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Topics - Travis9x

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Suggestions / Fighter scaling system for carriers
« on: April 16, 2019, 02:39:22 AM »
I haven't seen/heard of anything planned for the hard-cap on fighter quantity for carriers, so I thought up a system to allow larger and larger carriers to allow for a higher capacity than the current hard-limit of 120 fighters.

The logic to having this scaling system is that it is very easy to get a hanger capacity with a minimum of well over 250 of the largest fighters.  But there is currently no way of ever hitting that capacity, since squadron control only goes up to ten squadrons, and only 12 fighters maximum for each squadron.

Scaling System for Fighter Capacity of Carriers
  • Similar to how the number of upgrades is based on CPU power (actually the total block volume of the ship), the limit of the fighter capacity can be dependent on the volume (CPU power) of the ship as well
  • The limit can scale in a tier-like system, with stages of advancement
  • First-Tier - same as current limit.  Basic carriers start with up to ten squadrons of 12 fighters each.
  • Second-Tier - Large carriers can host/control larger squadrons.  Still limited to ten squadrons, but now each squadron can be up to 24 fighters each.
  • Third-Tier - Massive Supercarriers can host/control up to 20 squadrons of 24 fighters each.

This is just a very basic three-tier system, but I think it's a good start.  It can obviously be much more expansive than this, to allow a more incremental increase to carrier capacity & effectiveness, as well as a much higher top-end limit, as ships scale up in size.

This can also be combined with another suggestion I made, about having turret size affect the resulting size of the fighter made from it (when creating custom fighters at a fighter factory).  That change would result in more people creating/using larger fighters, thus more effectively using all that hanger space.  (the change would also resolve a problem I pointed out in that suggestion, regarding the current system of converting a turrets into fighters)

Finally, this also resolves what I consider a bit of a balancing issue, in that currently even the largest of ships have only a very tiny % of their crew as gunners, miners, or pilots.  This makes things like the XSTN-VI AI upgrade kinda pointless.  My fighter suggestions would make a higher % of a carrier's crew pilots, making that "legendary" and "unique" XSTN upgrade actually mean something for a large supercarrier.

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Imagine this scenario…you've spent hours upon hours building up relations with an NPC faction, to finally get it to “Admired” status.  You've just finished fending off attack waves of both Xsotan and pirates from one of their sectors, so you call in your salvaging ship to clean up the mess.  While that's being taken care of, you decide to do some business with some of the shops in the sector.  After all, the faction loves you now, so you can get some good prices.

While perusing the wares, you notice a message that their relations toward you is dropping, FAST.  In literally only a matter of seconds, all those hours of work have been completely destroyed.

This is what happens, frequently, as a result of accidental friendly fire.  It can happen from any long-range weapon shooting at an enemy, and a friendly happens to be in the way.  It can happen from a piece of wreckage that happens to be close-by to a friendly, as your salvage ship or fighters try to get to it…the really frustrating part of that one, is that the salvage lasers don't even do any damage to the friendly, as long as they have shields, so what the heck are they getting so angry about?  On top of that, if the wreckage is so close to the friendly as to be within their shields (such that the salvage lasers couldn't possibly get to it, ever), the AI doesn't know that, and will continue to fire away, angering the NPC faction even more (despite that no damage is actually being done to them).

The frequency of these occurrences, and the amount of time destroyed with every occurrence, make for an absolutely infuriating experience.  Because it is stupid, there's no good reason for it, and there is virtually nothing you can do to prevent it.  Because even if you immediately do know what's causing it (and most often you don't), you still can't react fast enough to prevent a MASSIVE hit to your relations with the NPC faction.

This is so rage-inducing, as to cause people to stop playing entirely.  I for one, on more than one occasion, have quit the game because of this…not permanently, because I still have faith in the future of this game…but when I've come back, I've started a new save-file rather than trying to repair the damage caused by such a stupid incident.  I'm sure many people have actually perma-quit because of it, and you don't hear about it because why would they waste even more of their time coming here to complain about it?

There are such easy ways to fix this.
1.  You can make it so that relations penalties only occur if a shot hits the INTENDED target.  ie., if someone else is caught in the crossfire, they don't get pissed at you for it because you weren't actually shooting at THEM.
2.  Only incur a relations hit if they actually take DAMAGE.  ie., salvage and mining lasers do NOTHING to shields, so why would someone get mad at you for a mining laser doing absolutely nothing to them??  That's like someone getting angry at a declawed cat for swatting furiously at their steel-toed army boot.
3.  I have suggested this SO many times before…improve the targeting AI, so that it checks the firing arc of a weapon BEFORE it fires, to see if the path is blocked by a friendly.  If there's a friendly obstructing your shot, DON'T FIRE.

You have no idea how many times I've considered just not playing anymore, until this gets fixed.

