Arc Emitters and Repeatable Hull Point research.

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Lucius Confucius

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This has probably been said a thousand and one times, so I will say it again.

To balance Arc Emitters they should add hull point repeatables for late game research. I tried searching for mods, but found none up to date. So having it in the base game would do wonders.

Also a question, does the arc emitter benefit from energy weapons research? If so, it becomes even more powerful late game, while hull always remain the same.

Thoughts?

P.S. This post may have been generated becase I lost a fight. My 170k vs enemy 160k. They used Arc Emitters, I did not. And no, my solution is not to start using them, I like my kinetic stuff. RP choices should be viable. :)

EDIT:
Since people keep bumping the thread, here is a topic on how to add repeatable hull point research for those of us who want that:
 
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Merch991

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For me, all L and XL weapons should be rebalanced in order to remove the Battleship-only/corvette-only Metas and make destroyer and cruiser viable in mid to endgame
 
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DeanTheDull

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Thoughts?

Arc Emitters are already balanced, and don't need a change.

Arc Emitters are a situational advantage. There are only very select circumstances where they are preferable to other weapons: either if you are well behind in tech that you'd lose a straight slug fest, or are so late in the game that armor/shield renewables are overwhelming to anything but arc emitters. In either case, they still serve as an underdog weapon more than an overmatch weapon.

Unlike other end-game weapons, emitters are not great ship-killers. The damage RNG range is so wide that they are far more prone to drive enemies into retreat vis-a-vis destroying them, which would be the inevitable result if you forced all empires to resort to repeatables in weapons to counter repeatables in defenses. A game build with repeatables in hulls is more dependent on Neutron Launcher spam as a dominant strategy than it is now, and is not more balanced as a result.
 
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DeanTheDull

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Well, in the end game there will be no reason to run with anything other than arc emitters, I don't call that balanced.

That's because you confused balance with symmetry at a specific point in time. Not only is that not the case, but your own solution would increase the asymmetry, just towards a different weapon system (neutron launchers, the best anti-hull/anti-armor weapon of the late game).

Weapon system balance consideration doesn't begin at the end-game, it begins at the start of the game and how the systems progress to them. If you start with disruptors in the early game and keep them the who game, you are not playing from a position of advantage, and are at best only mitigating the enemy's advantages. Even in the early/mid-late game, disruptors are not superior to pure bombardment and beating down shields/armor- a strategically competant empire will be increasing their anti-shield/anti-armor systems enough to keep up with the increase in defenses. Only when you get well into repeatables do disruptors start to eclipse other weapons systems.

But if you're trying to achieve dominance in the late end-game against other randomly-generated AI empires, you already messed up on a strategic level well, well before. The failure of your fleet isn't a consequence of imbalanced weapons, it's a consequence of a strategy that wasn't able to exert dominance during the entire rest of the game when disruptors were inferior.
 
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DeanTheDull

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We simply disagree then, and have different tastes as to how balance should be. None of us is right or wrong, just different.

Depends on what you're referring to. Claiming that adding hull damages would improve balance on a standard of all options being equally good would be objectively incorrect, since all weapon options would not be equally good as a result. Scaling hull points would effectively counter one particular weapon category (penetrators), while greatly benefiting another (anti-hull/armor weapons) that is already superior to a third (anti-shield).
 
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happyscrub

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Depends on what you're referring to. Claiming that adding hull damages would improve balance on a standard of all options being equally good would be objectively incorrect, since all weapon options would not be equally good as a result. Scaling hull points would effectively counter one particular weapon category (penetrators), while greatly benefiting another (anti-hull/armor weapons) that is already superior to a third (anti-shield).
Having more a tech that increase hull doesn't make another weapon benefit. It may make a weapon a preferred choice.
 

A2ch0n

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My solution would be to remove repeatables entirely. For me thats only a uninteresting endless spiral giving a % here and there. What i want to see are endgame specilizations in a certain field (a kind of new tech tree) that can be selected at a point where repeatables would start normally. Let there be five or ten of them and you have to choose one(!). There could be Military, diplomatic, resource and statecraft based ones. Each should feel powerfull on it's own and specialize your empire in a certain way you want. Each could have something like 10-15 special (and really expensive to discover) endgame techs and after that something your scientists can work on the rest of the game with a static bonus in each of the three science fields depending on your choice.

That would be fix the enless messaging of "new tech researched" after each repeatable, remove some imbalances on certain repeatables and allow other empires to catch up in fields you're not specialized in, making it maybe interesting one more time in the lategame. In addition it would feel similar to becoming slowly a fallen empire, stagnating at some point and give you the feeling that you're "done" with your empire development. And it would be another way to make your empire unique.

