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Commander Kaine

Titles, ship abilities, configurations and upgrade exclusivity

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The Devs have said that Imperials get more ship abilities, to balance their relative lack of upgrade slots, and unique upgrade type. Let's examine how have they done that. 

 

I'm going to look at all the ships in the conversion kits, and check their access to "special" abilities via some extra cards, like titles and configurations, or native ship abilities. If it is truly to compensate the imperials for the lack of slots, they should have a massive advantage in this field. I made a few assumptions where we don't know for sure. I don't know if the Kimogila gets the Enforcer title, I assumed not. On the other hand, I'm not sure if the Scyk counts as a ship ability, so its fine. 

Rebel ships without titles, configurations and ship abilities:

HWK - Title

K-Wing - Nothing

T-65 - Configuration

E-Wing - Ship ability

U-Wing - Configuration

YT-2400 - Ship ability, Title

Modified YT - Title

A-Wing - Ship ability

Wookiee ship - Nothing

ARC - Nothing

B-Wing - Nothing

Z-95 - Nothing

Y-Wing - Nothing

TIE Fighter - Nothing

VCX - Title, Ship Ability

Phantom I - Title, Ship ability

Phantom II - Title, Ship ability

7/17

Scum ships without titles, configurations and ship abilities

 

Quadjumper - Ship ability

Aggressor - Title, Ship ability

Starviper - Title, Ship ability

Firespray - Titles

M3A - Ship ability (?)

Jumpmaster - Title

YV-666 - Title

Z-95 - Nothing

Y-Wing - Nothing

Scurrg - Title

Fangfighter - Ship ability

Khiraxz - Nothing (probably?)

G1-A - Title

Kimogilla - Ship ability

Lancer - Title (probably?)

HWK - Title

3/16 

Imperial ships without titles, configurations and ship abilities

 

Reaper - Ship ability

Advanced - Ship ability

TIE fighter - Nothing

Gunboat - Configurations

Defender - Ship ability

Lambda - Title

TAP - Nothing

Aggressor - Nothing

Striker - Ship ability

Punisher - Nothing

Decimator - Title (probably?)

Phantom - Ship ability

Interceptor - Ship ability

Bomber - Ship ability

4/14 

 

 

 

So, on one hand, percentage wise, yeah, the rebels have it the worst. They have the most ship without special abilities, but they also have the most ships (I didn't count Lando's falcon yet).... But they also have the same number of ships WITH special abilities as the Empire. The TIE fighter doesn't have a title for rebels anymore, but it stands to reason that it is because now included in ALL rebel TIEs, included in their price. (The rebels still have better TIES). 

Scum really blows it out of the sky. They seemingly have the most, sometimes multiple sources of additional abilities on the same ship, but some of them are quite rubbish, and some are unconfirmed. Still, they do have a lot. 

 

Now, don't forget, Rebels and Scum still have access to more unique crew (all of the revealed named gunners are quite good, all are rebels and scum... it is also very unlikely we get an imperial unique gunner), illicit upgrades and astromechs, in addition to their ship abilities, titles and configurations. 

 

I don't see how is this supposed to "balance" out, if FFG isn't making an effort to distribute ship abilities carefully. 

 

BEFORE YOU START TYPING: "But Kaine, Titles and configurations aren't the same as ship abilities"... Yes they are. They increase the number of abilities a ship has access to. They provide potential synergy. More synergy, more power.

 

 

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There's a key mechanical difference between ship abilities and title/configurations actually.

The latter can have costs or compete for slots, while ship abilities are mandatory.

There is actually a difference between current "automatic" titles (such as Spec-Ops Training for the TIE/sf, you will never not equip this) and optional configuration things (the gunboat titles, which you have to choose between, and it's valid to actually take neither).

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5 minutes ago, Polaritie said:

There's a key mechanical difference between ship abilities and title/configurations actually.

The latter can have costs or compete for slots, while ship abilities are mandatory.

There is actually a difference between current "automatic" titles (such as Spec-Ops Training for the TIE/sf, you will never not equip this) and optional configuration things (the gunboat titles, which you have to choose between, and it's valid to actually take neither).

It is not the points that matter, because this isn't a balance question. FFG has said that they want to address the lack of imperial upgrade slots by adding extra abilities to a specific set of ships. If however they are handing out abilities to everyone, with the same rate, it isn't going to help to tip the scales. 

