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GSF Discussion: Ship Balance

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Verain's Avatar


Verain
07.06.2017 , 03:38 PM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Lendul View Post
The gorilla in the room on balance tends to be strike fighters and how to make them strong in their own right while keeping the other ships and their roles distinctive. The other classes have a nice rock, paper, scissors going on, so adding "Spock" can get awkward.
Man I love when I can agree with a Lendul post. Dogs and cats living together!

I like your suggestions on missiles. I'm not sure about your suggestions on disto, mostly because it's a nerf to a working component, instead of buffing the components that don't work great. Distortion has a missile break because it weakens your max shields, and missiles don't roll to-hit like blasters do, so it already makes you worse against a missile- but it doesn't need to be what it is, which amounts to almost immunity. An older suggestion I had there was, add a passive to distortion that makes missile locks take LONGER by some small amount, and replace the current break with something that maybe adds even evasion based on the distance that the shot is taking place at- basically, make it a choice between a longer disto, and a disto that in better at defending from railguns, while making ships that take it not just be able to hold still and ignore the missile as they do now. I certainly agree that distortion missile break on type 2 scouts and type 1 and 3 gunships is a big part of why missiles are not as good as they should be.

I'd also suggest adding interdiction to clusters in your list of missiles that are pretty much fine. They aren't quite as good as clusters, but they don't need the same love that the longer lockon guys do.

Quote:
Pretty much just try to introduce having to make a choice of being good against lasers or missiles but not both.
I see your point, but I'd like the shields to not be very rock-paper-scissors. I feel that right now distortion missile clear debuff is a big part of missile play not being very good, and the fact that evasion is the primary railgun defense makes it a very attractive component. The only ship with access to distortion that can meaningfully ignore it is the type 3 gunship, and only if he plans to mostly mate with rocks the entire game.

Still let me add: if your ideas were implemented, I'm sure they would improve the game.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

josephxp's Avatar


josephxp
07.06.2017 , 04:00 PM | #12
In my own opinion there isnt much that are overpowered, but ships that are needed to get more buffs to match with the rest but the ships themselves are not the problems but rather some of the components that can be.

If you look at each ship type:

Bombers: Sledgehammer/Decimus are arguable the worst bombers in the game, legion/warrcarrier can heal and set up decent sentries, rampart/razorwire and mine layers with hyperspace beacon. Sledgehammer/decimus are meh, the only sentry thats viable is your indirection, and they are stuck with missles/torpedoes for secondary weapons these under preform.

Gunships: Quarrel/Mangler is your base stun and blast ships utilizing ions and slugs. Generally stunning a ship taking out their shields and engines with ion then a burst with slug for a 1 hit or 2 hit kill. If anything needs to be hit it may be the reduction of the amount of engine pool because many people cant escape with 0% engines but thats about it. Condor/Jorgan is a beautiful up close n personal with long range. Basically its a flashfire with a nice big gun. This ship is pretty balanced, its the only gunship that would dare be in close combat with other ships.

Comet Breaker/ Dustmaker; this is the sledgehammer/decimus of the gunships, they are quite underwhelming. Unlike a jorgan/condor you dont have the engines to really engage in dogfighting, dont have bursts, dont have ions, and either has to run plasma/slug combo or its not going to far. If anything maybe adding something special that other gunships don't have that would make this more appealing and performing better.

Scouts: All scouts are pretty viable, you have 2 that are offensive focused with one supportive.
Novadive/Blackbolt: this is an excellent ship and very versatile where you can run either TT or emp field depending on your preference. It has the most varried combinations of components that are viable which makes them quick suprising. No buffs/nerfs needed
Flashfire/Sting: this ship is also very good at what it does, either quads/pods/blaster overcharge or bursts/clusters/TT this ship can annoy gunships like nova/blackbolt can and but out alot of quick damage. Though they are balanced where your power pool does run out fast if you arent careful.
Spearpoint/Bloodmark: this is the support ship, generally running tensor for a quick start for your allies. The only real problem is its secondary weapons, its either emp missle which isnt that good, or thermite. If it had clusters it would make it much more viable, otherwise most people will die on purpose to grab a better ship after the mad dash at the start.

Strike Fighters: Pretty much every strike is very balanced not much improvement needed.
Rycer/Star Guard: This is a well balanced ship and bomber killer swapping between ions and heavy's it will rip apart shields and hulls and a flash. This is a ship thats pretty balanced and wouldnt need buffs or nerfs.

Pike/Quell: Need a big boom? this ship your running protons for nice bypass damage, and usually clusters with heavy's this ship does huge damage in a flash and is pretty balanced.