Sure some like endless spirals and some will say a military specialization in the endgame is the best you can do, but not all of us do think so. And it feels more acceptable if your fleet looses to a PSP (point singularity projector, actually not existing in the game ofc) instead of a (10x energy weapon dmg) boosted arc emmiter. At least for me that would be the case.
 
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Everstill

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My solution would be to remove repeatables entirely. For me thats only a uninteresting endless spiral giving a % here and there. What i want to see are endgame specilizations in a certain field (a kind of new tech tree) that can be selected at a point where repeatables would start normally. Let there be five or ten of them and you have to choose one(!). There could be Military, diplomatic, resource and statecraft based ones. Each should feel powerfull on it's own and specialize your empire in a certain way you want. Each could have something like 10-15 special (and really expensive to discover) endgame techs and after that something your scientists can work on the rest of the game with a static bonus in each of the three science fields depending on your choice.

That would be fix the enless messaging of "new tech researched" after each repeatable, remove some imbalances on certain repeatables and allow other empires to catch up in fields you're not specialized in, making it maybe interesting one more time in the lategame. In addition it would feel similar to becoming slowly a fallen empire, stagnating at some point and give you the feeling that you're "done" with your empire development. And it would be another way to make your empire unique.

Sure some like endless spirals and some will say a military specialization in the endgame is the best you can do, but not all of us do think so. And it feels more acceptable if your fleet looses to a PSP (point singularity projector, actually not existing in the game ofc) instead of a (10x energy weapon dmg) boosted arc emmiter. At least for me that would be the case.

I agree. Specially having multiple repeatables where you need to focus on the 'right' ones or simple activate the auto-research and get whatever, the repeatable system does not feels rewarding AND is really unbalanced.

Based on the choice of whatever system they put in place (like your example), repeatable should really be a single tech in each category that give a small bonus to a lot of stuff, there is no 'right' or 'wrong', because you ALREADY made your choice based on the specialization.
 
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Cordane

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Arc emitters suck, montu did a test proving they’re the worst XL weapon
There are at least a couple of issues with that test: the other weapons included don't synergize at all with the FAE, and the defenses chosen are slanted against penetrators/for anti-Hull (which TL/NL/GC/KA all are to some extent).

The standard Tier-0 kinetic weapon is the Mass Driver, which goes up to Gauss Cannon at Tier-4, and includes S-, M-, and L-slot variants - same deal on the energy side with Red Lasers going up to Gamma Lasers. They each have a favored defense (Shield for GC, Armor for GL) against which they do an additional 50% damage (i.e., takes 2/3rds as long to get through) and a dreaded defense (Armor for GC, Shield for GL) where they do 50% less damage (i.e., take twice as long).

When these tech trees reach Tier-3, they can also veer off into advanced weapons - Kinetic Launchers (KB, KA) or Particle Launchers (PL, NL) - at basically a Tier-3+ tech (12K tech points over the basic Tier-3 tech). Immediately, there is both the typical plus-Tier increase in base damage (30% over previous) and then a bunch of additional bonuses. Kinetic Launchers jump their vs.Shield damage to 200% (i.e., additional 25% faster than GC), bump up their vs.Hull damage to 125% (i.e., 20% faster than GC), add 20 points of Range, and have a longer Cooldown (i.e., do their damage in bigger chunks, possibly getting a target to 0 Hull without giving a Disengage chance). They do all that at the cost of a top-end Tier-3 tech, more Power needed to run them, and a 5% hit to Tracking. Particle Launchers are IMO far worse, with a straight 75% bump to vs.Hull damage (i.e., only takes them 53% as long to get through Hull), a FIFTY-point jump in Range, and well over a tripling of Cooldown (i.e., now massive chunks of damage), and again just one tech, some Power, and a blip of Tracking.

X-slot weapons get an even bigger advantage than the advanced L-slot weapons above, mostly to try to get Battleships back to 6x the damage output of a Destroyer (equal to the damage advantage of an L-slot over an S-slot). For a Mega Cannon, it's a size above an L-slot GC, so you'd expect a 2.45x (square root of 6) for a simple size increase, but instead it's 2.88x the damage. Like the advanced weapons above, there are vs.defense differences, with a scale-back on vs.Armor to only a 25% hit (i.e., 25% faster than GC) and the same 25% bump to vs.Hull as Kinetic Launchers (overall it makes them more balanced, though less useful as a platoon specialist alongside a vs.Armor weapon). It also makes a big jump in Range from 100 to 150, and over a 160% jump in Cooldown - all this at a cost of a 20K Tier-4 tech (vs. 12K Tier-3 for KB), over 3x the Power (vs. 2x for the size increase), the same 5% Tracking hit as above, and a forward-fire limited-arc restriction (which may not actually be all that meaningful). The Particle Lance has a similar profile versus the GL, with 3.02x base damage, now 200% damage vs.Armor (i.e., 25% faster) and 150% vs.Hull (i.e., 33% faster), Range jumping from 80 to 150, and interestingly only a 74% increase in Cooldown (vs. almost 250% for PL),

(Edit: originally had 250 for Range for both Cannons and Lances - where TF did I get that? Sorry...)

