mass drivers from Babylon 5:


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Wow, FuryoftheStars, those real railguns were massive! Thanks for sharing. Imagine being able to say you get paid to develop railguns.

A quick search reveals this information:
- it takes a tremendous amount of electrical energy to generate the magnetic forces
- the projectile travels at 4500 MPH (Mach 6 / 7200 KPS)
- it has a range of 100 miles—that’s over a minute of cruising forward
- recent news articles are pessimistic about its future while the US Navy considers building a ship for a railgun