[0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.
Post Reply
Schallfalke
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:57 am
Contact:

[0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:11 pm

I appreciate personal laser defense (abbreviated as PLD in the following context) now sharing the laser damage research. Making them not so OP in early-mid game, while also more useful in the late-game.
But in general, I feel PLD is over-buffed in 0.17.
Let me show the settings first:

Code: Select all

Laser turret:
  - Cooldown: 20 ticks
  - Range: 24
  - Damage modifier: 2
  - Energy per shot: 800 kJ
Personal laser defense:
  - Cooldown: 20 ticks
  - Range: 15
  - Damage modifier: 4
  - Energy per shot: 50 kJ (0.16: 200 kJ)
I am okay with the double damage over laser turret, since it has a much shorter range. It can be "reasoned" as more focused beam for the damage.
However, together with energy per shot of PLD just make it TOO GOOD. A portable fusion reactor (750 kW) can power up 15 PLDs! It makes them so cheap that only one fusion reactor is needed in Power armor MK2. In comparison, 0.16.51 needs two or even three fusion reactors so such sustained PLD firing.

Looking at the stats, it also looks like the laser turrets are using from very inefficient and wasteful ancient laser technology, just doesn't sound right...
But I do NOT mean buffing laser turrets, they are too good already. In most multiplayer game, I see people using laser turrets, but never gun turrets. (May have flamethrower turrets for crazy spawn scenarios, but few.) Laser turrets already have longer range and much simpler logistics than gun turrets.

To summarize, I would suggest increasing energy per shot back to 200 kJ (or at least 150 kJ). If not, then reducing the damage modifier of PLD to 2.

Thanks for your attention.
Schall

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by BlakeMW » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:35 pm

In some ways I agree in other ways I disagree. Putting aside comparisons with the Laser Turret, and considering it in comparison with other modules. The problem with having a PLD is you then can't have an energy shield or exoskeleton in those slots. Splashing things with the flamethrower is a death sentence so heavily shielded setups with a flamethrower offer both extreme lethality and durability, also, nukes with lots of exos is another good setup because you kill the biters from over the horizon.

There is a setup which involves using a mix of exos, shields and PLDs then seizuring all over the place to evade worm spits and stay alive, this setup doesn't use a weapon because you slow down when you fire a weapon which, if you don't have a lot of shields, results in death from getting snared and melted, so in this case the PLDs are the primary source of damage and let you deal damage while running at full speed, with grenades and capsules being a secondary damage source. It's mildly entertaining and not ineffective, altough the firepower is a lot less than with a weapon.

Finally, the vehicles are rather fragile and prone to getting snared and melted by acid, so the PLD can be fired from within a vehicle while most modular armor components don't achieve anything, but it's still not particularly satisfactory even with a low energy cost because you don't have much durability and fairly poor mobility. It is pretty hilarious filling a PA2 with PLDs then driving around in the Car or Tank spewing laser beams of death but the fragility is extreme, the vehicle dies so easily then you die pretty easily when you pop out, it's more like a way to go out in a blaze of entertaining glory than an effective combat strategy (effective strategies generally involve staying at maximum range of the vehicle weapon).

So is there a balance problem with PLDs? I don't think there is, setups with PLDs aren't clearly superior to those without, the damage output isn't great compared with personal weapons, and you can get more value out of personal weapons with more speed or durability which wearing PLDs seriously compromises.

Is it too cheap per shot? Probably. Probably wouldn't hurt if it cost twice as much per shot. Though I don't think it's actually a balance problem, it's more a consistency problem.

dood
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 353
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:36 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by dood » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am

Laser turrets are not "too good", they are just convenient.
They actually suck now, especially if you build power poles right next to them which can get caught in acid.
Their damage seems to have taken a huge hit from constant beam conversion and they keep getting overrun.

I don't think comparing the PLD energy efficiency to laser turrets is fair because you can't hook a PLD up to 10k solar panels.
It appears to be way too powerful tho, balanced without upgrades in mind.
One seems to be as good as your machinegun so why would you ever fire it again if you have 6 in your suit?

User avatar
leadraven
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:23 pm
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by leadraven » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:06 am

I didn't test PLD in 0.17 yet. You are talking about damage numbers and power efficiency. Tell me how good it is in endgame? Is power suit full of PLD good enough to annihilate endgame top-tier alien fields?

