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Wanderer
06-26-2012, 01:15 AM
I've got a few things I'd wanted to discuss but I figure it's probably better to break them up. The first thing that's currently driving me a little nuts is the fact that I can't find a battery that'll fit my structure rating.

We'll get back to that in a second. It seems like a lot of stats are ending up with 'breakpoints'. I'm in my third sector. First was goofing around, the second one I took on the first challenge sector. The next challenge was level 12 and I wasn't feeling up for it yet. Simple normal game then.

Almost everything in the shops and that I'm finding seem to be breakpointing at Structural 22. I don't know if that's an artifact of the game I'm in or the fact that I've been stuck at a certain level for a while, but my structural is 18, and has been for a bit.

Now, back to the shops. I've got this lovely fighter bay I've wanted to use but I can't quite get my energy up enough to use it yet. So, I've been prowling planets looking for a battery I can fit. I literally can't find one. This seems odd to me.

Is there a trick to this? Do I need to look in under-developed civs for lower-end equipment I can actually use? My 'home' civ is amazingly powerful since I built them up pretty heavily early on. I've also donated a bunch of tech to them. Did I do this to myself?

Also, are there other common breakpoints for gear? Structural 22 okay no problem. Command is an obvious one. Do the rest seem to have certain values that are 'best' or am I just seeing a case of randomization biting me in the butt?

Chumpy
06-26-2012, 11:47 AM
After at a certain level you literally will not be able to buy equipment for stats you haven't been constantly increasing.

You'll just have to rely on enemy drops or make a new lower-level character to put things in the shared stash.

robmack
06-26-2012, 02:05 PM
Between this thread, another one about more points per level, and my own experience of seeing a steady increase in the percentage of shop items that are red, I'm wondering if the hard stat limit for items is the way to go.

What if the level of the item versus your stat level gives an efficiency rating. It could be as simple as checking if you meet the requirement, and if you don't all item stats are dropped in half.

What might be interesting is the efficiency multiplier is simply: (your stat level/item stat level). That way the multiplier could become positive too.

So, say you have a computer that you like, as you increase your computer skill, you actually become better at using that item.

Other things that could help is being able to pay a lot of money to untrain a skill, or just being able to untrain a couple points everytime you level.

Finally, allowing more crew would help a lot too. Creating seperate crew slots seems popular, but I would rather just see an increase in total light slots.

LostSoul
06-26-2012, 05:08 PM
Finally, allowing more crew would help a lot too. Creating seperate crew slots seems popular, but I would rather just see an increase in total light slots.

The issue with that is that most "crew" really can't compete with light components. The really really rare ones with multiple stats can but you're not going to find more than a couple of those across your entire play to 100.

Compare that to chargers or energy reserves worth 6, 8, or 10 energy per second. No ship is capable of anything without energy. My current top-end weapon costs 32 energy per second. 100 engineering is worth less than 5 energy regen per second.

To me, it seems almost...bizarre that crew is treated like they're optional in Drox. Not because you couldn't use the CP, but because you can outfit your ship without them and find other ways around that deficit. So other than me the captain, who's flying this bucket??

Bluddy
06-26-2012, 05:57 PM
The issue with that is that most "crew" really can't compete with light components. The really really rare ones with multiple stats can but you're not going to find more than a couple of those across your entire play to 100.

Compare that to chargers or energy reserves worth 6, 8, or 10 energy per second. No ship is capable of anything without energy. My current top-end weapon costs 32 energy per second. 100 engineering is worth less than 5 energy regen per second.

To me, it seems almost...bizarre that crew is treated like they're optional in Drox. Not because you couldn't use the CP, but because you can outfit your ship without them and find other ways around that deficit. So other than me the captain, who's flying this bucket??

It's funny because I've had the opposite experience so far. I don't use any chargers or energy reserves. Instead, I have a power plant producing much more power than I need. This seems to fill up my energy pretty quickly. For me, crew is much more important, especially because they can level up and therefore they become more valuable over time.

The fact that we both have such different experiences suggests to me that perhaps the balance is pretty good on this.

LostSoul
06-26-2012, 07:09 PM
Which tells me you're still in the very early game when weapons still don't cost much energy, enemies have very little structure/armor/shields such that your weaponry is "effective enough" to bring them down before your energy is gone. Excess power production converts to energy regen at abysmal rates. Chargers, for their power cost, are many many times more effective than the power they consume. Engineering's effect on energy regen is virtually nil.

