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Ronu

Initiative based upgrades vs Agility based upgrades.

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I just want to see community options on this. Currently there is an interesting if not a somewhat underwhelming dynamic between upgrades using Initiative vs Agility for point cost determination. 

After  about a year I’m finding that the Agility based upgrades like Hull Upgrade and Shield upgrades are largely absent from builds in most cases. Largely the benefit to cost has been the prime suspect in why they are used so rarely.

For example: TIE Intercepters. A ship that is capable of using multiple upgrades rarely sees any being used at all. Things they could use to help them cost 6-8 points across the the entire ship. On more than one ship it begins to take away from overall utility vs viable options. So while it makes some sense to give Soontir Fel  Shield upgrade as between his 3 Green dice and a a shield he can protect it better with his arc dodging, it make less sense on an Alpha Squadron. The latter facing shots earlier and perhaps more often has fewer ways to protect that upgrade and itself in general and so it needs that upgrade more but putting it in is prohibited by the cost involved. On the flip side B-Wings get a similar upgrade for little cost but also end up not using it on lower Initiative ships as they again take too many shots to protect it long enough for it to be effective. Their Aces can take it and somewhat protect it making them survive a bit longer perhaps enough to leverage it late in a game yet still pay a minimum for what can be a huge advantage in that extra hit point.

On the other hand were seeing upgrades like Squad Leader given similar treatment but now using Initiative as the base for the points. It becomes restrictive on higher Skilled pilots to limit coordination shenanigans at the highest Initiative possible without feeling out of balance. So a squad that has a mix of lower to mid Initiative ships can make use of it while maneuvering in larger groups in the event of blocks or other missed opportunities prior to higher Initiative ships activating. 

Perhaps a better comparison of the cost to opportunistic nature of an upgrade is Calibrated Laser Targeting. At 2 points on a lower Initiative ship is can be spammed and increase the overall effectiveness of the upgrade allowing it to do what it is meant to do more often. While on a higher Initiative pilot who should be able to more consistently work towards those same opportunities pays a premium for that ability.

So for me personally i’d Like to see those upgrades based on Agility change to Initiative. Lower Initiative ships are usually the ones who need extra tools health ect as they tend to fight uphill in most matchups. While Aces have abilities and board knowledge and timing windows in their favor to offset their need for upgrades.

Edited by Ronu

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23 minutes ago, Ronu said:

So for me personally i’d Like to see those upgrades based on Agility change to Initiative. Lower Initiative ships are usually the ones who need extra tools health ect as they tend to fight uphill in most matchups. While Aces have abilities and board knowledge and timing windows in their favor to offset their need for upgrades.

It makes more sense for defensive upgrades to be based on a defensive multiplier (agility). Lower-Ini might need a slight buff across the board, but this would bit a bit much.

SU/HU are correctly priced, you don't see them because good builds always run underpriced upgrades. You don't want very broadly good upgrades underpriced , that leads to basically slot deletion (e.g. VI in 1.0). SU/HU are good on ships that have extra defensive modifiers (e.g. Boba) and/or shield related abilities (.e.g. Quickdraw) esp if they increase the half point threshold. "Good on some ships" is basically the design goal for an upgrade.

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1 hour ago, Ronu said:

After  about a year I’m finding that the Agility based upgrades like Hull Upgrade and Shield upgrades are largely absent from builds in most cases.

That's not remotely accurate.  In the past month, Hull and Shield Upgrade are both top-20 upgrades on MetaWing, and around rank 31-32 since the Upsilon emergency nerf.

Since they're essentially the same, it kinda makes sense to sum them when looking at the occurrence of the upgrades in squadrons.  Since the Upsilon nerf, they're more common than Pivot Wing on a U-Wing, Tactical Officer, Veteran Turret Gunner, Afterburners, Proton Torpedoes.  The upgrades in more squadrons than the union of Hull and Shield: Servomotor S-Foils, Leia, Crack Shot, and Fire Control System.

