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Waffles
06-27-2012, 10:18 AM
The ship upgrade scale is brutal and needs a rework. Please pardon the massive walls of tables if you find them hard to grasp. I think they're really illuminating and necessary to illustrate the present issue, my points, and my solutions.

For those who haven't worked out the numbers: 455 points into command are required to reach 9/9/9, over 27 ship upgrades, which give 81 extra stats. Refer to the table below:
4/4/4 - 26 points, 26 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 14 CP or 3 levels
5/5/5 - 68 points, 42 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 30 CP or 6 levels
6/6/6 - 143 points, 75 CP in 5 tiers, +15 extra stats: Real cost = 60 CP or 12 levels
7/7/7 - 220 points, 77 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 65 CP or 13 levels
8/8/8 - 320 points, 100 CP in 5 tiers, +15 extra stats: Real cost = 85 CP or 17 levels
9/9/9 - 400 points, 80 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 68 CP or ~14 levels
10/10/10 - 460 points, 60 CP in 3 tiers, +15 extra stats: Real cost = 45 CP or 9 levels
EDIT: Thanks ShadowyFigure for the more accurate information!

The investment to getting a better ship is an enormous one, to say the least, and for a player to have a huge and impressive ship, well, it wouldn't end up impressive at all. In fact, it would probably move at a crawl, and be unable to gain any experience ever.

Beyond the harsh scaling, there are problem spots after every 2nd slot because of the "you only get structure increase" levels. It takes from 11-26 to get a 4th heavy slot, from 35-56 to get a 5th medium slot, from 68-95 to get a 6th light slot, from 110-143 to get a 6th heavy slot. Three crucial level ups to get really a second heavy weapon slot - Expensive but worth it. Four crucial level ups to get an additional medium slot... a tough call but potentially worth it. Five and a half levels for another light slot... are you kidding me? This is really rough. Also, the extra slots are really all the player is getting, as well as the prestige of a larger ship, because the structural amount is negligible, and far offset by the negative... one ship tier in three is actually a downgrade.

A more limited rework would simply involve removing the "structure increase only" ship levels, accelerating the acquisition of component slots. Refer to the table below:
4/4/4 - 18 points, 18 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 9 CP or 2 levels
5/5/5 - 45 points, 27 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 18 CP or 3-4 levels
6/6/6 - 81 points, 36 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 27 CP or 5-6 levels
7/7/7 - 126 points, 45 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 36 CP or 7 levels
8/8/8 - 180 points, 54 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 45 CP or 9 levels
9/9/9 - 240 points, 60 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 51 CP or 10 levels
10/10/10 - 300 points, 60 CP in 3 tiers, +9 extra stats: Real cost = 51 CP or 10 levels

This would get rid of the useless ship upgrades, accelerate ship improvement, and I think largely increase the fun factor of the game and the feeling of having a powerful ship. I don't think this quite does the trick, however. The player's ship starts out with more base stats than just number of slots - structure and weight already scale with ship level - though inherent power, thrust, energy, and energy output do not, and a race-specific stat does.

I propose instead that ship levels increase the inherent capabilities of the ship: the number of slots, structure of the ship, base power output, weight, thrust, base energy, and base energy output (not base shield regen, because that should be a percentage of the shields equipped but that's a different problem). Having a bigger ship shouldn't, however, make you more capable of equipping higher technology: It shouldn't increase stats. The cost per upgrade should start at 5, and increase less precipitously. The change to the points required formula is to reflect this.

These numbers don't need to remain exactly as this, however, it is a starting point. 3/3/3 numbers are presently identical to ingame parameters. Also, S means ShipLevel, or upgrade tier.

