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How could smaller than L core PvP ships ever be balanced?


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Now you all might just think that this is an easy question. "Just do it like how it is done in EvE!" but unfortunately it isn't that easy. EvE balances out the power of large ships with the maneuverability of smaller ones, making large ships hard to shoot small ships that are orbiting them. In Dual, a few problems arrive if you tried to do this. firstly; unlike in EvE where people mostly maneuver by commands instructed by the player,  in DU everything is controlled completely by keyboard input, meaning that large ships can just turn to face towards their target and have no tracking issues. (yes, I know you can do that in EvE too, but it's so niche and situational I wouldn't be surprised if 1/2 of the EvE community didn't know about it) Secondly, ships cannot reliably get in the close range that EvE ships can, since the current server limitations mean that desync happens very often unless you are very close or very far. NQ could try to fix these issues, but I doubt that it could ever be as silky smooth as EvE. Third, (imo this one should be changed) the current damage output of larger ships is so vast that it is basically pointless to try making anything small. with most non L core ships, its one shot and then you're dead, no competition.

 

Reverting back to what it was where any core unit could use L guns is not a viable solution either. All that is really doing is pushing the problem to one side, as now any non L gun has become (even more) pointless, as well as bringing a resurgence of cube ships, which I don't think anybody wants.

 

And although there may be some clever solutions to get over this issue, the truth is anything which isn't max core size is just not sufficient enough to stand a chance right now.

 

any ideas on how to fix this guys?

 

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- Take probability into the amount of dmg actually done.  If your base dmg of a gun is 50k. And you have 25% probability of hitting, then *IF* you land a hit, you should only do a % of dmg.  Can be a random range, so that 25% = 10k-40k dmg.   A big problem with the L guns is ya, with cross section they miss a lot, but when they hit, they do MASSIVE dmg and only take a few hits to completely fuck a small ship up.  Give the small ship a bit more chance.  Make it so an actual M core would actually apply more dmg to a smaller ship. 

 

- Give XS and S cores special abilities.  One major one being "surgical strike". Meaning they can actually target elements on a ship.  Bonus if they take the time to actually code skills involved to increase probability.  What I mean is just because you target "engines" and you hit, if you land a hit 100% should not always go to engines.  But skills can increase the probability.  This is if their servers can even handle these types of calculations (im guessing they never will).

 

- Special modules/ewar for smaller cores.  "tackle" ships if you will.  Call it a tractor beam or something.  Something to actually slow ships down in space.  Skills and higher teir modules to increase range and effectiveness.

 

- Rebalance HP of weapons.  Its completely out of whack that a L gun has 170k HP or so, then when you got a M gun its 6k.  Everything else is done by dbls or halves.  But for some reason HP is just doin its own fucking thing.

 

- Rebalance dmg's and ranges.  Its lazy that each step up is just "double it" or each step down "cut it in half".   Preferably by buffing small weapon dmg a little instead of nerfing L.  

 

 

By doing these changes you make immediate changes, and also add some new content.  L cores now do way less dmg to smaller, but probably can still do decent dmg to M cores.  But a few M cores now also stand a chance against L cores.  XS and S now have legitimate reason to be in a fleet and can be meta relevant.  As S cores can be used for easier disabling for pirates, or used to swarm L cores and disable whatever elements they choose.  M cores now are your best defense against the S and XS cores because they do more APPLIED dmg than L cores.   All these things add to more pvp too because now the cost of getting into pvp becomes cheaper, and in a decent sized fleet only 1 or 2 L cores makes more sense, and if you do have an L core you have to have a supporting fleet to go with it, because if you dont its now easier for a small fleet of smaller cores to damage you, slow you down, and continue to do dmg and have a realistic opportunity to kill you.  People will then scramble to find the best "ratio" of these types of ships, and fun battles can be had.   

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If weapons had actual projectiles without autoaim, hit and miss probabilities would be a lot nicer. Unfortunately with this autoaim hitscan RNG, an L weapon will eventually hit an XS ship, has a pretty decent chance anyway already. IMO, xs ships should not be able to be hit with L weapons. The fact that L ships can be used as fighters is just a symptom of NQ's awfully shallow combat system too. If NQ are smart, they won't keep expanding on their current combat system, as they did with .23.

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2 minutes ago, SpiceRub said:

If weapons had actual projectiles without autoaim, hit and miss probabilities would be a lot nicer. Unfortunately with this autoaim hitscan RNG, an L weapon will eventually hit an XS ship, has a pretty decent chance anyway already. IMO, xs ships should not be able to be hit with L weapons.

Yes, a further reduction of cross section, and then also the reduced dmg when they do hit would balance things quite a bit.

