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Unread 21 Sep 2017, 10:35   #1
Alezzar
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Post The Ash'taari

ďAn idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.Ē
― Oscar Wilde


The Beginning

Two years ago I woke up and I knew I had enough. I gazed through the small window of our Scarab ship as we slowly moved towards another battle. At that point, I was already a fleet commander with some experience. I wasn't one of the loved ones for my ideas for our future were different. I was tired of fighting battles we couldn't win. I was tired of glancing at the fleets of our enemies, immobile thanks to our EMP devices, yet unable to get the job finished. The Cathaar commanders weren't interested in my ideas, they didn't share my point of view. Our enemies were engaging in battles they could not possibly win just to make fun of our inability to do any harm. We were slowly becoming the laughing stock of the entire universe.

In that precise moment, I knew I had enough. I took a deep breath and walked out of the room, finally embracing the decision I've made long ago yet hesitated to admit. Now I knew. I wouldn't send my crew on another risky mission without the possibility to actually fight back. If our EMP devices missed just a handful of ships...

That was the day I turned my back on Cathaar. That was the day I started following my own path, accompanied only by my trusted crew. That was the day I was not under the command of anyone else but myself. That was the day the Ash'taari were born. And we do fight back.

ďNo army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.Ē
― Victor Hugo


Summary: The Ash'taari are a humanoid race that was once part of the Cathaar. The Ash'taari share an entirely different war approach compared to the Cathaar, which eventually lead to the separation. They are not as technologically advanced as the Cathaar and couldn't get their famous EMP devices to work but eventually, they created something new entirety - the reflective ship mechanism.

Race Characteristics:
Max Stealth: 80
Stealth Growth/Tick: 8
Base Construction Units: 100
Base Research Points: 115
Salvage bonus: 15%
Universe Trade Tax: 25%

New ship type - REFLECTIVE

The reflective type of ships work just like any normal killer ship out there, it has its own init, although they don't deal as much damage as for example the Xandrithii or Terran. However, they do have another technology attached to them - the reflective shield.

What is a reflective shield? It's simple! When an enemy ship targets one of the reflective types, some of the damage it deals is reflected back to it. The technology the Ash'taari developed is far from perfect and only allows them to reflect 20% of the incoming damage and even less on the smaller ship classes.

Here's an example and I'll use the current stats for it.

100,000 Phantoms are defending against, let's say, 180,000 Harpies - https://game.planetarion.com/bcalc.p...eyupzcgq0zrhmk

It's a clear outcome, the Phantoms deal as much as 900,000 damage, which is just enough to destroy 180,000 Harpies.

But imagine it's not harpies, but instead it's the same kind of ship with an added reflective shield. Let's call it Cuckoo and give it a 10% RE(reflective efficiency).

Phantoms will still deal 900,000 damage to the Cuckoos, but will immediately suffer 10% of that damage back, same init. So, 90,0000 damage is reflected back and 10,000 of the Phantoms are destroyed.

Key things here are - there's no preventing the reflected damage. The reflected damage is different from the ordinary damage the Ash'taari ships deal and it's returned the same init it is received. Oh, and one more thing - it returns to any class that targets it. If there are several classes attacking the certain reflective ship, the first one to shoot suffers the reflected damage, the following classes don't.

The reflective shield mechanism is race-exclusive for the Ash'taari.

Some extra information for stat makers: The Ash'taari would never attack with the Cathaar. Their attacking fleets shouldn't match. The Ash'taari have decided to use bird names for their new ships as a symbolism and message to the Cathaar. The Ash'taari might have developed the new reflective shield mechanism, but they are new at destroying ships. The ordinary damage their ships deal should be low.

If we take, for example, Locust from the current set of stats and turn it into Ash'taari type of ship - let's call it Owl, the damage it deals should be decreased by something around 40-50% to avoid overpowering the reflective ships. So, the Owl should deal something between 25-30 damage and receive an RE of around 13-16%.

The reflective shield is working much better on bigger ships, as stated above. So, for stats making purposes, I propose we stick to certain RE amounts, to keep it all balanced.

FI class reflective ships - 7-10% RE
CO class reflective ships - 9-12% RE
FR class reflective ships - 11-14% RE
DE class reflective ships - 13-16% RE
CR class reflective ships - 15-18% RE
BS class reflective ships - 17-20% RE

I've created an example of stats if the Ash'taari were set to join the fight next round.


