Author Topic: Death Cubes and Balancing  (Read 10089 times)

MRC

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Re: Death Cubes
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2014, 06:28:06 am »
Compressed cubes has been an awkward concept to explain, I think I'll have to wait and get actual data from BR if it show signs of a death-cube friendly environment.

However, tests I've preformed in Space Engineers have shown their potential imbalance. With compressed ships wielding up to 10x the firepower of good designs at the same weight. So SE is very death-cube friendly and dominating is easily achieved by cramming down as much components and turrets as you can in a box. Something to avoid in BR.  :P
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Cy83r

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Re: Death Cubes
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2014, 08:32:30 am »
Quote
hung back at a 45-degree angle
As I thought, if the weapons had articulation, there might not have been as many of them but you'd have been severely outclassed nonetheless.
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Strait Raider

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Re: Death Cubes
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2014, 10:28:15 am »
death-cubes are not OP.  They are balanced. And if done correctly, could possibly be considered creative.

Death cubes are only balanced if the game mechanics balance for them.

Ignoring more spherical shapes (since they're harder to build efficiently), cubical ships have the greatest armor thickness and depth of shield of any equivalent ship design, and they have the lowest moments of inertia about the major axis, making them the most easily maneuvered ship of any equivalent design as well.

Death cubes were one of the most optimal designs in BR's early multiplayer for these reasons. They're hard to ignore.

RLS0812

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Re: Death Cubes
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2014, 12:52:13 pm »
One major difference between BR and SE - BR doesn't have armor blocks.
 A very heavily armored cube in SE would take up 3 blocks. [vacuum - armor - armor - armor -interior]
 The equivalent armor protection in BR ( currently ) takes up 6 blocks [vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - interior ]

 This game design "choice" could make it difficult to make small cubes in BR .

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Commander Jackson

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Re: Death Cubes
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2014, 01:29:06 pm »
One major difference between BR and SE - BR doesn't have armor blocks.
 A very heavily armored cube in SE would take up 3 blocks. [vacuum - armor - armor - armor -interior]
 The equivalent armor protection in BR ( currently ) takes up 6 blocks [vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - interior ]

 This game design "choice" could make it difficult to make small cubes in BR .

That's good.

But I feel like this conversation about death cubes does not belong in this thread.  If nobody complains I will make a different thread for this conversation. ask a mod to split the topic to avoid clutter. :D

Automatic Post Merge: October 25, 2014, 01:30:56 pm
Continued conversations about death cubes here.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 03:38:52 pm by Strait Raider »
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Commander Jackson

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Death Cubes, Balanceing?
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2014, 01:30:00 pm »
Continued conversations about death cubes here.
Gabe has a wraith? That explains so much.

RLS0812

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Re: Death Cubes, Balanceing?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2014, 01:47:30 pm »
From other thread:
Quote
One major difference between BR and SE - BR doesn't have armor blocks.
 A very heavily armored cube in SE would take up 3 blocks. [vacuum - armor - armor - armor -interior]
 The equivalent armor protection in BR ( currently ) takes up 6 blocks [vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - interior ]

 This game design "choice" could make it difficult to make small cubes in BR .

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MRC

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Re: Death Cubes, Balanceing?
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2014, 03:00:01 pm »
This is nice when it comes to avoiding armor abuse but won't answers abuse of weapons, thruster ...etc.

Back in the original discussion I often said NPCs were at disadvantage against "optimized" ships such as death-cubes because they'd sacrifice a lot of potential performance to good look, combat balance and potential scavenging features. So NPCs would be nowhere as compact as optimized ships and had to invest further resources and mass for non-tactical features.

There's two ways of approaching this issue, one is putting effort in preventing and nerfing the potential "death-cubes". The second would be to try and close the power gap between NPC and optimized ships, at the risk of a far less forgiving game.

This could be by discouraging the compacting of components, with heat or volatile components, by further compacting NPCs designs to close the power gap, or by giving NPC additional buffs, perhaps tied to difficulty settings.
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Me2005

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2014, 11:06:04 am »
One major difference between BR and SE - BR doesn't have armor blocks.
 A very heavily armored cube in SE would take up 3 blocks. [vacuum - armor - armor - armor -interior]
 The equivalent armor protection in BR ( currently ) takes up 6 blocks [vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - vacuum - plated block - interior ]

In the last release, it's possible that this will no longer be true in future releases.

Back in the original discussion I often said NPCs were at disadvantage against "optimized" ships such as death-cubes because they'd sacrifice a lot of potential performance to good look, combat balance and potential scavenging features. So NPCs would be nowhere as compact as optimized ships and had to invest further resources and mass for non-tactical features.

There is no denying - some ships will be optimized for playing the game, regardless of what the rules become. That's just a fact of gameplay. As long as there are 1) Multiple optimized solutions and B) No gamebreakers, I don't much care that the non-optimized ships aren't going to compete well against optimized ones.

There's two ways of approaching this issue, one is putting effort in preventing and nerfing the potential "death-cubes". The second would be to try and close the power gap between NPC and optimized ships, at the risk of a far less forgiving game.

This could be by discouraging the compacting of components, with heat or volatile components, by further compacting NPCs designs to close the power gap, or by giving NPC additional buffs, perhaps tied to difficulty settings.

I don't know how well this affects NPC's, as they'll be pre-designed somewhat. So for just *in general* ship design, I'd think volatile core components that chain-react when damaged, some volumetric requirements for heat/crew, some designed-in weakpoints (i.e.: Engines must be exposed, shields can be flown through by smaller ships), and some thought-out weapon settings (favor one type of weapon mounted on a ship through ammo use and energy efficiency vs. many types to give advantage to specialist ships instead of generalist cubes, for example) would help prevent that.

