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Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 10:20:21 AM   
Icemania


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[EDIT: Updated to capture test results]

I've analysed short-range and long-range weapons aiming to improve balance (no area or gravitic weapons yet).

For short-range weapons the AI design templates primarily use Beams with some Phasers and Rail Guns. While for long-range the majority are Torpedoes with some Missiles.

I've analysed each of these weapons with the following methodology:
• Considered damage, range, fire rate, size and loss.
• Calculated damage per second (DPS) per unit size at various ranges.
• Calculated an Average DPS per unit size across those ranges as the primary measure.
• The Benchmark for each class were my favourite weapons e.g. Plasma Torpedoes, Titan Beams once upon a time.
• Tried to account for Weapon Bonuses in setting Targets e.g. Rail Guns partially bypass Shields, Phaser Lances have an Armour penetration bonus (estimates of course).
As all these factors are difficult to fully capture on paper the focus was in-game Battle Arena style testing using Game Editor.

Philosophically the intent was:
• Racial weapons provide a strong advantage early game, limited advantage mid-game but it should be possible to catch-up by late game with enough research effort.
• Missiles and Rail Guns should provide an advantage early game, be at parity mid-game, but be relatively weak late game. However, they should not be ridiculously weak so that races that use them still have a chance.

Conclusions:
• Change Heavy Rail Gun damage from 10, 11, 13 (for each technology in that chain) to 17, 19, 22 while Massive Rail Guns change from 16, 19 to 24, 30 (ref Post 25).
• Change Phaser Lance damage from 20, 25, 32 to 24, 30, 38 (ref Post 26).
• Change Shaktur Firestorm damage from 36, 46, 62 to 30, 46, 74 (ref Post 30).
• Change Fighters per Bay from 4 to 6 (ref Post 38).
• Change Death Ray from 1800 damage and 440 range to 3000 damage and 1000 range (ref Post 60).

Hopefully this could lead to a more balanced weapons experience in-game. Any views and/or other analysis results?


< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/15/2014 8:02:25 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 10:55:01 AM   
Tcby


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Very happy to see this. Two brief questions:

Why the area/gravitic exclusion? Difficult to compare?
What was the conclusion regarding the Wekkarus Pulse Wave cannon?

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:08:17 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tcby
Very happy to see this. Two brief questions:

Why the area/gravitic exclusion? Difficult to compare?
What was the conclusion regarding the Wekkarus Pulse Wave cannon?

The Wekkarus Pulse Wave Cannon needed a slight buff 5-10% mid to late game. Note it's Size 5 while Titan Beams are Size 6, with slightly less damage and range, so works out pretty close.

The area/gravitic weapons need more time than what I had available today.


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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:20:38 AM   
Spidey


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How exactly did you take armor penetration and shield bypassing into account?

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:32:06 AM   
Tcby


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...I was just coming over to ask that question, after looking through your (Spidey) analysis in the Armour thread.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:43:31 AM   
hewwo

 

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I think what I would want from my weapon balance is to have tactical choices, not a difference in overall DPS. So balance them so that you can make designs with the same boundaries (cost? Size?) to have roughly equal DPS, but have other tradeoffs, such as energy use or certain resource requirements that your empire may or may not have... short/long distance. Etc. etc.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:45:07 AM   
hewwo

 

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Oh and maybe a bit of rock/paper/scissors in the sense that, for instance, I can counter your long range weapons with my more advanced engines so I can close in quickly.

Keep up the good work Ice! You're on a roll!

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:49:30 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Spidey
How exactly did you take armor penetration and shield bypassing into account?

That's certainly the hard part ... as I mentioned in the OP they are estimates. And it's why I'm testing in-game right now to see what happens.

Consider the Phaser Lance. It says there is a 10% targeting bonus and more effective against armour. It still has to penetrate shields so I've guessed and set a DPS per unit size target reduced by 1/3rd.

Similarly Rail Guns. It says there is a 10% targeting loss, are less effective against armour, and partially bypass shields. So as a guess late game I've targeted 50% of the DPS that you would get from Titan Beams. Maybe that needs to be reduced further.

In my view the conclusions are valid it's a question of what the right % change is. How often are you worried about someone pawning you with Phaser Lances or Rail Guns in-game?

I'll report back later on in-game findings.

In the meantime better ideas are very welcome, it will be easy to update the calculation with more information.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 11:59:47 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tcby
...I was just coming over to ask that question, after looking through your (Spidey) analysis in the Armour thread.

