Ship creation through buy system + Randomizer utility

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xdiesp
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Ship creation through buy system + Randomizer utility

Postby xdiesp » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:06 pm

I would really like to formalize a coherent set of rules to create ships in FTL without unbalancing them, a la character creation in D&D. Sadly I'm no programmer, but I can still write down some rules like the average Joe.

So the following is supposed to be a Buy System to create ships loadouts in FTLEdit and Superluminal... give it a look, please, the rationale for the Tiers are supposed to be "energy usage" and "number of shots" analyzed together. I guess you could randomize the selection, just pay attention that the results are able to penetrate shields or in the very least teleport boarders!

edit
Here's an utility to randomize a ship's starting equipment according to these rules:
http://www.mediafire.com/?xg271zy14vwo6va

You can spend 100$. Sell your own shield for an additional 40$.
Select no weapons or attack drones for an additional 40$.

>>> $10
[Drone System] Anti-personnel Drone
[Drone System] System Repair Drone
~
[Augmentation] Drone Reactor Booster
[Augmentation] Mantis Pheromones
[Augmentation] Slug Repair Gel


>>> $20
[Weapon] Basic Laser
[Weapon] Breach Bomb I
[Weapon] Healing Bomb
[Weapon] Heavy Laser I
[Weapon] Ion blast I
[Weapon] Leto Missile
[Weapon] Mini Beam
~
[Drone System] Anti-ship Drone I
[Drone System] Beam Drone
[Drone System] Boarding Drone
~
[Augmentation] Engi Medbot Dispersal
[Augmentation] Long Ranged Scanners
[Augmentation] Rock Plating
[Augmentation] Shield Charge Boosters
[Augmentation] Titanium casing


>>> $40
[Weapon] Anti-Bio Beam
[Weapon] Artemis Missile
[Weapon] Breach Bomb II
[Weapon] Burst Laser I
[Weapon] Dual Lasers
[Weapon] Fire Beam
[Weapon] Fire Bomb
[Weapon] Heavy Crystal I
[Weapon] Heavy Ion
[Weapon] Heavy Pierce Laser
[Weapon] Hull Beam
[Weapon] Hull Missile
[Weapon] Ion Bomb
[Weapon] Pike Beam
[Weapon] Small Bomb
~
[System] Artillery Beam I
[System] Cloaking I
[System] Shield Layer +1
[System] Teleporter 2 Pads
[Drone System] Anti-missile Drone I
~
[Augmentation] Automated Reloader
[Augmentation] Stealth Weapons
[Augmentation] Zoltan shield


>>> $60
[Weapon] Burst Laser II
[Weapon] Crystal Burst I
[Weapon] Heavy Laser II
[Weapon] Halberd Beam
[Weapon] Hermes Missile
[Weapon] Ion Blast II
[Weapon] Pegasus Missile
~
[System] Teleporter 4 Pads
[Drone System] Anti-ship Drone II
[Drone System] Hull Repair Drone
~
[Augmentation] Drone Recovery Arm
[Augmentation] Repair Arm


>>> $80
[Weapon] Burst Laser III
[Weapon] Glaive Beam
~
[Augmentation] Weapon Pre-Igniter
Last edited by xdiesp on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
UltraMantis
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Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby UltraMantis » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:48 pm

Not bad. Well balanced ships are more interesting.
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xdiesp
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Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby xdiesp » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:41 am

I spent an hour purposedly min-maxing setups in order to break the system. What its checks and balances do, is kick your ass if you powergame. Here's two examples:

- I built a glass cannon to exploit the Weapon Igniter: this modified Nesasio has an awesome surprise attack at the beginning of every fight. But with no cloak and no long range sensors, you are as good as dead against asteroids and drones (even more than usual!).

Image

- This one tested abusing the Drone Recovery Arm with awesome drone attack power. It's a modified Vortex which attacks with 2 anti-ship drones, unlimited. It turns out you get a awful lot of damage if you can't target the enemy yourself.

