Enemy Difficulty

This topic contains 14 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Xavier 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #20610

    Xavier
    Keymaster

    At the moment, we are able to kill Kraliens in droves. Arvonians and Torgoths, though tougher, are also no match for single TSN ships. Changing the hull points of an enemy ship isn’t possible, but it is possible to increase their shield strength, damage output, number of beams and other stats.

    This is something that we can look into if we as a community are interested. The changes would impact both the simulations and the sandbox as they would be mainly to the vesselData. My thoughts would be to increase Kralien ships so they are equivalent to Torgoths. A light Kralien fleet of cruisers (3 to 4 ships) would therefore be quite a match for a single TSN ship. We could also increase their number of beams to make them heavier hitting. Torgoths and Arvonians would have to be increased to similar stats to the command vessels we encounter now. That would mean the heavy fleets we meet, which can be dealt with by a single TSN ship, would need multiple ships and a lot of heavy ordnance to deal with. We’d really have to work together and coordinate attacks.

    I also have an idea to move our story line along so that the increase in difficulty makes sense in our universe. This would form our next campaign after the current story arc, run by fish, is complete.

    This would fundamentally change the game. In solo and coop modes we’d have to lower the difficulty – currently we run them at difficulty 10.

    At this time, I am only asking for input. No changes are actually planned and won’t be implemented until details have been agreed on and figured out. If it is not something of interest, then we can leave it easily enough.

    #20615

    Matthew Vaj
    Participant

    I’d be interested in trying it out in sims for a shift, and getting people’s opinions afterward. It would make things more realistic imo, and would make it more of a challenge. Instead of fighting hordes of enemies and possibly being overwhelmed by shear numbers, we would be fighting the enemy on more equal footing. That would mean fighting fewer ships, which again makes it more realistic, and would give them more incentive to attack us if their ships are a closer match to ours.

    #20617

    John van Leigh
    Participant

    I’m up for an increase on difficulty, but I think that if we ramp it up that much in one go we’d probably break the standard sims.

    Specifically, I recall some instances lately in which, during sims or simulated missions, Kraliens seemed to hit much harder than expected. We managed, but encountering something unexpected like that managed to throw us off balance.

    #20619

    Charles Beaumont
    Participant

    Sounds interesting. It should definitely be phased in carefully though so we can adjust our combat doctrine to suit.

    Would having fewer, smaller, groups of enemy ships also make it easier for GMs to control whatever scenario they’re running too?

    #20621

    Blaze Strife
    Participant

    I agree with what the three before me said.

    #20629

    Draeco
    Participant

    Part of what makes the current battle dynamic routine is that just by identifying a ship’s silhouette we have a good idea just how easy or hard killing it will be. No real tactical surprises. With all due respect van Leigh, being pushed off balance in battle should be commonplace.

    Perhaps not in the very first sims, but in designing future training sims I recommend introducing stronger ships without telling anyone whether, when, or which enemy ships have been substantially boosted. Going even further, perhaps certain enhancements could be undetectable by the Science station, with the only way to discover them by attacking. I’m thinking HET capability, extra-heavy yield drones, and super beams.

    #20632

    John van Leigh
    Participant

    Oh, no, Draeco, I agree with you! I love challenges. Having a Kralien beat the everloving snot of my shields is, once you get pass the “fuck it, maybe I went the wrong way about this one” stage, a fun thing.

    I guess I’m getting a bit too used to the feeling of being able to beat the map as easily as we usually do.

    #20646

    Nhaima
    Participant

    We could certainly increase the speed of the enemy(mainly this), the damage/rate of fire of their weapons, and increase the number of drones they fire as well as the damage of each drone. Another mod did some brief experimentation with a drone ship that fires several lower power drones simultaneously, or several low power drones with a single high damage one so you have the idea of decoys.

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure of a way to grant special traits to ships without a GM script without making them break away from fleets but what we can do is duplicate entries in the vessel data file to give ships increased damage/fire rate/other statistical increases that are not directly accessible from the science screen.

