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TEC Balance...

By on May 28, 2008 12:42:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

MINE777

Join Date 05/2008
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We all know that the TEC warships are probably the weakest of all the races.  This is in keeping with the backstory/intro movie for the TEC.  However, these also imply that the TEC catches up in effectivness with the other races as the war goes on.

 

After having played all three races for some time now, I just don't see where the TEC "catches up" in the late game.  In the early to middle game their superior economics can let them have increased production and/or research capacity to compensate for their lack of combat ability.  However, in the late game (particularly when all techs are researched and everyone has fleets) they really have no advantage.  The way I beat the AI at this point is because of the cowardly nature of the AI, not by exploiting an inherent strength in the TEC.  The AI (even on hard) simply flees from worlds instead of making a stand in a hard fight, which lets me roll over worlds until I reach their homeworld, where I can keep them trapped and grind them down over time.  It is no wonder people spam ships as the TEC, that is literally the only realistic strategy and tactic available.

 

I am not calling for the TEC military itself to be improved.  On the contrary, I like them having their own feel.  However, I would like some late-game attribute (perhaps some tech) which, in some way, brings their overall effectivness up to the level of the other races.  I've done a personal tweak to their cap ships (I would have prefered to do this through reasearch, but there is no modifier to perform this).  What I did was raise the maximum amount of squadrons (what they have at level 10) on cap ships by one, and on the Sova Carrier raised the starting number by one as well.  So, the Kol Battleship has 0-3, the Sova Carrier has 3-8, the Akkan Battlecruiser has 1-4, the Dunov Battlecruiser has 1-4, and the Marza Dreadnought has 0-2.  This might seem like a small change, but it has gone a good way to making a high level cap ship almost (but not quite) as good as a similar cap ship from the other races.   In particular, the Sova Carrier has become an effective member of a fleet, but still not as powerful as the other races carriers, especially the Halcyon.  Since the TEC has rapid manufacturing but NO cost savings over the other races, this seems fair to me.  I also increased the fighter capacity of the Hanger Defense by one.  This seemed fair to me, as the Gauss Gun is probably the worst orbital weapon platform in the game.  It seems to be well balanced in testing so far.  The Percheron Light Carrier was left unchanged, as all the carrier frigates are the same in all factions.

 

Anyways, the point of this rambling is that I'm looking for a small scale tweak that brings the TEC up to par in some way in the late game.  I thought perhaps a tech to increase Supply points, to represent the industrial and support capacity inherant in the TEC's theme, but the Vasari already have something like this.

 

I dunno...any thoughts?

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May 28, 2008 1:53:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
When attacking the Vasari late in the game, send a task-force to all their planets at once and knock out their Phase Gates, they like to mass their ships in one Uber-fleet to crush attacks on any of their planets...

It helps if they are your ally too, then you can knock out their entire infrastructure before they can do too much damage...

OOPS, that was just strategy,


Ok, here goes, add some levels to the Shields/Armor/Weapons research
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May 28, 2008 2:55:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Thanks for the tips, but I'm not having trouble winning as TEC. My major concern, I guess, is that they don't really FEEL unique. Their "unique flavor" (high industrial capacity/economic power) doesn't really apply in the late game, so they lose their identity. I suppose if you could spam ships more effectivly in the late game as the TEC...but the best spammer in the late game is actually the Vasari with the Phase Gates (they can get their replacement forces to the front very quickly). I could increase the number of tech levels available to the TEC, but I worry that would over-power them in the late game. Upgrade research can be a hairy beast to deal with.

For instance, adding the little bit more fighters doesn't overpower them (in fact, they are still a bit under-powered) but it does give them a unique feel. It also fits with the theme of them having been traders (imagine cargo bays refitted as fighter bays, etc). I would have prefered to have added this as an additional research task (Converted Cargo Bays), but there doesn't seem to be a modifier that will let me do that.

Anyways, I'm going to play around with the TEC fleet weapon loadout a bit more. I'm wondering how it will play if I diversify their ships a bit. For instance, change the Flak Frigate in to an Escort frigate by replacing its two front flak guns with anti-ship missiles (think short range heavy missiles, not long range ones like the Javelis). Maybe add some minor flak weapons to the cap ships (but less powerful than the flak frigate). That kind of stuff, to make their ships feel like they have to fill multiple roles, but don't really excell at a particular role like the more specialized races. They would have been developed this way because of the TEC's limited military technology and resources.



As an aside, completely off topic:

Samantha Carter: Smart + sexy = Uber Hawt
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May 28, 2008 6:29:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Maybe you could increase the percentage in teh tech tree so every research that they do end up looking into means and is worth more in the end? Just a thought hope it helps.

Also before i forget, like the idea of adding something to the flak frigates. Hopefully that idea would allow them to defend themselves more against other frigates lol.

Flux
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May 28, 2008 8:00:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Well, there should be a few specialized ships. I think they tried to inject a little uniqueness into the TEC, when they included the robotics cruiser, but I find that underpowered, and therefore, useless.

I do agree with adding some more tech, but instead of more levels of tech (giving them more than the other two races), let them advance faster with fewer levels of research. As the above said best:

"Research can be a hairy beast to deal with."

Doing just in the way of research would be ineffective, as well, as I usually don't upgrade my research 100%. Ship characteristics should be changed, too. TEC has to be unique in some good way!


Aside from all this, has anyone else think that the reason we put so much emphasis on these things with TEC is because the TEC are the only true human faction in the game? I know I almost never played with Zerg in StarCraft.