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by BlakeMW » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:42 am

dood wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am
They actually suck now, especially if you build power poles right next to them which can get caught in acid.
Their damage seems to have taken a huge hit from constant beam conversion and they keep getting overrun.
But they're fine if you just leave a 1 tile gap between the laser turret and the power pole. It's also not a bad idea to leave a 1 tile gap between laser turrets to prevent splash damage.

I haven't noticed any reduced damage output, but they've always struggled at killing large numbers of small biters/spitters because most their damage is wasted as overkill when shooting smalls. I think the biters are a bit more aggressive in 0.17 under default settings (but I always play deathworld type settings).
One seems to be as good as your machinegun so why would you ever fire it again if you have 6 in your suit?
Machine gun has longer range - specifically it has longer than spitter range unlike PLD - and it uses a weapon slot rather than an modular armor slot. While there are 2 weapons that are better than the SMG, namely the Flamethrower and Rocket launcher, there are 3 weapon slots so carrying a SMG doesn't cost you anything, it's a freebie. The SMG is also a targetable weapon, you can use it to snipe spawners or spitters which are behind biters, in contrast the PLD will always focus on biters if they are nearest, but often you can just ignore biters and run away from them.

If you compare what you get out of 6 PLDs vs 3 Exos, the PLDs are not clearly the better deal. With a bunch of Exos you can use the Rocket Launcher to surgically remove spawners from nests and the biters can't do a damn thing about it. PLD setups are fun but they're gimmicky compared with setups that provide long range and high speed.
leadraven wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:06 am
I didn't test PLD in 0.17 yet. You are talking about damage numbers and power efficiency. Tell me how good it is in endgame? Is power suit full of PLD good enough to annihilate endgame top-tier alien fields?
Well, it's good enough to get you annihilated in 0.5 seconds since you'll have neither speed nor shielding.

A setup mostly full of PLDs is good enough to annihilate big-biter era nests, but it doesn't work well against Behemoth Biters because even with a suit half full of PLDs it takes about 5s to kill just one Behemoth Biter. It'll definitely whittle them down while you're bravely running away, but so will a single splash from the flamethrower.

I do like to have one or two PLDs in a late game setup just to laser down nuisances (the auto-targetting is nice).

Schallfalke
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:57 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:53 pm

BlakeMW wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:35 pm
Putting aside comparisons with the Laser Turret...
Laser turret is not avoidable in comparison, because PLD and it are basically the same weapon.
PLD is paying 1/16 energy only for double damage (though shorter range). Just unfair.
BlakeMW wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:35 pm
So is there a balance problem with PLDs? I don't think there is, setups with PLDs aren't clearly superior to those without, the damage output isn't great compared with personal weapons, and you can get more value out of personal weapons with more speed or durability which wearing PLDs seriously compromises.
Damage output of PLD isn't great compared with personal weapons? It is actually a good thing. PLD only has initial cost but free after install. On personal weapons, players need to spend the precious iron (and/or uranium) for every shot. If PLD were as good as or even better personal weapons, why would anyone have to "waste" resources on manufacturing ammo at all?
PLD has the word "defense" in it, not "offense", after all. Maybe this upsets the lovers of PLD, but PLD should not be better than most weapons in the offense role, if the game still cares for balance.
BlakeMW wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:35 pm
Is it too cheap per shot? Probably. Probably wouldn't hurt if it cost twice as much per shot. Though I don't think it's actually a balance problem, it's more a consistency problem.
Maybe your whole reply want to say PLD is least effective than using other equipment modules, but that's another greater problem you should mention in another thread.
What I care here is about the balance of PLD vs laser turret vs other weapons. PLD is far superior here.
dood wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am
Laser turrets are not "too good", they are just convenient.
They actually suck now, especially if you build power poles right next to them which can get caught in acid.
"Convenient" is already one of the big advantages. Say how many resources did you save by not placing all the belts, inserters, red/green bullets?
As mentioned by BlakeMW, just leave a tile gap. It costs you no extra resources to avoid such splash.
If you are actually complaining acid splash on poles, than gun turrets will have MUCH WORSE problem! Inserters, belts... They suffer even more from acid splash. So you just mentioned an extra disadvantage of gun turrets.
dood wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am
I don't think comparing the PLD energy efficiency to laser turrets is fair because you can't hook a PLD up to 10k solar panels.
Why the comparison is not fair? They are basically the same thing from the laser weapon tech tree.
dood wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:49 am
One seems to be as good as your machinegun so why would you ever fire it again if you have 6 in your suit?
I don't know if you are serious here or not. 6 PLD means 6 times DPS of 1 PLD. Period.
BlakeMW wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:42 am
I think the biters are a bit more aggressive in 0.17 under default settings (but I always play deathworld type settings).
Yes, it is true. Multiple players commented in their posts that in 0.17 they need about triple number of turrets to maintain their defense line, for their save game.
I have not make my own conclusion about "triple" yet, but I definitely need more denser turret formations to keep biters off.
One of the cause is the new pollution handling algorithm. Up to 0.16.51, the nearer spawners will "absorb" all the pollution reaching them, even if they "spending rate" of pollution (to spawn attacking groups) is less than the "absorption rate". (As an analogy, absorbed pollution is like the "currency" of the alien force to "buy" attack units. The nearer spawner grab all the money, but they have limited buying capacity.) So the further spawners do not get much pollution, thus not spawning much attacking groups.
In 0.17, spawners will only "absorb" pollution up to a certain limit. Excess pollution will propagate to further spawners. Therefore, more spawners can get the pollution, thus bigger attacking groups.

