Boarding vs Destroying?

General discussion about the game.
zequeins
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:06 am

Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby zequeins » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:24 pm

Right now Boarding simply gives more benefits compared to destroying the enemy ship. Since Boarding = more scrap = better chance to win the game, it is in your best interest to board every boardable enemies in the game. Sure you will need a Teleporter and it will be slower than shooting down the enemy (and drones are practically immune), but if you aim to complete the game, I see no reason to not board the enemy.

So what benefit is there to shoot down the enemy? (aside from self-imposed challenges) Even against Slavers, it is in your best interest to Board them for a chance to get a free crewmember. Personally, I think they should change the mechanic somehow, so that both Boarding and Shooting has benefit and drawback, and it will be up to you what to do with each encounter.

For example, Boarding grants you default reward (lore-wise, you're being pursued, you won't be able to fully scrap the enemy ship), but also increased chance to find intact weapon/system/other bonus. In contrast, Destroying enemy ship grants increased scrap reward (since they're in pieces), but reduced chance to find intact weapon/systems. Also, maybe a system to detect whether the enemy ship is bringing cargo which is a guaranteed drop if you Board them?

Thoughts?
itg
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:37 am

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby itg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:23 pm

Thematically, I like getting extra scrap and chances for free stuff when boarding (In my mind, "scrap" is mostly useful ship parts, not just chunks of metal). If it were up to me to rebalance things, I would make the initial investment higher to balance the extra rewards. Of course, that may all go out the window with the Advanced Edition.
Elhazzared
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Elhazzared » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:50 pm

Boarding doesn't even takes longer in most cases. If you have 2 mantis boarding it's quick and if you have 4 mantis boarding you can very easly board a ship and kill the crew before the enemy even has the time to shoot. Of course boarding is completly more advantageous in all possible ways.

I do disagree about how I'd balance it. I'd make balance really be balance. Boarding and destroying a ship should yield the same rewards, the way to do this is increase rewards for destroying and redeuce rewards for boarding, do a +50% -50% of the difference and all is good.

The reason why i think there should be no difference in rewards between boarding and killing is very simple. All playstyles should be rewarded equally so that there is no prevalent playstyle and players can go about it to their heart's content rather than... This is the best way.
"The heavens burned
The stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity
Hope, scarred and bleeding breathed it's last."

For my Let's play series of FTL please follow the Link
Red Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:47 pm

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Red Rocket » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:50 am

The current boarding vs shooting system is a little bit weird.
Because boarding gives you a scrap and fuel bonus, that destroying a ship doesn't.

I guess that they thought this would be fair, because heavy boardingships can't destroy drones and have problems with zoltanshields.
But I think they shouldn't give more scrap for boarding a ship, because boarding is way cheaper than shooting.
Buy crewteleporter $75,- (if needed) and your set. Upgrading isn't necessary, but boardin and saving your crew easier.
Where weaponsystems and the weapons them self are really expencive.

I think boarding vs destroying a ship should be equely rewarding, or the rewardingsystem should be changed.
Something like this:
Boarding gives you 50% more fuel, rockets and droneparts, but 50% less scrap.
Destroying gives you 50% less fuel, rockets and droneparts, but 50% more scrap.

Also enemy ships should have more doorupgrades.
It is way to easy to run around the ship now.

With these changes boarding vs destroying a ship would be more balanced, I think.
Elhazzared
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Elhazzared » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:56 pm

And because scrap is very important, much more than anything else no one will bother anymore and will just destroy the enemy ships. The rewards should be exactly the same to not restrict any type of gameplay.
"The heavens burned
The stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity
Hope, scarred and bleeding breathed it's last."

For my Let's play series of FTL please follow the Link
Red Rocket
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:47 pm

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Red Rocket » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:05 pm

That's not inteirly thue.
You can have a lot of scrap, and are in a red sector, running out of fuel is a big problem.
So if you board other ships you get more fuel and don't run out or have to buy it.
If your not boarding but destroying ships, you get more scrap but you do need to buy more fuel.

The other thing is that boarding is way less expencive than destroying ships.
So if you play the boardinggame your need for scrap is less than playing the gungame.
If the rewards are equal the boardingship can get high dodge and high level shields way easier.
Dontmindme
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:22 pm

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Dontmindme » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:40 pm

Should be noted that thematically, it makes sense that taking a ship intact should increase the scrap reward. Compare that to blasting big holes in the side...

When I first played the game, an early thought was that boarding should give greater rewards, and it turned out it did. The same with most of the events, thinking about them, generally, the outcomes tend to fit what one might expect.

I know it would be a big change, but to me, reducing Mantis damage to say 1.5x human would make boarding a little slower and thus a touch more risky in terms of damage sustained. This isn't to say that there aren't ways to mitigate that risk...
Elhazzared
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Elhazzared » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:09 pm

The problem isn't really how much damage mantis do, the problem beggins and ends with boarding or any way to kill the defenders like fire bombs and whatever is just plain better in terms of rewards. It doesn't really matters if it makes sense and it doesn't matters if we try to make it harder to board. The problem starts and ends with it giving better rewards and as such it forces players into that playstyle in order to gain more rewards.