Your tune will change _rapidly_ when ONE enemy ship have can stand up to everything you can throw at them for 10-15 seconds and take every last drop of juice you've got just to bring down...and now you've got 3, 5, 8 more to deal with too.

Of course, you could use fighters, interceptors, or bombers, but by the mid-20s you'll quickly realize that they are knocked off without so much as a sneeze by your opponents. I'm particularly fond of the "screen filled with space-fire" that eats everything alive. All those drones that takes you a minute to field? Yeah, they're all gone in 5 seconds.

Waffles
06-26-2012, 07:12 PM
After at a certain level you literally will not be able to buy equipment for stats you haven't been constantly increasing.

You'll just have to rely on enemy drops or make a new lower-level character to put things in the shared stash.
This screams enormous bug to me.

Chumpy
06-26-2012, 07:15 PM
LostSoul, are you spamming Energy Spikes?

My light slots have a +8 Charger, an Emergency Energy, and three crew. I've also got a battery in my Medium slot that gives +2 energy regen. If I've got an Energy Spike going, I can keep up with my three weapons.

Thing is, if I unequip my crew, I won't be able to even fire my weapons.

Bluddy
06-26-2012, 07:22 PM
Which tells me you're still in the very early game when weapons still don't cost much energy, enemies have very little structure/armor/shields such that your weaponry is "effective enough" to bring them down before your energy is gone. Excess power production converts to energy regen at abysmal rates. Chargers, for their power cost, are many many times more effective than the power they consume. Engineering's effect on energy regen is virtually nil.

Your tune will change _rapidly_ when ONE enemy ship have can stand up to everything you can throw at them for 10-15 seconds and take every last drop of juice you've got just to bring down...and now you've got 3, 5, 8 more to deal with too.

Of course, you could use fighters, interceptors, or bombers, but by the mid-20s you'll quickly realize that they are knocked off without so much as a sneeze by your opponents. I'm particularly fond of the "screen filled with space-fire" that eats everything alive. All those drones that takes you a minute to field? Yeah, they're all gone in 5 seconds.

Definitely -- I haven't had much time to play.

Could you state what level you're at? Sounds like a balance problem.

The state of the game at level 10 leads me to believe that at level 20 and certainly at level 50 the game will probably be impossible. Already at level 10, there's no slack in terms of requirements, and killing enemies of your level isn't trivial.

At level 25, 50, and 75 the enemies get huge multipliers to their stats as you switch difficulty levels. In DC it was also extremely hard at those levels, but at least you got more and more skills. While you do get some more skills here, it sounds like the requirements are prohibitively high.

aReclusiveMind
06-26-2012, 07:40 PM
I was having a hard time in my late teens until I switched to using bombs as my primary weapon. Single target weapons don't do enough damage when you are forever being swarmed. I really liked the rail gun for awhile, but it burned through energy too quickly. Also, the AoE weapons don't require attack rating to do damage either. They are pretty overpowered in my opinion for 90% of the battles where spreading damage around is better.

I had to double up on armor repair modules in my medium slot and put a heavy armor in a heavy slot. Even still, I tend to have to use multiple armor regen and energy regen consumables, especially if assaulting a planet.

I'm level 21 still at this point. I've been taking a few days off from Drox.

Chumpy
06-26-2012, 08:31 PM
Reclusive, if your setup is anything like mine, you might need a beam soon to supplement the bombs and finish bombed enemies quickly. You're going to hit some situations where bombs alone aren't enough. AoEs are super important and you should definitely have a bomb (or... a mine?) but I needed something to quickly take out enemies who would otherwise survive two bombs.

Railgun was just a worse beam when I played. Not sure about missiles.

Shield/energy/armor spikes are huge. Combat for me is often just mashing every hotkey.

Waffles
06-26-2012, 09:03 PM
It is clear to me from my and others' player experience that components require iLevel * 2 stats to use. As such, without 10 CP per level (from levels, crew, components) it is impossible to keep up. At level 1, you have 6 for each, so around level 5, with 10 for each, the game feels about right. Around level 10, you have 15 for each, plus maybe 1/e from crew, to 16, which isn't too bad. Around level 20, you have 25 for each, plus some from crew, bringing you up to maybe 30, with 3 good crew. At level...

Time to stop: It is impossible to keep your equipment in step with your level, without sacrificing huge quantities of slots to '+ to stats', and that is not including trying to increase command here and there. This is wrong. This is game-breaking.