I haven't had a chance to consider the implications of all that in detail for this exercise, support welcome to update this and get it right.

< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/5/2014 1:00:00 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 12:05:04 PM   
Tcby


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I'm afraid that level of detail is beyond me. Thankfully there are a few people here who enjoy the maths :D

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 12:36:42 PM   
feelotraveller


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Some tweaking of the weapons numbers could be good but it would be good not to go overboard in the balancing act.

For me the game is about flavour more than balance. This is true with races etc, as well as weapons.

So rail guns are just not meant to be competitive end game but to pose some problems (what, one piece of armour damaged and you are fleeing the fight to repair, damn you...) add some possibilities (minor bombardment)and make for some bad choices. (Although as Atuuk perhaps the choice is not so bad?)

Or again the Firestorm torpedoes are meant to be powerful (perhaps verging on overpowered) early game, strong mid game but quite easily overcome late game. The player is meant to be intimidated by the Boskar (or whatever... ) early on but not have too much difficulty taking them down in the end game.

Another example is missiles for the player. That they are weak(ish) late game poses to me the problem of how much I want to invest in them since they can be used to really good effect earlier in the game.

So I think the strengths and weaknesses of the weapons have to be considered in relation to the role that they play in the game. What I want from different weapons is not so much equal pewpew potential but rather different game experiences - beamers forcing me to get better shields and set range to point blank, or missiles sending me down the engines tree and encouraging me to explore the possibilities of standing-off, just as quick examples.

But also distinctly different racial combat flavours, and this means some challenging and some piss weak since they can have other advantages on the ground or through their spy networks. I don't want a bland every race equal challenge in ship to ship combat outcome. But that's just my take, I'm sure there are many.

Anyways that's my two cents, hope it's helpful.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 1:01:53 PM   
Icemania


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The goal is indeed to improve flavour.

In every game I use Torpedoes or Beams and I'm not even slightly tempted to use Rails Guns, Missiles or Phasers. With some better weapons balance that would change.

The current AI Design Templates have more Beams and Torpedoes than any other weapons. The AI's that use other weapons are at a distinct disadvantage. With some better weapons balance those races would become more interesting.

In the proposed AI Improvement Mod I'd like to have races focused more on particular Primary Weapons Types to draw out character.

I'm not intending for Rail Guns or Missiles to become an end game threat. At they moment they become so weak that they fade into complete irrelevance. Per the stated philosophy the idea is that end game they will be weaker but by not so much as the current difference is huge.

Phasers are different the intent is rough parity with Beam weapons.

With Firestorm Torpedoes they currently deliver more than twice the average DPS per unit size as compared to their equivalents. This for me was too high so with the above it's more like a 50% more (they are high loss so a relatively small reduction in damage of 20% reduces average DPS by much more).

Glad this topic is inspiring discussion!


< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/5/2014 2:04:26 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 1:41:53 PM   
Icemania


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Managed to get some in-game testing going (by using Game Editor and starting at a particular technology level) to compare Phasers and Titan Beams. The Phaser Average DPS target has been revised to half of the Titan Beam DPS target. Also had an error in calculation so looks like more like a 35-60% buff to Phaser Lances to be at rough parity. Phaser Cannons now align.



< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/5/2014 2:52:43 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 4:12:23 PM   
Icemania


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Using Game Editor I've conducted 6 tests after increased Heavy Rail Gun and Massive Rail Gun damage by 50%. The designs were otherwise identical (EDIT - except for the usual components optimised by the AI Ship Designer using Templates such as Reactors). Beams still won every test.

Escort Shatterforce Laser v Dhayut Heavy Rail Gun, Standard Armour, Standard Shields. Winner: Beams (took minor damage)
Escort Titan Beam v Dyahut Massive Rail Gun, Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control. Winner: Beams (took minor damage)
Escort Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Dyahut Full Tech Massive Rail Gun, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bay. Result: Beams clearly superior, but Armour/Repair led to Stalemate

Capital Ship Shatterforce Laser v Dhayut Heavy Rail Gun, Standard Armour, Standard Shields. Winner: Beams (took moderate damage)
Capital Ship Titan Beam v Dyahut Massive Rail Gun, Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control. Winner: Beams (took minor damage)
Capital Ship Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Dyahut Full Tech Massive Rail Gun, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bay. Result: Beams clearly superior, but Armour/Repair led to Stalemate


< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/5/2014 5:32:52 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 4:15:42 PM   
Aeson

 

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Are you considering the amount of supporting components required for each type of weapon? Missiles might be crap as far as up-front DPS, but you can support a lot of them off a single reactor and as a result they're a rather fuel-efficient weapon.

