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Balance Roundup, July 2013

By on July 20, 2013 2:34:34 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Frostflare

Join Date 12/2008
+14

Greetings, all.

With the Forbidden Worlds DLC, I've gotten back into Sins, and I'm loving it (as always). In particular, I found the jumping starbase nerf elegant.

I can't help but notice that some of the old balance issues are still there. To that end, I'd like to compile a list of problems and proposed solutions. Fellow Sinners, feel free to contribute, criticize, and discuss.

Prior to the roundup, I would like to state my agreement with everything in the OP of Russ's thread: http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/446788

Forthwith the issues:

  1. Fighters are not doing what they're supposed to do (source: http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/438860/page/1/#3303550)

    Possible Solution: Significantly improve fighter acceleration, deceleration, and turn rate

    Reasoning: The main problem with fighters is that they make one pass against an incoming wave of bombers; by the time fighters come around for another try, the bombers have already done their damage. By drastically improving fighter acceleration and turn rates, you shorten the time it takes for fighters to come around for another pass, essentially buffing fighter rate-of-fire and permitting them to more efficiently perform their duties.

  2. Advent performance issues

    Possible Solution: Give Illuminators an ability to toggle the focus of their side beams from flank to front, thereby tripling their effective DPS against single targets (and potentially justifying their T3 status).

    Alternative Solution: Widen the cone-of-fire on the side beams (though I prefer my solution because there are times when you want them to focus fire and times when you want them to distribute their fire -- such as against corvettes)

    I should note that SinKillr thinks Illuminators are fine.

  3. TEC Rebel performance issues

    Possible Solution: buffs to Ragnarov Titan (in terms of ability costs, raw DPS, etc.)

  4. Vasari dominance
    1. Bombers: The problem with Vasari bombers is tied to phase missiles; it's impossible to address one without addressing the other. That said, even with nerfs to phase missiles, it might still be difficult to balance Vasari bombers, owing to the alpha strike potential of a wave of bombers.

      Consequently, I'm a huge fan of the suggestion outlined in Russ's thread, wherein Vasari bomber phase missiles are replaced with Plasma Wave Cannons (the same weapon used by Skarovas Enforcers), thereby taking phase missiles out of the equation entirely for bombers (and modifying their DPS accordingly, of course). Vasari fighters got the same treatment; I see no objections (lore-wise, you could explain it as attrition -- bombers equipped with miniaturized phase missiles became too expensive to produce in the 30-year conflict with the TEC and the Advent).

      SinKillr's Solution: Lower bomber DPS, on the grounds that phase missiles themselves are not the problem (he cites few problems with Kanrak Assailants and other phase missile-equipped units); it is bomber alpha strikes with phase missiles that are the problem. If so, then I feel once again that replacing bomber phase missiles with plasma wave cannons is a better solution.

    2. Disruptive Nanites: In principle, I'm fine with this structure disabling passive regeneration; the problem appears to be the duration.

      Possible Solution: Reduce the duration from five minutes to 7.5 seconds -- the length of the weapon's cooldown (thanks to SinKillr for this suggestion)

    3. Phasic Trap: Basically makes it impossible to attack Vasari orbital structures with bombers

      Possible Solution: Decrease the trap's radius significantly and/or reduce the duration of the trap.

      SinKillr's Solution: Cap the number of strike craft that may be trapped by the field (he suggests 8 or so)

    4. Phase Missiles: Perhaps the single most contentious issue of the game, they are one of the Vasari's defining traits, but some believe that they behave like an I-Win button.

      Others, including me, believe that phase missiles themselves are not the problem; rather, bombers equipped with phase missiles are the problem. Consequently: with the bomber nerf I mentioned above (plasma wave cannons) should be sufficient.

  5. Underused units and abilities (list ongoing)
    1. Advent:
      1. Revelation Battlecruiser: Clairvoyance should detect mines in the target system, giving the Revelation a minesweeping ability; Guidance should also improve bombardment and weapon cooldowns by the listed values for all nearby ships when used.
      2. Radiance Battleship: Energy-Absorbtive Armor should temporarily buff the Radiance's damage output by 5% per hit received, up to a maximum of 200->300->400->500%; in addition, the ability should passively improve the Radiance's maximum shield mitigation by 5-10-15-20%
    2. TEC:
      1. Kol Battleship: Gauss Railgun should probably (don't hate me for this) disable passive regen for 6 seconds in addition to its current effects; likewise, Adaptive Forcefield should be passive (given that the Kol has three active abilities which it doesn't have the antimatter to support), its buffs normalized accordingly. Finally, Flak Burst should apply a short-term debuff to any strike craft it hits, temporarily reducing their accuracy by 15->20->25->30% for 12 seconds, to reduce alpha strike damage from strike craft Flak Burst can't kill outright
    3. Vasari:
      1. Micro-phasing Aura (Skirantra Carrier): in light of the proposed nerf to Phase Missiles, maybe this aura could provide a 1->2->3->4% buff to phase missile penetration for every ship in range?
      2. Subversion (Antorak Marauder)