Take the U-wing and the Reaper. 

Reaper has a ship ability, to make up for its lack of slots. 

The U-Wing however, has more slots AND a configuration that grants it an ability. (It's similar, because their abilities are both movement focused) 

 

So what is the point of adding a ship ability to the Reaper? Sure, it makes it a better ship, but compared to the U-Wing, it still cannot have the same synergy. 
 

It's the abilities these cards add. It's not the points. 

Titles and configurations only compete for each other's place, and in very rare cases. The Firespray has more than 1 title, while the Gunboat has more than 1 configuration. Anything else than that? 
 

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They also said they want to give TIEs more mod slots due to them not having many other options for upgrades. I am kind of curious what they will do with mods. 

And you may also want to compare what kind of linked actions the ships have. 

Edited by Sithborg

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I feel like you've got this backwards. 

The U-Wing and T-65 get configuration cards to give them abilities, the Rebels have access to a lot of titles because they're the faction of main characters with their own ships. The Empire doesn't have so much access to configurations because their ships don't do silly things like move their wings around, and they don't have so many titles because they're all about conformity and a lack of uniqueness. Plus, they're the bad guys who don't get stories written about them, and so don't have any famous specific ships.

There's an absence of cool ship identity stuff as a result, so FFG gave them lots of ship abilities to make up the gap.

They undeniably have the most ship abilities of the three factions so far, so it's not like FFG are lying about that. 

am a little surprised that Scum have both the most titles and are only one short of Imperials for ship abilities. 

Is this Scum bias, then?

 

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10 minutes ago, GuacCousteau said:

I feel like you've got this backwards. 

The U-Wing and T-65 get configuration cards to give them abilities, the Rebels have access to a lot of titles because they're the faction of main characters with their own ships. The Empire doesn't have so much access to configurations because their ships don't do silly things like move their wings around, and they don't have so many titles because they're all about conformity and a lack of uniqueness. Plus, they're the bad guys who don't get stories written about them, and so don't have any famous specific ships.

There's an absence of cool ship identity stuff as a result, so FFG gave them lots of ship abilities to make up the gap.

They undeniably have the most ship abilities of the three factions so far, so it's not like FFG are lying about that. 

am a little surprised that Scum have both the most titles and are only one short of Imperials for ship abilities. 

Is this Scum bias, then?

 

This, by and large, shouldn't matter.  

Sure, Rebels get unique titles, and that's fine. But what is this compensated by on the imperial side? The Ship abilities... but if rebels get those too, the problem isn't solved, it's pushed away. 

About this: If you count the Scum falcon and the escape pod, they are tied. 

 

21 minutes ago, Sithborg said:

They also said they want to give TIEs more mod slots due to them not having many other options for upgrades. I am kind of curious what they will do with mods. 

And you may also want to compare what kind of linked actions the ships have. 

Well... Unless they have some serious heavy hitters in some sort of "TIE only" mods, it's not gonna account for much. 

 

Hull upgrade and Shield upgrade are just inefficient upgrades. Nobody takes them unless you have a special synergy with either of these stats. 

Stealth device is fine. 

Engine upgrade... I don't think a single Imperial ship can take this. 

Afterburners is fine. 

Tactical jammer.... Yay? 

Static discharge... eh? 

Munitions failsafe... eh

Electronic baffle... Still not fond of it. 

Advanced slam: Mandatory on the ships that have slam, useless on everything else. 

Ablative plating: Sure, maybe the Punisher will like it... Otherwise, just no. 

 

What I am saying: Gone are the days of AT... These mods are really boring and weak, especially when compared to something like the Crew or Gunner slots. But what great opportunities do we see for combos of mod slots? We don't even have targeting computers. 

 

Afterburners+Stealth device, sure. What else? What ship is going to be scary, based on the number of mod slots it has? I'd say the mod slot, as it is currently, with these options, is the worst upgrade type by far. 

 

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49 minutes ago, Sithborg said:

And you may also want to compare what kind of linked actions the ships have. 

