Kinetic battery buffs to batch size and damage vs. organics would alleviate new pilot problems

SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
Lately, some people have voiced concerns that batteries are too expensive, or that incursions ought to pay more, or both. Having done quite a bit of incursioning myself, I don't think incursion payout ought to be increased. But I do recognize that the new player experience in space hinges on being able to afford ship supplies. There truly aren't enough player-made (read: affordable) kinetic batteries out there to help new players embark on financially-viable, self-sustaining ship combat. To fix this, we should incentivize the production and use of kinetic batteries.

TL;DR: increasing kinetic battery batch size or increasing kinetic battery damage against organics or both would help new players engage with SM's space combat. For best results, increase both. To put a number on it, +20% to both batch size and damage against organics should do the trick.

As designed, kinetic batteries will not be as effective as em and thermal. That's OK. But they have a place, and that's for starter ships that have only 1 cannon and against organics, which die just as easily to kinetic as em/thermal (there's a note on CP generators later in the post). Let's help out our new pilots by incentivizing the production and sale of more kinetic batteries. SM's ship system is fun, attractive; my experience with the game was revolutionized when I learned how to fly. That's the game feature that helped me to stick with the game through the pains of learning how MUDs work.

---

Increasing batch size reduces the cost to produce each kinetic battery, thereby increasing the manufacturer's ability to make a profit. It also can mean an increase the number of batteries out there in the wild, assuming producers decide to make and sell kinetics instead of other batteries. I suggest increasing the batch size from 10 to 12, or a 20% increase. Enough said, I think.

However, the space economy is not all about marks; marks aren't that hard to come by for seasoned players. So, increasing profitability of kinetic batteries alone probably won't incentivize manufacturers to a sufficient extent to help new pilots. To double down on incentive to produce kinetic batteries, increase their damage against organics (the way this helps new pilots should be self-explanatory). Such a change should increase kinetic battery appeal to all pilots, including seasoned pilots. Seasoned pilots sometimes go after hard organic incursions, but this isn't really where the benefit lies for seasoned pilots: CP generators are organics, too. Right now, CP action is, well, inactive, but that won't always be the case. (Side note: Reducing the costs to take down generators would probably help CP activity.) Taking batteries just for the generators increases the amount of supplies you're taking into battle, assuming there are enemy ships to contest. The power increase is offset by the risk of having to take more supplies to tackle generators and player ships most effectively. But, by making kinetic batteries appeal to more of the playerbase, that's additional incentive to produce them, hopefully increasing availability. I think it would be sufficient.

So, that's what I've got. This post is the product of talking with Rhindara and Azlyn. (I really hope this wasn't addressed in the monthly discussion. I was at a wedding.)




AzlynRhindaraRocketCatReelocCervantes

Comments

  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    I was close-minded to the title of the thread but was thoroughly convinced by the end. Good write-up, I completely agree. I even like the idea of kinetics doing more to CP generators. It creates a strategic decision of whether to load up with kinetics to take the gens down as fast as possible but potentially cripple yourself for any ship-to-ship fight, versus safely loading up and taking the fight.

    In the meantime, let's flood the market with kinetics, yeah?
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  • AdrennAdrenn Posts: 6Member
    edited August 11
    As a new player trying to space, I was paying ~220 per kinetic battery from Danica. I only repair at stations so it's free, and I don't pay for voidgates because the help says it's a significant sum of marks to use. I also have started only firing once I get into optimal range, again slows down a little bit but saves some marks.

    After making it to level 8 captaincy I have made a profit of around 3-4k marks. Which I'm mostly spending on more batteries. But this method is pretty time consuming, and I won't see a real increase in marks generation until I get a new ship, which looks like it'll be a minimum of 80k or so. Where as bashing you gradually increase your marks generation just be leveling and going to a better area.

    My original level 25 character could make that much casually bashing in an hour or two. 
    But even if I grind to level 25 captaincy I will still be making money at my current rate.

    Because of this the game flow feels like it's
    • level your character on land and bash until you get enough money for a new ship (85k or so)
    • buy a new ship and now you can start being a Pilot
    But the presentation by getting a ship in the beginning makes me feel like that's not the intention.

    Soloing an easy anomaly incursion takes a little while since I just have to float around and wait for them to show up, and it nets me a total of ~1500 marks from all the cargo I get, about half of which goes to resupplying.  I tried iron pirates once and really wasted a ton of kinetic batteries in order to kill 3 of them. And I tried Sahakren but those guys are on crack. They zipped right by me and didn't seem to ever stop? Sporadic movement and I swear some of them disappeared made that really hard for me to pull off. I might just need to practice flying more to be able to keep up/track them better. But I feel relatively limited in what I can take on at the moment.

