Tiericide Ideas for Improving Turret Ammo

(Archer en Tilavine) #1

First of all, let me say that nothing I’m about to discuss is broken and nothing NEEDS to change. I am looking into ways to improve quality of life and provide more diversity, and would like to explore areas I feel could improve even if they’re not necessarily broken or even bad.

I feel like the damage gap between turret T1/Faction ammo and T2 ammo is quite vast and, in my opinion, in need of tiericide. Let me explain what I perceive to be some problems and possible solutions to those problems as a basis for discussion. I don’t expect that my problem statements or solutions are perfect, so feedback is appreciated in better formulating the problems and providing better solutions.

(Unless otherwise specified, T1 will also refer to Faction ammo)

== Problem 1: Excessive, barely-distinguishable subdivisions of T1 Hybrid/Laser ammo==

There are 8 options for Hybrid and Laser ammo spanning short to long range, with minimal cap consumption in the (lower) middle, maximum cap consumption at short range, and moderate cap consumption at long range. It is clear what the use cases are for the longest, shortest, and middle options are, but the other options are harder to decide on. Sure, there are optimization tools that can tell you which ammo to use give numerous variables (range, tracking, traversal velocity, signature radius, etc), but in the middle of battle things change so quickly that it is impractical to calculate and make these changes on the fly.

Do you have time for this? Because I don’t.

Restricting yourself to one or a few (ie. short/middle/long) range ammo emphasizes the point that the other options are superfluous and unnecessary the way they are currently implemented. Some may argue that the options may be needed for cap balancing purposes (such as when you need to use Plutonium instead of Antimatter to be perfectly cap stable), but let’s be realistic: it only takes a single neut to break your cap stability, so unless you wish to confine yourself to no more than non-anomic L4 missions (and equivalent), this is not a good justification for having these options.

Solution A: Get rid of 5 of the 8 options for hybrid/laser ammo. This will greatly simplify the market, manufacturing efforts, in-combat adjustments, etc. Note that this is already the case with Exotic Plasma charges used by Entropic Disintegrators in that they only use three ammo types for three ranges, so precedent has been established.

Solution B: Model Hybrid/Laser ammo similar to Projectile ammo in which each ammo is highly distinguishable from each other not just in terms of range but also in terms of tracking bonus and damage type ratios (as is already the case with projectile ammo). So suppose we keep 8 options but now we have 3 that are +60%, 2 that are +0%, and 3 that are -50% range - how do we differentiate the ammo that have the same range? We could adjust the damage type ratios (T/K for Hybrid and EM/T for Lasers), cap consumption, damage, and tracking bonuses. (Technically the existing ammo damage type ratios do change a bit with range, but I mean to a more significant extent.) For example: one +60% might have more damage at the expense of more cap consumption and less tracking than another +60%.

(Lorewise, it’s rather odd that Gallente don’t have turrets that primarily inflict thermal damage; in fact, this distinction is given to Minmatar’s Phased Plasma. Perhaps one or more of these ammo variations, at least in the short range if not also long range, could inflict more thermal than kinetic damage, thereby giving Gallente the distinction of being the kings of thermal turret damage via blasters in addition to drone damage type.)

==Problem 2: Long-Range T1 Turret Ammo Damage is Excessively inferior To Long-Range T2 Turret Ammo Damage==

Obviously the T1 damage should be inferior to the T2 damage, but I feel the damage gap is too wide to the point of near-uselessness. T2 Long-Range Ammo offers damage comparable to Faction +0% ammo, and the +60% range ammo comes no where close to that. It appears to me that it is virtually never desirable to use long range T1 ammo (with the possible exception of projectiles given their high alpha) in the sense that your fit is designed and intended for use with that ammo. CCP’s tiericide initiative is about giving everything a place such that no two comparable items are strictly better or worse, just different (with T1 favoring affordability/accessibility/expendability over raw performance, but with performance still sufficient in many use cases, especially large-scale fleet usage); however, it does not appear that any good fit would gravitate toward primarily using long range T1 ammo. The use of T1 long range ammo appears to be almost strictly situational rather than the basis for a fit. I feel that long range ammo should be worthy of consideration as an anchor point for fit design, and for this to happen there would need to be an increase in damage. The increase obviously won’t be to the extent of T2 ammo, but should be reasonable given the range/tracking bonus/penalties that T2 ammo has that T1 ammo does not. (In other words, there is an additional tradeoff on top of simply offering more raw power.)

It’s worth noting that Missiles take an entirely different approach with their T2 variants - an approach that perhaps could be mirrored onto turret ammo. Instead of offering short and long range variants of superior raw power, T2 missiles either provide a Range/Power option (Javelin vs Rage), or a Precision/Power option (Precision/Fury). Both Power options (Rage and Fury) are far less precise than their T1 counterparts, so their use is not always desirable. (Precision is substantially harder to compensate for with missiles than turret ammo because there is a hard damage limit based on explosion/signature radius and an additional soft damage limit influenced by explosion/target velocity). For this reason, T1 (ie. Faction) missiles are often better to use than T2 missiles.