0 - 3/3/3 - 0 points - 25 structure, 60 power, 50 weight, 50 thrust, 65 energy, 2.5 energy/second
1 - 3/3/4 - 5 points - 35 structure, 80 power, 70 weight, 60 thrust, 80 energy, 3.5 energy/second
2 - 3/4/4 - 11 points - 45 structure, 100 power, 90 weight, 70 thrust, 95 energy, 4.5 energy/second
3 - 4/4/4 - 17 points - 55s, 120p, 110w, 80t, 110e, 5.5eps. Real Cost = 17 CP or 3-4 levels.
4 - 4/4/5 - 24 points - 65s, 140p, 130w, 90t, 125e, 6.5eps
5 - 4/5/5 - 31 points - 75s, 160p, 150w, 100t, 140e, 7.5eps
6 - 5/5/5 - 39 points - 85s, 180p, 170w, 110t, 155e, 8.5eps. Real Cost = 22 CP or 4-5 levels.
...
9 - 6/6/6 - 65 points - 115s, 240p, 230w, 140t, 200e, 11.5eps. Real Cost = 26 CP or 5 levels
12 - 7/7/7 - 96 points - various stats. Real cost = 31 CP or 6 levels
15 - 8/8/8 - 131 points - various stats. Real cost = 35 CP or 7 levels
18 - 9/9/9 - 171 points - 205s, 420p, 410w, 230t, 335e, 20.5eps. Real cost is 40 CP or 8 levels

Where S means ShipLevel, all stats are derived from the following:
Total Points Required = S * (5 + S/4) [Note: Currently equals S * (5 + S/2)]
Light Slots increase at S = 1,4,7,10,13,16 [Note: Currently 1,5,10,14,19,23]
Med Slots increase at S = 2,5,8,11,14,17 [Note: Currently 2,7,11,13,20,24]
Heavy Slots increase at S = 3,6,9,12,15,18 [Note: Currently 4,8,13,17,22,26]

Structure = 15 + S*10
Power = 40 + S*20
Weight = 30 + S*20
Thrust = 40 + S*10
Energy = 50 + S*10
E/sec = 1.5 + S*1

Now, the bonuses aquired directly from the ship seem large, and they are, at first. However, as the number of available component slots increases and especially as the effectiveness of the installed components increases, these will seem less impressive, and finally less relevant. On a level 80 ship with two power plants each pushing 1500+ max power load, the 420 a giant ship would provide inherently would seem pretty tiny.

If requested, I believe I could justify all the numbers included here, more or less. I do think that maybe the scale of points required for ship upgrades could be tweaked beneficially. Here are a few other possibilities for required CP formulas, as well as a list of the milestones of 1 more of each component type:

NOTICE: ALL OF THESE ONLY GO TO 9/9/9. MY ERROR: SLOTS GO TO 10/10/10.
S * (5 + S * 0): 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90. Analysis: ~1 Command per Level to max out ship size. As kind as the scale could get.
S * (5 + S / 6): 16, 36, 58, 84, 112, 144. Analysis: ~1.5 CpL to max. Seems moderate.
S * (5 + S / 4): 17, 39, 65, 96, 131, 171. Analysis: ~1.75 CpL to max. It's what I proposed.
S * (5 + S / 3): 18, 42, 72, 108, 150, 198. Analysis: 2 CpL to max. About as harsh as is reasonable. Probably perfect.
S * (5 + (S-1) / 2): 18, 45, 81, 126, 180, 243. Analysis: Half CP go to Command to max. Super harsh.
S * (2 + (S-1) / 2): 9, 27, 54, 90, 135, 189. Analysis: ~2 CpL to max. This is the current scaling, adjusted for free points given, if the filler/structure levels were taken out. Early upgrades are pretty easy to get, but that could be a good thing! The game is much more interesting with a few more slots.
S * (1.3 + S * 1.1): 14, 44, 104, 170, 275, 377: Analysis: ~4 CpL to max. This is an approximation of the current scaling, for the same slots, with the filler/structure levels as they presently are, adjusted for free points. This is the current state of the game. To get to 4/4/4 is balanced, and everything after that gets all messed up.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 11:39 AM
I can't say I followed this analysis, Waffles. It'd take me a lot more time than I currently have to dive into it.

However, I would say the following: does it make sense that in order to get a large, powerful ship, I need to sacrifice my components and stats? I don't really think it does. We don't necessarily want to cause a conflict between these things. Large ships should have lots of cool modules but still be slower and bulkier. Small ships should sacrifice components for speed. But a big ship shouldn't mean that I can't do stuff with my ship.

Also, the balance on this is going to be impossible to get right.

I would much rather have a system where my ability to command bigger ships depends on my level -- basically a little more similar to the skill system in DoP and DC.

