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Balancing the cargo ships

Discussion in 'Survival' started by Cronos988, May 16, 2014.

Thread Status:
This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Cronos988 Junior Engineer

    Hey everyone,

    now that we have active turrets shooting at us, cargo ships are a lot more interesting for players like me who like to take it slow. I keep the cargo ships off for my survival scenarios because they simply dwarf any other kind of resource gathering and I find that boring.

    As far as I see it, the latest update still doesn't change that very much. There are now dangerous cargo ships (like the military escort), but there is still plenty of "free" resources to get. Unarmored civilan ships with large reactors and solar panels, for example. That the turrets are all set to 800m range does not help much, either, because you can easily run them out of ammunition. Lastly, very few ships have rocket launchers, which means that with a slightly armored large ship, you can pretty much ignore their fire until they run out of ammo.

    I would like, in this thread, to collect ideas as to how to "balance" cargo ships, that means giving them a risk-reward ratio that makes them an alternative to mining, but not replace it completely. I suspect that will mean having a much better guns to blocks ratio for most of the civilian ships, and reduced turret ranges.

    Perhaps we could share some designs or cargo ships that are really tough to take out, and offer resources comparable with the effort involved.
  2. Mattk50 Trainee Engineer

    The future direction to take them is pretty obvious. a more functional combat ai, for one, maybe that launch 1-2 fighter escorts if you get too close.

    Taking the DF route, the concequence for attacking the less well armed trade ships could be that, in some future versions, npcs dont want to trade withy ou or something? Maybe they start attacking your base if you anger them?
  3. mbxer Trainee Engineer

    First want to say Space Engineers is one of the games in Steams pre release that has tons of room to grown in an awesome game.

    The last patch with the new spawning ship designs was great. You need to do the same thing with the cargo ships I feel that when i see them they are half broken or one engine is out hahaha. you can make them bigger. Make things like battle cruisers or things that make the player think twice before they encounter.

    some on mentioned escorts. I like that. you need more weapons to. Like lasers or torpedoes. Go watch Serenity last battle between the Alliance and the Reavers. That is what people want to see!!!!! a build your fleet and go to war scenario.

    This game has alot of promise great job keep doing the weekly update. Great stuff.

    OO and Shield that you can equip to ships would be a good thing!

  4. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    Leaving the devs out of this, we can mod what cargo ship spawn and what they look like. Taking out private sail and business shipment for example.

    As for running them out of ammo... Well... we'll need proper AI for that. I'd rather loot that sweet ammo myself rather than have it fired upon me. I suppose that you can self regulate yourself and force yourself to fight them head on like a man or pass on them.
  5. Crewman87 Apprentice Engineer

    I feel that enhanced AI and drones would be a good route as the drones themselves would create a larger time sink. However given the current situation I think for the moment they are perfect, at least until factions when we may have an entirely different setup than what we currently have.
  6. whistler118 Apprentice Engineer

    Simple answer don't hang back and let them run out of ammo, get stuck in and fight it, you will quickly find out that its no longer "free resources". I have a corvette large ship and even though i win the combat I have some pretty extensive damage to the front of my ship which actually work out as a loss if you don't take the enemy ship to the grinder.
    As the others have said its all going to be patched and upgraded until its better but for the time being try going toe to toe with them in survival - its harder than you think.
  7. malimber Apprentice Engineer


    I've lost 2 fighters and a older style retrofitted escort ship actually engaging the npc ships. Where's the fun in circling the ships till they run out of ammo?
  8. historyboi Trainee Engineer

    something i have seen is that the ships do have blind spots with their turrets. if you stop in front of them to get close then enter the said blind spot, you can capture the ship without needing a ship. this includes only entering the cockpit to turn off all the turrets.
  9. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    All ships are incapable of taking down an shipless engineer, as long as you know the trick.
    Simply fly ahead of the ship and wait for it to hit you. As long as you don't move, the turrets won't fire.
  10. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    I know about that trick. But I have not tested it in survival. Can you actually survive the impact ?