EDIT: My own wishlist is as follows:

  1. The ability for the game host to specify the number of super-weapons per star system during game setup, from 0 to X; maximum limit might be dependent on game size
  2. The ability to designate no-fly zones for scouts (via an added ping command)
  3. The ability to issue multi-unit attack and ability commands by holding Alt:
    1. Alt + Attack: selected units attack all targets of this type in the gravity well
    2. Alt + Activate Ability: all selected units activate a specific ability
  4. A setting that forces Sins to render trade vessels and refinery vessels only as strategic icons (sprites), to improve performance in long games

Your thoughts?

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July 21, 2013 3:47:18 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Although there is another thread on this issue, this seemed pretty comprehensive so I guess it deserves a post:

Fighters

The problem with Aresiv's test is that it doesn't stimulate real-world conditions. All fighter compositions in late game is actually a viable strategy, especially with vasari. As for the turn rate problem, I've actually found microing the strikecraft yourself can get you more dps than the horrid ai pathfinding(also applies to vettes). 

Illuminators

I think illuminators are very balanced where they are right now. Since they fare against vettes far better than any other faction's lrms, they are used quite often in the current multiplayer scene. Illums, when combined with level 2+ malice, rip apart vettes so hard you're actually just better off making flak or your own lrms. It only gets better with that hallucination tech.

Ragnarov 

When I finally see a replay of somebody beating a level 1 ragnorav with a comparable fleet of light frigates (as a poster on this forum has "claimed" of doing), I'll fully support a big buff to the Ragnarov. Until then, the only thing that should be considered is a slight increase in the rail gun damage. 

Phase Missiles

There are numerous proposals out there on this topic... personally I'm a fan of the reduction in the bomber's base damage, as kanraks/sentinels aren't causing any issues.

Disruptive Nanites

DN has been discussed to death recently, and most people seem to be in favor of reducing its duration to 30-60 seconds. I'm in the camp of people that believe a major nerf is needed, like 5-10 second range. That way as long as the turret keeps on shooting, all regeneration stops. But as soon as the target gets beyond the turret's range, DN wears off. Thats how it should be...

Phasic Traps

Simply enact a cap on the number of strikecraft squadrons it can trap... I'm thinking about eight...

Underused Caps/Abilities

Kol and Radiance desperately need a buff... sadly, I think the devs have the singleplayer mindset where they think the kol is the best capital ship in the game...

Wishlist

Just create a super-weapon toggle on/off setting already...

Number 2 and 3 seem to reduce the skill ceiling so thats a no-no...

I'm not a modder so I have no idea what Number 4 is talking about...

 

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July 21, 2013 4:03:55 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Please don't suggest weakening defenses in favor of that boring bomber-spam... yes the Vasari defense is good against bombers, and that's what such a defense is supposed to do. You can always bring in a couple of long-range torpedo cruisers to take care of the hangars. It's really the other races that have underpowerd defenses against bombers imo.

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July 21, 2013 4:28:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

Please don't suggest weakening defenses in favor of that boring bomber-spam... yes the Vasari defense is good against bombers, and that's what such a defense is supposed to do. You can always bring in a couple of long-range torpedo cruisers to take care of the hangars. It's really the other races that have underpowerd defenses against bombers imo.

Your posts on this forum suggest that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how defenses in successful RTS games are supposed to work... they are only meant to delay an opponent and supplement a defensive fleet, not win the game outright...

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July 21, 2013 6:55:09 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

(never mind)

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July 21, 2013 7:18:19 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Sinkillr,
Your posts on this forum suggest that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how defenses in successful RTS games are supposed to work... they are only meant to delay an opponent and supplement a defensive fleet, not win the game outright...

 

Although to be fair.... many RTS game overdue this... making defenses entirely worthless.

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July 21, 2013 12:00:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@SinKillr:

Thanks for the feedback; I'll add your suggestions to the OP.

On the subject of fighters: I'm of the opinion that units that need to be micro'd in order to do the job they are explicitly meant to do is a problem and deserves a fix.

If bombers are the primary problem with phase missiles, then shouldn't changing the bomber's weapon from phase missiles to plasma wave cannons neatly solve the problem with phase missiles, with no nerfs to phase missiles required and perhaps a bombers to bring their DPS up to par with other bomber weapons that must deal with shield mitigation?