User avatar
Ranakastrasz
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1988
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:05 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by Ranakastrasz » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:03 pm

You cannot compare any equipment in personal armor to physicaly placed entities.

This is because of the extremely limited space in armor. You can just place solar panels and accumulators until power is satified, and keep expanding to get the required space. this varies, but is generally easy to do, and has no hard limit. Securing territory might take time, but not a lot.
In armor, space is at a premium, You can power anything you want with solar panels, but compared to a fusion reactor, they are ineffective. not because they cost more, but because of how they use more space. Otherwise all the solar panels plus all the batteries would be the way to go, like in your base.

Laser defense is the same way. You can layer laser turrets multiple layers deep and basically coat your base with them. Your armor demands tradeoffs. More lasers means less shields, or power storage, or power generation, or speed. And same with the rest of them.

The power levels, and everything else in powered armor is almost completed decoupled from power in your base. Heck, this was pretty blatent when I started modding, before the personal roboport required them to rescale the power.
A fusion reactor, back then, produced 750w. Not 750 kilo-watts, 750 watts. Everything else also used 1000x less power, and produced 1000x less power. Well, roughly, since other balance changes have occured since then. It wasn't until the two systems actually interacted that it was brought in line. Note that this means that, back then, you needed around 700 fusion reactors to match a single steam engine. (Steam engines were like 510kw rather than 900kw)

So yea, you can't really compare them. At least not without realizing where the comparison breaks down.
My Mods:
Modular Armor Revamp - V16
Large Chests - V16
Agent Orange - V16
Flare - V16
Easy Refineries - V16

Schallfalke
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:57 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:00 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:03 pm
...
The power levels, and everything else in powered armor is almost completed decoupled from power in your base. Heck, this was pretty blatent when I started modding, before the personal roboport required them to rescale the power.
A fusion reactor, back then, produced 750w. Not 750 kilo-watts, 750 watts. Everything else also used 1000x less power, and produced 1000x less power. Well, roughly, since other balance changes have occured since then. It wasn't until the two systems actually interacted that it was brought in line. Note that this means that, back then, you needed around 700 fusion reactors to match a single steam engine. (Steam engines were like 510kw rather than 900kw)
...
Yes, it may be uncomparable back at those old times.
But after all the scaling (say fusion reactor gets 750 kW), isn't it already kind of attempt to fit the scale of power system within grid with the base power network?
The solution would be to "correct" the scale of grid equipment modules (although it would bring a larger issue, which I feel should be discussed in another new thread), rather then to "justify" 50 kJ for PLD is a good setting.

BlakeMW
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:29 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by BlakeMW » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:23 pm

You've yet to make a case for why it's a balance problem, rather than merely a consistency problem.

