2.1 Patch Balance Issues

A few observations:

  • I almost never see corvettes used by any faction. This likely stems from the aforementioned issues, but even the HW2 corvettes can’t hold their own early-mid game when assault frigates come into play.

  • Assault Frigates miss frigates and HW2 collectors a bit too often considering their size - if damage output is an issue maybe nerf penetration slightly while buffing accuracy to make it a bit less annoying.

  • HW2 DDs lose out to HW1 Frigates. Maybe not cost wise, but certainly factoring in build times and HW1’s double production lines. They seem about 10% weaker than they should be.

  • HW1 DDs seem to be stronger than HW2 - not sure if it is just bias but frontal ions seem to be more effective than broadside guns/missiles. They are less vulnerable to DFFs and Def. Fighters as well.

  • GWGs should take a little longer to build - another 10-15 seconds would leave enough time between expiry and production to retreat or deal some damage. Currently, there is only 5-10 seconds of downtime when 1 line is building GWs.

  • Resource controllers seem to be terrible at docking collectors - I need about 1 for every 3 collectors it seems, while refineries are good for 8.

  • Sphere formation is borked - the fighters don’t face their target and park about 3 feet from the hull.

Besides this, everything seems improved balance wise.


One thing I noticed is that Defenders seem over-nerfed and Defense Fighters don’t seem useful except when you’re already unit capped and just have nothing else to make.
Defenders don’t even seem to be that good against Interceptors.

This seems right to me, no?

Ion Frigates are only good against frigates, destroyers, and BCs.
On the other hand, Destroyers do decent against Corvettes as well as those other things. Maybe they didn’t in 1.3, but I’ve been seeing my Hiig Destroyer take out Corvettes somewhat effectively. Not as good as torps, but decent.
So many things are changed with balance, that what beats what being different from how it was before doesn’t mean much when those might not be better against other things.

And what if you mix in 2 support frigates or repair collectors on each side? It’s easier to keep the Destroyer alive since it’s one larger HP pool.

Ion frigates were simply not good enough in vanilla/1.3 considering their limited use, even though you get them earlier.
If there is an issue here, it may be with the build time of Ion Frigates being too short, but not cost to cost.

Involving which ships? Provide a screen cap ?

I’ve experienced this issue when using Taiidan interceptors and bombers against Vaygr Heavy Missile frigates and against a Hiigaran destroyer. If the ship moves at all the fighters won’t face the target and they form a sphere very close to the target at all times regardless of whether or not it is moving. The fighters get so close that the exploding frigate will either kill them or take away most of their health. And the frigate’s explosion is tiny.


Have you checked HW1 Ion Frigates vs HW2 DDs, both stock and upgraded? It is possible that the balance issue is temporary and caused by either an upgrade gap or build times. It is also possible that Hig DDs might be fighting without the torpedo upgrade for awhile due to resource constraints.

There could also be some ballistics issues - since the Hig DD uses slow-ish kinetics move-attacking ions might be able to dodge some fire while the instant point-shoot of HW1 DDs and Ion Frigates maintains accuracy. Ion frigates do have a very narrow forward cross-section.

One more thing - torpedoes self-destruct when the target is destroyed instead of re-targeting. Is this intended?

About defenders:

About defense fighters I kinda agree, just have no idea how to make them better.

Do they still have the laser? Or was the replaced entirely by the new defense field? If they had both, they might be viable.

They have both, but the laser got some nerf, it were killing missiles too easily.

What does the defense field do? If I put a defense fighter in a formation with interceptors, will it make that formation immune/resistant to attacks from enemy interceptors? They could potentially be amazing, but they will require a lot of micromanagement.

It works like the defense field frigate, but it blocks way less bullets of course, it would be op to block so many bullets with the cost of a fighter.
They are kinda very very hard to balance if you ask me.

I found a minor visual glitch. @BitVenom check out what happens when some HW1 ships get boarded and captured. They receive the change in colours reflecting their new owner, except for on their turrets, which retain their original paint job. I saw this occur on the Taiidan and Kushan destroyers, and the Kushan Heavy Cruiser. If this logic follows, the Kushan assault frigate’s turrets will also be glitched like this.

Nothing major, it just looks a bit ridiculous at times. I’m assuming because I didn’t notice it before that is is related to the recent updates.

Just give them more speed and HP? Make them sway around so they’re harder to hit by projectiles?
They seem to be around as slow as Defenders are. Which is SLOW.

Aren’t them with 487 speed? I though it were set to have the same speed of an interceptor on 2.1

Oh did the speed change from 2.0 to 2.1? I haven’t played 2.1 yet and didn’t see that in any notes.

But anyway, I seem to remember in HW1 that some ships would jitter around randomly to make themselves harder to hit by projectiles, and that defense fighters did that, but I could be imagining things.

And they don’t shoot down projectiles now, right? Just missiles?

Defenders used to jitter

Defense fighters only shot missiles now, engine limitations.

The inability to shoot down projectiles is an engine limitation, as I understand it. The defense field was added to simulate the effect of shooting down projectiles.

If they’re bad, they could be changed to block more bullets than they currently do. The field is also very small, so it can’t cover capital ships very well.


Couldn’t you just change BC, HC, and DD projectiles to be a missile that only goes in a straight line that can be shot down? The Hiig DD doesn’t have any more projectiles flying than the Vagyr DD does at any given time, eh?
Then it couldn’t counter Vagyr DD much more than it does the Hiig one.

Could have it limited to just shooting down large projectiles like those few big cannons changed to work that way, while Frigates and smaller are unaffected, no?

And yeah, now I get what the bubble around them now is… lol. So I take it it just reduces incoming damage by a %?
I dunno they seem super ghetto and bad.

I put 20 defenders in a wall with 9 defense fighters (it wouldn’t let me build the 10 cap, only 9, at one point) in a sphere. They lost to 5 assault craft squads and 2 missile corve squads without killing a single assault craft squad.
The Defense Fighters are just crap, and in a sphere around the defense fighters and a guard order they still wanted to shoot ahead and die to the assault craft.
And maybe it’s because I put Defenders in a wall… but jesus.
I know sphere isn’t supposed to work on smaller things… but with defense fighters, that’s weird behavior. Especailly when guarding something slow like defense fighters.

I really have to question the testing methodology here when you say that Defenders beat them well. It actually appears to me that Assault Craft counter Defenders if set to Evasive because the Defenders simply can’t hit them. Their projectiles are so slow.

The only case I’ve seen where Defenders effectively kill Assault Craft is when their AI bugs out and they just srafe and spiral around in circles letting themselves be shot… but that’s just a bug.

Was a limitation. I believe we added a capability for that in this patch… ? Indeed we added a flag for weapons (bullets) that allows them to optionally hit Missiles…


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I tested it more and Defenders are just totally inept at hitting anything moving.

It seems like they don’t know how to lead their targets and shoot behind them. And any little change in direction makes them miss by so much. I watched 20 of them spend a minute trying to take out a single Vagyr bomber squadron.

Now if they get close and their AI bugs out and they just spin around in circles, they get shredded.

If you get the defenders to spread out, they do work better, since they more often get the right angle to hit despite their poor aiming and slow projectiles.

Anyway, what is the damage reduction that Defense Fighters provide, and does it stack?

No, we mean the ability to shoot down shells/bullets. Not for shells to shoot missiles.

In HW1, Defense Fighters shot shells. I’m not sure if they shot the smaller bullets like from fighters, but I think so? Those weapons often shot in big bursts.