Equipment and stat point balance needs to be changed ASAP. Currently, you have 5 stats, +5 per level, minus points spent in command, plus bonuses from crew/etc. The cost of components needs to reflect that, not be "10 per level". With current stat quantities, They need to be 5 + itemLevel. Also Command needs to scale in cost slower - 5/5/6/6/7/7, instead of 5/6/7/8/9/10.

It is possible that the myriad requirements would keep players from using equipment far beyond their means, however it might also be prudent to include a level requirement of itemLevel/2.

LostSoul
06-26-2012, 09:59 PM
LostSoul, are you spamming Energy Spikes?

My light slots have a +8 Charger, an Emergency Energy, and three crew. I've also got a battery in my Medium slot that gives +2 energy regen. If I've got an Energy Spike going, I can keep up with my three weapons.

Thing is, if I unequip my crew, I won't be able to even fire my weapons.

I try not to if I can avoid it. It eats into the very limited credits you can accrue before having to pick sides, at which point most of your earnings are going to go towards damage control between the dominant factions, either from getting into scrapes with an enemy's planets or patrols, or helping your chosen ally recover from getting knocked around a bit. -edit- or buying your way back into the graces of whoever comes out on top if you don't start a new sector.

And really, the spikes are a symptom of a bigger problem rather than a solution. If you have to spam spikes in order to have the energy for any sort of prolonged engagement, there's a bigger problem in the balance. Spikes I can see if you over commit to a superior enemy, but if run of the mill "crap around the galaxy" has you running on fumes most of the time even WITH packing as much energy regen as possible, something's way out of whack.

I'm using one weapon. One. I cannot sustain it for more than 20-30 seconds of combat without a spike or just waiting around. Like I said, 32 energy a second. My engineering skill (go cortex?) provides a whopping ~5 regen.

And yes, I hear you on the crew bit. My only crew provides a substantial buff to tactical just to allow me use of that honking space gun, through which the energy drains. I'm not saying it's not strong, cause it definitely is (strongest I've seen so far in fact), but even with as strong as it is, ALL enemy ships (and we're not even talking about faction ships here) easily stand up to it for multiple shots. Not misses but good old hits, and even direct hits.

I've taken to exploiting another little loophole in the game design of late. Drone bays (fighters, interceptors, and bombers) don't care which type of bay is equipped to stay active, just so long as SOME kind of bay is equipped. So I've been flying around with my own armada of ships (5 of each type I've come across so far). You can only see the first 10 but the rest are still there.

And I'm not kidding about the "screen filled with space-fire" bit either. Some of these enemies drop pyrotechnics that wipe out the entire fleet in under 10 seconds, and since I don't control them there's nothing I can do to stop it. Other's just fire off their missile barrages and eat up everything on screen...or self-destruct and blast themselves and my enemies to bits (and no drops and no xp for that). There goes another 3 minutes and a crapton of energy re-fielding them.

I'm going to try and find better missiles though. The added range and AoE effect might just put the ball back in my court. We'll see.

Bluddy
06-26-2012, 10:10 PM
It is clear to me from my and others' player experience that components require iLevel * 2 stats to use. As such, without 10 CP per level (from levels, crew, components) it is impossible to keep up. At level 1, you have 6 for each, so around level 5, with 10 for each, the game feels about right. Around level 10, you have 15 for each, plus maybe 1/e from crew, to 16, which isn't too bad. Around level 20, you have 25 for each, plus some from crew, bringing you up to maybe 30, with 3 good crew. At level...

Time to stop: It is impossible to keep your equipment in step with your level, without sacrificing huge quantities of slots to '+ to stats', and that is not including trying to increase command here and there. This is wrong. This is game-breaking.

Equipment and stat point balance needs to be changed ASAP. Currently, you have 5 stats, +5 per level, minus points spent in command, plus bonuses from crew/etc. The cost of components needs to reflect that, not be "10 per level". With current stat quantities, They need to be 5 + itemLevel. Also Command needs to scale in cost slower - 5/5/6/6/7/7, instead of 5/6/7/8/9/10.

It is possible that the myriad requirements would keep players from using equipment far beyond their means, however it might also be prudent to include a level requirement of itemLevel/2.

It looks like item requirements are 2/level except for engineering, which is 1.5/level. I'm not sure why that is, but it makes engineering uneven with the other stats -- it's less important to put points into engineering.

Good point about the command points being a problem since they suck more and more points out of the attribute system.

