Thoughts on Engines

Alekan
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Thoughts on Engines

Postby Alekan » Wed May 20, 2015 8:32 am

Since there was some discussion on engines, I figured I should start a new topic on them. Long Post!

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Above is a list of the engines in the game, extrapolated from the game files. Several of the engines are named differently in-game. I added in the ratios to make it clearer where there are deficiencies. Thrusters and Fighter Engines are way out of balance. Engines in general are very expensive to fit on a ship. If we want to move away from very slow fleets, engines need a boost to make them more attractive and also differentiate the selection of engines to offer more significant fitting choices.



To that end, I revised the engine values in charts to give some idea of what could work. First is old, second with color is new (green = buff, red = nerf).

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Cruiser Engine formula:
Thruster/10 units: 0.5 pwr + 1 crew (integrated reactor; uses less main power, more crew)
Maneuvering/10 units: 1 pwr + 0.5 crew (dispersed arrays are automated; uses main power)
Base Crew: varies
All new fitting requirements are equal or less except for the heavy thrusters

-Dreadnought Engine: best benefits/module slot
---Original engine used 2 beam lasers worth of power (2x medium engines were better), new version has clear benefits over smaller engines and will encourage faster DNs, slightly better thrust/mass to encourage use over cruiser heavy engines

-Cruiser Heavy Engine: high thrust / moderate benefits / good power consumption
---Buff to maneuverability and fitting requirements

-Cruiser Advanced: high maneuverability / high benefits / good HP
---Original 30 power was way high, was one of the best choices due to best benefit/cost ratio; new version slightly weaker and costs more, but less power

-Cruiser Medium: good benefits / good price / good fitting requirements
---Was the best power/benefit engine; new version is buffed to be best for cost and fitting – drawback is moderate power/module slot ratio

-Cruiser Light: bad price / best fitting requirements
---Had best fitting requirements and decent ratios for cost and mass; new version is cut-down in exchange for even better fitting requirements for leftover module slots (like the GSB1 basic cruiser engine)

-Cruiser Heavy Thrusters: best maneuverability / high benefits / high HP / expensive / high power
---Old had horrible ratios for mass and cost; new version is huge buff – will make cruisers turn faster/combo with other engine types

-Cruiser Thrusters: niche thrust / low fitting requirements
---Old was even worse than heavy thrusters; new version has good efficiency and can also be used as a minimal thrust engine



Frigate / Destroyer Engines
Overall these engines were too expensive and had too high fitting costs. This is a small step towards shifting credits and fitting costs from the engines to weapons and equipment.
Biggest change is thrusters: Heavy Thrusters have huge maneuverability, but have high cost. Frigate Thrusters lost their small thrust rating to discourage cheap frigates with minimal engines (due to the massive reduction in cost of the new thrusters).
All new fitting requirements are equal or less except for the heavy thrusters

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Fighter / Gunship Engines
Question: What is that Fuel Burn property on FTR engines and why does it not show up in-game?
Largest imbalance is seen here with benefit/mass. Gunship-only engines are completely useless due to their really bad thrust/mass ratio. Yootani has extremely good benefit/mass. Problem is that changing these engines could radically change the speed of fighters… so no change ideas yet.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby yurch » Wed May 20, 2015 10:50 pm

It would be possible to "normalize" fighter engines somewhat by increasing thrust as well as weight on the engines to make the rest of the craft weight a smaller proportion. This works without invalidating existing designs.

An extreme example for the math: if we had an engine that has 3000 thrust and 1000 weight, adding this to a 19 weight torpedo fighter - or pretty much anything else - will result in 2.9x speeds. As a bonus, stacking additional engines would also make little difference.