On top of those increases, you jump up to the Tier-4+ versions of the X-slots and the advanced L-slots, adding in another 30% damage each. So how do the penetrating weapons compare.

Right off the bat you're hit by three problems that basically eliminate any comparison between KB/KA, PL/NL, and penetrators:
  • The only Tier-4 penetrators (Disruptors) are just available in S- and M-slots.
  • The only L-slot penetrator (Cloud Lightning) is both a salvage tech and a Tier-2 (and actually not involved in researching the X-slot penetrators).
  • There are no Tier-3+ and Tier-4+ L-slot advanced weapons that are penetrators.
Then we add in the Arc Emitters, which as X-slots over a theoretical L-slot Tier-4 Disruptor, should have similar size and other advantages over their more ordinary (specialized vs. the more basic Gamma Lasers). The theoretical L-slot Phased Disruptor would be the same costs and Power as an L-slot GL, with 93.1 average damage per hit, and 15.26 average per day, compared to 80.30 per day for the Arc Emitter (5.26x!). The AE only gets a 33% increase in Cooldown (though mitigated by the bonkers base damage increase) and there are no differences in versus-defense damage (again, base damage increase mitigates).

(Edit: again with the 250 Range, sheesh...)

If you simply compare the three X-slot weapons and their damage rates against their weakest versus-defense rates, the FAE holds up relatively well, taking 66.3 days on average to get through six Crystal-Infused Plating (660 each) on top of the base 3000 Hull, compared to 64.2 days for a Giga Cannon to get through six Neutronium Armor (870 each) and the Hull, or 83.6 days for Tachyon Lance against six Hyper Shields and Hull. They also fall off predictably once Improved/Advanced Battleship Hulls are added in, and more so once Crystal-Forged Plating is swapped in (even with Dragonscale Armor added as well, Giga Cannons still rein supreme at 86.1 days, but Dark Matter Deflectors bother Tachyon Lances enough to still take longer (110.2 days) from first shot than the FAE (107.2 days)). With all three defensive layers at even, un-repeated levels (2 L-slots each) plus both Imp & Adv Hulls , the three weapons each cut through the defense in basically the same amount of time from first shot (FAE 65.0 days, Tach 67.9 days, Giga 67.9 days) when used on their own.

I don't think Arc Emitters have to be as bad as they are currently. They need:
  • Pairing options that synergize better, i.e., other penetrators that are comparable to other Tier-4+ advanced weapons.
  • Those other penetrators have got to not suck on their own, so that the jump to X-slots isn't so odd.
(Edit: and the last 250 Range is gone now.)

I'm not sure right now what it would take to make that work, but I think leaving it at "they suck, so why bother?" is a bit shortsighted.
 
