Multitargeting theory and the latest TM Borg rework

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posted on February 8th, 2022, 3:11 am
I would normally post this on the Discord, but figured I'd mention it here and see if anyone else is interested. I'm doing yet another rework of the Borg faction for TM, cutting down on the module count and creating fewer, more useful configurations.

Basically I'm cutting out dozens of Borg ship layouts that nobody uses, and focusing on the good ones.

For Spheres and Cubes, I want to introduce some kind of bonus damage; weapons that fire randomly at nearby enemies and don't attack the main target. I've already done some multitargeting in the past so I'm looking at the best way to do it.

Original FO just treats multitargeting as a neutral feature. If a weapon would deal 100 damage and it attacks 2 enemies, it deals 50 damage to each.

TM treats it as a disadvantage. It is easier to get kills when all of your damage is focused on one enemy. Also, since every ship regenerates hitpoints slowly, spreading a little bit of damage over lots of enemies allows them all to regenerate and negates a lot of damage. So, in Tryptic's Mod, if a weapon would deal 100 damage based on its Offense value and attacks 2 targets, it instead deals 60 damage to each. The total DPS is increased 20%.

The Sphere is the main ship that regularly attacks extra targets, and over the years I've tried scaling its damage in different ways.

At one point I scaled it extremely high:

2 targets - 140% total DPS
3 targets - 180%
4 targets - 200% DPS

This was too strong. Spheres could just sweep the field. So I tried a more toned-down version:

2 targets - 120% total DPS
3 targets - 140% total DPS
4 targets - 160% total DPS

This was also quite strong, and people very rarely built any Sphere without 3 Beam modules. The next setup I tried was weaker still:

2 targets - 115% total DPS
3 targets - 130% total DPS
4 targets - 145% total DPS

This gives players an okay choice between Beam Spheres and other Spheres, but I felt it made 1-2 Beam modules undesirable. They still had most of the drawback without much advantage. So I arrived at the current setup:

2 targets - 120% total DPS
3 targets - 135% total DPS
4 targets - 145% total DPS

Now the 3rd Beam module only adds 10% total DPS, but people still use it for the Beam damage reduction. Human beings like to focus their efforts in one direction and use all 3 modules. I even modified the cost of the ship so that stacking modules adds a cost penalty: a BTRH Sphere is much cheaper than a BBBR Sphere, but people still don't build them.

The new design will simplify the modules, so I'm no longer worried about player choice. I want to focus on the balance of the weapons themselves. For example, I could crank up the Offense value on Spheres and Cubes but make it so EVERY configuration multitargets. This could mean the Sphere's single-target damage is reduced across the board, which I'm a bit concerned about, but its overall DPS would jump up.

Another option I'm looking at is to add a second Offense type altogether. The Sphere and Cube would have their regular Offense, which targets one thing (or maybe several things), and then it would also have 30-50 "Bonus Offense" in the form of Beams that target random enemies. This would allow the Sphere to keep its single-target damage while also spreading damage around the enemy fleet, although it does come with a drawback: if the Sphere kites around the edge of its range, the Bonus attacks could hit the same target as its regular attacks giving it a large boost to its single-target damage.

Another thing I'm considering doing is having the Bonus Offense be Short range in the case of the Sphere. For the Cube, it will definitely have Bonus weapons with both Short and Long range, so it's easy for the ship to fire some of its weapons but it has to get close to unleash its full might.

Do you guys have any thoughts or ideas? Which Sphere layout do you build? Have you ever tried a weird Sphere, like BBRR?
posted on February 8th, 2022, 3:15 am
I should ALSO mention that there are different ways to handle the multi-targeting:

-The extra targets can be selected using normal rules, hitting the lowest Defense enemies within range
-The extra targets can be the CLOSEST enemies
-The extra targets can cycle through all enemies in range.

The first two options are significantly stronger and give the player a bit of control over the shots, while the third option might have to cycle through 20 enemy ships in a big fleet battle, leaving its damage almost pointless.

Right now Option 3 is used for most multitargeting weapons, including Spheres.
posted on February 15th, 2022, 11:03 am
sounds good. i did play around with the idea of improving assimilation by having assimilated ships slowly become more borgish but decided was way too much work. if you want i could go over roughly how it worked
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