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[FAQ
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 Author 1.73 cloak changes
Azreal
Chief Marshal

Joined: March 14, 2004
Posts: 2800
From: United State of Texas, Houston
Posted: 2013-12-23 22:51   
The fact is, it will increase combat because you will see humans actually engage more. You will see more even matches, instead of 6 Kluth dreads uncloaking on 3 uggy cruisers. Kluth will also have to give a little more thought to ship choice vs risk, rather than spawning the biggest ship they can.

And I can speak to both sides of this arguement very well, having played both sides extensively since the patch.

Human factions need a chance against cloak. Kluth is not a real hit and run faction anymore, because the energy in combat is just alpha after alpha, and with the game's strongest weapons. Ok, so you lose energy going in. uncloak and alpha and whammo. have some energy. Ok, so you have little and need to escape. Cloak. so what if it breaks, they still cant hit you or see you. Its a joke right now.

This cloak also actually makes some sense:
You charge a coil. It only holds so much energy, so you engage it and it drains it. It has to shut off and recharge again. Nice, simple, cut and dry.

With EWAR being so important this version, Cloak should only be an enhancement to EWAR, and tweaked with that in mind.
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-xTc- ExisT
Chief Marshal
Army Of Darkness


Joined: March 20, 2010
Posts: 527
From: Red Lobster
Posted: 2013-12-24 08:02   
I played around with it a bit in beta yesterday.


The times at which ships stay cloaked does seen reasonable, but perhaps they could be increased. Currently it's 90 seconds for a dread and 60 for a Dessie.

As Kenny pointed out, having an extremely long timer before you can cloak again does feel not necessary, at least not as long as it is right now. Maybe it would be if we could cloak indefinitely, but currently we can't and the timer feels like a redundant setback to the cloak

It's also good to note that when your sig is negative or close to it, cloak becomes COMPLETELY FREE to use. Also remember that dusk armor is getting it's negative sensor strength doubled!!
ECM is going to be more important than ever. Ships like the mauler, naga, and eclipse will be extremely good now, due to their ECM load outs, not only for hiding themselves, but for the team as well!! When someone calls out that they are about to cloak, everyone in range should simply activate NB ECM on them until they are cloaked, then deactivate and activate on the next person.

It's interesting how this will play out, but will take adjusting to becuase we will have to be more patient like hooomans...no more "stalking" factor or ambush tactics.
I do see more standoffish play coming, especially in high sig environments, and I already hate standoffs...

In the end, cloak now requires much nore thought and planning and tactical use. It becomes less of a way of life and more of a powerful tool - which is exactly how the other factions devices are.

Also - I know jim said it's coming, but a timer somewhere letting us know how much cloak time is left is absolutely needed

[ This Message was edited by: -xTc-.ExisT- *XO* on 2013-12-24 08:19 ]

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Orkan [OO-XII]
Fleet Admiral

Joined: April 22, 2010
Posts: 201
From: A Point Perfectly Computed Yet Never Repeating
Posted: 2013-12-24 14:36   
Quote:
On 2013-12-23 19:52, Talien wrote:

ICC isn't the only faction that has ECM available, bugs and thugs have it too. Just use ECM while stalking the targets and cloak before starting the attack run.

Of course, removing the graphic effect of ECM would help greatly. Those stupid rings being visible even when the ship itself takes a bit of usefulness away.




I've often thought that for a 'stealth' measure the blue graphical rings are a dead giveaway and make it really easy to home in on an untargettable contact. Platforms as well. I have killed a non-ai Veil already running all of its ECM simply due to the fact that it was very easy to see in the distance due to this very effect.

How about making the ECM, ECCM and Sensor effects of Enemy faction vessels invisible to Enemy factions and keep personal E-war effects and those of allies visible to each other client side?

Quote:
Kenny_Naboo wrote:

After cloaking your energy is partly or mostly drained, and it's questionable that when you decloak to strike (or when the cloak runs out) if you have enough energy to sustain the strike, much less cloak again if you last the entire cooldown period. The only option is to escape after your attack, which will probably be short. One to three strikes?