I feel long-range turret ammo should be tweaked such that there would be many situations in which we would favor using T1 (ie. Faction) ammo over T2 ammo (or reasons other than cost/availability or the ability for the turret to use T2 ammo. I feel the need to address this has increased following the announcement that the recent expansion permits T2 ammo to be used on Faction/Officer grade weapons.

(Note: I largely restricted this problem to long-range ammo because the damage gap between short-range T1 and short-range T2 ammo is far less drastic; The modest difference in damage and the relatively significant range/tracking bonus/penalty of the T2 ammo means that sometimes short range faction ammo will be desirable over short-range T2 ammo)

Solution: Increase raw damage of T1 long range ammo. Just a wee bit. Make it less useless, please.

==Problem 3: No At-A-Glance Reference of Effective Optimal Range Using Given Ammo==

This is self explanatory: without taking up precious screen space with the in-game fitting manager (or a third party tool, spreadsheet, etc) in the middle of a battle, you don’t know what the effective optimal and falloff range of your ship will be after switching to a different kind of ammo. There should be some mechanism by which we know, at a glance, what the optimal range (and maybe falloff) will be if you select one kind of ammo over another. Such an at a glance reference would allow us to better determine what kind of ammo you should switch to in the middle of battle. It would also update automatically with respect to buffs and debuffs received on the battlefield, something not quickly or easily input into these tools.

Solution: The simplest solution that I can think of that won’t clutter up the screen or require massive changes would be to include the optimal range (and optionally falloff) in parentheses in the list of available ammo you can change to in weapon’s the right-click menu. It might end up looking something like this:

Antimatter S [500] - 0.5km+5km

Iron L [1000] - 87km+10km

The ammo should be listed in order of range (and secondarily name) rather than name, thereby providing an ordered spectrum of ranges (where we won’t need to memorize which ammo goes with which range).

Note that the currently equipped ammo would need to appear on the list in order to make a complete comparison; however, clicking on the currently selected ammo in the menu would do nothing - we don’t want to accidentally reload in the middle of battle as this could be problematic, so reloads would have to be done through existing means (ie. Don’t change reload UI behavior)

(Daichi Yamato) #2

Depends,

I may have a fit that uses Multi, Standard, Radio and another fit that uses x-ray and infra-red.

I do like this bit however. It’d be nice to have some ammo choice when facing ships with T2 resist profiles,

It does for beams, arties and rails.

T2 long range ammo has a 75% tracking penalty on long range weapon types. So using radio, iron or nuclear/proton does have a use if you need to orbit a target for whatever reason.

Yeah it’s situational, but thats what ammo variations are for, allowing you to modify the way your weapons work on the fly.

1 Like
(Bronson Hughes) #3

As much as I’m generally a fan of simplification, I see the current variety among T1 turret ammos as a good thing. You can fine-tune your fit much better with ammo than you can with modules.

Also, I think your chart is either horribly broken (are you seriously considering Spike at 3km and comparing Javelin to Navy Iron?) or I’m misreading it. Either way…get rid of it. It doesn’t help your case at all.

There are certain cases where T2 ammo is kind of useless (Javelin for railguns comes to mind) and certain cases where it’s excessively strong (Spike for railguns comes to mind). But overall, T2 ammo isn’t in a horrible place.

If you really want to look at ammo, look at projectile ammo. While I really like what CCP did with lumping the ranges into three groups and then varying the damage type within the ranges, they really need to ditch the optimal bonus/penalty for falloff ones. Projectile turrets live and die in falloff, especially autocannons, and it’s always felt weird that the range on autocannons effectively stays the same when you switch from short to long range ammo.

(Archer en Tilavine) #4

Thank you two for taking the time to read this.

So this is true, but here lies the problem: while you do hit the enemy more reliably, your damage to them does little more than tickling their anus with a feather. Also, having target painters, webbers, [remote] tracking computers can compensate for the tracking penalty. In this regard, this encourages fitting for precision (something raw DPSers often neglect) or encouraging fleets to make better use of these facilities to improve precision. So my overall point is simply that while the range and tracking tradeoffs are good, the DPS is still far too low to be practical (ie. just tickles)

Keeping things simple is good in principle, but the problem is that you’ve got a spectrum of too many range points. Hence my proposals to either eliminate some of them to make it simpler or to model it after projectile ammos (which I’m partial to but either works)

(dewk) #5

Only thing i think should be done was suggested back when T2 weapons and ammo were introduced, was to make the 2% damage is applied ammo and not to the turret.
This was a suggest made as it was expected that faction and officer weapon were getting use of the new t2, but this didn’t happen as everyone knows, but now reversed.

So the suggestion of weapon specialization opening access to t2 weapon and ammo, and then each lvl increases damage of T2 ammo, thus it encourages players to invest more SP into the skill, and more isk for the rare officer or faction weapons.

At the moment its cheaper to buy T2 weapons and ammo to get higher damage as you increase the specialization skill, but extra benefit for officer/faction weapons beyond lvl1 to unlock the ammo.