***

I've been shaping this idea for quite some time. I think the possibility of adding another race and another ship type would make the game more dynamic and provide with even more tactical possibilities. And, yeah, 6 races x 2 type of attack fleets sound much better than always ditching one of the classes or removing a race.

Looking forward to opinions and any feedback.

Thanks for reading
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Unread 21 Sep 2017, 12:24   #2
Mzyxptlk
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Re: The Ash'taari

I assume the ships have guns of their own too, so they don't just deal 7-20% of the damage of their opponents, but fire themselves as well?
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Unread 21 Sep 2017, 12:25   #3
Alezzar
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Re: The Ash'taari

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
I assume the ships have guns of their own too, so they don't just deal 7-20% of the damage of their opponents, but fire themselves as well?
Yeah, they fire like ordinary killers + 7-20% reflective damage. Hence why their initial damage should be lower.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 20:06   #4
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Re: The Ash'taari

I like the idea of a new damage type. Just trying to think how it would be implemented.

This point needs some clarifying: "Oh, and one more thing - it returns to any class that targets it. If there are several classes attacking the certain reflective ship, the first one to shoot suffers the reflected damage, the following classes don't."

I assume you mean INIT rather than CLASS. You could have multiple classes firing at the same time, and they would all have damage reflected to them, and ships would keep firing until they died - so it should be a proportion of the damage which landed on the ships which took effect, not any overkill.

I think I'd have to do it like the steal logic - i.e. everything fires on init X, and you work out how many targeted ships die, then go back and work out proportionally how many ships of each group fired and killed, and then allocate damage back. So it is doable ... apart from the obvious steal bug which came up in this round.
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Unread 22 Sep 2017, 21:22   #5
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Re: The Ash'taari

Thanks for the feedback, Appoco.

You're right about the possible bug if they return the damage to any class, which was my initial idea. And, yes, that might prove to be an overkill. I think it could work more smoothly the way you proposed it.

Some guys proposed we would need a full set of stats for the eventual new race to see how it would go and I'm intending to work on it in the coming weeks. Maybe then it would be much clearer to see the new opportunities that this would provide and the possible strategies.
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Unread 23 Sep 2017, 07:03   #6
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Re: The Ash'taari

sounds very interesting!
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 00:31   #7
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Re: The Ash'taari

Would the ETD get some of this tech?

I love the idea of adding a race and the new damage type seems fun.
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Unread 24 Sep 2017, 07:55   #8
Alezzar
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Re: The Ash'taari

I was thinking of having it as race exclusive at least for the first set of stats and then probably Etd "getting the plans" for the second round. Makes more sense that way or at least to me
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Unread 27 Sep 2017, 16:58   #9
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Re: The Ash'taari

How would it play out in combat? I like the whole idea but currently the 3 abilities (emp/cloak/steal) are all negatable. Emp causes no damage so is OK to attack into and Cloak/Steal can both be beaten by int and emp.

My concern with Ref is that why would anyone risk combat with them? If any battle is going to cost you up to 10% value why would you ever land them?

This could really bad for Zik that already suffers from loads of salvage nerfs to lose an extra 10% ontop would see them barely ever profit from a battle with Ash. Regardless of how big a mid match it was.

I'm assuming that emped ships won't cause ref damage based on logic of the combat engine but if Cat is needed to land Ash always that really kills Ter as a race, and impacts Xan a lot.
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Unread 27 Sep 2017, 18:19   #10
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Re: The Ash'taari

After a couple of healthy discussions (thanks to everyone involved), there are a couple of points we agreed on.

1) EMPed reflective ships won't reflect any damage.
2) Damage will be reflected only to ships with lower init than the reflective ship itself.
3) Not all of Ashtaari's ships are going to be a reflective type.
4) Ashtaari attack ships that are part of their roiding fleets will consist of lower init, which will reduce the amount of ships they can reflect damage to, which allows for the defenders to actually cover an Ashtaari attack without guaranteed losses.
5) The cost of all the ships in the universe should perhaps be reduced with 5-10% to compensate for the bloodier battles that the inclusion of the Ashtaari will definitely bring.
6) The name will be Ashtaari due to coding issues (thanks, Fiery!)
7) The reflective shields don't work vs EMP/Steal (meaning Ashtaari can't emp/steal by reflecting those).