A Kluth player could wait it out in ECM until his JD is half charged or almost ready before he cloaked and made his attack run. That is one possibility. But too short a cloak time still limits his energy option once he decloaks to attack.



ELF is a faction special that, from what I can see is being underused. Many K'luth Pilots tend to favour best possible DPS weapons and neglect flying ELF based ships in a team effort to neutralize the enemy. It seems everybody wants to make that kill. K'Luth have ways to counter their massive energy drain weapons with ELF tech but you have to balance your use of energy. More DPS = less energy. More ELF means less DPS but more energy for other systems such as cloak. Its all a question of balance.
From an ICC perspective I could say that I want to use my high damage Heavy Chemical Beam Lasers or be able to fire all my missiles whilst having enough energy for Auxiliary shields but I have to balance energy as well. If I switch out all my auxiliary fusion generators for auxiliary shields I will not be able to fire all my missiles and my Laser use will be considerably shortened. There is no way for me to get energy back once it is gone. I gotta slow down to recharge and that means my combat is effectively over.
Don't underestimate the usefulness of ELF.

Quote:
On 2013-12-24 08:02, -xTc-.ExisT- *XO* wrote:

As Kenny pointed out, having an extremely long timer before you can cloak again does feel not necessary, at least not as long as it is right now. Maybe it would be if we could cloak indefinitely, but currently we can't and the timer feels like a redundant setback to the cloak



Trust me xTc its not a redundant setback but a well thought out necessary drawback to being able to setup a perfect attack run.
It is there to stop the present 'v-tap' to break missile, fighter and mine lock and enable those weapons to be finally truly effective against K'Luth warships. Can you remember the last time you were destroyed by an ICC or UGTO missile Cruiser or Destroyer?


Regarding the length of the cloak I checked this out in Beta and as I have said before I am not sure it is long enough, especially for Dreads. I imagine K'luth pilots would favour a curved 's' approach. The present set length, especially for Dreads, seems to be a stressful scramble to get into position or abort and in 90 or 75 or 60 seconds (according to class) a straight-line to target would be the best way and then you'd have to slide in on their six. Does this present set time for cloak in Beta allow for all this activity? There will be a point of no return (Big Up!) and you may find yourself caught in a disadvantageous position when your cloak disengages on you halfway on your approach. In the interests of balance I truly hope that this number is set optimaly for all factions.
We all have to deal with an engagement on unfavourable grounds from time to time and this change is good for balance as previously K'Luth always fought on their own terms if they initiated the fight. In time it will become a skill that your Elite will perfect and will make you deadly in your attacks once more.
I agree that this will be an end to the stalking and ambush tactics so beloved of your kind ( : P ). Even I on the receiving end of these will shed a tear as it is indeed an end of an era and the U-boat style engagements of this nature will be gone for good.
Knowing this new time limit, I'll get a count-down stopwatch alarm set to 90,75 and 60 secs and know to Blind-fire spray your incoming last known position and any 'empty' space in between that position and me - I'm sure I'll be able to hit you a few times coming in and on your way out.

Quote:
On 2013-12-22 23:55, -xTc-.ExisT- *XO* wrote:

Little off topic here, but kluth feels extremely powerful vs icc, and I think the main issue with that is chit armor! Do you know how many icc cruisers I can take on with my parasite and a few plates of chit armor!?? My current record is 6!
It also doesn't help that icc only flies heavy cruisers, it's cannons doesn't hurt our cruisers at all, and torps are no good if your enemy can dodge them! You should be flying storm cruisers vs lobsters! Beams eat our ravagers and scythes for breakfast.





