shali8 wrote:First post; thought I could add some abstract perspective.
I would suggest that even if the light shields present better efficiency (strength and resistance vs cost, power, weight, crew, etc...) than the heavy shields people would still pick the heavy shields. They would pick the heavy shields because the light shields are absolutely better. The problem is that the one limiter which people are usually worried about the most is the number of slots on any given hull. Not cost or weight or power or crew (in general). One heavy shield takes up one slot; same as one light shield. When i'm designing a ship why would I want to use one of my very scarce slots for an inferior (in defensive stats provided) module?
That's absolutely how I design most of my ships, but realize that there are people out there who build "cheap" ships with empty slots, building their strategy around having larger numbers of cheaper ships, rather than a small number of maxed-out superships. This group of people are the ones to whom Light Shields and Light Armor should, in theory, be attractive.
That, I think, is the "why". Next I want to propose how to fix it.
Light shields (and to a lesser extent medium shields) should have a much better stacking effectiveness - to such an extent that having more than three heavy shields is less effective than three light shields (absolutely in terms of defensive stats provided; not efficiency-wise). No other changes to stats would be necessary. The same system could even be applied to armor.
The end result would make the expensive items be most effective by themselves, and the less expensive ones would become more effective (relative to the expensive ones) as more modules are added.
Let me know what you guys think.
That's an interesting thought, but even with a higher stacking penalty (or no stacking penalty at all) on Light Shields, it would take 4+ modules to equal the defensive performance of a single Heavy Shield. The low Shield Points are the most glaring problem, and the Stacking Modifier is just a red herring at the moment. I agree with the general direction you're headed, though - If the Light Shield becomes good enough that 2-3 modules can almost
equal the performance of a Heavy Shield, while doing so at a reduced overall cost, then you're giving up module slots on the hull to gain cost efficiency (and possibly crew efficiency or power efficiency as well). That seems like a valid trade-off to me, and one I would seriously consider for a given ship design.
cliffski wrote:Interesting analysis, thanks.
One of the motivations for the different design is that I dislike it when the game becomes a 'slugfest' which goes on for ages as shields are slowly bit-by bit eaten away, when the outcome is known, but resolution takes forever.
I take the point that maybe shield strength is too easily one-shotted.
Interesting. A lot of the changes (GSB1 vs. 2) you made make sense in that context. I think you definitely achieved your goal of making battles faster and more lethal, although I don't think that's due to a shift in overall game balance - it's due almost entirely to a few distinct factors (Pulse Cannons still being one of the most glaring).
cliffski wrote:Would it be fair to say you agree *in principle* with the kind of changes I suggest, but that you also think that overall, shield strengths need to be increased across the board? it's certainly true that the time taken to drop a shield that is being penetrated could certainly do with raising.
How about the proposal of making the changes as described above, but also having a 30% boost across-the-board to shield strength (and recharge, otherwise the values get out of synch...or does the existence of shield support modules reduce that imperative?)
Yeah, I'd say that's a fair assessment. Why not try (instead of an across-the-board 30% jump, because I like nice whole numbers that are evenly divisible by 25) the following:
Heavy Shield goes to 250 shield points (a 25% increase), keeps current recharge rate
Medium Shield goes to 200 shield points (a 26.7% increase), gets small boost to recharge rate (maybe 7.0 or 8.0 instead of 6.0)
Light Shield goes to 100 shield points (a 100% increase, because it is pretty crappy at the moment), keeps current recharge rate (6.0), gets weight and/or cost reduction.
That gives each shield module a good niche: The Heavy is the toughest shield you can buy, per module, the Medium offers better recharge rate at the cost of reduced shield strength, and the Light becomes your budget-friendly option, while getting enough of a boost that it's actually worth putting on a ship.
Those are pretty easy changes to implement, and will make cruisers and dreadnoughts a little more durable. It's also a good place to start with your balance tweaks - after all, there are only three shield modules, so they have a limited number of ways they can interact with other things (as opposed to the 5+ types of armor, or the dozens upon dozens of different weapons).