Anti-Capitalship units’ balancing


Homeworld Remastered was released on 25th February 2015. I have played Homeworld 2 for many years though and (combat) Capitalships are overpowered as in Homeworld 2 were. I don’t need to play Homeworld Remastered for many years to say this and that the anti-Capitalship framework was a brilliant idea with an arguable implementation. However, I want to use data instead of playing experience.

I know there is the “BattleCruisers Ruining MP yet again thread” (closed) and many other comments about this topic, nevertheless I’m posting it because I think it’s a topic that still needs to be treatised.
If it’s redundant, please close it. If this is posted in the wrong place, please redirect me to the right place.

Part 1:

Health and damage, values from Homeworld 2:
Ion Cannon Frigate – damage: 315, health: 16000, cost: 700.
Destroyer – damage: 1034, health: 85000, cost: 2000.
Battlecruiser – damage: 5200, health: 240000, cost: 4000.

The ship’s cost evaluates the ship’s overall stats and thus its capabilities.

Ion Cannon/Heavy Missile Frigates, Destroyers and Battlecruisers are all said to be anti-Capitalship units. Let’s make a comparison, using Hiigarans for instance:
Destroyer’s damage = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s damage] * 3.2825 (approximated value)
Destroyer’s health = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s health] * 5.3125.
Destroyer’s cost = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s cost] * 2.8571 (approximated value)
Battlecruiser’s damage = [Destroyer’s damage] * 5.0290(approximated value)
Battlecruiser’s health = [Destroyer’s health] * 2.8235 (approximated value)
Battlecruiser’s cost = [Destroyer’s cost] * 2
Battlecruiser’s damage = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s damage] * 16.5079 (approximated value)
Battlecruiser’s health = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s health] * 15
Battlecruiser’s cost = [Ion Cannon Frigate’s cost] * 5.7413 (approximated value)

More than 4 Ion Cannon frigates are needed to level a Destroyer’s stats, yet a Destroyer costs nearly as 3 Ion Cannon frigates.
4 Destroyers are needed to level a Battlecruiser’s stats, yet a Battlecruiser costs as 2 Destroyers.
More than 15 Ion Cannon frigates are needed to level a Battlecruiser’s stats, yet a Battlecruiser costs nearly as 6 Ion Cannon Frigates.
The result is that Ion Cannon frigates are only anti-frigate and anti-destroyer to some extent units, Destroyers are anti-frigate and anti-destroyer units and Battlecruisers are anti-everything units.

Problem with health and damage is more complicated actually:

Let’s say the Battlecruiser’s health and damage are respectively a Destroyer’s health *4 and firepower *4 and the Battlecruiser’s cost is a destroyer’s cost *4.
A group of 4 Destroyers against a single battlecruiser will lose. While the BC mantains its firepower until its health reaches zero, the group of Destroyers loses 1/4 of its firepower each time a destroyer’s health reaches zero. The consequence is that the Battlecruiser will be the winner even if 4 Destroyers level a single battlecruiser in terms of stats and cost.

If the BC’s health and firepower are respectively a DD’s health *4 and firepower *4 and the BC’s cost is a destroyer’s cost *4 and the BC wins against 4 Destroyer, I think it’s still right from the moment you spend more RUs for unlocking battlecruisers than for unlocking destroyers.
In a “standard” match you’ll need BCs from winning against your opponent because you can resort to an higher number of units if you unlock battlecruisers so each will aim for battlecruisers anyway.

Prerequisites are not costs though. Prerequisites are a way to delay a ship’s appearence, it’s the vertical progression implemented in game rather than “in-profile”.
Both prerequisites and cost make a ship worthwhile or not, but they do it in different ways: too many prerequisites make a ship “unlockable”, while too high costs make a ship “unbuildable”.

Part 2:

It’s not only health and firepower though. Attack range, values from Homeworld 2:
Ion Cannon Frigate - 4000
Destroyer – 4500
Battlecruiser – 6000

A) If ship A is anti-B, for preventing B’s (instant) evasion after engagement:

  1. if A’s speed < B’s speed, A’s range > B’s range;
  2. if A’s speed is = B’s speed, A’s range = B’s range;
  3. if A’s speed is > B’s speed, A’s range < B’s range.
    B) If ship A is anti-B and ship B is anti-A), for preventing advantages to one ship (an harmful one is kiting):
  4. If A’s speed < B’s speed, A’s range = B’s range
  5. If A’s speed = B’s speed, A’s range = B’s range
    3)If A’s speed > B’s speed, A’s range = B’s range

Ion Cannon Frigates, Destroyers and Battlecruisers are said to be anti-Capitalship. If they all are we should have all situations in the B) category but instead it is as follows:
B2) IC frigate against IC frigate: A’s speed = B’s speed, A’s range = B’s range – all right.
A3) IC frigate against DD: IC frigate’s speed > DD’s speed, IC frigate’s range < DD’s range – even if the IC frigate should be anti-DD.
A1) BC against IC frigate: BC’s speed < IC frigate’s speed, BC’s range > IC frigate’s range – even if the IC frigate should be anti-BC.
A1) BC against DD: BC’s speed < DD’s speed, BC’s range > DD’s range – even if the DD should be anti-BC.
[A3) Bomber against BC: Bomber’s speed > B’s speed, Bomber’s range < BC’s range – all right.]

There’s the critical hit failure, or critical existence failure, (i.e. 4 DDs level 1 BC but the BC wins against 4 DD) but I can still understand adding some range to a ship that is bigger than another one and that has more prerequisites than smaller ones.
4500 for Destroyers seems legit, 6000 for battlecruisers is high. Assuming there is a never-made Cruiser between DDs and BCs which has range: 5000, I can understand a range of 5500 for BCs.
I can’t understand why there’s the need for higher than IC frigate’s range for DDs and in particular for BCs since DDs and BCs have so high health and damage values that they are overpowered units already (…again, the BC in particular).

Part 3:

The Bomber is the only unit that uses the anti-subsystem multiplier and that makes it the only unit that can effectively counter BCs by disabling its subsystems and the most effective unit against production modules. The consequence is that bombers are actually the best choice (except BCs) for going against any Capitalship and this freezes the game on building mainly BCs and anti-strikecraft units.

Possible solutions I can think of are:

  1. removing the anti-subsystem bombs upgrade for bombers and then think if there’s the need for reducing all modules’ health, production ones in particular. If you’re going to proper balance Capitalships, it’s another reason for removing that anti-subsystem upgrade for Bombers and then seeing if there’s the need for reducing all modules’ health. If an health upgrade for modules is introduced, then I see an anti-subsystem upgrade…not only for bombers though, for laser corvettes, ion cannon and heavy missile frigates as well.
  2. If destroyers and battlecruisers mantain an advantage in terms of damage, that joins the range and the critical hit failure advantages, then the anti-subsystem research can stay, but it must be given to laser corvettes and ion/heavy missile frigates as well.

About all modules’ health, I wouldn’t make bigger ships’ modules have more health than smaller ships’ modules because modules are meant to be a weakness for bigger ships and therefore a subsystem’s health shouldn’t “grow” with the size (and thus the health) of its ship. I’m thinking to production modules specifically. I won’t say what a correct value should be but a value that doesn’t increase together with the ship’s size could prove a very nice move together with solution 2) (above).


The request is simple: please, make something about this flawed balance.