Linked actions: 

 

Scum

Starviper: Boost/Barrel roll to focus

Jumpmaster: Focus/Lock to rotate arc

Fangfighter: Boost/Barrel roll to focus

HWK: Focus/Lock to rotate arc

 

Empire

Advanced: Barrel roll to focus

TAP: Boost/Barrel roll to focus

Aggressor: Barrel roll to evade

Punisher: Boost to lock

Bomber: Barrel roll to lock

+1 Interceptor: Boost or Barrel roll after anything

 

Rebels

HWK: Focus/Lock to rotate arc

E-Wing: Boost/barrel roll to lock

B-Wing: Focus to roll

Attack Shuttle: Barrel roll to evade

+1 A-Wing: Boost after anything

+1 X-Wing: Flipping cards: Boost to focus

 

So: Rebels and Empire have the same number of linked actions, and Scum has way less. The Linked actions of the Empire are a bit better, maybe... Mostly it's just the interceptor. 

 

All in all: There isn't a big difference between Rebels an Empire here. Scum gets shafted. 

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You're assuming that Hull/Shield upgrade remain inefficient. If they let TIEs take them cheaper, for instance, it changes things. We know very little about the costing of anything, so efficiency isn't something we can judge for 2.0.

One interesting option is variant titles (Defender, Gunboat), which are thematic for an organized military and offer interesting build options. Of course, we already know x7 got baked into the base Defender.

Also, there's the question of the unique limiter. It's much more common on Rebel titles, representing unique ships. It depends on the power of the titles and such though, and again ship abilities seem to mainly take the place of the generic stuff so... who knows.

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1 minute ago, Polaritie said:

You're assuming that Hull/Shield upgrade remain inefficient. If they let TIEs take them cheaper, for instance, it changes things. We know very little about the costing of anything, so efficiency isn't something we can judge for 2.0.

One interesting option is variant titles (Defender, Gunboat), which are thematic for an organized military and offer interesting build options. Of course, we already know x7 got baked into the base Defender.

Also, there's the question of the unique limiter. It's much more common on Rebel titles, representing unique ships. It depends on the power of the titles and such though, and again ship abilities seem to mainly take the place of the generic stuff so... who knows.

It makes more sense to keep them inefficient, otherwise people will just take them all the time. And they are definitely inefficient when compared to the ship's own hull value. 

Also, we can guess they are fairly expensive, since the threat cards show them as "fillers" to get the TIE aces closer to the next threat level. 

 

You can make imaginary explanations of how things will work, so that my argument doesn't work as well, but the answer is... we just don't know. I'm hoping they change these, but they probably won't. I'll eat my words when they make hull upgrade cost 4 points on the TIEs, but they won't. Trust me. 

 

Uniqueness is not really an answer. Especially when you can't fit more than one of said ship in the list realistically speaking. And even then, if that 1 title is powerful enough, you probably don't need to. 

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22 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

Sure, Rebels get unique titles, and that's fine. But what is this compensated by on the imperial side? The Ship abilities... but if rebels get those too, the problem isn't solved, it's pushed away. 

 

But... Imperials do get more ship abilities. So yes, that's exactly how it's evened out. Rebels get more titles and configs, and some ship abilities. Imperials get more ship abilities, and some titles and configs. What's the problem with that?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here.

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2 minutes ago, GuacCousteau said:

But... Imperials do get more ship abilities. So yes, that's exactly how it's evened out. Rebels get more titles and configs, and some ship abilities. Imperials get more ship abilities, and some titles and configs. What's the problem with that?

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here.

What is the functional difference between a configuration and a ship ability? 

- You can have multiple types of configs, like the gunboat

- You can flip the config card (X-Wing, U-Wing)

 

That's it. It's the same thing otherwise (and the reason why you don't see a configuration AND a ship ability) 

 

Titles are just unique ship abilities/configurations. 

 

And the problem is that the devs stated that Imperials get these INSTEAD of their own upgrade slots. Like I wrote in the original post. Take less crazy pills, and read more. 

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3 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

What is the functional difference between a configuration and a ship ability? 

- You can have multiple types of configs, like the gunboat

- You can flip the config card (X-Wing, U-Wing)

 

That's it. It's the same thing otherwise (and the reason why you don't see a configuration AND a ship ability) 

 

Titles are just unique ship abilities/configurations. 

 

And the problem is that the devs stated that Imperials get these INSTEAD of their own upgrade slots. Like I wrote in the original post. Take less crazy pills, and read more. 

You're saying the upgrade slots are equivalent to ship abilities. So were the developers. What's the complaint about again?

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On 6/9/2018 at 1:05 PM, Commander Kaine said:

The Devs have said that Imperials get more ship abilities, to balance their relative lack of upgrade slots, and unique upgrade type. Let's examine how have they done that. 

