General FreeSpace > Blue Planet Multi

Change the Kentauroi for PvP games?

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Making a multiplayer version of a mod causes dilemmas to arise, and this one is certainly near the top of the list. The Kentauroi is a signature ship from the Blue Planet universe, one of 3 ships you use in the entire WIH campaign, but for multiplayer PvP, its balance is questionable. PvP includes dogfights against other human players and Team vs Team games involving two teams of human players facing off against one another.

Here are the statistics for the (original) Kentauroi straight out of the BP tables:

--- Code: ---$Name: UEF Kentauroi
$Short name: uefint
$Species: UEF
+Type: XSTR( "Interceptor", -1 )
+Maneuverability: XSTR( "Excellent", -1 )
+Armor: XSTR( "Medium", -1 )
+Manufacturer: XSTR( "Oxys-Ultor Threat Workshop", -1 )
+Description: XSTR( " ", -1 )
+Tech Description: XSTR( "The Kentauroi is a heavily armed, high-performance interception and strike platform. At full afterburn, the Kentauroi can outrun almost any other fighter class in the field, and is unrivalled in its ability to perform surgical strike missions against well-defended targets. Despite exceptional theoretical performance, the design suffers from occasional lock-up in its weapon systems. The Kentauroi has seen deployment primarily in Second and Third Fleet, where it is exceptionally popular but unforgiving to new pilots.", -1 )
+Length: 28 m
+Gun Mounts: 6 (4, 2)
+Missile Banks: 3 (40, 40, 40)
$POF file: Jackal.pof
$Detail distance: (0, 180, 300, 1100)
$ND: 144 234 237
$ND: 60 231 239
$ND: 78 151 156
$ND: 30 179 189
$Density: 1
$Damp: 0.19
$Rotdamp: 0.33
$Max Velocity: 0.0, 0.0, 90.0
$Rotation time: 3.3, 3.2, 3.2
$Rear Velocity: 60.0
$Forward accel: 2.0
$Forward decel: 2.0
$Slide accel: 0.0
$Slide decel: 0.0
$Expl inner rad: 25.0
$Expl outer rad: 75.0
$Expl damage: 25.0
$Expl blast: 1000.0
$Expl Propagates: NO
$Shockwave Speed: 0.0
$Weapon Model Draw Distance: 100
$Allowed PBanks: ( "Vulcan" "Scalpel" "Maul" "Gattler" "Rapier" "Sidhe" "UX Accelerator" ) ( "Rapier" "Vulcan"  "Scalpel" "Maul" "Gattler" "Sidhe" "UX Accelerator" )
$Allowed Dogfight PBanks: ( "Vulcan" "Scalpel" "Maul" "Gattler" "Rapier" ) ( "Rapier" "Scalpel" "Vulcan"  "Maul" "Gattler" )
$Default PBanks: ( "Maul" "Rapier" )
$Pbank Capacity: ( 40, 40 )
$Show Primary Models: ( yes no )
$Allowed SBanks: ( "dirk" "Slammer" "Paveway" "Hellfire" "Grimler" "dart" "javelin" ) ( "Javelin" "Hellfire" "Dart" "dirk" ) ( "dart" "Hellfire" "Javelin" "dirk" )
$Allowed Dogfight SBanks: ( "dirk" "Slammer" "Paveway" "Hellfire" "Grimler" "dart" "javelin" ) ( "Javelin" "Hellfire" "Dart" "dirk" ) ( "dart" "Hellfire" "Javelin" "dirk" )
$Default SBanks: ( "Hellfire" "Dirk" "Javelin" )
$SBank Capacity: ( 40, 40, 40 )
$Show Secondary Models: ( yes no no )
$Shields: 380
$Shield Color: 100 100 255
$Power Output: 3.0
$Max Oclk Speed: 120.0
$Max Weapon Eng: 150.0
$Hitpoints: 275
$Support Hull Repair Rate: 5.0
$Armor Type: Light Armor 100
$Flags: ( "player_ship" "default_player_ship" "fighter" "surface shields" )
$AI Class: Captain
$Afterburner: YES
+Aburn Max Vel: 0.0, 0.0, 200.0
+Aburn For accel: 0.80
+Aburn Max Reverse Vel: 133.3
+Aburn Rev accel: 0.80
+Aburn Fuel: 600.0
+Aburn Burn Rate: 45.0
+Aburn Rec Rate: 20
+Bitmap: UTrail
+Width: 1.0
+Alpha: 1.0
+Life: 1
$Countermeasures: 25
$Scan time: 2000
$EngineSnd: 126
$Closeup_pos: 0.0, 0.0, -30
$Closeup_zoom: 0.5
$Shield_icon: shieldjackal
$Score: 12
;;<<Artistic/Subsystem Data removed for simplicity>>