My initial idea made the Ashtaari way too strong defensively and hopefully with these changes we can balance it out. We are working on an eventual set of stats for r75, which will include the Ashtaari.
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Unread 27 Sep 2017, 22:28   #11
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Re: The Ash'taari

1, 2, 3 all look reasonable to me.

4 is a bit premature. Stats can be balanced, there's no reason to restrict the stats maker's freedom so early in the process. It won't be a huge deal if the the new race is underpowered or overpowered for a couple of rounds until we learn how to balance them properly. It happened with Etd and it all worked out in the end.

In addition, I don't believe that guaranteed reflected damage will be as big an issue as you think. Most battles are fought in the bcalc, with the loser simply recalling. Almost every battle (that isn't a plain dumb crash) that actually takes place is one in which both sides kill some of the opponent's fleet. Adding reflected damage into the mix doesn't really change much: if the bcalc shows that more ships are destroyed because of damage reflection, people will be aware of that in advance, and as before, they can recall if the losses are too high.

5 is pointless. Cheaper ships just means more ships for everyone, and changing the amount of value spent resources are worth just means more value for everyone. If you want to compensate for bloodier battles (though I maintain that there will be no significant uptick in value destroyed), fiddle with salvage instead.

I find it hard to believe 6 is an actual problem. Strings can be escaped. It's a really minor point, though.

As for 7, keeping in mind that EMP will never be reflected because of the inits involved, what is the problem you're trying to solve?
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Unread 28 Sep 2017, 05:25   #12
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Re: The Ash'taari

Thanks for the feedback, mz.

4. No restrictions there tbh, rather something to keep in mind. But I do agree itís all about a balance and perhaps it wonít be needed at all. We will see how the set of stats shapes out and when we run some bcalcs.

5. Salvage can be a way to go too, agreed. I didnít think about it, probably a better way of solving this since it would affect only those really losing ships.

6. I heard that was the reason they changed Etdís original name. I donít mind changing that one too, if itís a problem for coding. Not a coder myself, so I have no idea.

7. Thatís just a precaution. It gets messy if the reflection would work vs it and if at some point stats allow for such thing, Iíd rather have it sorted that way. Then again itís totally up for discussion.
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Unread 28 Sep 2017, 16:45   #13
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Re: The Ash'taari

Love the idea, I'll look forward to them in action. Having 6 races makes alot of sense and the reflection concept sounds interesting.
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Unread 28 Sep 2017, 19:47   #14
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Re: The Ash'taari

I like this idea
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Unread 29 Sep 2017, 08:53   #15
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Re: The Ash'taari

7. if reflection doesn't work vs emp and steal, it makes the race very weak vs cath and zik. You can always give them a high emp res vs cath but vs zik ?
Maybe if that new tech can't reflect steal power, it could at least deflect a percentage of it.
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Unread 29 Sep 2017, 12:25   #16
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Re: The Ash'taari

Or just make all reflected damage kill, never steal.

Lore: Zik ships are built to board enemy ships after dealing enough damage to them, but Ash ships don't have boarding parties so they can only kill, even with 'steal damage'.
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Unread 29 Sep 2017, 14:23   #17
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Re: The Ash'taari

I also like the idea of giving the offensive ships a shield where they donttake damage for certain health points where damage and steal is blocked for a certain health point limit
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 08:55   #18
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Re: The Ash'taari

Thanks, @Makhil & @mz. Great feedback and valid points. @mz, I totally missed that lore part, that might actually help us balance the things out, else Ziks especially would be a huge problem for the Ashtaari. Caths are an entirely different situation and the balance between them and the Ash is going to be very... hm, precarious. We need to make sure Ash's ships are not an easy match for the EMP since EMPed ships won't reflect any damage.

@Paisley, it's a good idea. I've thought about giving the defensive and offensive ships a different kind of shields as both reflect and health shield will be too much. It's a something to think about in the future as there will be enough changes as it stands, imho. Thanks for the feedback
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 10:46   #19
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Re: The Ash'taari

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk View Post
Or just make all reflected damage kill, never steal.

