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Entrenchment Beta 2 Change Log

By on January 28, 2009 9:33:36 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yarlen

Join Date 01/2005
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Here's the current change log for the upcoming Beta 2 of Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment. Beta 2 is now available via Impulse for pre-order customers.


Gameplay / Balance:

  • Weapon Banks -
    • Banks can now engage a variable number of targets where the max number of targets per bank is controlled from data. Each target will receive 100% of the bank's DPS at max, even if there is unused targeting capacity. The design goal is to provide improved combat utility against groups of targets and not against single targets. This is particularly important for starbases.
    • Fixed bug in secondary banks not firing as often as they should. This should really improve capital ships, starbases and flak frigates.
    • Improved secondary bank target acquisition. This should also really improve capital ships, starbases and flak frigates.
  • Starbases -
    • Most weapon ranges increased slightly.
    • Starbases can now engage multiple targets per bank, effectively scaling their damage by the number of targets in range up to the maximum number of targets per bank (see above).
    • Most upgrade types rebalanced to provide more utility at final level of upgrades.
    • Hangar upgrade types rebalanced to be more cost competitive vs hangar structures and weapon upgrades.
    • Trade part upgrades rebalanced to be more cost competitive with trade port structures.
    • Colony pods upgrade tuned to remain benefit competitive with trade port upgrades.
    • Advent Meteor Storm range increased from 12,000 to 15,000.
    • Starbases can now destabilize phase lanes heading out from their gravity well. This causes considerable damage and full antimatter loss to outgoing enemy units.
    • Starbase deployment costs increased by 1,000 credits, 100 metal and 125 crystal.
    • Starbases now take longer to construct and upgrade in neutral gravity wells compared to friendly ones, and longer still in enemy-owned gravity wells.
    • Starbase unmodified build time increased from 75 to 120 secs.
    • Fixed TEC Argonev's supply ability from being a channelling ability (which consistently interrupted the weapons fire).
    • Fixed Advent Transcencia's Final Judgement so that it applies all its damage correctly.
    • Fixed the TEC Argonev not auto-attacking past the first target unless the player's ships are in-system with it.
  • Anti-Structure -
    • Anti-structure cruisers (i.e., Ogrov) now use regular weapons logic which fixes a myriad of user interface and behavioral problems.
    • Anti-structure cruisers now prioritize structures (threats or otherwise).
    • TEC Ogrov range increased from 9,000 to 12,000.
    • Advent Adjudicator range increased from 9,000 to 12,000.
    • New "AntiModule" AttackType and new "Module" ArmorType and relevant side-effects added.
    • Converted all structures to have armor type "Module".
    • Bomber strike craft's AntiVeryHeavy damage modifier vs structures reduced from 100% to 75%.
  • Mines -
    • Planets now have Mine slots in addition to Tactical slots and Civilian Slots. However, each player has access to their Mine slots in every gravity well, even if they don't own the local orbit body. In effect, Mines are limited per player, per gravity well. Currently, the maximum number of mines per player in a single gravity well is 150, which means a total of 1500 (150 * 10) mines if all potential players deploy their maximum number of mines in that gravity well. There is no global maximum of mines.
    • Deploying Advent and Vasari mines now costs resources instead of anti-matter.
    • The user interface for building starbases, Advent minefields, and Vasari Minefields now behaves similarly to how modules are placed and how movement is queued. This really reduces micromanagement, particularly for Vasari mine-laying as you can queue up the entire minefield layout and leave the mine-layer alone to complete the work.
    • Autocast on Advent and Vasari minefield deployment is tempoarily disabled until we are convined the new mine- laying method is satisfactory.
    • Vasari mines are now deployed 6 at a time in a random cluster around the ship (more symmetric to the other mines and requires much less micromanagement).
    • Mine activation delay increased from 10 to 30 secs.
    • Mine hull points reduced to 40.
    • Homing Mines maximum speed increased from 500 to 1,200.
  • Mine Clearing -
    • Changed how Detect Space Mines achieves its functionality so the AI can be used to automate mine clearing.
    • All the scout's behavior was completely rewritten to help remove the micromanagement involved in clearing minefields. To turn a scout into its optimum mine clearing mode, turn off all the autocasting of abilities so it will prioritize the use of the Detect Minefield ability and turn on Auto-Attack so it will kill the mines as it detects them.
    • Flak frigates are now very well suited to helping scouts clear minefields. Besides having weapons in all four banks and having secondary bank firing behavior fixed (see above), they also prioritize mines after fighters and bombers before any other target.
    • Every ship's secondary banks will prioritize mines if they are nearby and considered a threat to the ship. This will also help in minimizing the micromanagement in clearing minefields.
  • Misc. Gameplay -
    • TEC Hangar Defense flak turrets upgrade now allows firing at 2 targets per bank.
    • Improved target filter for Targeting Uplink to prevent it from being put on unnecessary entities.
    • Fixed credits and resource values being able to go negative (i.e., resource overdraft bug).
    • Fixed queued orders potentially getting ignored after an auto-attack (finally found it Annatar! ).
    • Fixed right-clicking planets from outside the gravity well to execute their planet-centric abilities (should be interpreted as a move).
    • Fixed colonizing capital ships have colonized or tried to colonize planets despite the fact that their auto-cast on the Colonize ability was disabled.
    • Fixed bad group jump behavior.
    • Fixed Deliverance Engine not spreading culture.
    • Added extra condition checking to avoid giving out Star Explorer achievement when it shouldn't be.
    • Post colonization bonuses are now applied essentially at the same time as gaining of ownership of the planet.
    • Fixed missing research prerequisite for Colony Pods starbase upgrade.
    • Fixed ships that were just built by a starbase from being unable to move.