--- End code ---

You might be able to notice a few things out of this table and by playing a Kentauroi yourself. One is that the ship has a maximum afterburner speed of 200m/s. This surpasses the Perseus(140) and the Pegasus(160) by a fair amount. At these speeds, primary weapons have a difficult time catching up to the ship and along with the ships low targeting profile makes it a very hard target.

Another strong asset of the Kentauroi is the fact that it has reverse afterburners. Not just any reverse afterburners, very powerful reverse afterburners (133m/s) meaning the Kent can blast backwards faster than most ships can engage afterburners forward. With this, the Kent has the option of 'fighting backwards' making itself a hard evasive target while attacking at the same time.

Lastly, the afterburner acceleration on the ship is quite strong going from 0 to max in 0.80 sec in both directions. In games with lag, a player can be halfway to full speed by the time his or her rival starts seeing the purple thrusters go off.

In general, I dislike artificial adjustments such as the one being proposed in this post. Why renumber the tables, just because something 'feels' unbalanced? Don't we want to stay true to the BP series that we all have come to enjoy? I understand this sentiment, and would not want to frivolously change the game so dramatically. Other members of the team agree, we should be careful here.   

An argument has been made that Volition invoked the use of dogfight variants only for dogfights, and that TvT used single player assets. We can certainly do things this way if it's popular.

Also please note that no matter what decision we make, the Kentauroi will never be changed in coop mode. The gameplay in coop mode has the design goal of maintaining the feel of singleplayer, thus there is no reason to make alterations. A dogfight Kentauroi would only find its way into PvP (Player vs Player) games.

Last time a poll like this was made, the vote was split right down the middle and was inconclusive. The more votes we have for this one (even if you have yet to play bp:multi, please do) the better off we will be.

You know my mind on the subject. BP wasn't balanced with PvP at all and it's not really our job to do so. Retail PvP is only true PvP. BP coop has more than enough potential to make up for that.

General Battuta:
Retail wasn't balanced with PvP at all either, that's why they created special PvP ships.

Go for it.

None of the above choices, as I consider the Kent -worse- for PvP than the Uhlan. Admittedly reverse AB does give it a big advantage, and if anything could be considered overpowered that would be it, but it is worse than the Uhlan in target profile and turning ability.


--- Quote from: General Battuta on June 07, 2011, 06:31:27 pm ---Retail wasn't balanced with PvP at all either, that's why they created special PvP ships.
--- End quote ---

Even Retail's special PvP ships are only used in Dogfight as far as I have seen, TvT has used full-strength ships/weps for everything that i have flown on.

If we are balancing for UEF vs UEF it shouldnt matter, if it is for UEF vs Tevs...  Well, I agree with shade. I already choose the Uhlan over the Kent in TvT because in a knife fight speed does not help you beyond a point. AB certainly doesnt help much, faster AB = wider turning archs which leave you open to a slightly slower, faster turning ship. It's turning that gets the job done and the uhlan is already better for just that. I do not see how the 200m/s AB of the kent could help it do anything more then its job in co-op: get in and out quickly, like an interceptor should.


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