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VoA

CIG - Balancing the Game in Alpha

I could not disagree with that statement more. I think Matt Sherman and that attitude is a source of good of CIG's failing. It is a symptom that CIG has no clear vision on how gameplay should be or what mechanics to put in. It is also why fighters are an unbalanced mess. That is shown in his dumpster fire of ship the buccaneer. It is also shown in their recent concept ship messes (Hurricane and Defender).  For anyone that says fighters can't be balance now, tell me why you cannot balance at least fighter vs combat at this time. What mechanics are needed to get a starting balance to meet CIG's promises/goals/intentions when ships when on concept. 

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10 hours ago, Boildown said:

I've been saying this for three damn years.

Sadly you're not a CIG Dev as many of us agree with this statement.

8 hours ago, Cincinnatus said:

I think Matt Sherman and that attitude is a source of good of CIG's failing. It is a symptom that CIG has no clear vision on how gameplay should be or what mechanics to put in.

 Everyone is free to have an opinion but I think their approach is the better choice, rather than failing. Having a "Clear vision" on how gameplay should be or what mechanics should be put in is difficult with StarCitizen being in Alpha and growing with new technology CIG is developing for us, so I can understand the wait for not wanting to spend countless hours and backers money on "balancing" right now in alpha just for it to change in the future. 

 It's not a negative thing for Star Citizen not to be set in stone during Alpha, just for any other game, it needs to be able to fluctuate, it needs room to adapt to updates and technology and thankfully CIG is looking forward enough to see that not giving us something and calling it a day. We will have balance when it means something, understanding you among many other pilots like to compete against each other, it's playable and fun for the average player which for now, is their goal.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Switch said:

Sadly you're not a CIG Dev as many of us agree with this statement.

 Everyone is free to have an opinion but I think their approach is the better choice, rather than failing. Having a "Clear vision" on how gameplay should be or what mechanics should be put in is difficult with StarCitizen being in Alpha and growing with new technology CIG is developing for us, so I can understand the wait for not wanting to spend countless hours and backers money on "balancing" right now in alpha just for it to change in the future. 

 It's not a negative thing for Star Citizen not to be set in stone during Alpha, just for any other game, it needs to be able to fluctuate, it needs room to adapt to updates and technology and thankfully CIG is looking forward enough to see that not giving us something and calling it a day. We will have balance when it means something, understanding you among many other pilots like to compete against each other, it's playable and fun for the average player which for now, is their goal.

 

 

I agree, besides having ship balance is hard when half the component doesn't exist yet and the other half doesn't really interact.

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I agree with Matt Sherman, it doesn't make any sense to try to balance a game that's not feature complete since many coming features could turn everything upside down again.. nor does it make any sense to expect it to be balanced.

Sit tight and carry on. We should see some serious work on balancing from CIG once we hit Beta, right now I'd rather just see the features trickle in.

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If I'm the dev I'd be shit pissed about reworking on balancing ships in Alpha through Beta into Launch.. _whatawasteofmymanhoursandSLEEP_

dude/quit

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7 hours ago, Riley Egret said:

I agree, besides having ship balance is hard when half the component doesn't exist yet and the other half doesn't really interact.

Propositions: 

Balancing will be harder later.

one there is enough in game to balance fighters. 
CIG needs to balance now due to the number of similar ships that they have. 

 

Discussion: 

Currently for fighters, the systems do not interact. This actually makes the balance because you can fake things in the xml that does not cause massive problems in interconnected systems. Example currently heat is not pooled and power does nothing. The same thing applies to thrust and ships movement. See the Catepillar. http://starcitizendb.com/ships/DRAK/DRAK_Caterpillar. It uses 

thrust forward          6,218,491.0N versus 
angular thrust pos-pitch  42,273,049.00N

The ships needs 5-10 the thrust to yaw at the rate set by the designer/balancer as to move forward which is unreasonable. It has sat like that since the ship went into game. Now people will be used to the cat being that agile in rotation, so when they fix it people will be unhappy. This issue was highlighted and identified as soon as the ship was in game. 

Also, you can tune shields independent of guns. With items 2.0, you will have to balance all of those systems at the same time. A balancer will need to know the effect of a power plant change on all of those systems and how a player will build a meta. The balancer will also have to anticipate all of those to keep from building an OP ship. Guns need to be done now because you need certain types of weapons to meet the ship roles (boom and zoom burst dps versus sustained for a brawler). The guns really don't do that right. The Panther is good burst and badger sustained.  CIG needs to say laser cannon are alpha or sustained dps and repeaters and burst dps or whatever.  They need some clear dps progression by sizes. This kind of balancing is about a day or two of work in dataforge. Ship movement is a bit more complicated, so it will take more PTU time. 

