Simple test to demonstrate "broken" strike craft

Here’s a simple test anyone can do to show how broken RNG weapons are (for strike craft at least).

Load mission one. Select two Scouts and fly them away from the rest of the formation a bit. Wait for them both to be stationary, then force-target one upon the other. Now watch how long it takes for the Scout to be destroyed - you’ll probably have enough time to grab a coffee or a snack.

Do the same thing in Classic - the difference is stark!!!

Force targeting is broken, it does almost no damage so your comparison is flawed.

Try force firing a frigate later on with a late game fleet. It will take much, much longer to kill it than normally.

Ah, ok. Good to know.

Curious as to why a separate mechanic for “friendly fire”. Interesting.

Game mechanics are definitely crazy different from the original. Old homeworld assault frigates would have a nightmare of a time hitting a scout at max speed, now they pretty reliably destroy them when in range.

I find that both bad and good. I never understood why assault frigates struggled so much with strike craft. They have gimbaled turrets and should be able to hit. It’s bad that it’s so different than what I remember but it’s good as it’s addressing some weird things about Homeworld 1.

In some ways the re-balancing makes a lot of sense but they have a long way to go.

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It was hard for them to hit because there wasn’t a number generated casually in a range who said they did hit, rather the bullet had to hit a small target moving at some hundreds of m/s while the ship also maneuvered. And yes they used speed predictions to aim where the ship would have been, but any succesive evasive move from the nimble fighter would make it less likely to be hit.

So moral of the story how do you make them hit more?

  • Increase the bullet speed, this affects mostly targeted fighters and corvettes obviously.
  • Decrease damage per shot and increase rate of fire (at the same DPS) → spray and pray, that actually works and doesn’t affect the rest of the game too because you do the same DPS!
  • Increase damage and decrease rate of fire at same bullet speed → same chance to hit as before but more damage on the target, possibly killing it with less shots!

Now deciding what to do isn’t easy but this is a sample of the ample possibilities the simulated system gives you.
It’s harder to balance? Maybe, sure it’s a heck cooler than increasing % from 5 to 7.5

I would much rather have proper balance than cool looking projectile physics.

Those two are not mutually exclusive.

Adding physical projectiles means another layer of complication which will slow down the balancing process. HW2 worked just fine without it, I don’t see a reason to try and force it into the game now.

Homeworld 2 worked fine because it was designed and balanced with it in mind. Homeworld 2 Remastered is a ton of fun because it’s not pretending to be something it isn’t.

Homeworld 1’s gameplay, tactics, balance, and ship design were based around functional projectile weapons and when ported as they have been into Remastered you get a Frankenstein’s monster of both systems with the advantages of neither and disadvantages of both. Many, many ships simply fall apart because they’re trying to maintain Homeworld 1 quirks such as building individual ships, but without the mechanics that made those things work in the original, which in this case would be formations.

The fact that weapons are no longer physical have such profound and far-reaching consequences on the balance and gameplay of Homeworld 1 Remastered in a way that, honestly, for the mixed race skirmishes they probably should have just gone the opposite way and fully HW2-ized the HW1 stuff. Homeworld 1 Remastered is trying really hard to not play like Homeworld 2, but it just can’t get away from the fact that it is essentially a Homeworld 2 mod.

I don’t have a good answer to this problem. Gearbox had to make some really difficult decisions to bring out what they did and I would still rather live in a world where this Remastering exists, and was done with as much care as it was, than a world without it. I can’t speak enough for how ecstatic I am that Homeworld is relevant again and people are talking about it.

Really, the best I can think of is that in an ideal world, Gearbox would have been able to modify the engine enough to make it play like Homeworld for HW1R, and then HW2-ized the HW1 ships for the mixed race multiplayer mode. The current version of HW1R falls apart (on a purely gameplay level) because it’s trying so hard to be something that it fundamentally isn’t.

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IMHO one big addition even without projectile physics would just be a way to vary hit chance with target speed.
You have that value, you also have the bullet speed: it sounds simplier to add that layer which basicly tells slow/immobile objects are gonna get hit than redesigning the whole engine.

As far as balancing goes well I agree with Why485: you can achieve balance with any system, even the current one as an extreme.
But the point is that it takes time, many matches that us as players are gonna do during beta and even then the final result could be disappointing for some people.
It’s two different games and gameplays, let’s see what side we can favor the most and how much we can mash up the mechanics of both.

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I was thinking about this last night, and I do think a more nuanced RNG system that took into account velocities and range could very well be the key to making it work as close to the original as possible, without requiring a rewrite of core components of the game.

