Shield drain rates measured and compared + balancing feedback

ZeroGravitas

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#1
I just did a very quick experimental test of the comparative drain rates of the 4 different shield bubbles, to quantify just how superior the Venture bubbles are. Turns out they consume about 1/4 the power of a GSO bubble for absorbing the same damage, about 1/8 of Hawkeye's! (And they'll probably receive fewer hits on a small tech, too, as a smaller target.)

@zanzistar, @Matt should it be this extreme? (I love it as a Venture fan!:)) It looks like it goes beyond being inversely proportional to shield surface area (from the block stat radii stated).

Cropper2019-09-17-06-01-15-9465621.png

Setup (R&D save attached):

Cropper2019-09-17-03-42-33-3110211.jpg

Tested using 1 GSO Coil Laser each, recording video and measuring the time spans in editor. The Coil Laser's dps is from the block stats (taken from this amazing resource): 44 damage per shot, reload time 0.4s, so 110dps raw value, but with a 0.5 multiplier against shields for energy weapons.

Screenshot_2019-03-26_at_11.png

It might be sensible to compare these numbers verses bullet, etc, damage just to confirms things work as expected.
 

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Falchoin

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#2
In my opinion, Venture bubbles are where they need to be efficiency-wise. They’re very expensive and leave the tech vulnerable to explosives. The small radius also makes them very difficult to use on large techs. If shields ever start blocking AoE damage, a revisit to the Venture shield may be needed at that time.
 

Faffywaffy

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#3
While venture shields themselves are arguably fine, venture repair bubbles, combined with the ability to stack can counteract the explosive damage. Pretty much all of my techs use that setup, and they all last longer against most explosive weapons than your typical havoc shield tech. You also have to consider how much you spend on batteries to keep a less efficient shield erect. It's a losing battle, most of the time.
 

Falchoin

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#4
Same with nearly all of my techs since BF release, when I discovered just how much better the Venture repair bubbles were. They help tremendously, but massed cruise missiles or battleship cannons will knock off and/or destroy parts stacked repair bubbles or not. Thankfully there aren’t many enemies in the general spawn pool with those capabilities. *cough*missilecountermeasures*cough*

Ahem

Either way, the question in my mind is whether repair bubbles should stack healing. I’m leaning towards no, and having values adjusted if necessary. In the area of overlapping repairs, the fastest repairs take priority. This will allow for easier game balance and minimize visual clutter, both wins in my book.
 

Faffywaffy

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#5
I had the same exact thing in mind regarding repair bubbles. There is definitely a balance issue with the shields though.

Ideally, I would want the different shield types to be a trade-off between how much damage they absorb VS how much power they drain. It could create an interesting spectrum between how much techs rely on shields vs armor. The current system just sways you towards whatever weapons have the biggest blast radius (i..e Cruise missile and Battleship Cannon) because your only reliable defense against them has such tremendous energy upkeep.

The problem also lies in the nature of explosions themselves. No sturdy blocks or damage multipliers can protect your sensitive components from being destroyed from within your tech. The only real protection is maximizing the distance between said components and the explosion. This greatly undermines the purpose of armor, which is to protect the crap behind it. This is one of the main reasons why losing your shields and repairs is synonymous with death. The whole game seems to be balanced around shields and explosives, which undermines the games' other weapons, especially lasers which have a 0.5% multiplier against shields. Ever wonder why Better Future's arsenal is such garbage? well... now you know.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#6
@zanzistar? (@Matt) - given that the venture shield bubbles are now only 16% of their former cost, are you going to be nerfing their brilliantly low drain rate? (I really hope not! :eek: Venture love.) Or buffing the terrible drain rates for the larger shields a little? Or just making Venture the low-key god-emperor of corps?
 
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Matt

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#7

Wassaup

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#8
What would be your preference?
BUFF!!! BUFF!!! BUFF!!!

The big bubbles should get buffed! Not to insane degrees, but they should be buffed!

NEVER NERF!!! NEVER!!!

If something is awesome (at least compared to everything else), you should make other things just as awesome, so there's variety, instead of making the awesome thing as lame as the rest!
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#9
What would be your preference?
• Keep the venture shield drain very low (nerfing it by no more than 50%).
• Make the venture shield bubble disproportionately expensive for it's small size, but less expensive than it was.
• Reduce the GSO shield and repair bubble prices significantly.
• Buff the drain rates on the bigger shields a little, maybe. Depends if there are other fundamental changes to these core game mechanics in mind...
 

xboi_one

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#11
i feel like its quite well balanced in this sense as even for small-ish techs the HE bubble is still better against your average tech of almost any size, due to the lack of mid air tracking for bullets and having a missiles having a severe disadvantage against shields along with the fact that HE shields (along with BF shields to an extent) and the VEN shield efficiency Can now be about neutral for bigger techs with the wasted space that would have otherwise just gone to space for the shields can go to a furnace or Dynamo GEN (will provide an example if that helps for the smaller tech)
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#12
I'll pass this on to @kae who is in charge of balancing the Shield Bubbles.
Oh, interesting. So is this a QA area, or is kae taking up some design responsibilities? :)

HE bubble is still better against your average tech of almost any size, due to the lack of mid air tracking for bullets
I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here. But it's worth also noting that the big size of the HE and BF shields is a dissadvantage, on small techs, when it comes to bullet spam, because they act like giant fishing nets for stray damage. So their drain rates are *even higher*, in practical terms, than the basic figure (above) accounts for.

Anyway, I'm moving this thread to the feedback section, because that's what it is (rather than a guide, per-say).
 
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kae

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#13
@Matt You forgot your spoiler tag >:C

The Venture shields have a stat that looks way out of place making them way too strong at absorbing damage, I'll think about lowering their capabilities a bit and increase the price small amount, see how they feels. They were way underused according to our analytics so I want to keep them still fairy strong and affordable for now.

I'll look at the pricing of the GSO bubbles too, but keeping other bubbles the same for now. We can always change them in the future once we get more data :)