Re-balance Assault Shuttles

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ColorfulWings
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by ColorfulWings » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:20 am

Ishantil wrote:The main problem that I have is that it's really hard to get system defense in the way of assault shuttles. Drones and riders should prioritize assault shuttles over every other target. To be fair, I haven't had much experience with this particular event because I've never had the AI launch assault shuttles against me.


Aren't Assault Shuttles PD targets? You should be able to set at least your BR light weapons to PD, although actual PD or even emitters would be best. Why doesn't this work?

When you say its hard to get system defense to the fight, do you mean just the local defenses you set up like satellites or police cutters? Or do you mean actual fleets you have stationed in the system?

Anyway, before a battle starts, you can usually see where the enemy fleet is coming from on the battle manager, and can set defenses right next to their entry point. It seems to me the goal of any defending party against shuttle carriers should be to keep them away from your planets. And from my experiences attacking the AI's systems, they try to do that but are not very good at it.

First of all, keeping the battle from going into accelerated time mode is ESSENTIAL. Therefor place as many obstacles in the way as possible. Police cutters are great for this as you can set them up in a line going towards the planet which forces the assault shuttles to kill them off before they can continue in accelerated time.

Second, satellites should be placed strategically to hamper the incoming fleet as much as possible... not just around the planet like the silly AI does all the time.

Third, I always place my defending fleets RIGHT in front of where the enemy fleet is going to enter my system, so that they have to either ignore my fleet and try to make a b line to my planet while I'm shooting their faces off with my BRs / any cruisers that are fast enough for the chase / missiles, or they have to stop and fight me.

If their assault shuttles can kill off my defending fleet, then there is something wrong...

Lastly, and more of a suggestion: I really think naval stations should be more powerful. They should have lots of guns and more health even at lower levels as to provide decent defense against shuttles... for some reason when I am attacking the AI with my fleets, I have never encountered a sector base that actually put up a fight. I have killed sector bases with just 3 or 4 cruiser fleets over many turns... like they aren't actually firing at me. Why is that?

Oh, and I still think Nall is a cat.

Edit: Just thought of something else. Maybe Assault shuttles should be made slower... like... really slow? Because then they'd take a lot more time to reach planets and thus give the defending side more of a chance. Dunno.
And by assault shuttles I mean the carriers.
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Nall White
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Nall White » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:44 pm

ColorfulWings wrote:
Ishantil wrote:The main problem that I have is that it's really hard to get system defense in the way of assault shuttles. Drones and riders should prioritize assault shuttles over every other target. To be fair, I haven't had much experience with this particular event because I've never had the AI launch assault shuttles against me.


Aren't Assault Shuttles PD targets? You should be able to set at least your BR light weapons to PD, although actual PD or even emitters would be best. Why doesn't this work?

When you say its hard to get system defense to the fight, do you mean just the local defenses you set up like satellites or police cutters? Or do you mean actual fleets you have stationed in the system?

Anyway, before a battle starts, you can usually see where the enemy fleet is coming from on the battle manager, and can set defenses right next to their entry point. It seems to me the goal of any defending party against shuttle carriers should be to keep them away from your planets. And from my experiences attacking the AI's systems, they try to do that but are not very good at it.

First of all, keeping the battle from going into accelerated time mode is ESSENTIAL. Therefor place as many obstacles in the way as possible. Police cutters are great for this as you can set them up in a line going towards the planet which forces the assault shuttles to kill them off before they can continue in accelerated time.

Second, satellites should be placed strategically to hamper the incoming fleet as much as possible... not just around the planet like the silly AI does all the time.

Third, I always place my defending fleets RIGHT in front of where the enemy fleet is going to enter my system, so that they have to either ignore my fleet and try to make a b line to my planet while I'm shooting their faces off with my BRs / any cruisers that are fast enough for the chase / missiles, or they have to stop and fight me.

If their assault shuttles can kill off my defending fleet, then there is something wrong...

Lastly, and more of a suggestion: I really think naval stations should be more powerful. They should have lots of guns and more health even at lower levels as to provide decent defense against shuttles... for some reason when I am attacking the AI with my fleets, I have never encountered a sector base that actually put up a fight. I have killed sector bases with just 3 or 4 cruiser fleets over many turns... like they aren't actually firing at me. Why is that?

Edit: Just thought of something else. Maybe Assault shuttles should be made slower... like... really slow? Because then they'd take a lot more time to reach planets and thus give the defending side more of a chance. Dunno.
And by assault shuttles I mean the carriers.


I run all of my battles with a fleet/defense screen. Also, I don't think that nerfing shuttle hp is the answer. Because like I said, I don't launch until point blank range. Abstracted AA towers or lower damage is the way to go. Also, each turn is a quarter year and the battles are abstracted to take place over that time frame. So, I do see a planet being glassed in with in a few minutes.

ColorfulWings wrote:Oh, and I still think Nall is a cat.

Cats don't have wings.
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Ishantil
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Ishantil » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:50 pm

I thought a turn was a year. Not sure where I got that, though.