Graphics:

  • Improved TEC Argonev starbase textures.
  • Gauss Blast no longer uses asteroid for its travel effect.
  • New starbase explosions for Advent and Vasari.
  • Fixed a weapon point on the Kol capital ship.
  • Dropped four unnecessary weapon points from the TEC Argonev starbase.
  • 2 new beam icon upgrades for the TEC Argonev.

Sound / Music:

  • Fixed sound bug allowing sounds to play before their minimum replay time had elapsed.
  • First pass on the majority of Entrenchment sound effects (no vocals yet).

Networking / Multiplayer:

  • Fixed two ICO crash bugs.
  • Fixed bug in transmitting unicode characters through the command system (fixes bad characters with chat and renaming entities in foreign languages).
  • Fixed one known sync bug.
  • Fixed a false positive sync bug.
  • Fixed starbases not upgrading when using Alloy.

User Interface / HUD:

  • Fixed swapped UI event messages for 'Frigate/Capital ship factory required'.
  • Open Starbase Upgrades button now shows upgrade capacity and stage state of all upgrades.
  • Weapon damage for a given weapon is only shown if that weapon is not constrained from firing (by research of starbase upgrade requirements).
  • Starbase upgrades that have unsatisfied research prerequisites now show the small research icon needed icon in the upgrade action grid.
  • Starbases now show population, tax income and trade income on their main Infocard, if appropriate.
  • Starbase constructors put at same level as colony frigates for band-boxing priority (i.e., doesn't get bandbox selected with your attack fleet units).
  • Fixed scroll bar (was missing alpha).
  • Fixed disabled state of jump drive artifact.
  • Starbases are now pinned in the Empire Tree by default.
  • Fixed TEC Ogrov torpedo cruisers now showing up as part of fleets.
  • Fixed a couple strings that referred to the Ogrov as the Ogrev.

Modding:

  • Capital ships now support the ability to change meshes as they upgrade.
  • Max weapon points increased from 10 to 20.
  • New "AntiModule" AttackType and new "Module" ArmorType are relevant side-effects added.
  • Banks can now engage a variable number of targets where the max number of targets per bank is controlled from data. See above for more details.

Misc.:

  • Fixed crash bug on exit and saving/loading game under certain circumstances.
  • Fixed replays from not working.
  • Fixed crash caused by rallying or following a mine.
  • Lots of memory optimizations.
  • Fixed crash in texture memory allocation.
  • Improved background texture loading algorithm.
  • Improved texture defragmentation.
  • Removed redundant non-pirate maps (you can select to not have pirates on any map).
  • Fixed game crashing when using a scout to attack Vasari mines.
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January 28, 2009 9:44:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Wow, looks great!