Obviously we want some room for design, but I think it might be best to figure how fast a given type of craft should be going and work backwards from there.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Alekan » Wed May 20, 2015 11:39 pm

Yeah that makes sense. Cruiser engines are pretty easy to balance, since the most important thing about cruiser engines is attaining a general fleet speed that the player wants and working around fitting requirements for the least cost. So the main differences of Cruiser Engines is range of fitting types and different thrust ratings. More consistent cost/benefits leads to less opportunity cost and more freedom to choose different engines. Also, reducing fitting costs while normalizing the engines means we wont invalidate any existing designs. The one exception – heavy thrusters – I have never actually seen used because they are so terrible. More options is more content, since the player does not feel penalized for experimenting with any type of engine podule, as opposed to just using the same old 'best' engine podule (like the Cruiser Lightweight Engines in GSB1).

Frigates are frankly not survivable outside of a cruiser line; there is no real way to make a combat frigate outrun the tracking of Pulse Lasers without a complete weapon tracking overhaul. (Buffing engines so frigates go faster is not the solution) So again, balancing the opportunity cost of the different engines and reducing fitting requirements leads to more variety and freedom to choose different engines.

But yeah, Fighters are different, since speed is such a defining factor in their effectiveness. Plus racial engines and hull bonuses make a huge difference, making some playtesting with new values mandatory. Oddly enough, fighters are so much faster that ‘fast enough’ is should IMO be balanced by how they look and feel to the players. Do they move fast enough for that ‘starfighter’ feeling? Do they look responsive enough? Then balance the engines to provide enough power to attain those values. Then set the weapon tracking speeds near those values. TBH they feel pretty good as-is, but fighter engines are far harder to balance then they look.

Once the engines are balanced, then it is easier to balance weapons or other equipment.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Xinxspuz » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:41 pm

Alekan, that's way too many charts for me to wade through before I've had my second cup of tea. :)

One thing that does jump out at me, though, is the Cost/Benefit column. From my own experiences, the engines I tend to use the most when building ships are all the ones with the highest values in the Cost/Benefit column on your table. Most of the time, the limiting factor on my cruiser and dreadnought designs isn't "I ran out of crew" or "I can't generate power", it's "I don't have any more empty slots for modules". Conversely, the limiting factor for fighters and gunships tends to be "I can't generate enough power", and for frigates and destroyers, it's "Why am I even designing this, it's just gonna get blown up anyway."

Let me also state the following: For cruisers and dreadnoughts, thrusters are a waste of a module. This is clearly evident in your Cost/Benefit column - CC/DN thrusters have values that are less than half of what the engines for the same ship classes are. Some comments on that:

Turn Speed is already screwed going out the gate because it's half the value you would get from an identical Thrust-to-Speed calculation. On top of that, all the ship hulls that provide Speed bonuses do *not* apply that multiplier to Turn Speed as well. When you're deciding what engines to put on your ship, it's usually easier to just stack Subspace Engines (what you call 'Cruiser Advanced, the 240T/100M blue modules) than to worry about thrusters. Why would I use up one of my valuable module slots on a thruster that gives me 130 Maneuverability when I can mount an engine that gives me 240 Thrust AND almost as much Maneuverability, and for only a marginal increase in power consumption to boot? Thrusters should be something you mount on a ship to give it crazy unexpected Maneuverability, and let you bring your weapons to bear MUCH faster than your opponent would expect. What they are now is just a waste of a slot.

Your proposed changes to the two thruster modules are, I feel, a good start, but should be taken even further. A Cruiser Thruster with 10T/150M is, to me, still pretty much useless. Once again, I have an engine that already provides me with almost that much maneuverability, and a lot more thrust. Heavy Thrusters, at 60T/300M are an improvement - I'd probably use those - but still not attaining the "thruster" flavor. I would suggest making the base-level Cruiser Thrusters at LEAST 250 Maneuverability, with possibly a small amount of Thrust - 20 or 30? The Heavy Thrusters should be an absolutely ridiculous level of Maneuverability - 500? 600? with no Thrust.