So where does the choice come in of ship size? Simple. Ships should be bought. I can choose which of my ships to use for the particular sector. At each ship level, you'd have the ability to either command a small ship that emphasizes light slots and is very fast + hard to hit (naturally high defense), a medium ship that's normal, or a large ship that emphasizes heavy slots at the cost of speed.

So if at level 5 I normally get 3/3/3, the heavy ship will have 4/2/1, the medium ship will have 3/3/3, and the small ship will have 2/2/5. Of course, to make this work, you need some better (though perhaps much weaker) light components.

Anyway, these are my current thoughts about this topic.

LostSoul
06-27-2012, 01:12 PM
Well...there are distinct possibilities of what could be added to those "dead" command levels.

Command could also provide a reduction in overall stat requirements for components (this sort of makes sense too). As such, larger ships would have an easier time equipping higher end components, even though they may not be as effective without the core stats that they're based on (for example, you won't have the tactical to make those honkin space guns really shine, but you can still equip them, nor would have the attack to really employ them without high-end computers). For arguments sake let's say that this reduction increases at an accelerate curve, and that at "max command" item's no longer have stat requirements at all (reduces all stat requirements by 100%). Anything and everything is fair game so long as you've got the juice to power them.

At the "most basic ship" level (4/4/4), this stat requirement reduction is very slight, maybe 5-10% at most.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 01:18 PM
Well...there are distinct possibilities of what could be added to those "dead" command levels.

Command could also provide a reduction in overall stat requirements for components (this sort of makes sense too). As such, larger ships would have an easier time equipping higher end components, even though they may not be as effective without the core stats that they're based on (for example, you won't have the tactical to make those honkin space guns really shine, but you can still equip them, nor would have the attack to really employ them without high-end computers). For arguments sake let's say that this reduction increases at an accelerate curve, and that at "max command" item's no longer have stat requirements at all (reduces all stat requirements by 100%). Anything and everything is fair game so long as you've got the juice to power them.

But doesn't that seem to contradict the very notion of pitting the command points against other stat points as they are now? If you make stat requirement lower, you're negating the very point of the system as it's set up, which is that command reduces your other stats.

We might as be given a command point every level, which we can spend on heavy, medium, light or crew slots. Heavy/medium slots would decrease our thrust and defense, while light and crew slots would not have such negative effects.

LostSoul
06-27-2012, 01:43 PM
Because having reduced stat requirements doesn't give you the same effect as meeting them in the first place.

Command gets you more component slots and makes filling them up easier.

You use those component slots on bigger engines (and thus bigger power plants) and hardware to compensate for the LACK of stats spend elsewhere. Having those extra slots then translates into a distinct weakness in your ship in exchange for more slots. You then spend fill those additional slots on components to compensate for that weakness. The more you invest into command, the bigger that weakness becomes, the more slots you open up, the more you need to offset that weakness by raw components.

ECMs, DCMs for the attack and defense, you'll fill them up computers for their bonus stats. You can use bigger guns but you'll have to use more of your light component slots on chargers because you won't have the energy regen afforded by engineering (not getting into that here though). You'll HAVE to use bigger and more costly guns to match what smaller ships with more tactical can squeeze from their weapons.

I didn't say it was a perfect idea, but it's also a possible approach.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 01:45 PM
OK so this is my latest idea for command points.

- You get a command point every level.
- You can spend command points towards the following things:

Heavy slots - cost many points, slow you down, reduce defense.
Medium slots - cost fewer points, slow you down a little, reduce defense a little.
Light slots - cost the least points.
Crew points - allow you to equip more/better crew.
Racial skills - depend on the race you chose. One or two skills that can be upgraded.


This way, when you see a large ship, the reaction is not 'wow, you chose to get a large ship which means your components all suck'. It's 'you chose a lot of costly, heavy slots, which allow you to carry lots of heavy equipment but your racial skills / crew may not be as advanced and you need a lot of thrust to keep that puppy going.' If you see a small ship (ie which has many light slots but few heavy slots), that ship's going to be very fast but not particularly scary -- it's unlikely to have many fighter bays or a super-powerful shield for example.

Shadowy Figure
06-27-2012, 02:05 PM
While I am annoyed that ship upgrades that don't always give you a slot, I think it is too early to do anything drastic because people are still learning the game.

