The altered movement system for new server crushes balance

Discussion in 'Beta Discussion' started by Dalwin, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    The idea of slowing down movement overall is a good one. I like how the battles play out more or less.

    The problem is that the way it was slowed down was poorly thought out. It is undoubtedly the way that was easiest to program and no thought at all was given to how it would effect the game as players progressed.

    1.) Last server it was already a problem that T6 or 7 ships were fast enough to terrorize smaller ships. And the Yamato was way over the top. The new system makes this size imbalance far worse.

    T3 ships lost 50% of their movement (and initiative), T4 lost 33%, T5 only 25% and so on up the line. By the time you get to T7+ the ship only lost 12-15% of their former movement and initiative. The original problem of large ship preying on smaller one with almost total impunity has gotten far worse than before.

    For example a T5 with initiative skills and popping rally 2, even without engine damage and dropping everything to warp out, gets easily out initiated by any Sol T6 or T7 and that is while they have significant power still in weapons.

    2.)This imbalance, once one side has a significant edge is unrecoverable. The bigger ships have more of everything including speed and init and cannot be opposed. This server it is Sol who already has a crushing advantage. It would not have been any better if it had been Genari who had the edge though. The new movement breaks ship size balance and then snowballs out of control so the stronger side will get rapidly even stronger.

    3.) The originally proposed plan of reducing overall energy by roughly 25% across the board would not have suffered from these same issues. Some ships would have needed rebalancing and the energy advantage of missiles would have grown, but not in a way that spiraled out of control as this is in the process of doing.

    Either the entire movement change has to be rethought, or at a bare minimum, lower tier ships need additional energy (and some large ships need less). Alternately, the larger ships could have their movement and init multiplier increased more than the token amount they have been up to now.

    To recap T3 losing 50% while T7+ loses 15% or less, is insanity considering that large ships were already too fast before the change.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  2. Umari

    Umari New Member

    Bravo. Perfectly stated. The current movement system is inarguably broken. Of course small ships should run circles around larger ships. The absolutely pitiful excuse that there are small sectors for smaller ships is absurd and unacceptable. New player and vets alike are quitting left and right. Vesuvius needs to get his head out of the clouds and WAKE UP. You're simply wrong, brother. That's all there is to it and this is only one of MANY issues which needs to be addressed but isn't. Start listening to us and addressing these issues or I won't be long for this game either. Get ready for a scathing Steam review when the time comes. Act your age Ves. Kindergarten indeed!!!
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  3. Zuuwly

    Zuuwly New Member

    Seriously this issue needs to be addressed . If it continues that the higher tier ships run rings around the lower tier ships in this way i'd be amazingly suprised if anyone continues to play after they lose thier first dozen ships! Range is one thing but speed and maneuverabilty quite another. 'Agile' flyer Indeed!
    While we're on this subject - the manueverability skill needs to be addressed too! whats the difference between man1 and man2 on most ships??? - maybe change each level to one more move? easier than the fractions and maybe someone may take the skill past level one then?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  4. Midnightsun

    Midnightsun Member

    Dalwin I like very much your root cause analysis. Hopefully next server will be balanced better again. Such a simple thing and the consequences were huge
  5. Beernchips

    Beernchips Member

    The topic was already discussed before but reducing power will cripple Sol shields and drastic changes to movement will impact mainly Genari and their ability to hit and run or at least close the gap
  6. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    But a power reduction would not have to be done blindly. It would need some testing and a bit of tweaking for the actual numbers on various ship classes. Instead of a flat percentage across the board it probably has to be based on what power is left after running moderate shields and weapons (definitely not on max levels since some ships can barely do that already, as intended). So something like -25% for Gen and -20% for Sol would be a realistic average with some ships having a larger or smaller reduction on a case by case basis. Like I said in the original post, I think it was done this way because it was a lot less work, but since this is a failure did they really gain anything by taking the easy route?

