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Poll: What do you think of the proposed changes?
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All are good
40.35%
23 40.35%
Damage/energy changes are good
14.04%
8 14.04%
Optics changes are good
19.30%
11 19.30%
Smoke changes are good
3.51%
2 3.51%
Shield changes are good
12.28%
7 12.28%
All are bad (explain in comments)
10.53%
6 10.53%
Total 57 vote(s) 100%
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Laser overhaul plans

#1
Issues with current lasers
  • Damage output is extremely high close up: lasers shred anything undefended in seconds.
  • Defenses are too good: 2 smokes or layered laser shields completely block damage for a fraction of the laser's cost(energy charge included in shield cost).
  • You need very long optic lines to get decent accuracy.
  • Each cubic meter of pumping needs at least ~2.5 in engines+fuel to power it. Things using LAMS/offensive lasers need a disproportionally large engine volume.
Goals of the changes
  • Lasers being more useful, especially against fast fliers that other weapons struggle with.
  • Less extreme raw damage output, but a significant portion will always get through defenses(only "perfect" defenses are deep water or ~3 smoke layers).
  • Better potential at long ranges.
  • Less clunky optic lines, short ones having a purpose.
  • Reduced engine spam.
  • No obvious best choices: always 30/80 AP, wavefront at 0.33, ...

Damage:
  • Laser pump energy output(DPS) reduced to 20% of its previous value(LAMS nodes are unaffected, they work like combiners again after the change).
  • Laser pump power cost/energy doubled. This means new lasers use only 40% the power of old ones.
Reducing base damage means defenseless targets won't die almost instantly(still a very bad idea to just tank lasers).
Laser volume shifts away from engines+fuel, back to pumps+cavities.


Optics:
  • Lasers have a fixed inaccuracy of 0.05° (+-1.75m error at 2000m). Old inaccuracy with 20m optics was ~0.294°, with 40m ~0.135°.
  • Focusing optics decrease damage lost with distance in air/water. Current lasers do ~74% damage at 1000m, ~55% at 2000m. With long optics new ones can go above ~95% at 2000.
  • Longer optic lines have a smaller maximum firing angle. At 1m length that's 60°, at 20m 12.5°, 50m ~5.56°.
  • You need 25% of your optic line to be steering to have the maximum possible firing angle.
Lasers are now much better at long range, they rarely miss and with long optics their damage barely falls off.
There is a tradeoff between firing angle and long range damage, every setup has some use:
- microfighter: charge while lining up an attackrun, unload close up with cheap 5m fixed optics
- big ship: short low angle optics on a 2-axis turret for AA
- dedicated gunship: long fixed lines to keep attenuation low and plink away from long range


Smoke:
  • Smoke clouds now have a density, that determines how much laser damage they mitigate
  • Emitter smoke has a density of 65%, that means 35% laser damage gets through. Current smokes only lets 10% through per layer.
  • APS smoke shells have the same scaling as HE. A single 500mm warhead gives ~45% density, 200mm 7.5%.
  • Smoke with final density above 25% blocks laser missile guidance/detection.
Layered, dense smoke is still the best laser defense(after being deep underwater).
Now it should be too expensive for fast flyers so those depend on shields instead.


Laser shields:
  • Laser shields no longer cost energy, only engine power.
  • Instead of directly reducing damage shields now reduce laser AP to 50% at strength 1, 5% at strength 10 (FINAL_AP = BASE_AP / (2 * SHIELD_STRENGTH)). Only the strongest shield hit counts.
  • Continuous lasers have twice the AP of pulsed, with the same half damage as before.
Fast vehicles need these to mitigate laser damage.
With the new mechanics you do not need to match the attacking laser's final damage output with energy recharge.
That means tiny fliers can still get some use out of weak shields without shared energy from other vehicles.

AP mechanic changes give extra frequency doublers/continuous offensive lasers a purpose and make deciding on a shield strength/final AP a bit more interesting.
For the same cost one extreme is a huge 30 AP system going all-in on pumps, other is a 400 AP wavefront one:
- the latter has much lower raw damage
- is more compact(way less pumps/engine power needed, higher frequency doubler ratio)
- does much more damage through shields, especially against heavy armor


Wavefront coder:
  • Slider removed, it always reduces base laser damage to 50%.
  • Against smoke: reduces effective density by 75%. That means a layer of smoke from an emitter only blocks ~49%, instead of 65.
  • Against shields: quadruples the amount of AP the laser retains has after hitting shields (100% AP against strength 1, 20% against strength 10).
Same purpose as before, bad against weak defenses but helps a lot in cracking strong ones.
Trap of wavefront making it harder to get through shield recharge removed.


