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Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:44 pm Post subject: Getting the Adamantium ball-bearing rolling ...
As the title suggests, I'm in the process of downloading the Adamant mod - piecemeal, unfortunately, since it's virtually impossible to DL the whole shebang in one session on dialup.
Just a couple questions:
1. Is there a preferable research sequence in the early going? What tech areas are more useful in the first dozen or so turns, or is that different for the differing paradigms?
2. Re: the "leaky defense" mechanic. Being a defensive-minded player myself, this begs the question of just how leaky is leaky? How much damage tends to punch through the shields and armor to fry the more sensitive areas of a ship? Back to top
in the area of shields: 'leaky' shields really refers to having low shield values and a regen bonus like crystal armor has
when it comes to armor its really a matter of luck how much gets through
the more armor you have, the more likely it is that the armor will take the hit but the damage will still leak through if the component it hit is destroyed Back to top
Generally, leaky armor components have a lot more hp/kt than normal components (usually at least an order of magnitude). The component selection function is further biased towards hitting high hp components, disproportionate to the component's percent of total hp.
The size of leaky armor isn't so important; larger pieces actually generally work better due to having more hp/component. For example, in leaky armor setups like B5 Mod and Adamant, ships with heavy armor tend to defeat ships with (the same total tonnage of) light armor, despite the light armored ship having a ton more total hp. The lower hp/kt heavy armors tend to take more hits from the "internals" than the higher hp/kt light armors. Medium armor is a nice compromise between the two; it has a lot more hp/component than light armor does, and more hp/kT than heavy armor.
Leakiness of shields comes from the shield generation from damage (SGFD) ability. It doesn't block a percentage of each hit, so much as replenish the shields after each hit (to a point). Statistically, this has the effect of regenerating damage by a certain percent. If you have more total SGFD than what weapons do per hit, you essentially get the overall damage reduced by half. The percentage of reduction varies by damage type; for example, 1/2x to shields means that overall damage is reduced by 66% (it takes 2 shots to deplete the shield points generated from 1 hit that entirely damages internals). Naturally, the water becomes murky when different types of weapons are mixed together, but you still get some general overall reduction in damage.
At low tech levels, it is better to rely more on armor. As tech progresses, the shields start to come into their own. I did make them 20 kT to speed up the point when they start becoming useful, though.
Note that armor-skipping weapons (shard cannons, graviton hellbore in Adamant) have some interesting effects against leaky-shielded targets. The Skips Armor damage type does not trigger the SGFD (or Emissive) ability, so "skips armor" actually works well against both leaky shields and dense-armored targets. No shield points are generated as a result of an armor-skipping shot, and the damage bypasses the dense armor. Smarter than your average Texrak. Back to top
Note that armor-skipping weapons (shard cannons, graviton hellbore in Adamant) have some interesting effects against leaky-shielded targets. The Skips Armor damage type does not trigger the SGFD (or Emissive) ability, so "skips armor" actually works well against both leaky shields and dense-armored targets. No shield points are generated as a result of an armor-skipping shot, and the damage bypasses the dense armor.
Would this be a feature or a bug?
Not that it matters much. How about strategy? Back to top
Surely, it was a hackish way to make the shard cannons not trigger the abilities of crystalline armor and emissive armor in the stock game; since the abilities were only used on actual armor, it was the easiest way. Shard cannons shouldn't be triggering the effects of armor they don't ever damage, right? Smarter than your average Texrak. Back to top
Okay, here's a question: what exactly convinced you to render weapon platforms (and fighters, to a lesser extent) virtually worthless? Being stuck with nothing but orbital and warp-point defenses is not conducive to survival for colonies. Back to top
Hp, schmhp. I have yet to see a fighter even dent a regular ship, no matter what armaments they're given. If it can't fight back, its ability to absorb damage is irrelevant.
And by the time a planet takes any significant damage, the orbital defenses are probably blown to bits. They've already had the chance to do their job and failed miserably; who cares if it takes an extra turn now to glass the planet? One or two turns ain't enough for reinforcements to arrive even in stock SEIV, let alone under the even slower QNP system. Back to top
You've obviously never tried to glass an Adamant Homeworld.
Each homeworld has a Spaceport (If non-Natural Merchants), a Shipyard, and a Resupply Depot.
Assuming you start on a Tiny Breathable Planet as your HW, you will have 10,000 points of phased shielding. Why? Because Homeworlds have massive facilities that provide innate shielding out the window at very little cost. They also serve as resource, research and intelligence generation, and have a number of other beneficial effects for the entire system.
But anyway, let's say you took a trait that allows you +20% more storage space. This gets you, on a Massive Breathable, 36 facility slots (30/5 = 6, 30+6 = 36). Let's do that math again.
33x5,000 = 165,000 Phased Shield Points.
But in most cases you'll only get a Large or Huge, and probably won't have more facility slots. Even so, that's 85,000 to 110,000 phased shielding.