In any event, yes, they are PD targets. But they are pretty tough. And you can equip them with PD themselves, if you want. That chews through drones pretty fast.

Engaging at the system perimeter is a fair point, but that means that's the only way to fight them effectively.

There are few ways to deal with it:

1. Allow planets to have some sort of PD available. (this would best be accomplished by LEO satellites with PD mounts)
2. Allow planet based drone interceptors (number based on population and/or industry base)
3. Reduce the effectiveness of drones (lower hp, reducing the damage they do)
4. Maybe they need to be added to the Rider tech tree. Either as a main branch, or after advanced drones or something.

As an aside, the accelerated time system really needs some method of control. I get screwed by it all the time.
Last edited by Ishantil on Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Olon » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:17 am

Personally, i would think assault shuttles should be weaker then they are starting off, and have a few more improvements to make them what they are now. Something along the lines of starter tech being about 40% of current effectiveness against planets, 80% at level 2 (it's really more then that though since you can arm them, or arm them better), and perhaps a level 3 that makes them closer to what they are now, 120%ish, only with even better armor/weapons(better armor options, maybe an extra small or medium mount, or something), and maybe with a speed improvement. Of course, i'm thinking level 3 would require anti-matter or something along that lines, whereas level 1 is starting tech, and 2 is the ones you get for advanced drones.

Then drones can be sorta rushed to be a very strong early/mid game tech vs people when amassed, and still hold up well into the late game if you improve it further later on

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ColorfulWings
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by ColorfulWings » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:07 am

I guess my main thought was that Assault Shuttle carrier Cruisers should take a lot more time to reach their target. Not that they should have less armor or HP necessarily. They do have significantly less armor on their mission section than other ship sections already.

Perhaps as a temporary solution, people and AI could focus on taking out the mission section rather than the whole ship?

Also on the AI, they should not run away from you so much... Why do they do that anyway? Really they should be up in your face and blowing your ships up like they did in prime... The ones I face always run from me and it gets really annoying sometimes because they put their ships on full speed and I can't catch them unless i go full speed... then they go back to mid speed and fire some missiles, forcing me to go to normal speed so my PD can take the missiles out... while I do this they go back to full speed and the battle just ends up being a long range thing. This just seems like a tactic designed to aggravate the player... :(

But my main point is... that tactic is really, really ineffective when the AI is trying to defend a system from Assault Shuttles. :roll:

Also I like the idea of assault shuttles getting better with higher levels of tech, but starting out less powerful. :)
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Bleral
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Bleral » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:43 am

Nall White wrote:It has been suggested planets get abstracted AA towers. That would be nice.

Yeah, that comes to mind. But pretty hard to balance. If the amount of AA is tied to the size/population, then assault shuttles will become useless on any advanced worlds - where they should actually be efficient to soften up targets. If it's fixed, but dependant to a planetary tech to unlock: makes sense, but then it doesn't solve the main issue, which is that AS are starting techs that can wipe out a homeworld at the beginning of a game without any meaningful counter.

More efficient / numerous / focused satellites seem like a good solution to me. Weakening the shuttles sounds like a good idea, too. Although, that kind of balancing has to wait, I'd think.

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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Tarrak » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:21 pm

Unfortunately the sat-rings are gone and will not come back. Too bad, as little PD sats close to the planet could really be a major help. Forcing the attacking fleet to get rid of them before launching assault shuttles.
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Resok » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:58 pm

Well a lot of the core is the AI is not doing the following things that I would do to counter shuttle fleets:

1. Position defense fleet right at the entry point of the incoming enemy fleets.
2. Position defense assets in a dense pattern between the enemy fleet warp in location and the nearest planets.
3. Focus my drones platforms on shooting down shuttles once they're launched.

Of course a lot of this depends on seeing the enemy coming - if I get into a situation where my enemy can strike my planet in 1-turn though you'd better believe that I'll have my assets positioned as appropriate ahead of time. The layout of the system also matters a ton.

Either way... I can attest to multiple MP combats that both myself and my enemies have attempted assault shuttle runs - and the only ones that have succeeded were those that they were unprepared for, or ones that I brought a significant combat fleet first to clear out the defense ships before deploying the shuttle carriers.
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Nall White
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Nall White » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:10 pm

Resok wrote:Well a lot of the core is the AI is not doing the following things that I would do to counter shuttle fleets:

1. Position defense fleet right at the entry point of the incoming enemy fleets.
2. Position defense assets in a dense pattern between the enemy fleet warp in location and the nearest planets.
3. Focus my drones platforms on shooting down shuttles once they're launched.

Of course a lot of this depends on seeing the enemy coming - if I get into a situation where my enemy can strike my planet in 1-turn though you'd better believe that I'll have my assets positioned as appropriate ahead of time. The layout of the system also matters a ton.

Either way... I can attest to multiple MP combats that both myself and my enemies have attempted assault shuttle runs - and the only ones that have succeeded were those that they were unprepared for, or ones that I brought a significant combat fleet first to clear out the defense ships before deploying the shuttle carriers.

