Because this idea introduces a number of new concepts, there will be an extended exposition regarding the concepts discussed. At the very least, please do not post without reading up to the section with the header “New Profile Tab” - the exposition will follow after that, and while it is advised to read it, it is not necessary. However, if you ask a question or raise a concern that has already been addressed, expect to be directed to the exposition. Thank you.
New Commander Type
- Commander Type: Admiral
- Only one Admiral can exist per player at a time
- The maximum level of a player’s Admiral is the same as the highest level of the player’s Fleet Headquarters
- An Admiral can only be stationed on a base with a Fleet Headquarters
- An Admiral and a regular base commander can be stationed on the same base simultaneously
- Base cost for recruiting an Admiral is 2,500 experience/5,000 credits
- Each level provides one Tactics Point
- When an Admiral is stationed at a FH, the cost of training all commanders is reduced by the Admiral’s current level. ie, a level 5 Admiral reduces the cost of training all commanders by 5%
- An Admiral can only be killed when the base it is stationed at has been occupied for 24 hours or more
- When an Admiral is stationed at a FH, the Admiral’s level stacks with the level of the base commander assigned to the same location. ie, a level 5 Admiral on the same base as a level 15 production commander provides a production commander bonus of 20%, in place of the 15% regular production commander bonus
Addition to Commanders Tab: Tactics
In the Commanders Tab, underneath the list of commanders, is a new section: Tactics. The Tactics table allows you to spend Tactics Points on various bonuses and options. This table also allows players to remove points at a cost of credits. The cost to remove each point is 50,000 credits.
Bonuses specified are multiplied by the number of points placed into them.
- Overdrive: Increases speed bonus of warp tech by 2%
- Point-Defense Drills: Reduces bleedthrough damage taken by 5%, but increases non-bleedthrough damage taken by 1%
- Linked Targeting Data: Increases bleedthrough damage dealt against fleet by 2%, but reduces bleedthrough damage dealt against defenses by 5%
- External Docking Stations: Increases hangar capacity of all non-carrier units by 5%
- Rapid Resupply: Increases base speed of fleet carriers by 5%, but reduces their hangar capacity by 3
- Applied Quantum Physics: Increases jumpgate bonus by 2%, but decreases power and armour of defenses by 5%
- Projectile Tracking: Increases missile tech bonus by 2% against any unit with 20 shields or lower, but decreases missile tech bonus by 1% against any unit with >20 shields
- Fighter Screens: Increases plasma tech bonus by 2% against any enemy fleet that has no unshielded units present, but decreases plasma tech bonus by 1% against any enemy fleet that does have unshielded units present.
Requirements: Tachyon 4, Computer 28
Each level allows one additional level of training for an Admiral
Each level reduces the chance of having a commander killed (empire wide) by 0.5%
When the base containing the FH is occupied, the positive bonuses from any Admiral assigned to it becomes negative, while the negative bonuses double. Admirals cannot be unassigned while the base is occupied. All other Admiral bonuses are inactive while the FH is occupied.
New Profile Tab
On every person’s profile there will be a new tab. This tab will show a mirror image of that player’s Tactics Empire Tab; it will list all of the tactics, and will detail which ones have points in them, and how many points are in them.
Why a new commander?
I’m sure that most of you recall my idea for retrofits, as well as formations; well, this is another attempt to increase diversity into the game, and allow players to precisely shape their accounts in the way that they see best. There’s only so far that technology can go, and there are some places that technology doesn’t go at all – this is primarily what I’ve addressed with this idea. There are no generic additives to power or armour; the few generic increases rely on tech as the modifier, but even then have certain peculiarities.
By making this into a commander, I’ve implemented a new way to soft cap everything, while also adding a few additional bonuses to make it worth it. My original intention was admittedly a specific commander to do each of the aforementioned things – albeit with altered bonuses and effects – and to force the player to choose which bonus they wanted. However, after further consideration, I thought about the classic customization options available in a lot of games – you know, the sort of customization that involves putting points into different attributes, to shape what you want out of your character, ship, weapon, etc.
Oh, yes, one other reason: commanders can die. True, this one is harder to kill than most, and it makes it harder to kill all commanders, but it gives people more incentive to find and occupy fleet headquarters.
Why not have multiple Admirals with different bonuses?
In essence, this idea allows precisely that, in a way that is easier to manage and is more realistic. Allow me to explain.
