Auto turrets > Fixed guns (aka broken PVE combat)

József Szabó shared this feedback 15 months ago
Submitted

This report focuses on PVE, so keep that in mind. I honestly think it would be benefital in PVP too.


[The Problem]

When I want to take down a cargo ship, it usually costs more than what I gain. Cargo ships either annihilate fighters in 1 rocket shot, or immobilize medium size destroyers, making them an even easier target. This is all due to the auto turrets.

Currently, auto turrets (both gatling and missile) are the way to go, since they pretty much destroy the target with no effort. They aim almost perfectly, and hit their targets 85% of the time.

This makes PVE combat nothing, but a "who has more auto-guns" grind, where the more is obviously better.

The campaign showed us, that you can create drones that use fixed guns, yet every single drone that comes to the aid of a Cargo Ship are large grid gun-boats with auto-turrets on them.


[The Solution]

There are 2 ways of fixing this.


A: Remove auto-turrets from every Cargo Ship, except for the military ones, and make every single drone to be small grids with fixed guns (planetary ones as well). This would make PVE combat a lot more interesting and cinematic.


B: Weaken certain stats of auto-turrets, such as fire-rate, accuracy and range. This is much needed as it is not balanced well. We have no reason to use fixed guns, other than looks.


I came to this conclusion after 1.100 hours of survival gameplay, using all kinds of ships (small/large, light/heavy etc.).

Please consider balancing this either with my solutions or with your own, to make PVE a rewarding and exciting experience rather than frustrating.

Comments (3)

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Bump

Another possible fix would be to create an additional turret type in SE, a very cheap "rock turret" or something, which could have much smaller accuracy values, then replace all of the NPC turrets with that.

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Have you tried using decoy blocks?

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Decoy Blocks on small ships are nearly worthless. They will absorb 1 -2 bullets when hit, and because of the strength of smallship blocks, and the nature of fixed weapons, the only viable places to put them are directly behind the cockpit, which will mean the largest amount of material to go through, or as far off to the sides as possible, which will mean very little material to go through.

If set directly behind the cockpit, they might be very useful on a broadside, but since smallships typically do not use broadside tactics, this just means the turrets shoot through the cockpit to target the decoy block.

If set far to the sides, they contribute much more to the weight, and still probably have very little capability for damage absorption, thereby prolonging your defeat by... around three seconds.

This is against gatlings, of course. Missiles pretty much don't care because they will knock your ship around if they can hit you, and the blast radius of damage is so large that it doesn't really matter how far off you put your decoys.

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In other words, you just strapped them onto an existing design and called it a day. Of COURSE they're not going to work if you do that.

Have you tried using merge blocks with them to release a cloud of decoys on approach? Or what about armored pods with multiple decoys inside? Oh wait, it's obvious you didn't try those, because you're complaining about the few extra kilos added by just the decoys themselves - despite the fact that you can compensate by adding more thrusters and gyros.

The game literally has "Engineer" in the name, and I'm pretty sure that's NOT referring to the railroading term. If you have a problem, you engineer a solution to that problem.

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No. I spoke about different design tactics. I've done many many smallships with decoys. And Yes, I have tried clouds of merged decoys. It's very difficult to do with Vanilla, as smallship merge blocks are 3x3x1 blocks, but I've done it with rotors etc. That is incredibly effective, but only for a very short period of time, and uses a huge number of resources.

I've tried Armoured pods with decoys as well, and, as I pointed out in my last comment, that doesn't work because of the robustitude of smallship armour blocks. You can compensate by putting more and more heavy armour blocks surrounding, but then you reach the weight issue.

And yes, you can compensate by adding thrusters and gyros. But, again, that's not the point. If I can design around the turrets by making a smallship that is huge, heavy, and incredibly expensive, that's still not the point. The biggest toughest smallship fighter will still get shredded by large ship turrets, even if half of it survives and we call that a "win". And it will be so expensive that it is simply not viable to make early game, which is when you need to take down cargo ships with fighters in the first place. And that's the point we're trying to make.

P.S. Aggressive language doesn't really suit a recommendation forum like this, and it undermines your point. You have a valid question, and I'd appreciate it if you accepted our responses as valid points as well.

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I understand what you're saying, but I fail to see how an extra gyro and a couple extra small thrusters equates to "a huge, heavy, expensive ship" unless you consider anything more than the functional equivalent of a TIE Fighter from Star Wars to be huge, heavy and expensive. If you're so early in the game that making anything more than a light snub fighter is too much of a resource drain then your resources would be better spent on building a basic mining ship and getting a large refinery going.

