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View Full Version : Double the number of slots?


robmack
06-20-2012, 04:01 PM
One thing I am really enjoying about this game is configuring the ship. It's a lot of fun trying to figure out different builds, and balancing all the different needs. It's also great to put all that loot that you find to good use.

I've only put in 10 or so hours (enough time to clear 2 sectors and the 1st challenge sector). I've only played 1 ship so far, so I don't know if my impressions are really comprehensive, so please take that into account.

My impression though, is that it seems like there are not quite enough slots to really explore some types of builds. Especially with the new energy requirements of the weapons. It seems like you are hard pressed to get 2 weapons and still have enough energy to sustain a firefight for more than a few seconds.

In fairness, I have only opened up a few extra slots for my ship, so maybe if I did that it would be better.

The game is definitely more fun with 3 weapons, and 4-5 would be great. You can then be more tactical about which weapons you fire depending on the circumstances.

You could also explore more types of builds with various battery packs, and other non-essential peripherals.

To compensate, maybe the components themselves would need to be scaled down a bit. In the end, I'm thinking it would make the configuration part of the game to be much more fun.

I guess I should also stop putting experience points in anything but command, but its so hard to save up points for 2 levels. :) I'll start working on that next.

( Tchey )
06-20-2012, 04:05 PM
I think that starting with a 3/3/3/2 should be good enough. With Crew not taking a light slot. With a better Power and Energy balance, im pretty sure it will be more, more fun.

3 Heavy
3 Medium
3 light
2 Crew

Sendrien
06-20-2012, 04:21 PM
I have to agree with the OP here. I find the number of slots effectively limits the number of weapons you can put on your ship (efficiently). Basically, even when you get larger ships, because of all the energy, power load and other essential overheads, it only makes sense to ever use one or two really strong weapons. There's never any case for using multiple weaker weapons so that you can take advantage of the strengths of each weapon. (Maybe Shadow can give people incentive to carry more weapons by increasing damage specific resistances on certain ships, like having one enemy type be almost immune to explosive damage, while another is almost immune to thermal, etc)

As it stands, with so few slots, I simply cannot afford the luxury of carrying more than one weapon, otherwise I will have no energy within 5 shots, and this is with no crew and a full array of battery rechargers in the light component slots.

If you consider the different roles each ship class is supposed to play, currently, slots are so scarce that all the slots are being used to simply sustain the ship's basic function. There is no uniqueness at all.

Smaller ships should be able to carry cloaking, EMP, jammers etc, while larger ships might carry fighters, bombs, and larger cannons. But none of this is possible when the majority of the slots are needed to sustain a single laser weapon on a ship.

Bluddy
06-20-2012, 05:36 PM
What we really need is more heavy slots to put weapons into. Otherwise we just don't get to use some of the more exotic weapons.

The problem with giving more heavy slots is that it gives you an opportunity to easily put 2 power plants in, at which point you have no power limits at all. Therefore, I suggest either that you should be limited to one power plant, or power plants should weigh you down and count against thrust. Put another power plant in and now you need another engine too.

LostSoul
06-20-2012, 05:49 PM
In general, my feeling is that everything is just too tightly constrained right now. Component slots, power generation, energy consumption, stat requirements...it all feels too restrictive to really experiment. The choices of equipment are "there" but they're false choices that ultimately result in failure.

Components definitely have far too restrictive of stat requirements to meet, which puts undue emphasis on every single stat in order to be effective at anything. Armor, shields, weapons, engines, thrusters, or secondary enhancers? You might be able to build up a single stat high enough to use a GOOD one of any one type and be completely incapable of equipping anything else worth half a damn...but you'll NEED good ones of all of them to survive much more than a tiny skirmish (except you're always outnumbered AND outgunned so when is it ever a tiny skirmish?)

In the same vein, excess power generation doesn't spill over into energy regeneration at any where near an appropriate amount either. The engineering stat is almost pointless for actual energy regeneration, as its contribution is almost invisible per point. Being that energy is the lifeblood of your ship, it seems very strange that I can generate double the total load of the equipped components, and yet it still only translates into less energy regeneration than a single mid-range charger. And yet, the game (once more) constantly has you thoroughly outnumbered? Energy spikes? When do you generate enough credits while trying to maintain your ship and keep up with the diplomatic game to be able to afford that constant expense?

To my thinking some things need to be adjusted.

