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SabineKey

Chassis limits?

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While perusing these forums, I’ve noted concern with lowering ships point cost past a certain threshold for fear of spam (for example, the T-65 X-Wing and the TIE Interceptor). While pondering this, I started to wonder if inputting specific chassis limits would allow for a little more flexibility in pricing while avoiding the spam? Going back to the T-65 example, if a 4 X-Wing limit was placed on the chassis per 200 points*, Blue Squadron Escort and/or Cavern Angel Zealots could be dropped below 41 points without the fear of 5 x-Wings. We already have an lower and upper limit on number of ships that can be taken (2-8). 

This could also see a little more flexibility when dealing with potential spam problems. Instead of making Juke too expensive for ships without extra evade generation, what if we limited the Phantom chassis to 2-3 per 200 points*? It could be shown in the Point lists and be adjustable like the points themselves and slots.

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

 

*Using the “per 200 points” to give Epic higher limits. Though, it might be best to have Epic have its own independent chassis limits, if any.

Special Note: I’ll go ahead and say here that I am only for limits of 1 on a chassis per list in extreme cases, and after other attempts have been tried.

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This concept was addressed in one of the livestreams, and whilst it's an excellent concept for balancing some essentially un-balance-able chassis, particularly the Jumpmaster, and could trivially be built into the points PDFs/app, the devs have essentially confirmed they don't want to do it because of the additional errata cost.

 

(Additional Limiting would also fix a number of upgrades being VERY difficult to cost correctly, but same problem)

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1 minute ago, SabineKey said:

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

"True Point Cost" vs. "List Threshold" does seem to be a minor problem.

The system exists (the Dot System) to tweak this but sadly wasn't considered until after 2.0 hit the shelves.

I would be all for retconning it onto 2.0 as a whole as one more Lever of Balance.

Obviously, with PDFs as the main source of card mechanics, it would be pretty to just include a new column.

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I'm solidly in favor of this idea. It seems like the sort of thing that could easily be built into the Point Cost PDFs, since players already have to reference those for squad-building.

The game could alternately use an errata setting a maximum amount of ship hull/shields within a 200-point list if they're that worried about quintuple Jumpmasters, though I'm not sure if 45 health behind 2 agility is worse than the 48 health behind 1 agility that you can get from a squad of six Y-Wings.

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1 hour ago, PhantomFO said:

The game could alternately use an errata setting a maximum amount of ship hull/shields within a 200-point list

This seems just kinda weirdly artifical, and not a very intuitive listbuilding rule over "point and dots", especially for new players.

Technically, a HP limitation should already exist if chassis are costed correctly, because HP should factor into the ship's point cost.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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While I do agree that it would not be difficult to implement, I'm generally against the idea as I feel it is either unnecessary or runs contrary to good game balance.

I'll use two examples to show what I mean: The Jumpmaster and the Interceptor.

The Jumpmaster has the problem of being quite beefy, but having almost no damage output. It's been considerably overpriced since the release of 2.0 as a reflection of its tankiness, but it's never been used since it can't pay for itself in damage dealt. Many fear a further cost reduction because the possibility of 5 jumpmasters is a pretty hard pill to swallow. I've seen it suggested many times that the devs limit the jump chassis to 3 or 4, then drop the price right through the floor. The reason this is wouldn't work is that either a) the chassis would still be too expensive for the damage it deals and would never see play, b) the chassis would be far too cheap for its health and would be autoinclude, or more realistically c) the price is about right, the jump finds a niche, and the limit doesn't matter because no one would be flying 4-5 anyway; it's a good blocker or something (I wouldn't presume to know yet) but it can't carry a list on its own unless it's already underpriced, which limiting doesn't change. It would just mean 1-3 become autoinclude instead of 5. Spam isn't good anyway unless the chassis is already underpriced.