With regard to your comments about my Alt+Attack and Alt+Ability suggestions: Sins is a game of convenience. Every single ability can be autocast for a reason -- there is an extent to which the game can have so much stuff going on in it that the devs don't expect any player to be able to keep up, therefore allowing players with greater multitasking capability to stand out in their ability to NOT let auto-attack handle things.

If anything, allowing players to alt-attack units would further distinguish the sheep from the goats, so to speak.

An easy example: fighters vs. fighters.

My opponent selects all his fighters and alt-attacks my fighters; his fighters automatically receive orders to attack one squadron at a time.

By comparison, I clone my fighters: tell all of them to attack one squadron, then deselect one squadron; tell all of them to attack the next squadron, then deselect one squadron, until all squadrons have been deselected. I then win the engagement.

@GeoManNL:

The problem is not defenses; the problem is, Phasic Trap is incredibly powerful compared to the hangar defense upgrades of other factions. In order to be comparable, you'd need to buff TEC hangar flak cannons to one-hit-kill squadrons, and you'd need to buff Advent structure shields to completely ignore bomber attacks.

It is the discrepancy that is the problem, not the function.

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July 21, 2013 12:55:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think the real problem is that there are people who thought: "Great idea! Let's do that!" Without thinking how it would turn out in the game. I wonder if the people who imagined all these abilities actually *played* the game, or just thought that those things would make a great selling point.

Like ... shield mitigation. WTF if the point? Basically it reduces nearly all damage by half, except the first shot fired.

Like ... portable phase lanes. WTF, those are like teleporters on "real" maps. The Kostura cannon is a bit like the unit cannon in Supreme Commander 2, except it's way, way more powerful. Like 100x more powerful.

Like ... let's put in some defenses so that there's something to destroy for people, but let's not make them useful or anything, otherwise we're afraid that people might get turned off by hitting on impenetrable defenses - instead, let's stay on the safe side and let's make those completely and utterly *useless*.

Like ... let's put in all those nice capital ships and let them level up nicely. But wait ... let's not forget about all those nice little frigates that were created early game, those should be useful still. Many RTS's are made such that early units are completely useless late game. No, instead, let's make the game such that those silly units can rape a level 10 capital ship.

Like ... let's put in a starbase, which is incredibly powerful and incredibly expensive! But let's give it this one weakness: it can be outranged by certain specialized units. Yes... I love those units... let's make them so powerful that a starbase cannot destroy even a single one of them.

The game is so broken on so many fronts that you can't even start to discuss balancing like you try to do in this topic. It's just a hotchpotch of many ideas, all thrown into a single game, without regard for playability. There is just no friggin way to balance that, only thing you can do is, throw out some of the most ridiculous of those ideas and introduce some new ideas.

 

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July 21, 2013 1:43:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

GeomanNL,

From the examples you just posted, I'm inclined to think that you are a player who likes to be able to turtle. That's perfectly fine, but it tends to yield very passive games: players establish choke points, build up defenses, and then mass units for overwhelming force. Such games are effectively decided at the very beginning, but take hours and hours to resolve.

Sins, in its current incarnation, works. Nor perfectly, but it works. All it needs are a few tweaks here and there to make other playstyles viable.

Incidentally, static defenses aren't viable in ANY RTS game. Starcraft, Supreme Commander 2, Sins, it doesn't matter. Patton said (and I paraphrase) that fixed fortifications are a monument to human stupidity because anything made by man can be destroyed by man.

In every RTS game I've ever played or watched, static defenses represent money that could have been spent on weaker mobile units.

Likewise: shield mitigation is a response to the fact that Sins has a very high unit cap. Without shield mitigation, ships would be vaporized so quickly that using abilities would be impossible. Shield mitigation likewise represents a variation on the slower combat present in Warcraft III on which Sins of a Solar Empire builds. Combat in Warcraft III was considerably slower than Starcraft, primarily to permit players the opportunity to micromanage individual units -- which was very difficult in Starcraft because of the tendency of units to explode instantaneously during pitched battles. But Sins (which is essentially Warcraft III in space -- armor class, armor function, weapon damage, capital ship abilities and leveling are almost identical, conceptually, to Warcraft III) takes place on a much more massive scale; there are often far more sources of incoming damage in Sins than there ever were in Warcraft III. Hence, shield mitigation.

