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The main changes in Athena are both ill conceived and unneeded – Why and an alternative


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Athena will bring a speed cap based on Mass and a statis weapon which seem primarily focussed towards smaller ships being able to slow down larger ships.

 

To be honest, I feel both these changes effectively do the same thing and seem to mostly be targeting PVP situations. They effectively also impact missions in general due to them slowing down ships and making missions longer certainly with the need to fly outside of the pipes.

 

These changes are bad because they really do not add anything to the game, they only make things worse AND what they try to achieve is already available in the current implementation of how ships accelerate.

 

This is also brute forcing something which easily can be done much more effectively, efficiently, and generally more elegant.

 

Currently, ships will accelerate to the max limit across all constructs of 30K. all that is needed here is a tweak of this curve to slow down the rate of acceleration relative to mass and make high mass constructs take a very long time to reach that cap where the relation between max thrust and construct mass is the multiplier defining how long this takes.

 

 

The solution which IMO is massively better and would make much more sense would be that cores have a capacitor value, much like their combat stress, which determines what can be fitted to the construct. Elements like containers, engines, shields and weapons will have a capacity value and so a ship designer will need to take these into account when building.

 

This would lead to ships being built much more to purpose and would lead to PVP groups designing ships in different configurations to catch and attack fast and early on to then follow up with heavier constructs for the final blow and to hold the spoils.

 

At the same time, haulers can be designed for both cargo capacity and thrust where you could build for fast acceleration with less cargo or vice versa..

 

Suddenly and with minimal changes from te side of NQ, a lot of options and abilities become available, and these can be further enhanced by talents and possible future element buffs.

 

And these ideas are not new, they have been shared and discussed for a very long time, certainly since the first hints of a possible speed cap for cores were heard from the side of NQ. Unfortunately as is generally the case, NQ never engaged with us on these ideas and just pushed ahead with what IMO really is an inferior system which is detrimental to the game and brute forces something which could be used in a much more player focussed way.

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Let us have a final go at it so we can say at least we tried to make ourselves clear.

 

I agree to a degree that things should balance themselves out in the realm of newtonian physics, just not quite convinced there is a way to spin the numbers where the solution isn't allways to just throw more elements at it = better ship. The elements are allready such that scaling them up in numbers doesn't exactly feel fun.

 

Ideally we'd want some sort of triangular relationship à la rock-paper-scissors, where one can at best optimize towards a side of the triangle, but never all three corners. The first two corners are fairly obvious: mass and thrust... And it would appear the third corner of that triangle is going to be core size, which by itself is frankly not enough. This is not originally my idea but somebody proposed this once and I honestly think it's genius:

 

Let's say the cores have speedcaps like XS 29k S 28k M 27k L 26k kmh softcap. I expect we will get something like this. But to make it good every ship should be able to go 30k kmh, if they keep their thrusters on! The "soft" speedcap, would be max speed in inertia, anything beyond the softcap would require constant thrust and scale up very much with our newtonian physics as described by blazemonger in the opening post. Then our ability to fly 30.000kmh has a second tie-in into weight, and the triangle is closed.

 

 

 

That would be the base of the system, and should hold up on it's own. Then only can we think about shield and stasis weapons. I think shields should make speedgains past the soft cap more difficult, and be super susceptible to stasis weapons, and stasis weapons should create "drag" (way more in case of a shield) but ultimatively be able to be "outhrusted" what's a single S stasis canon gonna do against 4500kt right?!

Though maybe in that case make it such that small ships get dragged away if confronted with overwhelming thrust / are able to let themselves be pulled by their victims.

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16 minutes ago, Overstimuloredom said:

I agree to a degree that things should balance themselves out in the realm of newtonian physics

Which is my point pretty much. I can understand when a (technical) game requirement needs to bypass that, as is he case withet 30K max speed cap. What I do not like and feel NQ should at all cost prevent, is using "magic" to bypass these laws when there is a viable and IMO effectively better solution that sticks to them.

Just capping speeds based on mass to me is just a cheeap cop out from designing an actual solution. It squarerly falls into the "lets carpet bomb the field to try and hit the nail's head" category which NQ tends to go for pretty much everywhere.

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3 hours ago, blazemonger said:

The solution which IMO is massively better and would make much more sense would be that cores have a capacitor value, much like their combat stress, which determines what can be fitted to the construct. Elements like containers, engines, shields and weapons will have a capacity value and so a ship designer will need to take these into account when building.

So basically you are trying to dumb down electricity and power generation to a level simple enough so that you think/hope NQ would be able to implement it in a reasonable time-frame?

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I would LOVE to see some sort of power based system in the game and agree that some simpler option might be better / more achievable than actually developing a full power system. Not sure it would need to include anything other than - weapons, shields, engines and brakes

Edited by Kobayashi
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49 minutes ago, AdmiralYolomoto said:

Hi @blazemonger can you bring more light on how the capacity system makes smaller ships and elements viable when compared to bigger ships and elements?