So far so good for UGTO. As long as Chitin remains as it is my ICC weapons will still make very slow progress against that particular armour type. Thank you xTc for confirming my thoughts regarding this. I know many ICC players have felt unloved and many have stopped playing altogether for now as long as these imbalances remain. DS is the most fun for all when everyone is on an even footing and feels as if they are making an impact in their chosen faction. I enjoy fighting UGTO as it is now, the balance seems fine. Combating K'luth seems an uphill struggle and I am glad that a change in Cloak is finally coming. The length of time it lasts and the appropriate cooldown are the only determining factors left to tweak to make changes to cloak just right.

Thanks for reading.

I'm out - Peace.

[ This Message was edited by: Orkan [OO-XI] on 2013-12-24 16:48 ]





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Jim Starluck
Marshal
Templar Knights


Chatting in 'DarkSpace English'

Joined: October 22, 2001
Posts: 2232
From: Cincinnati, OH
Posted: 2013-12-24 16:31   
I may be open to adjusting the duration and/or cooldown of cloak if we can get further balance testing done. The current values were just the first ones I came up with when planning it out.



Also, on the topic of ECM effects, I can look into toning down how far out they're visible, though I myself tend to have a harder time spotting them now that they're much darker blue.



[ This Message was edited by: Jim Starluck on 2013-12-24 16:32 ]
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Orkan [OO-XII]
Fleet Admiral

Joined: April 22, 2010
Posts: 201
From: A Point Perfectly Computed Yet Never Repeating
Posted: 2013-12-24 17:07   
Thanks Jim, that would be great.

Regarding the E-war effects, it's not so much their colour but rather their 'pinging' animation which attracts the eye.
Many keen predators have black and white vision and it is actually motion rather than colour that attracts the eye of the hunter to their target. Hence why zebras in the eyes of the lion have great camouflage if they stand still but to omniverous humans with colour vision (to determine toxin warnings and seek out edible nuts, berries and mushrooms) they stick out like a sore thumb.



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Talien
Marshal
Templar Knights


Joined: May 11, 2010
Posts: 2038
From: Michigan
Posted: 2013-12-24 17:45   
Quote:
On 2013-12-24 16:31, Jim Starluck wrote:
Also, on the topic of ECM effects, I can look into toning down how far out they're visible, though I myself tend to have a harder time spotting them now that they're much darker blue.



Personally I have no trouble spotting ECM rings even if it's not right in my face and once I see the rings it's extremely easy to spot the ship itself even if it's just a Scout. I'm definitely not the only one either as I've had people suddenly start blind firing at my ECMed Torpedo Frigate even while I'm at max Sabot range and haven't even started firing yet.


Quote:
On 2013-12-24 14:36, Orkan [OO-XI] wrote:
How about making the ECM, ECCM and Sensor effects invisible to Enemy factions and keep personal E-war effects and those of allies visible to each other client side?



This seems to be a good solution. We have minimum visual detection range which gets longer as a ship increases speed, do we really need ECM rings making us easily detectable even while sitting still? Let them be visible to allies so you can tell if your teammates have their EW active, but if enemies want to find you then let them use ECCM to do it.
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Enterprise
Chief Marshal

Chatting in 'DarkSpace English'

Joined: May 19, 2002
Posts: 2574
From: Macclenny, Florida
Posted: 2013-12-24 20:32   
Quote:
On 2013-12-24 08:02, -xTc-.ExisT- *XO* wrote:
I played around with it a bit in beta yesterday.

As Kenny pointed out, having an extremely long timer before you can cloak again does feel not necessary, at least not as long as it is right now. Maybe it would be if we could cloak indefinitely, but currently we can't and the timer feels like a redundant setback to the cloak




The timer exists to swat away the "get out of jail free" card. People would merely use ECM/Combat variants, and cloak would be nearly as effective as it is now.

Numbers are always subject to change. If the timers are too long, or the duration too short, it will be changed. More testing needs to be done. So far, I thnk they are about right.