...

So, on one hand, percentage wise, yeah, the rebels have it the worst. They have the most ship without special abilities, but they also have the most ships (I didn't count Lando's falcon yet).... But they also have the same number of ships WITH special abilities as the Empire. The TIE fighter doesn't have a title for rebels anymore, but it stands to reason that it is because now included in ALL rebel TIEs, included in their price. (The rebels still have better TIES). 

Scum really blows it out of the sky. They seemingly have the most, sometimes multiple sources of additional abilities on the same ship, but some of them are quite rubbish, and some are unconfirmed. Still, they do have a lot. 

Now, don't forget, Rebels and Scum still have access to more unique crew (all of the revealed named gunners are quite good, all are rebels and scum... it is also very unlikely we get an imperial unique gunner), illicit upgrades and astromechs, in addition to their ship abilities, titles and configurations. 

I don't see how is this supposed to "balance" out, if FFG isn't making an effort to distribute ship abilities carefully. 

BEFORE YOU START TYPING: "But Kaine, Titles and configurations aren't the same as ship abilities"... Yes they are. They increase the number of abilities a ship has access to. They provide potential synergy. More synergy, more power.

Well it is similar to the very 1st Wave of X-wing and asymmetrical balancing reasoning that while Rebels had upgrade slots for configuration Imperials had more Pilots per ship. Take a look at the TIE Interceptor Expansion pack compared to the A-wing Expansion pack. TIE Interceptor had 6 Pilot Cards and 2 Upgrades (both EPTs) where as the A-wing had only 4 Pilot Cards and 5 Upgrade cards (more than twice what was in the TIE Interceptor). 

Where this fell was in min-maxing of tournament plays. The different pilots were just different pilot skills where the higher you went gave either an Ept Slot or a Pilot Ability but the meta was still defined by the power smile curve of pilot skill. As for A-wings there simply was an optimal A-wing build that everyone had to copy. If you flew A-wings you had Chardan, you had Test pilot, and you had two Epts. Soontir had PTL so the Pilot Cards or numerous upgrade options all dissolved when the meta was established into often no more than a single optimal build for each ship.

Now as for these new mechanics such as ship traits, mechanically ship traits are nothing more than pilot abilities that are carried across every pilot card on that ship (including the non-unique ones). Configurations seem to be more like a special upgrade card (much like tech or system). I don't think this is meant to balance out everything but more to give each ship a different role or niche in playstyle. We were seeing a lot of role overlaps both cross faction and within faction. The Fast Glass Cannon Ship which was the TIE-Interceptor sort of had competition with the TIE Advanced Prototype, the TIE Striker, and the Fang Fighter for scum took up real estate from Soontir Fel fans. Palp Aces found itself replaced by Palp Defender Creep and so on. Taking a look at the TIE Striker and the TIE Interceptor how do you determine the different roles as they both seem to be fast moving high attacking fragile ships?

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Just now, Commander Kaine said:

The more pilots excuse is so weak, I'm not even going to comment on it. It doesn't make sense.

Before you start typing, I suggest you take your own advice.

On 6/9/2018 at 1:05 PM, Commander Kaine said:

...

 

BEFORE YOU START TYPING: "But Kaine, ...

 

But anyways clearly the last reply was TL;DR in which you would notice that I said the more pilots didn't balance anything out here is a clip of the second paragraph.

7 minutes ago, Marinealver said:

...

Where this fell was in min-maxing of tournament plays. The different pilots were just different pilot skills where the higher you went gave either an Ept Slot or a Pilot Ability but the meta was still defined by the power smile curve of pilot skill. As for A-wings there simply was an optimal A-wing build that everyone had to copy. If you flew A-wings you had Chardan, you had Test pilot, and you had two Epts. Soontir had PTL so the Pilot Cards or numerous upgrade options all dissolved when the meta was established into often no more than a single optimal build for each ship.

...

but anyway this was way more effort than needed for an excuse of why you are not commenting on something by using a comment.

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Devs stated the plus side of the empire is the raw efficiency of there ships per squade points. We don't have points to comments. It seem logical to me that imps got more faceless dispendable pilots where Rebels got more unique heroes. Can we stop make imps players seems like we are always complaining? This glaxy won't rule itself.

Edited by player2422845

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