Material costs:
  • Both focusing and steering optics up from 20 to 50
  • Frequency doublers up from 50 to 200
  • All cavity costs down from 40 to 20 per cubic meter
  • All pump costs up from 20 to 30 per cubic meter
The cavity/pump cost changes mean burst lasers are a bit more attractive.
For the same cost all pumps all the way is still stronger in a long fight, but there is some leeway
for building cheap bombers or deathstar lasers that charge for 20 seconds then punch through ships.


Misc:
  • CRAM shell health increased, at 2000mm it's now 8000 instead of 3770.
  • Missile body/thumper component health doubled.
  • APS flak damage up by 25%
  • Missile interceptor head damage up by 25%
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#2
(2019-05-06, 03:08 PM)draba Wrote: [*]APS smoke shells only work at 500mm, up from 200mm.

Smoke is still the best laser defense(after being deep underwater), but you need 2-3 layers to mostly ignore damage and can't just spam beltfed 200mm to get it.
Now it should be too expensive for fast flyers so those depend on shields instead.

Note that smoke mechanics might be changed later, for now the 500mm APS restriction is necessary.
With 200mm laser defense/suppression is too easy and cheap.
[*]

I like pretty much all of the above except this ^, and this is purely from an aesthetic standpoint. Having smoke shells mixed in with your main guns is fine: if you are using 500mm guns. A lot of my mains are 400mm or even 348mm on some craft. Having dedicated smoke guns with a larger bore than my main guns would be garish and ugly. If fire rate of smoke is your worry, add a cooldown multiplier on the shell part instead of limiting us to the highest gauge possible, if only to allow people to use smaller gauges efficiently and still get through LAMS. Treat it like 5 shell parts of gunpowder, or have it take up multiple shell parts at lower gauges to ensure the shell has to be long, and thus slower firing.

Thanks for the work Draba!
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#3
(2019-05-06, 03:08 PM)draba Wrote:
  • CRAM shell health increased by 50%. 

[Image: 5d556e319a2cf3a7deec836d8d7b4c12.png]

In other words, yay, LAMS aren't going to obliterate CRAMs anymore.
"If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid."-TheMightyJingles.

My last name is Proctor
The Proctor is a ship in the game
Yay. I'm happy.

Blueprint thread: Probably going to re-do considering I'm re-doing a lot of my vehicles right now.
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#4
(2019-05-06, 05:07 PM)Blarint Wrote:
(2019-05-06, 03:08 PM)draba Wrote: [*]APS smoke shells only work at 500mm, up from 200mm.

Smoke is still the best laser defense(after being deep underwater), but you need 2-3 layers to mostly ignore damage and can't just spam beltfed 200mm to get it.
Now it should be too expensive for fast flyers so those depend on shields instead.

Note that smoke mechanics might be changed later, for now the 500mm APS restriction is necessary.
With 200mm laser defense/suppression is too easy and cheap.
[*]

I like pretty much all of the above except this ^, and this is purely from an aesthetic standpoint. Having smoke shells mixed in with your main guns is fine: if you are using 500mm guns. A lot of my mains are 400mm or even 348mm on some craft. Having dedicated smoke guns with a larger bore than my main guns would be garish and ugly. If fire rate of smoke is your worry, add a cooldown multiplier on the shell part instead of limiting us to the highest gauge possible, if only to allow people to use smaller gauges efficiently and still get through LAMS. Treat it like 5 shell parts of gunpowder, or have it take up multiple shell parts at lower gauges to ensure the shell has to be long, and thus slower firing.

Thanks for the work Draba!
[*]

I agree as well! The best solution is to reduce the caliber to 320-400mm because the 500mm would be weird as stated. Otherwise, laser overhaul plans seem extremely nice, congrats! However as stated I feel that the 500mm restrictions is too... Strict. This is mostly due to most APS minmaxing requiring the caliber down to 4xxmm with large guns and 500mm sometimes is less effective as a caliber. But I agree that smoke guns need lower firerates and this is why my perfect fit would be the smoke guns being 340mm+ (Rougly when firerates start going down fast and you definitely need at least a 2m shell rack to be effective, so no beltfed smoke gun spam
Everything in From the Depths can be solved by a large amount of high-caliber HE shells.
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#5
(2019-05-06, 05:07 PM)Blarint Wrote: A lot of my mains are 400mm or even 348mm on some craft. Having dedicated smoke guns with a larger bore than my main guns would be garish and ugly. If fire rate of smoke is your worry, add a cooldown multiplier on the shell part instead of limiting us to the highest gauge possible, if only to allow people to use smaller gauges efficiently and still get through LAMS.
I wanted to outright remove smoke shells, 500mm is 500 because 499 can fit 3 shells in a beltfed clip instead of 2.
Seems like they are a sticking point for many people, will try to come up with something better on that front.
Simply allowing lower calibers/changing shell cost doesn't work(even 500 is too easy with beltfed), different density smoke clouds came up before so might give that a go.

(2019-05-06, 05:26 PM)benzo711 Wrote: In other words, yay, LAMS aren't going to obliterate CRAMs anymore.