The Interceptor on the other hand has the opposite problem; it's extremely fragile, but it has some decent firepower. The devs seem reluctant to drop it below 34 points even though it's seen very very little play so far, out of a fear that 6 3-primary ships is too strong. Some have suggested dropping it an appropriate amount (maybe to 32 or so) and limiting it to 3-4 chassis per squad. But to this, I would also say that it wouldn't work because either a) the chassis would still be too expensive for how little damage it deals, so wouldn't see much play, b) the chassis would be too cheap, so slotting two into your squad is pretty much a given (Legion had this problem with snipers; just ask them about it), or more realistically c) the price is about right, the Interceptor finds a niche, and people don't generally fly 6 anyway because spam isn't strong unless the chassis is already underpriced. Also note that in this example we also have to compare to the TIE Striker – do both get this treatment? If so, you can still fly 3 of one and 3 of the other, which is almost the same thing as (or more likely better than) 6 of one or the other.

My takeaway is that breakpoints don't matter, almost at all: If a ship is too cheap, limiting the number of chassis won't stop it from being OP.

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I have always felt that a Chassis limit would solve the issue of a ship that is too expensive for its cost, but wanting to avoid people spamming it. Y-Wings at some point were this for me. Too expensive but any cheaper and you could get another one in which would then tip the scale of balance over.

I don't know if it is a solution to the problem. However, I think experimenting with it would be something FFG should look into. We already have to use apps and PDFs to reference point costs and upgrade slots...I don't see much harm in adding a chassis limit to that too.

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The problems with this is people looking at a singular ship in a points vacuum.  Is it pretty to see a flight of a specific ship on the table? Absolutely! Is that always effective? No. Is that a reason to lower a threshold cost? Again, no.
 

The points issue is not what a chassis does on it’s own. It is about what a chassis is capable of doing when combined with other ships that cover its deficiencies. As an Example take Redline and pair him with a Shuttle that has Ciena Ree, and interceptor wingmen. Those lower costed points on the interceptors could be the difference between Redline grabbing Proton Torps or plasmas. Ree coordination to Redline is scary as all get out if you haven’t seen this stunt. Add to that 4 points to upgrade an upgrade and you see how the spiral happens. Then add what the Interceptors are also capable of with Ree in that mix and you begin to see all the concerns popping up. 
 

As someone who rarely flies less than 5 ships since 2.0. A limit on a ship Chassis would mean I am either just taking an unnecessary bid, filling and mix and matching with other ships or using other upgrades. 
 

The other factor is if that floor drops what happens to the other ships in that line? Do they all drop? Cause 5 Interceptors at I4 is already possible, without upgrades. So now I can add predator or crackshots to them? Yes please! Or even 4 i3 Strikers with a Sloane shuttle, ect ect.
 

The droid limits are in place and limited to like 2-3 for a model type, and ESC’s 3 to an entire squad to limit ability abuse not to limit a generic chassis. More like a Sub Ace or specialty roll rather than a basic level pilot. 
 

so I would rather not break one area to try to entertain another which may or may not have a desired effect.

 

Edited by Ronu

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No, personally I find the idea is a really bad one. If ffg is just going to tell me how many of a ship I can field why even bother with a points system? It adds unnecessary restrictions where there shouldn’t be any because that’s what we have the points system for. Restriction or not we certainly don’t need cheaper X-wings or Tie ints. And i should be able to field the max number allowed by points. This game is made up of squadrons, not every squadron is composed like alphabet.
 

you could make it work for upgrades maybe, but the scaling points values are simple and also work rather well, so I don’t really see a need for that anyway, unless we get a really unbalanced card that warrants it. 
 

 

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Mostly against it, since I think it doesn't matter.*  There will usually be some slightly-weaker filler ship which can fill the role of that (N+1)st ship.  Meanwhile, even if there is a chassis limit, that doesn't allow you to under-price ships, since those points can just go elsewhere.

Best example in game now is Wampa.  They kind of prove that 33 point TIE Interceptors aren't that scary, but also that 33 point TIE Interceptors with a 5-ship don't need to exist.

Overall, I'd say ignore most breakpoints (3-ship breakpoint more important than 4, 5, 6, 7 etc), just price things fairly.  That probably means some points cuts here, nerfs there, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

 

 

 

* FFG's point about errata having a "cost" in terms of added confusion is totally valid.  To that end, I'd prefer fewer variable costs.

Edited by theBitterFig

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12 hours ago, FlyingAnchors said:

No, personally I find the idea is a really bad one. If ffg is just going to tell me how many of a ship I can field why even bother with a points system? It adds unnecessary restrictions where there shouldn’t be any because that’s what we have the points system for. Restriction or not we certainly don’t need cheaper X-wings or Tie ints. And i should be able to field the max number allowed by points. This game is made up of squadrons, not every squadron is composed like alphabet.