Most importantly, crew need their own spots. Ships cannot run without them, and each ship tier should have additional crew spots. Crew provide vital Crew Points for equipping various hardware bits and should never conflict with being able to effectively outfit your ship. My thinking is that Crew Quarters should be equipped in the same spot as Cargo Holds. Currently nothing is a choice with cargo holds, and bigger is always better. Having Crew Quarters makes having crew an easier expense as it doesn't directly conflict with your ship's performance. Larger Crew quarters should probably require a higher Command stat, and larger power draws.

Either all power requirements for components should be reduced by 50% (apart from weapons), or all power production components should have their power generation increased by 100%. Components are requiring far too much power, which forces you to double and triple up on power plants which is taking up far too many of the already very limited component slots. IF you want to do that, ships with that much power generation should all but never run out of energy in combat.

As a possible alternative to futzing with power plants and draws, weapon systems could have no or very little power draw for being installed. Energy regen already GREATLY limits offensive capabilities, and their stat requirements are a further double whammy. They don't really need a 3rd restriction dumped on top of those two. Their power draw comes when they are fired, ie energy. This frees up actual power production requirements and thus component slots for more freedom in your load out.

robmack
06-20-2012, 06:05 PM
Interesting feedback, thanks for your responses.

First, before I jump into some more details. I'm wondering if there is even a remote chance something like this could happen? (if not, I can stop going on about it)

1. I love that crew requires a light slot, it makes for an interesting dynamic. (especially if there were more light slots)

2. I'm not sure if its a big deal about the 2nd power plant. Its a tradeoff. Sure, you have twice the power, but you also have double the components drawing power. So, it ends up being the same as it is now: Do you go with overkill on power as not to worry about it, or do you figure out a way to maximize your power usage?

3. I think Sendrian brings up a great point about uniqueness. With more slots, you can start to specialize, but you can also try to be more of a jack of all trades. Right now, there is a pretty limited range of what you can do. You can either get that extra weapon or have a non-powered specialized part (such as armor). You can fiddle a bit with tradeoffs between speed, energy and attack power. Other than that, it doesn't seem like there are too many other viable options.

4. Does anyone have a viable build using some of the non-essential parts such as computers, battery packs (energy bonuses), shield regen, radars? I'm thinking the essential are:engines, power generators, weapons, shields/armor). Is it just that I'm not high enough level?

LostSoul
06-20-2012, 06:25 PM
In a sense it does but in another it doesn't. Cargo holds shouldn't be their own equipment type when viewed in that same light. In fact, they should probably be heavy components. They aren't because it simply doesn't make for a good GAME design to be that way.

Crew largely fall in the same category. They convey vitally important crew points to your ship. What's the point of having the crew if they take up the exact same equipment spots you needed or wanted their CP for in the first place? And it should be noted, they conflict with a slot that has quite possibly the highest tactical/combat value of your entire ship. Light slots are your battery chargers without which you can't even fire BLANKS at your enemies for very long.

It makes more sense (I think) for them to conflict with storage capacity, and to draw on the Command stat in some fashion. By connecting to "Crew Quarters" and by giving crew quarters a command stat requirement, you limit how many crew any given ship can have naturally, but you DO have to make trade offs to have them. They'd represent power drains for life supports, and they'd reduce your ship's carrying capacity (quite dramatically if you want to drop all the way down to just the one 16 slot cargo bay you start with).

As far as specializing goes, you really can't. Not with stats anyways. They all connect to all of the vital components in a very tangible way, and the ship bonuses they (mostly) provide are all necessary. You can't neglect tactical, or engineering, or any of them. They're all important. The only stat that doesn't "feed" into anything directly is the command stat. Command stat equaling more crew... well, it makes sense.

Sendrien
06-20-2012, 07:47 PM
When reading through this thread, a recurring idea that comes to me is the concept of "Super Heavy" slots. Super Heavy would be slots that are initially unavailable and can only be gained through leveling Command. Some weapons don't make sense on a small ship like a corvette anyways (Fighter Bays), and should be put in the "Super Heavy" slots.

--

Going along with this idea, you could also start the game with "Recon Component" slots, which would also be a new slot class. The only difference is, these slots DECREASE when you level up your ship. Therefore, smaller, faster ships might be able to run Cloak, ECCM, Jammers, etc, while a larger, slower ship might end up with lots of fighters, bombers, etc but not a lot of stealth options.

--

In this way, you could encourage people to seriously consider whether they want to stay as a small ship or level up their ship and go for a dreadnought. (i.e. the end game is not about building a humongous ship which can also go at corvette speed, and run cloak and jamming arrays to boot, but rather about the tradeoff between speed/versatility and firepower/tankiness.

