The Fighter Question

HW1 fighters and corvettes are weak as pants right now. HW2’s strike craft outclass them in every single way because they fight in squadrons and are also faster. HW1 factions just don’t have any viable anti-fighter strategies that don’t revolve around spamming defenders and multiguns, and even then this feels like more of a stop-gap measure than an actual strategic fleet composition choice.
You could eliminate almost all of the balance issues that exist (or at least put us well on the right track to doing so) by putting the fighters and corvettes of HW1 races into squadrons and making them have the flight behaviours of HW2’s strike craft. Having them on their own just doesn’t make any sense now that the fuel system is gone.

The support ships are also completely useless with fighters being weak and the fuel system being gone. My idea on how to balance them after putting the fighters into squadrons would be to give both of them greater carrying capacity and also (optionally) the same benefits of the Vaygr command corvette. You can use them as cheap hyperspacing carriers for your strike craft that way, and they’d also benefit other ships too.
If you wanted to lean towards more asymmetrical balance in the style of HW2, you could give one of them an AOE repair of some kind and the other the command corvette buffs.

This isn’t related directly to fighters, but it seems like a lot of the balance discussion seems to be veterans of HW1 and veterans of HW2 yelling at eachother about which game has better mechanics. I think with the HW1 races being basically ported into HW2’s engine and thus being forced to fight on HW2’s terms, too much is already different to balance the game around HW1’s gameplay style. You really have no choice but to balance the Taiidan and Kushan around the HW2 factions.

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Seriously!!?!?!

The HW1 faction builds a single Gravity Well Generator = all enemy fighters/bombers/scouts frozen in place for a minute. You don’t think this counts as a counter to the HW2 fighters?

The game is balanced! All you need to do is stop thinking in ‘unit A vs unit B’ and try to encompass the entire tactical/strategic depth that the game offers.

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I agree, and from the onset I have to say that I’ve played much more of the first Homeworld than I have the second. Due to the content of the first game being migrated to the second I’d have to agree that it should lean much more towards its mechanics in multiplayer. Many of the mechanics that made the first game work as it did are no longer in place, and because of this the pacing and unit placement of the races from the first game in many cases falls flat.

The way fighters work from the first game in comparison to the second are a big point, and I think making them work more like the second game’s would alleviate a lot of the problems people are having. In the current state of the beta Homeworld 2’s strikecraft are vastly superior to the first, and this isn’t due to the first game’s strikecraft being weaker or less armored. Since the craft from the first are broken up they tend to swoop in on targets and make longer gun runs. With the squad structure of the second this makes this a lot less maneuverable, making them vulnerable to being shot up all too often by the strikecraft of the Vaygr and Hiigarians. You normally need to have a 3-1 advantage in strikecraft to make any noticeable dent due to this, which just leads to a slugfest in who can outproduce each other. The only decent Homeworld 1 group really effective too are multigun corvettes and defenders. Multigun corvettes have the coverage to keep on target with the very manueverable Homeworld 2 craft, and the defender spits out enough lead to actually hit them. Anything else will be wiped out as it makes a wide turn to gun down the Hiigaran or Vaygr. This is especially bad against lance fighters.

Of course, this game doesn’t operate on attrition. One player will branch out into frigates and larger, which leads to another problem. With their strikecraft destroyed there will be no fighter cover against the Homeworld 2 race’s strikecraft, leading to a quick death for Kushan and Taiidan frigates and capital ships.

Due to this I think putting all the strikecraft into Homeworld 2-esque squads would help balance the game.

Of course, this still leaves the problem of support frigates. I really have nothing more to add to what OP said, it’s a resonable solution.

The problem here is that Gravewell Generators for the Homeworld 1 races are quite weak, and anything screening for them will be easily outranged by Vaygr and Hiigaran ships. I tried this tactic, only to find my opponent adapting by shooting at it with ion frigates from afar. I was unable to flank and move out of the safety of my generator due to his strikecraft holding superior positions as previously stated. Eventually my line was beat back.