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May 28, 2008 10:16:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I always play humans in StarCraft. I like the other races, but...I just have to follow my heart, and my heart calls out for GUNS!
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May 28, 2008 10:36:20 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
im not very experienced IMO so this might be completely off but i feel the TEC's main focus is on economy...but this doesnt matter so much in the late game when it becomes usable because by the end everyone is churning out things at blidingly fast rates

the TEC's lore also does not follow lots of research because who cares about research when youve got peace, money, and fun? One thing i think that will help with the TEC is another DEDICATED war ship like the Kol. If they've been in war 10 years, they could only come up with one dedicated war capitalship? the idea of varrying weapons and more strikecraft seem to fit in with the TEC theme too
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May 29, 2008 12:54:23 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
whats funny is
the Vasari due to better cheaper research can get a better resource econ early game then TEC......
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May 29, 2008 1:25:42 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I think that second dedicated warship should be the Sova Carrier, but I find it to be the weakest of the three capship carriers.

Yeah, Vasari get both their resource havesting boosts in one research path, rather than two, and also have access to Refineries and Trade Ports. They give the TEC a run for their money in resource generation even in the late game.
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May 29, 2008 8:38:51 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Increasing the worth of the percentage group in a researchable item may also add weight to TEC staying ahead of the vasari early and late game.

Increasing all cap ships with more fighter/bombers to bring them on par with the vasari and advent cap ships.

The TEC should also be easier to set up there economies seeing how the war thats taking place is in TEC controlled territory for which the TEC have been in control of for decades if not centuries!

Just some thoughts.

Flux
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May 29, 2008 10:24:55 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Actually TECS real problem isnt weak caps.

Majority of the caps are GOOD they have higher armor then the other races so they default out to ABOUT even due to reduced damage shield/health regen.

But early on.. they take ALOT longer to clear a system.. an example Advent and Vasari colonly caps can kill pirates faster then a TEC KHOL.

.....
Better econ..... slower start....
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May 30, 2008 6:06:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
I feel the TEC need some uniqueness to them. The TEC are humans, really, and we all know humans love guns. If you were to replace the laser research and lasers on all TEC ships with autocannons that would add to uniqueness. TEC need to fire fast with their autocannons, like in WLD's mod where it is a full-auto spray. Having constantly firing instead of burst firing ships would add uniqueness. Energy weapons generate heat that needs to dissipate, causing cooldowns, whereas TEC autocannons and Gauss cannons generate almost none, allowing for a faster fire rate.

If TEC were an all missile/gun race with rapid firing weapons, they would be unique. All other races burst-fire weapons, so full auto would definitely separate the TEC from them. Abilities that increase fire rate and range for guns such as Precision Machined Barrels for range and Automated Reloading Systems for fire rate would be good. A very TEC ship would be an anti-capital capital, an old-school battleship with turrets, like in WWII, but until turrets can rotate, its impossible to do. But all races have something that is unique to them. The Advent are plasma/beam, the Vasari are phase/pulse, and the TEC being guns/missiles would definitely set them apart.

As far I can tell, TEC and ballistics are what make them unique, except ballistics aren't used enough. All other races have showy effects when they fire, TEC have none. However, having full-auto weapons would definitely be showy as it exemplifies the TEC and their desperation in the three-sided fight. They are fighting for their homes, and they will never stop. Having weapons that never stop sounds good as well, doesn't it? If you reduce damage per shot by an appropriate amount, then everything will remain balanced, and the TEC get their unique, showy effects.
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May 30, 2008 11:52:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
make full auto weaps a special ability that drains antimatter. otherwise i would never play tec again for the annoying gun sounds that are constantly firing.
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June 5, 2008 3:42:34 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
erm, Mute SFX?

Here's the thing, a full autocannon arsenal would SEVERELY limit TEC's power. They need lasers and other high-tech weapons to stay in the game.

A point of uniqueness would be the type of tech they get. Here's what I equate it to:

Indians - Tomahawks, melee weapons

British - Muskets, long-range (at the time) weapons.

Both really dangerous, but the reason for developing weapons system that was is because of their origins:

The Brits, having access to gunpowder from China and actually liking to cut trees down, eventually came up with a ranged weapon that shoots things.

The Indians, being mostly isolated, developed weapons that simply made sense; Pointy rock + head = hurt.

So, there should be some evidence of TEC's upbringings, and they should be able to stay in the game,
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June 6, 2008 5:44:27 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums
Well, DEC, the other races are very energy based. Being ballistics based differentiates the TEC a lot. As it is now most of their ships already use ballistic weapons as their primaries. Besides, what is wrong with big guns? To differentiate TEC further all of their ballistics could have a small chance to bypass shields (maybe .5% a shot, individual projectiles deal very little damage to maintain balanced DPS), as well as being full auto. Burst firing gets boring to look at after a while, especially when the weapon is called an AUTOcannon. Like I said above ballistics generate comparatively little heat compared to lasers, plasma, beams, and other energy weapons and that allows them to fire as long as they have ammo.

Having a fleet constantly attacking would look cool, and reduce the somewhat boring battles we have now, which consist of little actual maneuvering or brilliant effects. Too many battles consist of attacking one ship in their fleet and repeating until finished. And since all ships fire bursts, it just becomes a battle of who can deliver the bigger broadside, with fleets just standing there. With ships going full auto on enemies, it really adds to the experience of the game with the space between the fleets constantly filled with stuff. With this, a TEC vs. TEC battle would just be epic with all the crap constantly flying between them.
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