 

I'd say that the capacity system is a good alternative (or even addition) to power management, but I don't see how does it solve the issue with small ships.

Sure,

 

As all cores would have a set capacitor value relative to core size, NQ could tweak "consumption" of available capacitor so that small core elements would have a relatively smaller requirement and could be easier to train buffs for using talents. It's generally fair to expect that flying a smaller craft would be "easier" and the effect of a buff more direct. For high mass, larger ships that becomes a much more measured effect, taking more effort to achieve and master.

 

In terms of talents, it could be so that larger core buff require for smaller core ones to be trained first to a certain level. Say L IV of XS unlocks the talent for S cores and so on. From the initial Talent you’d then also train extended specialisation talents for specific buffs like engines, shields, cargo etc. It can be made as complex as desired but in essence and the baseline is simple.

 

It would take some tinkering to balance but the ground level implementation could fairly easily allow for those tweaks without much additional work. And with the relation between the core and the elements you place on them it becomes much more of a gameplay / engineering effort. It also takes care of potentially OP XS or S cores running big heavy weapons as you could design the system in such a way that this would not be an viable option as you would not have the capacitor space to then fix the XL engine to accelerate the ship with those weapons even when the building space in the core's build area would be there..

It would then up to the way the weapons are designed to create a possible meta for small ships to be able to play a role in combat with bigger ships.

 

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what you're describing is eve powergring stat, not capacitor stat.  Capacitor implies energy storage. Other than that, it would have been the more sensible way to approach things. But i believe this has been discussed couple years ago, and apprently NQ never picked up on it.  

 

They could have added this stat either to core or command seat controller ( just like pvp capacity). But that would require them to work in this stat value to all elements which appears to be "too much work". Speed nerfs are just a lazy way out. Stasis weapons while good don't require a lot to implement with other systems already in game. 

 

Again these design decisions on NQ part are always driven by a simple paradigm, how to implement a change with touching as few other systems as possible.

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2 hours ago, Bazzy_505 said:

what you're describing is eve powergring stat, not capacitor stat.

 

Yes, I realize that. I kind of called it capacitor to move away from the "we need power management" a bit.. even when it mostly does exactlyy that
I'd say, call it what you want butI believe the basic design of what I suggest is both sound and doable in a fairly small amount of time and wiith low dev cost

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On 3/23/2022 at 6:48 AM, blazemonger said:

Athena will bring a speed cap based on Mass and a statis weapon which seem primarily focussed towards smaller ships being able to slow down larger ships.

 

Why would smaller ships need stasis weapons to slow down larger ships, if the speed changes make the larger ships slower to begin with?

 

I always saw it as a way of larger cargo  ships being able to either slow down smaller PvP ships to get away, or make them easier to pursue and take down with their own weapons.

 

Either way, I see it as more a benefit to larger ships and a redundancy for smaller ones. In fact, stasis weapons make more sense if there weren’t a speed cap at all, so their introduction baffles me since they’re both being implemented in the same patch. 🤪 

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Pretty much @Novidian Prime

This feels like two different teams or devs comeing up with a releted mechanic, eneither of which really has much value over what exists in game and can be tweaked.

And then tehre seems no one in NQ who questions the purpose of this at all

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First I want to start off by saying, you dont have to be in PVP space if you dont want to. You can warp between planets and never be at risk. Currently only thing you need to be in PVP space for is high tier asteroids an Aphelia missions (next patch you can include high tier alien cores on that list). Basically players can do 95% of the game without ever steping foot inside the PVP zone. 

 

Stassis weapons are very much needed for PVP. And I hope we get two types, once you mount on your ship and one you can deploy in space. This is something that actually allows players to catch other players in space. If two ships are going the same speed Its nearly impossible to catch the other player (There are a few methods, but generally require you to be in a pipe with the target). Stassis weapons are going to reduce the amount of time it takes to actually engage a target, and it will allow multiple ships to attack the same target. Most PVErs will never encounter this weapon.  I just hope they make the stassis weapon 1 voxel larger then a small ship.  

 

Speed change to mass is a huge thing. And I dont think its a good thing. The biggest thing is its going to slow down group aphelia mission runners. It will slow down slow boaters who are trying to save a buck instead of warping. And it will slow down asteroid miners.  You dont have to worry about max speed in atmo, and you dont have to worry about max speed when warping. So the speed change is going to have little effect on most people. 

 

This is also going to slow down large battleships. (like they are even a thing besides diehards). This change will be the final nail because why would you ever put two sets of guns on one ship, when it is going to have less shields, and go slower then two ships with 1 set of gun on each.  The single ships are going to have twice the shield HP and go faster.  Even so much so that the  two ship combat will be able to engage and disengage to recharge shields since they can move at a higher speed then the slower ship.  Basically this change is going to make ships even more nano then they are now. 