For example, a few people have complained about the lack of energy regen from Engineering but I'm getting 26 energy per second from a single slot (http://i.imgur.com/SeCGS.jpg). I'm really curious about how everyone is trying to building their ship and if poor luck with item drops is the main problem. If stat exporting gets fixed I would be interested in seeing everyone's exported ship stats.

If you make stat requirement lower, you're negating the very point of the system as it's set up, which is that command reduces your other stats.

I don't know that it actually works out that way. You can put items and crew members in your slots that give more stat bonuses than it costs to buy that slot.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 02:20 PM
While I am annoyed that ship upgrades that don't always give you a slot, I think it is too early to do anything drastic because people are still learning the game.

For example, a few people have complained about the lack of energy regen from Engineering but I'm getting 26 energy per second from a single slot (http://i.imgur.com/SeCGS.jpg). I'm really curious about how everyone is trying to building their ship and if poor luck with item drops is the main problem. If stat exporting gets fixed I would be interested in seeing everyone's exported ship stats.

Good point. I'd say this game is much harder to analyze than all the previous games because there are so many variables that affect each other. If D3 moved towards a model that's easier to analyze, this game has done the exact opposite and shifted towards a model that's far more complex.


I don't know that it actually works out that way. You can put items and crew members in your slots that give more stat bonuses than it costs to buy that slot.

That's true indirectly. The basic tension, though, is between stats and command points. Anyway, it requires more thought, and somebody should do an excel model of this stuff (unless Shadow has one he's willing to show us). I do stand by my statement that this thing will be a pain to balance :)

Chumpy
06-27-2012, 03:31 PM
More importantly, putting points in Command is when a structural level is coming up feels flat out unrewarding.

No one is excited about 25 HP. If you're taking damage directly to your ship's structure, you've made a horrible mistake and your crew is dying. The 25 HP upgrades are meaningless, slow your ship down(!), and exist only to delay the actual rewards.

Shadowy Figure, that is a batshit insane item for your level. I didn't find a comparable EE until I was over 10 levels higher, and the Engineering requirement was stricter. I think it's safe to say that you're the exception, not the rule.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 03:53 PM
More importantly, putting points in Command is when a structural level is coming up feels flat out unrewarding.

No one is excited about 25 HP. If you're taking damage directly to your ship's structure, you've made a horrible mistake and your crew is dying. The 25 HP upgrades are meaningless, slow your ship down(!), and exist only to delay the actual rewards.

Good point. HP in general is really problematic given that you take damage to your systems and to crew.


Shadowy Figure, that is a batshit insane item for your level. I didn't find a comparable EE until I was over 10 levels higher, and the Engineering requirement was stricter. I think it's safe to say that you're the exception, not the rule.

Looking more closely, there's something definitely wrong with that item. Its effect is for 30 seconds, but it has a reuse time of 10 seconds! That means that you can reuse it before the effect is even done! And the cost of 30 energy is nothing compared to what it produces. This is supposed to be an emergency item, which means the reuse time should probably be 2-5 minutes or so.

Chumpy
06-27-2012, 06:10 PM
I think a reuse time of 30 seconds would be fine once the energy economy gets straightened out. Like, it's not necessarily a problem that you can always use an item that gives you a penalty when you use it. It is a problem that you can accidentally hit the hotkey and waste energy on an effect that's already on.

Apart from fun factor, a reuse time measured in minutes basically means "equip something else while you wait".

LostSoul
06-27-2012, 07:03 PM
Looking more closely, there's something definitely wrong with that item. Its effect is for 30 seconds, but it has a reuse time of 10 seconds! That means that you can reuse it before the effect is even done! And the cost of 30 energy is nothing compared to what it produces. This is supposed to be an emergency item, which means the reuse time should probably be 2-5 minutes or so.

Yeah I was going to say something about it. Yeah okay -20% shield regen and ship speed but...shields hardly regen anyways and ship speed in combat isn't that big of a deal. You can't outrun missiles, and most enemy ships all come with 200 speed so you can't outrun them either.

I'll have to keep my eyes out for those puppies (pending an inevitable change I'm sure). Most chargers I come across are in the 5-8 E/S range but that's a constant recharge rate, not a use-effect.