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Cordane

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I don't think Arc Emitters have to be as bad as they are currently. They need:
  • Pairing options that synergize better, i.e., other penetrators that are comparable to other Tier-4+ advanced weapons.
  • Those other penetrators have got to not suck on their own, so that the jump to X-slots isn't so odd.
I'm not sure right now what it would take to make that work, but I think leaving it at "they suck, so why bother?" is a bit shortsighted.
OK, thinking about what it would take to have a viable Tier-4+ L-slot advanced penetrator:
  • Start with the Phased Disruptor in an M-slot.
  • Change to an L-slot by increasing Avg Per Hit by 145%, Range 50 to 70, and Tracking 35% to 10%. Otherwise it's the same as an L-slot Gamma Laser.
  • Change to an advanced weapon (Tier-3+) by increasing Cooldown by probably 80-100% (e.g., Gauss Cannon to Kinetic Battery is +86%), increasing Avg Per Hit by around 60-80% (e.g., Gauss to Artillery is +67%), bumping out the Range by 40-50, and giving back at least 5% Tracking. Gauss to Artillery also has increases in vs.Armor and vs.Hull damage - this isn't really something that you would need to do for a penetrating weapon at this time (i.e., there's only one thing that can be damaged), so you would normally just increase base damage.
  • Give it a tech increase to Tier-4+ by multiplying Avg Per Hit by 1.3.
  • In the end, you're probably looking at something like this:
    • 11.6 day Cooldown
    • 100% Accuracy
    • Ignore Shield and Armor
    • 100% damage against Hull
    • 114 Alloys
    • 1.69 Rare Crystals
    • 90 Power
    • 1-508 (254.5) Damage Per Hit (Average)
    • 110 Range
    • 5% Tracking
    • 21.94 Average Damage per day
Comparing to the Focused Arc Emitter:
  • Shorter Cooldown, 11.6 to 8.1 days (though not as extreme as Neutron Launcher vs. Tachyon Lance)
  • Same versus-defense damage rates (Lances have some advantage over PL/NL, Cannons have a bit more over KB/KA)
  • Big jump in Range, 110 to 150 (X-slots seem to all be at 150 despite different Ranges for both basic weapons and advanced weapons for kinetic and energy
  • Big jump in Avg Per Day base damage, 4.79x (3.19x KA/GC, 3.51x NL/TL - this does mitigate the versus-defense situation)
Against a Battleship with Imp & Adv Hull Reinforcement (4600 base Hull) and two each of Dark Matter Deflectors (1110 Shield each), Neutronium Armor (same for Armor), and Crystal-Forged Plating (same for Hull):
  • Tachyon Lance and four Neutron Launchers take on average 31.08 days to get to 0 Hull
  • Giga Cannon and four Kinetic Artillery take 31.46 days
  • Focused Arc Emitter and four T4+ L-slot penetrators take 31.77 days
But the test by Montu doesn't use all-kinetic or all-energy, so if the L-slots alongside the X-slot weapons are 3 NL and 1 KA:
  • Tachyon Lance takes 27.58 days against the same Battleship above
  • Giga Cannon takes 27.57 days
  • Focused Arc Emitter takes 28.14 days
If you skew the defenses AND give the platoon advantage, like in Montu's video, of course you get an ass-whipping at the higher values, even when allowing penetrator synergy:
  • TL, 3 NL, KA take 30.28 days
  • GC, 3 NL, KA take 26.07 days
  • FAE, 4 pens take 36.94 days
The one time the penetrators stomp the other two is when Plating isn't used and it's just three apiece of Shields and Armor (probably rare, but if you miss out on Crystalline Entities...):
  • TL, 3 NL, KA take 30.18 days
  • GC, 3 NL, KA take 29.17 days
  • FAE, 4 pens take 21.43 days
I think this might be close to what it would take to give AE/FAE a viable synergistic pairing. I still think the jump from the T4+ L-slot penetrator to FAE is too big, but that goes back to Disruptors being underpowered to begin with, especially once Hull Reinforcement is accounted for. I don't know how Hull Reinforcement compares to the (significantly later) effect of Shield and Armor repeatables, but that would have to be factored in before necessarily implementing repeatables for Hull or Plating.
 
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Morbid Gerbil

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I like asymmetry.
When balance is the driving factor in choices then everything can start to feel homogenous.
I feel that's bad for enjoyment because there is then no reason to pursue a research/build plan that's any different from what you did before.
When the effects are 'mostly the same' why bother doing something different.
 