Incidentally, if you'd like a faction that can turtle, see the Advent. They get extra tactical slots and their structures get shield mitigation. Also, their culture spread rates (particularly Advent Loyalists, who can triple their culture spread compared to Advent Rebels by turning planets into culture generators and by researching additional culture spread rate) allow them to dislodge opponents easily, without leaving their base -- and the deliverance engine, combined with Eyes of the Converted, allows them to SCOUT wherever they wish.

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July 21, 2013 2:01:24 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yeah right... I forgot to mention the carriers and bomber. It probably went like this: let's add carriers! Oh, that's such a good idea! But wait... what happens when the bombers get destroyed, how do you resupply them? Should they cost credits and resources? No, that doesn't make sense, they are in an enemy gravity well.. oh wait, there's animatter, let's just rebuild them for "free". Oh, but isn't that too poweful? No of course not, we'll just strip the carriers of any guns so that they are basically defenseless. And what about their range? No range limit! They are BOMBERS for crying out loud. Hmm.. and how many squadrons should you have? It's important that the players see large numbers of bombers, so let's just add a lot of them. We don't want only a few very powerful bombers, it should be obvious that you've a HUGE number of bombers. Never mind that the game slow down a lot of them. Never mind that it's hard on the target-finding. It's just AWESOME this way.

Supreme commander was a game much like Sins, where you can build defenses and bases (which get crushed, obviously) and which revolved around super-units. I like both. Except in Sins, it's a bit extreme.

You know games which have cloaking because the game developers like that ability so much? And if one faction has cloak than all should have one? Well that completely sucks. You know games with teleporters? Starcraft had something like that ... a teleporter, and a tunneler, so that you could bypass defenses. But they had their weaknesses, and why was that? Because basically such an ability sucks ini terms of gameplay..

In Sins they just threw all caution out of the window - someone there probably thought it'd be nice if the Vasari could defy the rules of the game by jumping anywhere. It'd be something "unique" while really it's just completely lame, because it's more or less the same as cloaking or teleporting - you become basically untouchable and that's always bad in a game, it's really the beginning of the end. Is adding such an ability to other races a solution? Not really, then the rules of the map are thrown out and then you just have a game without rules left. No choke points anymore. Just randomly attacking anything anywhere and what's the fun of that... chaos incarnate.

And yeah I like to turtle, but I also liked occasional rushing and I also like Star Craft 2 which was anything but turtling (except the NvS with no rush).

 

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July 21, 2013 2:36:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Light Carriers originally had only one squadron (two for Advent) and had a huge recharge rate for destroyed bombers. Players complained and we now have the current style of light carriers. Can't blame the devs for that one 100%.

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July 21, 2013 2:49:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Okay ...

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July 21, 2013 3:00:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

In regards to the Phase Missiles,

I would agree with the idea that Phase Missiles are the problem at all, just that the bombers that presently deploy them are.

There are no problems with the Phase Missiles on capital ships, starbases, turrets and Assailants. Just those on bombers. While all bombers are capable of alpha-striking capital ships, Vasari need a lot less, especially against Advent ships, and tend to obliterate them while their shields are still very high.

If those were changed to wave cannons and kept at their present DPS (17.1, vs Advent ~17.5 and TEC 16.5 per squad) I think they would be balanced relative to the other factions.

Once that's done I don't think there need to be any phase missile blocking technologies. Vasari can still utilize their missiles effectively, but Assailants will be their primary platform.

As it stands, fighters and flak cannot stop a bomber horde and the only defenses against it for TEC and Advent are Flak Burst and Telekinetic Push respectively - the former of which does not actually prevent the attack, eats antimatter, and needs 3 blasts at max level to kill Vasari bombers, the latter of which is deployed from the most frail-hulled capital ship in the game, and both of which have short range and require some very intense micro to use effectively.

Assailants on the other hand are vulnerable - they get torn up by fighters (with basic manual targeting), taken out by corvettes, hit by starbases, hammered by AoEs, etc. And every loss is real, not just a short setback until a free replacement is built (as with bombers). They would be glass cannons, still very dangerous to enemy capital ships, but less trivial to use. Meanwhile the power of Vasari bombers would still be formidable, almost equal with Advent bombers, but they would have to go through shields and mitigation like everyone else.

Heck Vasari bombers even LOOK like they're armed with wave cannons; their front parts are a little reminiscent of the Enforcer's big damn frontal wave projector.

--

Now in regard to just the general issue of bombers being very powerful, there are a lot of potential solutions. Fighters could be buffed. Flak could be buffed somehow. Anti-strikecraft capital abilities could be buffed somehow. I think flak oughta be a bigger counter to them, either slowing/stunning them, doing AoE damage, or something. Because improved fighters still mean that carriers are a disproportionately large part of fleet compositions; they are the main counters to themselves.