Bluddy
06-27-2012, 07:05 PM
I think a reuse time of 30 seconds would be fine once the energy economy gets straightened out. Like, it's not necessarily a problem that you can always use an item that gives you a penalty when you use it. It is a problem that you can accidentally hit the hotkey and waste energy on an effect that's already on.

Apart from fun factor, a reuse time measured in minutes basically means "equip something else while you wait".

You're right. 2-5 minutes is too long. I'd probably say a 20 second boost with a 50 second wait (including the effect) is a better mix. I don't think it's an emergency item if you can use it all the time.

Oh I see what you mean regarding the debuffs. At the moment, shields recharge so slowly that the 20% reduction won't be felt, and I'm not sure 1/5 less movement is so bad either. Including these factors, maybe there should be a 20 second wait between uses (ie 50 seconds altogether) -- it's still an awfully useful item for its use case.

Chumpy
06-27-2012, 07:12 PM
Also the Engineering requirement seems super low (for EEs in general), but I guess that would be balanced out if the item was weakened some other way.

Virosa
06-27-2012, 10:47 PM
I'm lvl 23 and i havent found a energy over X sec component, only 1 min reuse that basicly fill you energy.

Energy use aint much of an issue to me, i just use consumable to regen shield and energy every 10-15 sec in combat, i just have so much money, the price of consumables and components is trivial to me ... and that is without any money received from races which used to ( i don't know if it still do ) get ridiculous.

(In the last 10 or so sector i've played, every other races died before i could get a single ally)

Back to the main topic:

I think Waffles's assessment is good. I am not sure if the suggestion here is properly balanced with the new % bonus to racial stats, but its definitive that the command stat need rework.

Also, an other possibility would be to dump the command stats and have you buy your new ship with a level req. I think that would work if the credits you get playing the game get tighter and race gift get to a point where its trivial enough to not be relied upon to accumulate credits.

Waffles
06-28-2012, 03:26 AM
More importantly, putting points in Command is when a structural level is coming up feels flat out unrewarding.
This is my biggest point, by far. Not only is it unrewarding, you're paying for a downgrade so that you can get an upgrade later. It is awful.

For example, a few people have complained about the lack of energy regen from Engineering but I'm getting 26 energy per second from a single slot (http://i.imgur.com/SeCGS.jpg)

That item's timing is definitely a bug. I'm 80% certain that the duration and reuse time are supposed to be swapped, and the other 20% is that the duration is correct and reuse time is supposed to be vastly higher. I'm a little appalled that nobody reported that as a bug.

Lost Soul: I disagree with that approach, especially with an accelerating curve that reaches 100%. It would encourage an extremely weak early-mid character who would in the last little bit become explosively overpowered, and would be decisively not fun (Like never spending your first 23 skill points in diablo 2, but more like if you had to save your first 70). The situation would be "you can barely do anything, barely do anything, barely do anything, equip anything you want in tons of slots", for a really terrible power curve.. Also, the bonuses from stats are not relevant enough when compared to having tons of slots, except for tactical, and with 9 light slots and 9 heavy slots you could have enough crew dedicated to it that while you wouldn't do as much damage from individual weapons as a tactics expert, you would have more of them, and annihilate everything. I think that even with a different formula it would be a little shaky, though something like "requirements drop as if stats went up 1% per command" would be closer.

I don't know that it actually works out that way. You can put items and crew members in your slots that give more stat bonuses than it costs to buy that slot.
As you level up, each Very Rare Crew give, I believe, about .5 stats per player level. If you are level 60, the light slots can each be worth about 30 stats, which would make up to the 6th light slot worthwhile i suppose, but not really before then, and you're still slowing down your ship for zero real stats/slots. I think the medium slot items give ~.6 stats per level, so they become break even points a little sooner.

