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Novalith Cannon / Super-Weapons

By on June 16, 2012 8:43:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Kasseopea

Join Date 06/2012
+1

Well, played Diplomacy for a while and was quite happy to see a new SotSE come out (though i was expecting better graphics from the screenshots, its still awesome).

 

Now i started a small skirmish as Advent vs AI and have TEC as opponent. My fleet has 7 Caps and the Titan. They overpower any force TEC can throw at me, but then it just built 2 Novalith Cannons and started bombing me from his most distant planets. Logically most of my planets or asteroids gone 1-hit-kill.

 

Could anyone explain it to me? Advent can build a pew-pew with religion, which takes about 5 minutes and a week to overthrow a planet and even then it can easily be countered by one or two reli-buildings, but TEC just shot once and the planet is gone.

Im not whining about imbalance, since im plowing through Vasari and TEC alike without loosing one ship, but it seems rather strange, that in a game with such slow travel speed, there are weapons which are able to simply completely nuke ones economy in half an hour.

Whats the point of playing then? TEC builds defense, then Super-Weapon, win???

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June 16, 2012 8:47:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

the NC has been imbalanced since beta. it should be removed from the game and be replaced with something else. there is no way this weapon will fit into the game, ever. 

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June 16, 2012 9:50:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Raw, the Novalith isn't OP by any means.  In fact, it too can be countered, though in the case of the Novalith, by Auxiliary Government or the racial equivalent.  Now, you can say, "But it's so expensive to do that!" to which I respond saying that there are economic possibilities with starbases.  All races have trade ports plus something else.  TEC actually has two levels of trade ports, Advent has culture, and Vasari have Colony Pods.  Oh, and Planetary Shields, Hardened Cities, and Fortification Specialists will also all deal with the damage to the planet.

The ability to nuke planets actually has almost nothing to do with its power.  The real reason why its useful at all is it drastically reduces the income from that planet for an extended period (both trade and tax).  

Novas are strategic weapons with a small tactical element to them, yet people never note the strategic parts while only noting and claiming the tactical component is OP even though its not.  Beyond that, the devs added a superweapon cap just because some SP couldn't defend themselves against it.

 

As for the DE, it is widely agreed upon as the weakest superweapon because culture centers counter it so easily.  That said, you have to consider that it helps the Advent fight in their culture and also gives a 25% boost to damage for all friendly ships in the gravity well.  For the AL in particular, this makes them quite powerful and much more difficult to kill.

That said, its still kinda UP, so people have made suggestions for things like making it capture the culture centers in the enemy well.  There was actually a lot of discussion on this before the Vasari were added (and with them, a slew of significantly more problematic balance issues).

 

If you want to talk about the most powerful superweapon, there's only one option left, the Kostura Cannon.  Sure, the disable isn't as useful against economies as the Novalith, but it is the most tactical of the superweapons and is far more powerful in a game, particularly when used by the VR or when playing with capital victory.  You see, beyond the disable, it does something else: it creates a phase node.  That means that you can jump your entire fleet to that planet and wipe it and surrounding rear-world eco planets out with minimal resistance.

 

OP, the TL aren't the strongest race by any means.  In fact, they're one of the weaker ones and seldom played on MP because the Novalith isn't all it's cracked up to be, particularly since the superweapon cap.  The TL turtle and build superweapons to soften their enemies.  Against a player who knows how to defend against it (just upgrade your planets' health for starters or build starbases), it really isn't hard to take the blows.  You just have to know how to take them.

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June 16, 2012 10:19:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Well, i seriously dont know how to raise the defense by 40%, because an asteroid has a max of 2500 life and Nova deals 3500 dmg. Ok, Hardened Cities - that would be 15%. And Starbases? Srsly? It would mean i have to place a Starbase on all of my planets. Even then, it only means that they survive one or two hits more, so the enemy has simply to fire 2-3 slugs instead of one simultaneously.

I guess there is some balance, but im must be very unexperienced, since i see none. You have nukes in Starcraft and Earth 2160 aswell, but at least it actually takes some effort and lots of money to fire them, risking to get overrun due to low-funded defense on your site, while its extremely cheap in SotSE and you can build them on the run.

