Ship rebalance and design

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Coltrane
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Joined: Fri, 30. Nov 18, 20:37

Ship rebalance and design

Post by Coltrane » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 15:24

In this thread I try to summarize the most important points of ship design and rebalancing.

Ship rebalance and design are major issues in a spaship sim. I feel that this is currently one of the main aspects limiting long-term enjoyment of the sandbox gameplay. I'm aware that this rebalance will also have to include fraction specific ship features and weapon balance and that this will take more time and work (and love ;)). Nevertheless, I found some very good links on ship rebalance. They quite nicely summarize single aspects of the current main issues. Thus, I would like to collect and summarize them in this thread. I hope that the devs (thanks to you at this point) will consider these points:
(also added to the "Issues, Problems, Bugs" list in https://www.egosoft.com:8444/confluence ... ms%2C+Bugs, to promote this page. Seems useful to funnel and summarize!)


Rebalance
-
  • Paranid ships are totally OP because of their huge speed bonus - viewtopic.php?f=146&t=408133&p=4795428& ... e#p4795428
    For example, their frigates are faster than other fraction's fighters. Also speed bonus on trade ships are just an obvious game changer for now (without a proper cargo space decrease).

    -
  • Overall balance seems off - https://www.reddit.com/r/X4Foundations/ ... rgon_ship/
    This reddit discussion features a very interesting table (thanks to marcopennekamp), containing some basic number crunching, to compare X3 and X4 ships.
    X3 is quite nicely balanced, where each ship has it's purpose. X4 seems currently totally unbalanced. Some quotes which pretty nicely sum up the main points:
    There has been a lot of talk about combat balance for large ships. Some players have even managed to destroy a capital ship with a single fighter. So are large ships weaker compared to X3? Is this a byproduct of the turret tracking bug and flawed shield regeneration, or a symptom of a larger systemic issue in X4's balancing?
    (see the link for more detailed infos)
    In X3, it seems that ships controlled by the player could reliably handle ships up to one size class larger, but would find it much harder when dealing with ships two size classes larger. [...] An interceptor should not have a chance against a frigate.

    I really loved that aspect, making the progress from one ship size to the next so much of an exciting upgrade. Maybe it was a bit too pronounced in X3 but seeing an S ship destroying a capital ship in X4, I really want to stress points.
    It feels like the overall power curve across the spectrum of ships and classes is much flatter than in previous games.
    Nothing seems to have much staying power and a dozen defense drones are probably capable of killing anything in the game right now
    Keep in mind that x4 also do not have flak weapons, which means fighters are significantly stronger in this game than x3. The effective gap between hp of a m4 and m2 is more drastic when you consider the various flak cannons you had that allows a m7 or better to chew through entite swarms of fighters.
    I find this very true, especially for the player ship being able to destroy any other ship with tactics and time.
    + This was partly resolved by turrets actually hitting something.
    - Turret's damage buff, rendering them too weak. (e.g. Nemesis having huge damage advantage for its front weapons).
    - No Flak or AoE cannons (well yes, missiles but I miss the cool Flak weapons, e.g. on a flak frigate, chewing through fighters *BOOM**BOOM* :P ) (I haven't tried the shotgun/shard cannon yet though. Does it actually hit anything?)

    FYI: if you want to do some additional number crunching, here are some handy links:

    Tables for shields, engines, weapons, missiles, ships and wares by user "Max Bain":
    -> X-forum thread: viewtopic.php?f=181&t=408289
    -> direct link to the data tables: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1628918353

    List of Ships and Ship Specifications by user "bozo64r":
    -> X-forum thread: viewtopic.php?f=146&t=403390
    -> direct link to the data tables: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... edit#gid=0

    -
  • Drones are on par with S class ships
    Nothing seems to have much staying power and a dozen defense drones are probably capable of killing anything in the game right now
    Drones being OP was already a problem in X3. Currently, they are are more or less competing with or even replacing the S class entirely. What I would suggest: drones should only really serve the purpose of cannon fodder and a stinging annoyance (with small size and little hull, like a swarm of bees) to maybe fence of some scouts and single small fighter vessels, e.g. for freighters, stations and as a close-distance annoyance for capital ships (which might even use them as cannonball projectiles in combination with their catapult start system to in-your-face annoying little scout pilots that try to get too close to them). They could be countered for example with the shard cannon or some other small calibre AoE weapon. Their design, numbers and AI could be kept at a very basic level to not suck too much CPU power, e.g. small non-newtonian pixel boxes or so :roll: :mrgreen:
    Real dogfighting should be done only by at least S fighters (having shields). I see the point of time-consuming replacement of expendable S fighters but that already got a lot better in X4. I think this could actually be solved by adding the feature to add them x-times to the shopping list in shipyards or even easier: by automatic docking and restocking of capital ships at a shipyard and buying them in bulk, like wares.

    -
  • Capital ships are underwhelming - viewtopic.php?f=146&t=407588&hilit=ship+rebalance
    Here's another thread from the X-forum about why capital ships are disappointing. User "pittlebelge" quite nicely sums it up (see link for full discussion):
    What I'd love is to see the capitals exchanging shots 50 or 100 km apart with swarms of fighters and corvettes buzzing in the middle and mid-weight in support.
    That would be awesome! Getting involved in a dogfight in the sh*tstorm between the battle-galleons, one gets randomly insta-gibbed by some huge-a$$ projectile (bigger than a small fighter), facemelting you away like a fly. I'm totally serious, would add some "realism". The huge-a$$ projectile could have a long recharge rate, e.g. 10 seconds or so (also to reduce CPU load)

    -

Design
-
  • Fleets and wingmen
    Fleets, wingmen and drones are currently basically unusable with the missing travel speed matching.