Why? Because Turn Speed is, in game terms, a lot less of a bonus than Thrust. If your ship can stay in one spot and spin in a circle, YIPPEE. It can bring different weapons to bear, but if it's out of range, you're still S.O.L. Turn Speed also (AFAIK) offers zero bonuses to evading enemy fire, whereas Thrust does. In order to make Thruster modules worth mounting, they've got to be so over-the-top that it offsets the loss of a ship slot to mount them.

Examples:

I've got a Yootani dreadnought that has a Speed of 0.62, and a Turn Speed of 0.05. I wish it had higher maneuverability, but there's no viable way to get that without cutting the ship's speed in HALF. Not a viable design decision. It has a total of 460M (out of 6 engines) on a mass of 4225. If I could replace one, just ONE, of those engines with a Thruster module providing 500-600 Maneuverability, my Speed would drop to ~0.52, but my Turn Speed would go up to 0.10-0.12. That, to me, is a much more viable option. I still have a super-fast dreadnought, but now it doesn't take half the screen to turn around.

I took a look at the Sample Dreadnought (sorry, Cliff!). It mounts two Heavy Engines (300T/50M) and two Heavy Thrusters (0T/130M), for a Speed of 0.18 and a Turn Speed of 0.05. Changing nothing else on the design, I can replace all four of those with Subspace Engines (240T/100M), net a 61% Speed increase, a marginal increase in Turn Speed, and actually have MORE crew and power left after the change.

That's a prime example of how stacking Subspace Engines is generally the best option for cruisers and dreadnoughts. Why? Because they offer one of the highest combined totals of Thrust + Maneuverability, while also offering a good balance between the two. Heavy Engines and Dreadnought Engines offer slightly higher combined totals, but at the cost of much less Maneuverability (which, as I pointed out above, is already penalized by at least 50%).

Actually, this would be a good place for Cliff to weigh in. Why DOES Turn Speed have that -50% modifier across the board?

Was that intentional, or is there just an extra number in one of your formulae somewhere? Removing that penalty would go a long way towards making some of these engines more viable. If I can get the same Turn Speed out of a Heavy Engine that I now get out of a Subspace Engine, that moves Heavy Engine into my "primary choice" slot, and Subspace Engines become the new "more agility" engine choice. The two thruster modules would still need a substantial boost to be viable ship-building components, but then it would be on the order of 200-300 Maneuverability, not 600 like I mentioned above. That simple formula change would also make Fighter and Gunship engines more versatile.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Alekan » Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:51 pm

The engine revision – despite all of the changes –offers more options without changing the ‘feel’ of the game. Normalizing engines makes it far more practical to then make global adjustments without worrying as much about edge cases. Right now saying +25% to engine power globally as a buff benefits certain engines more than others due to very unbalanced fitting costs. The speed of Frigates and Cruisers is in a good place right now; the real changes need to happen with resistances and tracking to really help the game.

For thrusters, I get what you are saying. Thrusters are pretty much worthless and even the revised thrusters are still sub-optimal. However, the modifier really limits what you can do with cruisers – for a while DNs could zoom around like mad (even with the modifier) and things were not fun (well, the Sledge Pulse Rush is still a good example of bad…). The modifier allows one to put attractive numbers on the thrust modules (to make them seem better) without actually accomplishing much. Although TBH anyting over 0.07 on a Cruiser is not needed unless you are trying to make a speed fit. Having high turn ratings of 0.20+ will just make Cruisers look odd being able to turn so fast. GSB2 is a visual game; its important to maintain the ‘look’ of lumbering Cruisers.

Frankly a balancing pass like this – tweaking performance within the current min/max values - is safe and conservative. We use the Best-in-Slot engines all the time; we can see the edge cases in every battle – one just dosent think about it. Thrusters may not get buffed enough this time – but then they could still be buffed in the future.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby cliffski » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:39 pm

Hi all, awesome analysis. I plan to improve this sort of stuff with the next patch. Don't worry, I'm not ignoring the fact that the game has balance issues. Basically when it was in beat, everything seemed ok(for a beta), then it shiopped it and had some nightmare bugs that had not shown up before...cue panic... so now its back to trying to tweak and balance and already on-sale game with tons of challenges already uploaded and fleets designed...