--

Also, I would agree with just plain stat buffs or supply/cost reduction on the Skirmisher. It's pretty meh at the moment. It could do with a buff that makes it equivalent in net efficacy with the Cobalt perhaps, with both still being slightly inferior to the Disciple.

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July 21, 2013 3:45:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

@Skrimyt:

I agree with every word; I'll mention your comments in the OP.

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July 21, 2013 3:56:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Just a random idea: the phase lane thingy could be made less overpowered (while still somewhat useful) by not allowing capital ships or Titans in them. They can then still be used for resupply of a fleet (which is very useful in itself), but they're then not as effective for assaulting and conquering planets behind enemy lines.

 

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July 21, 2013 4:04:35 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

GeoManNL:

I prefer the idea of a cooldown on phase nodes. Two minutes, three minutes, whatever.

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July 21, 2013 7:03:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

A few things.

In order to increase the effectiveness of defenses perhaps they should be allowed to be built further out of the gravity well (ie right on top of where the enemy will phase jump in). This would force players to fight through at least some of the defenses. Making the phase lane angle smaller might also help with defenses as you would have to jump closer to the phase lane line, thus limiting a fleet's ability to jump in on one side of the gravity well.

I think anti-fight frigates should deal area effect damage to strikecraft (much like WWII flak guns would). This could affect corvettes as well but I think anti-fighter frigates currently deal with corvettes quite well. I'd like to see the Kol's flakburst ability have it's antimatter cost lowered too as this would help, especially the lower level Kols.

Another thing I'd like to see is Subversion affect the planet's population. I'm not sure if I'd like to see the population growth rate stopped or damaged. Perhaps have it apply a 0.15 penalty to population growth rate, this would cause a population loss on non social planets but not on social specialized planets. Planetary upgrade rates could also be slowed (I don't believe they currently are). Either way, something to make this ability more worthwhile is needed and the icon does show Vasari ninjas, which I assume would be capable of killing a few civilians.

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July 22, 2013 7:18:33 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Bomber/fighter squadrons could be changed as follows: build them like normal units, send them anywhere like normal units. A carrier becomes an advanced flak platform with additional repair facilities for squadrons. Imo that'll fix the overpowered on-site-bomber-production-at-no-cost.

(They probably they won't change them, because it will be lot of work to overhaul the bombers like that. Still, it's the only way to fix them imo).

Not really balancing but as far as a slow crawling game is concerned ... perhaps they could simply remove the trade ships out of the equation, so that a fleet simply ignores them instead of attacking them like any other unit. It will remove some of the burden on the AI and it won't really influence the game. Or perhaps make this optional for a player somewhere in his settings - you know, that he can choose to raid trade ships or to ignore them. And if he doesn't ignore them, then add a big racial penalty.

The reason why this would be useful: imagine fleet sitting idly in some contested gravity well. It doesn't need to do anything really until an enemy appears. However, there are all these tradeships that continuously jump in and out of the gravity well, and each of them will trigger a response from hundreds of bombers, or dozens of heavy cruisers. That's a lot of continuous workload.

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July 22, 2013 9:02:17 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

 

 

Quoting Skrimyt,

In regards to the Phase Missiles,

I would agree with the idea that Phase Missiles are the problem at all, just that the bombers that presently deploy them are.

There are no problems with the Phase Missiles on capital ships, starbases, turrets and Assailants. Just those on bombers. While all bombers are capable of alpha-striking capital ships, Vasari need a lot less, especially against Advent ships, and tend to obliterate them while their shields are still very high.

If those were changed to wave cannons and kept at their present DPS (17.1, vs Advent ~17.5 and TEC 16.5 per squad) I think they would be balanced relative to the other factions.

Once that's done I don't think there need to be any phase missile blocking technologies. Vasari can still utilize their missiles effectively, but Assailants will be their primary platform.

As it stands, fighters and flak cannot stop a bomber horde and the only defenses against it for TEC and Advent are Flak Burst and Telekinetic Push respectively - the former of which does not actually prevent the attack, eats antimatter, and needs 3 blasts at max level to kill Vasari bombers, the latter of which is deployed from the most frail-hulled capital ship in the game, and both of which have short range and require some very intense micro to use effectively.

Assailants on the other hand are vulnerable - they get torn up by fighters (with basic manual targeting), taken out by corvettes, hit by starbases, hammered by AoEs, etc. And every loss is real, not just a short setback until a free replacement is built (as with bombers). They would be glass cannons, still very dangerous to enemy capital ships, but less trivial to use. Meanwhile the power of Vasari bombers would still be formidable, almost equal with Advent bombers, but they would have to go through shields and mitigation like everyone else.