    Simply saying it would cripple Sol shields is shortsighted and biased IMO. What says Sol should be able to run high shields on multiple sides at once anyway? Especially with the slower movement, there is little need to shield more than one or two sides.

    As it currently stands, both the Liverpools and Mercury IIs have large advantages in their respective weight classes. The ability to be relatively fast and amazing snipers is huge in the current meta.

    So while the topic may have been discussed before, that was all supposition and conjecture without any real data to back it up. The current system is obviously flawed in a major way, that has been proven pretty solidly I would say.
    Umari likes this.
  7. Trident

    Trident New Member

    One idea I have is to just have a minus int stat for higher class ships, t3 t4 same, t5 t6 minus 1, t7 t8 minus 2, t9 and 10 minus 3. Just numbers coming of the top of my head, but should be easy to do. Reducung engine power might need looking at but would be alot more harder to balance, espicially with red saying the montana and yamy will go 20 move or more when upgraded. This is a problem with engine power upgrade being percentage based instead of a fixed number giving higher classes far to much extra energy. Changing skills to fixed number boosts (i.e +1,+2,+3,+4,+5) would also fix this...
  8. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    Another bad aspect to this size imbalance is that we have a problem with low population and new player retention. The idea that any ship a new player is likely to get into before giving up on the game is at an extreme disadvantage, hardly seems like a good design choice. Having some smaller rooms is really not enough.
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  9. JBHemlock

    JBHemlock New Member

    The problem, as Dalwin says, is that a correcting factor was applied that's not flat across the ships, and was in fact biased towards large ships. If the intention was to alter movement to favor small ships moving quickly, the bias should have been run in the other direction, or it should have simply been flat if that was the desire. For example:

    Applying a bias against large ship movement:
    Class I 1:6 remains the same
    Class II originally 1:3 changed to 1:2
    Class III originally 1:2 changed to 1:1
    Class IV originally 1:1 changed to 3:1
    Class V originally 2:1 changed to 5:1
    Class VI originally 3:1 changed to 8:1
    Class VII originally 4:1 changed to 10:1
    Class VIII originally 6:1 changed to 15:1
    Class IX originally 8:1 changed to 20:1
    Class X originally 10:1 changed to 24:1

    Applying a flat correcting factor
    Class I 1:6 remains the same
    Class II originally 1:3 changed to 1:2
    Class III originally 1:2 changed to 1:1
    Class IV originally 1:1 changed to 2:1
    Class V originally 2:1 changed to 4:1
    Class VI originally 3:1 changed to 6:1
    Class VII originally 4:1 changed to 8:1
    Class VIII originally 6:1 changed to 12:1
    Class IX originally 8:1 changed to 16:1
    Class X originally 10:1 changed to 20:1

    I'm a new player in the game, and I don't have a ton of time to play. I probably get in about 1-2 hours a day, so I fall squarely into the "not hardcore, not casual" meatcake category of gamers. When I picked up the game, I was seeing a lot of fun fights around small ships, and I was really enjoying that aspect of it. The last couple of days, however, have seen a shift towards bigger ships, with most fights being dominated by surprisingly mobile T6 and T7 ships. I know I could grind my way up to something like that, but it really does feel like there isn't much of a purpose to my small ship on the battlefield, and the prospect of "grinding" by repeatedly losing my ship to someone else's T6 doesn't sound fun.

    Small ships tend to have a scanner advantage, and perhaps that's something that should be capitalized on more. To do so, however, small ships need to be able to remain mobile while boosting their scanners - maybe let a T3 retain the old 1:2 movement ratio, but boost the power requirement (while leaving damage the same) to the weapons. That would let a scanners-only T3 remain fast, but slow it down once it charged weapons.