..deep breath..

I agree that thrusters are crap. Basically they are supposed to be a tactical choice for people who want to be able to retreat, so they allow a ship to easily withdraw from the line of battle either for mid-battle repairs, or in the case of the new campaign, so they can survive for the next battle.

Right now, thrusters are just too much of a price to pay for what you get. I think the examples where you are giving the thrusters actual thrust as well as maneuverability is a very worthwhile idea. They probably need multiple buffs to make them worthwhile.

One of the problems is that buffs are easy, but nerfs are problematic. When we nerf a module, it makes some designs invalid, which makes some challenges invalid, which frankly causes mayhem from a tech support POV. This is kinda annoying :D. There is no real smooth easy answer to this, other than to look at places where buffs clearly help, and I think thrusters are definitely one example of that.

I've put together my own spreadsheet which evaluates thrust/cost also manueverability/cost hitpoints/cost and thrust/power and maneuverability/power. If I add those 5 values and get the average, that gives me some sort of value for the modules 'value for money' assuming you equate each variable (some may say turn speed is far less important than thrust?).
Anyway the results are interesting. Green is good, yellow average, red bad...

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Now in theory, to make everything 'balanced' we need all those values to be the same (but I *hate* perfect balance, there should be fuzziness...), but also to make each module an interesting choice it should have some reds AND some greens. In other words, it should be a deliberate and interesting trade-off.
For example, at first glance the yootani rocket booster looks hilariously bad, but its thrust/power relationship is phenomenal. This is *The module* to choose for low-power ships that you want to achieve decent speeds. However, my equal waiting has that dragging them down to be the worst choice engine out there...

Its not easy stuff to get right. Interestingly if we give maneuverability only 25% the importance of thrust...

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Which is probably more accurate. In this case we do need to buff both cruiser thrusters, and frigate thrusters, and give subtle buffs to all the other non-yootani frigate engine modules.
(Ignore the values, the color coding is how it should be evaluated).

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Xinxspuz » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:03 am

Interesting, cliff. What you're giving us, if I'm reading it correctly, is an insight into how you try to balance the different engines against each other going in from the front end of the process.

In turn, our discussions should (hopefully) be giving you some insights into what we, as shipbuilders, are actually using to decide which engine is "da best", which ones are "ok", and which ones are "useless crap, not even worth mounting on an escape pod I plan to sell to my enemies through a discount ship parts dummy corporation".

In that vein, here are....
The three most important considerations to me when I select a cruiser or dreadnought engine:

1) What is the maximum amount of combined Thrust and Maneuverability I can get out of a single engine module?
This ensures I am using my available module slots efficiently. This, to me, is why the 340/30, 300/50, and 240/100 engines are the ones I use almost exclusively: They offer the largest amount of combined Thrust and maneuverability. I'll use the 300/50s if I want a fast ship, or the 240/100s if I want a slightly slower, but more maneuverable ship. Sometimes I'll mix them to achieve the results I want. But it's almost never worth it to me to use the lower-total engines or thrusters because they're just not an efficient use of slots. If I need 400+ Thrust, why do it with three modules when I can use two instead? Your range of combined T+M values for engines give a factor of 3.7 (100-370), but if you ignore the two Thruster modules everyone seems to agree are useless, you get a factor of 1.54 instead (240-370).