Limiting things only to the past month, More squads will have Hull or Shield than *any other upgrade in the game.*

1 hour ago, Ronu said:

So for me personally i’d Like to see those upgrades based on Agility change to Initiative. Lower Initiative ships are usually the ones who need extra tools health ect as they tend to fight uphill in most matchups. While Aces have abilities and board knowledge and timing windows in their favor to offset their need for upgrades.

I agree with @prauxim that this doesn't really make sense.

Edited by theBitterFig

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I was gonna disagree with OP but to be honest I think they might have a good point. Looking at the Metawing usage of Stealth and Shield upgrade kind of backs it up too, the vast majority of ships using these cards are I5+, regardless of their agility. A shield or stealth device is just going to be a lot more powerful on a ship with high initiative, repositioning and passive mods from a pilot ability then on a low initiative grunt that can only point and shoot. 

But then again, being able to equip a stealth device or shield upgrade to an Academy Pilot for 2-3 points also sounds really annoying to have to deal with when they are so squirrely. I feel like maybe it's supposed to be a weird combination of initiative and agility, like Soontir should have to pay more than Han who should have to pay the same as an Academy pilot who should both have to pay more than an Gray Squadron pilot, at which point it all becomes too complicated and is probably just better off where it's at right now. 

Edited by Tvboy

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The real truth of the matter is all 3 upgrades tend to scale multiplicatively with the value of the ship they are added to (Shield/Hull Upgrade more so than Stealth Device). If you looked you would probably find SU/HU on ships that have a higher attack value more often as well. Both higher initiative and higher attack values correlate to a higher ship value. Agility is just the thing the best approximates the scaling of the added value of the upgrades. I do think it may be worth while to adjust how the upgrades scale with agility (maybe 2/3/4/5, and 3/4/5/6 instead of the current values). The reason 1 and 0 agility options for Shield and Hull upgrade are so popular is because medium and large ships tend to be more expensive while also having lower agility values. A lot of the high agility ships either tend to be cheaper, or don't have a mod a slot and so can't take advantage of the upgrades (one of the 3 would probably be stapled to every Defender if they had a mod slot).

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An 8 point shield upgrade on Soontir is better value on him than an Alpha Squadron Pilot - a shield upgrade being about 8% of total cost for Soontir compared to 19% of an Alpha... and that doesn’t include any additional Mod or Talent.

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Well Agility only works in one way and that is defensively (although it would be interesting to see a pilot/upgrade that uses agility as an attack or rolls green dice to cause damage). So with agility based upgrades you can count defensive capabilities based as the reason behind the varied cost.

Imitative works one movement and attacks so it is a little more complex. Also to give credit where credit is due, the dev team has been real hard at work to avoid the mid slump in the smile power curve that Initiative/Pilot Skill creates, working their best to make the mid initiative pilots have the best abilities and priced for the most return on investment. It was never the top pilot skill/initiative being the best than others (although it may have been intended that way), but the highest and the lowest being the best pilot skill/initiative.  But for Initiative pilots you are already paying a premium in squadron points for that pilot. So the simple matter of making an upgrade +x points for each point of initiative is not that simple of a balance mechanic. 

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It's tricky but I'm pretty sure any attempt to factor in multiple components (e.g. agility x initiative) into a multivariable scaling chart would just be a hard turnoff to new players.

It would be more effective to do what the Interceptor and Kihraxz (and possibly the B-Wing though not as desperately anymore) really need and have slots with point discounts.

Kihraxz gets 2 off of its mods and 1 off of its illicits (then up the cost by 2 agian). Alphas get 3 off their mods, Sabers get 2 off, others unaffected. B-Wings get 2 off their cannons then up the chassis by 2-3. Just makes sense to me and doesn't seem overly complicated but the devs might think otherwise. I just don't see any use in the existing slots as they are.

This has the added benefit of giving the devs the ability to change a chassis quite drastically without introducing errata.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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