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IDProjectCategoryLast Update
0002103AI War 1 / ClassicSuggestion - Balance TweaksDec 22, 2010 10:34 pm
ReporterSunshine Assigned Tox4000Bughunter  
Status resolvedResolutionfixed 
Product Version4.052 
Fixed in Version4.054 
Summary0002103: Hunter Killers are WAY too ridiculous
DescriptionA mk1 and mk2 hunter killer pretty much flattened two of us by themselves playing a 14 planet start.

50x shots every second (or half second, as is the case I think with normal combat mode) that instakills whatever it hits just doesn't allow for any kind of real defense, especially with turrets only doing 10% damage. Not entirely sure how to balance this and keep the same fear you've been wanting, but as-is it's worth way more than 5000 enemy ships (which can be reduced in number). The hunter killer just stays at full killing power regardless of how much damage it's taken, and 50 million+ HP is way too much with nothing but bombers getting bonuses against it (not that anything can get close to even one of these).
TagsNo tags attached.
Internal Weight


related to 0002017 resolvedx4000Bughunter Hunter Killers need a significant buff 
related to 0002112 feature for laterx4000Bughunter Repurpose Hunter/Killers. 



Dec 21, 2010 5:27 pm

administrator   ~0006710

We'll see how this does:

* The attack recharge speed of hunter/killers has been changed from 1s to 3s.


Dec 21, 2010 5:28 pm

reporter   ~0006711

I wonder if there's any way to make these things lose attack power as they take damage? It'd be the most direct way to make them equivalent to a large volume of enemy ships.


Dec 21, 2010 5:32 pm

administrator   ~0006713

It could be done, but I don't know that it would really solve the core issue; generally 5,000 ships aren't so concentrated all in one place, which means that you're hitting them in waves rather than all 5000 firing on you at once.

I think what that means is that this needs to have a mega-ton of health, and then a more slow-burn type of attack that is fearsome, but not insta-death-to-everything.


Dec 21, 2010 6:24 pm

reporter   ~0006715

Here is my fear with hunter killers. It may very impossible for one ship to simulate many, many other ships without causing over-poweredness or under-poweredness compared to the original ships. Even if you implement reduction of attack power as health goes down and make the ship's initial stats dependent on the ships it replaced, this may not give satisfactory results.

In other words, the question is, can Hunter-Killers resemble the ships they replaced to a reasonable degree _in the vast majority_ of cases? If yes, then continue to balance them. If no, then remove the mechanic. Of course, finding out the answer to this question is not easy at all.


Dec 21, 2010 7:21 pm

reporter   ~0006718

"It could be done, but I don't know that it would really solve the core issue; generally 5,000 ships aren't so concentrated all in one place, which means that you're hitting them in waves rather than all 5000 firing on you at once."

Why not make Hunter Killers act like Enclaves? They will show up, release waves of 1000 dudes or so, and then retreat, and will have megatons of hitpoints and a decent attack to make seeking them out dangerous (but worthwhile). That way the CPU doesn't have to process all the ships at once. Also give them some kind of command so that they won't release if there are more than 500 free-roaming ships in general, AND more than 200 on-planet, but as soon as there are the next hunter-killer will show up and dump its ships, making it so that if there are multiple active hunter-killers they will cause a constant stream of pain by maintaining around 1000 active enemy ships on a single planet if there are 4 or 5 of them working in concert.

Basically: use Hybrid Hive group attack logic along with the Roaming Enclave template?


Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm

administrator   ~0006721

Okay -- let's suspend this discussion here. Big changes coming to H/Ks that will make this moot. Or, rather, based on this discussion it's a different sort of direction.

Essentially, hunter/killers were a ship in search of a use. I had one use for them, but decided to go a different way (no anti-bottlenecking for them). But, the use I put them to, carriers are better suited for. I should no better than to have a solution going in search of a problem, but in this case I thought the variety would be more interesting. It wasn't. And I thought that I could make them balanced-in-a-sense-of-being-slightly-more-difficult. But that's not feasible in a broad sense, and I should have known that from the start. TechSY730 makes excellent points in that regard.

Sunshine, your suggestion about the enclaves type of logic is interesting, but that wouldn't really solve the performance considerations (and actually might make them slightly worse). But, the core message of "let's keep having those ships, just in waves" is the right solution, I think. Aka: carriers. Carriers, apparently, will just be the defacto way that the AI bundles up a bunch of its ships when it needs to. Makes sense; the humans do use transports for the same purpose, after all.