    To me the progression is just daunting. It's not gradual, it's in blocks. And overcoming the first hurdle feels completely out of reach.

    A 20% damage buff would be nice, as it would likely equate to a 20% saving on resupplying,which would be very nice. It still seems like it would be significantly worse than foot bashing, which is particularly bad considering ship progression is based on marks. Which again goes back to it feeling like ship stuff should just come after foot leveling.

    Would increasing the payout of just easy incursions be bad?
    Or are there any egregious things I am doing wrong?

    EDIT: I don't want to hijack the topic, just wanted to give my experience as a noob-in-space if I am doing anything particularly wrong just let me know, I can ask around game/on discord.
  • SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
    Adrenn, it sounds like you're doing about the best someone piloting a light interceptor can do. If not for a faction member (my bene-faction-er -- GET IT??) giving me a light corvette early on, I would've had a very bad time making marks. It's not a smooth progression. To answer your question directly, I don't think you're doing anything wrong, from the perspective of making marks in a light interceptor.

    I don't know quite what I think of increasing the payout of only easy incursions. I'd have to go and get those numbers again. Related: I do wonder whether we ought to change the difficulty ratings to reflect that organics are much easier than ships.

    Reeloc
  • KestrelKestrel Posts: 356Member ✭✭✭✭
    I've grinded all the way to L17 (Destroyer) in Captaincy using nothing but a Light Interceptor — twice. Both before and after prices were raised to "help the economy".

    On the first character I was making a small but negligible profit. It was a superior way of gaining marks than bashing the early levels, but vastly inferior past level 40/50ish.

    On the second, newer character, I am making a net loss. Captaincy is not only not profitable for me with a Light Interceptor, I am actively losing marks doing it. I really like Captaincy and think my system is extremely efficient, too; I automatically beacon spam, adjust course, close into optimal distance to fire ze missiles, etc. I've gathered a lot of data on what the best and most efficient incursions are to farm and generally focus on those. I manually repair so I don't waste repairkits. On this second character I have not lost my ship even once to incursions. In other words, I know what I'm doing, but captaincy is still a gold-sink.

    I don't know if kinetic battery upgrades are what's needed to improve things, but I definitely feel like either easy incursions need to pay more (a lot more), or supplies need to be a good deal cheaper.

    Default NPC supplies were raised in price in order to facilitate the player economy. This might have worked if only the player economy was actually generating enough supplies to compete. It's not.

    "They are elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty."
    — Oscar Wilde


    "I'll take care of it, Luke said. And because he said it instead of her, I knew he meant kill. That is what you have to do before you kill, I thought. You have to create an it, where none was before."
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  • RhindaraRhindara Posts: 62Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 12
    While the exorbitant shipforge prices and scarcity of player-created supplies are absolutely a problem, I don't at all think that increasing the payout of incursions is the solution. Easy incursions were never meant to be that rewarding. They're for dipping your toe in the water and figuring out piloting and fighting. By the time you reach captaincy 3, you should be trying to get a corvette so that you can take on medium and hard incursions, which have much better payouts even considering the state of supply costs. Upgrading to medium-sized cannons that can be equipped to corvettes+ will also save you money spent on ammo in the long term, since you're doing considerably more damage per shot.
    Steve
  • SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
    I agree with Rhindara on this one: pilots should be looking to get into a corvette ASAP. Of course, the trouble is, getting 100k marks together isn't very easy to do from the ground up with incursions alone, but captaincy isn't all about incursions (even though some people might like it to be).

    There's marks to be made with personal and player market orders. Miner spec recommended for this.
  • CervantesCervantes Posts: 9Member
    edited August 12
    The problem with mining though, from what I understand third hand, is that it's tedious and you've got to end up kinda lucky to find the right asteroid/gas cloud for your personal orders (or at all). There's always buying it off of the market if you can find it at a decent price, but then that just cuts into the profitability.

    Perhaps a "radar" dedicated to asteroids/gas that will scan for half a subsector's worth of range (125 su? Don't quote me) that just reports back there's an asteroid/cloud within that range of you could improve that.

    Alternatively, and I do recognize that this could be abused, what about increasing easy incursion payouts if you're using the starter, unmodified interceptor. Figure out the rate that would be acceptable (say, your first 10/20/100 easy incursions in that ship, or captaincy prior to X) and have it come out to 80/100k total, enough to buy yourself a starter corvette and proceed from there.

