sM Polish Kit: Insurrection v1.6 [CE Support + Modules]

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Vhati
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Vhati » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:09 pm

Nicely done.

Nitpick: The other mod consistently calls itself "FTL Captains Edition" or "Captains Edition".
No apostrophe.
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Estel
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Estel » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:24 pm

First of all, thanks you very much for your work on it. I really like most of the changes, although, some of them, seems counter-productive (very much!). to avoid re-writing the same things again, here is my post about polish kit from CE's thread:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15663&p=55262#p55262

Cheers,
/Estel
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slowriderxcorps
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby slowriderxcorps » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:39 pm

Estel wrote:First of all, thanks you very much for your work on it. I really like most of the changes, although, some of them, seems counter-productive (very much!). to avoid re-writing the same things again, here is my post about polish kit from CE's thread:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15663&p=55262#p55262

Cheers,
/Estel


Alright, time to throw words around!

The comment on player-exclusive variants doesn't really make any sense considering that the base game has the player-exclusive Artemis Missiles that use less power than enemy ones but charges fractionally slower. Not to mention the fact that the changes to the Defense II were to make it actually worth considering as an option instead of an auto-sell due to its conflicted targeting AI, and the fact that the Hermes Missile in the base game is completely worthless, especially when the Breach Bomb Mark II does the same exact job as it, but with a guaranteed breach, complete ignoring or all defense drones, and, most importantly, for less power.

The augment price changes that are made are there alongside the other changes to them to try and make them more attractive to actually keep hold of instead of just treating it like a free scrap cache, though such changes are far more prominent in Twinge's Balance Mod.

Stealth Cruiser.. I'm still on the fence as to whether I want to keep hold of that. It makes almost no difference to StealthB because the Glaive Beam takes up half your weapon power anyway, but the StealthA is primarily a ship destroyer, and having only three weapon slots and two of them being taken up with weak weapons does make it particularly less attractive in such a role than every other 4-slot ship. I might undo this if others say it's too much.

Auto-Scout shields. This is something done as my own way of attempting to balance them out since the shieldless ones are essentially cannon fodder. Twinge's way to balance them out, on the other hand, is to give them Titanium System Casing.. with the rate that that augment blocks system damage on the Stealth Cruisers now, and the fact that most of the time those ships will be trying to run away, I'm of the opinion that giving them that augment is tantamount to BS, so I went for shields. It makes little difference either way, from my experience.

Doors on the Assault ships. It's minor either way you look at it, and when facing them under standard boarding rules you'll be beaming over with higher level Teles to weaken it down to 1 hull regardless. The doors are there because of the 1 in 5 chance of the finishing blow to such a ship failing to land because it lands in the drone room when the ship has no drones. There's no way you can predict that can happen.

Layer 5 shields are bull no matter what way you look at them. I know that the side-effect of them having those shield levels is that they also have an increased chance of having better shields earlier on as well, but to be perfectly honest, the way such shields are distributed by default is wonky enough. Engis get them, Matntis get them, Slugs not only get them but they also get Cloaking and/or more Engine power, making them a luckshoot, Zoltans don't get them but instead get overshields, Auto-Assaults get them as well as a manned bonus on all systems by default, also making them a luckshoot at times. Rocks? They only get Rock Plating which does literally nothing for them save make their crippled ship last a shot or two longer. Rebels don't get them either. Hell, the Elites don't get them, and of all the enemies you would expect the devs to make too intimidating to engage, you'd think they'd give them to those guys. It might get looked into later on, but Layer 5 shields will not be reimplemented.

The Sector 1 ship changes came about with the sole intent of removing Zoltan Bombers from Sector 1. The Auto-Assault removal was first created in Twinge's Balance Mod as a means of buffing the StealthB. But ultimately, whichevr way you cut it, a ship with a Zoltan Energy Shield and the 50/50 shot at spawning with attack drones (I wish I knew the exact odds of it happening) is broken. As the StealthB, if you are forced into a fight with such a ship, 19 out of 20 times that's an automatic Game Over. I don't particularly agree with that, if you didn't already guess. The removal of the other ships, on the other hand, is to try and reel back in the chances of Zoltan shields in general happening, since Zoltan Bombers were eventually removed from Sector 1 in Twinge's Balance Mod as well, except by doing that, you practically halve the chances of such shields appearing. This does perhaps buff the player ships that have a hard time with such shields (StealthB, Mantis, SlugB, RockA, CrystalB), but I decided upon trying to retain as much of the original odds as possible.