Shadowy Figure
06-28-2012, 11:52 AM
For those who haven't worked out the numbers: 455 points into command are required to reach 9/9/9, over 27 ship upgrades, which give 81 extra stats. Refer to the table below:
4/4/4 - 26 points, 26 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 14 CP or 3 levels
5/5/5 - 68 points, 42 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 30 CP or 6 levels
6/6/6 - 143 points, 75 CP in 5 tiers, +15 extra stats: Real cost = 60 CP or 12 levels
7/7/7 - 221 points, 78 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 66 CP or 13 levels
8/8/8 - 341 points, 120 CP in 5 tiers, +15 extra stats: Real cost = 105 CP or 21 levels
9/9/9 - 455 points, 114 CP in 4 tiers, +12 extra stats: Real cost = 102 CP or 20 levels
I modded my game and checked out the Command stat at level 100. The points required to upgrade your ship stop increasing at 20 points per upgrade so I took screenshots. The exact numbers do nothing to invalidate anyone's desire for changes but maybe someone wants more accurate numbers to look at. *shrug*

I also took a peak at some shops and found a nice medium slot stat booster.

Here's a pic of Command stat info and a Neural Interface IX (http://i.imgur.com/SHTNi.jpg).

That item's timing is definitely a bug. I'm 80% certain that the duration and reuse time are supposed to be swapped, and the other 20% is that the duration is correct and reuse time is supposed to be vastly higher. I'm a little appalled that nobody reported that as a bug.

I don't see how it's bugged. Why would a ship only be able to redirect power for a limited time? In movies, combat situations are always emergencies. The item makes perfect sense to me. I can see someone argue that it gives too much energy regen and that the debuff to shield regen is laughable but those aren't bugs. :p

Bluddy
06-28-2012, 01:02 PM
OK. So here's the thing. The utility of command points not only is negative between ship sizes, it also becomes marginally useful. Why? Because once you have enough slots, the need for more slots decreases significantly. The problem in the early game is that you barely have enough slots for your basic functions + weapons. Once you get to around 6/6/6 slots, there's really no need for more. Sure, it's always nice to have more, but it's really not necessary.

So, it takes around 143 points to get to 6/6/6. Let's say I want to get to this size by level 50. After that, I don't need to invest any more into command -- it's not worth the opportunity cost. That would require investing 143/50 = 2.8 points per level into command. That leaves me with only 2.2 points per level for everything else! However, I do get my race's bonus points at every ship upgrade, so let's say I have roughly 40 extra points in something. Divided over the 50 levels, it's another 0.8 point, meaning that I have 3 points per level to spend. If I spend 2 points on my preferred stat (in order to keep up with the stat requirements), I'll have only 1 point to divide between all 4 other stats. In other words, it doesn't seem like this can work - I won't keep up with stat requirements.

Now what if I say my goal is to reach 6/6/6 by the end of the game? To do this, I need to invest 143/100 = 1.4 points per level. How big will my ship be by say, level 50? 50x1.4 = 70 points into command, which gives me a ship of 5/5/5. Not too shabby. I have 3.6 points per level to spend, + the extra 40 points from command averaged over 100, so I have 4 points per level to spend. This is exactly the math I did earlier on in the thread, and even this doesn't hold up very well (as you can see over there).

In any case, it looks like a ship of 6/6/6 is pretty much the best you can hope for.

Bluddy
06-28-2012, 01:10 PM
I don't see how it's bugged. Why would a ship only be able to redirect power for a limited time? In movies, combat situations are always emergencies. The item makes perfect sense to me. I can see someone argue that it gives too much energy regen and that the debuff to shield regen is laughable but those aren't bugs. :p

It looks like a bug because the use time of 30 seconds and reuse time of 10 seconds make much more sense if they're switched around. There's no reason to have a reuse time after 10 seconds when it lasts 30 seconds. Why have a reuse time at all then?

However, rather than a bug, I'd say this is a balance issue. If emergency energy is supposed to be much higher than the corresponding regular energy chargers at that level (and it seems like it is), then it needs to have a very real cost. What's usually done with buffs like this is that they can only last a certain amount of time and then you can't use them for a while. So they give you a higher benefit for a limited time. The fact that this item also has a cost in terms of movement and shield regen makes the analysis and balance more complicated. Clearly, some cost was supposed to be offset by the penalties rather than by the cooldown time. The shield recharge penalty is minor though, because shields don't recharge well anyway. The movement penalty is more serious -- going from 150 to 120 is a pretty big deal. This is another reason that 10 seconds usage makes more sense than committing to 30 seconds of slowdown. In any case, the cooldown should certainly be at least a little longer than the actual effect of the item.

