Balanced and useful augments?

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Balanced and useful augments?

Postby aaaaaa50 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:46 pm

What adjustments would be most balanced and useful for augments? By default, not all augments are balanced, and some are useful only to sell for scrap. I often see custom ships changing Rock armor from it's default 15% to 20%, for example. What can be changed to make sub-optimal augments useful without making them overpowered and gamebreaking?

So like, random questions to start stuff: Would making Reverse Ion Field 50% be too overpowered? Can FTL Recharge Booster be changed so that it makes FTL recharge almost instantly, and would being able to run from every fight be too OP? Should scrap costs be adjusted? Are there some augments (FTL Jammer) that would be better off removed from gameplay?

So I've been playing FTL to the point where the boss fight's almost always easy, and I've enjoyed lots of great mods. There've been some really cool uses of augments (Ex: Amber Shard's regenerative crystals and the Liquidator's trade goods) and I kinda hit upon trying an augment version of the Balanced Arsenal mod. Rather than putting in whatever values I thought would work, though, I think it's better to figure out the numbers. I don't know if this should be in general or not, but we'll see.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby DryEagle » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:11 pm

There is no single answer to this - it depends on each individual ship. Giving a strong ship like the fed.cruiser a 40% system casing would be horribly OP, giving a no-shield no-cloak ship a 50% system casing might just barely make it playable. Etc.
What I'm saying is, you have to look at it on a case-by-case basis.

As for altering the starting values on augments which go in shops, this is quite a difficult question, because again they're so very situational. You also have to bear in mind what happens when NPCs equipped with those augments are powered up too.

The only thing I'd really change is increase the anti-ion one to somewhere around 25,30,40%, and reduce weapon autloader to 10% from 15 - when this stacks multiple times and with leveled-up crew it completely unbalances certain weapons.

Also if you're tweaking the values on starting augments, you may want to look into adjusting the prices of system upgrades to compensate - basically there's a lot of different things that factor into what makes a ship what it is, and what makes the game difficulty what it is, and you have to look at them together, not individually, for they are part of the same whole.

In my opinion.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby Sleeper Service » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:07 pm

I like the İdea and would definitely play that. As far as i understand the augs have little parameter to change. As you are basically stuck with just 'x of what it does' and the price of the aug there is just little room to balance advantages out. Thers no way to combine aug effects rİght?

As suggested some the augs could simply have a 'mark 2' or 'mark 0.5' version with different pricing. Sometimes weaker things can already add a lot to the game. Id still take an halfautomatic reloader instead of nothing.

Making funktionless augs as tradegoods available for loot already seems like a cool idea to me on its own. There could be a lot of these with different pricing and for flavor. Id love to finance my escape from the rebel fleet with a shipload of religious Rock literature İ found...
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby DryEagle » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:32 am

You can't have 2 different versions of the same aug in one mod - there can only be one of each type of augment, with a single altered value.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby aaaaaa50 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:05 pm

I did some experimenting, (BTW is it ok to use notepad?) and making FTL Recharge Booster too powerful really takes the bite out of being caught by the enemy fleet. And it's just weird to be able to just not fight everyone. I guess it could work as a counter to enemy ships using an overpowered version of the FTL Jammer. Like, if there was an extensive mod that changed some ships so that you couldn't escape from them because the FTL would take minutes to charge then the Recharge Booster would counter that. I also tried using Crystal Vengeance at 100% for a little bit. I don't think I played enough to get a good judgement, but even when I killed ships by turning my shields and engine off it still felt, as a weapon, kinda boring.
Sleeper Service wrote:Making funktionless augs as tradegoods available for loot already seems like a cool idea to me on its own. There could be a lot of these with different pricing and for flavor. Id love to finance my escape from the rebel fleet with a shipload of religious Rock literature İ found...

I think I've seen functionless augments used in blue events? I guess a mod that added some trade-centered events/quests could work out.

I've been searching everywhere, and I can't find out what <bp> does. I'd guess it has something to do with random event drops?