I now need to catch my breath after that. Go me.
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Estel
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Estel » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:48 am

slowriderxcorps wrote:The comment on player-exclusive variants doesn't really make any sense considering that the base game has the player-exclusive Artemis Missiles that use less power than enemy ones but charges fractionally slower. Not to mention the fact that the changes to the Defense II were to make it actually worth considering as an option instead of an auto-sell due to its conflicted targeting AI, and the fact that the Hermes Missile in the base game is completely worthless, especially when the Breach Bomb Mark II does the same exact job as it, but with a guaranteed breach, complete ignoring or all defense drones, and, most importantly, for less power.


OK, I agree that I had no idea about exclusive player variants being already in game. Still, I don't think it's good idea, and "fix" would be rather deciding on *one* variant, and giving them to both player and AI. I think that "fixing" bad idea of developers by adding even more player-only weapons is heading into wrong way. Of course, it's just my personal opinion, and frankly, this point isn't the most "crucial" IMO.

slowriderxcorps wrote:The augment price changes that are made are there alongside the other changes to them to try and make them more attractive to actually keep hold of instead of just treating it like a free scrap cache, though such changes are far more prominent in Twinge's Balance Mod.


OK, that makes sense. I'm just a little afraid, that it nerfes ship carrying those poor augments even more (changes to augments are not radical, they're still as useless as they were). Also, I'm not sure if such "unique" (even if useless for power-gaming) things should have so low cost - it seems unrealistic, even for the FTL lore.

slowriderxcorps wrote:Stealth Cruiser.. I'm still on the fence as to whether I want to keep hold of that. It makes almost no difference to StealthB because the Glaive Beam takes up half your weapon power anyway, but the StealthA is primarily a ship destroyer, and having only three weapon slots and two of them being taken up with weak weapons does make it particularly less attractive in such a role than every other 4-slot ship. I might undo this if others say it's too much.


Here we must agree to disagree - I see it as OP'ing both stealth cruisers to no end. They got just too powerful initial layout, to make lack of shield enough compensation. Also, having special layout but 3/3 weapons/drones slot, required different tactical approach for playing them. IO thing it's all that different ships are about, having to play them different way :)

slowriderxcorps wrote:Auto-Scout shields. This is something done as my own way of attempting to balance them out since the shieldless ones are essentially cannon fodder. Twinge's way to balance them out, on the other hand, is to give them Titanium System Casing.. with the rate that that augment blocks system damage on the Stealth Cruisers now, and the fact that most of the time those ships will be trying to run away, I'm of the opinion that giving them that augment is tantamount to BS, so I went for shields. It makes little difference either way, from my experience.


Agreed that it doesn't change much - but, it decreases diversity. So, sounds like net loss :lol:

slowriderxcorps wrote:Doors on the Assault ships. It's minor either way you look at it, and when facing them under standard boarding rules you'll be beaming over with higher level Teles to weaken it down to 1 hull regardless. The doors are there because of the 1 in 5 chance of the finishing blow to such a ship failing to land because it lands in the drone room when the ship has no drones. There's no way you can predict that can happen.


Frankly, I have no idea what you're talking about starting from sentence 2. If what you mean is using boarding drone to finish them off, then I think you actually mean system-less room - well, pity, player need to use other tactic to finish them off ;)

Still, it looks rather like argument for more power-gaming, than actual fix. Lack of doors on some ships is their perk, not bug - again, it makes them *different* than other kind of starships, requiring to use different tactics.

BTW, boarding (which I like and use a lot, if not most often) is over-powered already, for most intents and purposes. If boarding fans - like me - encounter ship more resistant to assaults once in a great boom, then even better.

slowriderxcorps wrote:Layer 5 shields are bull no matter what way you look at them. I know that the side-effect of them having those shield levels is that they also have an increased chance of having better shields earlier on as well, but to be perfectly honest, the way such shields are distributed by default is wonky enough. Engis get them, Matntis get them, Slugs not only get them but they also get Cloaking and/or more Engine power, making them a luckshoot, Zoltans don't get them but instead get overshields, Auto-Assaults get them as well as a manned bonus on all systems by default, also making them a luckshoot at times. Rocks? They only get Rock Plating which does literally nothing for them save make their crippled ship last a shot or two longer. Rebels don't get them either. Hell, the Elites don't get them, and of all the enemies you would expect the devs to make too intimidating to engage, you'd think they'd give them to those guys. It might get looked into later on, but Layer 5 shields will not be reimplemented.