First, there needs to be soft caps on the level of bonus and the number of different bonuses; this system accomplishes that. Second, there needs to be a way to make people choose between the existing bonuses, while also giving them the option of dipping a level here and there. With multiple commanders, it becomes incredibly hard to balance; you either have to institute new systems of cost growth – such as having the training cost of all commanders linked – or else work an odd and likely esoteric system of checks and balances. This covers that issue quite nicely, I think.
Another issue is one that I found with my Insurgents idea. Even though the four commanders provided very distinct roles and kept it from being overpowering, a lot of people said that it should have all been rolled into one super commander – that having four different commanders was too much, and pointless. While I disagreed with those people on that idea, the issue did stay in my mind, and contributed to this solution. Rather than have eight different commanders, it’s better to go with an attribution system, I think; it makes the single new commander distinct, and allows greater ability to limit and cap the bonuses, while keeping everything as simple as possible.
Shouldn’t Admirals be able to travel with fleets?
For one thing, a specific fleet commander has been suggested before, and is FMR. This is something different. Instead of providing a single bonus to a single fleet – which in most iterations results in a levi or DS bonus without said ship – the Admiral provides bonuses to every unit, without putting the Admiral into the line of fire. An Admiral that has to be in a fleet to give a bonus would be incredibly risky, and wouldn’t allow any sort of benefit on a drop; likewise, think about how many people rage when a commander dies already. One miscalculation, and you’re out a lot of experience.
No, by having the Admiral stationed at a base, you can provide the same sorts of bonuses but without the downsides. It’s a much cleaner system, and causes a lot less drama.
Isn’t the experience cost too low?
It’s low for a reason. You see, the soft cap comes from the Fleet Headquarters, not from the commander cost; if this commander started at the cost of all other commanders, I think it would be too low, which is why it’s higher. It hits a balance where it certainly costs experience – particularly for simmers – but doesn’t cost so much that you’ve suffered a huge loss if it gets killed. Right now, the soft cap only requires you to expend 2.5 million experience to get your commander back at full force. That’s a lot for people that don’t attack much, but is certainly doable. I feel it’s a good balance between making it worth it for an enemy to try to knock your Admiral out, while being low enough that you can get your bonus back to full without too much work.
Why allow an Admiral and a base commander simultaneously on the same base?
For one thing, it encourages everyone to max out their FH; remember that the Admiral adds its own levels to the level of whatever base commander is at the same location. If you’re ballsy enough to put your FH on the same base as your huge jumpgate with a level 18 logistics commander, and you get a soft capped Admiral, you’ve effectively got a level 28 logistics commander. Or if it’s a research base, you’ve now got a much heftier reduction on the cost of technologies. Likewise, having a strong construction commander can take some of the sting off the higher levels of the FH.
Another reason is admittedly because of one of my pet peeves with commanders; some commanders are damn useful, such as construction commanders (even a level 10 means a 10% discount, which can add up in a hurry), yet they all come at the cost of prod. That’s why you only see noobs with defense/tac commanders – the latter even while occupied – because whatever bonus they provide just isn’t worth the lost production. While the Admiral bonus is worth it, you’re already going to be out a lot of prod structures given the time it will take to build the FH and its infrastructure requirements. I see no reason to deprive people of prod on such a base. Also, it gives attackers the chance for a juicy double commander kill.
Isn’t the cost reduction to training commanders a bit much?
Again, this is another reason to encourage people to push toward the soft cap. A 10% reduction isn’t enough to get you insanely high level commanders, but it is enough to see a definite bonus. Whether you like the Tactics available or not, a reduction in the cost of training commanders is always worth it, and the specific reduction is hardly overpowering.
Think of it this way. At level 10, your Admiral will cost you 2.5 million experience. You would thus need to spend 25 million experience to get the cost of that admiral back. Now, very, very few people in this game have 25 million experience…at all. So if anything, this bonus is underpowered, not overpowered.
Can you remove Tactics points and spend them elsewhere?
Yes. In the Tactics table, you can click on any Tactic that you have a point in, and click the button to remove one point; this is done in precisely the same way that you downgrade structures. Doing so costs 50,000 credits; you can remove points as many times as you want, so long as you have the credits. Once a point is removed it counts as an unassigned point, and can be placed anywhere that you choose.
Why a speed bonus?
Why not? Even if nothing else in the Tactics strikes your fancy, just about everyone has warp units. This gives a sizable boost, and depends on your warp tech. To explain how the bonus works, you take your bonus from warp tech, and increase it by 2% per level of overdrive. So, at warp 20 and overdrive 10, you’ll receive a 120% boost to speed for warp units, instead of the 100% boost that you have from warp tech alone.