Once there is one on the most distant planet, i dont see how Advent could take it out, unless they are facecharging through the enemy fleet, and loosing half of the ships that way.

 

Is there an option to disable Super-Weapons completely?

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June 16, 2012 10:26:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Go to the gameplay.constant.

Find this line.

maxNumberOfCannonsPerPlayer 4

Change the 4 to 0.

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June 16, 2012 10:29:28 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Ryat,
Go to the gameplay.constant.

Find this line.

maxNumberOfCannonsPerPlayer 4

Change the 4 to 0.

 

thx^^

 

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June 16, 2012 10:41:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Can't you research planetary shields, or max out out the planetary emergency response. When I have those the cannon takes more than 2 hits to destroy a planet even the smaller asteroids.

By that time I would have figured where the enemy is firing from, and take out those cannons.  

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June 16, 2012 10:49:08 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Kasseopea,
Well, i seriously dont know how to raise the defense by 40%, because an asteroid has a max of 2500 life and Nova deals 3500 dmg. Ok, Hardened Cities - that would be 15%. And Starbases? Srsly? It would mean i have to place a Starbase on all of my planets. Even then, it only means that they survive one or two hits more, so the enemy has simply to fire 2-3 slugs instead of one simultaneously.
Just as a clarification - if you have a starbase with the appropriate ability, I believe the planet will survive (as in "stay under your control") infinite blasts even though the population will keep bottoming out.

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June 16, 2012 11:11:47 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

How lazy is it to manually take things out of a great game instead of learning to deal with the problem?

When you played monopoly did you cover Go to Jail? 

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June 16, 2012 11:11:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Star Dragon,

Just as a clarification - if you have a starbase with the appropriate ability, I believe the planet will survive (as in "stay under your control") infinite blasts even though the population will keep bottoming out.

 

Well, you are right, i forgott. Still, for something static and permanent its pretty annoying. You will either loose planets and then start building Starbases or build Starbases to prevent planet loss and then cripple your own economy.

 

Quoting wbino,
How lazy is it to manually take things out of a great game instead of learning to deal with the problem?

When you played monopoly did you cover Go to Jail? 

Im planing to play it at LAN with some friends. Since we all will have the same restrictions i think its quite fair. I think its more like blocking the Heavy Suit in Blacklight or wonders in Empire Earth. Sure, its stripping the game down, but it also provide a better gameflow and less "u-just-won-coz-u-had-da-BFG" QQing.

 

Imho Titans and Starbases were a little bit too much aswell, but Starbases ar simply extremely strong defense and Titans can be taken out by concentrated fire. Superweapons are far too cheap and easy to get to be that strong.

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June 16, 2012 11:22:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Except that starbases can be used to buff your own economy.

Novas aren't a problem once you learn to deal with them.  On top of the fact that you can prevent the loss of your planets with starbases, if you're as good as you suggest in the OP, why didn't you just break through the TEC defense and take out the Novas?

 

As for their cost, they still cost almost as much as a titan unless you have Novalith Deregulation (a tech that personally, I don't like; I'd rather it increase the number of superweapons that a player can build by 1 or 2 as it would help the TL which as a whole is a rather weak race).

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June 16, 2012 11:31:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Kasseopea,
You will either loose planets and then start building Starbases or build Starbases to prevent planet loss and then cripple your own economy.

 

That is what the NC is designed to do. TEC greatest strength is economy based.

 

They are designed to win a war of attrition. If you want to keep the thing from firing on you, make an assualt on a planet with some military labs. It cant fire if he doesnt have the labs for it. That goes for any Superweapon.

 

Using the DE or Kostrua you can easly break a fortified world or even bypass it. Take out some labs they stop shooting till they are rebuilt.

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June 16, 2012 11:33:07 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,
Except that starbases can be used to buff your own economy.

Novas aren't a problem once you learn to deal with them.  On top of the fact that you can prevent the loss of your planets with starbases, if you're as good as you suggest in the OP, why didn't you just break through the TEC defense and take out the Novas?