It's your mod, I just hope that this change won't be carried over to CE mainstream ;) Frankly, I don't care if it's unfair to rock AI - 5 shields were encountered in late sectors only, and removing them makes it artificially easier. I agree with some points about too easy types of enemies, but it's argument for buffing them, not nerfing everyone else. If I want easy mode, I have button for that in menu.

slowriderxcorps wrote:The Sector 1 ship changes came about with the sole intent of removing Zoltan Bombers from Sector 1. The Auto-Assault removal was first created in Twinge's Balance Mod as a means of buffing the StealthB. But ultimately, whichevr way you cut it, a ship with a Zoltan Energy Shield and the 50/50 shot at spawning with attack drones (I wish I knew the exact odds of it happening) is broken. As the StealthB, if you are forced into a fight with such a ship, 19 out of 20 times that's an automatic Game Over. I don't particularly agree with that, if you didn't already guess. The removal of the other ships, on the other hand, is to try and reel back in the chances of Zoltan shields in general happening, since Zoltan Bombers were eventually removed from Sector 1 in Twinge's Balance Mod as well, except by doing that, you practically halve the chances of such shields appearing. This does perhaps buff the player ships that have a hard time with such shields (StealthB, Mantis, SlugB, RockA, CrystalB), but I decided upon trying to retain as much of the original odds as possible.


It looks rather like personal rant against zoltan's bomber, than real balancing ;) Frankly, I see possibility of running into stronger enemy in sector 1 as part of FTL (mantis boarder vs zoltan-shield equipped ship, anyone?), but, even putting that aside - what you described is *enormous* huge price, just to remove one ship. Deleting half of things you can encounter, just because you don't like poor'old'bomber doesn't sounds justified.

Not to mention, that comment about "retaining original odds" sounds funny, when we're talking about removing ~50% of ships from first sector ;) Of course I got what you mean, but still, it doesn't sound plausible.
---

I just hope that you perceive all of it as constructive criticism :) I really like other changes you've made, and I'm glad that you noticed CE's potential, ensuring that your work works fluently with it.

/Estel
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slowriderxcorps
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby slowriderxcorps » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:22 am

Well that took longer to find than it honestly should have, but here's the reason why I cemented my decision against Layer 5 shields.

I'm not in the mindset to really argue with this one, encountering three layers of Shields in Sector 2 is just disgusting.
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Kieve » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:44 am

slowriderxcorps wrote:Well that took longer to find than it honestly should have, but here's the reason why I cemented my decision against Layer 5 shields.

I'm not in the mindset to really argue with this one, encountering three layers of Shields in Sector 2 is just disgusting.


Your mod, your rules, and I won't argue the point either way.
I will however, remind you that sometimes in FTL it's better to know when to run than to fight, and I see nothing wrong with having an enemy ship very occasionally remind the player of this fact.
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slowriderxcorps
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby slowriderxcorps » Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:23 pm

Kieve wrote:I will however, remind you that sometimes in FTL it's better to know when to run than to fight, and I see nothing wrong with having an enemy ship very occasionally remind the player of this fact.


Yeah, I have learned this after a morning walk to clear my mind after somehow getting irritated over a comment that I felt was an insult to the purpose of the entire mod. I've taken in the criticism so far and am about to trial a few changes that aim to address the comments made.

* I've undone giving the Stealth Cruiser four weapon slots after recalling the runs I made in The Nesasio and how much of a difference it made to the quality of the journey.
* In response to the comment about promoting boarding, the Slug Interceptor had its minimum crew tally increased to 3, and all enemy ships which could equip a Door system will have the minimum level of it raised to 2. Ultimately though, there is no real way to properly nerf boarding in the game without going to the level of giving every ship a medbay, and when you do that, you make the Man Of War close to unusable. (Random fact: the Slug Interceptor has a maximum crew amount of 3, even though in my entire time in FTL I've never ever seen that happen).
* Also in thinking about the whole issue with the strange selection of ships that could equip Lv10 Shields in the base game, I've done some alterations to the shield levels on the heavy ships to try and enforce some of the early levelling that those ships had in the original game without resorting to giving them five shield layers. I've settled on giving them Lv9 Shields max. The alternative is to give them Lv3 Shields minimum, however I have the suspicion that doing that will cause such ships to appear with two layers of shields in Sector 1, which is a terrible idea. I'm not sure as to how much Lv9 Shields will affect the progression, but hopefully the end result will be good. Such Shields were issued to the heavy class ships of every faction in the game, this includes the Engi Bomber, Slug LightCruiser/Assault, Mantis Bomber, Zoltan Bomber, Federation Bomber, Rock Assault, Crystal Bomber and the Rebel Elite Fighters.
* As a final change, I ensured that all of the heavy ships had similar damage outputs by going over and affecting their Weapons levels accordingly. As a result, the Rock Assault and Federation Bomber now have Lv10 Weapons maximum. The Auto-Assault and Zoltan Bombers were unchanged on account of these ships also coming equipped with Drone Bays.