CIG unlike mech warrior or other games wants to have a rock/paper/scissors approach. I also hope they are not going to just make newer ships OP, so you have to replace older ships. CIG also wants complicated and faithful systems. This means what CIG will be balancing is much more complicated that any game. DCS planes might end up simpler than a SC ship. CIG also sells many ships that in the same bucket, so they must have a finer balance than most other games. CIG also has years of promises/goals/intentions attached to each ship, so it is has a heavy burden to make each ship unique but not OP. Examples of CIG's failing on the Bucc Sherman's ship. It has wing size 1, so the guns must be fixed violating the mouse/joystick agnostic goal. The ship has a size 4 hardpoint and 2 size 3s as well.  Also, the ship is from Drake which is the low cost cheap not top of the line ship manufacturer.  Compare that to the UEE frontline fighter the gladius 3 size two. The fire power difference is nuts. On HPs, we don't have shield info. Bodies HP is 1100 for the gladius and 1500 for the Bucc, so the buc is better. Canopy is 275 for the gladius and 600 for the nose of the Bucc. It would not take much time for CIG to get reasonably close HPs on these two comparable ships. The Bucc has the same SCM speed good. The Bucc has better yaw, pitch, and roll than the gladius. Bucc has higher jerk in yaw,pitch, and roll as well. The Bucc is also a touch better lateral accel, forward accel, and back accel. The gladius does have higher transnational strafe rates.   Also, the bucc has a lot of custom odd things in its design that does match current standards see the lack of weapons in the extracted xmls. Sherman just designed a ship off on his own that does not fit in well and is unbalanced. 

http://starcitizendb.com/ships/DRAK/DRAK_Buccaneer

http://starcitizendb.com/ships/AEGS/AEGS_Gladius

Sources

Currently, CIG does a very rough balance based on things. In some cases, they just give up balancing. CIG intended AB to replace CRU in order to use fuel and prevent hoping into and out of CRU to avoid combat. CIG gave up on balancing fuel consumption at the end of 2.6, so we are left with a mess.  CIG does not need to have perfect complete balance just reasonable balance with the systems in game and CIG's state goals and the ship's intended roles. If you want a example of the roles doc CIG should use. I would recommend this one that is not by me. It is super general, but it would allow for CIG to tune ship behavior based on current in game mechanics.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1McCFR9RZ6fa36iEKd88zdFLNrGiEH37nU8EfQCRfpUo/edit?usp=sharing

See the links above for all the functionality in tuning ship movement. The links below for guns traits. 

http://starcitizendb.com/components/weapon/BEHR_LaserCannon_S2

The above extracted data shows that SC is a special game. It is not feature complete but has major mechanics in game to be able to balance fighter combat. 

 

8 hours ago, Switch said:

Sadly you're not a CIG Dev as many of us agree with this statement.

 Everyone is free to have an opinion but I think their approach is the better choice, rather than failing. Having a "Clear vision" on how gameplay should be or what mechanics should be put in is difficult with StarCitizen being in Alpha and growing with new technology CIG is developing for us, so I can understand the wait for not wanting to spend countless hours and backers money on "balancing" right now in alpha just for it to change in the future. 

 It's not a negative thing for Star Citizen not to be set in stone during Alpha, just for any other game, it needs to be able to fluctuate, it needs room to adapt to updates and technology and thankfully CIG is looking forward enough to see that not giving us something and calling it a day. We will have balance when it means something, understanding you among many other pilots like to compete against each other, it's playable and fun for the average player which for now, is their goal.

 

 

Switch it is very bad for CIG to not have roles set when they are selling their 4th bomber concept. When you are taking that much cash, you should have an idea why it is different and how to make it different. Otherwise, you are not really being faithful to your commitments because you will end up with OP ships or ships that are the same, so you are just buying a skin when it was solid as a unique ship. I have no problem with things and balance changing. It is just pretty far along in this game at this point. Items 2.0 should be mapped out well, so they should know what it looks like even if it is not perfectly coded. Actually the 2.6 combat balance is such that almost no one plays.  Rattler are a mess is one issue.  We have not had a patch that did not have desynch or missile commander problems since 2.3 a year ago. I get dsych happens. Missile commander is pretty easily dealt with. 

