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Development Discussions / Re: Naming Theme Suggestions
« Last post by mike2R on Today at 03:20:45 PM »
A list of towns and cities in the Netherlands with a population above 25,000.  Its sorted by population, so will pick names in that order by default, rather than alphabetically.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by Jorgen_CAB on Today at 02:58:23 PM »
I agree that ground weapon strength and armour tech probably should be their own tech line in ground tech area.

Though, the difference in cost is not super great as weapon strength is only tied to one of the primary weapon techs... so increasing range increasing tech will not impact ground weapon strength for example. If you invest RP in such technology it is your choice, just like any other technology that does not increase ground weapon strength.

Plasma weapons only give a slight cheaper ground weapon strength... even other weapon tech have varied impact on the cost.

In general I find most weapons to give interesting choices from a strategic sense... there should not be a balanced primary weapon balance... there is no need for this. If you wan't to invest the RP and build cost to use lasers you can do that... but it will cost other things you could have done instead. This is a strategic decision worth making.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by nuclearslurpee on Today at 11:55:41 AM »
How big of a destroyer escort if you're using one of the heaviest weapons for secondary batteries? We're not planning the same fleets but that's the beauty of Aurora many ways to play and enjoy yet...

I do like my big ships... I think the last campaign I did this my DE/CLEs were 18k tons with 2x carronades, but you can just as well use a <10k ton DE with a single carronade. In my mind, it is not very different from putting a spinal laser on such ships for a similar purpose. I generally believe that it is good to mount secondary capabilities on most ship classes above a few kilotons - my offensive ships or fleet carriers will include a couple of Gauss turrets so they contribute to PD and are not so easily hamstrung by losing escorts, by the same token.

By the way, 18k and 9k are upper limits for NPR CLEs and DEs respectively, so while these are big ships for some players I think they are reasonable sizes. My WH40K settings on the other hand...

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we're still having this conversation about limiting somebody else because it makes subject sense to some to have an objectively known to be worst use of tonnage in combat range of opposing forces.

From the flip side: if we remove these limitations by making plasma tactically competitive - and, necessarily, rebalancing this by removing some or all of what makes plasma strategically attractive, otherwise we're just breaking the game - we may be in the process removing an interesting decision point from the game.

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Plasma may we suggest a few ideas to make this actually useful in a standard tactical use case besides being a rocket-powered deathtrap for crews. You're a prolific author of ideas on this forum, think of it as a thought exercise. Maybe damage falloff, maybe rate of fire, damage pattern, weight or something else?

I would not change most of these things as I think they work consistently with the rest of the game mechanics, damage falloff for instance works exactly as it does for other beam weapons. However, I think having some option to reduce the size would be very interesting - actually, I would take away the reduced-size lasers and give that capability to plasma along with buffing the tech somewhat, which would lean more into the alpha-strike and secondary beam weapon roles while making plasma bombers viable beyond the 15/20cm tech level, which personally I think is a really cool fighter concept I would like to use.

However - this is important - if we buff plasma we must separate ground unit racial attack from shipborne weapons techs. Frankly I think being able to cheese ground unit attack with plasma weaponry unbalances the ground combat and eliminates a lot of the tactical interest by making PWL+CAP so incredibly optimal versus any other composition that it is not even funny. The VB6 approach of having dedicated GU attack/defense techs was I think the correct one - at least, having a dedicated GU attack tech also allows tweaking balance vs the armor tech which in turn would allow rebalancing higher-tier armor against shields, another topic of discussion on this forum. Also, this would provide GU researchers something to do in the late game after UHV are developed, as right now most of the GU techs are in that 4k to 6k range and can be developed pretty quickly once you have a couple of strong GC researchers. This all is a bit outside the narrow topic of plasma carronades, but because of the interaction with ground combat it has to be addressed simultaneously.

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Railguns recently had a buff, particle as well. There's still two underperforming energy weapons -
meson (I only use as a Small fast craft killer ) which was one of the best weapons of VB6.

Mesons actually have a useful niche as they ignore shields entirely. I have also done analysis (not published on this forum) showing that a moderate buff to the attenuation techs can make mesons quite viable as a main anti-ship weapon in general, although I am unsure if such a buff is needed since the anti-shield role is already quite a good niche - albeit not very important against NPRs which only rarely use shields effectively.