Also note that the planetary shield generators are an extremely good investment for larger colonies. They generate about 5,000 points per level, so several high level generators can easily match any homeworld for shielded protection. Combine with the defensive bunkers and you're away.
(Note that your average starting defense bunker has around 900hp. It'd take several solid missile barrages to break that.)
As for other defenses, I highly recommend missile satellites. They are small, and can either be fitted with one or two Capital Ship Missiles. This gives them very good damage capabilities, and depending on how you designed it, extremely tough as well. Optimally for a missile satellite you want the core, 1-2 missiles, and then to fill the remaining space with armour. These should prove an ample deterrent to hostile vessels if you mix in some Sat-boosted Laser Cannons.
EDIT: And if your defenses are being destroyed, you're not using enough. The more time spent shooting defenses is less time spent shooting the colony. Unofficial Adamant 0.16.xx Bug Hunter Back to top
Actually, I HAVE fired on the homeworlds before. They're about the only planet that can stand up to a determined orbital bombardment without years of construction, which border colonies don't have time for with the hyper-fickle AI. But if the planet's blockaded and you can't break the siege, it's still only a matter of time (one would think, otherwise the game would be unwinnable) before they amass enough firepower to flatten it.
As for the fighters, even my smallest warships, with or without point-defense abilities, weren't fazed by their equivalent resource cost in fighters. If they're inefficient cost-wise, why bother using them?
Satellites are quite handy, and Adamant gives them enough oomph to be worthwhile; and mines still make a mess of whatever comes through a warp point, cloak or no cloak. Troops, well ... I really don't care what you do with troops, since I've used them in a combat role about 3 times total since I discovered SEIV. Wasted effort in a game engine geared so heavily toward space combat, IMO.
Other than that, no complaints specific to Adamant. I didn't think I'd care for the leaky defense systems and lack of cost-effective bonuses, but they were actually done pretty fairly, unlike the stacked combat math in stock. Back to top
Keep in mind that fighters are maintenance-free. You can't just compare the build cost of ships to fighters, because that is only a factor on the first turn that the ships are built. Smarter than your average Texrak. Back to top
Actually, I HAVE fired on the homeworlds before. They're about the only planet that can stand up to a determined orbital bombardment without years of construction.
What is your definition of "determined"?
My calculations indicate that to crack your average homeworld shielding, you would need... well, let's use my "Jackal JA-KL-1532" as a demonstration. It's a 1220kt Battlecruiser designed for the sole purpose of cracking homeworld shields. In combat, assuming it can reach firing range within 4~5 turns (it has a very long firing range, which helps offset it's incredibly low movement speed) it can let off about 8 volleys of 20 Capital Ship Missile Vs per combat, which is a total of 19,200 damage.
My homeworld has 22 Metropolii III, each providing 5000 points of shielding for a total of 110,000 points. As you can see, it'd take less than 10 Jackals an entire combat to crack that, and they can sit well out of range of any defensive installations, save self-propelled stations. I'd probably use twice that number to ensure significant damage was dealt too.
Whilst I admit, they're quite costly (Each Jackal costs around 29kt Minerals, 3600 Organics and 16kt of Radioactives) you're going to have a big budget by the time you get around to smashing homeworlds up anyway, so I doubt that's going to be an issue for most. Unofficial Adamant 0.16.xx Bug Hunter Back to top
You mean other than the price tag of replacing the ones that get vaped by more powerful craft?
As to waiting that long to attack homeworlds, if someone expresses an interest in eradicating your species, you want them out of the game NOW, not 30 years later. Because that interest won't just go away. Back to top
As to waiting that long to attack homeworlds, if someone expresses an interest in eradicating your species, you want them out of the game NOW, not 30 years later. Because that interest won't just go away.
Hence why I have all these careful calculations regarding the # of CSMs required to crack a HW's shielding, etc. because I've been in the same situation myself. Unofficial Adamant 0.16.xx Bug Hunter Back to top
I'm talking about wars that happen before players hit such high tech levels. When several players decide to gang up on you, you have to take at least one or two of them out immediately or you'll never recover from the multi-pronged pounding you're about to get. With HWs being practically indestructible until you can build a ship big enough to carry overwhelming firepower, that quick takedown will not happen, which in turn leads to you getting blasted down to non-factor status. Back to top
I'm talking about wars that happen before players hit such high tech levels. When several players decide to gang up on you, you have to take at least one or two of them out immediately or you'll never recover from the multi-pronged pounding you're about to get. With HWs being practically indestructible until you can build a ship big enough to carry overwhelming firepower, that quick takedown will not happen, which in turn leads to you getting blasted down to non-factor status.
You needn't have one big ship. A massive fleet will do the trick just as well. You don't need a "high" tech level either - although I admit the highest level CSM is quite costly. Besides, what they can do to you, you can do to them. All you need to do is cripple their homeworlds by blockading them with a self-repairing damage-soak or three. Unofficial Adamant 0.16.xx Bug Hunter Back to top
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