To put things into perspective, here are some survival rates for other hard counters...all battles lend 180 fleet supply to each side, about how much you'd have with one fleet upgrade, minus your cap and a few colony ships...the percent to the right indicates the survival rate for hard counter unit (the unit that's supposed to win by a lot)...assume that any flak were heavily microed...
LRMs vs. Disciples - 69%
Cobalts vs. Defense Vessels - 81%
Kanraks vs. Disciples - 53%
Skirmishers vs. Defense Vessels - 62%
Any Flak vs. Any Corvette - ~98%
As you can see, TEC hard counters Advent LFs and flak around the 70%-80% range...Vasari hard counters Advent LFs and flak around the 50%-60% range...all flak counter corvettes around ~98%...now let's see some results involving LRFs and their counters...
TEC Corvettes vs. LRMs - 50%
Gardas vs. LRMs - 56%
TEC Corvettes vs. Illuminators - 28%
Gardas vs. Illuminators - 36%
Against Vasari Corvettes, Illuminators outright won, and against sentinels it was a close toss-up, with sentinels winning sometimes and Illuminators winning sometimes...
I feel compelled to ask whether the corvettes were microed? Microing corvettes is even more important against Illuminators then against other LRM frigates- they only have 1 "dead zone" where they cannot fire(behind them). As a result the illuminators gain more from you not microing the corvetttes then other LRM frigates as without micro not only will the corvettes almost always be getting fired uppon, but if the corvettes spread out they actually increase their opponent's firepower by allowing individual illuminators to be firing 2-3 beams at a time.
As you can see, Corvettes do not counter LRFs nearly as hard as the other hard counters...in particular, Illuminators are vastly more resilient against their counter units...the point I'm trying to make is not that illuminators are an I WIN button, but rather that there is a huge disparity in how effectively they are countered vs. the other two LRFs...
This is the crux of the problem in your thinking. Too often in one game or another I've seen things unnecessarily nerfed for conceptual "consistency" reasons when they weren't causing balance problems.
Yes, Illuminators are harder to counter then other LRMs- but they don't NEED to be hard-countered as hard due to their many other drawbacks(shorter range, inferior focusfire potential, they come out later in the game, and they lack the low cooldown firepower active abilities of the other two LRM frigates).
you could do these same battles using cost instead of fleet supply as the equalizer, but the same results occur: Illuminators vastly outperform LRMs and kanraks when going against their counters (corvettes and flak)...
I'll reiterate that my proposed change would affect all LRFs, not just Illuminators (though I feel it would affect Illuminators more)...
Another major advantage of Illuminators people are forgetting is the build times, which I find to be more the bottleneck than resources even if using 2 or 3 frigate factories...consider the following "total times" needed to produce 120 fleet supply's worth of units:
20 Illuminators - 580 seconds
20 Kanraks - 560 seconds
30 LRMs - 750 seconds
30 Disciples - 680 seconds
30 Defense - 1050 seconds
40 Corvettes - 600 seconds
Illuminators build 30% faster than LRMs, and 80% faster than flak...corvettes and LFs are comparable, however more fleet supply of LFs or Corvettes is generally needed to achieve the same "effectiveness"...from both experience and from analysis, I would argue that amassing Illuminators is much easier than pretty much any unit other than Kanraks (which are about the same)...it's not just about cost, fleet supply (which incurs maintenance) and construction times also must be considered, and it is in those two areas where Illuminators really shine: for your time and for your fleet supply, they are an extremely efficient unit...
Yes build speed is important, but keep in mind that illuminators come out at a later tier then any other early game frigate(T3). This is huge for pacing and does a great deal to counterbalance their build speed.
heck-often by the time an advent player has illuminators in any really sizeable number the game is already entering the mid-game wherein corvettes begin waning in usefulness in general.
The cost difference per fleet supply amongst Illuminators, Kanraks, and LRMs is within 2%...
Defense vessels are about 5% more expensive than Illuminators...
Garda's are about 6% more expensive than Defense Vessels
I'll grant you the defense value point- but comparing cost:supply efficiency cross race is a dangerous pitfall. TEC economy is substantially better then the advent(this is the reason all advent early frigates are more cost effective then other factions).
Honestly all things considered I suspect the TEC economy is more then capable of fielding an equal supply of gardas with the same economical burden the advent suffers fielding illuminators
Quoting RiddleKing, reply 41this is wrong.. defense vessels are easier to roll out because they cost less than illuminators. Your very mis-informed.
No RiddleKing, you are misinformed...defense vessels cost about 5% more than illuminators and would take about 80% longer to build...flak in general is the most expensive and time consuming frigate to build in the game...
Quoting sareth01, reply 44What don't you do vs advent fleets? build lots of corvettes. You should build flak and lrms. Lrms kill disciples and can do a quick kill of a paper tissue armored advent capital, and the flak will clear the skies of the pesky, poorly armored advent corvettes.
