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13Clocks

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Reply with quote  #1 
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but...

Having looked at the specs for TSN and Ximni ships, the Ximni ones seem so overpowered compared to the TSN that I'm struggling to work out why the Ximni aren't in charge.  From the wiki, a Ximni ship has a 50% boost to jump drive but only a 20% loss to warp compared to the TSN equivalent.  They have the same torpedo equipment, but the Ximni ships have more beams, spread out over a wider area.  The Ximni Light Cruiser beam setup looks more like a high-level Skaraan than a TSN Light Cruiser, and I know that if I met one in battle I would never even think of taking my ship in close.  On paper at least, the Ximni should be more effective in battle than the TSN.

Also, looking at the history, the TSN continually seems to be struggling to catch up.  Their response to the introduction of the Ximni battleship was to build the Gungnir.  In other words, they responded to the enemy fielding a whole class of new ships by building a single prototype, the existence of which is still something of a secret.  It would appear to me that the Ximni, by all accounts, should have absolutely wiped the floor with the TSN.

What am I missing?
notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #2 

It may be set that way due to how much you use warp (almost 100% of the time) Vs how much you use jump (only when jumping) to balance it out.  I haven't done enough side by side comparisons of propulsion energy consumption to really compare the two, but I do know that Ximni ships with warp drives are crazy gas hogs as it is, I cant imagine what it would be like if it were double+ to what it currently is.

Ximni ships have....odd beam arcs. The Ximni scout is pretty much the same as the TSN Scout. The Light Cruiser has weird beam arcs, but it has the same range as the TSN beams, they just have a bit more coverage. Both of those ship do identical damage to a similar TSN ship and the additional arc coverage on a light cruiser isnt really game breaking. The Ximni ships in general also focus more on coverage than TSN ships, because as jump ships they are less "nimble" than TSN ships. Basically, if a TSN (warp drive) ship didnt get its beams lined up they can just warp away and try it again, its a little tougher than that for a Ximni jump ship that can only move at impulse. The Ximni Battleship and Ximni Dreadnought both have more beams and longer beam ranges, but they do about 40% of the damage that a standard TSN beam does. Generally this means that it will still take longer to take out a target, however if you have a slick gunner on manual and your engineer cranks up beams, the beams are BRUTAL; though again, it is a gas hog (firing beams that fast AND having an inefficient warp takes its toll).

Also; Keep in mind the TSN already had a battleship. If the TSN created the Juggernaut in response to the Ximni creating their own Battleships, it seems like the Ximni were playing catch-up to the TSN and the TSN responded by making something ridiculously huge and powerful.

*Edit*though in re-reading the wiki it does pretty specifically say that it was in response to battleship and that the TSN "scrambled to build it, soo...


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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #3 
Remember that I wrote that page of the wiki (and many others), it isn't canon.

My take on the Ximni is that if you use Jump drive as intended, the limitation in the movement speed will offset the advantage of greater beam arc width and, in the case of the Battleship, range. The Battleship NEEDS that range, because it can't keep all four beams on target like the TSN Battleship can with Warp maneuvers. Jump is EXTREMELY inexact, and the Battleship doesn't have the thrust to keep up with Skaraans and other enemies at high difficulty levels.

All other ships have the same DPS, even if they have better firing arcs. So in theory, they can't do any MORE damage than their TSN counterparts. Any advantage the Ximni may have lies in the TSN ships being unable to maneuver fast enough to keep their beams on target. Which a good crew should be able to do. I'll also note the Ximni Carrier does seem to be lighter and faster than its TSN counterpart, and can bring both beams to bear, but it has a blind spot in the back.

The only clearly overpowered Ximni ship to my mind is the Battleship, and that's solely because their beams have quadruple the fire rate for only half the damage, resulting in twice the DPS. I'm not sure what Thom was thinking, because this is a clear advantage. However, I'll point out that four times the fire rate means the Ximni Battleship uses four times the energy for its beams, meaning you pay for that fire power with energy.

The problem really comes up when you outfit a Ximni ship with Warp Drive. The Ximni ships then have better firing arcs AND Warp maneuvers, which takes away the TSN advantage. Even though the cost for Warp is greater, you still get the advantage of the firing arcs. But I suspect Thom weighed the Warp costs with that in mind. The TSN has bad efficiency with Jump Drive because they're not SUPPOSED to use Jump Drive, it's not native to their race.

In in-universe terms, I think my post on the wiki makes sense. The Ximni were pretty much an unknown to the early TSN, and when they first met, they were neutral to each other. It didn't really matter that the Ximni had better beam designs, and they all had Jump Drive anyway. (The Ximni only gained the ability to refit their ships for Warp drive after the Ximni civil wars) Once the TSN and the Ximni went to war, the TSN quickly learned they were at a disadvantage and came out with the Juggernaut. Of course, as notsabbat suggested, the Ximni could have designed their Battleship in response to the superiority of TSN Battleships.

Finally, I will point out that Thom has never been concerned about balance. The Battleship has always been far more powerful than the Light Cruiser and Missile Cruiser, and the Dreadnaught was only slightly weaker. With the addition of fighters, the Dreadnought took over as the "best" ship. The addition of the Ximni just raised that bar yet again. The Pirate ships all seem to be designed around taking Cruiser-class ships and making them lighter and faster (even the Brigantine is more a heavily armed Light Carrier than a Dreadnaught) but maybe if a new race is introduced we'll get a new flagship.
Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #4 
When the Ximni first appeared at Artemis Armada II people tried them in various PVP battles, including the climactic battle Saturday night. It turns out the Ximni dreadnought could be killed by any TSN ship within a few minutes. In PVP combat, warp drive is a huge advantage over jump drive. Warp driven ships are pretty much immune to torpedoes.

