Fleet bases underwhelming?

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DanTheTerrible
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Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby DanTheTerrible » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:31 pm

The recent increase in ship maintenance costs has led me to experiment more with defensive battlestations and fleet bases, which have no maintenance cost. Does anyone else find fleet bases underwhelming? They seem to cost at least twice the metal as battlestations, and only have a small increase in shields and potential PD batteries (medium slots), with negligible increase in armor and structure hit points. OK, they get twice the fighters, but is that really worth it? The only really impressive improvement is the massive increase in crew size, which in theory considerably reduces the vulnerability to boarding. It seems a bit odd to have this huge structure that seems to mostly consist of quarters for security troops. And why don't these things have any mounts for heavy or siege weapons? Fleet bases are pretty much the biggest things you can build in the game short of mobile planetoids, but they can't mount any weapons bigger than what you could put on a destroyer?

Conversely, does it really make sense that these platforms have zero maintenance costs? I am all for giving them a maintenance cost dramatically lower than mobile ships of equivalent size -- most players seem to ignore them as anything but mounting points for science labs as it is -- but a flat zero cost seems unrealistic.
Last edited by DanTheTerrible on Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

gaerzi
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby gaerzi » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:48 pm

IMO their stupendous metal cost makes them not worth it. I had a situation where it was a choice between building warships and colony ships of 6 worlds, plus transports on 4 others (ten shipbuilding worlds total, with the transport worlds making them by batches of two or three) and still netting a small increase in metal stockpile, or building just one fleet base and transports on just two worlds and getting into metal shortage quickly.

It didn't help I was mostly building them to "pretty up" the systems, as I had no strategic use for them at this point: I had a star gate network and a large warfleet to deal with threats. Replacing old space stations with big fleet bases was nothing more than a vanity project, basically.

zolobolo
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby zolobolo » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:40 pm

gaerzi wrote:Replacing old space stations with big fleet bases was nothing more than a vanity project, basically.

Yes, was thinking a lot on bases, there are numerous ways the system can be improved. The base problem is the cost/value ratio. Bases are expensive, yes, but the real problem is that they have a short firing range and are quite defenseless on top of that (PD does not cover them and they are pretty much defenseless against sniper ships)

Starbase is still useful (thanks to choke-points due to range) up until early mid-game but placing Fleet base is very situational and mostly no worth it

Serenitis
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby Serenitis » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:20 pm

zolobolo wrote:Starbase is still useful (thanks to choke-points due to range)

This.
Also starbases can be used as an armoured platform for warp interdictors. But you can do that cheaper by using outposts, and protecting them with ships.

Bases in general currently feel too expensive (metal).
But you can't make them too cheap, otherwise you remove any difficulty about deciding where/if to build them and they end up just becoming another 'default' build item.

It would definitely help if they could mount some more & heavier weapons though.
Especially the Fleet Base. It's such a huge investment of materials and it's barely armed.

DanTheTerrible
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby DanTheTerrible » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:16 pm

I think part of the devs' reluctance to put heavier weapon mounts on base stations is the issue of arc of fire. By current game rules there are no 360 degree mounts for heavy or siege weapons. Since bases can't maneuver, this opens the door to attackers taking advantage of fixed arcs by maneuvering to avoid them. Personally I would like to see base stations have at least heavy class and possibly siege class weapons mounted in pairs with opposed 180 degree arcs. This way no large weapon would really be 360 degree but you could get complete coverage by mounting a pair. An incautious attacking ship might stumble into the dividing line between paired 180 degree arcs and be targetable by all of the base's heavy weapons instead of just half of them. Metal and wrench costs might need to be tweaked for non-360 weapons since around half would be out of play for many engagements. And it would be nice if the builder could choose the base's orientation and only build weapons on one side if they like, though attacking AI ships ought to have some ability to take advantage of limited arcs.

zolobolo
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby zolobolo » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:42 pm

The large cost of stations need to be rectified while:
1. There is no synergy between the various defensive installations. PD, stations, asteroid bases do not strengthen each other and even defensive fleet starts in front of bases nullifying their chance to create overlapping fire arcs. If there was a good synergy (due to range or other) the cost can be high, they would still be worth it once the various elements are all or largely in place creating fortress worlds
2. Range is short for all defensive installations. Bases have even shorter range then PD even though the later is cheaper

The logical solution to adress the abvoe two poitns is to outfit all PD and bases with either:
1. Small Craft
2. Rockets/torps

