The role of missiles

General discussion about the game.
Nukeknockout
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby Nukeknockout » Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:05 am

Yeah, I like missiles, especially the much-maligned Hull Missile, but it's simply impossible to afford to use them consistently. The Explosive Replicator, Hacking system and Defense Drone Scrambler are essentially required to use missiles consistently and effectively enough to be worth bothering with at all. Furthermore, they're very much a "go big or go home" kind of thing - you need to open with two or three Pegasi or Hull missiles to take advantage of their massive hull damage without taking the time to knock out the enemy shields. EDIT: Unless you're prepared for a long fight anyway - a Hull Missile is the reason my Torus run beat the flagship. It acted as a timer for how long my defenses needed to hold up.

Some dinky little Artemis? Not worth your time, better off putting a Heavy Laser I or Ion Blast I in its place.

In addition, their very nature as consuming limited resources constricts them to a role as extravagant emergency weapons considering that we get paid more for taking ships intact than shattering their hulls with rockets.

The effect of what I'm arguing is that they're only useful when you know you're going to be fighting a singular enemy with good offense and good defense - and for which the rewards for the fight are largely irrelevant. Either rebel flagship are the only examples of targets which fit that criteria in FTL (Barring ships that WILL KILL YOU if you don't kill them first) that I can think of off the top of my head. CE's Rebel Cruisers and various space stations are good targets, but half the time you don't get an advance warning to replace most of your guns with missiles and go big or go home.

Summary: Missiles are incredibly powerful, but the very fact that they consume ammunition prevents us from using them whenever we can. So...working as intended?
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Twinge
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby Twinge » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:49 am

Missiles are in the awkward spot of being both a utility weapon and a damage weapon - which means they do neither job very well, and in practice it's just better to use more specialized weapons.

Well if they're bad, why not just buff them? The reason why we can't just buff them was brought up earlier - buffing missiles directly actually improves their power for the AI a lot more than it does for the player which is undesirable. An option there is to similar but different weapons for the AI and player (this is how the Artemis works - AI Artemis requires 2 power and has a 10s cooldown), but that adds complexity, giving one more thing a player has to memorize to lay optimally (and also makes the world less consistent). There is unfortunately no easy solution. The new augments are a nice option, but really expensive to be considered for a serious run and also not guaranteed.

The approach I'll probably take with the new Balance Mod will be to tweak a little bit all around: I'll bump Breach missiles to 100% breach and drop cooldown 22->21 (for both player and AI), as in the original Balance Mod. I'll probably drop the cost of the Replicator down to 50, Scrambler to 70 or 75. Hull Missile can be buffed directly (AI doesn't use it) - probably drop the cost another 5 and cooldown by 2s (note Hull weapons were also indirectly nerfed by enemies having fewer empty rooms now). Artemis is already in a good spot and useful with its low cooldown and power requirement. Would consider dropping Pegasus cooldown by 1s; possibly drop Swarm by 0.5s or just not touch it. Hermes can't be readily buffed; I'd probably just drop the cost further. Finally, I'd once again drop the cost of missiles in stores from 6 to 5.
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GDK
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby GDK » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:13 pm

Don't forget that bomb weapon also use missiles, and are affected by explosive replicator.

Dropping the cost of missiles and of the explosive replicator will make everything so OP.
itg
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby itg » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:32 pm

GDK wrote:Don't forget that bomb weapon also use missiles, and are affected by explosive replicator.

Dropping the cost of missiles and of the explosive replicator will make everything so OP.


I have to disagree with you there. Buying missiles will still be a last resort option at 5 scrap. It's just a little less crippling if you have to do it.

As for lowering the cost of the explosive replicator, I don't think it will make that big a difference for most bomb weapons. Usually, you only want to use your bomb once or twice per fight to disable one or two key systems. Ammo will rarely be a problem if you use your bombs that way. I guess it's conceivable that you could spam small bombs with an explosive replicator, but it doesn't strike me as OP, and a cheaper explosive replicator wouldn't make it so.
project_mercy
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby project_mercy » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:24 am

I think it would be more interesting if you only consumed a missile when you powered them up, much like a drone. If they get taken offline, then it's another missile to power them. And bombs would take 1 per shot like normal, to make up for the fact that they're just superior. Doesn't really make sense from a reality/logical perspective, but it would at least provide some gravitas to using missiles, but not make them a hose like now.
JonasTheRoman
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby JonasTheRoman » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:31 am

Nukeknockout wrote:In addition, their very nature as consuming limited resources constricts them to a role as extravagant emergency weapons considering that we get paid more for taking ships intact than shattering their hulls with rockets.


Does it really give you more scrap if the enemy ship isn't breached everywhere, but only got taken down by lasers, for example?
Or do you simply mean you get more scrap if you board or suffocate the enemy?
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5thHorseman
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby 5thHorseman » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:51 am

JonasTheRoman wrote:Does it really give you more scrap if the enemy ship isn't breached everywhere, but only got taken down by lasers, for example?
Or do you simply mean you get more scrap if you board or suffocate the enemy?


You only get extra resources for killing the crew and not destroying the ship. It can be littered with holes, on fire, out of air and with 1 hull point left for all the game cares.
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JonasTheRoman
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby JonasTheRoman » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:24 pm

Ok, then that's what I already know, thank you 5thHorseman! :)

@Topic: Personally I prefer bombs over missiles. It's good to have such an "emergency-weapon" at hand if you are facing a strong enemy. You can easily turn on a small bomb or an ion bomb, because of it's small power consumption.
You can just use your regular weapon layout and power up (or just launch, if you've got enough power in your weapon system) the bombs if you really need 'em.
Plus, following this strategy, I usually have dozens of missiles still lying around at the final stage, so I can just spam them at the flagship, e.g. at the rocket launcher, shields, hacking, mind control, medbay, helm, etc., which makes things a lot easier (especially killing the flagship's crew to prevent boarding in the final stage is easy with small bombs, combined with your regular weapons).
The fact that bombs ignore defense drones makes them much more reliable than missiles, plus I feel like they don't miss that often (which could be totally wrong, though).

But the same also goes for small missiles like the Artemis. If I don't find any bomb, I often keep my little Artemis - if I have one - because it can still save you in difficult situations, assuming that there is no defense drone.
But on the other hand I don't like big missiles, because they consume so much power, which doesn't fit to my strategy that missiles are emergency weapons.
Because of that the Rock cruiser is one of my least favorite ships. :D

It's really a funny thing that on the one hand missiles are kinda useless for the player, but on the other hand are one of the biggest threats to him.
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Twinge
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby Twinge » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:23 pm

JonasTheRoman wrote:plus I feel like they don't miss that often (which could be totally wrong, though).


Missiles tend to have higher cooldowns than bombs so this likely leads to them feeling like they have higher miss chances when they're the same.
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Snow Job
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Re: The role of missiles

Postby Snow Job » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:24 pm

I personally find the Artemis to be a superb weapon system from start to finish. Most of the others, not so much. Advanced Edition's Swarm Launcher also seems solid, but the Flak gun-esque area scatter of it (which I really wish the weapon didn't suffer from) makes it pretty bad any time you want to shoot at a 2-tile system.

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