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If it were an extra gyro and a couple of extra small thrusters then no, it wouldn't equate to a huge heavy ship. The issue is that it will take much more than that in order to create a ship whose decoys are survivable in vanilla game, and even with the addition of the resources to make decoys somewhat survivable on a small ship, the expense of taking down one large ship turret is really quite large, let alone two or three.1 small ship light armour block contains 1 steel plate. This equates to 100 hp. 1 gatling bullet does 60 damage. This means a large ship/station Gatling turret (which has a fire rate of 5 rounds per second) can destroy a ~2 blocks per second. Heavy armour blocks are closer to 0.75 per second, or 1 per 1.25 or so (assuming I didn't screw my math somewhere) If you are attacking 1 gatling gun, with a well designed decoy ship that is still light enough to be manoeuvrable, then you will almost certainly win. It should take you around a second to 1.5 seconds of sustained fire on the turret to destroy it (with 2 ish Gatlings), so you'll only lose 3 or so armour blocks, assuming perfect accuracy. So... call it 4 or 5 armour blocks. (Yes I know you can have more Gatlings, but I am assuming 2 gatlings of fire hit well)

That's just math.

And more importantly, this means that best case scenario, facing a ship, assuming 0.5 seconds of turn time from turret to turret, assuming 80% or so accuracy on your part, and assuming 3 turrets on your side of the ship:Two turrets will probably target different decoys, as they will judge based on proximity. If you turn your nose too far, a turret could very well shoot your cockpit while aiming at a decoy, so you need to be careful. 1 second of sustained fire destroys a target, and also destroys 15 armour blocks on you. To be fair, this probably only puts one decoy out of commission. However, you now have 20-80 chance (and probably higher) that a turret is targeting a decoy on the opposite side of your ship, and begins shooting through your cockpit/inner hull to get to it. Assuming this doesn't happen, 1.5 seconds later you have destroyed another turret, and lost another ~10 blocks. The last turret only manages around 6 or so blocks before you get it done.

So, in 5 or so seconds, you have lost around 30 armour blocks, facing 3 gatling turrets. That's not saying only light by the way. That's saying heavy with some light as well. This is really the best case scenario with a smallship/turret fight, and your ship may even fly away from that engagement. The only problem is, that if it's a cargo ship, it has at least one or two more turrets. And that's the issue. 30 armour blocks is a lot. It's enough to drill thoroughly into a ship, and probably to take out all of your decoys, unless, as I mentioned before, your ship is huge, and all heavy armour, thereby making it massively heavy. This is a difficult option for atmospheric or even transition ships, and is a dangerous option even for space only vessels.

I actually think that there are other options than OP listed to fix this auto turret issue, but his options are valid too. I've proposed recently adding a short wind-up period to auto-gatlings, which might help remedy the situation, as well as cutting range on fixed-gatlings and adding a long-range fixed gun to the game, that we could use with one or two very heavy, very expensive shots, to disable key points on a large ship. Something, however, really does need to be done in my opinion, and although decoys are a valid point, and can be a very important facet of small ship design, I don't think they invalidate the underlying issue.

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I don't mean to come off as aggressive by saying this, but it really sounds like you're trying to turn this game into little more than an equation, focusing strictly on numbers. This is a MASSIVE pitfall that many people tend to fall into in MANY games. Not everything is EVE Online.

Right off the bat I can think of one way to completely disrupt your equation massively in the player's favor - use a rocket launcher, match relative speed with target, hold position just outside turret aiming range, and kite the turrets (which, by the way, default to a lower aiming range than their maximum actual firing range last I checked. Never understood why). Massive reduction in DPS, but a huge increase in burst damage, an increase in accuracy (gatlings spread, rockets don't) and far less exposure to enemy fire (if there's even any exposure at all). Combine with decoys and chances are you won't even have to worry about taking any critical damage even if you do get into enemy turret range.

Remember, when going after cargo ships you're not fighting another player. You're just shooting at a target moving in a straight line.

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I quickly looked at statistics not to make the game into an equation, but to demonstrate why my I think my points have merits. I am saying a ship with or without decoys will be wrecked, you are saying it won't, so instead of me just saying "yebutitwill" I looked up and gave numbers based on specific numbers contained in the game engine.

(Also my numbers are massively low, I accidentally used small ship gatling turrets (damage of 60) instead of large ship ones (damage of 150), and the RPM is 600 instead of 300)

Yes, rocket launchers, and gatlings can be used at long range, combined with a camera, and "Spray and Pray"ed in order to destroy larger ships. This is still not the point. Yes, this is an option. But that's the real "equation" pitfall. It's the most efficient option, and it's not the most fun option (this is a game theory issue it's been empirically proven). If you play the game in a way that most people find fun, i.e. going in with your ship to close range etc., right now the results will be very similar to my numbers. The only option right now that will result in your small ship tastefully intact and the enemy ship less so is for you to stay out of turret range, and spew gatling or missile fire at them.

