Last Backer week-end 30 Aug - 2 Sept: discussion, feedback, comments


yeah, worried that fixed weapons probably wont just magically work well again if they are re-added as a choice at this point. Because everything else changed at the same time it seems likely they wont even be playable because only autos will track well. I would suggest going back to before most of the experimental changes except with, strafe boost being stronger than mains boost, we can leave that lol.

Also If autos have to exist they should track slowly enough that any player performing serious evasion can outrun their aim, the way it works with fixed weapons.(with fixed you KNOW a certain movement can always force a miss temporarily)… but that doesnt work because whether you can outrun the aim depends on distance (at long range the same motion results in less on-screen motion).

Therefore, a perhaps slightly artificial solution is to scale their tracking speed with range so that at all ranges the typical interceptor’s boost accel can outrun the tracking. Maybe scale it worse up close to simulate fixed weapon nose acceleration inaccuracies. This would help reduce the scaling problem where autos are still kinda bad against new players but also the best option against skilled evasion, you could have them be a bigger radius, being even easier at the start while scaling worse as opponents get better. this wouldnt solve the issue with the autos completely i dont think but it might help. balancing thing kind of thing is a can of worms.

Also feedback im hearing from the joystick combat players from other games who have played still feel the aiming is just really fiddly so im not sure the automation and subsequent FM changes really helped all that much compared to the drawbacks it caused. The autos dont make it feel easier to actually get on target for the player even if they change the aim, it doesnt “feel” like you’re aiming better.

@Tor I played battlescape for a bit today after a long time, what did they change with combat?
If only it would be easier to aim with sticks, its not smooth and I overshoot all the time.

Yeah I found aiming with joystick somewhat tedious in IB

Ultimately i feel like the thing where all 3 subcapitals are available free at the start and then scale differently with upgrades might be better for allowing a variety of player types/roles to exist…

What @TARS says about how he felt playing the game isnt necessary invalid, i believe he did have a better experience this patch but i somewhat doubt that it’s due to the stated reasons. at “low skill” the game has completely different factors that shape how it feels and that’s usually the place people arent quite sure whats happening to begin with. against npcs that dont run is very different from a player who can just run out of weapon ranges even easier now once they start losing the autowar. maybe the lesson is make most npcs even easier (maybe they can match speed to player then only use a third or less of their accel for any player-relative maneuvers?) going forward while also making neccasarry combat changes for the skill cap being restored.


Well aiming with gamepads / joysticks is indeed problematic. Only way would be to increase angular accelerations so it’d slow down faster, but we’d lose the feel of the nice smoothly turning ship that we have at the moment. Ideas welcome.

That’s an interesting idea and I think it’ll be worth testing in the next patch ( I ran out of time this patch to do balance adjustments ). I much prefer that idea than simply removing gimbals and having newbies / joystick users left with frustration.

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I dont see the issue with higher angular acceleration on the inty, definetly worth trying. It’s supposed to be the fast ship, it should behave like a powerful machine, machines don’t tend to care too much about “smooth turning”. If it hasnt increased along with the translational accel increases, there’s no way it’s high enough now, and i’d say its worth increasing even if you revert the accel changes.

A majority of this i’ve already seen before really, SC dropped their angular accels a lot then fixed weapons were annoying to aim for everyone. Then they ‘solved’ it by adding an autoaim radius to everything before considering increasing angular accel. It’s a bit frustrating seeing all the same issues pop up here, it’s dejavu with game design mistakes. We got lucky with some of the earlier tunings in alpha and prior but im worried that good luck has lead to an under-appreciation for the difficulty of good gameplay balance. It feels like it’d be harder to try the scaled gimbal tracking speed thing than just doing mini-flak too.


Had a blast playing this evening! Got a ton of credits with my fave bomber. Spent the resulting credits on a cruiser, which is an absolute beast. Managed to destroy a station eventually by nuking the spawn points.

Small thought - we are going to need the ground bases to be more valuable targets than the space stations. I find myself avoiding going down to the planets simply because of ease of travel. Add in that it’s difficult to get capital ships down to ground level, and they should definitely reward more for attacking them.

Give us a reason to go down there.


Thats sounds like a nice idea.

BUT increasing the angular velocities of the inty would make the bomber and corvette feel even slower than right now. I think the angular velocities of bomber and corvette should be adjusted too, as it is now they are sitting ducks for a maneuvering inty, if we get even nimbler inties it only gets worse.