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TBH I don't care too much of the state of the game while it's in Alpha. Once it gets late Beta / ready for Live then I can start expecting "balance" and features and insurance to matter.

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49 minutes ago, Puls0nic said:

TBH I don't care too much of the state of the game while it's in Alpha. Once it gets late Beta / ready for Live then I can start expecting "balance" and features and insurance to matter.

This.

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On 5/19/2017 at 4:28 AM, VoA said:

LW1cxUa.png

Just-in-case people are disappointed in any of their ships, etc.... = good clarification from CIG :)

Been saying for a long time, that "balancing" ships in alpha, with most of the ship systems not yet in place or working correctly is a fools errand.

So, if CIG isn't bothering to balance yet, why all the massive nerfs to existing ships, while new ships keep coming out with even more guns and capability?

Right - Serving the marketing department's aim of selling more new ships, while they keep adding shenanigans to make it harder to upgrade from the old ships, for which you already handed CIG your money Months and Years ago...

This is icky and beats EA at anything sleazy I've seen them do over the years.

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I'm less interested in seeing ship balance and more interested in seeing game play systems come online in alpha.
That would be meaningful progress. 

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2 hours ago, Pharesm said:

Been saying for a long time, that "balancing" ships in alpha, with most of the ship systems not yet in place or working correctly is a fools errand.

So, if CIG isn't bothering to balance yet, why all the massive nerfs to existing ships, while new ships keep coming out with even more guns and capability?

Right - Serving the marketing department's aim of selling more new ships, while they keep adding shenanigans to make it harder to upgrade from the old ships, for which you already handed CIG your money Months and Years ago...

This is icky and beats EA at anything sleazy I've seen them do over the years.

I can see how you came to this view. For example, the ellipse has 1/3 of the torpedos of the retaliator and needs much less crew. But that is not the case. The banu Defender came out with 4 sized 3 guns which is the same as the Sabre which has been out for more than year. Also, the super hornet is still the best dogfighter see the latest fighter tournament The SH is also one of the original fighters in the game. I think the ship escalation is more a project management failing by CIG. CIG leadership is not that familiar with combat, and I don't think that they care about ship balance really. Therefore, the ship designer builds or suggests thing the weapons. The designer has an interest in their ship being cool and popular, so the designer will push for the ship being powerful. The more established the designer would probably be able to push harder to keep the excessive weapons. I would use the Bucc as an example of this. Sherman is an established designer. In one video, you saw Andy out of the UK says I thought the ship had too much firepower. He was told that well it will be more fragile. The ship is not compared to gladius which is similar to its class. But all of this is just a theory. I do need to review the vault stuff on the defender to verify this, so anyone let me know if I am full of it on this. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Sky Captain said:

I'm less interested in seeing ship balance and more interested in seeing game play systems come online in alpha.
That would be meaningful progress. 

I would love more gameplay as well. 

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1 hour ago, Cincinnatus said:

I can see how you came to this view. For example, the ellipse has 1/3 of the torpedos of the retaliator and needs much less crew. But that is not the case. The banu Defender came out with 4 sized 3 guns which is the same as the Sabre which has been out for more than year. Also, the super hornet is still the best dogfighter see the latest fighter tournament The SH is also one of the original fighters in the game. I think the ship escalation is more a project management failing by CIG. CIG leadership is not that familiar with combat, and I don't think that they care about ship balance really. Therefore, the ship designer builds or suggests thing the weapons. The designer has an interest in their ship being cool and popular, so the designer will push for the ship being powerful. The more established the designer would probably be able to push harder to keep the excessive weapons. I would use the Bucc as an example of this. Sherman is an established designer. In one video, you saw Andy out of the UK says I thought the ship had too much firepower. He was told that well it will be more fragile. The ship is not compared to gladius which is similar to its class. But all of this is just a theory. I do need to review the vault stuff on the defender to verify this, so anyone let me know if I am full of it on this.

CIG-Mat Sherman is not a ship designer, he's literally in charge of all ship systems design and overall balancing, together with CIG-Renault Calix.

The first issue with him is, that he often goes by his personal imagination of what a ship should be, not by what CIG advertised the ship as nor wrote into the brochure to sell it to us.