    I absolutely feel that if people don't want to engage in the ground/bashing game, they shouldn't be forced to in order to afford that first effective ship. The whole point of SM is "SPACESHIPS" imo as the defining factor from the other IRE games. Again, just spitballing train of consciousness here, I look forward to my ideas being teared apart ;)
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    Ensuring the flow of commodities is part of the economy game and I would say mechanics work rather well so far. The initial scarcity is just one of the phases which may or may not pass quickly depending on player activities and choices. If there are particularly benefical yet tedious and unprofitable activities, currently factions have enough resources to make them profitable to a degree. 

    Of course all factions will follow a different path to incentivize their miners, industrialists and soldiers but that alone prods people to get involved with various facets of the game. That 100k+ marks top-of-the-line Corvette is one of the milestones throughout one's career as a captain. But until then, one will find a way to earn that amount in various other jobs. Captaincy is not limited to incursions after all.

    As for kinetic batteries, an alternative idea would be to give them a higher chance to bypass shields which would help on both ship combat and sentient race incursions. But more damage to organic is decent, as long as it does not get malus on elsewhere.
    SteveReeloc
  • SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
    edited August 12
    Mining can be done by looking for just what you need, but the better way to do it is to take whatever's large and to refine it so that you've got a little of everything on hand to fill those orders. Whether it's tedious is somebody's taste, though there are ways that it could be made more consistent and, therefore, less frustrating.

    Factions can step in to help players get corvettes. Nobody's playing the game alone.

    edit: there's also friends, dynasties, clans, and so on. I do recognize that some players are factionless, but that wasn't quite what I was getting at.
    Rhindara
  • CervantesCervantes Posts: 9Member
    edited August 12
    I'm hesitant for new players to have to depend on the largesse of friends/patron/faction. If only 20% of the new players stick around after getting a loan/whatever from a faction for a corvette, those funds/willingness to do so are going to dry up pretty quick.

    Perhaps a system where after X incursions/asteroids refined/gas scooped/combination of those and captaincy levels, a player is provided with credit in the shipforge system that's equivalent to the cost of kitting out a basic corvette. Said credit can -only- be used for a ship purchase, not supplies or anything similar.

    Granted, not being an IRE coder, I don't know how feasible such a system would be. But I figure worst case scenario, those who're interested in getting into the space game would have a method of advancing beyond that starter state that's better than taking a loss, or maybe clearing 2k credits for the amount of work done a la earlier in the thread.

    Edit: That being said, I have no skin in the game. Got my corvette from bashing, didn't take all that long.
    Kestrel
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    Some explanations regarding faction involvement would be in order.

    No faction would provide all a new player needs as soon as they arrive. Otherwise they would go bankrupt pretty fast. Rather then throwing money at random, factions offer jobs, citizen programs, wages and payments for services rendered. Inch by inch the player gains both trust and marks with their involvement. Even after building a certain amount of trust there is a chance that faction subsidization might be wasted because RL happens or the character's RP takes a different turn etc. But at that point the amount offered is a calculated risk within the ledgers of the faction and the loss can be absorbed easily. That is especially valid for the RP theme of Celestine Ascendancy as a late-stage capitalist society.
  • CervantesCervantes Posts: 9Member
    If you don't mind, could you provide an example of such jobs, wages for services, etc? Not trying to sound sarcastic or anything like, honest. Because for someone that doesn't have interest in going and killing stuff, there's what. Space trucking harvesting asteroids/gas, aaaand? The majority of quests are kill quests, so that's kind of off the table. Which, by no means, am I saying is a bad thing. I'm just failing to see something beyond an RP thing, as opposed to mechanical, that someone could do prior to reaching that point. Offering a high purchase price for faction members or something could suffice, but again no clue if that's within the realm of feasible from a coding resources standpoint.

    Call it being a pessimist, but I trust faction/random player assistance in things like that being wishful thinking at best. Depending on player counts, login times, and the like, you might never see someone more than in passing in your faction. I'd rather plan around the worst case, and offer a self-sufficient path. But that's just my personal preference.
  • kamyrkamyr Posts: 54Member
    Ammo in general could stand a significant expansion (and urrrrgghh em bypassing shields is infuriating). Cheaper ammo with worse ratios (eg 40/40 or 90/0) along with more expensive ammo at better ratios (60/60, 100/25, etc). That should tweak up low-tier profitability for careful pilots or let triggerhappy ones burn marks to clear faster.

    I wouldn't increase organic damage from kinetics. Already weak, adds profitability to hard organics (which weren't bad given they were easier a mi).