It was significantly increased on yaw in the last balance patch but remained more or less at the same level for pitching.

I’m not exactly in favor of it, unless we keep the same turn speed. The game would degenerate into floating turret vs turret where each ship can always face the enemy 100% of the time. We want ships to be able to get into blind spots of other ships, and the faster they turn around and the more it becomes a problem.

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The issue with taking someone down is how quickly the interceptor can jibe out the way. There’s probably a solid middle-ground between the last set of ship stats and this set. There’s no ‘perfect flight’ in a space game or it would have been found by now.

(That said, I did prefer the old flight to this flight as far as interceptors go, substantially)

(*) I think part of the problem here might be you guys being hung up on trying to implement a classic arcade style dogfighting model in a Newtonian flight game. It doesn’t really work. If you want classic dog fights, you could set the atmospheric flight up to provide for that experience.


Degenerate? We’re there now, and you dont even have to aim accurately while turreting! And its not because angular accel is too low thats for sure! The lack of ability to push close and push into blind spots was the crux of the issue i was talking about even before the experimental patch, ships only lose the ability to keep up with eachother turning wise when they are close enough. Thats why i suggested not to increase accel which might cause fights to get further apart, but instead drop proj velocity and readjust strafe accel ratios.

The thing is, this is more about angular velocity, not accel, accel is more about the wobble in the nose than the speed of the nose. Higher angular accel will make aiming easier and i would suggest it because i don’t think it would significantly lower the skill ceiling, the amount of “skill” used to compensate for nose-wobble is the same even with high angular accel, it doesnt remove player skill it just makes it more possible to get on target… it basically has no impact on the skill ceiling compared to auto weapons and ships that cant push onto eachother…

Anyways if you’re hoping for blind spot gameplay thats more towards the parameters from the alpha, i have some videos of doing that there but it’s way less viable now and thats the big part of the issues i was having before the experimental patch. Unless we luck into it again or go back to very old stats is a specific set of params you need to find with iteration. Having blind spot gameplay again would involve fixing the ease of approaching and pushing into that sub-turning speed regime of combat. The key factor is the average combat distances compared to turning ability, not just turning ability in isolation. Ratio of accels on the ship (strafe vs mains vs backstrafe) and whats projectile speed are critical for that, and turning ability is more affected by angular velocity (there needs to be the same ang vel cap in Rot-assist off for a similar reason) than angular accel.

I have some pre-existing experience with what affects what, but i cant just like pull some perfect combo of stats out of my hat. To figure stuff like this out you need to iterate to change individual stats to check the gameplay effects. Optimally you’d be able to change them on the fly with a console command to update the stats for everyone on the server, but if you didn’t build the game with that flexability in mind its probably not easy right now.


Pushing close is easy, but that’s actually part of the problem now, making it easy to get in close makes it just as easy to get back out to range.

I also don’t really see the point of making the ship even more twitchy with higher rotational acceleration. If your target isn’t twitching about so easily then you don’t need to twitch about to stay on it.


Also, this isn’t all about balance and difficulty either. The ship still needs to feel good to fly.
(increasing the rot acceleration would make this worse imho)

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If people feel like they overshoot aiming at their target while trying to adjust to the pip, the only things that will help is higher rot accel or ships that have lower translational accel. Raising rot accel isnt some kind of catch 22 where it also makes the target harder to shoot at, rotations don’t move your pip at all.

Like i said i think we should go back to the pre-experimental accels but with constant translational accels rot accels are the only thing you can change to make it feel better. You wouldnt be the first person to make the mistake of wanting rot accels high because of smoothing but it’s how you make fixed weapons and joysticks feel good. SC made the same mistake and it killed their entire combat community how clear do i need to say this.


The interceptor has indeed never been this nimble. Especially if you look at NPCs how they dodge shots it is crazy.

I don’t really understand the “turrets in space” argument. There are only a few situations where the acceleration limits me to aim at my target …
I almost always am able to look at my target no matter my vector absolute or relative to my target. Already. Now. I don’t see what is too loose when we speak about the interceptor.

You know how you get behind someone? You suprise him. That’s how it worked before and that’s how it works now.

In FPS you can do a 180 as fast as you can physically, still you can get “behind someone”.

Them having to react, having to turn, is what gives you the advantage and kills them.

Ironically, most Turrets in I:B are slower to turn then the interceptor. Haha.

One option would be to use the capital control mode with auto heading on and steer the view with the joystick …
I don’t advise for that for the reasons others mentioned … but it would probably work.


