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Old 09-21-2020, 09:27 PM
Excellion Excellion is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Default [0.817] [Feedback] - Feedback on fighters and the carrier build.

This evening i figured i would start Drox 2 entirely fresh by deleting all my existing characters and removing my stashed items. Just to get a feel how the game plays without having access to powerful items another character gathered.

I've been playing several builds for a couple of levels and there is one general observation i made, along with a few specific to carrier builds.

General observation: Loot drops when heavily speccing one stat

One thing I've always noticed is that the loot drops and shop sales are generally fairly close to the players level. In general this is fine, but it does create some friction for builds stat are heavy on a specific stat.

For example, when heavily speccing engineering (And having, say, 100 engineering by investing everything into that stat) the player may still only - at best - find power plants and solar panels that require 40-50. Same with speccing structure. When heavily specced into structure the best armor drops generally require a lot less structure to equip than the player has available. For me this generally means i have a fast-levelling character that collects stat-appropriate gear for my other builds. Or a couple of characters that share loot in between them.

Not impossible by any means, but it would be nice if the game based drops a little bit on the available character stats or had a wider range for loot levels on drops.

Carrier Builds

Before anything else: I am a BIG fan of the reduced summon times for fighters (Summoning a large fleet now takes a lot less time when starting a game). And i am also liking the fighter attack button a lot. It really makes the build more fun and more resilient in cases where you're being shot at by something.

What i did notice however, is that a fighter focussed build is a lot weaker than other build types (Missile, Projectile, Mines and Beam are all stronger by what i believe to be a sizeable margin). For example, a projectile build with 1-2 medium projectile weapons tends to outperform a fighter build with 4 fighter slots (1 heavy, 3 medium). This might level out later in the game, but during the early levels it is really noticeable. And i think i might know why this is the case.

Static fighter levels on components heavily influence effectiveness
I think most issues arise from the fact that fighter components have static levels for the fighters it summons. I believe the level influences attack and defense stats for the fighters themselves, which in turn defines likelihood to be able to hit a target.

A low level fighter seems to have quite some trouble hitting a target several levels higher and even when it does, the damage is rather negligible. This means that in order to be effective, fighter components MUST be switched out on a regular basis to remain effective at all, unlike other components that at least retain their performance when levelling up.

For players the same mechanic is used, but here attack and damage are two stats one can improve separately (Eg: A weaker gun with high attack still guarantees hits even if the damage is somewhat lower than it could be). Fighters on the other hand have DPS and Attack based on their level and build in, with a lower level equalling low effectiveness. (Unless of course a fighters hit ratio is based on the players attack score, which would explain a few things as well)

Fighter DPS seems incorrect or at least quite low.
I have to make some assumptions here because i am not entirely certain of the damage calculation. But to draw a comparison i have three similar-level parts (All require ~10 in their stat):

- A (Heavy) fighter that has 12.7 DPS
- A (Heavy) plasma cannon that has 36 DPS
- A (Heavy) missile that has 19 DPS.

I assume that damage is per fighter which would suggest about 36 DPS, but if so it seems to generally be weaker than expected. I've tested having a triplet of (level 7) fighters attack a level 5 target and what i found is this:

- The damage per hit is generally 5-7.
- There are more than a couple shots not doing damage due to misses.
- The result is that the actual damage done is a factor lower than i would expect, and less than what comparable weapons would do.

I believe some of the actual hit damage is lower due to the use of beam weapons. If i understand "BaseSkillDroxFighterBeam" in "MonsterSkills.gdb" correctly then a max-range hit will do about 40% of the maximum damage. A player using beam weapons can opt to attack at point-blank range for max damage or shoot at range for safety if needed. However, a fighter will just pathfind and fire whenever they are able to (Leading to a noticeable DPS loss for long-range attacks).

Another factor that is odd is that the "ReuseTime" in the skill is 2.0, which indicates it can be fired every 2 seconds (Which seems to be correct when observing fighters in game). However if that were the case each fighter hit should do 25.4 damage (2x damage per second listed). Even at point-blank range fighters don't seem to do more than 10-11 damage or so, and this is more than i can explain by factoring damage loss due to resistances in.

All these factors combined (Damage loss at range for beams, chance to miss, likelihood that the player is using lower level fighters due to not having found better ones) leads to a situation where fighters seem to do fairly little damage.

Medium fighters
I've already waffled on WAY to long so let me try to keep at least one section relatively short. Medium fighter appear to have just half the DPS of their heavier counterparts when at or near the same level, so they suffer the same issues as above but worse.

For fun sake i set a single level 6 fighter on a regular level 5 target. The hit rate was only about ~30% of the shots, with each shot doing 1-3 damage (5.6 DPS in the tooltip). I only tested this on one target so there is a fairly sizeable margin for error for hit ratio here (Though i have to say i quite often see fighters miss in general).

Last edited by Excellion : 09-22-2020 at 05:24 AM.
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