Let us consider two battles, using cost as the equalizer:
20 LRMs + 20 Gardas vs. 31 Disciples + 38 Advent Corvettes
Fleet Supply: 160 vs. 238
Cost: 25,150 credits vs. 25,110 credits
Build Time: 1200 seconds vs. 1252 seconds
Results: Advent wins with 10-11 Disciples and 6-7 Corvettes surviving (26% survival rate in regards to fleet supply)
238 fleet supply beat 160 fleet supply? Really?
I get that you are saying build time and resource cost are important- they are, but not to the complete exclusion of fleet supply. Fleet supply is the really only universal method of judging fleet size as different races have vasty different economies, ship unlock progressions, and build speeds. The only common feature is fleet supply cap per incoem tac rate.
In particular it isn't really a fair comparison to compare the same resource cost of ships- The TEC have a far superior economy to the advent- to counterbalance this advent get early ships with a better potency:resource cost ratio. At the same resource cost early game all else being equal the advent SHOULD have a bit of an upper hand because realistically the TEC have a lot more money to dump into their fleet.
24 Cobalts + 36 TEC Corvettes vs. 31 Disciples vs. 38 Advent Corvettes
Fleet Supply: 228 vs. 238
Cost: 24,840 credits vs. 25,110 credits
Build Time: 1116 seconds vs. 1252 seconds
Results: TEC wins with ~14 Cobalts surviving (31% survival rate in regards to fleet supply)
This is exactly what I'm talking about: yes illuminators may be individually countered less hard, but once everything is put together it's reasonable. With comparable supply the TEC force won- it's not unreasonable tod eal with advent vettes+illuminators so don't mess with it.
Not to mention cobalts come out a lot earlier then illuminators meaning the fleets realistically may not even be so even(the TEC may have a lead)
My MP experience tells me that trying to throw gardas and LRMs against an early Advent fleet is a really bad idea, but I tested it just to make sure...you are much better off just matching the Advent LFs and Corvettes with your own...
I'd like to consider two other battles inspired from the two immediately above...let us again use cost as the equalizer:
24 Cobalts + 36 TEC Corvettes vs. 14 Illuminators + 19 Defense Vessels
Fleet Supply: 228 vs. 160
Cost: 24,840 credits vs. 24,535 credits
Build Time: 1116 seconds vs. 1071 seconds
Results: TEC wins with ~9 Cobalts surviving (20% survival rate in regards to fleet supply)
Compare this to the "opposite" battle of LRMs + Gardas vs. Advent Corvettes + Disciples...In both cases, the LF+Corv. fleet was was superior to the LRF+flak fleet, with the disadvantage of requiring more fleet supply...however, when the Advent won, it was with a total survival rate of 26% while the TEC won with a survival rate of 20%...
21 LRMs + 18 Gardas vs. 14 Illuminators + 19 Defense Vessels
Fleet Supply: 156 vs. 160
Cost: 24,405 credits vs. 24,535 credits
Build Time: 1155 seconds vs. 1071 seconds
Results: Advent wins with ~3 Illuminators (21% survival rate in regards to fleet supply)...as for the flak, there was ~18 Defense Vessels (5% losses; near full health) vs. ~16 Gardas (11% losses; near zero shields)**
**LRFs are all destroyed first, at which point the battle becomes a Flak vs. Flak that the Advent eventually win...since you aren't going to have just Flak vs. Flak (players would continually reinforce with LFs or LRFs), the final tally of this battle is meaningless...therefore, I chose to highlight a more interesting point, the time when one side loses all their LRFs...I'll reiterate that the Defense vessels walked away with hardly any damage while the Gardas left with hardly any shields remaining....
Thus we have 4 battles of TEC vs. Advent (I omit Vasari since their fleet is inferior to both)...in the LF+Corv. vs. LF+Corv., the TEC clearly win with survival rate of 31%...in the LRF+Flak vs. LRF+Flak, the Advent clearly win with 21% survival rate of Illuminators at moment all LRMs are destroyed (additionally, Gardas take more losses and are much more damaged than Defense Vessels)...in LF+Corv. vs. LRF+Flak, the LF+Corv. fleet always won....however, Advent won their battle with 26% survival rate while TEC won their battle with 20% survival rate...
Frankly the LF+Corv. vs. LRF+Flak tests IMO were rather poorly designed- Favoring resource costs over fleet supply, and allowing comparable numbers of illuminators in spite of illuminators coming out at T3 frankly are design decisions that give advent an edge over TEC.