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DiepLuc
Chief Marshal

Joined: March 23, 2010
Posts: 1186
Posted: 2013-12-25 22:59   
Look at the mechanics, it's easy to see that cloak will operate in safe place. Kluth will cloak before ambush and after jump. They will not cloak inside the battle as there is not enough energy.
In that case, it makes sense that the duration of cloaking is as long as the jump cooldown. Luthier should get outside the dico as fast as they cloak and jump as soon as they can.
I prefer the cooldown to be 1/2, instead of 2/3.
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Iwancoppa
Fleet Admiral

Joined: November 15, 2008
Posts: 709
Posted: 2013-12-27 22:32   
As long as, especially for larger ships that aren't supposed to be able to get away(dreads) the cloak time is less then JD recharge time, I'm happy.

No more jump'n'cloak to escape every time.



The use of ECCM is going to be interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the idea is something like this -


Luth ship uncloaks
ECCM boat throws 10 ECCM worth of signature on luth ship
Luth ship is low on energy after attacking and can't cloak anymore
Fried lobster for dinner.



The real balance challenge now will be determining the cloaking cost.

As a balancing suggestion, in order to counteract the extreme advantage given by having ECM onboard, I'd like to suggest that ships with EWAR loadouts above frigate level have a large penalty to their cloaking cost, so when you finally bring enough ECCM to overcome their ECM you'll be rewarded for it.


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Forger of Destiny
Chief Marshal
We Kick Arse


Joined: October 10, 2009
Posts: 826
Posted: 2013-12-27 23:54   
as a tactical extra, i'd suggest allowing kluth ships to choose how long do they want their cloak device to work. if they want to get cloak for only 25% of the max duration, they can pick it. if they want 100%, they can go for that instead, as the situation needs. cooldown time would be 2/3 of the previous cloak's duration.


something like "hold down the V key for 2 seconds for 100% duration cloak, 1 second for 50% duration". that way, if a kluth just needs to cloak to shake off missile lock, they can choose to do that, but have to spend atleast, say, 25% energy and 25% cloak duration and not complain about not being able to use their most tactical device available due to only 99% energy available.

that way, they get happy for being able to control the flow of battle better, while humans can be happy that they just wasted atleast 110/450 of that kluth dread's energy and reduced potential damage capability.






[ This Message was edited by: Forger of Destiny on 2013-12-27 23:57 ]
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Ignorance
Fleet Admiral

Joined: October 27, 2012
Posts: 85
Posted: 2013-12-28 01:21   
Let me just point out something about the luthies:

They were designed as a sort of hit and run faction, trading off survivability for sheer firepower and the ability to cloak. Holding true to that, instead of getting rid of the cloak or nerfing it to a large extent, get rid of chitin armor altogether and half of your problem is solved right then and there.
Of course, if the cloak is going to be nerfed as it is being discussed, then give a minor buff to the armor and perhaps an equivalent in damage reduction for K'luth weapons, giving us at least somewhat more comparable survivability to the other factions since the cloak would no longer be a free ticket out of combat.

The least that can be done, in my opinion, is that the total respective energy cost for cloaking before the device is fully engaged be reduced, perhaps by 5-15 percent, that way we still hold true to the hit and run tactics without having the cloak be another piece of crap taking up space in the ship.

[ This Message was edited by: [*DI*]Ignorance[Helper] on 2013-12-28 01:23 ]
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Kenny_Naboo
Marshal
Pitch Black


Joined: January 11, 2010
Posts: 3820
From: LobsterTown
Posted: 2013-12-28 02:30   
Quote:
On 2013-12-28 01:21, [*DI*]Ignorance[Helper] wrote:
Let me just point out something about the luthies:

They were designed as a sort of hit and run faction, trading off survivability for sheer firepower and the ability to cloak. Holding true to that, instead of getting rid of the cloak or nerfing it to a large extent, get rid of chitin armor altogether and half of your problem is solved right then and there.
Of course, if the cloak is going to be nerfed as it is being discussed, then give a minor buff to the armor and perhaps an equivalent in damage reduction for K'luth weapons, giving us at least somewhat more comparable survivability to the other factions since the cloak would no longer be a free ticket out of combat.

