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PvP mechanic idea: How to give L-cores more potential. (Shield stability)


TobiwanKenobi
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@NQ-Entropy
L-cores are weak in the current pvp meta. I have an idea about how to make them more powerful(but not too powerful) while also adding some neat complexity to ship design in DU, and without taking away from the viability of S and M cores.
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PROBLEMS:
1. Right now, having a light ship is valuable in pvp. Being light not only gives you good accel, it gives you a higher max speed. Having high accel and max speed allows you to withdraw and vent, run away, catch slower targets, dictate battlefield positioning, or just travel faster. L-cores are naturally much heavier, so they suffer here.

 

2. Being small is also important. Having smaller cross section means less enemy hit chance, which makes you harder to kill. Tiny S-cores with a M-shield can tank just as well or better than big L-shield armored L-cores. So again L-cores are penalized for having naturally larger cross section.
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SOLUTION:

My idea is that NQ add a new mechanic that rewards having higher mass and cross section: Shield stability.

Shield stability: Higher construct mass and volume would make your shield tougher - a separate damage modifier that reduces incoming damage like resistances do.

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RULES:

  1. The mass and volume bonuses would be on separate curves, then added into one shield stability value, listed as a base value of 100% - a damage reduction multiplier of 1.
  2. High shield stability values might be 150% - a damage reduction multiplier of 0.666(33.33% damage reduction, which gives an effective hp bonus of +50%).
  3. Both curves would never allow shield stability to get anywhere near 200% (damage reduction multiplier of 0.5) so that a smaller shield could never achieve the same effective hp as a shield of one size larger.
  4. The mass and volume bonuses would be small at the low end of the curve.
  5. The mass and volume curves would have diminishing returns at the high end so that players can't just scale their shield stability to infinity.
  6. The floor of the mass bonus curve would start at the standard mass of a L-shield(125t).
  7. The floor of the volume bonus curve would start at the volume of a L-shield(646m³).
  8. The bonus scale would be the same for all shield sizes. L shields on heavy/voluminous ships would get good value, but standard-sized S and XS ships would get little to no value from this system, since they would have to achieve extreme masses (in the multi-kiloton range) and volumes to achieve high shield stability values.
  9. Shield stability would be calculated dynamically, so it would decrease throughout a fight as fuel is burned, ammo is used, and especially as voxel is destroyed.

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EXAMPLE VALUES: (obviously NQ would have to decide the proper curves and bonuses)
A ship with 5,000t mass and 3000m² x 500m² x 1500m² cross section values (a very big boi) gets a shield stability value of 147% - a shield damage reduction multiplier of 0.68. With this shield stability value, a Rare Active Shield Generator L now gets an effective hp increase from 10,000,000 to 14,700,000. So it has significantly stronger shields along with a large amount of CCS from voxel. It's now a tough nut to crack for S ships, but likely very slow and easier to hit for L and M guns.

EXAMPLE GRAPH:

image.jpeg.78479884b7d61948b63c0d39330822ca.jpeg

 

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NOTES:

  • This mechanic would add more choice and variety to pvp ship design.
  • It would allow builders to make more stylized designs that normally would be too voluminous.
  • L-cores would be good at killing other L-cores since their guns would actually do better dps to large targets than smaller guns would. They would target each other in fleet fights.
  • The shield stability mechanic would also make haulers naturally tougher to kill, giving them a better chance to fend off pirates and survive.
  • This would also indirectly add value to voxel, as the mass of additional voxel would simultaneously increase effective shield hp. Heavy voxels especially might become more attractive.

 

CONCLUSION:
This shield stability mechanic isn't meant to make L-cores into invincible dreadnaughts, but to give them a solid bonus to survivability in the same way that small ships get bonuses - just reversed. My hope is that it would add potential to L-core multi-crew capital ships in stationary fleet fights. These tough, heavy, expensive ships would still be a liability in cost to build and operate, as they should be, but if properly supported and utilized they could measure up to the current light/fast S-core and M-core meta.

I've tried to think through many scenarios with this mechanic to try to find problems, but I'm only one brain. Does anyone see any issues?

Edited by TobiwanKenobi
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I love this idea...it ticks all the boxes without being over complicated.

 

1 adds meaningful design decisions.

2 allows for ship design

3 makes armour useful 

4 makes sense as a mechanic in its own right.

5 gives a reason to have proper mixed fleets.

 

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I don't see any downsides to this idea at all, it feels like a win win in that it 100% will improve on the existing pvp ideology that NQ started in Athena and doesn't feel like it requires a lot of changes to be made to the game to incorporate it!

