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woodat

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Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #16 
I gave your artemis.ini a spin a week or so ago.  You're definitely on to something, though I'd say it still needs some tweaking/playbalancing.  Here's my impressions

The Good
  • It was liberating not having to watch one's energy all the time.  It actually felt like we could actually behave as a starship, not a puppy on a station's leash.  I especially enjoyed being able to actually order a ship across the map without having to worry about getting somewhere without ever being able to do anything, or constantly having to stop combat early because we'd have to run home again and again.  It did lead to more exciting combat.
  • Torpedoes are actually valuable again!  not just the existing compliment we don't have to save as batteries anymore, but also the fact we usually picked up some energy along the way, meaning we could manufacture more torpedoes as needed.
The Bad
  • For smaller scale maps, it did reduce the difficulty drastically.  We could crank the game up to difficulty 10-11 and double the enemy speeds/shields/weapons/whatnot and still have enough firepower to take them in time before they wiped all the stations in siege/single/double front missions.  
  • There were times when it felt like we had "too much energy".  While I was very thankful it didn't really drop during transit, I would have expected shield regenerating and up-powered blasters to suck more of it away.

Thoughts/recommendations
  • Perhaps tweak it a little so weapons and shields drain more away.  
  • Running with shields up drains more energy, encouraging they be kept down except when needed.

But I suppose this also gets to other areas of playbalance as well.  If I were balancing this game I'd make the weapons more deadly, the frequency system more critical (as in the weapons do far less unless you're on the right frequency), warp harder to go into (more tractor beams/weapons that stop warp), and engineering have more effect on shield and engine strength.  That way when you enter combat you commit to it, rather than the endless long-range frequency-meaningless hit-and-run we seem to have now.

*adds playbalance experimentation to his list of things to do this weekend*
Xavier Wise

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Posts: 1,141
Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the feedback about the changes to energy!

It does make a massive difference to the way you can move about the system, and not be restricted to going from one star base to another, as well as the way you can use homing torpedoes and not just have them as glorified, explosive batteries. We've really enjoyed operating far from bases in our games, or moving across multiple maps using the Sandbox to explore regions and conduct patrols. Just being able to travel around at Warp 2 across a system that is 5x5 and get to our destination with 800 energy still in the tanks has been brilliant.

Making things easier was something that concerned us. We use a lot of heavier ships in our mod, and play numerous GM missions. The GMs are particularly good at giving us difficult situations to deal with, like attacking from two different directions, or tying up ships and then sending in an elite behind the lines. We did boost energy use for shields and weapon systems to a higher value, but perhaps even higher would be suitable. 

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Cmdr Feil

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #18 
Something my crew and I have been wanting since we started to play the game is for the engines of all the different ships to feel like engines, not big batteries.
Xavier is right, by changing the torpedo values to be something for the enemies to fear then you are more likely to go back to a station to rearm. This could go further by removing the "energy to torp" option. If you can only get them from a station then you don't have a choice.

After playing XCOM 2 I had a bright idea on something else the previous idea could be used in consort with.
While the ship is at 100% power usage for all systems but is idle, the power wouldn't drop and would climb at a noticeable rate, say 10 or more a second if below 100%. If you were at full impulse or warp 1 it might fluctuate. When you start experiencing a combat situation then you see a drain. None of this is too out of the ordinary.

The new idea is that the Dam Con teams be replaced with Engineers/Engineering Teams.
They would still repair the ship but maybe with a different interface, the difference being that whatever room the Engineer is in, say Beam Control, that room uses energy more efficiently. Particularly when that system is overclocked. So you'd have three Engineers and you are moving them from systems that are overclocked and need to be more efficient two damaged systems to repair.
And if you need to keep those systems overclocked, then you are going to burning energy while their isn't an Engineer to take care of it.

Once the battle is over this give and take leading to more energy consumed his balanced out by engines that replenish their energy stores quickly and the need to rearm at a station.
And if things were bad enough in the middle of combat, you might have needed to turn some torps to energy. Making rearming that much more important.

Another reason to have station's importance balanced against a ship that can produce it's own power, is you could have a ship unable to do complete repairs with out the resources of a station. A ship only has so much spare parts after all.

I look forward to feedback on my thoughts and ideas.
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