This thread has some stuff about missiles and torpedoes in it, mostly towards the bottom:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3634725

Also, are you looking at how the weapon energy requirements affect its alpha strike capability? With something like a Phaser Lance, you may be significantly reducing the ship's alpha strike by adding weapons up to the limit imposed by reactor output, whereas you don't lose much continuous DPS if you reduce the number of phaser lances to get a full alpha strike. Moreover, are you sure that phasers are really intended to be stand-alone weapons? They look like anti-armor specialists to me, whereas blasters look like general-purpose weapons that might suffer a bit against armor. Thus, I would tend to expect that the intended use of phasers is more as a secondary weapon to help a blaster ship punch through armor than as a primary DPS weapon, and in this role the phaser is fine as it stands - it can break armor more reliably than equivalent-tech blasters can, it has a similar range to equivalent-tech blasters, and its reactor use profile isn't a bad match for the blaster's reactor use profile when trying to fit weapons to complement one another. Your change to phasers to give them half the average DPS over their range band as the equivalent blaster significantly changes the use profile, as instead of having lower DPS over all of the common range band, your improved phasers have superior DPS at ranges greater than about three-quarters the maximum range (unless you're adding a distance penalty to phasers, which could change things a bit).

quote:

The designs were otherwise identical. Beams still won every test.

I don't recall the reactor use for railguns off the top of my head, but is a setup where you're only switching out the weapons actually a fair comparison? In other words, are you oversupplying one of the designs with reactors? Is the gun ship equipped with tractor beams to try to negate the blaster ship's range advantage?

< Message edited by Aeson -- 7/5/2014 5:21:05 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 4:30:48 PM   
Icemania


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Given the complexities I've moved to Game Editor testing. This is based on the ship design templates to ensure generally common specifications but it will automatically adjust the number of reactors etc.

Note there are 5 or 6 races whose in-game design templates use Phasers as their Primary short-range weapon. It takes quite some time to research secondary weapons and I'm trying to find ways to improve the AI.

I'm doing testing for Beams v Rail Guns at the moment and then will turn to Missiles v Torpedoes and Phasers v Beams another time.




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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 4:40:31 PM   
Airpower

 

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Great thread, and I would love to see weapons be made more balanced.

It seems to me that torpedo weapons are the best weapon choice in pretty much every circumstance. They are ideal for long-range kiting, harassment, and star base siege, but are also extremely effective at short ranges. I know their overall DPS is lower than beam weapons at short ranges, but their higher damage-per-shot gives them better armor penetration characteristics. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I can't think of any reason to use shorter-ranged weapons over torpedoes...


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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 4:46:23 PM   
Icemania


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Yeah quite right I use Torpedoes exclusively.

I'll have to do some tests to try to balance Short and Long Range Weapons as well.

Or better yet others can go into editor (just manually select and deselect the technologies) and do some tests ...

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 5:04:48 PM   
Airpower

 

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Just as a passing thought, a good test could be to create three unarmed starbase designs (defenses only). One design with no armor but a large amount of shields (a huge amount, which would take minutes for a ship to penetrate), one design with no shields but a large amount of armor (same thing - it should take minutes for a ship to carve through it), and one design with the high armor and shield values of the previous two designs.

Then create multiple ship designs, each with 500-1000 space worth of a single weapon equipped.

Use the editor to place one of each type of the above starbases, and, one at a time, each of the weapon-carrying ship designs.

Use the ships to blow up each of the star bases, from point blank range, and record how long each one takes to die. That will give you an in-game profile of how each weapon works in real-world situations.

In my mind, a practical experiment like this would be much more valid than abstract theorycrafting.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 5:18:04 PM   
Icemania


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I've been in Editor for a while now testing. The theory was nice to get started but after seeing the complexities I agree!

From the last round of tests in Game Editor I propose that Heavy Rail Gun damage is changed from 10, 11, 13 (for each technology in that chain) to 17, 19, 22 while Massive Rail Guns change from 16, 19 to 24, 30. At that point Rail Guns win testing early game but then Beams take over.

I'll leave it with you, hope there are some good results in the morning! (my time in Perth)



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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/5/2014 5:58:14 PM   
Airpower

 

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Icemania, can you post the conditions and outcomes of your tests?

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 1:34:06 AM   
Aeson

 

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quote:

Shatterforce Lasers need a buff (55%). Note the significant fire rate change at Advanced Laser Focussing.