 

Unfortunately now that they have announced these changes, I feel like we are going to get these changes. And very little can be done to change this.  However I do think there is a solution they can add in to fix the problem.  Give bonuses to ships that have multiple gunners seats in use.  Like a 50% bonus for each active gunner (people sitting in a gunners seat with weapons linked) seat. IE a ship with 1 set of weapons 0% bonus.  A ship with 2 seats of active weapons 150% (effectively 3 weapon sets), A ship with 3 seats of active weapons 200% (effetely 6 weapon sets), A ship with 4  seats of active weapons 250% (effectively 10 weapon sets), a ship with 5 seats of active weapons 300% (effectively 15 weapon sets) This would give a reason for a battleship to be ingame. Because under the current game mechanics and proposed game mechanics, they are out performed by nano's. 

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Ohh and I forgot to mention, Core restrictions are a horrible mechanic.  If an L core gives all these benifiets. then all ships will just be based on L core designs, this is because you can build an S core sized ship on an L core. 

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@RugesV

 

The loophole of using a larger core to gain more capacitor and thus be able to fit more elements is a risk which seems valid enough.

There is fairly simple ways to close that loophole though, one is to simply not allow using elements in a size class on a larger size core, which may be undesirable as these elements may be chosen for design reasons. Another would be to have a penalty in place like reducing effectiveness of said elements if placed on a core above their size class. This would not impact dessign option as in that case the elements are cosmetic in nature but would prevent what you describe.

 

Such options should really be very simple to implement.

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29 minutes ago, blazemonger said:

@RugesV

 

The loophole of using a larger core to gain more capacitor and thus be able to fit more elements is a risk which seems valid enough.

There is fairly simple ways to close that loophole though, one is to simply not allow using elements in a size class on a larger size core, which may be undesirable as these elements may be chosen for design reasons. Another would be to have a penalty in place like reducing effectiveness of said elements if placed on a core above their size class. This would not impact dessign option as in that case the elements are cosmetic in nature but would prevent what you describe.

 

Such options should really be very simple to implement.

You close that loophole and it limits things like puting a smaller engine on a ship going forward for reverse thrust,  or to the side, or up and down. or having one that is more responsive for quicker thrust (IE that XL engine is great on L ships, but somtimes you want an L engine for its response time. Even things like adjustors, 16 sm adustors take the same space as 1 large adjustor, provide the same thrust, but at half the weight.  Having Large wings on a small core can look nicer then having bunch of mediums. Not being able to put L engines on a small core would also harm allot of builds. 

 

And closing that loophole solves nothing, as you can still build a L core ship with L and XL modules to be the size of a small core, with the cross section of an XS core. 

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Core sizes are nothing more then different sized build box area's. If you want to limit cores to specific classes.  Then you need to create cores specifically for its purpose. IE a Military core, that would have increased resistance, Increased weapons damage, increased HP. An industrial core that would have weight reduction, lower fuel consumption, better lift.  A speed core, that accelerates faster with lower fuel consumption, better lift. 

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How do you all know speeds will all be below 30k? For all you know a fairly heavy hauler could be capped at 30k while an XS light interceptor is now going 60k.

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8 hours ago, RugesV said:

Ohh and I forgot to mention, Core restrictions are a horrible mechanic.  If an L core gives all these benifiets. then all ships will just be based on L core designs, this is because you can build an S core sized ship on an L core. 

This is a big part of the problem. As with many things the design has not been fully thought trough and you get lots of problems like this.

 

The entire core size system makes very little sense overall in the game, since voxels and elements are what contains actual physical dimensions and mass and you can build as small as you want in any core size. I.e there only difference between using a S and a L is the one time cost of the core and time gated talents. And that cost is trivial to anyone who has played the game for more then a little while, making M and L cores the default.

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Lots of valid concerns in the topic and I’ll add one more. We’re racing to launch with this as the last major update, and we still don’t have an eta on the energy management systems that could potentially change the shape of PvP entirely. Unless it’s been abandoned, which I hope isn’t the case - I think it may be the key to balancing it as a whole.

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On 3/24/2022 at 2:39 AM, blazemonger said:

Damn @CptLoRes .. How did you figure that out so fast :D

 

I'd say I'm pretty much spoonfeeding what I believe to be a very viable alternative in context to where the game is right now, yes..

I don't know if NQ have given up on territory warfare (seems that way?) but without it, there's little value in building energy management at all - given that 1/2 the point was that some territories are better than others. (Based on the OG game pitch.) So, without territory warfare or variable territory energy output, I'd question the objective of any energy management at all.

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