Let's say that on average you put 2 points into tactical, 1 point into command, and spread the rest among the other stats ie. helm, strucutural, engineering, and computers each get 1/2. I think this is the idea behind the system as it is -- that you specialize in 1 or 2 stats -- we'll get to that in a minute. The starting stats are 5,7,5,5,8, but of course that's going to be diluted as you go up. Basically, because you can only afford 1/2 a point in each of the other 4 attributes, they'll be 1/2 of your level, which means you'll only be able to equip stuff that's 1/4 of your level.

This doesn't take crew or items that boost stats into account. I'm not sure how much crew can contribute, but stat boosting items are hard to come by since you're so obsessed with finding enough power and energy (and damage). I think as crew give you more and more stat points and you can equip more of them, they'll have more of an effect.

The crew (and the racial bonus) really messes up the calculation, but it seems like it's hard to keep up. Let's compare the game to DC. In DC, some weapons had requirements of 3 or even 4 strength per level, though most were closer to 2/level. But there are some huge differences. In DC, there were no command points to invest in. INT and SPR were mostly useless for warriors, which meant that they could focus all their points on 3 stats: STR, DEX and VIT. That means that just on average, each of these stats got 5/3 = 1.66 points. Investing 3 points in STR and 1 point each in VIT and DEX was pretty effortless. This is before modifiers!

Additionally, gear was effortless to equip, with no space or power constraints. This meant you could look for rare loot with a lot of extra modifiers, sacrificing the main stats of armor or damage, while in Drox you just want the highest basic stat because of the power and space constraints -- you have to make the item do its job as well as you can get it to, because there's no space/power for spares.

I think it's quite fair to compare the basic stats before item modifiers/crew, between Drox and DC. In Drox, you barely keep up with 2 points in 1 main stat and 1 point in command, and 0.5 points each in each other stat. In DC you easily keep up with 3 points in your main stat and 1 point in each extra stat. Since Drox drains points with the command system, and since it requires investment in each stat, it seems like we're just not given enough points.

There's also the question of how many 'main stats' you should have in Drox. Is it reasonable to dump points into tactical, neglecting the other stats? Is it feasible to dump points into engineering at the cost of everything else? I think it makes more sense to at least have 2/5 stats you can keep up with as a baseline. That would mean you either want around 2 + 2 + 1(command) + 0.66*3 = 7 points per level, or you want to decrease the requirements for most items to adjust to the points that are currently given ie. 5 = 1(command) + 0.5*3 + 1.25*2, so you'd have the requirements go up by around 1.25 per level instead of 2.

Regardless, something may need to be done about the command points which become less and less effective.

Wanderer
06-27-2012, 05:38 AM
That would make sense, if everything in my sector currently spawned at level 11, that most if not all of the gear would be sitting at 22 for usage. This thread helped me understand where the problems I was seeing were, thank you for the discussion.

However, I'm not sure you can seriously tackle this game without a decent spread through all the abilities, primarily because of targetting and energy. If you, for example, ignored Helm, you'd be stuck droning around in a low-end ship for reasonable speed or doing speed 10. I'll have to look again before I state the mid-slots thrust boosters also require helm, but I think they did.

Ignore structure and you can't power your ship/big guns from specializing in tactical. Ignore computers and you can't hit jack with your big gun. Ignore Tactical and you've basically got nothing but sandpaper, but plenty of power!

I think it would be really cool to be able to specialize a ship complement, such as the one-shot big gun if you really upped your tactical to the rediculous, but you would never be able to fire it without mounting 8 batteries or something equivalently rediculous. Also it's not something I'd want to do without being able to restat my ship between sectors. The interconnections between all the components practically requires you to be fully invested across the boards.

However, this alone is only part of the problem. The other part is that you can't GET equipment that's available to your level after a certain point, that just seems silly to me. I've found equivalent equipment (same name) that have different rarities. Those rarities required different stats, which makes it even harder to find gear you want to use, my guess is because it increased the iLevel.

The stores should carry gear you can actually equip, primarily, not what the region level is. Crates should drop stuff that at most would cost you 2 points on your next level to actually use. Maybe 4. There should be a range in there to keep things 'around' what you're actually statted for. Otherwise it'll be impossible to upgrade at Level 50 without building out a different toon to level 40 who in turn needs a support toon at level 30 who... you get my drift.

One thing that should be noted in this conversation though is that command really is a zero sum cost, so there's only 5 stats that are net gain losses on the 2 points/level scale. 3 points into Command gets you 3 points in another stat, you just need to traverse from breakpoint to breakpoint directly.