Author Topic: i hate antifighter beams  (Read 795 times)

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Even I knew that. Well, sort of. I knew that destroying the weapons subsystem reduced turret accuracy. I didn't know it scaled with health.

That's a fair point actually.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Wait what the ****! Weapons subsys damage alters beam accuracy?

... Wait what, you did not know this?

Even I knew that. Well, sort of. I knew that destroying the weapons subsystem reduced turret accuracy. I didn't know it scaled with health.

I'd always been under the impression it only affected blob turrets, not flak or AAA, and was therefore pretty useless.

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
I actually like AAA beams as a concept, and they can be implemented well. Warships having reliable and undodgeable antifighter damage makes them a lot more threatening. Flak is very effective but its range is too short and blobs are utterly useless for anything but shooting down bombs.

Of course, AAA beams often just become annoying when mission design doesn't really account for them, and this happens a lot in early retail missions. But when they're used correctly they can make the player feel less like a superhero as he's given clear "no-go" zones where he's actually not supposed to go(as opposed to retail where you're expected to charge into those no-go zones).

War in Heaven is a good example of this, when you're expected to assault warships you're given tools like the Gattler or Archer to disarm AAA beams from long range and when you're supposed to stay away from them and let your own capships handle them you're deliberately not given those tools(or sometimes the beams are just uparmoured). This conveys the combined arms feeling of space warfare much better than retail where you're basically wandering around shooting things down while ~stuff happens in the background.

AAA beams are also the only thing really keeping super manoeuvrable fighters like the Serapis(or the Atalanta from BP) in check. Turn-rate is almost always the one stat to rule them all in arcade flight sims, and shield-piercing undodgeable damage gives those fighters at least one weakness. Having them target like every other weapon would make those quick turning fighters even more OP as they'd be able to easily dodge AAA beams while they're also dodging everything else. Dodging non-hitscan weapons in freespace is very easy if your fighter turns quickly enough.


So if you're having problems with AAA beams in your own mission try giving the player some tools to deal with those beams from a distance or make it very clear that they're not supposed to go near a warship with those beams and let a friendly capship handle it.
You could also script a system where friendly gunboats use long-range missiles to disarm the AAA beams, kinda like the gunship strike in Post Meridian except you're targeting AAA beams instead of Herc wings.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 01:18:45 am by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
AAA beams are also the only thing really keeping super manoeuvrable fighters like the Serapis(or the Atalanta from BP) in check. Turn-rate is almost always the one stat to rule them all in arcade flight sims, and shield-piercing undodgeable damage gives those fighters at least one weakness. Having them target like every other weapon would make those quick turning fighters even more OP as they'd be able to easily dodge AAA beams while they're also dodging everything else. Dodging non-hitscan weapons in freespace is very easy if your fighter turns quickly enough.

Hm...Really? Personally I've always found heavy fighters to be by far the most effective type, and I say this as someone who overwhelmingly prefers flying the most agile things I can get my hands on. It sort of feels like past a certain point, turn-rate doesn't actually matter very much -- if you're in an Ursa, obviously that's an issue, but IIRC a Herc II can dogfight a Dragon about as well as a Serapis can, because the AI isn't smart enough to stay in your blind spot.

Of course there is the survivability advantage, though. I just don't think about that as often. Seriously, though, I really would not call agile fighters in FreeSpace overpowered. They tend to pay for their agility with basically everything else.

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Heavy fighters are only good on the lower difficulties because the AI gets a huge turnrate penalty. On insane, where the AI isn't handicapped there's no way you can dogfight a Dragon in a Herc II, even with droopy retail AI.
The Herc IIs 360 rotation times are 3.8, 4.2, 3.8 while the Dragon's are 2.5, 2.0, 2.0. For pitch, the most used axis, the Dragon is more than twice as agile as the Herc II. It will literally fly circles around you without the difficulty turnrate penalties. If you also give the dragons custom FuryAI not even a Perseus will be able to handle a wing of them on its own.


Also, on the higher difficulties the AI loses firerate penalties while the player loses shield regeneration bonuses and damage protection. This all leads to a huge increase in damage to the point where even heavy fighters with higher health and shield numbers get obliterated in 2-3 seconds so health hardly matters. Dodging all damage in an agile fighter is leagues better than trying to tank it in a Herc.
For actual numbers, you'll take 65% damage on medium and hostile AI takes a 1.75 fire delay penalty. This combined means that the player will take 37% of the DPS they would be taking on insane, and you also have 50% shield recharge boost. You'll live about 3 times longer while just tanking damage on medium compared to insane.
Because of how overpowered Tempests are primary gunpoints are less important. No matter if you have 4 or 8 primary guns you're still limited to 2 tempests per shot so your overall killing power isn't doubled. And because anything can load up a ton of tempests carrying capacity becomes less important.