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Feedback / April 2019 Suggestions
« on: April 08, 2019, 03:23:21 AM »
Regarding Beta Branch, v0.21.3

Excellent update, for once I actually have no complaints whatsoever with any of the changes in this patch!
With that said, I still have a few suggestions (I've posted some of these on previous updates):
1.  Taking no damage from collisions when flying above a certain velocity is dumb.  If we don't want collision damage, we can already reduce it or turn it off entirely.  If collision damage is on, then someone flying at 2000+ m/s through a dense asteroid field should die.  End of story.
2.  Harvesting AI is getting better (thank you!), but still needs improvement.  Regarding loot collection, it completely ignores drops from fighters.  For example, I've watched a salvaging carrier completely ignore exotic and legendary loot, because they were dropped from the salvage fighters, rather than from salvage turrets.
3.  Harvesting AI still gets stuck when it runs out of wreckages while salvaging.  For example, trying to tell a salvage ship to salvage wreckages in a sector, and then warp to another sector and refine the raw scraps.  It just stops when there are no more wrecks to be found, and does not continue with any further queued commands.
4.  An addition to #2, would be to add an option to harvesting commands, such as "Salvage and Loot", which will collect ALL loot lying about, in addition to salvaging wreckages.
5.  I still think R-Salvagers should get a bonus to loot drops, if not an increase to overall efficiency.  Or both.
6.  Targeting AI is still dumb.  As recommended previously, please have targeting AI for turrets and fighters take obstructions into consideration.  If the firing arc is blocked by a friendly, DON'T SHOOT.  This of course only applies to turrets with "independent targeting" trait (set to some kind of autofire option), and fighters.
7.  Penalty for firing on friendlies still needs to be reworked, especially if #6 has still not been fixed.  If an AI empire determines that you've been shooting at them too much, the relations to that empire - if it was positive prior to this incident - should be reset to 0 (rather than immediately going to abhorrent), and all military vessels in the sector turn hostile - and that sector ONLY.  Any further shots fired on the empire property (or if the relations were already negative) can affect relations as normal (negative impact per shot).  This allows the player to flee the sector, and attempt to repair the relations (such as if this incident was unintentional).  If relations are subsequently improved, the player should be able to return to that same sector, and all empire ships returned to friendly (non-hostile) status.
8.  An improvement to rockets/missiles...currently, they are basically useless without the "Seeker" trait, and even then, still a poor weapon choice compared to most others.  The Seeker trait can be made more useful, with some simple logic improvements.  If the rocket's target becomes invalid (such as if the target gets destroyed), then re-target to the closest enemy, and continue seeking for the remainder of the flight time.  If there is no enemy within the remaining flight time/distance, or no remaining enemies at all, then self-destruct.  Also, similar to #6, if the flight path becomes obstructed, then it should try to perform some simple maneuvers around the obstacle...and if that obstacle is a friendly, and a path around it cannot be found, then the rocket should self-destruct rather than impact that friendly.  These improvements would greatly increase the desirability of seeker missiles, making them a much more viable weapon choice.
8b. Probably a small oversight, but if a fighter is made from a launcher with the Seeker trait, that trait does not show up in the properties of the resulting fighter, although rockets fired from that fighter do pursue targets (the Seeker trait is obviously applied correctly, despite not showing on the fighter).
9.  I have occasionally seen an issue where a cargo item appears in the cargoholds of my harvesting ships, with no name or description, but does have a volume (so it is taking up space).  The quantity of these unidentified items are often in the THOUSANDS, taking up a LOT of valuable space.  These unknown items do not get consumed when refining, and do not have a trade value, so they are worthless and I end up having to dump them.  Here's where a big problem starts, because the objects DO appear in space when dumped, and when I'm dumping THOUSANDS of them, this creates a MASSIVE lag spike, even when only playing single-player!  PLEASE fix this bug.
10. The size of a turret is very misleading, when trying to create a new fighter.  Currently, it appears as though all the stats of a turret with a larger size (such as 1 or 1.5) get reduced to as though the turret were 0.5 size, when the fighter is created from it.  This can result in mis-judging which turret to use as the base for a fighter, and very unexpected and undesired results (since larger turrets usually have higher DPS, longer range, etc, but if scaled down to as though the turret were 0.5 size, might actually be a worse choice for fighter conversion than another, smaller, turret).  A better system would be to do the stat conversion the same as converting any other 0.5-size turret, and just have the larger turret size also result in a larger fighter (maybe more fighter HP as well).  Thus, the increased stats are offset by having a larger fighter that takes up more hanger space/capacity, or having to spend more points to reduce that size.  Especially large turrets can also result in really big fighters that require more pilots to fly.
11. Finally, there currently does not appear to be any way of creating a new fighter (such as from a turret) with shields.  The only way I've seen to be able to get a fighter with shields, is to purchase a randomly-generated one from a merchant.  99% of the time, random fighters (and turrets) are not as good as a custom-built one.  Please allow us to build fighters with shields.  This can be one of the spec options, to spend points on when designing the new fighter (dependent on the material of the fighter being Naonite or higher, of course).  Higher materials (such as Trinium, Xanion, and Avorion) can have a higher base shield stat too, since those materials produce better shields in ships.

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