The Homeworld 2 generators are much more well protected as modules on capital ships, able to take the fight to the enemy. Even in Homeworld 1 the specialized ships were always clunky and hard to make use of in an attack role.

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Let’s be honest, the gravwell generator is a defensive option. I read in Starship Troopers that “no defence force ever won a war”. If you’re attacking a player you’re probably not going to throw flimsy and expensive gravwell generators at them, you’ll just get the damn things killed and you won’t get as much bang-for-your-buck as you would if you’d bull-rushed them with the cheaper multiguns and defenders instead.

If you want to go down the gravity well route, one solution would be to make it a buildable module for the heavy cruisers. However if you did this, you’d have to make the HW2 hyperspace inhibitor behave the same way in the interest of game balance, which would create another problem that could only be remedied by putting HW1’s fighters into squads.

Enemy force engages you. You activate your gravity well that’s far in the back. All enemy strikecraft frozen in place. You kill tons of them (say 1500RU worth), but your opponent leads a bypass strike that kills your ~800 RU Gravity Well = you easily won the RU tradeoff! + you also had your opponent distracted in the battle and have to bleed off a few units to kill your gravity well generator.

If everything is even close to equal, you won this battle!

Also, you can’t compare the Gravity Well in HW1 to the Gravity Well module in HW2 so directly. Keep in mind that the Gravity Well in HW1 has the super ability (that it seems almost no one knows about!) that makes it amazing on bigger maps.

PS: “No defence force ever won a war”… If I attack you with a fleet that has a Gravity Well Generator in the rear…isn’t that still attacking?

You must be playing against some pretty terrible opponents (or not playing at all) because all I’d do in order to defeat that is nuke it to death with my damage-dealing frigates from afar before actually using my strike craft to attack you, just like the poster before me said. This is not an expensive tactic to defeat.

If this strategy becomes part of the stablished meta against HW2 fighters, y’know what happens? Every higgy or vaygr player is prepared for it because that’s all you can do to counter their fighters. HW1’s fighters really do need to buffed/changed to behave like HW2 ones, I don’t know why you can’t accept this. It’s not some “X unit vs Y unit” thing, and we’re not missing out on some deeper tactical depth, it’s just imbalanced.

Well, except you’d be trying to travel through my massed force to attack the gravity well in the back…how do you think you’ll be allowed to do that without getting mutilated?

Remember, all my posts are assuming relatively equal forces for both players.

Hmmmm, I think I see what you are saying now. Inexperienced players might be traveling with their Gravity Well Generator right behind their fleet (ie in enemy weapons range). That’s crazy! The Gravity Well Generator has a huge range = you can have it far back, and bring it forward if the enemy has approaching strikecraft.

But even then, for the initial battle you’ll have to hold your strikecraft back (where I don’t) = I have a serious advantage in the engagement…even if you quickly kill the Generator by bypassing my forces to some extent and can now bring in your strikecraft = you’ve fought piecemeal versus my combined force for a bit of time! Gravity Well for the win!

Or I can just wait for you to bring the thing forwards. All I would do is defend with the lance fighters. Your strike-craft will still get eaten unless you decide to bring the gravwell forwards, putting it in range of my other guns.

You really need to read what the commenter before me said, it’s really that easy.

Your assumption that the two forces will have “equal” forces is entirely unfounded for a discussion on balance. The two games played quite differently, which means without some changes they’re not going to be balanced against each other. The first Homeworld played much, much slower than Homeworld 2. The armies from both games aren’t going to be on an “equal” footing at any point in a game, they’re going to be quite asymmetrical even under any semblance of balance.

If you don’t hold your strikecraft back they will be destroyed. It’s really as simple as that. The Homeworld 2 races have anti-strikecraft ships which will tear them apart, and once they’re gone their fighter squads are free to infiltrate your lines and wreak havoc on your capital ships and the gravity well. Of course, it’s going to be chewed apart at range by their ion frigates and destroyers well before then. The Homeworld 2 ships outrange and outrun the Homeworld 1 ships by quite a margin.

How long before you can stand up a gravwell and assfrig? Before or after I’ve killed all your collectors with fighters?