I think shuttles don't need to be changed and agree that a proper defense is best. AI is still a work in progress.
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Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Goomich » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:26 pm

Bleral wrote:
Nall White wrote:It has been suggested planets get abstracted AA towers. That would be nice.

Yeah, that comes to mind. But pretty hard to balance. If the amount of AA is tied to the size/population, then assault shuttles will become useless on any advanced worlds - where they should actually be efficient to soften up targets.


Make that AA missiles like interceptors. Against advanced worlds you would use advanced shuttles (those with their own PD) so they should balance themself.

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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Nall White » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:37 pm

Goomich wrote:
Bleral wrote:
Nall White wrote:It has been suggested planets get abstracted AA towers. That would be nice.

Yeah, that comes to mind. But pretty hard to balance. If the amount of AA is tied to the size/population, then assault shuttles will become useless on any advanced worlds - where they should actually be efficient to soften up targets.


Make that AA missiles like interceptors. Against advanced worlds you would use advanced shuttles (those with their own PD) so they should balance themself.

+1
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Naja
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Naja » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Goomich wrote:
Bleral wrote:
Nall White wrote:It has been suggested planets get abstracted AA towers. That would be nice.

Yeah, that comes to mind. But pretty hard to balance. If the amount of AA is tied to the size/population, then assault shuttles will become useless on any advanced worlds - where they should actually be efficient to soften up targets.


Make that AA missiles like interceptors. Against advanced worlds you would use advanced shuttles (those with their own PD) so they should balance themself.


+2

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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Heart of Storm » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:33 am

Lotsofpeople wrote:It has been suggested planets get abstracted AA towers. That would be nice.
Yeah, that comes to mind. But pretty hard to balance. If the amount of AA is tied to the size/population, then assault shuttles will become useless on any advanced worlds - where they should actually be efficient to soften up targets.

Make that AA missiles like interceptors. Against advanced worlds you would use advanced shuttles (those with their own PD) so they should balance themself.

+2


Which neutralises shuttles and makes them worthless? no thanks. Shuttles are *meant* to be good at killing planets, its literally the only use they have.

I agree that right now they feel pretty damn OP, but I found that was the same as in Prime - I used to zergrush enemy planets with deflector/assault shuttle cruisers in Prime, even with their satrings and achieve good results, its a *bit* easier to do that in SotS II cos of the whole starting tech thing but its not visibly different from a favourite tactic of mine in prime.

Not going to go pick up on all the quotes, but for me the main issue is that, right now, Assault Shuttles are hard to counter in flight, they're fast and numerous and make a mess when they reach the planet - dropping your assault shuttles at long range is a viable tactic and a good way to mitigate the use of a defence fleet (the only real counter to an assault shuttle fleet).

If a player manages to drive an assault shuttle fleet into close range of your planet and drop a boatload of assault shuttles your gonna lose it, heck you DESERVE to lose it - its when you can drop assault shuttles from several sectors away and still achieve a planet wipe that they become OP.

The solution I think is actually quite simple, make planet missiles target assault shuttle carriers as a priority, it means a size 10 planet needs to be hit at very close range to deal damage, or with a LOT of shuttles from longer ranges.

In Prime, planets used to prioritise shuttles and biomissiles, I havent seen this happen yet in SotS II, but it seems like the most sensible solution without needing to invent whole new mechanics to deal with a starting tech

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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by dast » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:22 am

Hi,

i dont think that we should care for the AI now ... it cant handle assault shuttles but thats not the only think its bad with :) lets wait here and concentrate on some fair and fun MP.

Assault shuttles should be far better at planet killing than any other none specialized planet killing weapon.
IMHO on that everybody can agree.

The question is: should there be an auto defense like Planet PD?
I dont think so. The attacker needs a lot of dedication and resources to make such an attack. For fairness it should take some equal dedication to counter it.

The best counters seem to be to kill the carriers mission section before launch, or pd the shuttles to death.

1st problem here is: Asault shuttles are free from beginning - PD is not
which leaves only carrier killing as defense and that might be not possible depending on the geometry of the star system.

e.g.
Last weekend i had two systems attacked by AS carriers. In the first the attacker started in the adjacent sector of my homeworld ... no time to counter -> world lost.
This could have happend as early as turn 6-8 if the attacker would have liked. No defense possible -> I dont like that.

In second system he had to traverse the whole system and needed 2 turns fighting through 2 defending fleets to get through all sectors. I made a mistake and his two carriers came through.
In this case i made tactical mistakes and therefore the loss is ok!


2nd problem which is often addressed: there is no need to invest in better planet killing techs (except maybe advanced AS to counter the pds) ... AS are all you need and you get it for free. Siege Drivers ? Bio Missiles ?

Just tune down the damage so that homeworlds with billion peoples can last 2-3 turns to 6 carriers full of shuttles than adjust the other techs accordingly.

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Naja
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Re: Re-balance Assault Shuttles

Post by Naja » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:40 pm

A very moderate step would be just making Assault Shuttles a tech you have to research. Probably under the Battle Riders research section.

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