I'm curious as to how you arrived at this conclusion. The numbers I see for DPS per unit size suggest that a 55% damage buff to Shatterforce Lasers would make them strictly superior to Impact Assault Blasters when first introduced and near-equal over much of the overlapped range band (better after ~200 range, worse before that point) for the first and second upgrade, and also makes the Shatterforce Laser III better than the Titan Beam II at ranges in excess of 250, despite requiring less than half the reactor power of either the Impact Assualt Blaster or Titan Beam (except when comparing the Shatterforce Laser I's power requirement, which is more like 60% of the power requirement of the Impact Assault Blaster I). Plus, the Shatterforce Laser has better range even when introduced than the Impact Assault Blaster has when fully upgraded, and its first and second upgrades have ranges comparable with the Titan Beam I and II.

Weapon        Size   Energy/Shot   Energy/s   DPS/Size at Range:
                                              0000   0050   0100   0150   0200   0250   0300   0350   0400   0450   0500   0550
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shatter I       4        20          13.3     1.17   1.08   1.00   0.92   0.83   0.75   0.67
Impact I        5        38          22.4     1.41   1.24   1.06   0.88   0.71
Shatter++ I     4?       20?         13.3?    1.81   1.68   1.55   1.42   1.29   1.16   1.03
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shatter II      4        20          9.1      1.02   0.97   0.91   0.85   0.80   0.74   0.68   0.63
Impact II       5        38          23.8     2.25   2.00   1.75   1.50   1.25   1.00
Shatter++ II    4?       20?         9.1?     1.59   1.50   1.41   1.32   1.23   1.14   1.06   0.97
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shatter III     4        20          9.1      1.36   1.31   1.25   1.19   1.14   1.08   1.02   0.97   0.91   0.85
Impact III      5        38          23.8     2.75   2.50   2.25   2.00   1.75   1.50   1.25
Titan I         6        28          20       2.38   2.14   1.90   1.67   1.43   1.19   0.95   0.71
Shatter++ III   4?       20?         9.1?     2.11   2.03   1.94   1.85   1.76   1.67   1.59   1.50   1.41   1.32
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Titan II        6        28          20       2.86   2.62   2.38   2.14   1.90   1.67   1.43   1.19   0.95   0.71
Titan III       6        28          20       3.45   3.21   2.98   2.74   2.50   2.26   2.02   1.79   1.55   1.31   1.07   0.83

Do you see why I might be just a little concerned that a straight 55% damage buff might just be a little too much? And you can already support about twice as many Shatterforce Lasers off a given amount of excess power as you can support Impact Assault Blasters, which makes the Shatterforce Laser a much more fuel-efficient weapon. Better range + much better fuel economy + at least comparable DPS over much of the shared range band = why would I use the IAB?

Phaser Lances and Phaser Cannons, the other two unrestricted weapons which fit into a similar role, have the following:
Weapon       Size    Energy/Shot    Energy/s    DPS/size   Range
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cannon I       7         32           14.5         0.58     200
Cannon II      7         32           13.9         0.87     220
Cannon III     7         35           14.6         1.13     280
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lance I        9         50           12.5         0.56     300
Lance II       9         54           13.2         0.68     400
Lance III      9         58           13.8         0.85     500

I'll agree that these might need some tweaking if they're supposed to be a primary general-purpose weapon rather than a specialist anti-armor weapon used in support of a general-purpose weapon. I also don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing that some species make suboptimal decisions in their ship design templates, as it makes those species different from all the other ones that went full-blasters or something like that.

Note: for anyone who does not already know, Phaser Lances and Phaser Cannons have full damage over their full range, which is why I did not break the DPS per size unit down by range. Energy per second is the amount of excess reactor output required per weapon mounted in order for that weapon to fire continuously, while energy per shot is the energy which must be stored in the reactor in order for the weapon to fire.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 7/6/2014 2:35:36 AM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 3:59:19 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Aeson
Do you see why I might be just a little concerned that a straight 55% damage buff might just be a little too much?


No need to be concerned! I'm challenging the status quo for the AI Improvement Mod so the conclusions are in flux particularly the proposed % changes. Also note I'm far more focused on Rail Guns and Phaser Lances.

My analysis was similar except that I also calculated an average DPS on each row over the range of interest.