Heck Vasari bombers even LOOK like they're armed with wave cannons; their front parts are a little reminiscent of the Enforcer's big damn frontal wave projector.

 

True words!

 

Quoting Skrimyt,


Now in regard to just the general issue of bombers being very powerful, there are a lot of potential solutions. Fighters could be buffed. Flak could be buffed somehow. Anti-strikecraft capital abilities could be buffed somehow. I think flak oughta be a bigger counter to them, either slowing/stunning them, doing AoE damage, or something. Because improved fighters still mean that carriers are a disproportionately large part of fleet compositions; they are the main counters to themselves.

 

Yes, the domination of bombers is a general problem that does nullify several parts of the counter system.

 

Heavy cruisers? Inferior in all important ways

Build a starbase? Dont bother, it will die to bomber spam

Build Torpedo Cruisers? Dont bother, bombers are better and are usefull against more things than just structures.

 

Personally I think that fighers should STOP bombers dead in space at a ratio of 2v3.... so if you have 20 fighter wings and your enemy has 30 bomber wings, the fighers should obliberate the bombers without those doing any major damage.

 

That would make it important to have fighter superiority before using bombers in reasonable capacity. As fighers however suck against most things, that would allow heavy cruisers and other underused ships a place in game again.

 

 

Quoting GeomanNL,
bombers to bring their DPS up to par with other bomber weapons that must deal with shield mitigation?

 

Actually the Vasari Bombers do have similar DPS to other bombers already, even without phase missile shield piercing being active.

 

 

Quoting GeomanNL,
Like ... shield mitigation. WTF if the point? Basically it reduces nearly all damage by half, except the first shot fired.

 

Actually shield mitigation is a unique idea that allows for some cool faction diversity.

 

Its effects are huge..... Try out Shield Bestowal on the Advent Hangar Platform.... 750 shield sound pathetic...... but it does give the platfrom and adjacent buildings shield mitigations, basically quadrupling its durability.

 

 

 

Quoting GeomanNL,
Like ... let's put in some defenses so that there's something to destroy for people, but let's not make them useful or anything, otherwise we're afraid that people might get turned off by hitting on impenetrable defenses - instead, let's stay on the safe side and let's make those completely and utterly *useless*.

 

Personally I think that Sins did a pretty good job at balancing offense vs defense. The problem here is that the best offensive faction Vasari happens to have the best defense (against human players) too.

 

That makes them so extremely powerful. You cannot attack a Vasari... because he will rip your fleet apart. You cannot defend against a Vasari because his fleet is superior to you.

 

 

Quoting GeomanNL,
Like ... let's put in a starbase, which is incredibly powerful and incredibly expensive! But let's give it this one weakness: it can be outranged by certain specialized units. Yes... I love those units... let's make them so powerful that a starbase cannot destroy even a single one of them.

 

It should be noted that the last weapon upgrade of both TEC and Advent Starbase does reach the torpedo cruisers, doing enough damage to grind them down over time. The Vasari one does not but then it can move...

 

Starbases are very very powerful..... until somebody fields bombers.

 

Try to take down a well supported starbase with your fleet (without bombers)..... and watch it die arround you.

 

Torpedo cruisers were supposed to be the counter to starbases, but as bombers are even better and are not helpless against anything else like the Torpedo cruisers, they reign supreme.

 

Torpedo cruisers are designed to crush a starbase, but by building them, your enemy does waste valuable fleet supply for them, so his fleet will be significantly weaker.

 

 

 

Quoting Frostflare,
GeomanNL,

From the examples you just posted, I'm inclined to think that you are a player who likes to be able to turtle. That's perfectly fine, but it tends to yield very passive games: players establish choke points, build up defenses, and then mass units for overwhelming force. Such games are effectively decided at the very beginning, but take hours and hours to resolve.

Sins, in its current incarnation, works. Nor perfectly, but it works. All it needs are a few tweaks here and there to make other playstyles viable.

Incidentally, static defenses aren't viable in ANY RTS game. Starcraft, Supreme Commander 2, Sins, it doesn't matter. Patton said (and I paraphrase) that fixed fortifications are a monument to human stupidity because anything made by man can be destroyed by man.

In every RTS game I've ever played or watched, static defenses represent money that could have been spent on weaker mobile units.

 

Nobody wants a game where people just hide inside their fortress and never ever leave it.

 

Many RTS games however nerf defenses to hard, making them worthless.

 

Which in turn does make the game active... but boring.

 

"FIRST ONE to build 100 ships WINS."

 

I have 90 ships, you have 100 ships. I lose, you win.

 

That is not Real Time Strategy, that is "Who does click faster".