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Nevars

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OK, thinking about what it would take to have a viable Tier-4+ L-slot advanced penetrator:
  • Start with the Phased Disruptor in an M-slot.
  • Change to an L-slot by increasing Avg Per Hit by 145%, Range 50 to 70, and Tracking 35% to 10%. Otherwise it's the same as an L-slot Gamma Laser.
  • Change to an advanced weapon (Tier-3+) by increasing Cooldown by probably 80-100% (e.g., Gauss Cannon to Kinetic Battery is +86%), increasing Avg Per Hit by around 60-80% (e.g., Gauss to Artillery is +67%), bumping out the Range by 40-50, and giving back at least 5% Tracking. Gauss to Artillery also has increases in vs.Armor and vs.Hull damage - this isn't really something that you would need to do for a penetrating weapon at this time (i.e., there's only one thing that can be damaged), so you would normally just increase base damage.
  • Give it a tech increase to Tier-4+ by multiplying Avg Per Hit by 1.3.
  • In the end, you're probably looking at something like this:
    • 11.6 day Cooldown
    • 100% Accuracy
    • Ignore Shield and Armor
    • 100% damage against Hull
    • 114 Alloys
    • 1.69 Rare Crystals
    • 90 Power
    • 1-508 (254.5) Damage Per Hit (Average)
    • 110 Range
    • 5% Tracking
    • 21.94 Average Damage per day
Comparing to the Focused Arc Emitter:
  • Shorter Cooldown, 11.6 to 8.1 days (though not as extreme as Neutron Launcher vs. Tachyon Lance)
  • Same versus-defense damage rates (Lances have some advantage over PL/NL, Cannons have a bit more over KB/KA)
  • Big jump in Range, 110 to 150 (X-slots seem to all be at 150 despite different Ranges for both basic weapons and advanced weapons for kinetic and energy
  • Big jump in Avg Per Day base damage, 4.79x (3.19x KA/GC, 3.51x NL/TL - this does mitigate the versus-defense situation)
Against a Battleship with Imp & Adv Hull Reinforcement (4600 base Hull) and two each of Dark Matter Deflectors (1110 Shield each), Neutronium Armor (same for Armor), and Crystal-Forged Plating (same for Hull):
  • Tachyon Lance and four Neutron Launchers take on average 31.08 days to get to 0 Hull
  • Giga Cannon and four Kinetic Artillery take 31.46 days
  • Focused Arc Emitter and four T4+ L-slot penetrators take 31.77 days
But the test by Montu doesn't use all-kinetic or all-energy, so if the L-slots alongside the X-slot weapons are 3 NL and 1 KA:
  • Tachyon Lance takes 27.58 days against the same Battleship above
  • Giga Cannon takes 27.57 days
  • Focused Arc Emitter takes 28.14 days
If you skew the defenses AND give the platoon advantage, like in Montu's video, of course you get an ass-whipping at the higher values, even when allowing penetrator synergy:
  • TL, 3 NL, KA take 30.28 days
  • GC, 3 NL, KA take 26.07 days
  • FAE, 4 pens take 36.94 days
The one time the penetrators stomp the other two is when Plating isn't used and it's just three apiece of Shields and Armor (probably rare, but if you miss out on Crystalline Entities...):
  • TL, 3 NL, KA take 30.18 days
  • GC, 3 NL, KA take 29.17 days
  • FAE, 4 pens take 21.43 days
I think this might be close to what it would take to give AE/FAE a viable synergistic pairing. I still think the jump from the T4+ L-slot penetrator to FAE is too big, but that goes back to Disruptors being underpowered to begin with, especially once Hull Reinforcement is accounted for. I don't know how Hull Reinforcement compares to the (significantly later) effect of Shield and Armor repeatables, but that would have to be factored in before necessarily implementing repeatables for Hull or Plating.
Alternatively just use AE/FAE with strikecraft thus a hybrid spinal mount carrier and paired them with torpvette.

This set up is certainly serviceable and stomp pure artillery BB rather easily.

Though the power lvl will fall off once enemy starting to mixed carrier in pure arty BB but even then it would still winnable.

So I don't think penetration need more buff cuz right it's already competitive with other set up and even better in circumstances.
 

Cordane

GW/SC/PD/Flak Wonk
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Alternatively just use AE/FAE with strikecraft thus a hybrid spinal mount carrier and paired them with torpvette.
An X-slot (AE/FAE) in the Bow and two Hangars in the Core still leaves you with an L-slot in the Stern and two S-slots (which don't synergize in tech or Range) in the Core to make choices on, plus two P-slots spent on defense. Sure, if you're going against pure Artillery with no defense against Strike Craft, I suppose it could do the job regardless of what else is selected.

But the point here is to look at the Spinal/Arty builds above to see what works and how those that don't yet work could, not to see what mono-class fleet would win.
 
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An X-slot (AE/FAE) in the Bow and two Hangars in the Core still leaves you with an L-slot in the Stern and two S-slots (which don't synergize in tech or Range) in the Core to make choices on, plus two P-slots spent on defense. Sure, if you're going against pure Artillery with no defense against Strike Craft, I suppose it could do the job regardless of what else is selected.

But the point here is to look at the Spinal/Arty builds above to see what works and how those that don't yet work could, not to see what mono-class fleet would win.
Just leave P and L slot as empty, your BB only duty is to fire FAE which can kill everything that move except strikecraft and missle but that's the point of it's own strikecraft existing, to screen against those threat and murder anything below cruiser.

While your Torpvette will vaporize all enemy BB and if they are foolish enough to use, all cruiser too.

And the only defence against strikecraft is to use strikecraft so if enemy filling them but still going for Arty BB then that's means they aren't filling enough of them to matter against your swarm of torpvette so you still win but if they are filling enough of them then they would lose their synergy so you would still win or you are going against penetration fleet like yours.