How is bleedthrough damage affected?
I know that this will come up, so allow me to explain. For Tactics such as Point-Defense Drills, you take the bleedthrough damage of any given unit, and decrease it by 5% per level of that tactic. So, a fighter at laser 30 does 0.05 damage; at soft cap, PDD will reduce that to 0.025 damage. Alternatively, any unit with damage > shields of your unit will have its damage increased by 1%. A cruiser at plasma 25 does 54 damage; at soft cap, PDD will increase that to 59.4 damage.
For Linked Targeting Data, the bleedthrough damage of your units goes up; our fighter at laser 30 does 0.05 damage normally, but at soft cap LTD it does 0.06 damage against fleet, and 0.025 damage against defenses.
Won’t Point-Defense Drills make levi stackers overpowered?
This tactic does not change the levi stacker’s role, at all. It cannot take on HCs. The only benefit is that it will take lower losses in pure shield raping fights, and will take lower losses against ion bombers/frigates. The flip side, of course, is that it will take much higher losses against HC, FC, BS, etc. Whereas now, a levi stacker can take on smaller numbers of HC/FC and eat the losses, it will be harder to do so. Consider the fact that, at shielding 25 and armour 35 for the levi and plasma 25 for the HC, it takes 1,009 heavy cruisers to kill a single leviathan. At soft capped PDD, it will only take 631 HC to kill a single leviathan. Ergo, leviathans will be taking double losses against heavy cruisers, and will fair about the same against FCs. The result is that, while it is still beneficial to the shield rapist, they must be much choosier about their targets.
Won’t Linked Targeting Data make fighter swarms too powerful?
In a word: no. Increasing bleedthrough damage by 20% - and note, that’s bleedthrough damage, not bleedthrough – is enough to help fighters against other fleets, but not enough to overpower it. Ten thousand heavy cruisers at armour 35 have a combined armour value of 1,320,000; divide that by 0.06, and you get 22 million – the number of fighters needed to one-shot it. For a more reasonable number of six million, you’re only doing 360,000 damage per attack, and are taking losses at each turn. This is compared to the current damage of 300,000; you’re gaining 60,000 damage per attack with six million fighters and a soft capped LTD, which is a nice bonus, but not enough to get you out of being shield rape, and certainly not enough to increase your profit margins to exorbitant rates.
Why not give extra hangar space to carriers?
Adding carriers to this bonus would primarily benefit fighter swarms, as they have more capacity with less vulnerable carriers. The way it currently stands, you can soft cap this tactic at 50% capacity, which is enough to give frigates six hangar spots; if you know any frigate stackers, you will know that this is a great bonus for them. It’s slightly below carriers in terms of hangar-per-credit, but allows frigates to maintain their speed advantage. Likewise, it makes all hammer fleets able to carry more fighters with fewer carriers, which is beneficial to them. Additionally, it gives frigates enough carrying capacity that I would not be at all surprised to see some fighter swarms trading in at least some of their carriers for frigates, which will entirely change the game, in a very interesting way.
Is the speed boost to FCs really worth it?
First, some math. At warp 25, normal fleet carriers have a speed of 6.75; at Overdrive 10, that becomes 7.5. Great, considering that there are no drawbacks. However, at warp 25, fleet carriers with RR 10 have a speed of 10.125 – 2.625 more speed. That puts them above cruisers, and much closer to frigate speed. Now, the cost is that you lose 30 hangar spaces. However, even doing so still puts it above carriers in terms of hangar-per-credit, which means that you’re now getting a faster, more cost-effective, and less vulnerable carrier. I’d call that a good deal.
Do we really need more jumpgate bonuses?
For some people, having the fastest gate in the game is their entire goal. We have jumpgates and logistics commanders, but Applied Quantum Physics adds a third; at soft cap, you essentially gain an extra jumpgate for every five levels that you build. While you could argue that we don’t need it, it’s a harmless feature that some people would prefer over any bonuses to fleet. Likewise, it’s the only one that affects your guild as well, so I don’t see a problem, even if it’s not the most necessary of bonuses – after all, none of these are ultimately necessary, even if they do provide additional enjoyment.
Isn’t the missile tech bonus a bit odd?
