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RE: Discussion on Armor

 
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/6/2013 3:14:35 PM   
MartialDoctor


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Yes, I'm not sure myself. Maybe Eric or someone familiar with the details can fill us in.

My guess is that it's intended to be expensive and more of a last ditch sort of defense.

In that case, when facing rail guns, the idea would be to either keep your distance or use rail guns, or gravity weapons, yourself. Anytime you move into close distance with a rail gun heavy craft, you are pretty much toast, regardless of how much tougher your ship may be on paper (in terms of weapons rating).

As was stated earlier, though, having damage control and repair bots may even out the field more. I'm not sure on that part... just been looking at pure armor at the moment.

(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 3:29:05 AM   
feelotraveller


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Some very good points made already.  But-

a) shields are absolutely useless against monsters
b) shields are next to useless in supernovae
c) shields are somewhat useless in nebulae, depending on length of stay

They are two forms of defence which have different roles to play and both have strengths and weaknesses.  So I think a direct comparison of shields to armour is not a good one.  It is like comparing blasters to missiles; given the circumstance one or the other is likely to be better. (Last Legends game I had a fleet whose sole purpose was to fry bugs in the nebulae and I'm sure they racked up more kills per ship than any other fleet and they were shieldless.  )

Maybe armour is still too weak (I don't find it so) but let's not overstate the case.  Good topic though. 

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 3:56:49 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Thanks, traveller. Good to get someone else to add to the discussion.

quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
a) shields are absolutely useless against monsters


Monsters are a small part of the game and no enemy empire or pirate faction has monsters.

quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
b) shields are next to useless in supernovae
c) shields are somewhat useless in nebulae, depending on length of stay


Those are very specific circumstances. And battles rarely occur there due to nothing extremely important being there (e.g. no colonies).

quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
Maybe armour is still too weak (I don't find it so)


The three things you just mentioned were very specific cases and only a small part of the game. The main part of this game is ship vs ship battles that are in normal systems...

Edit: And I guess I should add that you state that they have "different roles" but they do not. They both are used for protection. They have no other usage.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/7/2013 4:03:39 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 4:15:43 AM   
feelotraveller


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So you build all of your ships without armour? 

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 5:16:25 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller

So you build all of your ships without armour? 


If you're asking me what I do personally, I tend to put light armor on them.

Recently, though, I have been facing many ships with rail guns. After putting high amounts of armor on them, I found it did very little. Also, I tried using rail guns myself and found them far too effective...

Thus, I started researching armor further and started this thread

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/7/2013 5:17:13 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 5:42:32 AM   
feelotraveller


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Sorry for the quick response which left out some bits.  But the thrust of it was why, thinking as you personally do, would you use armour?  (OT: light armour is my usual preference.)  For me I always use at least one piece of armour for its reactive property.  And this leads to one role which armour fulfills but that shields do not, damage mitigation (could call this reduction but then the discussion might get confused with the effect of repair modules).  Shields do not do this. This effects all battles as far as I am aware.  Any ship you want to protect from mauling by monsters needs more.  Any ship which will freqently pass through storms needs more.  Any ship which you expect to operate for any length of time in a shield draining environment needs more.  (Last time I checked this game was not called 'Gratuitous Space Battles' , sorry for the poor joke at your expense.)  I also add a few bits or armour to my ships when other components will do no further good (too big, not enough energy, etc.) since some protection is better than nothing.

(Aside: I max monsters so probably pay them more heed, but they are not insignificant as they usually guard the best colony/resource locations.  Nebulae are also pretty widespread and opponents can be lured into these traps easily.  I have also had them (edit: nebulae, to avoid confusion) penetrate colonies so although not common you do get battles in them even without arranging it to be so. Supernovae are indeed very rarely contested.)

Rail guns is another topic and not one I want to get into too much at the moment, until I have played Shadows more...  They could be overpowered but that would not mean that armour is underpowered, no?