    But there are several tricks beside that one. Best solution is to discipline yourself and refrain from relying on cheap tricks. Get in a fighter in a closeup fair and legit battle.
  11. Vermillion Senior Engineer

    The average ship is moving between 10m/s and 50m/s. You can board any ship safely that hits you at less than 22m/s.
    I'm not sure how much damage you'd take being hit any higher than that, but if you jam your thrusters in reverse just before it hits you, you'll be too close to shoot and moving fast enough to either take no impact damage, or considerably less.
  12. Leatherneck Apprentice Engineer

    This. I've captured every single ship this way. The current turret mechanics can be exploited so badly, it is basically cheating. Not moving and shooting off the turrets is also a blatant exploit. You have to force yourself to not do either of these to make it "fair", because otherwise it certainly makes survival much easier.
  13. Zhab Apprentice Engineer

    I think you screwed up your quoting there buddy.
  14. Hawthorn Apprentice Engineer

    I've been only attacking the medium-armed ships. My corvette (twelve gattling guns) can easily take on one of these without a scratch. This, in my mind, is a fair and realistic way to pirate them, as you generally end up destroying half the cargo ship.

    I feel that the future addition of factions will really force players to actually engage the cargo haulers in open combat, thus balancing the raiding of haulers.
  15. psykikk Trainee Engineer

    show off that corvette.. me want to see.

    I am currently hijacking all ships the freefloating szuit way. but I would welcome a little "real piracy" so I am open for suggestions regarding ships...
  16. Light_gemini Junior Engineer

    The solution to the lame "cheat" of getting in the way of the ship to board and turn turrets off, would be to actually deny access to the whole ship in the consoles. If you click on a door console then you get the screen with only that door to tweak, everything else is either grayed out or not even listed. Only a cockpit or a new special block (computer terminal?) would have the power to access the systems of the whole ship. Then you are forced to get to one of those while dealing with internal turrets, maze-like interiors and whatever the engineer that builds the ship prepares for you. This would work good for multiplayer too even with factions implemented because sometimes you cant trust your own teammates, and sitting in the only available cockpit in the entire ship means you and just you are the one who has the control. (wich leaves the door open for a mutiny wich surely can bring new sources of fun)
  17. Light_gemini Junior Engineer

    Maybe editing the NPC ships to have 2 interior turrets covering the front of the ship so you no longer can get away with it? You could then try to blow those turrets first with a ship then try the boarding. It would make more sense and leave you with a better feeling of achievement.

    P.D Would be fun to actually try to take out the turrets whith a machinegun while the ship aproaches you? it would be like a kill the targets with a countdown before you get horribly trampled :p
  18. Namdoolb Apprentice Engineer

    I've been working on a series of ships designed to capture and bring in cargo vessels.
    Workshop link:

    The Mk1 is the prototype, completely obsolete now the ships fire back. But it's good to see for the evolution of the design, and it makes a reasonable tug or fleet tender.

    The Mk2 was developed as an upgraded version (still before turret activation) It has about the same functionality as the Mk1 as it turns out. You can probably use it as a combat ship if you're very very good at not getting hit.

    The Mk3 was developed around the time that the weapons went online. It's a reasonable combat ship, but be very careful taking on any rocket armed opponents. The hybrid armour will stop gatling fire for days but doesn't resist rockets that well.

    The Mk4 was developed with the lessons I learnt from flying the Mk3 in combat:
    -The cockpit is set back from the front of the ship so it doesn't take as much fire.
    -More gatling guns with much better fields of fire.
    -Rocket launchers concentrated at the front instead of spread out.
    -Heavier armour all round
    -A secondary control centre inside the ship in case the cockpit takes a hit.

    I haven't had chance to make extensive tests with the Mk4 yet, but I've done quite a bit of pirating in survival mode with the mk3, and as long as you pick your targets and are very careful around rocket armed opponents you can pirate pretty well with it. I expect the mk4 to be superior in all areas when I have chance to test it properly.
  19. Guest

    Enemies/friends stealing all the cargo ships? Fear not, Troll Corp's "Cargo" ships are here to bait all of said enemies/friends into our patented Wall o Guns! DIY guide:1# Build Wall o Guns. 2# Set beacon Civilian transport. 3# Shoot said friends/enemies/idiots. 4# Scavenge THEIR ship.
  20. 8pntheflop Trainee Engineer

    Myself and my buddy took two small fighters, tiny as you can get against the military convoy last night and got slaughtered. The second time around I somehow one shotted it with a missle from 1 km away ! Went through the recess in the top and hit a reactor, ship shut down instantly. Total fluke. Must say I felt a little hollow dragging it back to base after hearing about some of he epic battles people have had. All my disappointment however drained away when we started grinding down the sweet booty !
  21. 8pntheflop Trainee Engineer