Gearbox does have access to the source code of Homeworld 2. I do think that’s a feasible option.

With enough tweaking and the right numbers, such a system could very well become a close enough simulation of HW1s projectiles that it could eliminate the need for full physics altogether.

I thoroughly agree with your views on the balancing and the wide impact of RNG on the HW1 gameplay. I can’t really add anything of value to what you said, but I think you summarized the crux of the issue.

I think what you suggested could be a very good way to go about fixing the HW1 SP, but it’s hard to be certain. There would be a lot of complexity to look at across the entire tactics, formation and damage localisation systems to make it work, but it sounds better than trying to get ballistics to work in multiplayer.

My only hope is that Gearbox is willing to take a serious look at this. They did such an oustanding work at preserving the graphics, it would really be a shame to loose the gameplay in the process.

Well the only difference I could see between that system and fully simulated in the real world is if you actually move the ship away/faster after the bullet has been fired.

In such a case it still behaves as if you were moving at a different speed, but that’s really a question of seconds or less, as an example:

your formation of fighters (a working one…) is in idle, the enemy attacks and scores a few certain hits but the instant ships move the issue goes away. Well now guess what even in the perfect simulation it happens… if you don’t move that’s 100% accuracy too.

That sounds like a terrible idea. The HW2 races are by far the most asymmetric and have much more delicate balancing, throwing in a new projectile system now would require a huge amount of work for what exactly? HW1 units don’t need new projectiles physics to work, what they need is to be fully converted to HW2 mechanics instead of the halfway point they are at now. Most of their current problems aren’t even caused by the difference in projectile mechanics.

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As long as the system in place takes into account velocity, distance, tactics and ship mass/size I think it can work as a relatively transparent emulation of how HW1 played. That is, if formations do what was intended at least.

If Gearbox took this idea and ran with it, I wouldn’t mind :).

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sorry but no you are wrong and the reason is simple, on a physics system getting perfect balance is something that comes natural to ships and weapons designs, you don’t have to tweak numbers, just damage values and armor % and absolute value reductions.

if you design a gun that fires fast shoots with low damage and high tracking it naturally becomes an anti strike craft weapon.

where a slow muzzle gun with long range is naturally an artillery gun and a high muzzle low tracking is a anti capital turret.
there is no point or way you can mess this stats up to break balance, it comes natural to the simulation.

the reason assault frigates failed to hit strike craft on homeworld 1, its because its the obvius thing. the muzzle speed of the guns was slow, and the tracking was slow as well. the gun had very high damage, they were great at taking down things like corvettes that had less evasiveness and speed.

but if you wanted to use frigs vs strike craft you could, by using real life tactics, just get enough of them and place them far away where transversal velocity is less of an issue and the salvos being real physical calculated shoots, would hit and force the enemy craft to break formation and get killed.

of course… this also means formations actually work… but for that to happen… ballistics are a MUST!

I think nobody’s suggesting to change anything with regards to HW2. His point is about the HW1 SP and how to realistically fix it.

Yes, as Lifth suggested, I’m not talking about changing HW2 at all. HW2 is very tightly balanced and works very well. There’s no reason to go mucking around with it. I’m speaking specifically to Homeworld 1 Remastered’s singleplayer and some kind of theoretical HW1R exclusive skirmish/multiplayer mode.

For anything that mixes the two games, I agree with you that the simplest course of action would be to make the Homeworld 1 ships match the Homeworld 2 mechanics and stop trying to pretend it works the same as the original.

Although, the Homeworld 2 ships rebalanced to work in a HW1R environment with an expanded RNG is a very interesting thought. It would turn the Remastered options into more of a “what style of play do you want” question more than just “what singleplayer game do you want.” It could be very interesting, but it’d be a hell of a lot of work and so would probably be best left to mods whenever the tools for that come out.

@assasing123
Making unit effectiveness being based of projectile velocity, damage, turret tracking speed and the armor and velocity of the targeted unit - drastically increasing the probability space - does not make getting perfect balance any easier, quite the opposite.

@Lifth
If that is the context, my previous posts don’t apply.

@Why485
While it could be interesting to see how HW2 would play out with a more detailed projectile simulation, I don’t see Gearbox working on that anytime soon.
The priority should be to get the core HWR mode units all working as intended and consistenly while being somewhat balanced.
I don’t really care whether this gets done through HW1 or HW2 mechanics, but seeing as everything is already stuffed into the HW2 engine and gameplay, going that path seems like the logical choice.