    Making group ship PvE an actually viable thing would also help lowbie pilots (shared pilot xp for armada, loot 'flagged' for armada [can be yoinked but opens to pk], tweaking how incurion spawns work, adding in more traditional 'farming' zones, support ship roles instead of 'everybody's a damage boat!', etc etc I've covered elsewhere.)
  • SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
    Re: Kamyr's comments. Ammo qualities. I think that's a compelling method to getting more ammo out in the marketplace, which would alleviate new pilot problems (and probably encourage more CPs). With the same recipe, you could increase batch size at the cost of damage. That's the simplest form of it. Adjusting the recipe is hard because of the game's low, whole numbers (1 paristeel, 1 disheet, 1 hdsastrium, and X = base 10 batteries). Another variable is marks per batch, but that one won't result in more batteries in the wild. However, I'd be disinclined to buff battery damage beyond its current values by adding higher quality ammo; lower quality would help more to solve the problem of not enough ammo out there, but higher quality ammo would mess with PVP balance in a way I'm not sure is worthwhile.

    As for armadas helping new players, several of the benefits pointed out don't help to solve the problem this thread's trying to tackle, which is supply of ammo and overall costs of supplies (though they very well could help the overall new player experience, depending on implementation). The main thing I'm looking at is that lowbie pilots don't need help getting more captaincy experience. Getting captaincy levels early on is easy if there's enough supplies. Armadas sound fun, but like they'd be better used for handling considerably harder content than what exists currently, which could be accomplished with new enemies, new difficulties, changes to spawning, and other ways. With that said, I could see getting a band of lowbie pilots together to go after moderately difficult ship incursions being worthwhile, from a marks perspective. Even light corvettes going after hard ship incursions that they otherwise might struggle to complete isn't a bad idea. Musings aside, my point is this: armadas won't get more ammo into the supply stream, though they could help on the consumption side with coordination and prudence.


  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 12
    Cervantes said:
    If you don't mind, could you provide an example of such jobs, wages for services, etc? Not trying to sound sarcastic or anything like, honest. Because for someone that doesn't have interest in going and killing stuff, there's what. Space trucking harvesting asteroids/gas, aaaand? The majority of quests are kill quests, so that's kind of off the table. Which, by no means, am I saying is a bad thing. I'm just failing to see something beyond an RP thing, as opposed to mechanical, that someone could do prior to reaching that point. Offering a high purchase price for faction members or something could suffice, but again no clue if that's within the realm of feasible from a coding resources standpoint.

    Call it being a pessimist, but I trust faction/random player assistance in things like that being wishful thinking at best. Depending on player counts, login times, and the like, you might never see someone more than in passing in your faction. I'd rather plan around the worst case, and offer a self-sufficient path. But that's just my personal preference.
    For example, in Inka Indomitable Industries there are three divisions where members get wages passively and whenever they complete a certain task laid out before them they get rewarded in accordance. Corporation even had a totally RP event back then with a basic dice roll system which provided rewards to those who joined the RP operation. Aside from RP operation there has been also actual cosmpiercer operations and there were always people who avoided killing and stuck to transportation, logistics, scouting or wormhole duty. The core of that philosophy was always providing an avenue to all playstyles and providing rewards accordingly. I am not even mentioning that some of those divisions have their inner training programs to reward their preferred activities further. 

    That is just one corporate example. Other corporations such as Litharge Office of Business (Economy-heavy) or Angel Ascension Agency(Civic Stuff) will have their different ways of subsidizing their area of expertise. It is alright if one does not decide to participate in learning programs or corporations. But they are there for taking if that is one's cup of tea.

    Also what I tried to tell earlier was that the game is not limited to what its mechanics are. It is natural you might have reservations about players being capable of providing aid to other players. But proper communication really opens up several doors. Yet it is perfectly normal to desire self-sufficiency...but if self-sufficiency exists then why need economy? We have to have a reason to subsidize miner players and then support establishment of refineries and autofactories to produce batteries and repairkits...so finally we can bring civilization to the barbarian planets Rome-style. All segments are rewarded and if the reward scheme does not work properly? Maybe it is too cumbersome? Or it is not fair? Too taxing on faction reserves? We iterate. Find a better reward scheme to stimulate growth. 
  • GrekGrek Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
    edited August 13
    @Cervantes CA is currently buying up space resources, then paying people to take said resources out to autofactories and refine them. If the haulers produce extra resources (using production bonuses for example), they get to keep the excess to use or sell on their own. These products then go toward station maintenance or (in the case of ship supplies) sold at Crossings, with 50% of the profits being redistributed to the miners and haulers according to the number of resources that they personally delivered. This is the sort of thing that Zhulkarn is talking about when he talks about LOB doing 'economy stuff'.