The 55% comment was focused at the following level:

Shatter II 4 20 9.1 1.02 0.97 0.91 0.85 0.80 0.74 0.68 0.63
Impact II 5 38 23.8 2.25 2.00 1.75 1.50 1.25 1.00
Shatter++ II 4? 20? 9.1? 1.59 1.50 1.41 1.32 1.23 1.14 1.06 0.97

Looking at this I concluded that the Shatterforce Laser was underpowered despite the efficiency and range benefits. This was my experience in-game also. The proposed change brings the balance closer. That said, I agree with you on Shatterforce I ... I focused on Shatterforce II and wasn't expecting such a difference between levels!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Aeson
I'll agree that these might need some tweaking if they're supposed to be a primary general-purpose weapon rather than a specialist anti-armor weapon used in support of a general-purpose weapon. I also don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing that some species make suboptimal decisions in their ship design templates, as it makes those species different from all the other ones that went full-blasters or something like that.

It's also a philosophical choice for the AI Improvement Mod to have more Primary Weapons used and considered useful across the races. Some of these changes may be Mod focused rather than general.

To answer AirPower's question and to fully account for the difference in Reactors the only way I can see is to Test. For that Testing I'm using the AI Design Templates in the working version of the AI Improvement Mod. Many races use a single weapon and those designs.

I'm using an Escort and Cruiser now for the testing. An Escort is designed for Size 300 for that race. If the weapon used requires less reactors then I've already placed more weapons on the design. A Cruiser is designed for Size 800 for that race. If the weapon used requires less reactors then I've already placed more weapons on the design.

I then observe the results of 1 on 1 battles by using Game Editor. Technologies are manually selected to represent the early, mid and end game by editing Empires (or you can change Tech Level entirely). The AI will apply the design templates accordingly straight away.

Some warnings: at game setup don't chose Tech Level 7 (for example) as this changes the designs fundamentally e.g. templates will rail guns will have beams etc. The design aligns with the templates I've made well except for Capital Ships for some reason (hence using Cruisers).

I'm starting by using the default weapons designs and then I'm optimising weapon damage using components.txt and research.txt (which requires a new game to be started).

In short, this effectively enables a Battle Arena.

As part of this I've seen ways to optimise the design templates further so I'm holding on further testing until I'm happy with them.





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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 5:40:47 AM   
Shogouki


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Glad to see this. Tech balancing (Especially the weapons) is something that I want very badly. I wouldn't mind seeing some of the current techs changed slightly to add more flavor as well as balancing their numbers to make them a little more even. I was thinking of trying to mod the weapon techs but if others are doing this I may wait and see how these go.

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 5:59:53 AM   
Icemania


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Here are the test results following design template optimisation (i.e. including reactors etc) and inclusion of the rail gun damage change below.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
... I propose that Heavy Rail Gun damage is changed from 10, 11, 13 (for each technology in that chain) to 17, 19, 22 while Massive Rail Guns change from 16, 19 to 24, 30.


Escort 1-1 Results
Test 1: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (I) v Sluken Heavy Rail Gun (II), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 1: Rail Guns easily (took no damage but almost lost full shields)

Test 2: Quameno Titan Beam v Sluken Massive Rail Gun, Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 2: If Rail Gun had first strike then Rail Gun victory (with massive damage taken), if Beams had first strike then Beams victory (but struggled to penetrate armour)

Test 3: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Sluken Full Tech Massive Rail Gun, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 3: The Beam ship took down the Rail Gun ship shields quickly but could not penetrate armour quickly enough with the repair bays

Cruiser 1-1 Results
Test 4: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (I) v Sluken Heavy Rail Gun (II), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 4: Rail Guns (took minor damage)

Test 5: Quameno Titan Beam v Sluken Massive Rail Gun, Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 5: Beams (took minor damage)

Test 6: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Sluken Full Tech Massive Rail Gun, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 6: Beams easily (no damage)

This provides a solution where Rail Guns win early game but then Beams become more powerful.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/6/2014 1:24:17 PM >

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RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 7:25:36 AM   
Icemania


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With Default Phaser Lances

Escort 1-1 Results
Test 1: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (I), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 1: Beams (minor damage)

Test 2: Quameno Titan Beam (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (II), Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 2: Beams (no damage)

Test 3: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Ikkuro Full Tech Phaser Lance, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 3: Stalemate - The Beam ship took down the Phaser ship shields, but the Beam ship could not penetrate armour quickly enough. The Phase ship took down the Beam ship shields and it ended in a stalemate as the Phaser ship could not penetrate armour quickly enough either.