In terms of H/Ks, don't worry that those will be removed from the game. They'll just be... repurposed. I'd originally wanted to do something with the AI eyes being mobile and roaming and near-invincible, but couldn't get the logic right and they slid sideways (into a better role, in the end). But tonight I had a new brainwave along those original lines, and now it makes more sense to have the H/Ks fill that role. It's basically sort of like a devourer golem, except that it only attacks player ships, and there are multiple of them, and they only hang out in deep AI territory. And they aren't truly invincible, they can't be repaired, and you can wear them down over time if you want to.

Again, playing up the sense of being an insurgent with that.


Dec 21, 2010 9:33 pm

reporter   ~0006722

The name "Hunter/Killer" for me has always screamed something more along those lines, anyway. Something called a Hunter/Killer is not a thing that throws itself against your toughest bottlenecks and beats you with sheer force. To really deserve a name like that it should be something that lurks in deep AI territory, patrolling from planet to planet looking for fleets to wipe out. It should be the kind of thing that triggers a "H/K showed up, get the fleet out of here!" kind of response in the middle of a deep raid. :)


Dec 21, 2010 11:17 pm

reporter   ~0006724

If what MaxAstro has said is something along the lines of what you're thinking for repurposing, I'm for it. I think it was one of the more solid ideas suggested back when we were talking about anti-deepstriking things for the AI.

On that note though, rather than being near-invincible (and therefore being another "slog" type thing), I'd say make it long-range (23000?), speed is moderate-to-fast (50-100, something that's a bit hard for player ships to catch up with), and concerned with self-preservation. That is, it will attempt to retreat to another planet if (x) firepower gets within 7000 or so distance, or if it takes a certain percentage of its health in damage. If left unopposed it should wreck a fleet in a pretty swift amount of time (able to chew through 50-200 fleet ships in 30 seconds or so, depending on ship cap settings, where 50 is low cap, 100 is normal, 200 is high cap?). Makes it a bit more interesting of a problem than "oh, it's got 50 million hitpoints, I'll just throw my whole fleet at it 3 times and it'll be dead."

Given the size of player incursions, multiple hunter-killers may work together, and this should probably scale exponentially instead of linearly if you really want to discourage very blobby deep-territory (more than 3 or 4 jumps out) strikes. Where 200 ships may attract the attention of 1 hunter killer, and 400 ships 2 hunter killers, 600 ships will attract the attention of 4 hunter killers, 800 ships the attention of 8 hunter killers, etc..


Dec 21, 2010 11:19 pm

reporter   ~0006725

Oh yes, I would also say give it an interesting ammo type that lets certain special ships act as counters to it. Missiles and Lasers (to give Weasels and Deflector Drones some added usefulness on deep raids as hunter killer protection) would be the two ammo types I'd consider.


Dec 22, 2010 10:34 pm

administrator   ~0006811

Okay, this one is done in terms of removing the H/Ks. In terms of repurposing them, I have simply run out of time for that, so I've logged an issue for that for the future: 0002112

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
Dec 21, 2010 5:01 pm Sunshine New Issue
Dec 21, 2010 5:26 pm Vinraith Relationship added related to 0002017
Dec 21, 2010 5:27 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0006710
Dec 21, 2010 5:27 pm x4000Bughunter Assigned To => x4000Bughunter
Dec 21, 2010 5:27 pm x4000Bughunter Status new => feedback
Dec 21, 2010 5:28 pm Vinraith Note Added: 0006711
Dec 21, 2010 5:32 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0006713
Dec 21, 2010 6:24 pm TechSY730 Note Added: 0006715
Dec 21, 2010 7:21 pm Sunshine Note Added: 0006718
Dec 21, 2010 7:21 pm Sunshine Status feedback => assigned
Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0006721
Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm x4000Bughunter Status assigned => resolved
Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm x4000Bughunter Fixed in Version => 4.054
Dec 21, 2010 9:01 pm x4000Bughunter Resolution open => fixed
Dec 21, 2010 9:33 pm MaxAstro Note Added: 0006722
Dec 21, 2010 11:17 pm Sunshine Note Added: 0006724
Dec 21, 2010 11:19 pm Sunshine Note Added: 0006725
Dec 22, 2010 10:34 pm x4000Bughunter Relationship added related to 0002112
Dec 22, 2010 10:34 pm x4000Bughunter Note Added: 0006811