Markus_Ramikin Posted November 16, 2010 Share Posted November 16, 2010 (edited) Current version (2.2):http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20846822/Rebellion/RamikinRebalance_2_2.rebchangelog:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20846822/Rebellion/Changelog_2_2.txt_______________________________ I haven't really played any Rebellion multiplayer games in ages, I admit this is because it got to the point where it wasn't fun to me due to the flaws of the interface (for instance, why can't I just have espionage missions on my own planets repeat themselves automatically?). However, recently I played a few games of single player for nostalgia's sake and due to my never quite expired love for Star Wars. Meh, somebody fix the interface stuff and Rebellion becomes one of the best titles in the history of gaming. But anyway. I noticed this before, and it came to my attention again, how seriously unbalanced this game is in terms of fighters vs capital ships. This has two dimensions: space battle and bombardment. 1. Space battles This isn't obvious at low numbers, early in the game. If you send a small number of Y-wings against a Lancer Frigate, the frigate will hold its own. This is mostly due to the ship's shield, its power and regeneration. However, as numbers go up proportionally, this equality collapses. If you send 5 times as many Y-wings vs 5 Lancer frigates, the Y-wings win by all focus-firing one ship. They can bring down the shield fast enough that the regeneration doesn't really matter, and then torpedoes quickly finish the job. Meanwhile, capital ships don't fire fast enough to eliminate fighters equally fast. Make the numbers big enough and you don't even need Y-wings, anything will do. T/Is if you want. If you spend X amount (but fairly large) of resource on Star Destroyers (and their complement fighters/bombers) and I spend the same amount of resource on carriers and fighters/bombers, and we fight, I'm going to win that battle. Period. And that's a Bad Thing, because there is a whole huge tech line of cool and varied ships which are fun to build and pit against each other - but that's not the winning strategy, so - especially if I'm in any doubt of victory - I'm going to focus on carriers and fighters. Now I'm actually not that experienced and skilled in multiplayer - won a number of games, lost a bit more - so perhaps I'm missing something and indeed there is good reason to build normal capital ships in a competitive game, so feel free to correct me, guys. 2. Bombardment This is where things get ridiculous. To get past a single level 1 Gencore, you need to amass a Bombardment value above its shield strength, which is 40. Disregarding for the sake of simplicity the effect of Admirals with the bombarding fleet and Generals with the defending planet, this means a simple sum of Bombardment values/modifiers of all ships and fighter squadrons. And the silly thing is, while in the Star Wars lore bombardment is done mostly with capital ship turbolasers, in the game fighters absolutely dominate in this field as well. 1 dinky Y-wing squadron, or two X-wing squadrons, have the same Bombardment value (2) as a Dauntless Cruiser or Imperial Star Destroyer II. That means that you need to have over 20 Dauntless Cruisers OR over 20 Y-wing squadrons to break through a single Gencore 1 (again, not counting the presence/absence of Admirals/Generals). I'm going to disregard Construction cost and just count this in terms of Maintenance, that's 20*99 vs 20*4. So 1980 vs 80. Even after adding the cost of carriers, that's still ridiculous. Also note that almost anything that bombards "well" in this game has a value of 2. This includes ISDs, VSDs, Mon Calamaris etc. The only exceptions are the Bulwark (4), SSD (3), VSD I and II, and the Death Star (a pathetic 15. Really, Death Star, you can't break through a planetary shield on your own?). So any capital ship fit with powerful Turbolasers and Cannons does as well at Bombardment as a single squadron of outdated multirole fighters, or at most two-three such squadrons. That's that for the long-winded introduction. Now for the... REBALANCE IDEA (See top of the page for the current download link). I basically implemented this to make the game more fun for myself in single player, to encourage more use of capital ships. But it might be a good idea to try in multiplayer as well. It had three major components: I. Reduced the firepower of fighters in combat. I thought to try simply halving their squadron strengths, but ultimately rejected this idea; they would not only be weaker in combat, but also die a little too easily. I don't want to eliminate fighters from the game, I don't hate them, I just want them back in line. Instead, I more or less halved their firepower. Most important downing was of ion cannons, which are responsible for bringing shields down quickly. For example, the Y-wing used to be: Laser cannon: 5Ion cannon: 3Torpedoes: 8 Currently it is: Laser cannon: 3Ion cannon: 1Torpedoes: 4 Other fighters and bombers were treated similarly. Note that bombers (all types) are still dangerous after the change, especially in numbers, and a few squadrons of them is a real danger to a capital ship or even a few of them. However, now they take long enough to bring things down that a strong anti-fighter escort can actually do something about it. And fighters are still the ultimate defense force. For defending a planet, you can pour all your resource into them as you don't need carriers, and they are still very cost-effective. Only goes to show how much out of whack they were before I made this change. Other changes:- B-wing maneuverability was increased a little, from 3 to 4. There is no need for them to have less than Y-wings; vs ships it doesn't matter, and vs fighters they used to do even worse than Y-wings which is fubared. They do cost twice as much maintenance and are supposed to be state of the art.