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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:59 pm 
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Pseudofeline Overlord
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This is a quick hack I coded into the game that increases the durability of heavily armoured sections. If the damage of the incoming attack is less than 1% of the target section's current HP, no damage is done. Yes, that means armour effectiveness is reduced as it takes damage.

This means you are forced to use heavy weaponry to engage heavily armoured targets, but can still use smaller weapons to finish off weakened targets or exploit vulnerabilities such as weaker flank armour.

400 HP is just enough to foil vulcan fire, and a minimum of 800 HP is needed to stop heavy vulcan fire, as long as no heavier damage is dealt out. A massive 2000 HP is required to nullify the firepower of even the basic autocannon.

This armour rating is ignored by railguns, beams and explosive/area-effect weapons like artillery. This means massed vulcan fire is no longer a viable strategy for engaging intact, heavily armoured warships. Demeters may also be able to ignore armour ratings.

This does not reduce the effectiveness of incoming shots that exceed the armour rating - they will still deal full damage. Thus you can still kill heavy targets with weaker weapons, you just need to soften them up with heavier guns first.

It also applies to turrets and modules due to the way the code works, but they have so little health compared to armour that everything should be able to damage them.

If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know here.

Ed: If you want to experiment with it, you can get the branch build here. Let me know if you find any weird bugs.

Ed 2: When I say any thoughts, I mean any, btw. The hack is pretty flexible since it's so simple right now. For example, I think I could adjust it to halve/quarter/otherwise reduce incoming damage of insufficient power rather than ignore weak hits altogether. What I don't want to do is reduce all incoming damage by a certain amount, as that would radically alter combat resolution.

~~

Major Adjustment:
At the suggestion of LactoseTolerant and my own thoughts, I've implemented rounding on the armour ratings. This means 400 total HP will protect against standard vulcan hits until current HP is reduced below 350. This way one autocannon shell won't instantly open the door to being slowly torn apart by vulcan fire, but it shouldn't significantly impact wearing down either.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:43 am 
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That's actually a really clever idea. Kind of makes it seem like higher hp values represent higher quality armour, not just more.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:59 am 
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Great idea for countering Vulcan spam, Arca :D .

Ed: It' might be better to swap to having heavier armor negate some of the damage rather ignore the shots completely, as I can easily put a 6k health section on larger battleships and place all my turrets there, making it nigh-invincible.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:13 am 
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Brilliant idea, will give larger ships enough staying power to be worth their cost rather than a zerg rush of smaller ones, and address the weapon to armour balance nicely (which IMO was skewed towards weapons before). However, since PD is capable of negating artillery, missiles have poor DPS (among other things), drones' damage is spread out, autocannons are too slow to actually hit (and are negated by PD, a double whammy) and now vulcans can't do damage, it seems like a weapon/PD overhaul is in order so that beamspam doesn't become the only viable tactic against large ships with both armour and PD.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:19 am 
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Water_and_Wind wrote:
Brilliant idea, will give larger ships enough staying power to be worth their cost rather than a zerg rush of smaller ones, and address the weapon to armour balance nicely (which IMO was skewed towards weapons before). However, since PD is capable of negating artillery, missiles have poor DPS, drones' damage is spread out, autocannons are too slow to actually hit (and are negated by PD, a double whammy) and now vulcans can't do damage, it seems like a weapon/PD overhaul is in order so that beamspam doesn't become the only viable tactic against large ships with both armour and PD.


Well it's not like it's hard to modify the PD lists. ;)

What I could do is remove them from the targeting list but retain the bullet types. That way PD shots will still take AC/VC shots out if a collision does occur by chance, but PD won't actively target them, thereby allowing some of the original intended behaviour to remain without completely wrecking their effectiveness.

I haven't noticed many problems with AC shots not hitting/having issues bypassing PD, but then most of the fights I've been running have involved the heavier, slower-moving ships with relatively few PD guns in less-than-optimized positions.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:46 am 
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The root of the problem, IMO, is that PD is too powerful because it has a large clip size, thus destroying multiple projectiles with every shot. A few CIWS guns can stop any artillery barrage and 90% of HAC shots, making them all but worthless. Maybe lowering the clip size of PD, along with a corresponding increase in missile interception to make up for it, and removing vulcans from the targeting list (not too sure if ACs should be removed after a potential PD nerf) would do the trick?

Increasing the cost of PD is an alternative to reducing its effectiveness.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:43 am 
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I like the idea, i think though that if you could apply it so that if the damage incoming is less than 50% of the HP damage starts to decrease, from 100% damage at 50% of damage/hp to 50% at 25% of damage/hp to 0% at 1% of damage/hp or something.

Allowing better protection against big weapons, and allowing smaller ships to use comparatively heavy armour and still be able to afford engines and guns. Also this would increase the usefulness of beam weapons and other armour penetrators.

This would sort of model armour degrading as its damaged rather than just suddenly peeling away when down to 350hp.
You will probably want to make it a non-linear degrading too.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:46 am 
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This also indirectly makes people reconsider spamming 1000 small 10 HP section ablatives.

I liek.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:57 am 
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Silverware wrote:
You will probably want to make it a non-linear degrading too.


I think I'll pass on that one. I don't particularly feel the need to make it much more complicated. What you propose would massively shake up the balance of combat, which is something I have no intention of doing.

Also, take in mind this armour system was achieved using only a single line of code.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Using the same line just a little modified would represent standard armor a little better.
Up to you guys ultimately but I think that just 1% damage going to nothing will be a little weak, and ablative will still be rather powerful in comparison simply due to the mass considerations required for 400+ hp sections.
While making a smaller gradient based damage for underwhelming damage, would mean smaller ships and sections will still be "good enough" vs rapid firing weapons.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:17 pm 
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i don't think it's paritcularly weak actually, the point of it is that the armour is meant to just shrug off small projectiles such as vulcans without sustaining any permanent damage. anything strong enough to penetrate will do its full damage

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:16 pm 
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I'll probably be cranking the armour rating up a bit and possibly reducing the damage output of weapons anyway. Combat was already very very messy, and with proper tracking it's like watching...

I'm not sure what it's like to watch, other than fights now end very quickly. Even compared to before.

So much for not significantly fucking with combat balance, I guess. :|

Adding insult to injury is that our main balance dude (HorseMonster) is off doing basic training or something for the army, so he's pretty much unable to assist in matters right now, and I'm not very good at judging balance.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:04 pm 
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Hey man I'm still here until january. Right now I'm just doing some other stuff, I'll try to get on IRC when I can.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:04 am 
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With the ability to lead shots i think that having graduated armour would help increase the lifespan of the ships and therefore the combat to the point where it would be interesting to watch again...

im not sure, if i were trusted with the code i could probibly turn out one with the change needed to the armour to show the idea off...
but meh


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:45 am 
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Leading shots should make it so that a ship slightly faster than 2 speed won't make it able to dodge a billion autocannon shots . Good.

Maybe we could add different types of armor and plating to the shipbuilding guide, and be able to change the durability of said plates individually in shipmaker? This sounds like a lot to ask, though.

Example: have different classes of armor, ablative, light, medium, heavy. Each piece of armor has a specific durability and size constraint. ex, ablative pieces can be no larger than X by Y pixels, etc. This would make it so larger ships would have to have larger pieces of armor. In addition, it would make ablative armor less of a problem since it'll take up less space.

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