Clarion/Imperium: this is a mobile healer and is beautiful, if you need to do damage proton's for a nice big burst and rapids, like if a healer and a dps had a baby that did both adequately well. No buffs/nerfs needed.
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krfsm's Avatar


krfsm
07.06.2017 , 04:19 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
I like your suggestions on missiles. I'm not sure about your suggestions on disto, mostly because it's a nerf to a working component, instead of buffing the components that don't work great. Distortion has a missile break because it weakens your max shields, and missiles don't roll to-hit like blasters do, so it already makes you worse against a missile- but it doesn't need to be what it is, which amounts to almost immunity. An older suggestion I had there was, add a passive to distortion that makes missile locks take LONGER by some small amount, and replace the current break with something that maybe adds even evasion based on the distance that the shot is taking place at- basically, make it a choice between a longer disto, and a disto that in better at defending from railguns, while making ships that take it not just be able to hold still and ignore the missile as they do now. I certainly agree that distortion missile break on type 2 scouts and type 1 and 3 gunships is a big part of why missiles are not as good as they should be.

[...]

I see your point, but I'd like the shields to not be very rock-paper-scissors. I feel that right now distortion missile clear debuff is a big part of missile play not being very good, and the fact that evasion is the primary railgun defense makes it a very attractive component. The only ship with access to distortion that can meaningfully ignore it is the type 3 gunship, and only if he plans to mostly mate with rocks the entire game.
Since the two weaker scouts would be pretty crappy without distortion field, there could be a possibility to split into two similar but slightly different versions. One for the smaller scouts, which keeps disto almost as it is today - maybe just a bit less evasion bonus. Another one for T2 scout and gunships, with less impact on shield power, but gives a bit less evasion and no missile break.

In general, stuff that stacks up very close to 100% is a bit too good. Charged plating builds that go to 99% DR are a bit too good. (If they go to 98% they're just half as good!) Evasion that stacks close to 90% with cooldowns is a bit too good (which in turn makes BLCs slightly OP, due to people needing to be in your face to hit you). Stuff that have 100% armor pen is a little bit too good.

Since strikes and long range missiles have no purpose, we could make them a soft counter for gunships by giving strikes missile range boosters and make it easier to lock missiles on gunships. If missiles locked in half the time against charging gunships, long range missiles could at least make them have to move.

JediBoadicea's Avatar


JediBoadicea
07.06.2017 , 04:20 PM | #14
Because the GSF community (a passionate and often extremely detail oriented community) has been living in its own lonely echo chamber for years now, you are guaranteed to get a flurry of encyclopedia-sized posts here providing you excruciating detail on every and any component you can imagine. We have analyzed and debated this stuff into the ground, and you are going to see a lot of arguments pulled over into this thread. I hope you can home in on some of the more common points and filter out a lot of the old bickering we are going to bring over.

I'm going to try to be relatively brief here, and as dispassionate and objective as I possibly can be. While I too could go into how I feel every component could be tweaked for the better, I'll try to stay as high level as possible.

Requisition/Gearing is NOT the issue! Especially with the most recent changes to component costs and the rate of requisition gain, this is fundamentally not a problem. GSF is highly skill based, and as the community has repeatedly and consistently shown, an experienced pilot in a stock ship can completely dominate a match. Requisition and gear helps, but it is not a barrier to effectiveness, and we now get it handed out at such an increased rate that this does not need more attention.

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
  • Are there any ships you feel are over or under powered? Which ship(s) and why?
Generally speaking, there aren't any overpowered ship classes. The only specific ship that might come close is the Flashfire/Sting, simply because it has so much more flexibility in its builds (and access to nearly all of the most effective components), but I would argue that nerfing this ship in isolation would create more problems than it solves.

Many will (and already have begun) to call out the Strike as underpowered. I hesitate to even touch this, because it's a community hot button and causes a lot of contention and irrationality. I happen to feel that Strikes are not as underpowered as others would say, but even I will admit that if there's a job you need to do in a match, you will almost always be able to find another ship that can do that job better, assuming you are just looking at the numbers. The community has talked potential tweaks to Strikes to death over the years, but some of the most common points that come up are: 1) changes to missiles, whether this be reduced lock on times for Strikes only, or increased radius/effects on EMP or Ion missiles, or any other variety of options; 2) less severe engine consumption, obviously not on par with scouts, but making Strikes a little more mobile couldn't hurt; 3) adjusted ranges on primary components, again perhaps for Strikes only, so that ships like the Starguard/Rycer in particular can be the specialist they were meant to be, able to employ Ion Cannons and other components at better and more synergistic ranges, giving them a more effective threat range between a Scout and a Gunship.