- B-wing bombardment value increased from 2 to 3. Again, they cost a lot more than Y-wings, they should be a little better. II. Drastically improved Bombardment of capital ships What I did was first compare a Bulwark and a resource-equivalent force in Y-wings. A Bulwark costs 175 maintenance, which is an equivalent of about 3 carriers full of Y-wings, that's 36 Bombardment. Now my idea was that capital ships should be at least as good as fighters at bombardment. So I ended up setting Bulwark's bombardment to 40. No, I'm not crazy, bear with me. Next I looked for a formula that would produce this value as a function of turbolaser and ion cannon values, so I could apply it to other ships and set their bombardment accordingly. I ended up doing it like this: take the strongest side of a ship (Forward, Aft, Port, Starboard), as this will be favored during a bombardment. Then add Turbolasers and Ion Cannons, then divide by 20. This produces reasonable numbers. For instance, for an ISD, that's (100+100)/20 = 10 Bombardment. A Mon Calamari is strongest on the Port/Starboard sides, (160+20), divided by 20 that's 9. Dreadnoughts get 3, and so on. In fact, most ships are slightly less cost-effective than fighters in bombardment, which is fine. The Bulwark is top of tech tree, outdated technology should be a little worse. Other notes:- I upped the VSD I and II bombardment by two points from what the formula gave them. The description says they are bombardment specialists, and indeed their used to have more Bombardment than their turbolasers seemed to warrant, so I decided not to sacrifice that concept.- The Death Star has nominal values of 1400 and 400 for turbolasers and ion cannons. I went with that, without tinkering. So that gives us a bombardment of 90. Extremely powerful, yes, but this is one heck of an investment and in the vanilla game it is rarely worth it. Now it is. III. Doubled planetary shield strengths This is to balance out the other changes. The point was to make capital ships more useful -relative to fighters-, not to make planetary shields obsolete. Now if you build a bunch of ships effective at bombardment (such as Star Destroyers, Mon-Cals, or even Liberators which have considerable firepower for a carrier) and load them up with the usual complement of bombers for bombardment, that'll give you more Bombardment value than you used to get before. For instance, my favorite setup, a Liberator with 6 fighters (let's say Y-wings since we're talking Bombardment), in vanilla that's 2 + 6*2 = 14 bombardment. Rebalanced, we have 8 + 6*2 = 20 due to the considerable port/starboard firepower on the Liberator. That's almost one-and-a-half as much as before. If you use B-wings, that's 14 vs 26. So to be safe, I just doubled the shields. A little more improvement than necessary? Yes, but as I understand it, part of the balance of Rebellion is that it's easier to defend than attack. This is because fighters are very cost effective but if you're attacking, you need to bring carriers as well which adds to the cost; a problem the defending planet doesn't have. However, this balancing factor only holds true for fighters. Now that my modification considerably lessens the huge advantage fighters had over capital ships, that balancing factor is almost gone, and the game shifts strongly towards the offensive. That's why I upped the shield strenghts more than initially seemed necessary, to keep the defensive game playable. So I changed shield strengths: Gencore 1: from 40 to 80Gencore 2: from 80 to 160. The change has worked out very well in my experience so far. Now whether I play with the usual fighter-oriented strategy, or a more capital ship-oriented one, I don't feel gimped either way. I've been having tons of fun playing with varied fleets rather than focusing on the one thing that works best, so I feel I achieved my goal here. I'm sharing in case it interests anyone. I don't know how well that'd hold up in multiplayer, but that's for you guys to judge. I'm just posting the idea, maybe you'll find it worthwhile, maybe not. At least maybe some discussion of rebalancing ideas might spark from it. Maybe even be something for whoever was working on a remake to consider. IV. Cards? This updated setting clearly affects gameplay and does show in the Status of a given unit - but not in the Encyclopedia. I'm talking about fighters' lasers and ion cannon values, which have changed but the encyclopedia shows the old values still. I can't seem to update the cards because my RebEd keeps telling me I need a complete install. That's after installing on Windows 7 using these instructions:viewtopic.php?p=542563&sid=122e5105df8a8b2d06519ed41dfb72b9#p542563 If anyone feels like helping solve this problem, that'd be nice. V. AI? How does the computer read the strengths of the opposing force? It keeps fleeing from fights which, due to the lowered strength of fighters/bombers, it should probably not have to flee from. Is there a way to modify the computer's AI behavior? Edited October 12, 2011 by Markus_Ramikin Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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