Lore: Zik ships are built to board enemy ships after dealing enough damage to them, but Ash ships don't have boarding parties so they can only kill, even with 'steal damage'.
I kind of presumed this anyway. That the reflected damage would be specific to Ash - so emp wouldnt be relfected as emp. And steal wouldnt be reflected as steal.

I dont see Cat <-> Ash interaction being a problem to be honest, Cat operates in that it emps as much as possible and anything left will cause it some kind of damage. Hence why emp has to operate above 100%. Regardless of wether the damage is true or reflective in the case of Cat doesnt really matter. It would just specify which ship the damage went to from how i gather the premise.

Zik provides more of an issue. According to Alezzaar Ash would only 'reflect' on a ship that fires before the reflective ship. We kind of summarised that Ashtaari would have to sit in the 4-7 range for int so to allow some but not all ships to be affected by reflective damage. This would probably mean that any interaction with Zik ships would be focused around their kill ships instead of the stealers. I see this being an issue with farming maybe as Zik could send stealers to Ash knowing that they will only take reduced damage before stealing the ships and not be party to any reflective damage afterwards.

Also something to consider with Zik (and Etd) is when will reflective damage be applied and how will it work within the combat engine. Will it screw up the calcs if its applied before stealing or would it happen afterwards?

Although i am liking the idea of a 6th race (much harder to balance than 5 actually for statters - which is weird) im starting to wonder if reflective is the right ability, or maybe if reflective in this guise to be more accurate.
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 11:21   #20
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Re: The Ash'taari

@Kai, I think Appoco already has that part about allocating the reflective damage sorted, check his post.

Ziks are going to be Ash's nightmare, but I think that's for the best. By the looks of it, the Ashtaari will be great defensively and the inability to reflect damage to stealers is going to be their major weak spot. It provides the players with some very interesting strategies, which I for one think is great.

The init range should probably start from 5 up to 9 or something like this, with only two or three ships sitting at 8-9. That way the Ashtaari will be quite effective offensively against Xans. While we need to make sure just some of the Terran's ships can avoid the reflect, not all of them.

For me the general idea is shaped, what we really need are potential sets of stats, which I know some are already doing. Then we can really see the bigger picture and discuss how to balance it out. I'm open to ideas/discussion though, so if you have any better ideas @kaiba, feel free to share
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 13:22   #21
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Re: The Ash'taari

I wouldn't interpret Appoco's post as "I'm currently working on this and am making some progress, expect to see this implemented in the next couple of rounds", but as "here's some vague ideas I have about this that may or may not be implemented in some way if I find the time at some point in the next 20 rounds, maybe".
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 13:32   #22
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Re: The Ash'taari

Hehe, right. I've chatted to Appoco two days ago or so, he gave a green light to include the Ashtaari in eventual sets of stats for one of the next rounds. When it's going to happen, nobody knows. I just hope it does, that's all. It's good so many people got involved and interested.
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Unread 1 Oct 2017, 21:07   #23
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Re: The Ash'taari

Ah, OK, I didn't know you'd spoken to him off-thread.
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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Unread 3 Oct 2017, 19:28   #24
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Re: The Ash'taari

I like the idea of of new race. Just something I thought of that needs a plan, this new race vs itself.

How would the reflective vs reflective work?
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Unread 4 Oct 2017, 06:24   #25
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Re: The Ash'taari

Quote:
Originally Posted by badass View Post
I like the idea of of new race. Just something I thought of that needs a plan, this new race vs itself.

How would the reflective vs reflective work?
I don't think there will be a problem since we included that reflection only works against ships with lower init. Ashtaari will be as strong defensively against another Ashtaari as against Xan for example. Ashtaari attack ships are assumed to have lower init while their defensive ships have a slightly higher one (up to init 9 or so). Should work fine, but thanks for noticing that. We will need to run some calcs once coded to check if nothing breaks.
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Unread 4 Oct 2017, 13:47   #26
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Re: The Ash'taari

They have to have lower init, though. Same init reflection would get very messy very fast.
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The outraged poets threw sticks and rocks over the side of the bridge. They were all missing Mary and he felt a contented smug feeling wash over him. He would have given them a coy little wave if the roof hadn't collapsed just then. Mary then found himself in the middle of an understandably shocked family's kitchen table. So he gave them the coy little wave and realized it probably would have been more effective if he hadn't been lying on their turkey.
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