< Message edited by feelotraveller -- 6/7/2013 5:45:26 AM >

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 6:24:11 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Traveller, again, you keep referring to specific cases while I am referring to armor in general. Even at max, which I have played before, monsters are not a major threat. And, you, again, bring up another specific case, nebulaes... I don't see how you lure them into these "traps" because, as I have seen, the AI, smartly, tends to go for colonies. But, even so, we're talking about armor in general, not specific cases.

quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
(Aside: I max monsters so probably pay them more heed, but they are not insignificant as they usually guard the best colony/resource locations.


They are insignificant when compared to a huge fleet of an enemy empire. They pale in comparison.

Now, you are bringing up another point. You say reactive property... nowhere is it explained what that actually does. So, if you understand what it does, please explain what it does and how it works. How does it mitigate damage and how much does it mitigate? If you read before, Plant had mentioned that but no one has explained how it works or how putting more armor on affects damage mitigation...

If you know, please explain it to the rest of us

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/7/2013 6:26:20 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 6:39:21 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
Rail guns is another topic and not one I want to get into too much at the moment, until I have played Shadows more...  They could be overpowered but that would not mean that armour is underpowered, no?


It could have been possible that rail guns are overpowered and armor is fine. But, I've already done a whole analysis above showing how that's not true... that, along with observation, has shown me that it's the armor that is the problem, not rail guns.

Now, if you have a thorough knowledge about how armor mitigates damage, then maybe there is something that I haven't calculated.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 1:10:34 PM   
elanaagain


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As I understand it, reactive armor has a reactive rating, (a small single digit number). Any incoming damage that is smaller than the reactive rating of the armor is ignored. Basically, this means a ship with decent reactive armor will laugh at early fighters, and other enemy weapons that do small amounts of damage per attack. Example (made up numbers!): Ship/base has reactive armor with reactive rating of 4. Any weapon attacking the armored ship, that actual range does 4 or less damage per hit does zero damage to armored ship/base. It may be 'hit' 500 times in one second, but as long as each hit scores 4 or less damage, the armored ship will take zero damage. I think hits that do more than 4 damage 'get through' the reactive affect, and do damage - 4, the first 4 damage points are nullified (per hit).

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 3:11:30 PM   
invaderzim

 

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The it sounds like Impact Assault blasters are a better choice against armor than Shatterforce Lasers which do less damage but have more range. But it sounds like even the best armor won't do much against high damage weapons like Titan Beams or even low to medium torpedoes.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 6:52:49 PM   
Plant


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller

So you build all of your ships without armour?

I use 1 piece of armour for any designs below 500 size. Or not at all if I really need that 1 space.
Then maybe 2 pieces of armour; if I have 1 space left, because I rather have a vector engine if I have 2 space leftover.
This is before robotic repairs and the last two armour pieces. Never more than 20 armour even for size 1500 ships.

It isn't that rail guns are overpowered, it's just that armour are near useless. Armour is meant to counter railguns but they don't. By the time their reactive rating is high enough to prevent railgun damage, any railgun tech spent, is better spent on some other weapon instead, because of robotic repairs and bad railgun scaling techtree. Robotic repairs combined with reversed railgun/armour scaling is just the overkill that makes railguns useless in the end/mid game.

There are 5 weapons in the game and armour is only effective against one of them which becomes bad when robotic repairs is researched. Unless somehow, you are preparing for war solely against railguns, you never really want to use more than a few armour.

As for Impact Assault Blasters compared with Shatterforce Lasers, neither matter against armour, because at that tech level, both beans seem to ignore armour anyhow. It is just better to use 10 space for shields so you don't get damaged components instead.


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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/7/2013 7:19:14 PM   
invaderzim

 

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I usually start my designs by modifying AI designs. I pare down the armor, but I think I may have to pare it down even more now. :)

How much of a priority do you put on getting robotic repairs? It seems like you only need robotic repairs if railgunners are causing a lot of trouble. I haven't used it much as I prefer building a few extra Construction Ships to do any repair work that is needed.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 4:21:54 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Alright, I want to first apologize to Traveller if any of my comments were a bit excessive. I hadn't slept much the night before.


Elana, thanks for the clarification. I was thinking that may be how the reactive part works. It, thus, only really affects weapons that have a lower tech than the armor. Since those reactive ratings tend to be low. So, that aspect doesn't have much of usage unless your armor technology is a good deal above whatever weapons you are facing.