As long as the TSN players keep their ships at a high warp speed nothing can touch them, not even mines or space monsters or black holes.

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #5 
I'll also point out that manual targeting would be a good tactic against player ships, except the Artemis software does not allow manual targeting against player ships.
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MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
When the Ximni first appeared at Artemis Armada II people tried them in various PVP battles, including the climactic battle Saturday night. It turns out the Ximni dreadnought could be killed by any TSN ship within a few minutes. In PVP combat, warp drive is a huge advantage over jump drive. Warp driven ships are pretty much immune to torpedoes.

As long as the TSN players keep their ships at a high warp speed nothing can touch them, not even mines or space monsters or black holes.


Maybe this is why the Ximni started adapting some of their ships to use a warp drive (as inefficient as it may be) - they're really good at making jump drives, but they get trounced in a dogfight.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
When the Ximni first appeared at Artemis Armada II people tried them in various PVP battles, including the climactic battle Saturday night. It turns out the Ximni dreadnought could be killed by any TSN ship within a few minutes. In PVP combat, warp drive is a huge advantage over jump drive. Warp driven ships are pretty much immune to torpedoes.

As long as the TSN players keep their ships at a high warp speed nothing can touch them, not even mines or space monsters or black holes.


Yeah, the reason the TSN dominates the other races isn't because of their beams, or Nukes, or advanced shields, or any other offensive or defensive system. It is the ability to use Warp in combat. The Skaraans are the only other race that can use Warp in combat, and they are limited to Warp 1, and only in short bursts. Just the ability to use warp at any time, with no limitations, gives a huge advantage in both PvE and PvP.

It's a bit late to do something like Star Trek: Bridge Crew, where there has to be a period of "warm up" before a ship can Warp. But that's been suggested before. Maybe it could be added as an option to the PvP setup.

notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'm running an RP based Artemis campaign and my fluff for the game is that FTL is super common, it's just not accurate. All the races can go into FTL and get CLOSE to their target, just not right on top of it. That's why the TAC always come into a sector with impulse, they warped in, regrouped and invaded. I stressed that it was an insanely baddass thing that the TSN could use some of the power of their warp drive in such percise ways.

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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra


Yeah, the reason the TSN dominates the other races isn't because of their beams, or Nukes, or advanced shields, or any other offensive or defensive system. It is the ability to use Warp in combat. The Skaraans are the only other race that can use Warp in combat, and they are limited to Warp 1, and only in short bursts. Just the ability to use warp at any time, with no limitations, gives a huge advantage in both PvE and PvP.


If the Artemis software ever takes PvP seriously then the first problem to solve will be the interaction between Warp Drive and every weapon in the game. Ironically the only things that threaten a PC warp ship are Skaraan tractor beams and Space Dragons, both of which temporarily nullify Warp Drive, but they only matter when they hold a player ship in a dangerous spot (enemy fleet, minefield, space monster).

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
Ironically the only things that threaten a PC warp ship are Skaraan tractor beams and Space Dragons,


??? Do you mean Charybdis, or does the Space Dragon have an ability I've never noticed before?

Charybdis + Space Dragon may = dead Warp ship
Charybdis + Classic Monster definitely = dead Warp ship

I'll also note that while Torpedos seem to move at about Warp 0.5, Beams definitely move at high Warp speeds. One could theorize that range in the game is logarithmic or a "warp bubble" extends around the ship, but either way Beams are definitely not lasers.

13Clocks

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra
Charybdis + Classic Monster definitely = dead Warp ship.


Not necessary. My crew and I recently experimented with baiting a Charybdis. It turned out to be a fairly effective way of getting out of difficult situations. If you can get within range of its teleport and hit it with a torpedo or beam, you may well find yourself out of the range of the monster. Warp 1 would be sufficient for this of the monster were directly behind you.
notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #12 
Space Dragons can bite into the ship and carry it in its mouth, thereby incapacitating it.
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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsabbat
Space Dragons can bite into the ship and carry it in its mouth, thereby incapacitating it.


Ah. I've never tried to use Warp to escape from a Space Dragon, but I'm fairly sure I was unable to escape using Impulse, so that makes sense.

I was thinking more along the lines of being unable to Warp while in the area, so a Space Dragon can catch you. Of course, being limited to Warp 1 by a Charybdis could do that...

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra


??? Do you mean Charybdis, or does the Space Dragon have an ability I've never noticed before?

Charybdis + Space Dragon may = dead Warp ship


I don't think this equation works because neither of these monsters does any significant damage. All the Charybdis can do is make nebulae which restrict player movement to Warp One. Warp One can still be very fast if Engineering puts 300% power in the warp drive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra

Charybdis + Classic Monster definitely = dead Warp ship


For the aforementioned reason, a player ship with 300% power in the warp drive can outrun a Classic Monster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra

I'll also note that while Torpedos seem to move at about Warp 0.5, Beams definitely move at high Warp speeds. One could theorize that range in the game is logarithmic or a "warp bubble" extends around the ship, but either way Beams are definitely not lasers.


Beam weapons can hit a target moving at warp speed, but they don't have enough range to keep it up for long. In practice I've never seen a player ship destroyed by beam weapons while warping. if beam weapons could manually target the warp drive the story would end differently.


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Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsabbat
Space Dragons can bite into the ship and carry it in its mouth, thereby incapacitating it.


Notsabbat is right. If a Space Dragon has a player ship in its mouth then that player ship cannot warp. It is vulnerable to EMPs and mines and nukes and Classic Monsters and all manner of destructive nastiness.

I believe both the Skaraan tractor beam and the Dragon's bite last for 60 seconds. A warp driven player ship is vulnerable for that long.

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