I’ve designed Projectile Tracking to provide an excellent benefit to frigates in their use against everything below battleships, but make their natural enemy better as a result. At soft cap, and with missile 30, frigates will effectively gain 3.6 power. Nothing too drastic, and nothing game-breaking, but enough of a bonus to make it worth it. My, I seem to be using that line a lot, aren’t I? Anyways, it will drop their power by 1.8 against anything BS or above – again using missile 30 – which, while not enough to allow full shield raping by your average BS, still cuts down on losses. A fair trade, but given the other bonuses that are useful to frigates, it’s not one that they have to take to make use of tactics.
What good is the plasma bonus tactic?
The Fighter Screens tactic is intended to boost the power of plasma units – heavy bombers, destroyers, cruisers, and heavy cruisers – after a complete and total fighter drop. Players will need to make more precise calculations to benefit from this, or else they’ll suffer a reduction in power. While that reduction is less critical when you can already one-shot the enemy, it becomes much more significant when multiple hits are required, or when doing heavy bomber drops. It means that players with more time and ability to plan precise drops will benefit, while hurried attacks won’t do quite as well.
What is the soft cap for tactics?
The soft cap for the Fleet Headquarters is level ten; as the level of your Admiral cannot exceed the level of your FH, and each level of the Admiral provides one Tactics point, the two soft caps are identical. It will be rare for anyone to have more than ten points to spend on tactics; those points can be distributed in any way that the player sees fit.
Aren’t some of these tactics overpowered at soft cap?
No. The higher the bonus-per-level is, the less impact it has; that’s why not every bonus provides the same % increase. All of the tactics are worked in such a way that the best benefit generally comes from hitting the soft cap, while also preventing any of them from drastically changing combat. They’ll certainly affect ratios, but in a small enough degree that I don’t feel the need to provide dozens of pages of test data. It’s actually quite simple to calculate out anything that will change, and I urge people to do so if they have any doubts. I’ve already provided a few examples here, of course, which I hope will ease some people’s minds in this regard.
Can any of the Tactics be abused through combinations?
No. Most of the Tactics apply to one or two specific fleet specs, and don’t have anything else that benefits them nearly as much, particularly when you factor in the soft cap protections. One or two levels of certain Tactics can certainly help a player out, but it’s not overpowered. As a result, each individual Tactic is a tad underpowered, but that balances out in favor of the people that place all of their points in a single Tactic.
Doesn’t the FH bonus risk letting people have unkillable commanders?
To be quite honest, the chance of someone getting a level 20 FH is about as unrealistic as someone getting level fifty armour; the time and the cost will be so extravagant that it’s not something we really need to worry about. Quite honestly, it’s the sort of thing that has no real chance of happening, and if it ever does, it will be around the same time that people are hitting level fifty armour, which means that the game will need massive tweaking regardless. Also, having unkillable commanders isn’t quite game breaking, when it gets down to it.
How does the reduced commander death chance work?
Currently, commanders have a 10% chance of being killed during a pillage. The reduction per level of FH is taken from that 10% - ergo, a level ten FH will have 5% less chance of a commander dying, which means that the chance is 10% - 5% = 5% chance of being killed during a pillage.
Why do bonuses become negative/doubled when the FH is occupied?
This is one of my favorite parts of this entire idea. Rather than simply removing the bonus – as well as removing the disadvantages to that particular bonus, if any – it seems more fitting to reverse them, while doubling the negative aspects. It provides a much greater incentive to protect your FH, as having reversed bonuses and doubled negatives can seriously hurt a fleet. It gives people more of a reason to seek out and attack bases with a FH, particularly before a blob crash, and generally makes things more interesting.
Why is our Tactics tab public?
For those of you that recall, there was quite the furor over the fact that people planning blob crashes would not be able to accurately plan, as they wouldn’t know which players had which alterations to their units. While the Tactics do not alter the gameplay to such a significant degree, I felt that it would do no harm to make this information public, via an extra tab in the profile. Although some people would invariably prefer to keep it all hidden, I think that the overall benefit rests with making it public, as doing so causes no harm, and helps in situations such as blob crashes.
I’ve made quite a number of changes since the rough details posted in the concept discussion; I’ve taken into consideration the issues raised, and I feel that I’ve addressed all of them to the most realistic capacity; however, there are always minor details that I’m willing to change and consider, so please feel free to offer critiques, comments, questions, etc. This idea isn’t groundbreaking or massive enough to warrant mountains of data, so I’ve decided to forego doing so, to make it easier for everyone. The only data that I present is the soft cap data, for your perusal.
Thank you to anyone that has actually read this entire thing.