2) How much power does this engine use?
Power consumption on my dreadnoughts usually ends up in the 400-800 range. This means I'm typically devoting 3-6 slots to Power Plants of various types. With a Heavy Powerplant generating 156 power, I can add all the engines I reasonably want and generally only have to allocate one slot to powering them (One Heavy Powerplant can run 4 of the most power-hungry dreadnought engines). I'll sometimes downgrade an engine or two if my final design is coming in SLIGHTLY over on power usage, just do I don't have to move other stuff around, but I usually don't have to even do that. Engines are "moderate" power consumers, but they're by no means at the top of the list. Your power consumption range for CC/DN engines is roughly a factor of 1.9 (20-38)

3) How many crew does this engine require?
Crew usage is also a consideration when selecting engines for my ships. I list it as tertiary rather than secondary mostly because I usually have more crew to spare than power, and crew modules usually take up less of my ship than power modules. Really, though, they're both about equal in terms of importance; that is, Thrust+Maneuverability is by far my most important criteria, and crew and power individually are less important. The range for crew requirements per module are a factor of 2 (30-60).

It's interesting that the engines people seem to use in shipbuilding come up as yellow or orange on your first spreadsheet, whereas the "green" ones are the ones that get used (at least anecdotally) the least. I think you hit on the right idea when you adjusted the formula to weight Maneuverability only 25% of what Thrust is weighted. That makes the thruster modules clearly stand out as poor values, which is what people seem to consistently be saying in comments. The question is, how do you adjust the weighting for the OTHER factors to produce a more accurate representation of the "value" of an engine? (Hopefully my three rankings above help you with refining that formula).

Balancing the value of the engines, relative to the other engines in that class, should make the game MORE interesting, not less. It opens up more design choices - "Do I want to take all high-thrust engines and not be able to turn, or have a balance of Thrust and Maneuverability, or have a slow but agile ship?" Not everyone is going to weight things exactly the same, either, and those individual variations in style keep the game interesting when playing challenges.

With that said, here are a few questions, both to provoke thought, and also because I'd genuinely like to know the answers. :)

  • Why does Turn Speed have a 50% penalty compared to Move Speed?
    In other words, if I have a 2000 mass ship with 400 Thrust, it will have a 0.20 Move Speed. But if that same 2000 mass ship has 400 Maneuverability, it ends up with a 0.10 Turn Speed. Why the across-the-board penalty? That is definitely contributing to Thrusters being useless.
  • Why do some Frigate/Destroyer engines have Costs that are almost as high as Cruiser/Dreadnought engines?
    Do you have some formula you use to calculate Cost (or Crew usage, or Power usage, etc.) for a module based on its other attributes, or did you just assign those values?
  • Do maps that impose an Move Speed penalty also impose that same penalty to Turn Speed?
    It's hard to tell just from watching. I know that ship hulls with Move Speed bonuses do *not* apply those bonuses to turn speed, but what about environmental conditions? Map modifiers? Tractor beams?

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Alekan » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:06 am

Thrusters should be for Scouting, Decoys, and Retreating? Ok I guess I see where that could go…

Anyways it seems clear that Engines are good candidates since nearly all of them suffer from too-high fitting costs. Reducing fitting costs will not invalidate existing designs.

When it comes to putting engines on ships, there are two rules of thumb; either you want the highest Thrust/Mass ratio you can get (maxxed-out super-ship) or you want the best Fitting/Thrust ratio (fire-support and minimal-cost designs). The under-loaded design tightly controls Fitting and leaves empty slots to keep the ship efficient (lean-and-mean design concept). In both cases Cost is a secondary concern, and module HP is not even considered.

For Engines the most important stats are:
1.00 Thrust/Mass
0.75 Power/Benefit(Thrust+0.50Maneu)
0.75 Crew/Benefit
0.50 Cost/Benefit
0.50 Maneu/Mass
0.00 HP

HP is irrelevant to Cruiser and Frigate engines – they are not there to take hits (by contrast HP on Fighter engines is very powerful). The Yootani engine in particular seems bad because it is held back by HP – this is just wrong as you pointed out. Power and Crew are so important because of opportunity cost: a DN Engine uses TWO Beam Lasers (or THREE Heavy Plasma Launchers) worth of power – who would sacrifice that much fitting to mount one?