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Remember that NQ still has to release energy management. If they are not stupid they'll use it to balance this mess.

For instance L weapons might drain a lot of energy, so much that you can no longer make your L ship as agile as a fighter, sure you'll hit hard but good luck chasing an hauler who only need to feed engines.

 

Also the idea of giving smaller cores exclusive elements is good, it helps creating roles.

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On 3/29/2021 at 9:07 PM, Shaman said:

Now you all might just think that this is an easy question. "Just do it like how it is done in EvE!" but unfortunately it isn't that easy. EvE balances out the power of large ships with the maneuverability of smaller ones, making large ships hard to shoot small ships that are orbiting them. In Dual, a few problems arrive if you tried to do this. firstly; unlike in EvE where people mostly maneuver by commands instructed by the player,  in DU everything is controlled completely by keyboard input, meaning that large ships can just turn to face towards their target and have no tracking issues. (yes, I know you can do that in EvE too, but it's so niche and situational I wouldn't be surprised if 1/2 of the EvE community didn't know about it) Secondly, ships cannot reliably get in the close range that EvE ships can, since the current server limitations mean that desync happens very often unless you are very close or very far. NQ could try to fix these issues, but I doubt that it could ever be as silky smooth as EvE. Third, (imo this one should be changed) the current damage output of larger ships is so vast that it is basically pointless to try making anything small. with most non L core ships, its one shot and then you're dead, no competition.

 

Reverting back to what it was where any core unit could use L guns is not a viable solution either. All that is really doing is pushing the problem to one side, as now any non L gun has become (even more) pointless, as well as bringing a resurgence of cube ships, which I don't think anybody wants.

 

And although there may be some clever solutions to get over this issue, the truth is anything which isn't max core size is just not sufficient enough to stand a chance right now.

 

any ideas on how to fix this guys?

 

Actually in EvE's engine all ships are just 'balls' with no particular orientation.  The game engine draws the ship pointing a certain way but in the server it's just a sphere.  That's why the physics of orbiting doesn't really work  (If I orbit you and have a gun on the right point in my ship, the tracking should be 0 (i.e. my gun always points at what I orbit) but in eve the tracking is very high.

 

In DU, tracking could be made a lot more interesting because the game does know where the ships are pointing (I think) and you could do an orbit where your gun is stationary but their gun is having to move a lot.  But also in EvE the guns can shoot 360 degrees while in DU they point within a cone, so you'd have to keep your ship pointing a certain way.  I played about with doing an eve-style 'get under the guns' orbit (with a ship which had the engines specially placed at the sides) and it's harder than you think but could be fun if it worked.

 

I think an interesting possibility for asymmetric ship combat is to let the smaller guns directly target the larger elements on a ship.  So if I have XS cannons and you're an L core I can individually target your engines, guns, etc.  Perhaps with manual aiming or a sub-targeting system.  It would still be hard to kill a L core with an XS core, say, but it would allow a sort of tackle role where you try and shoot out the surface elements to stop a ship running away while trying not to get hit by their big guns.

 

Also giving the larger guns a minimum range or some other penalty when shooting at much smaller ships would be interesting.

 

Of course in DU there's nothing stopping a L core ship from also having some smaller guns to shoot at the smaller ships so long as people are manning them (whereas in eve the slot layout limits that).  It's hard to think of a way to stop that from being an issue in small vs large combat.  Perhaps some sort of e-war like feature for small ships which has more effect on the large ships?  Or take advantage of that asymmetric tracking thing (the bigger ship will find it harder to turn and optimise tracking)?

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in the current state of the game I would remove all XS and S weapons, and just allow M weapons on all core sizes, L weapons still locked to L cores. Even then, I dont think M weapons are a response to L weapons ever.. so I would say its hopeless 

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Another interesting idea would be to base the maximum speed of a ship on the core size so the smaller ships are faster than the larger ones.  That would mean that, say, an XS core ship can catch up to a M core which is trucking between planets, although it will find it hard to kill said M core when it gets there (if the M core is a good setup).  But if it can then take out engines, etc and stop the M core to allow pirates in an L core to catch up then the XS core ship has a fun and interesting PvP role.

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On 3/29/2021 at 5:56 PM, JohnnyTazer said:

Yes, a further reduction of cross section, and then also the reduced dmg when they do hit would balance things quite a bit.

This is the best answer.  Currently the cross section hit rates are still to high for very small ships.  Hitting something moving several kilometers a second that is only 25m3 frontal cross section.  At a distance of 50km is akin to nailing a hummingbird moving at top speed with a  cannonball fired from 10km away.

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