Small Crafts are extremely vulnerable at long range though, so this narrows down the valid options to rockets and toprs which can thus be simply countered. Everything else can be picked apart by a player withouth risk

Regarding firing arc: My recommendation was to create a new type of weapon: call it Stationary Heavy or Super Heavy.:
1. Their range should even be higher then heavy variants of equivalent tech (laser, coil etc) and thus an attacking force would be forced to close in as fast as possible as their heavy ships would be in direct range
2. Small ships should not be hit at long range by these to prevent one-shot ship destruction and not to discourage players from taking along small crafts to sieges (like now) when autoplaying the combat
3. Firing arc should be 360 - ideally dedicatged art would be created for hte icons and for the stations yes, but not much and not a must. They can be placed at any part of the station just need to be able to rotate to where the enemy is (just like point defense guns)
4. Allow these guns on PD, starbase, fortress and asteroid base to enable synergy between them. A planet with 2PD and 2 starbase or evne asteroid bases would thus be able to fend of small fleets with a couple of heavy ships and a planet with 3PD and 2 fortress would be a really hard nut to crack worth the investment for the 1-2 most important worlds :)
5. Putting these into new research would also spice up the research tree and make it a bit less harder to turtle which would be rectified with the defensive power they now provide

Serenitis
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby Serenitis » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:19 am

It would be nice if the bases just had the ability to mount some 'heavy' weapons in addition to what they have.
Jury-rigged Pirate/Marauder bases can, so why can purpose-built installations not?

Both of the current (presumably Ashdar) models could be modified to accomodate this.
Star base - Either a mount right in the centre. Or 2 mounts 1 each inbetween the east/west mediums, with the mediums being moved apart slightly.
Fleet base - Either 2 mounts 1 each on the 'raised' area directly north/south of the central hub. Or 4 mounts 1 each on the square hangars at the east/west.

Parity with Pirates! :P

theoneo
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby theoneo » Wed Jan 22, 2020 5:50 am

What about attaching a maneuvering engine to a fleet base and using it as a great boarding ship?

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Arioch
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:34 am

theoneo wrote:What about attaching a maneuvering engine to a fleet base and using it as a great boarding ship?

I don't think adding maneuvering engines will allow a station to move out of orbit, so it would only be usable in a defensive situation.

theoneo
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby theoneo » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:48 pm

I think you can retreat with a base if it has maneuvering engines on it, which puts it out of orbit.

andy
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby andy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:20 pm

I have played a free game before called ... FreeOrion I think. It's been awhile. I like SiS better. However, there were some things from that game that were worth considering. For static bases, I recall there was a base that reduced the maintenance cost of all starships present in the same system. Some type of fleet logistics base or something like that.

DanTheTerrible
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby DanTheTerrible » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:23 am

andy wrote:I have played a free game before called ... FreeOrion I think. It's been awhile. I like SiS better. However, there were some things from that game that were worth considering. For static bases, I recall there was a base that reduced the maintenance cost of all starships present in the same system. Some type of fleet logistics base or something like that.


That would be a cool option.

Ashbery76
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby Ashbery76 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:42 pm

I dont like micro involved in that.Some overall maintenance reduction would be better.

DanTheTerrible
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Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:28 am

Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby DanTheTerrible » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:59 pm

Ashbery76 wrote:I dont like micro involved in that.Some overall maintenance reduction would be better.


I get you don't like micromanagement, but IMO a system limited maintenance bonus is easy enough to just ignore if you don't want to bother. However I find your suggestion of an overall -- which I interpret to mean empire wide -- bonus interesting in itself.

In my ideal Oh-Gee-The-Devs-Have-Nothing-Better-To-Do-Than-Write-Code-To-Implement-This-Cool-But-Trivial-Feature (OGTDHNBTDTWCTITCBTF) world, I'd like to see both. Attach a built in bonus to the fleet base, maybe call it the logistics bonus, that reduces ship maintenance empire wide, say a 10% reduction. Then implement a "station" class component, maybe call it a maintenance center, that reduces maintenance for all ships in the system, maybe 15%. The station component could be built into any station through the design window. Multiple maintenance centers in the same system have no further effect. Make the maintenance center pretty pricey to keep it from being an automatic buy -- maybe it takes two station slots to install, if that can be coded. But avoid tying cost to the station slot numerical rating as they ought to cost the same on any station.

andy
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Re: Fleet bases underwhelming?

Postby andy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:05 pm

I just want to save some scratch during peace-time by parking my fleet(s) somewhere it is easier to maintain.


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