The idea is that the game has a lot of weapons, systems and basicly many many ways to win. Then moment you say that a certain way yields more rewards, everything else is kinda ignored except for end game on the boss ship. This is the problem and what is wrong with it. When you have so many ways to win a fight, all should be equally rewarding so that people will play to diversified styles instead of say, just do this cause it's the best way. It cheapens the game and makes it lose much of it's diversity. Even with this expansion. Look, tons new stuff... How is the metagame going to be if this problem isn't addressed? Oh look, boarding cause better rewards overlap everything else.
"The heavens burned
The stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity
Hope, scarred and bleeding breathed it's last."

For my Let's play series of FTL please follow the Link
karadoc
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:01 pm

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby karadoc » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:47 am

I think Elhazzared is right that if one method of defeating enemies yields greater reward, then that method will be used as much as possible, whenever it is possible. This will probably to the detriment of variety and hence to the detriment of 'fun'.

In my opinion, the bonus rewards for boarding in the current version of the game have this effect. ie. the rewards encourage players to focus on one fairly narrow part of the game at the expense of other interesting parts of the game. Removing the bonus would remove this problem.

However, I think it is possible to reduce the problem in other ways as well. I think the key is that when there is a reward bonus, players will try to get that bonus whenever it is possible (or viable) to do so. I don't think it's enough to just make boarding more expensive, or more time consuming; but I do think that if it was changed so that it was not a viable option in many cases then that would reduce the variety problem.

The game already has some cases where boarding is not a viable option; namely, automated (crew-less) enemy ships. This essentially forces players to use other kinds of weapons. That's a good thing in that it prevents some parts of the game from being completely overshadowed by boarding, but it's a very blunt and forceful way to do it. It's like the game is saying "always use this strategy, except when you aren't allowed to."

I wouldn't advocate adding more automated ships to the game just to counter boarding strategies. I think it would be better to have less hard-line cases, where boarding can still be used but is more risky or costly. As an analogy, it's possible to destroy an enemy ship with only missiles even if the enemy ship is using defence drones - but it is very costly and inefficient. I reckon that if there were cases where boarding was very costly and inefficient, that would help fix this balance problem. (Whereas currently boarding essentially either works, or it doesn't - and it is never costly unless the player messes it up.)

Here are a few brief ideas for making boarding more costly (focusing on risk rather than direct cost):
  • Make the teleporter unreliable, so that there is some probability of failing to recall your units when they are in trouble.
  • Make the teleporter blockable with shields or some other mechanism; again so that the teleporter cannot be relied on to recall your units at critical times.
  • Make some of the enemies smarter, so that they can do things like trap your boarding party in air-less rooms, and use stealth to prevent you from using your teleporter to recall them.
  • Remove the instant-recharge of teleporters when the battle is over, so that if you have units on an enemy ship which is burning or has no air, you still have to wait for the teleporter to recharge to recall the units. (This wouldn't make much difference currently, but it may become more important if the AI knew how to open airlocks to suffocate boarding parties.

In short, I think bonus scrap and resources from boarding creates a balance problem in the current version of the game. The easy way to fix it is to remove the bonus. But there are other ways, which might take more planning and skill to implement, but which could solve the balance problem without removing the bonus.
Elhazzared
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 am

Re: Boarding vs Destroying?

Postby Elhazzared » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:34 am

You do make good points there Karadok, I do not think making teleporters unreliable would be good though, I can understand you wanting to put a risk reward system but in many cases and even more in particular, imagine the mantis B cruiser. Things go wrong and it's GG just because a teleporter couldn't do it's job, as for ways to make returns harder you already have the stealth which can stop your crew from recalling, i remember a few times having 2 crew die in airless rooms as i boarded ai ships and then they stealthed just as I was going to recall the crew... Infuriating to say the least... Zoltan shields alreay stop you from teleporting in which buys the enemy ship time to deal with you so there is no need to also have normal shields stop that, it would be a little overkill and again would make mantis B completly unviable at the start since it has no weapons and relies purely on boarding... We also are going to have mind control and hacking to make boarding more risky, for example a mantis sudenly turns against you mid boarding or you are just teleported back and lose precious time.

I think the best way is still the easy way because you are just saying, no matter how you go, you gain the same so have fun the way you want though i wouldn't just remove the bonus from boarding. instead I'd compare the reward values in scrap and drop chances from destroying and killing just the crew and then I'd find the difference between both, cut the difference in half, reduce that half from the crew killing and add that half to destroying the ship. I think the value of killing ships is very low, rare is the case when you can go on destroying every ship and get all you need by the end. Similarly you gain too much by killing the crew, so a nice in between would make sure that a good amount of times you get just about enough for all you need by end game which leaves some games where you don't, and some where you get more than you need but averagely you get just about enough... The new hard mode will be good for those who like to run low on scrap and really have a hard time... Guess it will kinda be my main mode lol.
"The heavens burned
The stars cried out
And under the ashes of infinity
Hope, scarred and bleeding breathed it's last."

For my Let's play series of FTL please follow the Link

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