And, as Plant said, using armor to defend against any weapon that would hit the shields is almost useless. Until I started seeing rail guns in force, by pirates, I never even bothered putting much armor on.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 4:32:02 AM   
turtlefang

 

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Based on this thread, I'm going to have to revise my whole approach to armor. It doesn't sound like it does much against anything.

As far as robotic repairs, it has two impacts:

a) it reduces damage from immediate attacks
b) it repairs damage to your ship during combat as well as after combat.

I have found robot repairs to be extremely valuable for two reasons:

a) it saves a ship occassionally
b) I virtually never have to sent ships back to be repaired which is a big benefit as offenses can keep moving without getting weaker

So it is a high priority item for me to get onboard ships.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 4:33:47 AM   
feelotraveller


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor

Traveller, again, you keep referring to specific cases while I am referring to armor in general. Even at max, which I have played before, monsters are not a major threat. And, you, again, bring up another specific case, nebulaes... I don't see how you lure them into these "traps" because, as I have seen, the AI, smartly, tends to go for colonies. But, even so, we're talking about armor in general, not specific cases.

[snip]

Now, you are bringing up another point. You say reactive property... nowhere is it explained what that actually does. So, if you understand what it does, please explain what it does and how it works. How does it mitigate damage and how much does it mitigate? If you read before, Plant had mentioned that but no one has explained how it works or how putting more armor on affects damage mitigation...

If you know, please explain it to the rest of us


Dear doctor you are most unfair! Monsters occur in nearly all games, nebulae in all. They are not 'specific' cases in any meaty sense, they are as general as facing Railguns.

There is perhaps something in what you say about threat levels but I have played peaceful, economic, diplomatic games where the vast majority of my battles have been with monsters. (Remember that there are races with victory conditions to start the least wars and spend the least time at war in the galaxy. So it is not always two Sumo wrestlers butting heads...)

I concur with elana's explantation of the reactive rating of armour. This seemed to be what was happening when I tested it (back in RotS I think) and others have said the same. I will add that the mitigation effect of armour does not rise with more armour, nor does it disappear once all the armour is damaged. Hence the always one piece...

I'm not sure that armour is the counter to any weapon since it predates (in terms of the games development) nearly all the weapons we have now, and is co-emergent with the other. (OT: I think someone has already mentioned it but the effective counter to railguns is range...) And in terms of making the most of armour it usually pays to stay at range since most weapons do less damage the further away they are.

Really I don't see the problem here. If you think that armour serves exactly the same function as shields but does so much more inefficiently just stop using it! Let the unknowing travellers and their like keep on doing suboptimal things with a component they use out of nothing but habit.

Edit: Just saw your latest kind words. Please do not take offense, I think this game can be played many ways.

< Message edited by feelotraveller -- 6/8/2013 4:41:21 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 4:55:20 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
There is perhaps something in what you say about threat levels but I have played peaceful, economic, diplomatic games where the vast majority of my battles have been with monsters. (Remember that there are races with victory conditions to start the least wars and spend the least time at war in the galaxy. So it is not always two Sumo wrestlers butting heads...)


This would explain why you have your point of view. In most games, you will have to fight it out with other races. My guess is you play the game at a fairly laid back pace with easier settings (probably normal difficulty level and lower aggression levels).

And I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
Really I don't see the problem here. If you think that armour serves exactly the same function as shields but does so much more inefficiently just stop using it! Let the unknowing travellers and their like keep on doing suboptimal things with a component they use out of nothing but habit.


Read my earlier posts.

I did completely ignore it until I had to start facing enemies who had railguns and found that the only way to counter them effectively is to either use rail guns or stay at range. That's a very bland and unbalanced scenario as it makes all beam weapons useless. If armor actually worked effectively, this wouldn't be the case.

All game developers, whether they be 4x games or other strategy games, spend lots of time balancing out the aspects of the game. Go look at other strategy game forums, you'll see this is a common discussion point.