Alright then, maybe I’ve just played against terrible players…or maybe my team has been carrying me all this time.

It sure looked like I was roughly keeping pace with my allies production/research…

The game doesn’t have to be 1-1 balanced, one faction’s fighters don’t have to be better than another. This is called asymmetrical balancing. Currently multigun and heavy corvets of the taiidan and kushan hard counter interceptors and the like. Lance fighters counter these corvettes because that’s their role. The counters are working as intended.

And like has been said before gravwell generator is sweet sauce.

I agree totally! It’s not about unit vs unit balancing…doesn’t matter if the game overall is balanced.

If you’ve read any of what said you’d realize this is exactly what we’ve been saying?

They are good counters, but in many cases they counter way too well. You legitimately have to have a 3-1 advantage with most original race strikecraft to have any chance of taking down a decent swarm of Homeworld 2 strikecraft. The only real strength the Homeworld 1 races have are their capital ships.

Gravwell generators aren’t a good counter, and they aren’t a good strategy. They’re expensive, they need defended, and you become static with them. The Homeworld 2 mechanics that’ve been introduced mean that this isn’t a static game, and your opponent will either whittle down your economy or pick off the stuff you have with it outside their range. If you make a wall of generators the other play will go over them. You’re playing in a 3D plane.

This was never about unit vs. unit balancing. It was about balancing the overall game by introducing Homeworld 2 mechanics to the Homeworld 1 races, eliminating the problems of Homeworld 2 strikecraft being very much superior to Homeworld 1 strikecraft. This isn’t because they’re weaker than than the Homeworld 2 ones. They probably don’t need a buff. They need to be put in squads so they have an equal production and mechanical footing.

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Oh, I’d never try to use the Gravity Well Generator defensively like that. It would be worse than useless (because of the wasted RUs that would have gone into a wasted defense).

I would have it follow my fleet at a slight distance. It’s only purpose would be to activate if the enemy brings fighters to the fight. Even if it only prevents the enemy from using his strikecraft until they can destroy the gravity well generator = still was worth having!

Supported Missile Destroyer or two …good bye HW2 fighters. But yea I agree with OP they seem to work better especially Vagyr.

Why not remove squads from H2 fighters ? Why all must be ballanced to H2 ? And don’t sau because engine…

Yeah, but, you legitimately just said a few posts ago that inexperienced players would have a generator behind their fleet. You’re making the assumption again that the force you’re going up against is going to equal yours in unit makeup.

The strikecraft from Homeworld 2 will overwhelm any fighter screen you have with your ships, and that isn’t because they’re overpowered. When you stack them against each other in a fight it’s going to end up with five or six in a squad targeting one Homeworld 1 strikecraft at a time. Due to this they’re going to whittle down your ships much, much faster than you can their own. You can micro like this in Homeworld 1, and it’s a pretty effective tactic.

This is going to leave you with just capital ships. If you have a missile destroyer you may stand a chance, but chances are you may not have teched up that far, and if you’ve focused solely on them that still leaves a lot of other units from Homeworld 1 pretty useless since you won’t be using them. A properly balanced game means you’ll be able to use all of the units you have available in some capacity.

With your fighter screen gone, and capital ships unable to effectively target strikecraft, they’ll be free to take out the gravwell generator. This is also the very same thing you talked about earlier, which was committing them to the fight.

All in all the tactic of always have a gravwell generator is pretty silly to bring up when at the moment the strength of the Vaygr and Hiigarans are their ships below frigate size.

A lot of the Homeworld 2 units revolve around the fact that the strikecraft in it are in squads. If you put the Homeworld 1 units in similar squads you’d have an effective counter to the Homeworld 2 ones. It’s a much quicker and easier solution.

It seems to me that a lot of these figures people are making them up. What would interest me is the actual win-loss ratios between the factions. Can anyone get that data? I Think Geerbox should make that and whatever other useful stats like that public, if they really want to get the communities involvement in balancing. So we can avoid making such sweeping generalizations and make some actually useful input.

So now you saying that they should be balanced 1v1. Why not make all units single and add ability to put them in formations or put them in to squadrons?