Anyway, I can split these posts off into their own thread if folks want to continue discussing the pros and cons of plasma carronades as otherwise it'll clutter up the Suggestion thread too much.

Sounds like that might be necessary, if nothing else the topic of plasma carronades always is perilously close to the question of ground combat balance, which nearly always leads to a heated discussion of its own.


Also, it would be nice if Orbital Miners could have the minerals deposited into their cargo holds instead of the asteroid/system body. It would improve logistics and RP, as we can send a fleet of Orbital Miners and have them come back and forth when their cargo holds are full. So actually having tiny cargo holds on them starts making sense. Especially since a mining operation is a complex thing. It involves a lot of logistics, equipment and etc, so its a bit weird that they would just leave the minerals dumped on the asteroid instead of using small drop ships to bring it back.

I actually have sometimes used a design with a cargo hold and shuttle enabling OM/OMPs to carry a mass driver from site to site. Not that sending out a freighter to move the Driver around is too much trouble for how infrequently it is done, but it is an interesting tweak and works well in 2.0+ with the changes to commander assignment so that such designs will correctly request a Mining-skill commander rather than Logistics-skill.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by Agraelgrimm on Today at 10:03:52 AM »
Seems i got here in the middle of a heated argument... Rare thing to see here in Aurora.
But anyway, i am having little time to look at everything, so i just have a small question here, if no one minds answering me:
Has someone suggested a easy way to replace Ground Forces and if not, is it already on the table for the next update? Cause in the state of the game right now, that seems to me to be the more pressing matter.

Also, since i am already here, a simple suggestion here would be to have the *option* of having ships using missile ammunition while they are on patrol and training missions, as they already have the chances to experience equipment failure, having them using ammo would be a nice RP touch and extra requirement into having the patrol and training benefits.

*Edit:*

Also, it would be nice if Orbital Miners could have the minerals deposited into their cargo holds instead of the asteroid/system body. It would improve logistics and RP, as we can send a fleet of Orbital Miners and have them come back and forth when their cargo holds are full. So actually having tiny cargo holds on them starts making sense. Especially since a mining operation is a complex thing. It involves a lot of logistics, equipment and etc, so its a bit weird that they would just leave the minerals dumped on the asteroid instead of using small drop ships to bring it back.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by Garfunkel on Today at 05:59:37 AM »
I'm strongly against balancing all weapons to the point where it doesn't really matter which one you use and all are equally good. That's fine for competitive PvP games but doesn't fit single player games, and definitely doesn't fit the character of Aurora. This like trying to make Gauss work as a primary weapon.

A ship solely equipped with Gauss turrets will likely have an excellent to acceptable chance at accomplishing it's primary mission in pretty much all standard combat conditions. A ship equipped with plasma has a middling to low chance of accomplishing any mission objective in the best of combat conditions. A baseline squadron jump (50k) with starter drives neutralize the emergency plasma weapons role (60k range) unless the opposition has terrible luck.
Except it would have all the same problems as a ship with plasma carronades - it must be faster than the opponent and protected strongly enough to survive crossing the enemy's field of fire since their beam weapons will outrange your gauss even easier than they outrange plasma.

JP defence/ambush situations are not rare and as has been said by others, the point we're trying to make isn't that plasma is great but that if your fleet focuses on missiles, for example, or carries/fighters, which both require a lot of research to develop, then choosing the RP-cheap plasma carronades as your secondary weapon is not a bad idea and it can do the job.

Anyway, I can split these posts off into their own thread if folks want to continue discussing the pros and cons of plasma carronades as otherwise it'll clutter up the Suggestion thread too much.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by papent on Today at 03:01:19 AM »

I mean, bluntly, this is largely accurate: in a purely tactical view, plasma is almost always the worst beam weapon as long as no one has invited Mesons to the party - provided that we are ignoring the research and build costs of the different weapons being compared. In practice, given that these costs are actually very low, carronades have many strategic benefits that make them a viable choice in a wide range of cases. I think it is okay if the cheapest weapon to develop and deploy also has the most flaws, that seems pretty fair to me honestly.