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
  • Are there any ship components that you feel are over or under powered? Which components and why?
Overpowered: Burst Laser Cannons are, in my opinion, the only truly OP component in the game. And I think all you'd have to do to make it less so is remove or just lessen (down to 50% from 100%, for example) its Armor Penetration upgrade. Currently it is OP because it does three very crucial things all at once: massive burst damage, best shotgun spread at close range potential for both dogfighting and clearing satellites, and ignoring the armor benefit that all of the other ships have over it. Right now, if you're going into a Domination match, there is simply no reason (other than your own preference/entertainment/challenge) to fly any other component. That's not ideal.

Underpowered: Rapid Fire Lasers, EMP Missiles, Ion Missiles, Ion Cannons, Quick Charge Shield, Overcharged Shield, Shield Projector, Combat Command, EMP Field. All of these could use tweaks to make them more immediately useful and appealing. For the missiles I would suggest increased ranges and radius/effects, for the shield components I would suggest bumping up the benefits considerably (you need just seconds to annihilate an opponent in GSF and items that give you temporary defensive boosts need to be much more dramatic to actually be impactful) and Combat Command is excellent on paper but functionally its effective radius is inconsequential, that radius would need to be dramatically increased to really be a benefit to the team. The effective radius on EMP field is similarly far too small; it can't even fully encompass the mine field that might be set up around a satellite, because it has to be triggered when you reach the outside edge of a field in order for the ship using to survive, and that means the field almost never extends far enough to really be effective. (Like EMP Missiles, it is a brilliant component in concept, but just needs more oomph to be useful in practice.)

Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
  • Are there any crew members that you feel are over or under powered? Which crew members and why?
Nothing jumps to mind here, I think crew members are fine. Certainly some might be a little underpowered, but there are plenty of options to choose from so there's no reason you can't just reorganize to get good benefit.

As a general rule, crew skills that increase your accuracy or decrease your opponent's accuracy are going to be some of the most powerful in the game, so if you want to make some lesser used crew skills more appealing you could add some accuracy boosts to them (in smaller increments than in skills dedicated to accuracy, of course). But generally speaking, I'd say don't fix what's not broken, and focus on other more important balance issues first.

HeatRacer's Avatar


HeatRacer
07.06.2017 , 04:46 PM | #15
Quick Charge Shield: Perhaps tweak this component to remove the shield % penalty, to make it a viable alternative to Directional Shields. It'll still have less capacity than the Directionals, but gets the slight boost to mobility to make up for it. This might improve Strike builds a little bit without any game-breaking changes.

Ion Cannon: Like others have said here, increasing the range of Ion Cannon (either the base range, or the Tier 4 option at least) to synergize better with with the other blasters of the Rycer/Starguard.

Railguns: as I'd posted in agreement with in the other thread, reducing the range to 10k might help balance out things. In the ground game, "Snipers" have only a marginal increase in range over other rdps (35m vs 30m), so even at 10k, railguns still have double the average range of other ships. And let's not forget gunships still have access to the strongest close-in blasters too, so the shortened distance wouldn't make them much vulnerable than before.
Quote: Originally Posted by battlebug
can you make sword in box light sword so sword come out when opened? then if sword is back after sword, use light saber on box, and saber will be boxed after sword is out.

phalczen's Avatar


phalczen
07.06.2017 , 04:51 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Hey folks,

This week, we are creating three separate forum threads for GSF discussion. You can head to this thread to get links to each of them.

For this thread let's focus on ship balance and how you feel about it. Let us know your thoughts below, here are a few questions to get you started:
  • Are there any ships you feel are over or under powered? Which ship(s) and why?
  • Are there any ship components that you feel are over or under powered? Which components and why?
  • Are there any crew members that you feel are over or under powered? Which crew members and why?

Note that this discussion is not about the addition of new ships, components, or crew members. Just about the balance of existing ones.

Let us know your thoughts!

-eric
Thank you so much for posting these threads. Honestly, I'm not going to be able to add much to the discussion that excellent pilots like Verain, Zyrieas, Close Shave, Despon, Ramalina, anyone from SRW, Drak, or any of the other people offering thoughtful constructive insight in the posts above me. I have been flying since beta of JtL in SWG and the beta of GSF as well, and I largely agree with the sentiments of strike fighter underpoweredness and missile underpoweredness, useless rapid fire lasers, etc.

I would encourage you, developers, if you have the logs and metrics, to go back to the time two or three years ago when the tier 3 upgrade to break missile locks on Distortion Field was broken. Review the forum threads and discussions from that time. See how the game played differently in the land of a single missile break among two of the five meta ships. Don't take this as a recommendation from me to remove the tier 3 upgrade, but rather to understand what breaking a meta-defining ability does and how weak missiles are currently in this game.