Many other games have field allowances/availability restrictions on top of points and work it successfully. 

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One solution that I have always liked but don't see discussed much is giving some ships some points for free that must be spent on certain kinds of upgrades for the ship. Using the Jumpmaster as an example (and forgive me, I don't much about the ship so the numbers in the example could be off), instead of reducing the cost by 10 points, instead when you add one to your list you get 10 points in crew and torpedo (or whatever) upgrades that can only be spent on that ship. This will allow ships that are meant to be heavy ordinance platforms (like a TIE Bomber), to be costed closer to what it should represent in the squad with the ordinance while giving the points back. The same line of thinking works for large ships that are supposed to be kitted out more that run the risk of being spammed if their cost is lowered enough to allow them to be properly kitted out. Other examples would be giving Khiraxz some free points to spend on modifications and illicit mods. The TIE Interceptor is probably the hardest to fix with this approach because they weren't classically meant to be super customizable and not all of their pilots have talent slots. You could still give them a couple of free points to spend on modifications but it could feel off do to the lore.

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On 12/30/2019 at 12:50 PM, SabineKey said:

While perusing these forums, I’ve noted concern with lowering ships point cost past a certain threshold for fear of spam (for example, the T-65 X-Wing and the TIE Interceptor). While pondering this, I started to wonder if inputting specific chassis limits would allow for a little more flexibility in pricing while avoiding the spam? Going back to the T-65 example, if a 4 X-Wing limit was placed on the chassis per 200 points*, Blue Squadron Escort and/or Cavern Angel Zealots could be dropped below 41 points without the fear of 5 x-Wings. We already have an lower and upper limit on number of ships that can be taken (2-8). 

This could also see a little more flexibility when dealing with potential spam problems. Instead of making Juke too expensive for ships without extra evade generation, what if we limited the Phantom chassis to 2-3 per 200 points*? It could be shown in the Point lists and be adjustable like the points themselves and slots.

Thoughts? Concerns? Suggestions?

 

*Using the “per 200 points” to give Epic higher limits. Though, it might be best to have Epic have its own independent chassis limits, if any.

Special Note: I’ll go ahead and say here that I am only for limits of 1 on a chassis per list in extreme cases, and after other attempts have been tried.

they do this in other games and it works well.   its worth noting that "unique" pilots are already restricted in number to 1, many upgrades are limited... its not a new thing really.

mechanically the issue seems to be how many 3 red dice attacks people can get without giving up hull, since everything people are worried about is in that vein.  5 Fangs or X-wings,  6 Interceptors or Strikers, etc.  I get that concern, but its stupid to let it ruin generics pricing across the board

 

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I like it for theme,  I'm guessing the Imperial admiral who allowed 4 experimental TIE/ph to fly a patrol together would've been force choked before they left the hangar.... And does anyone wonder why the Jedi order had been reduced to Luke/Obighost or Lukeghost/Rey when we allow so many force users to fly in a single engagement?

I like it for listbuilding since I love TIE Salad and the min/maxers costed the /ph out of most 5 ship lists when a ship limit could've worked...  But here we are: the game was not made for my whims, there is a whole playerbase to consider, and building around the ruleset we already have is quite fine and a nice puzzle.  

As far as cost of implementation, I could see the next card pack being Hotshots and Aces and DOTS!  Throw in a 10x10 sheet of white dots in a card pack: boom, you can add limited to your cards. 

But I'd prefer to not apply this retroactively.  I would rather see more pilots, titles, and configurations be introduced that allow us to manipulate the existing framework, then let the points balance sort out how many of x we can take.  Like @GeneralVryth said, you can create more specialized versions of a certain chassis.  Perhaps you make those configs/titles unique/limited and then you can open up the design space a little.  