Maneuverability is important to an extent, as getting firepower pointed in the right direction after the first kill is critical. Ships with a turn of 0.04 or less cannot flex or reposition fast enough (unless you have a static fleet strategy) and can break your formation due to blocking. I would say turn is more valuable than 0.25 - especially since the value listed is only 50% effective.

Cost-savings in any design are realized in reduced fitting costs (power plants are expensive) and in Weapons (wildly different costs), not the actual Engine podules. Right now the spread for Cruisers is only 60 Credits and a mere 15 Credits over the most popular engines so cost difference is negligible. By contrast the cost for Frigate engines is out of control.


I agree that overall ‘value’ is not a good way to balance engines. The ‘value’ of a heavy engine needs to be higher than a light engine, because the ABSOLUTE costs in fitting means actual Engine ‘value’ is heavily affected by outside sources. The higher ‘value’ of a heavy engine is trashed by more money and space spent on Crew and Power podules. And the opportunity cost of Mission equipment and weapons.

Also, Thrusters should have a thrust rating to cover the weight of the module – adding thrusters should not slow your ship down (except the Frigate Thruster which is cheap enough to be abused if it had thrust).


I should point out that increasing Thrust will break most of the current fleet setups in challenges. Fleet Speed and cohesion is so important that altering Thrust/Weight will cause current ships to go faster or slower and break formation. This leads to disaster unless the fleet speed is below 0.10. Many challenges will be obsolete and have to be re-done.

You will only get a few shots at balancing engines because of the disruption to Fleet setups. Remember: Weapons, Frigates, and Fighters balancing will also disrupt Fleet setups and challenges, so there is a finite amount of balance passes before people get irritated at having to redo their challenges – make them count (no half-hearted or tiny changes; IMO they should be systemic changes with ‘Vision’ and ‘Framework’).


I already posted the numbers for where I think engines should be (its a 'polished' list of engine changes for a mod that I did not finish). The changes cultivate a unified ‘Framework’ for Cruiser and Frigate engines. There are two podules that could invalidate existing designs (Heavy Thrusters aren't exactly popular). Each engine has a specific strength and podule ‘density’ of overall benefit (I too hate perfect balance), and all changes to benefits and (especially!) fitting costs were carefully taken into account and adjusted as a whole given the various dilemmas I have run into over the 5yrs I have played GSB (it took over a week of casual time analyzing engines from every construction and balancing angle to come up with those tweaks and still stay close to the original numbers). Since there are ‘many’ other things to adjust in the game I strongly recommend you just use these adjusted numbers as the basis for any further changes but well its not my game so…

If you want more explanations just ask.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Alekan » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:05 am

Continuing the discussion on engines, Xinxspuz is totally right that people use the engines for different things. In his case (the Yootani DN) he can get/needs the speed that only the DN engine will provide despite the inefficiencies (I exaggerated a little). I also agree with his observation that the ‘best’ engines all have a combined rating of over 300 – despite their costs – because performance/slot is also a big factor in selecting engines.

However, for Cruisers the light and medium engines are not intended to be slot efficient. They are for ‘Light’ Cruisers – ships that for whatever reason need the Resistance or equipment that a cruiser can get without paying for a ‘full’ Cruiser. A ship with a Med Shield, Light Engine, and Carrier Bay costs less than 1k Credits (how about a 5x FML cruiser for 1400cred). Sometimes that’s all you need. The good old ‘fake’ Cruiser trick to confuse targeting is also applicable. The smaller engines and thruster are meant to be squeezed into spaces that a heavy or advanced will not fit or are excessive. If Thrusters have a small thrust rating they can be used in these applications (especially decoys that can turn on a dime to draw in the enemy).

Both of those needs (slot efficiency and utility) should be addressed with changes to Cruiser engines.