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January 28, 2009 9:55:31 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Holy mother of.. Blair, guys, I knew you were working hard on it but damn

Banks can now engage a variable number of targets where the max number of targets per bank is controlled from data. Each target will receive 100% of the bank's DPS at max, even if there is unused targeting capacity. The design goal is to provide improved combat utility against groups of targets and not against single targets. This is particularly important for starbases.

The funny thing is, of all of the suggestions I made in that thread, this was the least likely one I thought to be implemented. But this is so insanely awesome that my jaw is still on the floor. Not only will this help damage output, it will also make big battles so much more cinematic!

Starbases can now destabilize phase lanes heading out from their gravity well. This causes considerable damage and full antimatter loss to outgoing enemy units.

A good compromise instead of a perma-block PJI Is this an optional upgrade or an always-on thing?

Anti-structure cruisers (i.e., Ogrov) now use regular weapons logic which fixes a myriad of user interface and behavioral problems.
Anti-structure cruisers now prioritize structures (threats or otherwise).

All I can say is, yay! Now they won't be a headache to use.

Mines & Mine Clearing

Looking great on paper, 150 mines per grav well shouldn't be bad if the sweeping works as good in practice as it looks right now. The secondary bank changes will also help this a good bit. Hopefully the flickering invuln bug was squashed as well

Fixed queued orders potentially getting ignored after an auto-attack (finally found it Annatar! ).

Hey, I was giddy too after I found it Guess people weren't that crazy after all

Post colonization bonuses are now applied essentially at the same time as gaining of ownership of the planet.

Guess I bugged you enough about this one

All in all, this update looks pretty amazing. Please release it soon

---

As an aside question, did you have a chance to make the AIs care about capturing neutral extractors yet? You pwomithed!

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January 28, 2009 9:56:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Very nice. Very big update. 

Just sad that it is not live, yet.

Oh and it doesn't look like scraping single modules from a SB is possible. So no reconfig from frontline Battlebases to backyard EconBases.

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January 28, 2009 10:47:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I like, very much (on paper, atleast, final judgement pending).  Hopefully you can release it by weekend. The lenght of that changelist ( ) also explains why it took this long.

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January 28, 2009 10:50:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

wow sound like a lot of new changes.  Can't wait to get my hands on them and do some hard-core testing on them.  Good work guys.

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January 28, 2009 11:18:39 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I wish they would've done something with the VAS superweapon allowing ships to jump into any planet, though...that effectively screws you out of the whole Entrenchment philosophy.

Oh well, we can't get everything we want, right???

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January 28, 2009 11:40:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

That's dead sexy guys.

Gauss Blast no longer uses asteroid for its travel effect.

I take it back. I hate you.

P.S.  Will Flak frigates use the new multitarget banks?

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January 28, 2009 11:56:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

woah, I expected a big changelog, but that is really quite awesome.

weapons banks sounds cool, but I don't have the technical knowledge and I admit I never looked extremely closely, so I'll probably have to see and experience it first to note the difference. but larger stuff being able to engage more targets at the same time seems good.

hope the diverse SB upgrades really are upgraded this time.

well, the range ... I guess it's good if the other solution works

phase lane destabelisation: sound wonderful in theory, but I'll have to test it first. it it makes escaping from the grav well expensive, but not impossible and the thing is not too expensive to wield, I'm sold.

mines: yeah, resource cost for advent/ vasari mines. limit for tec mines. better routines for scouts, flaks able to clear them and general prioritisation for other ships. sounds good, we'll see if it works.

also the rest. pinned SB and upgrade status overview.

good work. hope to play it soon and hope there are few bugs, so you can get this baby finished.

thx for the update yarly

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January 28, 2009 11:57:54 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

P.S. Will Flak frigates use the new multitarget banks?

Sort of sounds like it.

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January 28, 2009 11:58:03 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Sounds very interesting and congrats on that I can't wait to try it now. Also every single change here has my 100% so far from what it seems it will do. Now to wait for release date and/or additional chnages.

But like Annatar asked, will the phase destabaliser be on by default on any starbase of requirer and upgrade. Also how will it deal damage to ships junping out? A flat damage like 200dmg to hull of all ships jumping out, or a % of the ships total hull points, or a % of the ships total remaining hull points?