At the moment a fusion reactor (16 tiles) can power 5 fully shooting-speed upgraded PLDs (25 tiles), alternatively it could power 3.75 exos (30 tiles). PLDs and Exos are reasonably comparable, as neither draw energy continuously but both can draw energy for sustained periods of time and with the current balance for both for continuous use you need about half power and half power-consumer which seems fair from a game balance perspective.

If as you suggest, the power consumption were quadrupled, then 1 fusion reactor can power 1.2 PLDs, which seems absurd to me, if you have 4 Fusion Reactors you could only have 5 PLDs, or you'd have a brief life on batteries, essentially you have a suit full of power supply to power a small amount of stuff.

Of course you could quadruple the power consumption of everything and also quadruple the power supply of everything, so then you have Portable Solar Panels producing 120 kW and people whining they produce twice as much power as the stationary versions, which already have an absurdly high power density for solar panels. Also because roboport power usage is "pegged" (that is a recharging robot fills draws joules at the same rate from portable and grid) you wouldn't quadruple the roboport power consumption, instead it'd effectively have 1/4 the power draw and last way longer than it currently does.

It's all about finding compromises were things are reasonably well balanced in terms of gameplay without being too offensive in terms of sensibilities.

Schallfalke
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2018 7:57 am
Contact:

Re: [0.17] Personal laser defense gets too good

Post by Schallfalke » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:55 pm

BlakeMW wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:23 pm
You've yet to make a case for why it's a balance problem, rather than merely a consistency problem.

At the moment a fusion reactor (16 tiles) can power 5 fully shooting-speed upgraded PLDs (25 tiles), alternatively it could power 3.75 exos (30 tiles). PLDs and Exos are reasonably comparable, as neither draw energy continuously but both can draw energy for sustained periods of time and with the current balance for both for continuous use you need about half power and half power-consumer which seems fair from a game balance perspective.

If as you suggest, the power consumption were quadrupled, then 1 fusion reactor can power 1.2 PLDs, which seems absurd to me, if you have 4 Fusion Reactors you could only have 5 PLDs, or you'd have a brief life on batteries, essentially you have a suit full of power supply to power a small amount of stuff.
...
I am not gonna repeat myself on power consumption settings of exos, shields, roboports, etc. It is a great balance problem on "power armor power system". I want to simplify things to talk about PLD and weapons stuff only.

Plus, PLDs and exos are not directly comparable. Exos are like continuously used type of equipment. PLDs are suddenly used type, used less than 10% of player online time. Batteries (like accumulators for the base network) exist for the reason that they will satisfy the sudden demand.

Although I want to nerf PLD, don't mistake me, actually I LOVE to fight with PA2 + PLD a lot!

I feel 0.16.51 has about right settings of PLD to fusion reactor ratio.
Back in 0.16.51, I fought with 2 fusion reactor + 4-8 batteries + 3 shields + rest all PLD grid. If drive in tank, I removed the shields for more PLD. I may remove 4 PLD for a third fusion reactor when need to recharge, but batteries were staying there until combat completely ended.
There was a tension for PLD "competing" with power generation, but this was kind of good thing because this is a little challenge.

PLD is (assumed) the most power demanding device, and the main reason why personal battery is ever needed.
Players won't fight indefinitely, so installing more batteries is better than using the space for fusion reactors.
A 4×4 space can accomodate 8 batteries MK2, which is 800 MJ. It is equivalent to 4000 shots in 0.16.51.

0.17 just made the personal batteries lost their role. It becomes TRIVIAL that players no longer have to adjust number of personal batteries for PLD-heavy combat. Now, simply 2 fusion reactors can power everything, never needing more than 1 personal battery. It becomes a cakewalk that I no longer have to care about battery level.

PS: Acid is not a real threat to me in 0.17, at least when I have at least 3 exos, and doing "random walk" combat dancing around enemies. I use this tactics and never tank. 3 shields are enough to keep me alive, and 3 exos allow me to always escape fast enough when walked onto an acid splash. There are cluster grenades, destroyer capsules, poison capsules which will NOT slow down movement, which are enough to deal with spawners. This is somewhat I don't agree with your prior reply.

Post Reply

Return to “Balancing”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bobucles