I'd now like to add some additional "realistic" considerations to these battles that would potentially favor one faction over the other:
No capital ships were involved in these battles:
Early game, Advent are likely to have at least 1 if not 2 of the following AoEs: Malice, Fracture, Psionic Scream, Energy Aura, Shield Regeneration...TEC on the other hand are only likely to have Demolition Teams...if both players just use colonizer cap, then only Advent have useful AoEs (Malice and Shield Regeneration) that would tilt these battles more in their favor...if both players lead with colonizer cap and build a second, Advent are very likely to have 2 or 3 AoEs while TEC at most will have 1 (Demolition Teams)....
Advent Fighters and bombers do more damage than TEC SC...relevancy depends on # and type of capital ships...
But frankly demolition teams is stronger then any of the advent early AoE options. not to mention two of the options are on the same capitalship(the discord), so only one will be skilled past rank 1 early game.
Also Malice doesn't really hit it's stride until mid game. honestly though I think bringing capitalships into this is kind of silly- capitalship balance is the same as ever.
If there was a capitalships effect directly tied to the matchup, such as one that widened beam-firing arcs, allowing illuminators to allow more beams to be utilized against the highly mobile corvettes I may think differently- but as it is, both sides contribute effects with rather predefined effects on the battle independent of ship class
None of these battles considered the effect of reinforcements...in general, units of same class (LRMs, Illuminators, and Kanraks) differ in cost per fleet supply by less than 2%...however, build times are not comparable...as an example, Illuminators build 30% faster (per fleet supply) than LRMs while Disciples build 13% slower than Cobalts...TEC/Advent corvettes and flak are the same...
Advent early fleet needs only 2 weapon technology lines (Lasers and Beams) while TEC early fleet needs 3 weapon technology lines (Lasers, Missiles, and Autocannons)...
LRMs do 67% more frontal DPS than Illuminators...
Do what you want with all this information...I still believe that in a real game where cap abilities and build times matter, the Illuminator is the 2nd easiest ship to amass (2nd only to kanraks) and the hardest to counter....
Build speed is certainly important, but frankly I think you are vastly underestimating the effect the Illuminator's T3 military requirement has on the pacing of producing this ship. An extra tier means earlier tier ships have a good deal extra time to bolster their numbers before illums are even available.
Yes they are defintiely the toughest LRF to counter, but think of it this way: No one built Illums back when there WERE NO HARD COUNTERS TO LRM FRIGATES BESIDES FIGHTERS(no corvettes). Honestly Illums can be dealt with even without reliance on corvettes. Their lack of early game presence, poor range, and lack of focusfire frankly means they don't NEED to be countered as hard by their dedicated early game counter as other LRM frigates
As a final note, I'll reiterate that my proposed change is to reduce the effectiveness of Antimedium weaponry against Very Light armor...this is a change that would make all LRFs more vulnerable to their hard counter (though I think it would affect Illuminators more than LRMs and Kanraks)...you can think of it as a nerf to LRFs, or as a buff to Corvettes, I don't really care...
And guess who that hurts the most? The LRM that can cause the most casualties before dying at present- which is the Illum. Other LRMs have trouble bringing their firepower to bear on corvettes- the damage % is mostly irrelevant.
What I do know is that Corvettes have little use mid and late game, and I believe there are 3 reasons for this:
Titan and Cap AoEs shred them
They don't counter LRFs fast enough, you are better off with flak and HCs
They take too much fleet supply to be useful...not a problem early game when maintenance is lower, but more problematic as maintenance levels increase (each additional percentage point of upkeep becomes more taxing than the last)
Not claiming it is enough, but the proposed change would be a step in the right direction...you see LRF spam and bomber spam frequently after the early game, yet the ship that allegedly counters both has virtually no appearance beyond the early game...I think LRFs' and particularly Illuminators' resilience against Corvettes is one part of the problem....
I also still stand by my belief held since diplomacy that Anti-very light weaponry should be slightly less effective against light armor but have a better chance to hit against bombers (basically, flak isn't as good against LRFs but equally good against bombers)...I say this to demonstrate that my goal isn't to nerf LRFs into oblivion, it's to make their supposed hard counter, the Corvette, actually do it's job without the need of HCs and flak...
Honestly as long as corvettes win at equal supply I think the counter requirement is fuffilled- how "hard" a counter is can vary from faction to faction. Honestly not every ship of the same class needs to be countered equally hard- provided they have drawbacks in toher areas- which the Illum does.
Honestly I think your argument is primarily built on a series of tests in a void that don't take into account a wide variety of in game influences. SHips should be nerfed if they are causing a widely observed in game disruption of balance- not just because a few tests say they aren't countered as hard as other ships of the same class. Tests should be run on things that people already have reason to believe is OP, not to be the entire reason something is OP.
Can advent fleets heavy on illuminators no be dealt with? if the answer is "no" then nerfing the illuminator would just make a faction unnecessarily less viable for the sake of consistency, which is a bad idea.
Anyway gotta run now, will be editing my post a bit later.