Waffles
06-28-2012, 02:44 PM
...maybe someone wants more accurate numbers to look at. *shrug*

I also took a peak at some shops and found a nice medium slot stat booster.

Here's a pic of Command stat info and a Neural Interface IX (http://i.imgur.com/SHTNi.jpg).
I sure like accurate numbers to look at ^_^. Thanks a bunch! That actually has substantial implications, because I was looking at max slots as 9/9/9 - so substantial formula changes are in order. The stat booster is interesting too.

In any case, it looks like a ship of 6/6/6 is pretty much the best you can hope for.
That 6/6/6 is the best you can hope for makes me pretty sad. Looking numerically at the game as it is now, I'm quite certain that 7/7/7 is the most that anyone will ever reach. 8/8/8 is just way too expensive.

The extra slots remain useful, for things like a 2nd power plant, more weapons, temporary boost components, stat up components, crew, computers, etc. I would love to see the game blossom into a plethora of options, and everything past level 50 be icing flowers on top of the icing on the cake.

//The following is actually an idea about a greater character progression rework//
Lets not forget that action RPGs generally run through about the one difficulty, and many players don't make it more than about halfway through the next difficulty. The first quarter of the progression curve should be exciting! The game should open up by level 25, and the average player should be expected to have a ship of 5/5/5 by then.

Because the game is built with 30 ship tiers in mind, I'm almost thinking that ShipLevels should always cost 5, and make the filler levels less filler-y. They should give structure/power/thrust?/weight/energy/eps. That way they're still exciting, but keep the slot count in check. And it would always only be 1 level away. Changing that along with reducing component stat/ilevel and slowing down the pace of leveling i think would be really exciting: make each level mean so much more, and not burn through normal difficulty right away.
//General character progression rework idea over//

Bluddy
06-28-2012, 02:55 PM
If we're talking about modifying stuff, I'm going to mention another complaint I have: for all the flexibility this system has in terms of what I can do with my current components, I don't have the flexibility to outfit my ship with the types of slots I want. There's one path to follow in ship upgrades, and considering how dynamic the system is in general, it seems like it could be a missed opportunity. I would love to have a system with command points invested into heavy/medium/light slots and determining your weight and defense accordingly, or instead invested into racial skills.

Alternatively, you could buy ships with various configurations of heavy/medium/light slots based on your command level.

Valgor
06-28-2012, 04:05 PM
Alternatively, you could buy ships with various configurations of heavy/medium/light slots based on your command level.

Would the player be able to buy a different configuration anytime they wanted to, or would the game present them with a predetermined selection of configurations each time they achieve
a command-up?

Bluddy
06-28-2012, 04:10 PM
Would the player be able to buy a different configuration anytime they wanted to, or would the game present them with a predetermined selection of configurations each time they achieve
a command-up?

I'm not entirely sure. The natural option is to allow the player to change ships as many times as they want. The problem with that for me is that the player loses a sense of the restrictions they have to deal with and what they need to advance, which is so critical in an ARPG. It also increases the shuffling of components between ships.

So my preferred solution would be to allow buying/switching to a new ship when you level your command, and between sectors. It makes a little less sense from a narrative perspective, but not swapping ships at will means that you have harder constraints to deal with and I think that's a good thing.

RoboAV
06-28-2012, 04:10 PM
Would the player be able to buy a different configuration anytime they wanted to, or would the game present them with a predetermined selection of configurations each time they achieve
a command-up?

A branching skill tree of ship types?

Bluddy
06-28-2012, 04:14 PM
A branching skill tree of ship types?

If you're going to branch, how many branches will you have? There are only 3 choices of slots. If you allow a branch with an extra heavy, medium and light at each point, then you've essentially reached the first option I listed where you invest command points to upgrade specific slot types, and I would venture to say that could compete with race-specific skill investment as well.

RoboAV
06-28-2012, 04:20 PM
If you're going to branch, how many branches will you have? There are only 3 choices of slots. If you allow a branch with an extra heavy, medium and light at each point, then you've essentially reached the first option I listed where you invest command points to upgrade specific slot types, and I would venture to say that could compete with race-specific skill investment as well.

All of the branches. No, your suggestion makes more sense and is likely easier to impelement. As well, giving more freedom to make my Shepp- er, I mean my ship.