One case I like to use plasma for is as a secondary beam weapon for carrier escorts. I can put a couple of decent-caliber carronades on my DEs or CLEs, which allows me to use them to destroy vulnerable targets when I don't want to waste missile ordnance, and using the Gauss turrets which are the primary payload of the DE/CLE class would consume significantly more MSP to do the job (due to the 2% failure rate on weapon firing outside of final fire situations). It is a relatively minor benefit, I admit, but saving ordnance and MSP makes the fleet logistics for a long campaign that much less demanding.

How big of a destroyer escort if you're using one of the heaviest weapons for secondary batteries? We're not planning the same fleets but that's the beauty of Aurora many ways to play and enjoy yet...

we're still having this conversation about limiting somebody else because it makes subject sense to some to have an objectively known to be worst use of tonnage in combat range of opposing forces.

Railguns recently had a buff, particle as well. There's still two underperforming energy weapons -
meson (I only use as a Small fast craft killer ) which was one of the best weapons of VB6.

Plasma may we suggest a few ideas to make this actually useful in a standard tactical use case besides being a rocket-powered deathtrap for crews. You're a prolific author of ideas on this forum, think of it as a thought exercise. Maybe damage falloff, maybe rate of fire, damage pattern, weight or something else?

Energy weapons are strategically more flexible than missile weapons, I don't think having a weapon which serves best as a planetary assault/defense/secondary is the best use of an entire designable ship weapon just from a game mechanic prospective. Imo which counts for nothing.

Btw I Intentional limit my fleets to not exceed sizes of equivalent NPR hulls. So most of my fleets are small ships.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by nuclearslurpee on Today at 02:03:15 AM »
Have you seen how drastically their damage drops off,

Yes.

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to use them you HAVE to be faster than the enemy, you HAVE to be able to survive the entire distance closing from whatever your max range is to under about 20000km,

Yes, there are requirements that have to be met to get the most out of the weapon. A lot of these conditions, for what it's worth, also apply to railguns, and nobody has called for a buff to railguns around here in quite some time.

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and then when you do deploy your "alpha strike" youre still failing to out DPS nearly any other weapon in the game.

Well, yes, that's how an alpha strike works. If you had a weapon which could deal a huge alpha strike and maintain very high DPS, it would be patently absurd, a word which in Aurora means "Steve here is an idea for the next new spoiler race."

DPS is not the be-all, end-all of Aurora beam combat. A strong alpha strike, when successful, will cripple or kill a large part of the enemy force before they can bring their DPS to full effect, particularly if you hit the right ships of their fleet composition. Naturally, such a strong tactic should have rather challenging requirements to execute successfully.

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also if you think Carronade range is good youre insane.

Remind me to have a chat with my therapist about doctor/patient confidentiality...  :P

We need to be careful what we compare against a given carronade design. A 30cm carronade requires 7k RP to develop (7.5k in a conventional start) and costs 4.9*C per weapon where C is the capacitor tech used. First of all, note that the direct comparison is a 30cm Infrared laser, with the same cost but requiring 59k RP to develop (60k in a conventional start). Already, we see that there is a significant strategic advantage to carronades in that you can deploy your massive alpha-striking weapon in a fraction of the research time, or while saving 52k RP at the start of the game to dump into propulsion, missile, shielding, etc. techs in your initial setup. The downside, of course, is that lasers can also improve the range modifier while plasma cannot, but this does requires further research investment which not every player or campaign wants to do. If I'm already going heavy into missiles + Gauss PD, I may not want to spend a lot of time and research points getting good lasers when I can get passable plasma as a secondary weapon for much, much cheaper.

Now turning to the more general comparison with lasers: If we want that 12cm laser which we claim is so superior, then in the interest of fairness we also need to reach the same 240,000 km range. This requires a range modifier of 60,000 km, which is a tech requiring a total of 59k RP (60k in a conventional start) to unlock, plus the 2k RP for 12cm lasers. Again, there is a major strategic benefit to carronades if (and only if) we do not want to invest so many RPs into lasers. Now, yes, there is damage falloff to consider, which means we can probably consider the 12cm laser equal or "better" than the plasma at a lower range modifier (perhaps 40,000 km?), but this still comes at an increased price in RP. We might also achieve a better balance with 15cm or 20cm lasers (20k total RP for equal or better range, in each case), but as these larger calibers require more HS to mount we are closing the DPS gap while the 30cm carronade maintains its high alpha strike capability.