Note that LAMS power and storage requirement went down, pump cost a bit up.
Health increase is for covering that, but CRAMs could probably use more and will be revisited when I can shoot them with some new lasers to compare.
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#6
(2019-05-06, 05:36 PM)draba Wrote:
(2019-05-06, 05:07 PM)Blarint Wrote: A lot of my mains are 400mm or even 348mm on some craft. Having dedicated smoke guns with a larger bore than my main guns would be garish and ugly. If fire rate of smoke is your worry, add a cooldown multiplier on the shell part instead of limiting us to the highest gauge possible, if only to allow people to use smaller gauges efficiently and still get through LAMS.
I wanted to outright remove smoke shells, 500mm is 500 because 499 can fit 3 shells in a beltfed clip instead of 2.
Seems like they are a sticking point for many people, will try to come up with something better on that front.
Simply allowing lower calibers/changing shell cost doesn't work(even 500 is too easy with beltfed), different density smoke clouds came up before so might give that a go.
Maybe reduce the caliber to 400 and require a head piece on the shell? Or you could probably do it as a shell base part. Just two of my suggestions. My post explains why this otherwise would be a bad idea in my opinion as a pure 500mm is a bit too stifling due to APS tetris and let's face it the firerate difference between 400 and 500 is only 10-15% max. With the beltfeds? Smoke does not amount for much if you do not have a fuse and it can't activate. So pleae consider that you'd need at least a 4-part shell if you wanted to do this. And that means a 333mm shell. Set those rules and make the shell 340mm minimum. This would be nice
Everything in From the Depths can be solved by a large amount of high-caliber HE shells.
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#7
(2019-05-06, 05:58 PM)Maty83Cz Wrote: Maybe reduce the caliber to 400 and require a head piece on the shell? Or you could probably do it as a shell base part.
Those restrictions wouldn't make a difference, the cheap smoke setup is <10 rail draw and single smoke warhead in beltfed clips.



Updated the first post, relevant parts:

Smoke:
  • Smoke clouds now have a density, that determines how much laser damage they mitigate
  • Emitter smoke has a density of 70%, that means 30% laser damage gets through. Current smokes only lets 10% through per layer.
  • APS smoke shells have the same scaling as HE. A single 500mm warhead gives 50% density, 200mm ~9%.

Wavefront coder:
  • Against smoke: increases the amounf of damage that gets through each smoke layer by 70%. That means a layer of smoke from an emitter only blocks 49%, instead of 70.
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#8
Would it be possible to create internal optics, something like cavities, but focusing beam before turret, to allow for creation of compact turrets? That would create interesting alternative to always sticking out cannons.
So Far So Good
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#9
Lasers have been an odd thing to build and design around or against, such changes are surely welcomed.
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#10
Overall, I like the direction of the changes (especially the accuracy, finally we can have good looking turreted lasers!!!!!) , But i think you are still fundamentally limited by the way shields function, they are not at all dynamic and no more goes into them than a slider choice.

Laser combat with this new system will still fundamentally be about engine power and burn-time.  The equation is a little more complex, but all the interplay here is determined before the battle begins, which is a prime issue with the current lasers: you either win massively or you fizzle on invincible shields.  This system doesn't fundamentally change that dynamic as there is little "random" factor.  This is completely unlike cannon combat where Raw damage/AP and raw HP/AC only factor in sometimes, after one accounts for range, accuracy, speed, shell dispersion, active and passive defenses (which vary considerably in their effectiveness both salvo to salvo and as the battle drags on and fortunate hits begin to tell).

I really feel that the best way around this is to rely on smoke with a hard cap on total possible reduction (i'd say no more than 50%, any perfect defense is a bad design choice) for the basic defenses (since that plays well with the movement of both ships, allowing for outside factors) and regenerating shields for fliers and advanced defenses.  With regenerating shields you can have both the softened numbers you desire while preventing perfect defenses all the time, but you also generate much more interesting combat as winning beings to revolve around not only the power of both systems, but the refresh rate and timing of the shields and lasers.  regenerating shields mimic the 'windows of opportunity' that make cannon combat so satisfying to both watch and design for.  it allows big hits, clutch saves, and real calculation that must account for outside factors (moving shields, rotating ships to present fresh shields, overlapping shield systems with different capacities and refresh rates VS lasers with differing raw damage, recharge, and 'piercing' values, maybe even lasers that apply debuffs to certain types of shields).

Contrast the above with the current system which I can very easily boil down to effective hit-points and effective DPS.  The lasers are not going to miss, and the defenses are not going to fluctuate the same way cannon damage can.  The battles will still be stat-checks for the most part.  not as severe as they are now, but still stat-checks all the same.

Also, the poll is REALLY biased. why are the only three options "I love some of the changes", "I love all of the changes", "I hate all of the changes?"
-Do not bring forth an argument as fact that can be disproven with a 10 minute Google search.
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