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Author Topic: Basic Question and Answer thread  (Read 3945 times)

Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2016, 08:06:35 AM »

Thermal converter/generator => needs massive boost in usefulness.
Yep, this and others, like Quarantine tested.

Power from matter (matter filter?) => impractical, boost or remove entirely...
Situational. It's saved me before, and just recently another player shared a similar story. That's a hell of a lot of power for a small mass.

Particle charger => the coverage is way too high, the item is typically gone after 3 fights.
These are way too effective to allow them to also have low coverage, at least when combined with a large array of energy weapons.

Cloaking generator / manoeuvering thrusters => decent for a stealth build, but almost useless for a combat build due to the bad integrity/coverage ratio. Doesn't need fixing if it's intended only for use by stealth builds or to boost hunters.
Right, intended that way.

Shield => needs more integrity to be worthwhile.
Not sure which item you're referring to. There are many types of shields.

Armor => it'd be nice to have some with higher integrity and lower coverage.
That's an interesting idea... though I can see stacking them with certain builds being extremely effective. Could be tough to balance in.

Force field => that one has serious balance issues. I plan on writing an analysis on combat sometimes in the future. I'll address the shortcomings in details there. In a nutshell, there is usually no reason to equip 3 reactors unless you plan on using force fields, and force fields are rare enough that on average you lose in evolving a third power slot.
I think they're okay because shields are massively effective parts. They protect everything extremely well, and some even protect your allies as well as allow your allies to protect you. The alternative which may be more effective from a numbers standpoint is your go-to strategy of stacking inventory filled with parts and/or huge-integrity items. But sometimes it's a case of finding X and using X to survive (even if it's not as effective as Y), not "I'm going to build this perfect death machine every time I play." A good number of winning combat builds use better force fields combined with extremely large batteries.

Melee analysis suite => melee is underpowered (intentionally, from what you've said). This thing doesn't quite close the gap. Useful in enemy hands, but not to the player.
Disagree. Melee is going to generally be underpowered for heavy combat builds compared to what you can do with a sizeable array of good weapons (intentionally, to differentiate the combat style), but it serves its own niche, and having a better chance of hitting with your one really powerful weapon (which can generally core robots of the same rating in a single hit) is quite effective.

Thanks for the wish list. I'll certainly be coming back to these posts in the future.

Also, some of these effects you find less attractive could perhaps be made worthy if we add some rarer super-advanced versions of them :D
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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2016, 11:48:01 AM »

That matter -> energy converter might be sweet toggled on with force fields perhaps...
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mindreader

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2016, 01:26:38 PM »

I agree with most of decker's criticisms.

I also dont' use particle chargers, despite my initial enthusiasm.  It just never really works out.

I've never managed to use shields or force fields effectively, although I admit I've only ever really tried using batteries with them.  I might try to get an extra power slot next time I find some.  I will probably regret it, but if I don't that'll be a lot of fun.

While I've have saved my life with melee weapons in desperate situations, there's no way to direct their damage to the core, so most hits appear to do nothing while I'm busy being shot up.

As for armor, I'm not the most advanced player, so maybe this is off base, but plating doesn't seem to be as good as just getting extra movement slots.  Plating has more coverage generally, but it also generates heat, weighs a ton, and often takes multiple slots.  Whereas, like an armored leg or some treads turned off take no energy, produce no heat, have no weight, even if you are flying around, have surprisingly high integrity, are extremely common, and will often save your life if your other means of travel get shot off.  I feel like either movement parts need to have a weight value assigned when they are turned off or armour needs more integrity then it has.

And I'll add one item to the list.  The remote datajack seems to take a stupendous amount of matter to function.  I'm sure this must be from some previous balance change, but every time I seek to use it I run out of matter within a couple fights, having maybe hacked a robot or two.  If I'm specifically going a hacking route I won't even have enough matter to risk switching it out for a real weapon when I've rebooted a robot.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 02:28:44 PM by mindreader »
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Decker

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2016, 04:59:27 PM »

Quote
Not sure which item you're referring to. There are many types of shields.

I mean the EM-like shields. They get shot up too fast due to high coverage. Shielding that absorbs hits to propulsion&co is fine, for speed builds.

Quote
That matter -> energy converter might be sweet toggled on with force fields perhaps...

I'll test that out when I get the chance. Wasting 1-2 inventory slots until you find both the FF and the power generator from matter is much more acceptable than wasting a power slot. It'd be annoying as hell from a UI perspective though. Turn on/off every fight.

Quote
I feel like either movement parts need to have a weight value assigned when they are turned off or armour needs more integrity then it has.

Heh. This was discussed already. Kyzrati almost nerfed propulsion armor that way but he didn't do it because then you'd be limited to one propulsion type (probably legs due to higher availability). Anyway, I think propulsion armor is fine as a mechanic. If it disappeared, it'd just mean that kinetic weapons and stuff like heat sinks would become even more makeshift armor than they already are.