    Another option (granted, one that would require more programming) would be to introduce a scaling factor to accuracy when you're shooting at something that's out of your size range. It fits with real life (you don't shoot at a fighter jet with a ship's main guns, you use more nimble anti-aircraft weapons), and it's been successfully applied in other games. Eve Online used to have this same problem in the early days: Any gun could hit anything with equal ease. They altered it so that big guns lost effectiveness against smaller targets and suddenly small ships were viable again. Imagine if weapon damage scaled down by some factor - a T6 hitting a T3 might only do 25%-50% of its damage. It would give both sides a reason to bring in mixed fleets, since small ships would require the other side to have small ships to counter them.
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  10. Baalrog

    Baalrog Member

    I like the idea with the gun modification, though realistically it should be an evasion bonus not a damage reduction, since if the big gun hits it hits with the same damage no matter the ships size. But i am good with the damage reduction too, since it doesnt have to confirm to any real live physics.
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  11. Vesuvius_SWIE

    Vesuvius_SWIE Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, just wow. All I do is listen to complaints, and change. There is a bottleneck however, with how fast each thing gets implemented.
    Anyway, I can request movement point ratios to be reduced with the bigger ships, suggest actual ratio changes like Hemlock has. However, there was a problem with odd number movement point ratio changes such as 5:1 etc... I even wanted 2:3 and 3:2, but it wasn't possible with the programming involved, until just today's update where you see the decimal point movement and such. SO I am working with what I have.
    But please, I'm tired of these threats. Its like when you volunteer your time in the hospital, but everyone there hates you. It is really a burnout.

    Lastly: notice that those complaining here on the Genari side. The losing side is always most vocal on complaints, the winning... silent as always.
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  12. JBHemlock

    JBHemlock New Member

    In Eve (I know, that's not a good reason to duplicate this - I'm just bringing up the mechanism CCP came up with as an example) their rationale was "big lasers aren't more intense than small lasers. Instead, they have more power, but the beam is more widely spread. Big missiles are more damaging because they have a bigger radius of damage". The end result of this was a damage reduction. It *felt* right.

    Actually, thinking about it, they really did both. They matched accuracy against the tracking speed of a turret, and factored that in, too. So a fast ship in a very tight orbit was harder to hit than the same ship sitting still. That sounds like a lot of work to implement, though. A simple damage modifier seems like it would be an easier way of getting this done.

    On an unrelated note, I've done the whole independent game developer thing. My wife and I cashed out my 401k and did a video game company for a few years. There's always a lot more work than you might think from the outside. Be kind to Vesuvius.

    I'm not saying don't criticize the game. Delwin's post is, in my opinion, very well done because it brings up a problem and digs into why it's a problem in a civil and rational way.

    On another unrelated note: Vesuvius, I hear what you're saying about the complaints coming from the Genari side. At the same time, the game has to be kept interesting for both sides. Balance is a hard thing to achieve and maintain. We're not whinging about being on the losing side. We're complaining about what feels like bad (and unstable) game balance: The side with the numbers and the bigger ships gets what seems to be an advantage that's hard to overcome. It's like in Monopoly: The early game produces a self-reinforcing effect that makes the mid- and end-game predictable. It's bad enough in Monopoly, where a game lasts for a few hours. In a game that lasts for a few months, it's got to still be fun to be on the losing side. There's got to be a feeling that "we can still affect the outcome".

    I do suspect that this will get easier as more factions get unlocked. Right now, with 2 factions, the game tends to fall towards the bigger (in numbers and ship tier) one. With more factions, the smaller factions could ally to knock the bigger one down.
  13. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    Ves is diplomatic as usual. I an NOT complaining here but pointing out an obvious flaw that affects both sides equally. Apparently, however, you would rather insult your most active players yet again, than to be objective. Sol is not saying anything because at the moment, for this current server only, they are favored. They don't want to admit the truth and rock the boat, but yet it is us you insult.

    While we are on the topic of what this new movement system has broken (again for both sides) there is the maneuver skill. At start of Helix (this server) maneuver 1 was better than ever because with such low movement rounding up to get 1 was great, unfortunately Man 2 would round such that it provided no additional benefit over Man 1 on almost every ship. Since the rotation skill was added, now Maneuver is almost completely useless since we now have decimals and no rounding. Maneuver 1 gives only a fraction of a move and is a complete waste. I already have trained it on every ship I own, but am not going to respect all of them just because skills are being changed (and often rendered useless) so often.