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On 1/1/2020 at 3:27 PM, GeneralVryth said:

One solution that I have always liked but don't see discussed much is giving some ships some points for free that must be spent on certain kinds of upgrades for the ship. Using the Jumpmaster as an example (and forgive me, I don't much about the ship so the numbers in the example could be off), instead of reducing the cost by 10 points, instead when you add one to your list you get 10 points in crew and torpedo (or whatever) upgrades that can only be spent on that ship. This will allow ships that are meant to be heavy ordinance platforms (like a TIE Bomber), to be costed closer to what it should represent in the squad with the ordinance while giving the points back. The same line of thinking works for large ships that are supposed to be kitted out more that run the risk of being spammed if their cost is lowered enough to allow them to be properly kitted out. Other examples would be giving Khiraxz some free points to spend on modifications and illicit mods. The TIE Interceptor is probably the hardest to fix with this approach because they weren't classically meant to be super customizable and not all of their pilots have talent slots. You could still give them a couple of free points to spend on modifications but it could feel off do to the lore.

This would be a really bad idea. This happens in other games and it can quickly unbalance things. You end up with a list that is in actuality 230 points vs a list that is sub 200 if you are not using those ships with bonus points. Warmachine does that and it really can show the imbalance of a theme list that gets bonus points or free characters vs not. 
 

it also makes the game much more about an alpha strike than anything else which ultimately is not much fun for one player or the other.

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4 hours ago, Ronu said:

This would be a really bad idea. This happens in other games and it can quickly unbalance things. You end up with a list that is in actuality 230 points vs a list that is sub 200 if you are not using those ships with bonus points. Warmachine does that and it really can show the imbalance of a theme list that gets bonus points or free characters vs not. 
 

it also makes the game much more about an alpha strike than anything else which ultimately is not much fun for one player or the other.

The depends on how the base chassis is priced. The point is to make the base chassis inefficient to buy without spending those bonus points. No naked TIE bombers. A recurring theme of certain ships that feel too expensive, is they feel that way because you want to add upgrades to them on top of their base cost. But if you lower there cost to make room for upgrades you can pass a threshold so you can just spam the ship without any upgrades for pure efficiency.

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3 minutes ago, GeneralVryth said:

The depends on how the base chassis is priced. The point is to make the base chassis inefficient to buy without spending those bonus points. No naked TIE bombers. A recurring theme of certain ships that feel too expensive, is they feel that way because you want to add upgrades to them on top of their base cost. But if you lower there cost to make room for upgrades you can pass a threshold so you can just spam the ship without any upgrades for pure efficiency.

This is actually an intriguing idea, IMO, but I doubt that is the direction FFG would go. I think it would solve the large base issue mostly, somewhat with ordinance carriers, but some others like the Interceptors might not work as well

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The idea is not new. Some others and me myself have discussed that already in back in spring.

While the argument about limited pips/dots not helping having 1 or 2 still undercosted ships in your squad is valid, introducing dots (while simultaneously have a +/- correct princing) would provide an elegant solution to unwanted problem lists like e.g. 4 Juke Phantoms and 4 Starvipers, where you than do not need to price the ship chassis or an upgrade up and subsequently often more or less completely out of the game (like Juke is now). Because the pricing out is likely happening again next week with the generic Starviper. It probably will go up, as there is a loud enough choir. But how often are you seeing 1 or 2 Starvipers? Seldomly, increasing their base will most probably kill them off for good.

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Posted (edited)

Would variable pricing by amount of the chassis in a squad be a solution? For example (just trying something a little crazy on for size here):

TIE/ln: A chassis that the devs have expressed is a good baseline of costing, so no changes here - no adjusted pricing on any pilot.

TIE/ph: Using just Sigma Squadron Ace because of the past difficulty of 4 double-tokened, crazy-maneuverable ships with Juke. Currently they are 48. But say it cost 46 to have only one in the squad. If two or more are in the same squad, then add 3 points to each one.

A squad of four currently costs 192, without upgrades.

With 49 for each, this becomes 196. THEN... Juke could be 4 points. One Sigma with Juke is 50, but two with Juke is 108, and three, 159.

And, thematically, I propose this makes at least a little sense. The Empire’s best engineers build one working stygium array. Vader says, “Good work! How soon can you provide me with a small fleet of these?” Now they have the costs of gathering more rare materials, building the machinery, and setting up a production line.

(Literally just trying to make numbers make sense with some kind of adjustable pricing without getting too complex.)

Edit: two phantoms with Juke math was wrong.

Edited by Synel

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