A reduction in engine fitting costs (transferring ship cost from engines to equipment/weapons) is an incentive to get away from slug setups. Cruiser engine power costs are 10x what they were in GSB1, while weapon power only doubled on average. Less fitting costs for engines means higher speed, or cheaper ship cost (weapons are usually maxxed anyway) and after a certain point the ability of a fleet to flex due to higher speed may outweigh the benefit of a slug fleet. However, this won’t be realized until a weapon rebalance (one has to look ahead at how engine changes will work with Frigate, Fighter, and Weapon changes… ‘Vision’). I totally agree with Xinxspuz on balancing creating more options and making the game more interesting.



Frigates are strictly utility at this point. Cruisers tank fire and carry the fleet to victory via firepower while Frigates have nothing. Some of this has already been discussed in the frigate thread. My opinion on Frigate engines is that they use up too much fitting. In GSB2 frigate armor is useless, so almost every single Frigate or Destroyer I have created in GSB2 devotes at least 65% of its power to shields and engines (Hvy Plasma – with its outrageous 22pwr cost is the exception at 50%). Compare that to GSB1 where frigates had effective armor: Weapons usually took up 75-90% of generated power with the rest to engines. Frigate engines in GSB2 use 5-10x the power they used in GSB1. The difference in required power – spaces taken by additional generators and crew podules to man them – completely ruins the ability to construct a competent Frigate in GSB2, regardless of the state of weapons.

To recap that paragraph on Frigate changes from GSB1 to GSB2:
-Frigate engine power cost increased 5-10x
-Frigate generator power increased only 2.5x
-Frigate defense has increased fitting pressure by shifting from Armor to Shield generators
-Frigate crew podules are slightly smaller
---this means there is no relief for the huge increase in crew requirements

The engine performance for Frigates needs to be tweaked, not increased by 25% – it is balanced by having no engine stacking penalties. The problem is that fitting costs/issues guarantees that a fast frigate is unworkable – regardless of any future changes to weapons. That needs to change for Frigates to be viable in the fast strike role.

The Frigate engine tweaks should be small to normalize them, but there needs to be significant changes to Crew, Power, and Weapons for Frigates to be viable. At least increasing Crew and Power in the future for Frigates wont invalidate existing designs…

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby Xinxspuz » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:08 pm

Yeah, I didn't talk about FF/DD engines very much because I feel, overall, they're at an OK point. They're not perfect, and the Cost (credit cost) should definitely come down quite a bit, but in terms of design flexibility, FF/DD engines have the selection and capabilities that I would like to see as a ship designer.

The main reason fast strike frigates aren't viable? Cruiser pulse cannons. That has nothing to do with frigate engine speed, and everything to do with Pulse Cannons (all varieties, not just the Sledgehammer) being way overpowered, and having a super-high tracking speed.
The second reason fast strike frigates aren't viable is that they have no good way to bypass Cruiser-level shields. The only frigate-level weapons that will damage high-resistance shields are missiles, which are long-range, slow, and low DPS. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the type of weapon I'd mount on a fast-strike frigate.

So, yeah, Frigate/Destroyer engines aren't bad in and of themselves, they're just bad because Frigates in general are bad. Lower the engine Costs, and fix the other issues that Frigates have, and the engines will be fine.

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Re: Thoughts on Engines

Postby cliffski » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:38 pm

Xinxspuz wrote:The second reason fast strike frigates aren't viable is that they have no good way to bypass Cruiser-level shields. The only frigate-level weapons that will damage high-resistance shields are missiles, which are long-range, slow, and low DPS.


Hopefully the next patch is going a small way to fix that issue:

8) Balance Change: Increased the shield pen of Heavy beam laser for frigates to 15 so it can now do damage to all frigate shields but plasmatic, and also damage light cruiser shields.
9) Balance Change: Increased heavy frigate plasma shield penetration from 19 to 23 so it is also a viable option to damage cruisers with heavy shields.



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