    Maneuver skill has to be changed to be 10% per level instead of 5%, or change it to a flat +1 to movement per level and not use a percentage at all.
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  14. Umari

    Umari New Member

    At this time a new patch has come out , however I have barely had time to read the notes, therefore I shall ignore them and continue the conversation... First I feel that I was a BIT too salty with you, Vesuvious. I was get tired of the threats (first time i've threatened you that i recall, IF you can call it that), I get tired of wasting my time and money (not even a HOPE of a return on my investment) That said, your comment about volunteering at a hospital et are investing in a business venture not volunteering at a hospital. Then you are spitting nasty-ass lugees at the people who can sink/float that venture. It's quite insulting (not to mention just bad business). Of course the Sol players have little to say. They are benefiting at the moment. Are you wearing blinders? Maybe you're just not cut-out for this. Mayhap dentistry is more your thing. Wow, just wow.

    edit: FYI we're the hospital volunteers. you're the hospital CEO.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  15. Baalrog

    Baalrog Member

    I dont know if the patch broke the maneuver skill or not, but it seems strange to have a 0,8 movement point sitting there and not being able to do anything with it. Well i guess time for advanced calculus. :)

    Also Ves - I think everybody playing this game for more than a day really appreciates the time and money ur putting into it to get it developed; I sure do. Getting complaints is what i understand early access where players can give feedback and influence the development is all about so will have to live with that i guess.

    What I actually do miss and would critise is also not the speed of development or that it sometimes doesnt seem to solve the problem. Thats normal and should be accepted. What i find lacking is the communication with regards to development - meaning it would be nice to have an idea what is being worked on, in the short, mid or long term. Also a good idea might be tell if u agree that there needs to be a change to a certain aspect or not and if there is an idea and a timeframe for "fixing" it or if u want player input or not.

    Keep up the good work Ves.
    fox likes this.
  16. Vesuvius_SWIE

    Vesuvius_SWIE Administrator Staff Member

    Maneuverability used to be not based on % increase in movement, but purely movement points like the Engineer Hull repair skill. It can be switched back to that, which helps benefit larger ships more than smaller ones (which was the original intention). Players like Xeen requested it to be %, and it was changed.

    Now here's the proposal, now that the programmers have allowed for a more advanced ratio system:
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  17. Zuuwly

    Zuuwly New Member

    What I actually do miss and would

    How about appointing several key members the role of 'Intersteller Councilor'
    These chosen few who are very up on both the mechanics of the game and the development of ALL factions can give feedback and suggestions to the people who need them via a specific weekly Q+A session .
    The communities feedback can be given to them and reprocessed into more detailed reports.
    This would then bypass any favouritism for one side or the other.
    These council playtesters may need a specific place to playtest certain aspects free from the masses so they can refine their data for the people that matter.
    fox likes this.
  18. Vesuvius_SWIE

    Vesuvius_SWIE Administrator Staff Member

    I was thinking of having a scheduled community discussion on discord weekly, sort of how I have it with my programmers. As for community 'leaders', there are players like yourself, dalwin, redbear etc...
    I also think it might be good for some of you to 'listen in' on my meetings with the programmers on the Tuesdays (usually at 10am Arizona time), you can see the complexity of each build as well as the micro manpower involved in this team.
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  19. fox

    fox New Member

    enter meta-dominant star warrior/mendi/oslo/liverpool/gorsh/lenni/SWORD(most of all) etc... you know the t6+ gaining on rotation unlock. been drooling over this since first reading cica dec2017. respecs incoming.
    snow, loads of snow.
    i wish i could see the galaxy map.

    motion to petition community members to fill roles. organizations have used words like chairperson moderator secretary etc. could be useful to have opensource transparent weekly notes to showcase. as always maybe too much. sooooo who lost the biggest ship so far?
  20. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    Several T6s have died. I do not think anything bigger has.

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