As for armor needing more integrity, I fully agree. Or perhaps a new mechanic. As it gets damaged, it aborbs less and less damage, but overall, it lasts a lot longer so that it feels like it's actually armor.
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Decker

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2016, 08:00:15 PM »

Quote
That matter -> energy converter might be sweet toggled on with force fields perhaps...

Nope...still got drained with that fusion compressor turned on against a single sentry. 20 energy/turn isn't enough.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2016, 11:03:23 PM »

While I've have saved my life with melee weapons in desperate situations, there's no way to direct their damage to the core, so most hits appear to do nothing while I'm busy being shot up.
Piercing weapons treat target cores as having 33% higher coverage than usual. Other than that, it's true that you have to get to the target's core for the nice damage to really have an impact, which is why you want as high of an initial hit chance as possible.

As for armor, I'm not the most advanced player, so maybe this is off base, but plating doesn't seem to be as good as just getting extra movement slots.  Plating has more coverage generally, but it also generates heat, weighs a ton, and often takes multiple slots.  Whereas, like an armored leg or some treads turned off take no energy, produce no heat, have no weight, even if you are flying around, have surprisingly high integrity, are extremely common, and will often save your life if your other means of travel get shot off.  I feel like either movement parts need to have a weight value assigned when they are turned off or armour needs more integrity then it has.
Yep, this has changed significantly since the early game, when armor had much more integrity compared to propulsion. The heavier forms of propulsion got a massive integrity boost, but that was without concern for how players might stack them as an alternative form of protection. Part of the reason they are somewhat less effective in that role, at least in terms of protecting parts, is that armor still has higher coverage. Some further tweaking is probably important here to keep this from being abused (yes, I do it a bit, too :P), but forcing propulsion mass to kick in when inactive, while perfectly logical, removes a lot of potential strategies and will also end up wasting a lot more slots for part of the game.

And I'll add one item to the list.  The remote datajack seems to take a stupendous amount of matter to function.  I'm sure this must be from some previous balance change, but every time I seek to use it I run out of matter within a couple fights, having maybe hacked a robot or two.
It's been that way from the beginning, because a really good hacker could (theoretically) practically own a floor via remote robot hacks. That number could still very well be tweaked, though, and likely will be. The reason it hasn't yet is because robot hacking is still only gradually becoming a viable strategy, due to other changes that have been occurring over previous versions.

I'll actually look at changing this one in particular for Alpha 11!

Quote
That matter -> energy converter might be sweet toggled on with force fields perhaps...
Nope...still got drained with that fusion compressor turned on against a single sentry. 20 energy/turn isn't enough.
Yep, It won't be enough to run a shield for very long on its own, just a more efficient power source. But I'll definitely be examining those numbers and how they relate to shields. It would be nice if you could willingly use a huge matter stash to produce a ton of power in short order to support a shield very well.

I'll be looking at this one for Alpha 11, too. (As you say, though, having to actively toggle it all the time to avoid matter waste could be fairly annoying. Matter-draining parts are somewhat dangerous to use :P)
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2016, 01:13:16 AM »

What if the matter -> energy converters converted mass whenever energy was needed. So if you have 10 energy, and want to fire a volley that requires 20, it converts enough matter to cover that cost. That way it doesn't need to be toggled (unless you decide that running out of energy is better than spending matter right now) and also it will be more effective with force-fields. You'll just have to watch that conversion ratio and manage your matter.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #32 on: August 13, 2016, 01:28:09 AM »

That's a great idea in theory, but I'd have to look into how complicate that is for the code--essentially a certain portion of the many energy checks throughout the game may also be required to convert energy when required and possible.

Explaining it out makes it not seem too hard, though :). I'll look into it. It would definitely require a lot more code, and new types of checks, compared to what exist already, though.

There are likely also some problematic special cases I haven't though of yet...

Hm, like when you want to fire a volley but don't have enough energy. Sure the game could then deduct your matter (and of course have to check whether that deduction means you no longer have enough matter to fire said volley), but it would also require additional separate checks before firing that allow you to do that in the first place, and ideally a new way to display that in the Volley UI, which would also have to be aware of this condition... Oh man, just that bit is a lot of work xD

That said, note that the utility already doesn't work to produce energy if you're already at full storage, and that effect is checked after all of your other power generation kicks in.
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2016, 08:56:44 AM »

Quote
That said, note that the utility already doesn't work to produce energy if you're already at full storage, and that effect is checked after all of your other power generation kicks in.

It's probably fine as it is then. Mostly static ordering + on-demand is the way to go IMO. I'm happy to hear that you're thinking along those lines though.