This means that on insane health, shields, primary gunpoints, secondary capacity all become much less relevant while turnrate becomes much more relevant due to reliance on damage avoidance rather than tanking.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 02:20:57 am by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Well, yeah. Dragons are a nightmare no matter what you're flying, because they're practically impossible to hit and they don't die when you shoot them. Maybe I should test a one-on-one with a Dragon set to Insane, though.

Really, I guess the issue is that most of the time in FS you're not dogfighting. You're doing other stuff where agility barely matters at all. It extends to user-made campaigns, too -- I liked Shadow Genesis, but seriously, the gameplay in that campaign is like 75% debeaming warships.

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Like 80% of retail is just killing fighters or bombers. And most user-made campaigns focus on that too, even if it doesn't take most of the playtime it's definitely what gets you killed the most. Trebbing beams far outside their range requires being in the right place before those beams tear apart your ships but the most important stat there is just linear speed. Health, shields, primary gunpoints, or secondary capacity very rarely matters, especially if you're allowed to rearm.

EDIT: Here's a good example from War in Heaven on why shields and health are a bit useless on insane.

It takes a nyx equipped with balors 1.44 seconds to 100-0 a Kent(from full shields, full health to 0 shields, 0 health) with only primaries. It takes that same nyx 2.46 seconds to 100-0 a Uriel. This is assuming the player manages their shields perfectly. Getting an extra second to live in no way makes up for the huge turnrate and target profile disadvantage.

On medium, it takes that nyx 4.2 seconds to kill the Kent and ~6.9 seconds to kill the Uriel. 2.7 extra seconds matters a lot more and the nyx will be much less manoeuvrable on the lower difficulty, giving the player a lot more time to turn the situation around. You're not going to just stand there getting shot for 7 seconds straight.

On insane, the Nyx is is also much more likely to spam tornadoes and tempests as much as it can, giving the player even less time to live if he ever lets the nyx get behind him.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 02:50:09 am by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Now I remember why I almost always played on Easy. :p

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Yeah, I've played on Insane...some, but not a lot. I was doing a run of FS2 on it a while back, but lost interest after attempting Bearbaiting twenty times. Normally I play somewhere between Easy and Hard.

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
I actually like AAA beams as a concept, ...
This post sums up my feelings nicely. AAA are frustrating to deal with, and that's pretty much their point. Retail FS2 is, ironically, firmly on lower end of AAA beam handling, as it often doesn't provide the player with proper tools to deal with them when they need to (although, as a general rule, retail gets a bit iffy when it comes to balance).

Was it necessary to make them this powerful ? Not sure, I think they would have worked fine one of their 3 effects off to another turret type. Do I think they are overpowered ? Not sure either, however they are the only turret type you have to respect on every difficulty level.


RE : heavy fighters & difficulty levels

As you increase the difficulty level, a lot of thing changes in the tactical environment, strike crafts start filling much more specific niches.

Perseus basically becomes the go-to fighter as it's viable in pretty much every situation, even if it's not great at some of them. It's a good dogfighter that's small and fast enough to avoid taking full damage from flak guns.

Heavy fighter are great when defending or attacking warships, where they can use their increased loadout to lob tons of missiles at hostile warships and/or pelt them with sustained maxim fire, or use your thicker skin to aggro hostile fighters and draw them into friendly capship killzones. On the other hand, dogfighting the more agile fighters is going to be frustrating at best, and you get murderized by flak guns.

If you look at the other extreme, super agile fighters like the Serapis or Loki get extremely deadly in dogfight situation, whereas flying them just wasn't worth it in medium. On insane they're pretty much the only ones that stand a chance against Dragons.

Also, bombers are death traps. Fortunately, there's only 3 missions in which you have to fly them - Slaying Ravana, The King's Gambit, and Bearbaiting (The Sicilian Defense allows you to fly a fighter).

Mister-eight-gun-boom-boom is still good, but you absolutely need to use the ETS to be really effective with it.