The summary here is: everything in Aurora has a corresponding cost for its benefits. Carronades have the benefit of being tremendously cheap to research, but tremendously limited such that they are almost never a suitable choice as a main anti-ship weapon - but in a secondary role, they can suffice and their cheapness makes them suitable to support a fleet which uses a different main weapon type, as you can dedicate more of your valuable RPs into developing that main weapon. You could, of course, use lasers, but the RP requirement for strong lasers will mean your main weapon type is correspondingly less effective. Alternatively, we have the option to research much larger carronades and spend those RP we would otherwise save - I won't analyze this in detail as the options start to broaden considerably, but I will note that for about 60k RP total, we can have the 50cm carronade which is a truly frightening alpha strike (64 damage!) if you can land it from close enough range.

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Also i dont know how youd justify them being used as point defence.

At no point did I suggest such a thing. What I did suggest is that, in an extreme example, you could use plasma as an anti-ship beam weapon and 10cm railguns as a dirt-cheap beam PD option as opposed to the more expensive Gauss tree, which would give you weapons for serviceable, if clearly second-line or escort-quality, beam warships to support, e.g., a missile-based or carrier-based fleet.

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I really fail to understand how you can even pretend Plasma is an effective niche weapon, and honestly it makes me suspect that you dont actually understand how their range scales or something.

There is a handy plot for this, albeit it uses very specific cases which may not be the best cross-comparisons - but it suffices to illustrate the mechanics.

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And god forbid you need to close the range over distance.

Again this is how railgun warfare works and no one is complaining about railgun balance - except me, because I think the reduced-shot railguns are too strong, but that is neither here nor there.

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Please, if you disagree give me a detailed answer as to how Plasma is a viable weapon in any circumstance and dont just quote the same "its good for ground units and thats about it" stuff at me,

Fortunately for me this was an easy requirement to meet as I did not even say this in my first response.


Also, they don't need to be the best or the most viable. Aurora is a game designed to drive story telling. Theyre great as a RP friendly weapon if nothing else. Not every option is the best option.
I'm strongly against balancing all weapons to the point where it doesn't really matter which one you use and all are equally good. That's fine for competitive PvP games but doesn't fit single player games, and definitely doesn't fit the character of Aurora. This like trying to make Gauss work as a primary weapon.

This is the correct broader point. "Balance" in Aurora is not about every choice being equally good in every situation, but about creating interesting decisions which strike balance between tactical and strategic factors. The current design of plasma weapons promotes this design goal quite effectively.

I swear the hostility in the forum is getting out of hand

This seems to come usually from new posters/members who are used to the standards of discussion in other, more lawless parts of the Internet. Most folks who stick around here do eventually adapt to the standards of discussion we like to maintain. In this case, OP has only three posts here so I assume there is a bit of an adjustment period going on, but it is not such a big deal I think.

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Edit: And for the record, there's probably less than ten people that know the ins and outs of Aurora better than @nuclearslurpee

You said it, not me...  ;)


A baseline squadron jump (50k) with starter drives neutralize the emergency plasma weapons role (60k range) unless the opposition has terrible luck.

Like many things in Aurora this can be worked around, for example by using fast FACs or few-kiloton attack craft which can close the distance and strike at point-blank before the enemy fleet can recover from transit. There are options here.

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Blacklight and the others who have written before, makes a reasonable argument that inside the "The ship weapon box" Plasma is objectively terrible at any role outside of luck based encounters or RP Encounters niche. It's heavy, can't be turreted, slow to fire, and terrible damage falloff. It has the flaws of every other Energy weapon type.

I mean, bluntly, this is largely accurate: in a purely tactical view, plasma is almost always the worst beam weapon as long as no one has invited Mesons to the party - provided that we are ignoring the research and build costs of the different weapons being compared. In practice, given that these costs are actually very low, carronades have many strategic benefits that make them a viable choice in a wide range of cases. I think it is okay if the cheapest weapon to develop and deploy also has the most flaws, that seems pretty fair to me honestly.