Also will TEC and Advent starbase builders be set to not auto-join fleets like they currently are.

Finaly will starbase constructors be built at the capital shipyard instead of the factory, and will vasary get a custom starbase builder. If no, you shoudl probably be looking into making it a yes.

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January 28, 2009 12:14:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I love it. So many good changes, and only a few that I wonder about.

The best part, to me, is the AI prioritization (scouts always prioritize mineclearing, flaks prioritize fighters/bombers THEN mines, capship secondaries prioritize mines but primaries don't), since it looks like it'll make combats flow more "naturally"; mines will get destroyed, but they'll be limiting mobility AND tying up weapon banks that could be used to fight off attackers.  The question is, though: will scouts attached to a capship battle group stay close to the capships to spot for them, or will they go off on their own to take out mines?  (And would this depend on whether you'd turned on auto-attack for that scout?)  It would have been nice if each race had a cruiser that duplicated the scout's mine-detecting ability but did NOT have the AI change, solely to spot mines for capship fleets as they moved.  (For instance, add the detection to the Overseer for the Vasari.)  Don't get me wrong, this AI change means you could make some great dedicated minesweeper squadrons, but it'd be nicer to have the existing fleets sweep mines as they moved.

I'd really like to see numbers on the starbase upgrade changes.  Specifically, the ones that change the effectiveness of hangars and trade ports; if we balanced by cost, then the hangar upgrade would need to add 5-6 squadrons instead of 2, and that could get overpowered VERY quickly.  Who needs frontal deflector shields and debris-sucking repair when you can put two dozen bomber squadrons around a planet, in a near-indestructible hangar?

The 150 mine limit seems nice, although there's still a density issue: I'd assume you can still put all 150 in one small area (say, the end of a phase line), and no amount of minesweeping ability would save the incoming ships from being blown up.  So, are there now limitations on WHERE you can place the mines (say, in the inner area, where structures can be built)?  This is especially nasty with the homing mines; lay a cloud of them in one spot, and any enemy capship coming near gets wiped.

One other thing that worries me is a cost issue.  The cost of building a starbase has increased; Advent/Vasari minefields now cost resources.  In single-player games I inevitably have an economic advantage over the AI players, especially in the late game, and the AI builds far more starbases than I do.  (I build them on chokepoint systems and non-colonizables, the AI puts them everywhere.)  Are these changes going to bankrupt the AI players, to the point where their actual fleets will be less of a threat because they're sinking all of their resources into starbases?

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January 28, 2009 12:20:54 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I also have some questions about the phase destabilization ability: if weapon ranges have only been increased "slightly" is the damage from the ability going to be enough to convince players / the AI to NOT simply bypass a fronteir base into a lightly defended system?  If a fleet has sufficient repair ships (looking at TEC esp. here) then the damage I think should be enough to destroy anything less than a CL outright, otherwise fleets will just bypass a starbase, have repair ships lick their wounds (I realize anti-matter depletion helps counteract this, but will that be enough?) on their way to the next system, or while a fleet is mobilized to deal with them, and they'll be back at full combat strength for the engagement.

 

Might it help to also grant any starbases the charge-up delay of a PJI in addition to this destabilization effect?

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January 28, 2009 12:22:57 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Wow! I'm stoked

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January 28, 2009 12:30:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The question is, though: will scouts attached to a capship battle group stay close to the capships to spot for them, or will they go off on their own to take out mines? (And would this depend on whether you'd turned on auto-attack for that scout?)

Well ideally, fleeted scouts should stay within the bounds of the fleet cohesion setting, so they should stick the rest of the fleet to spot for it. I doubt their new AI behavior will supercede the fleet's cohesion setting

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January 28, 2009 12:59:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I am a little confused about this point:

 

"Banks can now engage a variable number of targets where the max number of targets per bank is controlled from data. Each target will receive 100% of the bank's DPS at max, even if there is unused targeting capacity. The design goal is to provide improved combat utility against groups of targets and not against single targets. This is particularly important for starbases."

 

When it says each target will receive 100% of the bank's DPS at max.  Ok my question is does this mean that if the bank is targeting say, 3 targets, each of the 3 targets simultaneously receives 100% of the banks DPS?  Effectively making the Banks DPS 300% of what it is listed, or will the damage be divided evenly between the 3 targets.  Forgive me if I'm just not understanding something really simple here, but as of now I'm quite confused by this.