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Whenever I was using the Erynies in a prolonged combat, I've tried to make sure that I have at least one primary bank filled with a Subach HL-7 (medium difficulty). While it isn't a fantastic weapon overall, it is quite powerful when you have 4/8 gunpoints with it. And it allows you for a long combat with a pretty big part of your energy redirected to engines/shields.
Excuse me for any spelling errors I make - I'm still learning English :P

 
Re: i hate antifighter beams
if you're ever using the Erinyes you should probably just equip it with double PromS as that at least gives it considerable alpha power. Basically every other loadout is just a waste of gunpoints, HL-7s do crap DPS and kaysers drain energy too quickly.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
I thought for a moment "But doesn't the Kayser do more damage than the PromS?", so I opened up the retail weapons.tbl...

Prometheus S: "Medium Energy Usage
Level 5 Hull Damage
Level 4 Shield Damage"

Damage: 30
Armor factor: 0.9
Shield factor: 1.0
Firewait: 0.35
Velocity: 750 (lifetime 2, so 1500 range)
Energy consumed: 1.0

DPS: 85
Energy consumption rate: 2.85


UD-8 Kayser: "Special Issue
Level 6 Hull Damage
Level 5 Shield Damage"

Damage: 28
Armor factor: 1.0
Shield factor: 0.9
Firewait: 0.25
Velocity: 650 (lifetime 1.5, so 975 range)
Energy consumed: 1.2

DPS: 112
Energy consumption rate: 4.8


Well, it has a higher dps due to its higher fire rate... But that's kind of a moot point if it sucks your energy reserves dry in 5 seconds.
Another illusion shattered.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
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[02:44] <@Axem> well
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Re: i hate antifighter beams
How does Subach compare there?

So it seems like Prom S is the best FS2 weapon around since it has only marginally less DPS in exchange for nearly half the energy consumption and 50% more range (I'd say it's important, addidtional range of this thing can even serve as a good tool for beam cannon/AAA disarming).
Excuse me for any spelling errors I make - I'm still learning English :P

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Subach compares poorly

Subach HL-7: "Standard Issue
Level 3 Hull Damage
Level 2 Shield Damage"

Damage: 15
Armor factor: 0.9
Shield factor: 0.7
Firewait: 0.2
Velocity: 450 (lifetime 2, so 900 range)
Energy consumed: 0.2

DPS: 67.5 vs hull, 52.5 vs shield
Energy consumption rate: 1


Hell, even to the Avenger it compares poorly
TW-15 Avenger Cannon: "Special Issue
Projectile Weapon
Low Shield Damage"

Damage: 16
Armor factor: 1.25
Shield factor: 0.85
Firewait: 0.25
Velocity: 525 (lifetime 1.9, so 1000 range)
Energy consumed: 0.3

DPS: 100 vs hull, 54.4 vs shield
Energy consumption rate: 1.2
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 04:58:16 pm by Spoon »
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

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Offline Droid803

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
I love antifighter beams!
They're BEAMS!
And they KILL THINGS! Most importantly, THEY KILL YOU!
They create some no-fly pockets and rewards knowledge of blindspots/safe approach vectors. Both of which are quite nice from both a design and tactical perspective should you choose to make use of it!
(´・ω・`)
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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Anti-fighter beams don't stand a chance against that glorious 2km range of the Rockeye.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: i hate antifighter beams
Hey - just use the comparison tables from the wiki ;)

http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Weapon_Comparison_(FS2)
http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/index.php/Weapon_Comparison_(FS1)
I was going to say "that's a really neat table, never knew it existed!" but then I checked the history on the FS2 version and see I supposedly made an edit back in 2010. So clearly I did know at some point. Truely astounding.
Still a neat table though.

I love antifighter beams!
They're BEAMS!
And they KILL THINGS! Most importantly, THEY KILL YOU!
They create some no-fly pockets and rewards knowledge of blindspots/safe approach vectors. Both of which are quite nice from both a design and tactical perspective should you choose to make use of it!
Retail does not make good use of it though. Turrets don't check their own hulls when firing, and antifighter beam turrets are not visually distinct from other turrets. It's really hard to tell what a safe approach vector is.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

  
Re: i hate antifighter beams
Anti-fighter beams don't stand a chance against that glorious 2km range of the Rockeye.

In the mission I was testing when I started the thread, the player does have Rockeyes, and they're very very useful. But I was trying to make sure the player could play the mission without knowing exactly where all the AF turrets were. Also part of the problem was that I was using the Seth, which has ridiculously vulnerable subsystems. So half the time an AAA beam would be a one-hit mission-kill, because it'd take out something like sensors or comms and it'd be quicker to restart than to try to rearm.