Hence CIG-Disco Lando's following, asinine combination of statements: 

1) "Our [ship] advertising is just fluff "  (we will write one thing to get your money and then do whatever we want)

2) "Your [ship] choices should matter"  (It should be difficult or costly to switch from ship to ship for backers, even though you can't know what you'll actually get)

 

And yes, I will agree with you, that there are exceptions to the rule, there are actually a few (very few) old ships left, that are not massively nerfed. Hornet and SH are examples of those.

But the majority has either been nerfed heavily or even had their role changed since purchase.  This will be hard to detect/track for anyone who hasn't been around since the Kickstarter.

But if you were around and have good memory, its painfully obvious and can be documented and proven without difficulty (aside from being laborious). A few examples:

- M50 was advertised and sold with the role of "interceptor".  - gone

- Constellation was once a freighter in direct competition with the Banu Merchantman, able to carry 80% of what the Merchantman could carry.

- Constellation was once a "Space superiority platform", CIG-Chris Roberts "able to down 3 Hornets while sustaining just light damage", until that description changed to "3 Hornets will down a Constellation while likely loosing one of the Hornets" - another massive change after thousands were sold.

- The only tender ever explicitly sold as a "parasite" or "snub" ship, was the Constellation's Merlin. Many Years later, well after the Carrack sale, suddenly CIG declared that ALL tenders that came with larger ships were just parasites.  Not only did CIG downgrade a ton of ships already sold, some of which had descriptions to the contrary (85X), CIG acted like this wasn't a new decision, a change they were making, no, to add insult to injury, they acted like it had always been that way! Of all the childish and sleazy ways to sell people for dumb, this must be the worst one...

Kinda like the PvP slider, where you don't hear about the feature for a while and then, suddenly in a video, you hear four developers say they never heard of the PvP slider, and that this multiple times CR-confirmed and extensively explained feature must have been just some further ran idea that didn't come to pass...

 

I could go on with examples, but much easier to check the ship forum archives.

Are backers just a "whiny" bunch or are they just salty about getting lied to and have their intelligence insulted?

I'm not allergic to changes being made to a game in development.  But I and many others are allergic to attempts at obscuring the truth and outright lying.

Because once I am forced to regard a person or company as habitually dishonest and dishonorable, I don't want to associate with them any more, because I'm a stickler for honor.

 

Life is short. If I find someone to have no sense of honor or kinship, I remove myself from any relationship with them. I'm patient with people making mistakes but I have no tolerance for habitual liars and deceivers.

 

And with CIG, at a minimum, the marketing department is guilty of an unending string of deceptions, as well as the degradation of CIG community engagement.

Firstly, their fondness / reliance on "impact marketing" makes it imperative, that no news gets out until a sale is ready, unless intervention is necessary because the forum is about to implode over something.

 

The rest of CIG, I will cut some slack and call various silences when communication was in order just "clumsy" for not having someone responsible for owning announcements and posting one-liner notices when an announcement was either fulfilled, delayed or missed and nobody else at CIG had time or intent to say anything further about it.

The way CIG is habitually lets previously announced things die in space without a word, sometimes for more than a year is certainly unprofessional.  It also gives people the idea, that stuff routinely gets swept under the carpet at CIG, even if that's not actually the case.

Its almost funny how bad CIG is at basic corporate communication, being the "most open game development ever"

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@Pharesm, Sherman made the buccaneer. See the ATV talking about the Bucc. He is not in charge of overall systems and balancing. I would have asked for a refund and bailed if that was the case. Calix has not done balancing for a year. I know this because I have talked to Calix. Disco is depending n your view a sarcastic guy, a troll, or a tool. I have been around since October of 2012. I am PVP combat focused, so I have been paying attention to combat ships since then. M50 is actually still a viable light interceptor due to its 2 size 2 gun hardpoints. Connie is a hot mess mainly due to CIG's previous comments above about lack of clear roles and mechanics. The 300 series is probably a bigger early mess than those, but a luxury dogfighter is a bit odd. 

On the PVP slider, that went away when CR said there will be no instances just one big one. If CIG pulls this off, a PVP slider will not be possible. Also, many employees don't know as much about the game as us.  They know about their one little area that they are putting 60 hours plus on. 

I agree that CIG's marketing is getting shadier by the month. I kick them on anything that I can, but I have to fair. The CCU change was complete BS. Zyloh lied to us about it via omission at least. I have talked to him, and I am personally hurt by that. CIG did the CCU change purely to prevent $0 CCU for the Ellipse. Now, that I have my credibility on that.  I think the marketing is dishonorable as well. Second-hand, I have stories of them lying about the game progress to streamers in order to goose events. 