 

Once again you are right, BUT. And this BUT would be that a Starbase, upgraded to that point costs as much as a Capital Ship or two. Sure, you can show the TEC, rolling in a full fleet, how well your Starbase acts as tradeport, but i rather doubt it would stop his progress.

Lets put it in a different way - you loose with every planet he destroys ~1/4 of what he paid for his cannon, if the planet is halfway upgraded. If it takes you one hour to get to the weapon, half of your system will be annihilated and if you build Starbases to prevent it, you wont have a fleet strong enough to oppose his, as you spent the tenfold of what he paid for the Superweapon.

 

Quoting -Ue_Carbon,


They are designed to win a war of attrition. If you want to keep the thing from firing on you, make an assualt on a planet with some military labs. It cant fire if he doesnt have the labs for it. That goes for any Superweapon.

 
Using the DE or Kostrua you can easly break a fortified world or even bypass it. Take out some labs they stop shooting till they are rebuilt.

Terran Planet + Vulcan + Ice, at the other end of a system with 50 planets. All the military labs there, between at least 10 jumps through his sectors, full with turrets/starbases/defense fleets. How do i take that cluster out by nagging with my religion on it? Sure, the Kostrua will simply make a portal, but Advent...

I mean, i had this situation, he had NC, i had DE, both 4 of them. He is simply destroying my planets, im slowly sawing his Allegiance. In the end half of my planets were down, no ressources and he lost 2 planets due to overthrow he gave not a single **** about

 

Im not saying its impossible to win agains TEC with NC, or that DE were underpowered (basically poisoning the enemy long-term), but it allows to put up cheap strategies rather than creating a complicated battle tactic. Maybe im just too noob to see the greater meaning and the awesome possiblities in those weapons, but to me they are just annoyingly out of place.

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June 16, 2012 11:42:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Long-term, you can still make money from the starbases.  And honestly, just building a few starbases with Enduring Devotion is enough to seriously thwart any attempts at bombardment because unless he's constantly scouting you, he won't know which worlds do and don't have them.

And the TL military really isn't that strong on the offense.  Defensively, it's great, but once you break the front line, it's really quite weak.  Superweapons are a huge investment, one that you could stick instead into your fleet and use to break them.  You receive a notice of when your enemies are building superweapons, so once you get that warning, if you're as good at combat as you say you are, break their front line with your fleet since your enemy is so busy burning money elsewhere.

Also, if you manage to destroy even a single weapons lab on the way, you'll have stopped them from building or firing the Novas.

 

But back to your original point which you brought up in your edit, the DE is underpowered.  Many agree on this and would like to see it buffed.  

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June 16, 2012 11:48:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Volt_Cruelerz,
Long-term, you can still make money from the starbases.  And honestly, just building a few starbases with Enduring Devotion is enough to seriously thwart any attempts at bombardment because unless he's constantly scouting you, he won't know which worlds do and don't have them.

And the TL military really isn't that strong on the offense.  Defensively, it's great, but once you break the front line, it's really quite weak.  Superweapons are a huge investment, one that you could stick instead into your fleet and use to break them.  You receive a notice of when your enemies are building superweapons, so once you get that warning, if you're as good at combat as you say you are, break their front line with your fleet since your enemy is so busy burning money elsewhere.

Also, if you manage to destroy even a single weapons lab on the way, you'll have stopped them from building or firing the Novas.

 

Im terrible at combat, im just good vs NPCs, and even have problems vs Hard.

I bet its extremely stupid to build only Capital Ships and that there is a realy easy way to take my fleet out with the proper counter.

However, its a game, that is fun to play with friends, and most of them are considering superweapons as overpowered, so i searched your advice to either explain why they arent OP or how to disable them. 

Since i got both, im quite happy and thankful (for now^^)

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June 16, 2012 11:51:56 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Capital fleets are very easy to counter with bombers.  Most of your fleet should consist of frigates unless the enemy brings out a titan which demolishes them.  Of course, because of the synergies of the Advent, having more capitals isn't as bad for you, but still..

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June 16, 2012 12:02:02 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting ,
 

Could anyone explain it to me? 