 

Having reasonable defenses in a RTS game, leads to better tactics instead of mindless spam of the best unit available. 

 

Giving the defending party the possibiliy of an advantage, drastically improves tactics used.

 

It is called Real Time STRATEGY, so overall you should win by using superior strategy and not just because you have 10 % more APM.

 

 

Quoting WOEaintME,
In order to increase the effectiveness of defenses perhaps they should be allowed to be built further out of the gravity well (ie right on top of where the enemy will phase jump in). This would force players to fight through at least some of the defenses. Making the phase lane angle smaller might also help with defenses as you would have to jump closer to the phase lane line, thus limiting a fleet's ability to jump in on one side of the gravity well.

 

I disagree, the larger the gravity well is, the less effective they become.

 

That is the reason why large planets are much worse chokepoints than small Asteroids....

 

All ships in Sins are very durable, you have to stay a while close to defenses for them to do some serious damage.

 

A starbase directly at the jump in point of a hostile fleet wont do much, assuming the enemy fleet flies away immediatly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 22, 2013 9:31:20 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

"Torpedo cruisers are designed to crush a starbase, but by building them, your enemy does waste valuable fleet supply for them, so his fleet will be significantly weaker."

They are so strong, you only need a handful of them (10 at most) to rape a starbase. About 100 fleets points out of 2000 fleet points, that is just 5% of your fleet in order to destroy the most significant asset of the enemy. If you lose them, you can easily build reinforcements in parallel, while the enemy has to go through 8 subsequent upgrades which takes about 10 minutes. So I wouldn't call that significant.

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July 22, 2013 9:47:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,
They are so strong, you only need a handful of them (10 at most) to rape a starbase. About 100 fleets points out of 2000 fleet points,

 

against humans it's not a good idea to drain your economy that much, you rarely go above 1000 fleet supply (although depending on situation, what number of ships your opponent has, etc), many times you don't even use the 4th fleet upgrade at all, and you can guess 120 fleet supply from 600 or 700 is a great weakness, much better to have bombers.

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July 22, 2013 10:05:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

All of the suggestions are highly subjective. What are you trying to achieve? Balance in Singplayer, FFA, MP 5s? Because the answer would differ depending on your game mode.

However one thing that needs to removed of your list completely is Ilums. They are fine as they are and require 0 buffs. Yes they are tier 3 bit on extra lab is well worth the expenditure as they dominate nearly all early game ships. Also contrary to a popular misconception, illums are the only lrms not countered by vettes. Try it!

Agree on Kol, cool ship but largely underpowered. Radiance however is second most used cap for advent. I think its fine even if it has a useless ability.

My suggestion: Change Corsev lvl 6 ablilty as its the only thing preventing it from being semi-useful/useful.

 

 

P.S ARESIV: Mate, please can you use *one* less line break between ALL your sentences and paragraphs. As much as i want to read your posts, sometimes its just such a pain if they go on for several screen pages.

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July 22, 2013 1:11:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting JinglyGoo,
All of the suggestions are highly subjective. What are you trying to achieve? Balance in Singplayer, FFA, MP 5s? Because the answer would differ depending on your game mode.

The target is 1v1 balancing.... simple said.... any race and any faction should have halfway comparable changes of victory against any race and any faction. Under the assumption of 2 human players that make full use of their entire capabilities. TEC Vs Advent is at that stage imho.

 

Quoting JinglyGoo,
However one thing that needs to removed of your list completely is Ilums. They are fine as they are and require 0 buffs. Yes they are tier 3 bit on extra lab is well worth the expenditure as they dominate nearly all early game ships. Also contrary to a popular misconception, illums are the only lrms not countered by vettes. Try it!

I agree. Illuminators can become very powerful for Advent Loyalist even in late game. With all AL upgrades you can reach a listed damage of arround 28 or so. Combine this with the devastating Unity Mass Ability and you can see sweat even on the face of an fully upgraded Orky.

 

Quoting JinglyGoo,
Agree on Kol, cool ship but largely underpowered. Radiance however is second most used cap for advent. I think its fine even if it has a useless ability.

I could imagine that this is because of Detonate Antimatter. That makes having a Radiance pretty much a necessity, even if besides this it is not much more useful than the - underpowered Kol.

 

Quoting JinglyGoo,
My suggestion: Change Corsev lvl 6 ablilty as its the only thing preventing it from being semi-useful/useful.

What exactly would you suggest?

 

Quoting JinglyGoo,
P.S ARESIV: Mate, please can you use *one* less line break between ALL your sentences and paragraphs. As much as i want to read your posts, sometimes its just such a pain if they go on for several screen pages.