The two relevant threads on that topic that I know of are
http://www.gridsagegames.com/forums/index.php?topic=403.msg3540#msg3540
http://www.gridsagegames.com/forums/index.php?topic=242.0

Putting my programmer hat on, the way you describe the potential interactions wrt to the volley (drain matter only if you need the energy) scare me though. Things can turn hugely complex if you want to achieve an optimal global solution. Item activation priorities (every turn on upkeep and/or on demand like for targetting computers) and purely local (i.e. per item) checks to achieve locally optimal decisions are probably good enough.

Good luck! It's a tough but fun programming problem! :D



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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2016, 09:27:41 AM »

Haha, yeah, my first instinct on coming up with the volley problem was "I probably don't want to do this." Then I felt relieved when I realized it might not matter too much due to the way it's already applied. The one situation that makes it less than ideal is if you have a large storage and drain it all during combat, and some matter will be used to refill it along with other power sources, but that might not usually be a big deal either since post-combat there is usually matter lying around anyway...

Regarding the linked issues, yes one of those happens to be the oldest email still in my inbox which is marked "important," which I do for things that need to be addressed/considered/whatever, and normally take care of then remove the marker, but that's one of the few that still lives on :/. As with all things with potentially far-reaching consequences, it would've been easier if I'd considered that like... three years ago, but no suck luck :P
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

mindreader

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2016, 03:01:46 PM »

I just played through a game and I tried to use as few propulsion slots as possible and try to dedicate 2-4 slots to armour, and it wasn't that bad.  I made it to -4 before the strategy fell apart.  And when it did, boy did it ever.

I think the problem mostly lies on the higher level armours not being anywhere near up to the task of the amount of combat that happens higher up.  A lot of the medium and heavy armours have much higher coverage and much higher costs, but their integrity is only a little bit better than predecessors.  The values in the wiki right now look really wrong to me, but things in the 150 range should probably have around 250 and things with 200, maybe 400.

I wish I could give more specific suggestions, but armour values are in the executable.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2016, 08:27:02 PM »

With armor, balance-wise one has to consider that you can also carry spares in your inventory and swap them in easily to continue absorbing damage. And later in the game you can easily have a larger inventory if desired (just need to have enough armor to spare :D).

Mid-game medium armor integrity is 220, and late-game (medium) armor comes with 400 integrity. Per-slot integrity is even higher if using heavy armors. The problem is you might be using older/outdated armor with a lower rating (increasingly likely once you reach -4 unless you seek out some of the sources for better armors), in which case it will be less effective.

Specialized armors which protect all of your slots from certain damage types (even if the damage is actually taken by another part), have a lower integrity for that reason. If pure damage absorption is preferred, stick to non-special armors. I like combining the two, which is quite effective.
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

mindreader

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2016, 07:54:08 PM »

Back to the initial topic.  Is there a rule of thumb to tell if a non explosive, non special weapon can blast through doors / walls?  I find it extremely useful late game to find shortcuts through a level but it is a tossup whether one of the weapons I happen to have will serve this purpose.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2016, 08:07:22 PM »

Rule of thumb would be cannons can do it, guns can't. Also pretty much all melee weapons can smash/slice through walls, too.

Though remember that in terms of cannons, if you have a weak cannon on a floor closer to the surface, it won't necessarily be able to take it down since walls up higher are also tougher.

Also, EM is always an exception because it does little outright damage--so no EM cannons (or even AOE EM, really) are good at taking out walls.
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2016, 01:54:55 PM »

It never even occurred to me to try a melee weapon.  That will make things a lot easier.
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DDarkray

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2016, 01:28:17 PM »

Is there a quick way to reorganize equipped items? I don't feel like dragging stuff all the time. :(

If there is, I think it should be included somewhere in the advance control menu.
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2016, 06:21:27 PM »

Yup, there is, and it is already in the advanced control menu :P





This was added back in Alpha 9.
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

DDarkray

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2016, 06:49:59 PM »

Yup, there is, and it is already in the advanced control menu :P

Oh, whoops!  :-[

Edit: That has to be one of the coolest animations. :D
« Last Edit: November 30, 2016, 05:22:01 AM by DDarkray »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2016, 07:00:53 AM »

Thanks and yes, as you saw earlier today I added the option to do it automatically with every part change, no keypress required! (For the above recording I was intermittently pressing the ':' key.)


This particular animation was so fun to make that I wrote a whole blog post about it :P
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2017, 06:36:43 PM »

Hehe, yes, it's the programmers. You can learn more about the squad types if you visit... a certain place in the cave system.
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

DDarkray

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2017, 07:13:36 AM »

Man, I need to stop spoiling myself. :P

BTW, sometimes I see extermination commands in the Materials terminals. Might be a good idea to eliminate them. I also some security level 2 terminal as well, on -10 Material! Is that even possible?

Edit: I've deleted my last post in case it's a little too spoil-ey for anyone.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 07:20:05 AM by DDarkray »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Basic Question and Answer thread
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2017, 07:20:48 AM »

Hm, yeah, I've been gradually removing certain commands from Materials terminals that have no real use down there. That seems like another one that can go :)

They can't even show up until Factory.
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