(Archer en Tilavine) #6

My apologies, @dewk, but I cannot see how any of this commentary (much of which is valid, though I disagree on some points) is relevant to the problems and solutions I’ve stated. I’m not suggesting tweaking T2 ammo or their skills in this thread. So as to not veer this thread off course I will not respond to your points (though I very much would like to otherwise)

(Daichi Yamato) #7

This ^^

Add a smidge optimal to AC’s but lower fall off a bit and do the opposite with arties, then change projectile ammo to a fall off bonus.

Again kinda niche, but jav is good on an algos or for anti-drone on certain fits.

If i remember correctly you’re still doing 60-70% of the dps but with 400% tracking.

This is not at all bad to have as an option. It may take longer to kill something, but being able to to greatly increase your survivability by keeping mobile whilst still applying some dps is a lot better than bowing out the fight all together because you can’t track for ■■■■.

Taking up precious module slots.

If you’re using radio/aurora or iron/spike you’re probably out of web range. And you need something like 10 scripted tracking computers and painters to make up that 400% tracking.

Or you can have one extra ammo type, for little to no cost.

Honest question, do you pvp much?

(Bronson Hughes) #8

I think I worded that a bit strongly. I will use it from time to time on Eagles and Tengus to take advantage of their insane range bonuses, but outside of niche roles like this and your Algos, faction antimatter is almost always a better choice.

But “useful in niche roles” doesn’t warrant changing it I think. It just won’t ever be an uber-popular choice like Spike; if you’re using Spike it’s generally because no other ammo will work.

(Daichi Yamato) #9

Can’t be. More tracking and more damage but less range. (still get some railgun fall off, so it ain’t as bad as gleam)

If I’m brawling in my algos, I’m going jav!

(Bronson Hughes) #10

Interesting. If I even think brawling is a possibility I won’t fit rails. But I can’t disagree with you.

Learn something new every day!

(Daichi Yamato) #11

Ah, the algos fit im thinking of has to use 75mm’s.

Electrons don’t fit.

1 Like
(Bronson Hughes) #12

That makes way more sense.

(Archer en Tilavine) #13

I agree. I just think damage should increase a wee bit is all. I think there is a sweet spot where the damage it is still significantly less than the raw T2 damage (ignoring tracking penalties) but strong enough that you could design your fit around that range. So I guess you could say I want the damage to be increased, made as large as possible while still being considered significantly less. Right now the damage is under that sweet spot and needs to be moved up.

Sorry, I neglected to make this clear: I meant via fleetmates :slight_smile:.

(As a general statement not in specific reference to anything that has been said: I think it’s safe to say most players put way too much emphasis on raw DPS and not enough emphasis on precision [esp. regarding missiles but definitely with turrets as well]. In terms of bottlenecks, Theoretical DPS + Precision = Actual DPS. You can sacrifice a bit of theoretical DPS in order to increase your precision and therefore eliminate that bottleneck to increase your actual DPS against relatively smaller targets [pretty much subcaps in general]. Reminds me of the time a friend of mine and I were both ratting in Tengus… his DPS was 3x mine but I was killing rats 5x faster than his. Precision, baby!)

(elitatwo) #14

Hmm. Take a look at this:

Ship, Phantasm with 3x t2 heavy beam lazors:

  • using t1 standard crystals -> 303.7 dps, tracking 19.36
  • using t2 aurora crystals -> 303.7dps, tracking 4.84 and +80% range

Ship, Moa with 5x t2 200mm railguns:

  • using t1 Lead M ammo -> 279.7dps, tracking 10.00
  • using t2 Spike M ammo -> 279.7dps, tracking 2.50 and +80% range

It would appear some of those claims are un-right.

(Archer en Tilavine) #15

I think you misunderstood my claim. As you have posted, the T2 long range ammo is close to the +0% ammo for both T1 and Faction (ie. “comparable”). It is the +60% range T1/Faction ammo that I said had the issue, not the +0% range.

(elitatwo) #16

You mean like radio crystals and iron charges?

(Archer en Tilavine) #17

Correct

(elitatwo) #18

Ahh I see. Then you are correct, those are terrible and I only ever use radio crystals if I need the tracking but I prefer aurora.

I never see a reason to bring iron charges at all.

(Archer en Tilavine) #19

(Not in response to you)

In terms of being useful, Long range T1/Faction ammo needs to have a place and co-exist with T2 ammo. They need to be useful enough to develop fits around them.

I’m going to say this again in it’s own post for emphasis to drive the point home:

1 Like
(JUSTIFIED ARROGANCE) #20

Only the projectile ammo seems screwed to hell and back.

Projectile ammo was an ill-conceived train-wreck that needs a serious overhaul. The best solution I can think of is to limit projectile ammo to only Kinetic and Explosive damage then set up ammo for short, medium, long and the specialized Arty and Auto T2 types and be done with it.

It is my general stance to rally against homogenization of game content because it reduces real choice but given how badly projectile ammo functions in actual practice, I’m making an exception.