If you want a big list of issues that the system right now has, I made a post about changing turret targeting to be based on power usage, which should be reasonably easy to find, and that's got more possible fixes/options, but I still believe that OP's point is valid. Cargo ships have around as many turrets right now as a warship, and that's just not conducive to the ability to defeat them with small ships in a manner that isn't... well... fairly boring for most people.

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Once you start arguing about fun, the discussion changes from an objective analysis of the issue to a subjective argument about what is and isn't fun, and risks further devolving into a flamewar over "wrongbadfun". Sure, a lot of people may like just charging in like Leroy Jenkins. But maybe a lot of other people like the tactical challenge, knowing that if they make a mistake they could end up getting completely chewed to pieces.

And it's not as if the game outright doesn't allow you to go in guns blazing. It's just that if you want to do that you're gonna need a bigger boat. If you don't already have that bigger boat then you'll need to work your way up to the point where you do. And if you absolutely must be a romanticized space pirate flying in and taking your quarry by brute force without the necessary ship, you might have to start with some smaller, less defended prey at first, like pirate raiding stations or maybe even NPC trading posts.

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What are you arguing for?

We started this conversation about decoys. You said they would fix the turret problem, I said they wouldn't. That's what the conversation has been about so far right?

I could argue that a tactical challenge where you can make mistakes is one thing, and keeping out of range and blowing rounds is not a tactical challenge, but that's still not the point. This thread is about the problems with cargo ships and turrets versus small ships, when the small ships are under fire. Not about the problems when the ships are hiding away.That's why I assumed you brought up decoys, as a solution to the ship being under fire. That's why I put out my points about decoys as well. If we're just going to change this to "but you could just not go near the ship instead", then I'm done here, because that's not a conversation that's even slightly related to the actual point of this discussion post.

TL:DR, If you have a point about how I may be mistaken in my opinions and statistics, then I would love to hear something backed up by some form of evidence, but as of yet I haven't heard it, and this conversation has veered into an unrelated subject, so until there's something related to the point of the actual original post(s) then I feel no need to reply again.

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My overall point is that there are ways to get around this issue that don't involve demanding a change in game balance. The decoys were just a starting point.

And for the record, decoys would still be useful in the above mentioned strategy in the chance that you do get too close, as it would cause the turrets to focus on an unessential system rather than, say, your cockpit.

As for the relevancy, I don't know about you but I believe that ANY solution to the issue should be considered relevant to this discussion, even ones that don't involve Keen changing game balance.

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Okay, last one.

Any solution to the issue that has been posted, yes. The issue that has been posted is that if you get anywhere near a turret (on cargo ships) you get nuked. Staying away is not a solution to that issue. The suggestion of decoys was completely reasonable, and was discussed.

Personally, I think the game does need a full rebalance. You can look at all my suggestion posts to see that. But this suggestion post is not talking about rebalancing the game. It's talking about rebalancing low tier cargo ships, when you are in range.

But you can't go to a suggestion about why small ships need more durability or manoeuvrability because if they even accidentally cross into turret range then they can be gravely and expensively damaged, and say "well just don't go into turret range then". It's not relevant.

(Also, I think most players would agree that staying at the absolute limit of gatling/rocket fire and just spraying is a cheesing tactic, and even ignoring that, doing that to a cargo ship is a great way to lose all of the resources contained within)

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Turrets are almost always better than fixed guns, but that isn't the main problem here. Fighters simply don't gain enough from being light and nimble to counterbalance their low durability. It's the targeting that needs work, not the raw stats.

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Absolutely. And accuracy is the most obvious stat to edit.I would argue adding a wind-up might be incredibly helpful as well, and there's separate suggestions for that as well.

I ended up making a post about an option I think is very good for targeting changes, saying that turrets should target based on ship power usage (if you look up power output targeting or something there's much more information). Do you have any ideas other than those proposed?

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A short wind-up might help a little, but it encourages tactics like dipping in and out of max range with RLs. Which isn't the best for PvP.

I was thinking something more along the lines of tracking delay. IIRC, turrets use current velocity to lead targets. If they take time to adjust after velocity changes, well-piloted small ships would be able to largely avoid enemy fire.

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That's totally fair.

The big issue with wind up is to make sure to add a wind down phase as well (after the turrets see something, they are "alerted" and ready to fire for x amount of time), so that you couldn't just go in and out constantly, you'd have to be more careful to a point. (what is RLs?)

Some short update delay would be a really good solution, and fairly simple to put in i'd assume. I've been trying vaguely to manage a script that would jog your ship in all directions for a minute amount of time (basically to fool turrets) but it's been fairly inefficient so far, hence my slight concern of that option.

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Also a wind up phase will still fire the guns, just much slower, so no escaping completely unscathed, just no instant obliteration

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