    I agree with this and it suits the idea of engineering. I also think some crew Npc with guns could also add another element. Imagine flying in shooting the ship up, boarding , having your mates kill the crew and hold an area while you hack the system !
  22. Sgt Doom Trainee Engineer

    If you know where the cockpit is on a ship, the arrangement of turrets and their blindspots, it's a trivial matter to grind through walls to get to it and avoid turrets.
    Turrets will not shoot at the player if they're moving at or slower than 2m/s. So if you align yourself right, you can let the ship drift past you such that you end up in the right spot, or at least a blindspot, and get to work from there. The military transport in particular requires grinding through merely 2 blocks of light armour at the bottom to get to the cockpit, which handily has the interior turrets on the outside of the doors to it. Here's a couple of pics from one i'm currently butchering in survival.

    This would naturally become a completely useless tactic when factions are implemented and the cargo ship turrets start shooting at players regardless of velocity.
  23. Vivicector Apprentice Engineer

    Velocity is a simple mechanics for now, until factions are on. People who exploit it so much now, gonna be disappointed.
  24. dodexahedron Apprentice Engineer

    More than simple faction-based targeting is needed eventually, though, as well.
    There's no reason a ship that I'm not even interested in looking at should shoot at me JUST because I'm in range and arc of fire. That makes a passing cargo ship extremely dangerous, even to non-moving objects.
  25. Miro Apprentice Engineer

    I agree there with dodexahedron. There should be some kind of intent-detection or something in it's behavior.
    i have absolutely no idea how that would be implimented.
  26. Chojun Apprentice Engineer

    How about:

    * If your ship is armed, cargo ships fire on your weapons
    * If you interfere with the flight path of, or dock with, or attempt to enter or access cargo or systems of civilian ships, they fire on you
    * If you approach a military ship, they fire shots across your bow, and eventually on you

    Currently legit combat against cargo ships is a frustrating endeavor. Even a mining carriage with its single turret, under the correct circumstances, can inflict serious damage against an armed small attack ship. Large ships with turrets are essentially ineffective at inflicting anything other than general damage against other large ships because the turrets fire at the center of mass. In one case my large ship tore a hole through, and eventually broke in half, a Mining Transport. The two halves of the ship continued firing at my ship whilst mine continued firing through the hole. Both of our ships ended up being a total loss.

    I'd like to see turret targeting to take the following target priorities:

    1) Enemy Decoys
    2) Missiles fired at the ship (if targetting enabled)
    3) Missile turrets (if 'target missiles' enabled)
    4) All other weapons, including warheads
    5) Reactors
    6) Moving objects (if enabled)
    7) Meteors (if enabled)
  27. Tairon96 Apprentice Engineer

    I really like to raid the cargo ships. But I think how they are now they make the survival too easy. A simple slightly modified rescue shuttle and you can capture every npc vessel. The things that should be changed in some way imho ...

    • The automatic turrets should target critical components like thrusters, reactors, gyroscopes and weapon systems. There they should priorize the objects with the least armor blocks in shooting line. (Now, they target the center of a ship and this can easily exploited :rolleyes: )
    • One the other hand heavy armor blocks (a 3 t heavy cube made of steel) is to easily pierced by gattling bullets. And "bullet-proof" glass ? Who wants to confuse us with this misguiding name? It should be more bullet-proof, too.
    • To "counter" the fact of a good junkyard is all you need, I would like to see something like a recycle ratio of much less than 100% for blocks I have not build. In the case of factions this recycle ratio could be calculated for every block of another faction. "I have not build it. I don't know exactly how it was constructed ... that means more or less loss during de-constructing"
    • To enhance the realistic feel of cargo ships, it would be nice, if they would not be so empty. It is not economic reasonable to fly almost empty cargo ships around. To avoid flooding with ressources, the cargo containers could be trapped: They could dump their content or be booby-trapped (build within the container as an upgrade, not the thruster traps), once the ship gets boarded. Something like a count-down that needs to be disabled vis-a-vis at every container or the security mechanism starts.
    • Npc ships could sometimes select a closer route to fly-by player build ships / stations. And if they are close enough they start their attack without concerning if the target is moving or not.
    • At last, but not least: I would like to see a convoy of ships. E.g. one or two mining haulers guarded by several military escorts and a miliary transport (or something similar). That could be a challenge.
  28. THE_VB Junior Engineer

    Tairon, the ships can be stuffed with various random not useful materials, like hats!
    Or canned food, statues of invivsible man etc. etc.
    Some of those things could be recycled, some others could be used just for fun.
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