One case I like to use plasma for is as a secondary beam weapon for carrier escorts. I can put a couple of decent-caliber carronades on my DEs or CLEs, which allows me to use them to destroy vulnerable targets when I don't want to waste missile ordnance, and using the Gauss turrets which are the primary payload of the DE/CLE class would consume significantly more MSP to do the job (due to the 2% failure rate on weapon firing outside of final fire situations). It is a relatively minor benefit, I admit, but saving ordnance and MSP makes the fleet logistics for a long campaign that much less demanding.

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I interpreted no hostility from any writer here, I do see friction from differences of opinions and that usually leads to better outcomes from exchanges of thoughts and compromise.

Nobody is infallible and everyone is entitled to their own assessment.   

I think usually, the tone tends to seem hostile once the discussion veers away from plain facts and measured opinions, and starts to involve questions about the character or intellect of other posters. For example, asserting that another poster is "insane", "pretending", or "[doesn't] actually understand" the game mechanics at hand tend to come across as hostility to many readers. I think it is an easy mistake to make, particularly for newcomers, but it is also easily correctable.
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by papent on Today at 12:46:16 AM »
I'm strongly against balancing all weapons to the point where it doesn't really matter which one you use and all are equally good. That's fine for competitive PvP games but doesn't fit single player games, and definitely doesn't fit the character of Aurora. This like trying to make Gauss work as a primary weapon.

A ship solely equipped with Gauss turrets will likely have an excellent to acceptable chance at accomplishing it's primary mission in pretty much all standard combat conditions. A ship equipped with plasma has a middling to low chance of accomplishing any mission objective in the best of combat conditions. A baseline squadron jump (50k) with starter drives neutralize the emergency plasma weapons role (60k range) unless the opposition has terrible luck.

Plenty has been said about thinking outside "The ship weapon box" for using Plasma by many of our fellows.
Blacklight and the others who have written before, makes a reasonable argument that inside the "The ship weapon box" Plasma is objectively terrible at any role outside of luck based encounters or RP Encounters niche. It's heavy, can't be turreted, slow to fire, and terrible damage falloff. It has the flaws of every other Energy weapon type.

is it unreasonable to ask for an in-game mechanic to have a purpose? Should the consensus that mostly seems to be "don't research it or research it for ground forces weapon tech/STO batteries" be appropriate response to this request?
Nobody is forcing anybody to have to use Plasma however They do current exist and people would like to try something different. More options are typical better than few, no?

Can we all have fun and enjoy the game/tool/story generator in many different ways?

I swear the hostility in the forum is getting out of hand

Edit: And for the record, there's probably less than ten people that know the ins and outs of Aurora better than @nuclearslurpee

I interpreted no hostility from any writer here, I do see friction from differences of opinions and that usually leads to better outcomes from exchanges of thoughts and compromise.

Nobody is infallible and everyone is entitled to their own assessment.   
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by Garfunkel on Today at 12:13:23 AM »
I'm strongly against balancing all weapons to the point where it doesn't really matter which one you use and all are equally good. That's fine for competitive PvP games but doesn't fit single player games, and definitely doesn't fit the character of Aurora. This like trying to make Gauss work as a primary weapon.

Plasma is fine as it is. It works for ambushes and as cheap backup if you're not doing lot of EW research. If you don't need it for those niches, then don't research it. We already have lasers, rails, and particle beams (+ lance) to use as primary weapon, each with their own pros and cons. I don't understand this obsession of adding plasma carronades as a fourth one. 
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C# Suggestions / Re: Suggestions Thread for v2.0
« Last post by ranger044 on Yesterday at 11:46:01 PM »
Nowhere did nuclear say that the carronades are a good primary choice weapon. He literally used over half of his post explaining how they're cheaper to research as a backup/emergency weapon. He directly said that they are simply not the best choice for beam primary designs. Their main advantage is that they are powerful at short range, like his example as a point defence weapon or alpha strike (ie fighter swarm at short range), while being cheap to research.

Also, they don't need to be the best or the most viable. Aurora is a game designed to drive story telling. Theyre great as a RP friendly weapon if nothing else. Not every option is the best option.

I swear the hostility in the forum is getting out of hand

Edit: And for the record, there's probably less than ten people that know the ins and outs of Aurora better than @nuclearslurpee
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