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IDProjectCategoryLast Update
0020714AI War 2[All Projects] SuggestionMay 3, 2019 10:40 am
ReporterRocketAssistedPuffinAssigned Tox4000Bughunter 
Status resolvedResolutionfixed 
Product Version0.806 Sabre Company 
Fixed in Version0.808 Custom Stacks 
Summary0020714: Some comments on unit stacking
Description"Stacks are odd. In concept, I agree with the idea of them because having just 1500 fleet ships can slow the game down to 50% for a minute when you switch your view to the world.

Implementation of the stacks are weird, I've noticed that when Guardians form a stack (say from the warden fleet), killing the stack one time kills all of the ships in the stack. But if its fleet ships, killing the stack just reduces the count by 1?

I will say though, stacks are unsatisfying to watch die. When the AI attacks, there'll be something like 30 single units, 10 small stacks, and 4-5 large stacks per ship type, and even though you see salvo after salvo of turret fire go into them, they never seem to get any smaller in number. This might be because your turrets kill the 30 single units, but then a stack of 50 breaks into 30 more single units and 2 stacks of 10, making it feel like you've achieved no progress.

So I understand why they exist, but it doesn't feel right when the AI fleet ball never changes in size until the very end of its life.

One change I might suggest: Since the damage of the stack only stacks up to 5x, maybe they can also make the health and shielding 5x, and reducing the health of the stack to 0 removes 5 ships instead of 1? That'd make starships slightly more powerful (since I feel they are lacking), while maybe curbing some of the issues where it seems like ships just don't die."


Credit Weapon Master on Steam Discussion for this. Stacks are a little strange to think about in terms of combat, what with things like Beam Cannons drastically weaker for it. That removing 5 ships part with the whole decloaking stacks part as well (where you must decloak a stack every time a unit dies).

It does feel a bit aggressive in how much it stacks, but there's probably good reasoning behind the current workings.

TagsNo tags attached.



Oct 31, 2018 6:06 pm

developer   ~0050403

A note spawned from late night thinking and some experience: Stacks cause some things to be much more powerful than normal. A single Warbird, for instance, can paralyse 16 stacks. That can potentially be, at max size, 1600 ships paralysed. Similar thing for Tractors, and I suppose any kind of "debuff".


Nov 1, 2018 4:07 pm

developer   ~0050414

Last edited: Nov 1, 2018 8:02 pm

View 2 revisions

Okay, another note on that...soon as the top unit dies, the stack appears to be "purged" of the debuff. Which...means, even though you are paralysing so many more units, or reload time increasing them, it gets removed near instantly, because there are so few "targets". This...led to a sorry situation of me trying to use Inhibiting Teslas on some stacks, that then promptly lost the debuff and fired as normal. So you can have it be too good and also make things useless.

It's kinda annoying now, to be honest. I am hopefully wrong but...I wonder why I would use any of these tools, if the stacks are going to be near immune to them.

An example would be...let's say Spider fleetships. 60 of them at Mark 1, yeah? You'd be able to keep probably more than that many ships out of the fight with the engine stun. But if the AI is stacked...sure, you're engine stunning far more units. But there are only so many targets, so the top unit dies, purges the engine stun, and keeps moving. So in the end, they get where they were going anyway...I'd have been better off just bringing more firepower. Or that group of Spiders is able to engine stun several hundred AI ships easily. It's...weird to think about, and sometimes a bit unfun.

I admit this was written in a bit of a downer mood in general, today, so apologies if it's really negative sounding.


Nov 1, 2018 5:04 pm

reporter   ~0050415

I prefer perfomance.
About spiders. Its problem ships focus fire priority, not stacks.


Nov 1, 2018 5:27 pm

developer   ~0050416

Last edited: Nov 1, 2018 5:45 pm

View 2 revisions

Spiders were an example - it'd occur to other units as well.

Dominus Arbitrationis

Nov 2, 2018 9:32 am

administrator   ~0050417

I think a redo of stack mechanics is needed, and possibly a game option allowing for decreased stacks for those will better computers, and increased stacks for worse computers. Credit Badger for the original idea of a game setting.


Nov 2, 2018 10:05 am

manager   ~0050418

Last edited: Nov 2, 2018 10:06 am

View 2 revisions

I suspect what's really needed is just the ability to pass on status effects to the next unit in the stack, and a better way to handle overkilling elements of the stack (so if I do 3x the damage to kill a unit in a stack, I kill 3 of them).

Would having those tweaks satisfy things? Do you think more would be needed?


Nov 2, 2018 10:36 am

developer   ~0050420

Things like that would definitely help I think. I don't think I can speak much to if it's enough though, as it's a very...strange thing to think about.

I'll probably be doing game testing later on so I'll use status effect things a bunch, see the interactions, get some thoughts on it.


Dec 27, 2018 3:31 pm

developer   ~0050674

This was much improved by Badger an update ago.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
Oct 30, 2018 2:58 pm RocketAssistedPuffin New Issue
Oct 30, 2018 2:58 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Status new => assigned
Oct 30, 2018 2:58 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Assigned To => x4000Bughunter
Oct 31, 2018 6:06 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0050403
Nov 1, 2018 4:07 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0050414
Nov 1, 2018 5:04 pm HeartHunter7 Note Added: 0050415
Nov 1, 2018 5:27 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0050416
Nov 1, 2018 5:45 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Edited: 0050416 View Revisions
Nov 1, 2018 8:02 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Edited: 0050414 View Revisions
Nov 2, 2018 9:32 am Dominus Arbitrationis Note Added: 0050417
Nov 2, 2018 10:05 am BadgerBadger Note Added: 0050418
Nov 2, 2018 10:06 am BadgerBadger Note Edited: 0050418 View Revisions
Nov 2, 2018 10:36 am RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0050420
Dec 27, 2018 3:31 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Status assigned => resolved
Dec 27, 2018 3:31 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Resolution open => fixed
Dec 27, 2018 3:31 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Fixed in Version => 0.808 Custom Stacks
Dec 27, 2018 3:31 pm RocketAssistedPuffin Note Added: 0050674