(in reply to feelotraveller)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 5:23:55 AM   
feelotraveller


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I play slowly, but generally with harder settings (used to be harsh homeworld, etc) although I'm playing my first proper game of shadows on normal now.  I like to leave the aggression level set in the middle so that all types of races have their possibilities.  I've had my moments as a Mortalen dictator and also as a Teekan magnate.  I want both possibilities.   (Indeed if I was going to play with this setting it would be to give myself a hard time, Mortalen in peaceful galaxy, Teekan in a chaotic one...)

I've read your earlier posts and what I don't understand is why you think of armour as just like shields only worse.  Okay, you say that but then you find yourself adding armour vs. railguns and complain that it doesn't work... so why not drop it altogether?  The thing is it does work (somewhat) but you are after a magic bullet against railguns rather than adapting to the game situation.  Why would you have to have beams?  If the game was unbalanced then maybe they would be such an always win.

I understand that you do not find use for armour.  Whereas I think it is critical.  Yes expensive and not (generally...) something to use in large amounts.  So then, for me, it is a question of how much, at a given time, in a given role?

So to recapitulate our differences, you think armour is an 'always lose' and I think it fufills a role different to shields.


(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 7:44:08 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
I've read your earlier posts and what I don't understand is why you think of armour as just like shields only worse.  Okay, you say that but then you find yourself adding armour vs. railguns and complain that it doesn't work... so why not drop it altogether?  The thing is it does work (somewhat) but you are after a magic bullet against railguns rather than adapting to the game situation.  Why would you have to have beams?  If the game was unbalanced then maybe they would be such an always win.


There is no way to drop rail guns. If there was, unless armor is improved, I would drop them from the game.

I've already explained in detail and with full analysis of why armor doesn't work. If you want to prove me wrong, then use your own analysis, with examples, of how you were able to use armor effectively against rail guns. Right now, all you are doing is saying that they work without giving any examples or proof that they do work. I've given full analysis of why armor is not nearly as effective as shields. You give me proof that armor is effective. This is a debate. In debates you must have reason and proof to back up what you say.

I'm not looking for a magic bullet. I'm looking for balance.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/8/2013 7:46:08 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 8:21:20 AM   
Sithuk

 

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I agree that a basic repair bot should be available from a much earlier tech level. If only to minimise micromanagement with removing damaged ships to send off to repair.

A more basic repair bot would present an interesting strategic choice early to early-mid game against an opponent who is focussing on such shield bypassing weapons.

< Message edited by Sithuk -- 6/8/2013 8:32:59 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 3:05:09 PM   
invaderzim

 

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Have you noticed ships can repair a small amount of damage on their own without repair bots? Sometimes I send a constructor to fix a ship with one or two damaged components and the crew seem to repair it by themselves. I don't think this works with badly damaged ships though.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 8:12:30 PM   
Plant


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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller

Dear doctor you are most unfair! Monsters occur in nearly all games, nebulae in all. They are not 'specific' cases in any meaty sense, they are as general as facing Railguns.

There is perhaps something in what you say about threat levels but I have played peaceful, economic, diplomatic games where the vast majority of my battles have been with monsters. (Remember that there are races with victory conditions to start the least wars and spend the least time at war in the galaxy. So it is not always two Sumo wrestlers butting heads...)

I concur with elana's explantation of the reactive rating of armour. This seemed to be what was happening when I tested it (back in RotS I think) and others have said the same. I will add that the mitigation effect of armour does not rise with more armour, nor does it disappear once all the armour is damaged. Hence the always one piece...

I'm not sure that armour is the counter to any weapon since it predates (in terms of the games development) nearly all the weapons we have now, and is co-emergent with the other. (OT: I think someone has already mentioned it but the effective counter to railguns is range...) And in terms of making the most of armour it usually pays to stay at range since most weapons do less damage the further away they are.

Really I don't see the problem here. If you think that armour serves exactly the same function as shields but does so much more inefficiently just stop using it! Let the unknowing travellers and their like keep on doing suboptimal things with a component they use out of nothing but habit.

Edit: Just saw your latest kind words. Please do not take offense, I think this game can be played many ways.