 

On game promises and other anouncements, I think CIG just has a project management failing of not being clear about what they want and have promises, checking that their mechanics meet those promises, explaining when they can't meet those promises, and developing ranges for tuning parameters to make sure their mechanics do what they think that they will do. 

Finally, my impression is CIG is just super ashamed when they mess up or miss a deadline or waste money on something. They tend to just don't talk about "that uncle". 

 

For me, I want the game that they are building. I just have lost faith in portions of the company, but I doubt other indy studios are any better. They are run by people. 

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On 5/22/2017 at 10:24 AM, Cincinnatus said:

@Pharesm, Sherman made the buccaneer. See the ATV talking about the Bucc. He is not in charge of overall systems and balancing. I would have asked for a refund and bailed if that was the case. Calix has not done balancing for a year. I know this because I have talked to Calix. Disco is depending n your view a sarcastic guy, a troll, or a tool. I have been around since October of 2012. I am PVP combat focused, so I have been paying attention to combat ships since then. M50 is actually still a viable light interceptor due to its 2 size 2 gun hardpoints. Connie is a hot mess mainly due to CIG's previous comments above about lack of clear roles and mechanics. The 300 series is probably a bigger early mess than those, but a luxury dogfighter is a bit odd. 

On the PVP slider, that went away when CR said there will be no instances just one big one. If CIG pulls this off, a PVP slider will not be possible. Also, many employees don't know as much about the game as us.  They know about their one little area that they are putting 60 hours plus on. 

I agree that CIG's marketing is getting shadier by the month. I kick them on anything that I can, but I have to fair. The CCU change was complete BS. Zyloh lied to us about it via omission at least. I have talked to him, and I am personally hurt by that. CIG did the CCU change purely to prevent $0 CCU for the Ellipse. Now, that I have my credibility on that.  I think the marketing is dishonorable as well. Second-hand, I have stories of them lying about the game progress to streamers in order to goose events. 

 

On game promises and other anouncements, I think CIG just has a project management failing of not being clear about what they want and have promises, checking that their mechanics meet those promises, explaining when they can't meet those promises, and developing ranges for tuning parameters to make sure their mechanics do what they think that they will do. 

Finally, my impression is CIG is just super ashamed when they mess up or miss a deadline or waste money on something. They tend to just don't talk about "that uncle". 

 

For me, I want the game that they are building. I just have lost faith in portions of the company, but I doubt other indy studios are any better. They are run by people. 

Interesting post and thanks for laying out more details of your experience!

 

Funny that we both have kinda resorted to splitting the company in development and marketing, as that seems to be the only way to not just quit in disgust.

We also seem to agree that development is not trying to be shady, where our points intersect somewhere near "clumsy" / "ashamed", both of which are friendly terms, holding CIG sort of innocent.

That said, CIG is a corporation of 300 adults. Failing to communicate for being "ashamed" or even "fearing (forum) punishment" is retarded and something I start teaching my kids never to do before they even grasp the concept: Have a spine or end up turning your life into a misery.

There is nothing more disarming than telling your boss or client "I screwed that up and I will right it." - BEFORE anyone comes asking about it...

Best of course, not to have a boss in the first place and be as straight with yourself :P

 

As for your last point: I really backed for less game than they're making.  I intensely dislike FPS games and am not happy about its inclusion at the expense of my main reason to back CIG: Private Servers and Modding Tools.

At the same time, I'm awed by their procedural planet generation, planetary landings, weather, large space etc. I also understand that the entire first person thing wouldn't have made sense to most people without involving shooting each other.  Can't they just go and get a job at Blackwater?  Probably better if they'll be doing their shooting in a computer game to my minor annoyance.

 

So, I'm 50/50 on wanting the game they're building - especially while I'm unsure if private servers will also suddenly become incompatible, like the PvP slider did.

Also, nobody can fool me into thinking that the feature of a PvP slider is incompatible just because of lack of instances.  It would be cake to render your ship increasingly hard to detect in cruise mode for other players but not for NPCs.  If they really wanted to, they *could* find an alternate implementation.

 

As for Sherman making the buccaneer - that amazes me!

First, I was unaware of the sharp turn in his CIG career... 

Second, it blows me away, that after having nerfed so many ships to hell, he decided to make a tiny pirate ship totally overloaded with guns!

...and a reasonably unobstructed, yet unappealing cockpit view.

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