So, just for the hell of it, I thought I'd post a few simple thoughts for some relatively minor balance changes I've got in mind. I'd be interested to hear if other people agree or disagree.
I feel that missiles are very weak compared to every other kind of weapon (including self-teleporting bombs). The two main reasons are that the ammo is very expensive, and that defence drones are very effective at shooting the missiles down.
So... two small change to easy the pain a little bit:
- Increase the firing cooldown on Defence drone I from 1 second to 3 seconds. (And the drone should not be immediately ready to fire when it is activated.)
- Decrease the purchasing cost of missiles from 6 scrap to 3 scrap.
One thing that has been kind of bugging me recently is that although there are quite a few different viable methods of defeating enemy ships, I feel like I'm kind of compelled to use teleporters all the time, because they are relatively lot cost and very high reward. I've thought about it a bit, and I've decided that it would probably be better for gameplay reasons if there was no scrap bonus for defeating a ship by killing its crew.
That scrap bonus is good for flavour / realism, but in terms of gameplay I think it's bad because it is pushes players to use a particular strategy. Not only are teleporters very effective for getting past shields and defence drones to defeat otherwise well-defended ships, but the reward for defeating ships in this way is actually higher! So regardless of what kind of ship you want to focus on, it is always advantageous to get teleporters early and to use them to win battles as often as possible for the loot bonus - so that you can afford more upgrades and weapons later on.
I reckon that teleporters either need to be far more risky, or just not have a scrap bonus reward. One idea to make them more risky would be to make it so that enemy ships could sometimes 'dodge' the teleporter, in which case the units simply would not be moved. That would add a fair bit of risk, because if the teleporter failed to recall some low-health units, those units could be in trouble... But on the other hand, it's generally possible to prevent units from being attacked indefinitely by just moving them back and forth between room, so a failed teleport may just add more tedium than risk. Furthermore, that change would have no impact on all the fights where a single boarding party can defeat the ship without needing to be recalled, and it would have more impact on the fact that defeating ships in this way is still the best thing to do for the scrap advantage.
So, somewhat reluctantly, I think the best option is to simply remove the scrap advantage.
- Reduce the scrap reward from ships defeated by killing the crew so that it is the same as the scrap for destroying the entire ship.
Finally, I think it's pretty cheesy that crystal boarding parties can teleport in and lock-down a room before the enemy can get properly set up. ... so one last change:
- Crystal men's 'lock down' ability changed to start as uncharged after each jump rather than charged.