Cruiser 1-1 Results
Test 4: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (I), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 4: Beams (minor damage)

Test 5: Quameno Titan Beam (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (II), Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 5: Beams (no damage)

Test 6: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Ikkuro Full Tech Phaser Lance, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 6: Beams (no damage)

With Phaser Lances damage changed from 20,25,32 to 24,30,38:

Escort 1-1 Results
Test 7: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (I), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 7: Phasers (minor damage)

Test 8: Quameno Titan Beam (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (II), Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 8: Beams (minor damage)

Test 9: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Ikkuro Full Tech Phaser Lance, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 9: Stalemate - The Beam ship took down the Phaser ship shields, but the Beam ship could not penetrate armour quickly enough. The Phase ship took down the Beam ship shields and it ended in a stalemate as the Phaser ship could not penetrate armour quickly enough either.

Cruiser 1-1 Results
Test 10: Quameno Impact Assault Blaster (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (I), Enhanced Armour, Standard Shields, Fission Reactor
Result 10: Beams (moderate damage)

Test 11: Quameno Titan Beam (II) v Ikkuro Phaser Lance (II), Reactive Armour, Deucalios Shields, Damage Control, Quantum Reactor
Result 11: Phasers (moderate damage)

Test 12: Quameno Full Tech Titan Beam v Ikkuro Full Tech Phaser Lance, Ultradense Armour, Meridium Shields, Repair Bays, HyperFusion Reactor
Result 12: Beams (minor damage)

This provides a more interesting mix.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/6/2014 1:23:21 PM >

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 26
RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 8:52:51 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1842
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
Similar testing completed for Torpedoes v Missiles. As expected Missiles were superior early game. Mid-game it was a mix depending on situation. End-game Torpedoes were superior but Missiles still did some damage. Looks good and will update the OP accordingly.

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 27
RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 10:28:54 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1842
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Aeson
Do you see why I might be just a little concerned that a straight 55% damage buff might just be a little too much?

You were quite right.

I just did some Battle Arena tests and have designed ships using the Shatterforce Laser and Impact Assault Blaster to be the exact same size. As expected due to the energy benefits I've added a lot more Shatterforce Lasers to those designs (particularly when only weak Reactor technology is available). The winner depended on Armour and Reactor technology levels i.e. when weak it favoured the Shatterforce Laser and when stronger it favoured the Impact Assault Blaster.

The only limitation is the AI ship design templates. They use a fixed number of weapons for each ship class so they do not take advantage of the lower energy requirements. As a result I'm thinking the AI Research Orders in the AI Improvement Mod should focus first on Impact Assault Blasters.

When you read this, note there are some changes in the OP to reflect other Battle Arena tests. Your views on other topics?



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< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/6/2014 11:31:36 AM >

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 28
RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 11:55:09 AM   
Icemania


Posts: 1842
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Airpower
It seems to me that torpedo weapons are the best weapon choice in pretty much every circumstance. They are ideal for long-range kiting, harassment, and star base siege, but are also extremely effective at short ranges. I know their overall DPS is lower than beam weapons at short ranges, but their higher damage-per-shot gives them better armor penetration characteristics. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I can't think of any reason to use shorter-ranged weapons over torpedoes...

I did some tests in the Battle Arena for Titan Beams v Plasma Torpedoes (each ship optimised for a particular size with that weapon type as the focus).

In the first test the ships were configured with the AI Default i.e. "Standoff" for Stronger Opponents, "All Weapons" for Weaker Opponents. The result was as predicted. As you can see below the Titan Beam ship did not stay close to it's opponent despite being evenly matched.

In the second test I redesigned the Titan Beam Ship with "Point Blank" for both Weaker and Stronger Opponents. The result was the complete opposite.

I've asked whether it's possible to configure this so that the AI can select the strategy most appropriate to their Primary Weapon type for the AI Improvement Mod.



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< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/6/2014 12:56:34 PM >

(in reply to Airpower)
Post #: 29
RE: Weapons Balancing - 7/6/2014 12:19:22 PM   
Icemania


Posts: 1842
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
This test involved Cruisers armed with ultimate Plasma Torpedoes and ultimate Shaktur Firestorm.

At default damage, Plasma Torpedoes always win even when the ships start the battle right next to each other, which really should favour the Shaktur Firestorm (see image below).

When ultimate Shaktur Firestorm damage was increased from 62 to 74, Shaktur Firestorm won when the battle starts at close range, and Plasma Torpedoes won otherwise, providing an improved balance.



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< Message edited by Icemania -- 7/6/2014 2:00:07 PM >

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Post #: 30
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