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Shield stacking rework - Printable Version

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Shield stacking rework - Blothorn - 2018-01-23

I think there is agreement that unchecked shield stacking is bad, as it allows circumventing the intended superlinear cost/effectiveness relationship, and rewarding a particularly tedious building style.

That said, I find the rule on projecting shields through other shields very unsatisfying. It does not address the root complaint, that stacked shields are more power-efficient. Nor does it reduce the reward for tedium: it is still possible to stack shields--either by painstaking placement and angling, placing them on spinblocks, or projecting through gaps in other shields--and these approaches are even more tedious than before.

I thus think the problem should be addressed at its root, by reducing the value of stacked shields. I have seen several proposals to make projectiles ignore all but the first shield encountered, but I think this kills several legitimate uses of layering different shields--in particular, the use of a long-range shield to opportunistically detonate IFHE and a close, high-power shield to provide more reliable defense against AP and other contact projectiles, or the use of shields at different angles to each other to cover each other's dead zones. (I do think making lasers ignore all but the first shield encountered an obvious win--there is little reason to stack them except to evade the power/strength formula.)

I instead propose using one RNG roll for all penetration checks made by a projectile. If a projectile rolled 0.80 it would pass through any number of shields with a 60% reflect chance without further checks, but then bounce off a shield with a 90% reflect chance; if it rolled 0.95 it would pass through them all. This preserves the interesting uses of layered shields while making simple parallel shields almost completely useless.

Suggested but optional accompanying changes:
- Stop frags from teleporting to the opposite side of the shield. If reducing shield stacking is considered at all desirable, a mechanic that makes them near-mandatory seems highly suspect.
- Remove the shield projection check. As mentioned above, this is circumventable but with considerable tedium, resulting in a rather bad experience and little concrete balance.


RE: Shield stacking rework - LoSboccacc - 2018-01-23

Can’t we just move to a bubble shield directly?

With dedicated pieces to control size, strenght, capacity and lasre/kinetic proportion possibly so it’s not just “drop a block, pump energy”


RE: Shield stacking rework - draba - 2018-01-23

Simply covering something with 1-layer shielding is already tedious.
Really dislike the idea that everything needs at least 1 inner, 1 outer and 1 laser shield(possibly more to get good angles).

Didn't vote since this is still a good change that takes little work.


RE: Shield stacking rework - Eagle - 2018-01-23

Frags being able to overcome shields isn't much of an issue, especially if you consider it's worth as an AA round and to be able to atleast negate the worst effects of spaced shields. Countering those might be a good thing from the defensive perspective, but it'd be another step backward in the offensive perspective.


RE: Shield stacking rework - Blothorn - 2018-01-23

(2018-01-23, 08:02 AM)LoSboccacc Wrote: Can’t we just move to a bubble shield directly?

With dedicated pieces to control size, strenght, capacity and lasre/kinetic proportion possibly so it’s not just “drop a block, pump energy”

No. The angle-dependence of reflection shields is the biggest thing that makes shields interesting, IMO; a bubble shield is probably better than nothing because nothing makes APS balance really tricky, but I think a bubble shield keeps much of the bad and little of the good of present shields.

(2018-01-23, 10:08 AM)draba Wrote: Simply covering something with 1-layer shielding is already tedious.
Really dislike the idea that everything needs at least 1 inner, 1 outer and 1 laser shield(possibly more to get good angles).

Didn't vote since this is still a good change that takes little work.

I would favor doing away with laser shields, or making them a bubble shield (with much-decreased efficiency)--unlike kinetic shields, they do not benefit from fine control over angle. And I agree that even two layers of shields should not be near-mandatory; that is why I favor making inertial frags spawn outside the shield. I am trying to work toward a system where one layer of shields is adequate, but two layers are feasible for specialty defences (unlike the simple "projectiles only interact with the first shield they see" rule).

(2018-01-23, 10:30 AM)Eagle Wrote: Frags being able to overcome shields isn't much of an issue, especially if you consider it's worth as an AA round and to be able to atleast negate the worst effects of spaced shields. Countering those might be a good thing from the defensive perspective, but it'd be another step backward in the offensive perspective.

Frags do not really counter layered shields--the fragments have very low penetration chances against subsequent shields, so it counters single-layer shields fairly hard and layered shields barely at all. My proposal substantially punishes layered shields, which I expect to greatly reduce the need for shield-countering projectiles; if further tweaks are needed, I would rather they be an across-the-board change to shields, not a specific incentive to layer shields.


RE: Shield stacking rework - MizarLuke - 2018-01-23

I pretty much agree with Blothorn's suggestion. It should address a few of the issues with shields, and I think tweaking some figures can fix the rest.


RE: Shield stacking rework - Blothorn - 2018-01-23

Yeah. There are some other changes I want--changing the penetration formula away from speed so that rounds that need hull contact have a higher chance of penetration (AP, HP, squash, EMP), a multiblock shield system, and changing the effectiveness penalty from speed to acceleration, at the least--but I think this a relatively safe step in the right direction.


RE: Shield stacking rework - LoSboccacc - 2018-01-23

(2018-01-23, 07:20 PM)Blothorn Wrote: No. The angle-dependence of reflection shields is the biggest thing that makes shields interesting, IMO;


the whole rng dice roll is crap however


RE: Shield stacking rework - Richard Dastardly - 2018-01-23

The problem is *any* changes in shields need APS looked at; I am playing around with a pretty conventional large ship build atm & the only shields I put on were a couple by the main ammo store. It can beat the better faction boats I've tried 1v1 ( Thyr, Perforator ) but it's still got the usual problem that high RPM APS will cut holes in it like a giant cutting torch - at the end of one Perforator fight it had literally sawed the entire superstructure off - and it wasn't anything to do with the PAC ( let's not go there for now ). There's no way of armouring properly to counter that with both running out of blocks & killing the game engine, and making the ship *huge* because of the 1m block size. It has a pretty hefty LAMS as well, I can't imagine what it'd be like if LAMS were nerfed on top...

And then you run into things like the Kobold, and god forbid someone who puts that sort of gun in a ship that doesn't have the same built-in weaknesses ( don't get hung up on the Kobold, I'm talking about HE spam or even frag spam ). So, can we actually have a discussion about both sides? because it really needs to be about both sides rather than just shields. Right now we still need shields as an effective counter to APS spam - they're too effective in many respects but I don't know how you keep that counter aspect & make them more balanced in other aspects, without changing some other system. Fighting shielded ships right now is awfully dull, but then so is fighting APS spam...


RE: Shield stacking rework - Blothorn - 2018-01-24

I incline to agree--I have supported several APS adjustment proposals, but all would have broken too many campaign ships. Perhaps just a flat damage reduction is the best we can hope for.

That said, I do not think we should balance around no/minimal-shield builds any more than around vehicles with no laser or missile defenses. (Even less so, perhaps, because while it is no less difficult for small, fast vehicles to mount shields than laser defenses, evasion provides them much more of a defense against APS than against lasers.)