Would love to see this taken seriously NQ, please :)

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@TobiwanKenobi

I really like your idea, but for me there should be the following basic classes of ships:

  • small and light fighters that are agile and hard to hit, and big and
  • heavy battleships that can take a lot of hits.
     

In this sense, your approach goes into the right direction. However, in my opinion, the battleships are also ships that should be crewed by a whole team and not just one person.  Unfortunately, I don't see in your suggestion how the multi-crew factor is taken into account properly. So for me it's going in the right direction, but it can't be the final approach.

Edited by Ashford
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I don't like this because it puts all the focus of tanking on the shield. Large ships should be tanking on a combination of their voxel and venting the shield as needed. The main barrier to this is how paper thin voxels are, and how low element HP is. I don't see this suggestion making battleships stronger, but only chunky M cores stronger.

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2 hours ago, Ashford said:

Unfortunately, I don't see in your suggestion how the multi-crew factor is taken into account properly. So for me it's going in the right direction, but it can't be the final approach.

For sure - this doesn't solve the problem of multicrew being an inefficient use of players. I'm hoping an energy system or something will solve that.
 

19 minutes ago, Nayropux said:

I don't like this because it puts all the focus of tanking on the shield. Large ships should be tanking on a combination of their voxel and venting the shield as needed. The main barrier to this is how paper thin voxels are, and how low element HP is. I don't see this suggestion making battleships stronger, but only chunky M cores stronger.

Even though shield stability is a shield-centric mechanic, it actually shifts the meta more towards voxel tanking with L-cores. It makes voxel more viable by giving bonuses for having lots of voxel, rather than having to stick to the 'nano' meta.

I see certain people wanting for L-cores to mainly voxel tank, and I agree there need to be some adjustments to voxel as armor in terms of stats and mechanics(and a complete overhaul of element hp), but I think it's never going to be desirable to rely on voxel to absorb incoming fire. It will always be a bad situation to have your shield go down, because regardless of how tough your voxel is, your exposed elements are still going to get damaged and destroyed.

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23 minutes ago, TobiwanKenobi said:

For sure - this doesn't solve the problem of multicrew being an inefficient use of players. I'm hoping an energy system or something will solve that.
 

Even though shield stability is a shield-centric mechanic, it actually shifts the meta more towards voxel tanking with L-cores. It makes voxel more viable by giving bonuses for having lots of voxel, rather than having to stick to the 'nano' meta.

I see certain people wanting for L-cores to mainly voxel tank, and I agree there need to be some adjustments to voxel as armor in terms of stats and mechanics(and a complete overhaul of element hp), but I think it's never going to be desirable to rely on voxel to absorb incoming fire. It will always be a bad situation to have your shield go down, because regardless of how tough your voxel is, your exposed elements are still going to get damaged and destroyed.

 

For the first year of the game there were no shields. This actually forced multicrew ships as every person you have repairing is not someone you have in a gunner seat. It was much more efficient to have 4 gunners and 1 engineer on a ship instead of 1 gunner and 1 engineer, so ships tended towards larger sizes. By putting the focus of tanking on shields, you are incentivizing large solo battleships since you still do not want to take voxel/element damage and have an engineer, and you are still in the mindset of one, now super tanky, shield per person.

 

You get multicrew by making roles that are not offensive but also mandatory. This makes you want to increase ship size to increase the ratio of gunners to support. This is one of the biggest reasons I have been continually pushing for a more active shield tanking meta in balance discussions. More voxel HP + more element HP means you are more likely and more willing to tank on voxel, and now you need an engineer to keep your damaged elements healthy. Larger ships naturally follow from this.

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9 hours ago, Nayropux said:

More voxel HP + more element HP means you are more likely and more willing to tank on voxel, and now you need an engineer to keep your damaged elements healthy.

I don't think we should want the old school 'engineer' as a necessary role in battles. People are playing for fun, and the number of people who want to play hold-left-click whackamole will be few. So unless the way people repair elements changes, the shield tanking meta is more fun for everyone. But NQ has already hinted at the addition of a repair weapon, so I can see that being the answer to voxel tanking. If these repair weapons have variants or ammo types that can either recharge shields or restore voxel and element hp, they would do the job and be more fun.

As for incentivizing multicrew, this shield stability mechanic does do that in part. It rewards the extra mass and volume of more sets of guns. But having all these gunners on one ship still won't be an efficient use of avatars. It will still be better to divide up into separate ships. And it will stay that way until a single avatar can have an equal amount of power as part a multicrew ship as they would by being in a solo ship. The only way that will happen is by making it so that extra players can power up the shield in some way. Because there are only two ways a player can contribute a significant amount of potential to a fight - by manning a gunner seat or by carrying a shield.