My core concern with them is that they most efficiently max-out the game's gamey maximum build volume, so they'll be the biggest ships as well as efficient.
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theallmightybob

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2014, 11:52:11 am »
Compressed cubes has been an awkward concept to explain, I think I'll have to wait and get actual data from BR if it show signs of a death-cube friendly environment.

However, tests I've preformed in Space Engineers have shown their potential imbalance. With compressed ships wielding up to 10x the firepower of good designs at the same weight. So SE is very death-cube friendly and dominating is easily achieved by cramming down as much components and turrets as you can in a box. Something to avoid in BR.  :P

It all depends really, in space engineers do you need crew at all or are the inside spaces just for fluff? if meaningful gains can be realized through game play mechanics such as the need for NPC crew to man or maintain many of the weapons in your death cube, you cant really get rid of the inside mass concerning crew quarters just to squeeze in more weapons and power cores.    at the end of the day though there isnt much you can do to stop someone from building a death cube, but you can at least make it have to be fully functional, not just a ball of weapons and reactors.  if players want to cheat themselves fighting the NPCs with a ship like that its hard to stop them, at most you could maybe make the game see if you are building death cubes and maybe have the NPCs adapt and start doing the same thing back instead of the standard ships.


for example you could hot bunk your entire crew in shifts but its going to make them have worse moral and preform at a lower level then someone who gives each cew member their own personal quarters.  you better bet that your gunnery officers and crew arent happy they have to share a bed, and that could result in much slower crew XP gain and performance
« Last Edit: October 27, 2014, 11:57:05 am by theallmightybob »
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Strait Raider

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2014, 12:51:16 pm »
Forcing a ship to have more internal space (for crew quarters and such) is only going to make 'death cubes' more attractive, as they are highly space efficient.

Any mechanics to lessen the impact of death cubes (or "death blobs") I think would need to focus on making a bigger surface area more attractive, as the primary draw (to my eyes) of a death blob is that its very small (relative) surface area allows it superior armor and shield concentration.

The most obvious thing to me (and I've brought it up in other topics) is that a smaller relative surface area means less heat energy gets radiated into space per unit of volume. So both the larger a ship is in scale, and the more blobby it is, the greater the percentage of their cost, mass, and surface real estate will have to be dedicated to radiators in order to remain at operating temperatures.

I think if heat has a significant effect on gameplay it will make a good balancing element for both blobby ships and massive ships. As a rule of thumb, the larger a ship gets the more it will have to spread out to remain efficient and avoid having to have its entire surface covered with radiators (which don't make great armor, kind of defeating the point of a blobship).



One possible side effect is that blobbier (and larger) ships might naturally tend towards armor tanking (since shields presumably produce significant heat, and to capitalize on their ability to stack armor very efficiently) while smaller ships which are more heat-efficient might tend towards shield-heavy defenses (as a bonus, smaller ships are easier to disengage with to allow time to recharge shields, and would be even quicker if they eschewed heavy armor for lighter (but more power-hungry) shields).

Me2005

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2014, 03:48:37 pm »
The most obvious thing to me (and I've brought it up in other topics) is that a smaller relative surface area means less heat energy gets radiated into space per unit of volume. So both the larger a ship is in scale, and the more blobby it is, the greater the percentage of their cost, mass, and surface real estate will have to be dedicated to radiators in order to remain at operating temperatures.

Ah! That's what I meant by throwing heat in there! Yeah, that'd work great.
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Cy83r

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2014, 05:13:47 pm »
I have this sudden image of a maximum-sized death cube with narrow valleys and canyons cutting into the surface of the cube to house radiators and hangar entrances armed with light weapons that won't penetrate the cube's own surface armor and helicopter gunship-styled fighter-bombers making dives into these canyons to take out those critical radiators while allied dreadnoughts with leaner profiles move in to finish the behemoth while cube-fighters sortie out into the canyons to defend their mothercube from the enemy gunboats.
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Me2005

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2014, 05:32:48 pm »
I have this sudden image of a maximum-sized death cube with narrow valleys and canyons cutting into the surface of the cube to house radiators and hangar entrances armed with light weapons that won't penetrate the cube's own surface armor and helicopter gunship-styled fighter-bombers making dives into these canyons to take out those critical radiators while allied dreadnoughts with leaner profiles move in to finish the behemoth while cube-fighters sortie out into the canyons to defend their mothercube from the enemy gunboats.

New Rule: Radiators must face space, like engines. Though your plan wouldn't not be cool too...
But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won. A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand. You follow the path, fitting into an infinite pattern. Yours to manipulate, to create and rebuild.

I know who you are.

You are destiny.

Strait Raider

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Re: Death Cubes and Balancing
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2014, 06:14:20 pm »
New Rule: Radiators must face space, like engines. Though your plan wouldn't not be cool too...

He's not suggesting that radiators could be placed inside the hull, rather that you could create armor with narrow channels filled with radiators. They'd still be open to space in one direction, but they'd be hard to hit from any angle other than straight on. Imagine if the 'floor' of the death star's canyon was covered in radiator panels.

While it's true that IRL this wouldn't be as efficient as having them on the surface (because not all the radiation would be generated normal to the radiator, some would hit the walls of the canyon on the way out and be reabsorbed) I think it's reasonable. And more importantly, it'd be a heck of a lot easier to do a check if a radiator is open to space in a straight line than to try to check all angles and approximate how efficient it would be.