I can.  Go ahead and build some space stations in your orbits and enable the auxiliary government compartment.  It prevents you from losing a planet when it gets bombed to 0 population.  You should be getting this tech at around the same time as the TECs deploy their cannons, so shift gears before going too far into the offensive.

As a specific defense against Novaliths, it's fool-proof.  I do it in every game I've played, since getting Rebellion. 

If you anticipate dragging your heels about it, launch strike missions instead.  Your titan alone can Hail Mary pretty far, and the cannons never take more than a minute to whittle down.  You basically hand the TEC an enormous repair bill, and buy yourself some time.  Just make sure not to mistake the enemy's fortifications, it'd be bad to lose your titan / strike force.

And if you're still unwilling to do this - hey I understand.  I once sat at my desk and determined which letters in the English alphabet can occasionally be silent.  I just wasn't going to do work that day.  So don't be embarrassed - but if you are unwilling to do strike forces, hand out missions to your allies.  "Attack tactical structures".  I've done this occasionally, to some scant success.

PS: with interpretative concessions, it's almost all the letters.  Consonants often modify their preposition letters, generating entirely different phonemes.  An example is the interdental fricative, "TH", in which technically neither a "T" nor an "H" are emitted by the speaker.  What's left after consonant modifications are letters like Z, X, and V.  For consistency I ruled out words that are overtly foreign, and considered only the standard letters in the English alphabet, with consideration to dialect variation.  Informal omissions don't count, since they're likely to blanket any phone created in speech. 

Peace Out, Seacrest.

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June 16, 2012 12:19:01 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Kasseopea,
I mean, i had this situation, he had NC, i had DE, both 4 of them. He is simply destroying my planets, im slowly sawing his Allegiance. In the end half of my planets were down, no ressources and he lost 2 planets due to overthrow he gave not a single **** about

 

Your using it wrong. Its not like the NC to take over planets its a Fleet booster.

 

Shoot those bad boys at a planet you wanna attack and start pew pew pewing while those things hit, They give your fleet 25% more damage, remove the culture bonus from your enemy and give you your own culture buff.

 

DE is not a planet flipper, like so many people think it is or should be. Its goes hand and hand with Advent Battleball synergy. 

Use it to smash the TEC fleet then go on a rampage. Your gonna lose planet at this point b/c you not Starbased up most of your planets. Besides most of your income at this point should be trade, so even losing the planet this late in the game  isnt that big of an issue since it a tiny part of your income.

 

 

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June 16, 2012 1:03:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The nove is not overpowered. In fast I find it rly useless since i only play SP and with the AIs econ cheat the nova doesnt rly help any. Through the DE is still weaker technically speaking but it still has a better use in helping out in attacking worlds. The Kostrua is the most powerful super weapon since it opens a phase node on the worlds it hits so both the nova and the DE needs a buff.

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June 16, 2012 1:15:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Keep in mind you probably don't have to shield every asteroid from Novalith fire. Most of its income comes from the resource extractors that work whether you own the planet or not, so just ensure your ice+ and maybe volcanic planets have enduring devotion and you should be good.

I will say if you're playing unfair+ AI their resource and research cheats can lead to the TEC loyalists getting Novaliths worryingly quickly, but otherwise they really aren't the end of the world once you get used to them. Besides its really the only thing the TEC loyalists have going for them.

That said, you know

Quoting Ryat,
Go to the gameplay.constant.

Find this line.

maxNumberOfCannonsPerPlayer 4

Change the 4 to 0.

Did you just recommend he change the core game files? You're a modder, its not that much harder to tell him to copy the file, go to his mod folder, make a new folder called "No Superweapons", in that folder make another folder called "GameInfo", then paste it and change the line.

 

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June 16, 2012 3:59:53 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Grr, now i have to try all those tactics out XDDD

 

Well, putting it this way, they arent that bad as long as you dont let them catch you unprepared. Thx for the hints and strategic solutions.^^

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June 16, 2012 5:21:03 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,
You're a modder, its not that much harder to tell him to copy the file, go to his mod folder, make a new folder called "No Superweapons", in that folder make another folder called "GameInfo", then paste it and change the line.

Good point. And yes, that is what I called my version of that mod.

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