Rather than speaking of which crew members are underpowered, I'd just echo Verain's sentiments that its really a binary option: there are crew members you take because of mandatory passives or actives and the rest are useless. Crew members with pinpointing are simply must have. Having either a crew member with Running Interference or Wingman is a must have, except for type 1 bombers where having Hydrospanner can be useful. Gunships, and sometimes scouts, utilize Dampening sensors. But when you consider the must haves, that really leaves you with only 5 or 6 crew members you need to unlock and the rest are simply useless. Please also realize that it is inconvenient to have to pay to unlock the crew members a second time once your character goes through KOTFE/KOTET, even if you get those companions back through the story. I'm not suggesting that you should prioritize integrating the Alliance Recruits into GSF with new actives and passives, but you could consider that after you address the existing companions and useless passives/actives.
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Verain's Avatar


Verain
07.06.2017 , 05:12 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by HeatRacer View Post
"Snipers" have only a marginal increase in range over other rdps (35m vs 30m)
(a) Snipers and gunslingers are really casters in this game, with some unique stationary mechanics. They vastly outrange melee, and have a number of range-effecting abilities.

(b) There is no comparing the ground game to this game: this game is much closer to an fps. The 5m advantage is versus wizards or whatever- it's a 30m advantage versus melee.

(c) A 10k range would effectively delete the gunship class.

(d) Gunship stacking is not actually optimal at top levels of play, even on big open maps like Shipyards 12 TDM. These maps are rare in the rotation. Gunship stacking IS common in a puggier situation, and does happen, and is probably more rewarding than it should be- under specific situations. This should be addressed by meaningful game changes, not sweeping railgun nerfs.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

MakArdross's Avatar


MakArdross
07.06.2017 , 05:24 PM | #18
Keeping it simple:

-Strike Fighters are GARBAGE
-Death Matches are Gunship fights
-GSF itself is under powered

Please enhance the game with a SWG style space feature which allows players to fly in their own ships around the galaxy and even in planet zones (added the 8th year of SWG). The pve/pvp space combat was true Star Wars thrill.

ThutmoseV's Avatar


ThutmoseV
07.06.2017 , 05:40 PM | #19
A very welcome thread.

I have a few suggestions. First, strike fighters. It would make no sense to make them more like scouts, they need their own niche in the game. So, as a heavy fighter, I think they should have heavier weapons than other dogfighting classes. A possibility is to make quad lasers exclusive to strikes, a bit more powerful, and give them an armor piercing upgrade and maybe an accuracy upgrade to counter evasion. Some people who like to fly T2 scouts with quads and pods would not be happy losing quads, but it would give a reason to fly strikes. Another possibility is to shorten the lock on time for concussion missiles, though not as short as clusters. One final possible strike buff would be to give them a larger engine power pool. Scouts would still be faster, but strikes would be ale to boost longer. Again, that would fit into the heavy fighter idea.

I am considering a possibility for gunships, but I am not sure about this one. Shorten the range of railguns, maybe to 13k. I am not sure because I fly gunships a lot and often need every bit of that 15k to survive when scouts come after me. But it might lead to less gunship heavy matches. A possible problem is that a shorter railgun range might make bombers more powerful, since gunship is by far the best counter to a bomber that is settled in at the area he wants to control.

I am not sure it would be worth it to try to balance the non meta ships. Useful meta ships exist in all the main categories except strikes. The more different kinds of ships you have, the harder it will be to balance them.

My final point is that balance depends a lot on how a team works together. If you have 8 solo queuers with no communication except what you can do in chat (not much in a fast moving match) balance would look a lot different than if you have premade teams on each side with voice communications. A communicating team can make much better use of specialized ships or components, the solo queue person has to be ready for anything and needs a versatile ship. You need to decide what kind of team you are balancing for. Since most people are not in well coordinated communicating teams during a match, I think you should assume that in looking at balance.

Now if we just had voice channels as part of the game...
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HeatRacer's Avatar


HeatRacer
07.06.2017 , 05:50 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by ThutmoseV View Post
One final possible strike buff would be to give them a larger engine power pool. Scouts would still be faster, but strikes would be ale to boost longer. Again, that would fit into the heavy fighter idea.

I am considering a possibility for gunships, but I am not sure about this one. Shorten the range of railguns, maybe to 13k.
I like your idea about a larger engine power pool for strikes. It would be a nice little non-game-breaking buff to strikes that wouldn't negate the niche of the scouts.

Per Verain's idea in the other thread, slug and ion railgun could have their ranges reduced a bit (maybe 12-13k), while plasma retains full range, to encourage people to consider that as an alternative.
Quote: Originally Posted by battlebug
can you make sword in box light sword so sword come out when opened? then if sword is back after sword, use light saber on box, and saber will be boxed after sword is out.