I’m saying that overshooting would be far less of an issue if people weren’t trying to focus on targets making insane evasive manoeuvres. Keeping the current rotational acceleration (or that from the previous build, even) is a worthwhile tradeoff for maintaining the general feel of the ship.


The only way to settle this issue is to test it. Opinions are good, but our imaginations or preconceptions can’t really compare to reality.
I think the suggestion to have these values be server side a switchable by command would be the best way to go at it from a logical viewpoint. Since it is clear that a large part of the SC community is very unhappy with their state of combat, it probably would be best to go the extra mile and test it thoroughly, even if that means other features get neglected for aa release.
The best way would be a deathmatch single large station for combat testing.
The option to switch between gimballed and fixed would need to be implemented of course, otherwise those two things could screw it all up in the end if they aren’t accounted for.


I also had a lot fun in yesterdays event again, even though I played in the noob team that got pummeled hard. Defending the stations was awesome, and I got a lot of interceptor, bomber and corvette kills with my interceptor. I think the interceptor combat is in an almost perfect state right now, and skill still matters (which I quickly noticed when I engaged some veterans…).

I don’t really get why the current interceptor behaviour is supposed to be a problem, other than the fact that it is a bit too robust against bombers and corvettes.
Why is interceptors getting away a problem for example? You can still chase an inty with another inty just fine… Obviously chasing an inty with a covette wouldn’t make much sense.

For the first time since the developer access started the interceptor gameplay is really frickin cool. Right now you can actually use the interceptor to out-maneuver other ships, and you can use its quickness to get away or hide in the space station structures without slamming into everything.

Whats more important in my view for the release are more UI improvements.
Imo more gamplay mechanics need to be self-explanatory, this could be achieved with addional context-dependend icons for example.
Also the text contrast in the radial menus could be increased, its kind of hard to read on some screens.


Yes. Chase, not kill, and I’ll explain why it’s a problem.

Deciding to fight another player interceptor can mean you both end up sitting out of the greater fight for a prolonged length of time. It’s practically a stalemate in most medium-skill pvp cases unless someone gets a lucky shot in with a missile. If one of the players decides to fly off and run, then it’ll take even longer.

Against a weaker opponent or an NPC, you can do far more damage against enemy bombers than they can, (which are a more dangerous threat to the fleet, even unskilled) so fighting interceptors instead of bombers is wasting your time.

Against a stronger or equal skill opponent you’re probably not going to make the kill. All you’re doing is missing out on the possibility to earn credits by fighting things you can actually take down, (like bombers, station turrets, etc.) So again, still wasting your time.

TLDR: Even if you find it fun to fight interceptors with interceptors in the current build (I really, really don’t), that doesn’t stop it from being completely pointless for everyone involved. :smiley:

P.S. Don’t worry about the inty being strong vs the corvette… everything is stong vs the corvette right now. :wink:


Yes, this is true for 1vs1 combat situations, but in most battle situations I encountered there is more going on. The enemy interceptor might be already damaged from a previous fight (I picked up two intys that were recovering in the station yesterday) or they are under fire from more than one enemy.
I did not find that to be a problem at all yesterday.
But it could be further improved by decreasing the interceptor hull strength, the inty is just a little bit too hard to kill right now imho.

On another note:
I think the energy blasters on the interceptor could be scrapped. Its not immediately clear that they mostly only hurt the enemy shield and I suspect many noobs use it too much and wonder why the get zero kills.
I suggest making it an optional equiment upgrade and adding a short and clear text what it does, and maybe make it more powerful if its a paid upgrade.


Their damage to shields was increased from 15 to 25 in the last balance patch though. They’re already significantly better at supressing shields than the guns.


Its not obvious though, one thing to make it more obvious it to change how the enemy shield reacts visually to it.
Right now the enemy shield lights up in the same blue when it is hit by blasters and machine guns (please correct me If I remember it wrong).
When a blaster hits the shield it looks kind of unsatisfacory, the shield looks like it does not care much. Maybe making the shield light up yellow/orange when it is hit by blasters would solve this, or adding additional smoke/electric-spark effects that indicate that the shield is getting damaged.

Right now it looks like the shield is immune to blasters in my opinion.


Machine gun hits emit yellow sparks. Blasters have a blue shield impact effect.
The kinetic effects indeed look more meaningfull.
It would look more equal if blaster hits would emit blue sparks or flashes from hits.