What about monsters? You don't need armour to kill monsters, they are in numbers rarely more than 1, and you only need to outrun them to kill them singly. If your games spent more time combatting monsters than another empire, it simply means that you never engaged in combat with another empire or pirate...somehow. Either way, it doesn't matter how you designed your ships, because you aren't using them.

Armour is meant to counter railguns, as railguns bypasses shields and are described as half as effective.
I don't see your problem. As I have already written, I have given an explanation of why and how much armour I use. Why write as if I haven't. You are the person trying to persuade others to your playstyle, not the other way round. Perpetrator acting as victim.

As for you little "recap" you clearly haven't been reading my post properly, given no roles that make any sense, don't back up anything have written, as if you are shocked that another person can have the temerity to disagree with you.

< Message edited by Plant -- 6/8/2013 8:17:25 PM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/8/2013 10:51:56 PM   
Lev13

 

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IMO armor is too weak, it is better to just take extra shields. Railguns are very overpowered in early game.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/9/2013 3:44:37 PM   
Numdydar

 

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While armour may or not be useful on a ship, the tech is still good to researce as you can sell it to get other tech .

Plus it allows you to build armored troops, which in my experience are much better than non-armored ones. I am also sure that armour on a ship is needed as no one here has access to the actual code as to how the game models armour. So I always add a few peices just to prevent things happening that may (or could) happen if the ship had none.

The armour versus weapon discussion has been going on since wooden sticks and hides were discovered . So I do not doubt this will continue, not just in game modeling, but for the rest of human existance too lol.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/9/2013 7:45:55 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Interesting discussion - in my experience armor is still quite useful, but the common thread here seems to be rail guns. Rail guns received a minor buff from Legends to Shadows and it sounds like that may have been a bit too big a buff in relation to armor. We'll take another look at this soon.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/10/2013 5:47:20 PM   
turtlefang

 

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Erik -

Could you let us know exactly how armor is working? Right now, seems like a lot of confusion on how it works, and exactly how useful it is.

Thanks

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/10/2013 8:19:39 PM   
Plant


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The problem with railguns is that they are powerful early game, which if they are on pirates, you have no effective counter to, as armour seems to be bypassed by them in the early game.
I would also like confirmation on how armour works right now, as the Galactopedia information appears to be inaccurate.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/10/2013 11:42:30 PM   
Fenrisfil

 

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Anyone else find it odd there isn't a tech 0 level armour? I'm sure it's not that hard to simply build thicker hulls.

Anyway to the subject in hand, personally I always favour shields slightly over armour, but if I have a few points spare to spend on a ship, whacking some more armour on doesn't hurt (unless your economy is having issues of course). I do scale armour for larger ships however, rather then always keeping it to a minimum, seems sensible even if just to deal with rail guns and provide some extra components (assuming armour can be damaged the same as any other component, I have no idea if that's actually the case however).

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/11/2013 12:32:27 AM   
Zangi

 

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Armor does not seem to work as the Galactopedia indicates.
I used to put armor in 'spare' space, but now, I'd rather use that space for vectors or keep it light. Of course, still 1 piece of armor, at least.

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/11/2013 12:43:10 AM   
Strat_84

 

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There's a problem with armor actually (or the way railguns deal damage), I noticed this after a battle against railgun armed pirates.

The armor appearently doesn't stop anything anymore, I've had ships with internal components hit while all the armor components were intact. Definitively a bug.

< Message edited by Strat_84 -- 6/11/2013 12:45:21 AM >

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RE: Discussion on Armor - 6/11/2013 3:58:58 AM   
invaderzim

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zangi

Armor does not seem to work as the Galactopedia indicates.
I used to put armor in 'spare' space, but now, I'd rather use that space for vectors or keep it light. Of course, still 1 piece of armor, at least.

quote:

The armor appearently doesn't stop anything anymore, I've had ships with internal components hit while all the armor components were intact. Definitively a bug.


I've been putting 0 armor on my exploration ships lately. I design them to be cheap and mass producible though, but maybe 1 armor is better. It's hard to say without some insight into the game mechanics.

< Message edited by invaderzim -- 6/11/2013 3:59:11 AM >

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