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January 28, 2009 1:07:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It sounds like each target will receive 100% of the bank's damage output (ie, if the starbase beam does 100 damage and can fire at 3 targets, each target will receive 100 damage, rather than 33). But this is just my understanding, we'll probably have to wait for the beta update to see for ourselves.

Edit: On the other hand, mention of unused targeting capacity makes it sound otherwise.. so now I'm confused as well. Thanks a lot!

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January 28, 2009 1:08:47 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
Well ideally, fleeted scouts should stay within the bounds of the fleet cohesion setting, so they should stick the rest of the fleet to spot for it. I doubt their new AI behavior will supercede the fleet's cohesion setting

Several problems with that:

1> In the absence of specific orders, ships do their own things regardless of where the rest of the fleet is.  When I'd send a combined fleet into a system and leave it to its own devices, the carriers would hang back at the edge, the planet-destroyers would charge for the planet, and the other combat ships would head for the biggest threat.  Previously, the scouts would stay at the edge alongside the carriers; now, presumably, they'd hunt for mines.

So, with the new change, would they only stay with the capships if I ordered the fleet to move to a specific point (which I do NOT want to do, since it'd make the carriers move inward as well)?  If I ordered the fleet to attack a specific target, I'd presume they'd attack as well, which'd allow the capship secondaries to still clear out nearby mines.  But even if they did stay with the fleet, and then the capships reached their destination or killed their targets, would the scouts then wander off towards the nearest mines as normal?

2> How tolerant is that cohesion compared to the scouts' detection range?  Could a scout wander far enough from the center of the fleet that the capships in the center would lose their protection?  Increasing the detection range would really help here.  A better solution, IMO, would be to give all capships some rudimentary mine-detecting ability; you'd still want the scouts along to spot for the cruisers and frigates, or to increase the detection range, but your capships wouldn't be quite as vulnerable to if/when the AI does something flaky.

3> Likewise, scouts are far faster than the capships they'd be accompanying.  If the scouts get out far enough ahead of the capital ships, then they become targets for any enemies simply by virtue of being the only things in range.  They're already extremely fragile; to me, scouts in large fleets should try to protect themselves.  Hug the capital ships' flanks, hang back once the actual shooting starts, that sort of thing.  Obviously there are limits to how far you can take this.

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January 28, 2009 1:09:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Busting at the seams with anticipation!!

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January 28, 2009 1:18:27 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

1> In the absence of specific orders, ships do their own things regardless of where the rest of the fleet is. When I'd send a combined fleet into a system and leave it to its own devices, the carriers would hang back at the edge, the planet-destroyers would charge for the planet, and the other combat ships would head for the biggest threat. Previously, the scouts would stay at the edge alongside the carriers; now, presumably, they'd hunt for mines.

This is not true for fleets, though. I'm talking about the actual 'fleet' entity that you create from the tactical menu, not just a selected group of ships. All ships in a created fleet follow the fleet leader. They do their own stuff as defined by the fleet's cohesion setting and auto-attack behavior, so ships in "tight" cohesion will barely move to engage, while ships in "loose" will move farther before falling back to the fleet leader. At the same time, setting them to "hold position" will make them keep formation with the fleet, but not auto-engage enemies.

So in essence, you get to keep all of your ships together and the scouts can spot for all of them.

2> How tolerant is that cohesion compared to the scouts' detection range?  Could a scout wander far enough from the center of the fleet that the capships in the center would lose their protection?  Increasing the detection range would really help here.  A better solution, IMO, would be to give all capships some rudimentary mine-detecting ability; you'd still want the scouts along to spot for the cruisers and frigates, or to increase the detection range, but your capships wouldn't be quite as vulnerable to if/when the AI does something flaky.

Right now.. not very. It's not really the fault of the cohesion setting so much as the ship physics requiring fairly wide turning arcs if they must turn and in some cases the detection range is less than the amount of room you need to turn safely, if you need to turn. It should still be well ahead of the fleet that with the new clearing changes they should not just plow through the minefield, assuming you're not trying to clear 150 mines with only a couple ships.