    In other news, I've put up 200 kinetic batteries for sale at 190 each and will be aiming to put out around 400 per week, depending on the availability of resources and continued demand. I know it isn't enough to supply the entire sector, but here's hoping that it'll push prices down a bit.

    Zhulkarn
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 155Member ✭✭✭
    Look at what this post has done:

      -------------------------------< Market offers >-------------------------------
    Cargo                Quantity        Location                       Price    
    Kinetic_battery      146             The Celestine Crossings        199
    Kinetic_battery      50              Danica Transit Station         250
    Kinetic_battery      70              Omni Station                   199
    Kinetic_battery      100             Reynolds Spaceport             199
    Kinetic_battery      100             The Celestine Crossings        190


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  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 345Member ✭✭✭
    Cervantes said:
    If you don't mind, could you provide an example of such jobs, wages for services, etc? Not trying to sound sarcastic or anything like, honest. Because for someone that doesn't have interest in going and killing stuff, there's what. Space trucking harvesting asteroids/gas, aaaand? The majority of quests are kill quests, so that's kind of off the table. Which, by no means, am I saying is a bad thing. I'm just failing to see something beyond an RP thing, as opposed to mechanical, that someone could do prior to reaching that point. Offering a high purchase price for faction members or something could suffice, but again no clue if that's within the realm of feasible from a coding resources standpoint.

    Call it being a pessimist, but I trust faction/random player assistance in things like that being wishful thinking at best. Depending on player counts, login times, and the like, you might never see someone more than in passing in your faction. I'd rather plan around the worst case, and offer a self-sufficient path. But that's just my personal preference.
    Song's merits and medals system is essentially that. But instead of using capitalist terms like "jobs", they're "tasks". You do 30 merits worth of things for a year = 20k marks. So on and so forth.

    I mean, @Rhindara essentially lives off of this, calling it "welfare" XD. And performance tips, now that those exist.
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  • RylekRylek Posts: 45Member ✭✭
    edited August 13
    So you're selling batteries for less than creation costs?

    Edit: unless you're using my 33% production boost factory in the far end of nowhere I guess
  • GrekGrek Posts: 52Member ✭✭✭
    Production costs given no production bonuses are 144 per battery. If you get max production bonuses at every step, it only costs 130 per battery. So we make something like ~70 marks per battery, split between the faction, the miners and the haulers.

  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 149Member ✭✭✭
    Since we are on the topic of kinetic batteries, I have a question.

    On certain shield types you see they provide or subtract resistances on thermal, EM and kinetic. Does that mean regardless of kinetic batteries or thermal batteries hit the hull or not they will get that bonus or malus? 

    For example, I used a shield type providing thermal resistance/reducing kinetic resistance and my shield is down. Will it reduce thermal damage still? Or let us say my shield is down and I am hit by kinetic batteries, will I get extra damage on hull from kinetic batteries?
  • NykaraNykara Posts: 90Member ✭✭✭
    Behold, for I am the thread necro! I am here to say: Kinetic/Thermal resistance modifiers are so outdated. They exist from a time when kinetics blasted shields, thermals blasted hull, and any ammo type did SOME damage to whatever it hit. Those were the days...
  • SteveSteve Posts: 51Member ✭✭
    edited September 8
    I've been thinking about bringing this thread back to life, myself -- so, thanks, Nykara.

    Based on some conversations I've been reading recently, I have decided that I think some QoL changes might go a long way to helping people get accustomed to the incursion system in its current state.

    1) It would help to display, on the incursion list, whether an incursion is for ships or for organics. This would be another column in INCURSION LIST. Alternatively, a HELP INCURSIONS could be expanded to list organics and ship, but this seems like a less effective means of displaying significant information. (Of course, doing both seems best.)

    2) It would help to specify the damage %s for each type of battery against hull, shield, and organics. This would mean that kinetic batteries would have a damage bias profile of 50/50/100 for hull, shield, organic as is. (100/0/100 for thermal and so on.) I would expect to see an update to HELP BATTERIES, but there's got to be a good place to put that information elsewhere -- nothing comes to mind, though.

    Beyond this, batteries could be adjusted for balance. As suggested above, kinetics might more easily become a solid choice for organics, and EM batteries might, conversely, suffer a nerf to damage v. organics.

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