The least that can be done, in my opinion, is that the total respective energy cost for cloaking before the device is fully engaged be reduced, perhaps by 5-15 percent, that way we still hold true to the hit and run tactics without having the cloak be another piece of crap taking up space in the ship.

[ This Message was edited by: Kenny_Naboo on 2013-12-28 02:52 ]





Honestly, other than slow-to-cloak stations, not many Kluth ships actually use Chitin anymore.

Overall, I think the new cloak mechanic is fine. What is needed is testing and tweaks to the numbers. I did a test run to compare the time needed for dreads and cruisers to jump in and make a cloaked approach into firing position.

Just to note, the moment you jump in, you will be seen, ECM or not. And the opposing faction will almost always take immediate action, be it firing at you or point jumping you.

A typical safe ingress point would be about 1000 gus from the enemy, far away enough from the energy-devastating effects of ECCM, where you will immediately cloak to avoid counterfire, and snake your way into position. A dread takes over a minute to enter optimum firing position (flank/rear) while dodging incoming blindfire. If there's a group of enemies, you can be sure you will need to circle around more to avoid what will surely be a massive stream of blindfire covering the entire area. I estimate 2 minutes. This was from a front quarter (nearly head on) jump in.

You could drop in at 1500 gus or 2000 gus, and then hide in ECM to allow your JD to charge up a little before you engage the cloak at the extreme enemy gun range. But I see little point in that, as you would have lost the element of surprise.

If you were to jump in on the rear or flank, you'd probably need more time in a tail chase. And given the new time limit on cloak, ICC and UGTO players will definitely turn tail to exploit the time limit. Forcing your cloak to drop before they turn around.

So with the above, my observations are:
- Cloak times are almost OK, but still somewhat too short. An increase between 15% to 25% could help in positioning an ambush or assault.

- Cooldown times for the larger ships are OK. They will most probably use up that cooldown time in their attack anyway. But the smaller ships (dessies and below) should perhaps have a shorter (and perhaps fixed) cooldown to improve their survivability.

They don't have much energy to begin with, and if they decloak, fire away, and then have no energy or cloak ability, it's not gonna do them any favors in terms of attractiveness to use over larger ships.

- A cloak countdown timer, as mentioned by others, will need to be added in.

- Lastly; Upon cloaking, the sig drop still takes too long. The ship is detectable for too long after activation. Ditto the visibility. The ship doesn't go invisible till 0.0. Given the new cloak time limit, perhaps it would be fair that the ship takes a shorter time to disappear.


Can't comment yet about energy requirements or 50 sig taking 100% of your energy to cloak. This can't really be tested 1-vs-1 or 2-vs-2. This will have to be observed in larger battles where both sides stack EW against each other.





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Azreal
Chief Marshal

Joined: March 14, 2004
Posts: 2800
From: United State of Texas, Houston
Posted: 2013-12-28 05:37   
Quote:
On 2013-12-28 01:21, [*DI*]Ignorance[Helper] wrote:
Let me just point out something about the luthies:

They were designed as a sort of hit and run faction, trading off survivability for sheer firepower and the ability to cloak.

[ This Message was edited by: [*DI*]Ignorance[Helper] on 2013-12-28 01:23 ]




Were designed this way originally 10 years ago to be this, yes. They havent been an actual hit and run faction for nearly five years now. The rest of the mechanics have changed, and that means that the cloak needs to be changed as well.


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DiepLuc
Chief Marshal

Joined: March 23, 2010
Posts: 1186
Posted: 2013-12-28 06:04   
Talking about cloak...
ECM human ship, from scout to frigate, right now appears to cloak all the time to me when I'm in dread.
If you don't see the rings, you will not find out where they are.
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The Fridge
Chief Marshal
Templar Knights


Joined: December 13, 2008
Posts: 557
From: In Your Fridge, Eating your Foods.
Posted: 2013-12-28 09:17   
Since ECCM pinging was taken away the cloak gadget hasn't had a drawback significant enough for it's advantages.

Personally I want ECCM pinging back, because Sub hunting was fun.
But comprimise is okay.
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