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

Updated, relevant parts:

  • 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 and detection.

Wavefront coder:
  • Against smoke: reduces effective density by 75%. That means a layer of smoke from an emitter only blocks ~49%, instead of 65.

  • 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%

People who do not like the smoke changes, what's the reason?

1. I don't remember how it is now but how about smoke raduis and lifespan?

2. Any change on smoke dispenser? Reload time or resource usage?

(2019-05-13, 10:37 AM)moonruner Wrote: 1. I don't remember how it is now but how about smoke raduis and lifespan?

2. Any change on smoke dispenser? Reload time or resource usage?

No changes in anything you mentioned.
I thought about changing smoke dispenser:
- they emit a single cloud that mostly follows them
- they get a slider adjusting material and fuel use/sec, higher use = higher density
- going faster means the smoke disperses faster, lowering density

Problem with that idea is that it breaks everything using smoke ever.
Laser changes right now are mostly transparent, things might not be optimal but are mostly decent without changing.

In reply to your Agency issue, what if we instead buff defences so that the player HAS strong defences. If lasers in the new system will always hit, then it seems adequate balancing to have defences that *always* work.

So here's my proposal:
 - Laser shields now 'mirror shields'. If shield strength is greater than some function of laser AP, the laser is reflected akin to a mirror. This means that a 100% normal and perfectly aligned impact could strike the user firing the laser. Mirror shields take approximately equal engine power to the laser that would penetrate them.
- Wavefront adjuster maintains its purpose of sacrificing damage to penetrate defences, but instead of piercing all defences, when impacting 'mirror shields' it behaves like the current laser shields: A flat damage reduction (I realize this is effectively 2 damage reductions, first from the wavefront adjuster, again for the laser shield). In addition, the wavefront adjuster returns laser accuracy calculations to its current state so that the laser becomes quite inaccurate without huge optics investment. 
- Laser optics have a cost increase in proportion to their new accuracy levels.

The idea here is that should you choose a perfect accuracy, always hitting offensive strategy, there is a perfectly functioning, always working defensive strategy. However, should you forfeit the perfect accuracy, you return to a state where your laser is always a reliable source of some damage.

I envision the mirror shields as being too costly to run on small planes and have a large malus based on craft speed. In this way, fast movers could not field them effectively to maintain lasers' niche as a fantastic choice for destroying the high-velocity craft. 
The ideal result is that the player has an increased quantity of choices to make, the offensive user may specialize their laser to combat different targets, and the defensive user can opt for smoke as a damage reduction method, or invest into mirror shields for perfect defence versus a single class of laser. How the mirror shield is deployed on the craft is a choice in itself.
Grav rams are like the Looney Toons of shell types... Absolutely hilarious in short bursts.

I'm going to have to play with it in the wild to really get a handle on it (same as I did with missiles!). I think a lot of people have some apprehension because they're used to the current paradigm of lasers being doom beams unless you apply the mandatory countermeasures, at which point they're utterly harmless and can be ignored.

One thing I'd like to see is ablation having some effect. Could also help with runaway damage and make other Q switch settings aside from 4Q get more use?

(2019-05-13, 07:37 PM)Kurr Wrote: One thing I'd like to see is ablation having some effect. Could also help with runaway damage and make other Q switch settings aside from 4Q get more use?

4Q in current version is popular because:
  • You need Q switches to avoid doing only half DPS(and in earlier versions you needed 4Q to do max DPS, guess a lot of people got stuck on that too)
  • Low accuracy+very high damage: against undefended targets lots of shots=lots of chances for hits that will penetrate anyway(no a bug but somewhat related: ).
    1Q's only use is for small lasers right now.

My guesses for the proposed changes:

- damage cut+defenses being mitigation instead of a hard block means these are the most popular: still possibly enough damage to destroy armor in 1 hit
- cheap storage with +25% relative density: these are the way for tiny lasers to get heavy punches in
- AA against weak targets
- huge lasers that can still get lots of damage/shot through defenses
- midsized/big bombers that charge for 10-20 seconds then get a lot of output regulator piercing shots off at close range
- AA against microfighters or wiping surface components(2400 RPM means more than damage there)
- large lasers similar to 4Q, mostly the same damage against shields with less overkill but also lower crippling potential

Ablation does have an effect: damage Smile
Damaging blocks is definitely less useful than destroying them, Q switch/defense/storage mechanics should give players ways to adjust their over/underkill ratio to their liking.

When the missile update hit, APS CIWS was effected in this way:

More health of missiles resulted in more components for an infinite sustain system and this resulted in lower turret rotation speeds.

Faster missiles meant that rotation speeds of turrets had to be ~400deg/ms. Faster missiles meant that timed fuses were more likely to not "connect" with the missile and not register damage.

Increasing APS flak dmg will reduce the component count, therefore increasing rotation speed, but it won't solve the timed fuse issue. Flak radius may need a increase to compete with the new missiles.
APS flak +25% dmg and +25% radius would seem reasonable or +50% dmg.

On that new missile update i had to retire 8 generations CIWS produced via excel sheets. They couldn't hold a fight to more than 1 missile at a time. It forced me to develop a CIWS with railgun energy, but it was too bulky to be practical. To me, a good defense system needs to be up 24/7 to justify spending resources on.

The new missile update was one of the best additions to the game and I hope to see other systems keeping up with each other.

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