    -
  • Launching and docking of ships and drones are WAY too slow
    Having to launch and dock each drone at a time...I literally just sold all of them after sitting through that procedure ONCE :shock: :mrgreen: . I don't know how this works with carriers and actual ships but I guess it's the same problem. This paired with the above mentioned lack of travel speed defies the usage of any player-associated fleet, except maybe for out-of-sector patrol.
    -> A catapult start system or surface docking to speed up the process without this packaging mechanism would solve this problem. What sense does it make for this docking platform plus storage room to take up half of the frigates size anyways, just to have a packaging? Totally unrealistic. In reality, one would just dock it externally.
    -> maybe smaller and weaker combat drones that just get pumped through a pipe and sucked up through this? (Doesn't need to be fancy...but functional.)

    -
  • Aesthetics
    I know this point is very disputable and simply a matter of personal preference. Still, I would like to mention it:
    - Anyone else thinks the Gorgon and Cerberus look like a clog/pantofle shoe or a sandwich? :mrgreen: I think they should get a major coolness overhaul (including a general removal of the oversized landing/packaging system for small fighters, replacing them with an external docking anchorage system for fast deployment. I hate them "turtle-ing in" the single fighter using up half a minute to deploy it instead of leaving it on the landing pad for fast takeoff :gruebel: ). Especially as many players will end up using a them or other frigates/corvettes as playership, being mid-sized ships with reasonable speed and dishing out some heavy hitting.
    - Teladi ships all look the same and like some kind of jellyfish...or a ripped out body opening (I leave it to your imagination which one).


All these points are clearly work-in-progress. To end this post I also want to say my great thanks to the devs for making such an awesome game. It's already a good game "foundation" with lots of potential!
Keep up the good work and I'm sure this will become the best X-game and even best space sim of all!

I hope I could give some good inputs to open a discussion. I'm looking forward to hear what you think: What are your experiences so far? Do you agree? Do you disagree? In which points?
I will also try to integrate feedback and additional points into this first "main post" for visibility and overview.
Last edited by Coltrane on Mon, 17. Dec 18, 19:38, edited 87 times in total.

battou
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Joined: Mon, 19. Aug 13, 15:05
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by battou » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 15:28

+1

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Val Comdriver
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by Val Comdriver » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:02

Coltrane wrote:
Mon, 17. Dec 18, 15:24
- ship and drone deployment and recovery are WAY WWWAAAAAYYYY too slow. Having to launch and dock each drone at a time...I just sold all of them. I don't know how this works with carriers and actual ships but I guess it's the same problem.
Bought 8 defense and 2 repair drones for my cerberus. that pirate I was fighting with died same time as 3rd drone was launched. by the time all 8 of them was deployed they decided to dock back. somewhere on docking of my 2nd drone another pirate attacked me but all 8 drones have to dock and block my view..
yes please, make them use a system like trading cargo drones on stations, leave landing pads only for ships.

Ghalador
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Joined: Sat, 9. Nov 02, 20:33
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by Ghalador » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:10

"There has been a lot of talk about combat balance for large ships. Some players have even managed to destroy a capital ship with a single fighter. So are large ships weaker compared to X3? Is this a byproduct of the turret tracking bug and flawed shield regeneration, or a symptom of a larger systemic issue in X4's balancing?"

Completely messed up it is! Destroyed two capital ships in a tiny grasshopper so far.
One of them - a Xenon Destroyer - did not have one single gun (left?) when i got to him. He was completely helpless.
Have fun: Gala Do.

DeFragMe
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed, 12. Dec 18, 17:20
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by DeFragMe » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:21

Val Comdriver wrote:
Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:02
Coltrane wrote:
Mon, 17. Dec 18, 15:24
- ship and drone deployment and recovery are WAY WWWAAAAAYYYY too slow. Having to launch and dock each drone at a time...I just sold all of them. I don't know how this works with carriers and actual ships but I guess it's the same problem.
Bought 8 defense and 2 repair drones for my cerberus. that pirate I was fighting with died same time as 3rd drone was launched. by the time all 8 of them was deployed they decided to dock back. somewhere on docking of my 2nd drone another pirate attacked me but all 8 drones have to dock and block my view..
yes please, make them use a system like trading cargo drones on stations, leave landing pads only for ships.
that actually was what i thought the "USB Ports" on my collosus where for... i was kind of disapointed when only the cargo drones went through them and the defensedrones where still just blocking all the landin pads for S sized ships..

R_Romach_R
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Joined: Fri, 23. Feb 18, 17:38
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by R_Romach_R » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:42

Coltrane wrote:
Mon, 17. Dec 18, 15:24

I know this point is very disputable and simply a matter of personal preference. Still, I would like to mention it:
- Anyone else thinks the Nemesis and Cerberus look like a clog/pantofle shoe or a sandwich?


You mean Gorgon and Cerberus? Cause Nemessis is cool and doesn't have any landing pods.

Coltrane
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri, 30. Nov 18, 20:37

Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by Coltrane » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:58

R_Romach_R wrote:
Mon, 17. Dec 18, 16:42
You mean Gorgon and Cerberus? Cause Nemessis is cool and doesn't have any landing pods.
Yes, you are right. Thanks for pointing that out, I already corrected it. Yeah, the Nemesis is cool! 8)

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mr.WHO
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Re: Ship rebalance and design

Post by mr.WHO » Mon, 17. Dec 18, 19:13

Looking at most of the ships stats - 95% of them are carbon copies for each ship/faction across the type - they don't feel "flat", they feel like pre-balance templates.

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