Image

I tried stacking the ship with lasers: the most you can get is a Red Tail with 5 shots (Dual Lasers, 3X Basic Laser) instead of 4. That's as much as you cheat the system.
Last edited by xdiesp on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kartoFlane
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Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby kartoFlane » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:44 am

It's a good idea. It definitely would be with a benefit for all modders to have a centralised reference chart.
It could use a bit more refining (80% of entire budget for one item is a bit extreme IMHO) - it'd be great if you decided to expand it to include other systems as well (i.e. shield level, engines, etc) and assigned a value to each weapon stat (for example, one level of shield piercing - 5$).
Then it would be possible to calculate cost of each weapon individually based on those stats (a simple app could be written to automate that).
Superluminal2 - a ship editor for FTL
xdiesp
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Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby xdiesp » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:37 am

kartoFlane: I'll explain where the costs come from.

When you sort all weapons by energy usage, you see these tiers:
- 1 Energy, 1 Damage, 20-40 scraps
- 2 Energy, 2 Damage, 40-60 scraps
- 3 Energy, 3 Damage, 60-80 scraps
- 4 Energy, 4 Damage, 80-120 scraps
(exceptions are must haves like Burst Laser II, which I put in the next tier)

And if you add the damage starting shisp deal, you see this:
- They do from 3 to 5 raw damage
- Those which deal less raw damage have special functions, like cloaking and boarding
- I rounded it all to about 4 general offensive power per ship (raw damage + special systems + augmentation)

I.e. the Stealth B deals: 3 damage, plus 1 cloaking, plus 1 augmentation, minus 1 less shield. So I set the prices in a way, that you can't outdo the Stealth B: if you want the big ass Glaive Beam and the cloaking, you have to drop the shield first. The same reasoning applied to the equally uber Weapon Igniter afterwards.
DryEagle
Posts: 363
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Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby DryEagle » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:55 am

The problem with this is that the base weapons in FTL aren't really balanced at all. Burst laser 2 is pretty much the most glaring example - you get 4 of these on a ship and it will kill anything, easily.
Furthermore, when making mods people tend to create completely different weapons - you can see some examples in my signature or by browsing the mod forum.

Also, certain weapons are stronger/weaker on certain ship layouts when paired with secondary systems. For example missiles/bombs have great synnergy with teleporter since you can disable the medbay while ignoring shields. Drones are an entirely separate matter too, as they are very situational - a boarding drone can wreck a ship full of engis with no medbay, but is utterly useless against a drone ship if it lands in an empty compartment.

The point I'm trying to make is, you can't just assign flat values to stuff, especially not in tiers like this.
E.g. with your system, the $100 will get you 2x burst laser + a beam or other weapon. This is enough to kill any ship with 4 shields, which is every ship in the game except for a few last-sector autoscouts with 5 shields. This is not at all a balanced starting loadout.
All ships I have created include custom weapons, graphics etc:
Image
ImageImageImageImage
xdiesp
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby xdiesp » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:37 pm

Setting aside what mods do as I focus on vanilla, the issue with equipment being situational is part of the rock\paper\scissor side of the game: the starting Mantis B shield is unbeatable against engis, or a sitting duck against autoships.

About the Burst Laser III's cost: no starting ship has it, but it resembles the Glaive Beam's uberness so I treated it like that one on the Stealth B. Should it cost more (100)? It is still a comically slow weapon, uses 4 energy and gets screwed forever if hit in Sector 1. But powergaming is the bane of all things, here's hope people wouldn't all create Burst III + Leto setups. :D

Later on today I'm going to post a randomizer utility I'm working on to create semi-random ships according to these rules.

edit
Here is the randomizer utility. http://www.mediafire.com/?xg271zy14vwo6va
I called it "FTL Random Ship Maker", but what it gives you is just the blueprint of what you'll have to build by yourself in the editor. I tried hard to avoid totally random scenarios such as having a ship equipped exclusively with 3 bio-beams ^^'', but it can still generate plenty akward types of ships! Here's the log it makes:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a constitution class ship! select constitution and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... ion blast 1 (weapon) boarding drone (drone system) engi medbot dispersal (augmentation) anti-bio beam (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of an apollo class ship! select apollo and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... heavy laser 1 (weapon) mini beam (weapon) repair arm (augmentation) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a stalwart class ship! select stalwart and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... heavy pierce laser (weapon) ion blast ii (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a kobayashi class ship! select kobayashi and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... teleporter 2 pads (system) burst laser ii (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of an excelsior stealth ship! select excelsior stealth and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... boarding drone (drone system) burst laser i (weapon) ion bomb (weapon) ...and favors cloaking over shields .
Last edited by xdiesp on Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
shark
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:11 am

Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby shark » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:35 pm

xdiesp wrote:Setting aside what mods do as I focus on vanilla, the issue with equipment being situational is part of the rock\paper\scissor side of the game: the starting Mantis B shield is unbeatable against engis, or a sitting duck against autoships.