These aren't in effect on the version available for download as of yet. I'm going to trial the changes and see what others think of them before applying them, increasing the version number to 0.91.
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Estel
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Estel » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:32 pm

I'm glad you found comments as constructive, at the end - after all, we're grown-ups here, and believe, me, I would spare myself writing such wall of texts as last two posts, if I wouldn't care for your work nor appreciate it :)

Now, as for changes - I think they're heading into good direction.

I'm just a little concerned about those "all ships with doors will have them lvl2 minimum" - again, it seems to decrease diversity. Maybe it's personal niche, but I would like to see all kinds of combinations of ships - ones with really huge amount of crew members but weak doors, one with strong doors and low crew members, one with both strong, and one with all insanely strong :lol: It somehow seems "artificial" to impose such limits, like, I'm going to stop seeing lvl1 doors through entire game.

Also, frankly, i don't mind 3-shielded enemy in sector 2, frankly, for mentioned reasons about running (fun fact - I don't recall running from them too often, either - won by boarding, or got smashed many times, though :P )

Last but not least, -while I appreciate giving all late ships similar weapon power - be careful with happily mass-altering things (like that door thing or medbay idea). I'm perfectly sure that balancing-aimed changes should be tweaked by *really* small steps, or you risk jumping into re-balancing vortex, where, at the end, you need to re-write game rules from scratch. Radical changes to one thing seems to greatly affect another, which you need to radically change too, later, and so goes on, infinite loop. Many re-balancing projects in many games ultimately failed, due to that.

/Estel
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby slowriderxcorps » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:59 pm

Estel wrote:I'm glad you found comments as constructive, at the end - after all, we're grown-ups here, and believe, me, I would spare myself writing such wall of texts as last two posts, if I wouldn't care for your work nor appreciate it :)

Now, as for changes - I think they're heading into good direction.

I'm just a little concerned about those "all ships with doors will have them lvl2 minimum" - again, it seems to decrease diversity. Maybe it's personal niche, but I would like to see all kinds of combinations of ships - ones with really huge amount of crew members but weak doors, one with strong doors and low crew members, one with both strong, and one with all insanely strong :lol: It somehow seems "artificial" to impose such limits, like, I'm going to stop seeing lvl1 doors through entire game.

Also, frankly, i don't mind 3-shielded enemy in sector 2, frankly, for mentioned reasons about running (fun fact - I don't recall running from them too often, either - won by boarding, or got smashed many times, though :P )

Last but not least, -while I appreciate giving all late ships similar weapon power - be careful with happily mass-altering things (like that door thing or medbay idea). I'm perfectly sure that balancing-aimed changes should be tweaked by *really* small steps, or you risk jumping into re-balancing vortex, where, at the end, you need to re-write game rules from scratch. Radical changes to one thing seems to greatly affect another, which you need to radically change too, later, and so goes on, infinite loop. Many re-balancing projects in many games ultimately failed, due to that.

/Estel


To be honest, I kind of took the criticism pretty hard on myself, if only because of one comment I saw stating it was making the game 'easier than easy'. I didn't make this thing to do that.

So far, I've tested two different ways of altering the Shields (and am in the middle of a third). Increasing the max to Lv9 didn't seem to have any noticeable effect. Increasing the minimum to Lv3 seemed to work better, though the effects were only apparent in the later sectors, though that could be just me. Doing both at the same time, I'm not sure (since the key sector of 2 turned out to be Engi and as a result had almost no ships to test it out on :< ).
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Re: [MOD]The sM Polish Kit v0.9 (ft. Comp. Patch for CE 1.05

Postby Estel » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:16 pm

I wonder, aren't you, a little, overestimating impact of high-grade shields? Rockets ignore them, bombs ignore them, boarders ignore them (unless there is a zoltan shield, but it can be blasted by anything, pretty easy). Didn't wanted to sound too old-timer, but frankly, I wouldn't mean 4 or 5 shielded space stations/big ships in sector 2, as long as it's not paired with high-tech defense drones (i.e. ones that can shot more than one missile in row) and army of anti-personel droids, all at the same time :lol:. (although, droids can get literally banged by one ion bomb @ droid subsystem)

Especially in CE, player get really nice amount of shield-ignoring things. Tactical possibilities are "endless".

I'm not talking that your attempts are pointless - maybe there is something to balance out. But, frankly, I haven't seen too many complaints about too much shields, especially, by old timers (and, let's face it, not first-timers play vanilla first, audience of mods are old-timers, mostly).

I mean, leaving this sole aspect as it is in vanilla shouldn't hurt anyone too much, while you would have time to pursuit more "greener pastures" of FTL balancing. I'm not sure, but this shield thing may be dead-end.

/Estel

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