Edited by TobiwanKenobi
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1 hour ago, Nayropux said:

For the first year of the game there were no shields. This actually forced multicrew ships as every person you have repairing is not someone you have in a gunner seat. It was much more efficient to have 4 gunners and 1 engineer on a ship instead of 1 gunner and 1 engineer, so ships tended towards larger sizes. By putting the focus of tanking on shields, you are incentivizing large solo battleships since you still do not want to take voxel/element damage and have an engineer, and you are still in the mindset of one, now super tanky, shield per person.

 

You get multicrew by making roles that are not offensive but also mandatory. This makes you want to increase ship size to increase the ratio of gunners to support. This is one of the biggest reasons I have been continually pushing for a more active shield tanking meta in balance discussions. More voxel HP + more element HP means you are more likely and more willing to tank on voxel, and now you need an engineer to keep your damaged elements healthy. Larger ships naturally follow from this.

As I recall, many of those fights dragged on for absurd amounts of time because it was possible for a suitably large engineering crew to patch a ship faster than it could be killed (so long as supplies lasted). While I will gladly support a bit of a buff to voxel so it becomes relevant outside of sieges, I'd expect that we'd need something more complicated than making the repair crew relevant again if we don't want to risk sliding back in to the previously overlong fights. 

Unfortunately my best ideas for such would involve things like allowing multiple shield-generators on a ship (probably while nerfing individual ones, disallowing script control, allowing only simultaneous venting, and requiring them all to have their resistances kept synchronized to get their combined hp?), or adding other mechanics to ships that need managing and cant be script-controlled, such as an e-war minigame that improves the hit-chances of the weapons on the ship that has its sensors/countermeasures better managed.

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I like the idea, which makes perfect sense. However, I would like to add something to that. Make the building space variable the height is usually not used due to the cube grid. Leave the build space of dynamic xs - l cores only the option to extend the core would be nice. E.g. Shiff needs only 1/3 of the classic core in height -> you stretch the build space in length / or width.

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7 hours ago, Taelessael said:

As I recall, many of those fights dragged on for absurd amounts of time because it was possible for a suitably large engineering crew to patch a ship faster than it could be killed (so long as supplies lasted)

This is why they introduced CCS. Now it doesn't matter how much you repair your elements - your CCS will still run out and you'll be cored even with plenty of voxel left, your core intact, and every element at 100%. So there's a soft limit on voxel tanking, and element tanking isn't broken. Which is good. Fights should be quick. No ship should survive for 30+ minutes with multiple enemies shooting at them.

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12 hours ago, TobiwanKenobi said:

I don't think we should want the old school 'engineer' as a necessary role in battles. People are playing for fun, and the number of people who want to play hold-left-click whackamole will be few. So unless the way people repair elements changes, the shield tanking meta is more fun for everyone. But NQ has already hinted at the addition of a repair weapon, so I can see that being the answer to voxel tanking. If these repair weapons have variants that can either recharge shields or restore voxel and element hp, they would do the job and be more fun.

As for incentivizing multicrew, this shield stability mechanic does do that in part. It rewards the extra mass and volume of more sets of guns. But having all these gunners on one ship still won't be an efficient use of avatars. It will still be better to divide up into separate ships. And it will stay that way until a single avatar can have an equal amount of power as part a multicrew ship as they would by being in a solo ship. The only way that will happen is by making it so that extra players can power up the shield in some way. Because there are only two ways a player can contribute a significant amount of potential to a fight - by manning a gunner seat or by carrying a shield.

The engineer role wasn't just "hold left click" though. In fact a lot of the PvP players in that time (me included) thought it was the most fun role. You had to actively triage to address the most damaged spots and actively plug holes. I think a point and click repair weapon from another ship will be less fun; gunning is already the most braindead role and this is just the same thing.

 

I do not think we should make the extra players power up the shield. Otherwise I'm just going to dump 10 alts on my solo ship.

 

I think all your suggestions are too focused on shield strength. There are other parts to tanking that are underpowered and need addressed. You say there are only 2 ways to contribute, but that is only the state of the current balance. There needs to be more ways to contribute.

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  • 3 months later...

Today I would like to highlight the issue related to section calculations on ships with a highlighting of the various topics that talk about it.
 

The community has been raising this issue for many months or years.
 

Despite the consensus that some things need to be done: Nothing has been done.
 

We have long been in a gloomy silence.
 

I don't mean to insult the NQ devs, I know they work hard.
We have only one culprit on the head within this studio who seems to deliberately block this subject with his only approval and let it be said: he has nothing to do with PvP.
 

We are in a voxel construction game!
 

WE NEED TO USE VOXELS ON OUR SHIPS.
 

Is it that hard to understand ?!

IMG_20221109_225259.png

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