    What I would like to do though would be to avoid just multiplying all the enemy ship shield ratings by 10 and calling it good. Increasing them so the Kralien cruisers are more on par with TSN vessels might be a good thing but I’d like to avoid making them damage sponges. Since we aren’t in heavy vessels, we aren’t really narratively interested in slugging it out like ships of the line unless we absolutely have no other alternative, correct? So let’s keep the time-to-kill from spiraling completely out of control. But making things more varied and more difficult is something I’m all for.

    #20652

    Leonard Hall
    Participant

    Makes me think about the original specs for the Griffzungenschwert.

    I’ve said enough.

    #20723

    Quinn
    Participant

    I think a difficulty increase would make sense thematically, since we are a light division, after all. We should probably be doing raids on enemy supply lines or intercepting enemy scout forces or at most hit-and-run attacks on fortified positions to test them, but the fact that we are able to take out huge swathes of enemy forces, including multiple bases at a time, never really sat well with me.

    Story-wise, perhaps the difficulty could even open us up for some interesting coordination with the rest of the Second Fleet. A fleet of powerful NPC capital ships duking it out with equally powerful enemy ships would be a great setting for our division to try to act as a scalpal, rather than the club we’ve been up till now.

    There is something to be said for momentum, however. Being able to quickly move on from target to target in a fight, while repetitive, makes for pretty fast-paced action. It will be hard to find the balance between difficulty and frustration, but I’m certainly in favor of testing the waters.

    #20728

    Xavier
    Keymaster

    I can see, GM mission-wise, a large hegemony force assualting us. The division ships would have to tie up enemy formation to make a hole, that a smaller unit (e.g. a battlegroup) could use to attack the commander of the fleet and force a retreat/disarray when the commander is neutralised.

    #20730

    Xavier
    Keymaster

    Having to take on heavier enemies would test both tactical thinking and endurance of ships. We wouldn’t be able to utilise tricks like ploughing through enemy formations with beams. Instead, helms officers would have to think of how they fly to try and separate formations, or keep the number of enemy beams hitting the ship to a minimum.

    It might mean too that one ship is attacking multiple enemy ships and weakening them gradually, making weapons officers switch targets throughout an engagement rather then training boosted beams on just one enemy till its’ destruction. I am not sure if we can reduce the enemies shield recharge rate, which would impact such an approach to combat.

    In the past we have had the battlegroups and whole fleet target single enemy ships, designating it by specifying a priority target over ship to ship comms. It was used frequently when we first met the Torgoth and Arvonian command ships. This kind of coordination may become more frequent if enemies were stronger.

    #20732

    Nhaima
    Participant

    @admin: In artemis.ini, line 100: enemyShieldRechargeRate

    Something else that we might want to look at rescaling again would be homing torpedoes. Increasing it’s damage output would incentive ships besides a missile cruiser to use them more frequently. To compensate for this, the energy cost of creating a torpedo could also be increased. I would not increase the amount of energy received when converting a torpedo to help prevent it from being an equal trade-off as far as emergency batteries are concerned. Punchier torpedoes would help against upscaled targets in the moment but would otherwise retain the requirement of being an ammunition based weapon of limited quantity.

    #21012

    Xavier
    Keymaster

    Thanks Nhaima! It is really useful to have that piece of info. I am going to take a bit of time to go through and check out what bits of the enemy can be modified. I think I know some parts, but they are split between the vesselData and artemis.ini file.

    Once I’ve done that, I’ll start thinking on how to make the enemies more challenging. I am thinking at the moment, it would be good if a small escort of Kraliens (3-5) would be a match for a ship, if not two if they are the heavier ships. There are three classes of Kraliens, and I think three or four cruisers should be able to fend off a TSN light cruiser at least. A dreadnaught, a couple of battleships and three or four cruisers should pose a significant threat to a couple of TSN light cruisers.

    What do you guys think? At the moment a the formation above takes a light cruiser a few minutes to clear with little to no difficulty.

    #21014

    Xavier
    Keymaster

    Oh, and as for torgoths and arvonians, I think the standard torgoth should be equal to one of the command ships we currently have as enemies. Of course, we’d end up adapting in terms of the difficulty level we run on sims and the number of enemies we meet in the sandbox. Two kralien fleets and a light torgoth fleet would be a difficult battle for instance.

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