Is it better that way?

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July 22, 2013 1:20:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Corsev was really useful till they capped the Corsev's AOE damage. I suggest just raising the cap a bit or something to make it more useful.

The Corsev tanked like no other as long as you gave the Corsev a supply of ships to die while still pumping out of AOE.

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July 22, 2013 4:49:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I think you should balance the game for large maps, because that's what people like most (whether it's human vs humans, humans vs AI, or FFA, people like medium to large maps and at least 4 players). There are not many people playing 1v1 games on small maps. Even single player games, I think people like to play against 3 AI's, or do FFA's with 3 other AI's or more. Anyway that's my 2 cts, I think larger battles are more enjoyable than 1v1.

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July 22, 2013 5:27:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting ARESIV,

Yes, the domination of bombers is a general problem that does nullify several parts of the counter system.

 

Heavy cruisers? Inferior in all important ways

Build a starbase? Dont bother, it will die to bomber spam

Build Torpedo Cruisers? Dont bother, bombers are better and are usefull against more things than just structures.

 

Personally I think that fighers should STOP bombers dead in space at a ratio of 2v3.... so if you have 20 fighter wings and your enemy has 30 bomber wings, the fighers should obliberate the bombers without those doing any major damage.

 

That would make it important to have fighter superiority before using bombers in reasonable capacity. As fighers however suck against most things, that would allow heavy cruisers and other underused ships a place in game again.
 

 

I'm not sure how fighters can be made to do that without also making them drastically more deadly to other Light armored vessels, against which they are presently as powerful as they should be. Altering their flight behavior to improve their lethality against bombers could be rather complicated.

Also, I don't think AoE damage on either fighters or flak is a great solution - it would make the fewer-but-tougher Vasari bombers more disproportionately strong compared to the lighter-but-numerous TEC and Advent bombers, which we don't need.

 

So here's my idea: Fighters should have a passive small-area AoE stun effect attached to their weapons fire that triggers only against other strikecraft. That way a fighter force could prevent a dense bomber horde from attacking, and the stun could last long enough for them to come around for another pass, keeping the majority of the bombers pinned while they whittle down their numbers. The exact duration of the stun and area of effect could take some fine-tuning before it is acceptably useful. It could even be made into a research topic.

Lore justifications: TEC hotshot fighter pilots knock out the engines of hostile strikecraft; Vasari fighters are fitted with phase space manipulators that lock enemy craft in place; Advent Anima use their drones as psitech conduits to telekinetically stun enemy strikecraft.

 

I think this could really add some dynamics to strikecraft battles; presently it's just balanced to go all-bombers since fighters can't stop them. With fighters being able to AoE-stun strikecraft, going all-bombers is out of question since they'd get pinned down and cut down by even a somewhat smaller fighter force. Going all fighters is not ideal either since they don't hurt heavy ships much but also because a mixed strikecraft force would have its fighters that stun many of your fighters and thereby protect their bombers - "escorts" WW2-style. The presence of flak and anti-strikecraft capital ship abilities would work to alter the dynamics of the strikecraft battle even more.

Microphasing Aura could even be useful that way - stunned strikecraft can be freed via the micro-phasing effect. TEC Sova Heavy Strikecraft could even just be immune to it, or recover faster.

Quoting ARESIV,

 

It should be noted that the last weapon upgrade of both TEC and Advent Starbase does reach the torpedo cruisers, doing enough damage to grind them down over time. The Vasari one does not but then it can move...

 

Starbases are very very powerful..... until somebody fields bombers.

 

Try to take down a well supported starbase with your fleet (without bombers)..... and watch it die arround you.

 

Torpedo cruisers were supposed to be the counter to starbases, but as bombers are even better and are not helpless against anything else like the Torpedo cruisers, they reign supreme.

 

Torpedo cruisers are designed to crush a starbase, but by building them, your enemy does waste valuable fleet supply for them, so his fleet will be significantly weaker.

If for some reason massed bombers were out of question - say carrier cruisers were nerfed to their 1-squad state from the distant past, fighters effectively countered bombers, or somebody just made up a house rule to not use carrier cruisers...


it would be pretty different. Starbases would make effective defensive bulwarks against frigate/corvette fleets, heavy cruisers could return to power, carrier fleets would be harder to use effectively and deploy less dramatic firepower, and Titans (except for the Ankylon) would be a huge deal for their ability to break entrenchments and decimate fleets of frigates and cruisers. Vasari would have to rely more on their "dirty tricks" for offense, Advent would be very powerful with their AoEs and culture, and TEC would be fighting an even more intense attrition war.

Interesting.

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