New balance pass incoming

If anyone watched this weeks ATV they spoke about an upcoming balance pass, in which the time to kill time will be raised significantly, in order to make your skill and time on target to feel meaningful and impactful and to stop the almost instant kills occurring in the current build.

My question is do you think this is a good change? do you like being able to dispatch your foes quickly or would you like a more skill based system where skillful flying and great aim make the difference.

Personally, I think this is a fantastic change, it will definitely separate the really skilled pilots and those who just spam missiles and use low fire rate high damage weapons, from those who can keep a repeater on target much better.

I’d love to get peoples opinions as well, do you think increasing the time to kill from a few seconds to a few dozen is a good thing, is it enough, or is it too much and will make combat feel tediously long.

Again, it boils down to balancing the time to kill as well. Good idea to prevent insta-kills, but I also dont want to be fighting one guy for 10 minutes when there is a swarm of fighers attacking my flagship. Yeah!?

i think kills should last as long as it takes to deal the damage everyone has the choice to pick weapons they wanna have be they slow or fast firing which in turn gives more or less damage

Maybe a balance between time to disable vs time to kill. If you just want to take someone out of a fight, maybe that’s easy enough but to actually kill them takes more. Like the Hornet, it’s really tough to finish off, but can be disabled rather quickly.

That way you could have your swarms and still be able to deal with them, then mop up later.

I’m thinking the number of ships in an instance will be low enough, and NPC fodder will be easy enough to kill, that players and elite units being harder to kill might be a good thing.

For fighters and smaller ships the fights should remain light and fast paced. Like maverick said I rly don’t want to be chasing around the same ship for 10+ minutes.
Keeping ships speed as is while simultaneously increasing their health will make for some terrifyingly long fights, and little deaths. Maybe though that is what the community wants, nobody likes dying after all. I personally came for the high risk, high reward universe though :slight_smile:.

Look at Elite Dangerous for example, the pvp combat in that game is slow paced. flight speed seems slow, unlike SC, and it takes dozens of shots just to disable shields. As a result the gameplay is slow and singular, aka - boring. youtube.com/watch?v=4fN9J_ZshHM (watch 3:30 onwards for an idea)

But most of all this change would take away from the skill factor I feel. If I sweep in on some ones six and light them up for a steady minute with everything I got they should be dead if not severely injured. Giving them a second chance at living by adding durability is just adding safety cushion. It’s like bowling with the bumpers on.

That’s actually the contrary, increasing the time to kill increases the impact of skill gaps. A skillful players will perform better and more steadily with a high time to kill, since the risk of being randomly killed by a lost bullet of someone that has no idea of what he is doing is limited.

I’d like to point out that the time to kill increase is designed to increase the fights from mere seconds to around a minute. This is only for AC right now, you can be sure that the larger ships will take significantly longer to kill no matter how skilled you are, that is why they have ships with capitol killer torpedoes.

Regarding the skill gap, I have to agree that it will grow the skill gap and show the disparity between good players and poor players properly, a lower skilled player shouldn’t be able to splash a good player just because he saw him first and got off a couple easy shots, start him off with an advantage sure, but then the skill of the other player should swing the tide of battle in his favor rather quickly.

And the ED post, combat is marginally slower but that video is a bit of a misfire because the guy in it is fighting ships several classes higher than his with paperweights for weapons. I can assure you that if you are a truly skilled pilot in ED, the fights can end much quicker. The event he is in is also meant to be a prolonged engagement. I’d also like to point out that it was a PvE fight and there were no players involved.

I think what it really boils down to is that no one likes dying in AC to a random lucky shot that insta kills you, its not a fun mechanic and they realize that. Sp long as they can keep fights fun and skill based and keep them from becoming too long and tedious I think it will be a welcomed change.

Personally I think of the pacing of the fighter ships isn’t too bad at the moment. What I would prefer for SC would be that lighter ship play would always feel like WWII plane dog fighting. While larger ships would give you the impression of WWII sea ships. If they could keep a pacing like this would be my personal favorite.

It would certainly facilitate more finesse in furballs, and make engagements more realistic. For the PU, I can see how this would make sense; no point in calling up for reinforcements if everyone is dead by the time they get there. One of the things I have always hated in FPS games is dying instantly. Sure, it makes sense there because sniping is a mechanic, but unless SC is going to create an assassin class of ship, it needs to stay out of space… especially on ships designed for dogfights. It’s going to be hard to keep up the balance with newer ships filling different roles all being stuck in a sphere to fight each other. We’ve already seen that with the Gladiator.

Allow an overview of the current situation and the design of Arena Commander (AC). Currently, the intent of AC is as a test bed for ship interactions, flight mechanics, weapons balance, systems functionality, systems interactivity, bug testing and equipment testing. This lets us fly ships, see how they work for now and have some fun doing it, it’s primary purpose is for CIG to be able to read the metrics from our play and their sessions to see how things are working to optimize it and fix bugs and notice issues with how the game is programmed (i.e. CS missiles having turning radii too tight and FOVs too wide to be dodged except by the most skilled pilots knowing how to dodge them and only focusing on that task). The game as it stands is far from balanced and even further from the intended finished product.

There are some key things to know about the future for us, AC and SC as a whole.

First, this “balance pass” is really them introducing a brand new system design to the game regarding weapons. This “balance pass” can be called more appropriately as “Physics-based Damage” they’re working on creating values for each projectile and velocities of weapons to create a force value upon impact to give us a damage value. These calculations will take into account the metrics of the aggressor and the defender and using the magic of calculus deliver damage. They are doing this for the purpose of realism and balance, because currently damage values, ranges, etc are all arbitrarily assigned values.

Second, ship armor currently is not even in the game, any damage you take is dealt to the frame of your ship and each section of your ship. Parts that are broken off have reached that damage cap and are destroyed. With the addition of the armor system and the various types of armor that will be available (examples pending future information) we’ll see an increase in ship survivability. Through this phase as well they have said that they’ll be observing performances of each ship, it’s durability and adjusting ship HP values to meet conceptualizations and intent.

Third, the pace of the game that we see now is significantly faster than they intend for the final game. Currently, if someone gets the drop on you unprepared, you’ll be dead before you can even fight back effectively, if they’re particularly skilled, you’ll be non-functional before you can even react. I do not have a source for this of any confirmation but I strongly expect to see thrust values and accelerations of ships to change drastically in the future. No more acceleration from 0m/s to 240m/s in a Gladius in less than 4 seconds, that kind of acceleration is equivalent to 6Gs, enough to cause an average person to pass out. Ship maneuverability and accelerations will change and vary greatly dependent upon the mass of ship, type of ship and TR of the main thrusters as well as TR of maneuvering thrusters.

Summarily, we’re going to see a slow down in time-to-kill, this is their intent and personally I support is wholeheartedly. We’re going to see a change in the way ships behave in the future and associated balancing regarding missiles and damage values that would logically follow. A number of systems in the game currently are inactive and will all factor into the decision-making process concerning balancing.

A Gladius will never be able to bear the firepower to destroy an Idris, an exceptional pilot MIGHT be able to cripple a Carrack, but very much likely be able to disable/destroy a Redeemer/Cutlass/Espera/Starfarer or any other equivalently sized ship.

Better pilots will always be better pilots, and much remains to be seen and I trust the passion of the team at CIG and Chris Roberts to make this game as fun and fair on a conceptual level as possible.