About the Burst Laser III's cost: no starting ship has it, but it resembles the Glaive Beam's uberness so I treated it like that one on the Stealth B. Should it cost more (100)? It is still a comically slow weapon, uses 4 energy and gets screwed forever if hit in Sector 1. But powergaming is the bane of all things, here's hope people wouldn't all create Burst III + Leto setups. :D

Later on today I'm going to post a randomizer utility I'm working on to create semi-random ships according to these rules.

edit
Here is the randomizer utility. http://www.mediafire.com/?6f2e48ra5a5y844
I called it "FTL Random Ship Maker", but what it gives you is just the blueprint of what you'll have to build by yourself in the editor. I tried hard to avoid totally random scenarios such as having a ship equipped exclusively with 3 bio-beams ^^'', but it can still generate plenty akward types of ships! Here's the log it makes:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a constitution class ship! select constitution and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... ion blast 1 (weapon) boarding drone (drone system) engi medbot dispersal (augmentation) anti-bio beam (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of an apollo class ship! select apollo and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... heavy laser 1 (weapon) mini beam (weapon) repair arm (augmentation) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a stalwart class ship! select stalwart and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... heavy pierce laser (weapon) ion blast ii (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a kobayashi class ship! select kobayashi and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... teleporter 2 pads (system) burst laser ii (weapon) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of an excelsior stealth ship! select excelsior stealth and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... boarding drone (drone system) burst laser i (weapon) ion bomb (weapon) ...and favors cloaking over shields .


You come in here, say you're no programmer, say stuff like this
Setting aside what mods do as I focus on vanilla,
while in the modding section, flaunting that ship randomizer....

Who made the ship randomizer? If you can master that, you can master modding FTL. And realizing where the system breaks - at the first step of implementing it.

Here's an idea - now that you probed it and got 'assured' that it works out, make an event chain that handles ship creation at start. Make an event that strips the ship of weapons and augmentations, and adds those you click on.

It seems to me that you are now wasting your time on a useless utility that won't get you any closer to your (requested) goal. it's a d100 simulator with 4 lookup tables, yay. it's solving an imaginary problem.

For starters, different ships (classes) should have different amount of starting cash. So there's the second tip of your balancing fork. Balancing weapons towards 'starting cash', and balancing 'starting cash' to scale with the selected ship/crew.
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All of our mods
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xdiesp
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm

Re: Ship creation through buy system

Postby xdiesp » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:57 pm

Ah, by "setting aside what mods do" I was commenting about the fact that mods add new weapons all the times and the chart only cover Vanilla. :)

The randomizer is a free utility to write joke plots, like this: http://writers-den.pantomimepony.co.uk/ ... -ideas.php
I repurposed it, so it randomly selects a ship class for you, and then makes random equipment for that class. Classes are 53 combos of equipment I could think of, like saying "weapon 60, augmentation 40" or "weapon 20 weapon 20, system 60". I actually wanted to update it tonight, because I did not think of ships with no weapons (like the Basilisk and Carnelian).

edit
I edited a couple of values in the chart and updated the utility to make the weakest classes a little stronger, and introduced 6 new classes about crystal weapons and about boarding. This time it's all DS9 classes. :D I will be trying to see if I can turn the utility into a java page online. The top goal would be outputting a *.ftl file ready to go with Grognak's manager, but I can't do that without the help of some coder.

- you have been given command of a keldon class ship! select keldon and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... zoltan shield (augmentation) hull repair drone (drone system) teleporter 2 pads (system) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a bashir crystal ship! select bashir and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... heavy crystal i (weapon) heavy crystal i (weapon) teleporter 2 pads (system) .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- you have been given command of a dominion class ship! select dominion and press start... .
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- your ship is equipped with... ion blast 1 (weapon) ion blast 1 (weapon) heavy laser 1 (weapon) heavy laser 1 (weapon) shield charge boosters (augmentation) .
shark
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:11 am

Re: Ship creation through buy system + Randomizer utility

Postby shark » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:57 pm

Are you talking about a mod-on-the-fly generator webservice? That's what it sounds like.

But... hm. Interesting idea. A random mod generator.
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Violets are #0000FF
All of our mods
are belong to you.

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