Just an idea, feel free to pick and choose what you like :)


EDIT: Also, if you want super customizing, you can have each race's starting ship and ship progression in terms of slots be different. (Brunt starts off with 4 heavy slots and only 2 medium slots, etc)

( Tchey )
06-21-2012, 05:28 AM
The only difference is, these slots DECREASE when you level up your ship.

Sounds good.

As the maximum slots right now is 10 per class, the average ship could be 0/5/5/5/5 (superheavy, heavy, medium, light, recon). More option, we must be limited not by the slots themselves but by energy and power.

And for the crews, the player has the choice : cargo bay or crew bay. One low level crew bay is one Crew, up to ten Crews at higher level. The player can also have only one Cargo Bay, and three Crew Bays at low level to have less storage, but three Crews.

Leveling up, the ships could be (20 upgrades) :

1/5/5/5/4
1/5/5/6/4
1/5/6/6/4
1/6/6/6/4
2/6/6/6/3
2/6/6/7/3
2/6/7/7/3
2/7/7/7/3
3/7/7/7/2
3/7/7/8/2
3/7/8/8/2
3/8/8/8/2
4/8/8/8/1
4/8/8/9/1
4/8/9/9/1
4/9/9/9/1
5/9/9/9/0
5/9/9/10/0
5/9/10/10/0
5/10/10/10/0 => megabig ship.

Sendrien
06-21-2012, 09:34 AM
And for the crews, the player has the choice : cargo bay or crew bay. One low level crew bay is one Crew, up to ten Crews at higher level. The player can also have only one Cargo Bay, and three Crew Bays at low level to have less storage, but three Crews.

Oh, that's a SUPER idea! Having to make a trade off between crew bays and cargo bays...I'd love to see that in the game!

( Tchey )
06-21-2012, 09:50 AM
For stealth, Recon modules could be almost free-energy/power, but it's nice for megabig ship to have stealth too. So maybe there could be a light, medium, heavy... modules too, but less effective, and a superheavy module with a superheavy energy/power cost ?

What else could go to Recon modules ?

- Stealth ;
- Radar (the recon one being better than the medium, itself better than the superheavy...);
- Thruster (a light thruster is enough to almost cap speed with a light ship, already in .902 so it's cool) ;
- Countermesure (something that hunts enemy missile but can't harm other ships) ;
- Sniper laser ? A very long range weapon that deals damage over time, as long as the target is locked, consuming energy over time ?
- Several viruses with various abilities (root, stun, snare, blind, energy/power/shield leak...) ;
- Several programs to buff our ship (celerity boost, energy/power/shield regen...) ;
- ?

robmack
06-22-2012, 09:02 PM
Hi,
There's been some interesting ideas in here, but I'm going to ignore them in hopes to getting back to the idea of increasing the number of slots. :)

I wanted to say off the bat, that I am loving this game. I'm pretty obsessed with it, much to the detriment of my sleeping habits.

In my last message, I mentioned that I was going to dump points into command to see if that helped at all. So, first off, buying command is expensive. I had to level 4 times to get the ship up two sizes. The first one didn't have a new slot, but included some more structure. Net effect was a I had a slower ship for more hitpoints. Not really a trade I would like to have made. On the next level, I was excited to get a new large slot. I tried putting another weapon in there, but I didn't nearly have enough energy.

What I wanted to do was put an engine in there, to make up for the fact that my ship now crawls with basically the same components as before. Of course, I couldn't find one so I ended up putting some armor there. I have to say it made freeing up a large slot for colonization much easier. :)

Anyway, not finding engines or really any good components might be bad luck, but also seems to stem from the fact that the requirements for equipment have crept up, but my stats have been static since I dumped all my points into command.

So, it feels like I have really taken a bunch of steps backwards. I have essentially the same components as before, but my ship is slower, and now its even harder to find usable gear.

Also, I picked up a another 2 crew members, so the number of light slots is really tight. Its hard not to want to try to level those guys up, even though I really need to use the light slots for other components. I can understand why people are calling to separate those two slots, but I still think it would be better just to have double the number of light slots.

It seems like there are components that are essentials, and some that are interesting additions. I haven't been able to install anything interesting, because I'm already short just trying to get the essentials.

Flim
06-23-2012, 02:27 PM
Seeing as the only way you can specialize your gaming experience is through your ship build I agree with you. There are no skills and abilities which makes the primary route of gaining replay value through variety of item combinations. Primary use of items is as gear on your ship. For this game to compare in replay value it needs to find entertaining variety of game play from sources other than skills, abilities and squad members as they didn't make it into this game.

In other words there needs to be a hell of a lot of itemized gameplay options.