3> Likewise, scouts are far faster than the capships they'd be accompanying.  If the scouts get out far enough ahead of the capital ships, then they become targets for any enemies simply by virtue of being the only things in range.  They're already extremely fragile; to me, scouts in large fleets should try to protect themselves.  Hug the capital ships' flanks, hang back once the actual shooting starts, that sort of thing.  Obviously there are limits to how far you can take this.

You can do this, too. Just turn off autoattack if you want to keep them as pure fleet spotters, and they'll always stick by the cap ships and not go anywhere.

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January 28, 2009 1:30:18 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

i've posted this list and link to this thread on community impluse to let them know to only post stuff not on this list and to point them to stardock!!!!!

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January 28, 2009 1:43:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
It sounds like each target will receive 100% of the bank's damage output (ie, if the starbase beam does 100 damage and can fire at 3 targets, each target will receive 100 damage, rather than 33). But this is just my understanding, we'll probably have to wait for the beta update to see for ourselves.

Edit: On the other hand, mention of unused targeting capacity makes it sound otherwise.. so now I'm confused as well. Thanks a lot!

Here's an example, from my understanding:

Starbase has a gun that does 100 DPS, and the bank that faces forward has a maximum of 3 targets.

 

If 1 target is in range, Starbase hits it for 100 dps.

If 2 targets are in range, Starbase hits them both for 100 dps each (200 total)

If 3 targets are in range, Starbase hits all of them for 100 dps each (300 total)

If 5 targets are in range, it either has to pick 3 to damage, or split the damage 5 ways and reduce it (maximum of 300 total dps).

 

The difference between this and the old method is that with the old method, doing 300 total DPS to 3 targets also meant that if only one target was in range, that target would eat 300 DPS and get totally flattened. This new method lets the Starbase be stronger against groups of ships without completely oblitterating a single ship that wanders into range. "Unused targetting capacity" means that the Starbase could do more damage if more ships were in range, but it can't launch all that firepower at a single target.

 

Now I could be totally wrong, but thats how I read it.

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January 28, 2009 1:44:46 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

WOOT!!!! UPDATE!!!!!!! Cant wait to see how it all plays out!

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January 28, 2009 1:51:11 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Now I could be totally wrong, but thats how I read it

Yeah, yours makes sense as well. I guess we'll see!

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January 28, 2009 1:53:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Annatar11,
This is not true for fleets, though. I'm talking about the actual 'fleet' entity that you create from the tactical menu, not just a selected group of ships. All ships in a created fleet follow the fleet leader.

Hmm, I wonder if I've ever used that Fleet mechanism, then.  All I do is select the first ships in the fleet (the capships), press CTRL-1, then as I build new ships to add to the fleets I shift-click to add them and ctrl-1 again, then select the new ships and tell them to move to the system containing the rest of that fleet.  No extra menus, no extra orders.  So it sounds like I'm never activating that fleet AI, and my ships are only "fleets" in the sense that they move from planet to planet as a group and duplicate any orders I give.  In some ways it's not a bad thing; leaving the carriers at the edge of the system does wonders for their survivability against an AI opponent, although a human foe would wipe them out easily.

Also, the AI does things this way, too; a pirate fleet attacking a system will send its siege ships straight in, even if the rest of the ships move to engage the defenders.  How much more dangerous would they be with a true "fleet" AI?  (And on a side note, how much more dangerous would pirate systems be with minefields and a pirate starbase?)

You can do this, too. Just turn off autoattack if you want to keep them as pure fleet spotters, and they'll always stick by the cap ships and not go anywhere.

I guess this is related to the cohesion discussion above, then.  That particular point was not about the scouts wanting to attack, just that they accelerate/turn faster than the heavier vessels.  If my "fleets" were just groups of ships taking the same orders, the ships would travel at their own speeds to each destination, and invariably the faster ones would get ahead of the rest.  Over time, this led me to stop making frigates altogether; the heavy cruisers traveled at speeds close to the capships, so I'd never have problems using them, and the carriers stayed on the fringes, but invariably the flak frigates and such would be the first to die simply from getting ahead of the rest.

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January 28, 2009 1:58:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Awesome stuff.  I really hope this gets out before the weekend as I'd really love to play Sins again.  DoW 2 being Warcraft 3 in spaaaace makes me sad.

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