Finally my moaning about weapons payed off But seriously now, any system that you guys come up with will be an improvement over current CU weapon progression, where unfortunately, beams are just... well... broken. If there's more people working on it, there is bigger chance of getting it right.
My concept was to stay as true with vanilla as possible, meaning that:
- missiles shining on large/huge hulls, otherwise slightly lagging behind beams/drivers, with medium hulls being just about even.
- beams being stronger then MD with extra price to compensate.
- mass drivers being weaker but cheapest, as "quantity has a quality all of its own".
Not as interesting as what was proposed later by leiavoia, but gets the job done. Numbers that I have provided must have been way of in favor of mass drivers anyway, from what I can tell looking at the simulations done by Silas (great job btw, I would love to see how you do them ). Small adjustments in price alone would suffice I guess, but there could be some inconsistencies here and there. Ideally after beam vs mass driver or missile (medium/large hulls) vs mass driver war there should be 15-20% of original mass driver ships left - like Maiden posted, stronger but less numerous ships get other benefits, from small things like experience to larger benefit gains from military resources/ability picks/racial bonuses, ships hp regenerating after battles etc. With numerous ships it is harder to concentrate them in one spot to be able to take out beam/missile ships, so that's why around 15-20% seems like a good choice. Note that % means remaining MD ships of original number participating in direct exchange, if we throw all the ships against each other at the same time.
Sadly I hadn't had much time to work on my PC this week. Considering defenses, well, I made some small tweaks and changes here and there, but seeing that weapon values were not great in the first place, I don't think it is worth to post them, it will be same as changing from vanilla or CU, and it is far from completion anyway. Weapons have to be done first, to start any changes to defenses imo.
That said, just like Mabus, I don't have much free time lately and it will not change until the end of next week. Since new .exe release I played only 3 games myself Not enough time to finish weapon/defense system or even test AI research after Mabus lowered AI values, but I trust research is good/great/godly as not one post in few pages was about any oddities in this regard.
If you still want to continue with my concept, you have my full blessing. Change whatever you like, rip the values apart and glue them back together/better Few thoughts I had considering defenses (if it helps):
Armor has to be hardest to obtain, otherwise MD with its low attack values will suck so badly, it won't be worth picking. Big sizes or huge research cost will both work. Bc cost is irrelevant, but should stay in low-mid values.
Point Defense can be done in two ways, however you think missiles should end up. You can either set their size mod low to scale better on large/huge to counterbalance high damage of missiles on those hulls, or go opposite way so they are easier to counter on smaller hulls, but harder on bigger hulls, which will play better with missiles advantage. Problem with second option is that AI don't really like hull techs, so any AI that picks missiles without researching hulls will be at disadvantage for long time.
Shields should cost more then PD and armor per point of defense, should also be best at protection with highest possible defense achieved on ships. If beams are still too weak in their current form (after increasing cost of MDs by 10%, which I think was a good choice by Maiden), amount of protection from shields could be even or lower then PD/armor. Whatever works best.
Most controversial changes I made to weapons where for sure Evil weapons being different weapons then CU +1 tier clone with increased price, and Photonic/Harpoon price drop within their tier.
- With Evil weapons, I done those changes because I don't know how AI designs its ships. Will AI pick Photon Torpedoes I, or will it still produce inferior ships with Psionic Missile? Both weapon modules have same damage, size, size mod, and only the cost is different. If AI drops Psionics after tier 4 level 1 is unlocked, then just like in CU, Evil weapons can be just cloned over with increased price. For sure it will be easier to balance them out. I think Maiden is the person who knows the answer to this question You sir seem to have a lot of knowledge when it comes to game mechanics and the AI.
- Photonic Torpedo I and Harpoon I had to have their sizes lowered (from 14 to 12), to evade the issue of ships with those modules being weaker on small hulls then their preceding tech. Level 3 had to stay same (size 10), to not make them too strong for their tier. Because of the lower gain per new tech, my first though was to decrease the cost of modules in the tiers, so next levels don't feel like a filler. But if this causes too many problems when upgrading those ships, then maybe level 2 should be cut out altogether. Harpoon and Photonic with only 2 levels, but at least the jump in saved space/power is more noticeable and cost per module can stay static within the tier.
Now the rest I have to say the idea of eras for each weapon is also great. It will encourage weapon trading, help with any stalemates (which I haven't noticed in my games tbh, but again I rarely look at AI vs AI war outcomes), and for sure will create some great opportunities for the players who take their time instead of picking weapons randomly. Majority on the board agrees that this is an interesting concept, and I'm on the same ship with you :> I would love to see how this plays out.
This is better system then each weapon having only one peak. With only one peak, there are better and worse selections depending on galaxy size/tech speed. Just like Maiden plays on smaller galaxies and only goes as high as 3rd tier, I play almost exclusively on large and go to war for the first time when I reach tier 3/4 (I turtle a lot lol). With two peaks, the depth of the game will increase, and it will be harder to go and say starting from turn 1 "I'm going drivers". Double cycle is the way to go.
It will be very hard to implement and get right, but I do believe it is the weapon system that should go into official CU. It is more interesting then mine and rewards strategic play more, which should be key to a strategy game. When I go back to my usual work schedule, I will finish my system and post it as a standalone mod to the CU. Just for those who like it more oldschool.
I might pop in now and again and write a short post, but for the most part, I won't be around until next weekend ^^ So I wish you good luck, and thank you all for taking your time to rework the weapons/defenses. And don't forget, balance brought by several imbalances is still balance! :>