Code: Select all

<augBlueprint name="CARGO">
   <title>Trade Goods</title>
   <desc>Assorted goods valuable to most species. Hopefully you can still find a store that will accept them.</desc>
   <cost>400</cost>
   <bp>15</bp>
   <rarity>0</rarity>
   <stackable>true</stackable>
   <value>1</value>
</augBlueprint>
<augBlueprint name="CRYSTAL_SHARDS">
   <title>Crystal Rage</title>
   <desc>Every time your ship takes damage, a shard will break off and fly towards the enemy ship.</desc>
   <cost>80</cost>
   <bp>8</bp>
   <rarity>0</rarity>
   <stackable>false</stackable>
   <value>1</value>
</augBlueprint>

<augBlueprint name="FTL_BOOSTER">
   <title>FTL Tachyon Cycler</title>
   <desc>The ship's FTL Drive charges in seconds.</desc>
   <cost>50</cost>
   <bp>4</bp>
   <rarity>2</rarity>
   <stackable>true</stackable>
   <value>50</value>
</augBlueprint>
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby DryEagle » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:38 pm

As far as anyone knows, the <bp> value does not have a direct impact on gameplay. It seems more like a designer's note on how strong a weapon is - you can see stuff like burst laser mk3 has a high bp, weak weapons have low bp, etc. But ingame it doesn't do anything.

Trading augments, yes it's possible, and yes you can make events respond to them. However, sell price is always half of buy price in shops, to you can't do any kind of economy thing. Only find/buy them in events (at custom prices) and sell them to shops. Events cannot remove augments either.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby aaaaaa50 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:11 pm

DryEagle wrote:Events cannot remove augments either.


Coffin, meet nail. :(
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby DryEagle » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:46 am

Well you can basically have events where you pay scrap to gain a trade augment, which you can then use to sell to a shop. Or pay scrap to gain a "passkey" augment, which you can use in another event to unlock said trade purchase. Etc. Plenty of room to be creative within the bounds of what's possible...

Also, you should investigate the crystal stasis pod event. That one does remove an augment (damaged stasis pod) but it seems hard-coded. Still, perhaps you can do something with that event by changing the text, to make it fit your needs? Though I doubt it, and it will be limited to one aug at most in any case.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby Twinge » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:07 am

It's nice to see this topic brought up. I'm actually quite surprised nobody else has taken it upon themselves (including the devs) to fix some of the major imbalances present in the past several months. The current state is unfortunate, where around 1/3rd of the equipment in the game is rarely to never useful.

Obvious Buffs:
Reverse Ion Fields
Repair Arm
FTL Booster (Primarily useful for hitting 1-2 extra beacons and then out-running the Rebels; fleeing from normal combats excessively will cost you a ton of scrap)
Heavy Ion
Beam Drone (*For players only - the AI Beam Drones are about the right strength)
Anti-Ship Drone II (Not even 1.5x as good as Mark I for twice the energy cost)
Sensors 3

I will almost never buy any of these under any circumstances (the only situations I could construct would be late stage when there's literally no other option available; it hasn't happened yet :P)

There's also a variety of things that could use some smaller tweaks (Automated Reloader nerf for example) throughout to make things more nicely balanced overall. Now, we don't actually want everything perfectly balanced and useful all the time in a game like this, but we do want everything to be useful at least some of the time.

I considered working on this many months ago, but lost interest in FTL at the time. If I retain interest, I'll go ahead and start working on a vanilla balance project - aimed at re-balancing the base game without adding significant amounts of new content. (Though I would also like to look at adding some events that e.g. have Blue options for weaker equipment giving them other ways to be useful.)

I'll also note as far as I can tell augments aren't randomly included on ships - there are only a handful of pre-determined augments (Rock Armor and Zoltan Shields mostly). Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but AFAIK buffing Reverse Ion Fields for example would have no impact on the AI ships whatsoever.
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Re: Balanced and useful augments?

Postby BKT » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:23 am

Twinge wrote:Heavy Ion
Beam Drone (*For players only - the AI Beam Drones are about the right strength)
Anti-Ship Drone II (Not even 1.5x as good as Mark I for twice the energy cost)
Sensors 3


I think these thing work just fine— the Heavy ion bullet speed could maybe change to be as fast as lasers for easier timing, but that's about it.

Since you mentioned about the Anti-Ship MK2 being suck and all... You sure you're not playing the older version of the game? ... The MK1 attack drones got nerfed (move slower) while the MK2 got a pretty nice boost (move faster) a few version ago. The MK2 is quite kick ass now— even better than the 2x MK1 IMO. :o

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