Aircraft carriers changes.

Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby Mycen » 11 Mar 2013, 17:20

A_vehicle wrote:EDIT: In addition, aircraft carriers should be faster. You can say battleships are slow because they have tons of armor. Aircraft carriers are slow because of... what? There is no reason for them to be slow. Even in real life, some of the fastest warships are aircraft carriers because they are gigantic, have little armor, and thus have alot of room for big engines.



Battleships are slow because they have tons or armor. Aircraft carriers are slow because of... the factories inside them that are capable of constructing planes from scratch in a fraction of the time as a dedicated structure with the same purpose? If you want your "real-life" example to be comparable, find me the top speed of an aircraft carrier that can build its own planes.

As carriers are set up in SupCom right now, there is not any reason for them to be fast. They are meant primarily to construct aircraft to replace losses for a fleet away from your base, with air staging functions included as a secondary role. They create a mobile forward airbase, in much the same way that a Fatboy is a mobile forward firebase. After all, Fatboys have air staging too, but I don't see anyone saying they should be able to keep up with the planes they service.

On the other hand... If carriers were able to construct planes as they move (or even better, perform air staging as they move, like a real carrier) then it would be very appropriate to give them a higher speed. As it stands now there isn't really any point, because they can't do anything while they are moving, so their ability to conduct the kind of maneuver warfare I think you have in mind is essentially zero regardless of their speed. (Unless you make them faster than sub hunters and destroyers, which would be stupid.)
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby FunkOff » 11 Mar 2013, 22:19

Carriers move plenty fast. Also, you seem to think that just because the carrier is a support unit that it should move faster than the direct combat units... where do you get this idea from?
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby A_vehicle » 12 Mar 2013, 03:44

Calm down dudz. The primary function of the carrier is NOT to build aircraft. That makes the air factory redundant.

Did you know that when supcom was first released, they couldn't build planes at all? Yeah, well I remember. I even remember when they added turret tracking radius so guns would track targets just outside of range and not waste time turning toward targets AFTER they had waltzed into range. And when they quitely patched Supcom, changing the Cybran T2 point defense's name from Cerebus to Cerberus. Please, don't call me silly, stupid, etc. because I've been playing supcom since you were knee high to a grass hopper. Unless you are someone like TAG_Rock or Ubergeek, I'm not that experienced or cool.

BTW, making all the guns slaved to a single target is just silly looking and wasteful. In addition, if you test it out yourself, you will see that when the carriers can multitask with their guns, they get more kills because they waste fewer shots. Especially the Aeon carrier, which has really nice missiles and junk. Besides, they don't have the most powerful guns anyway. They are air support support units.

As for factories making units heavier, that is completely arbitrary. The Czar and the Megalith can build more stuff and are faster. I am not saying supcom has to be like real life (if I was I would push for buffed crusiers and nerfed destroyers), I just want the amazing unit models in supcom to be useable in more game situations.

I guess I'm the only player who cries when his carrier is stuck a quarter of the way across Betrayal Ocean or Seton's Clutch and has to have his planes fly back and forth from it as if it was a big air staging platform and not Noah's Ark for airplanes. Or who sobs bitterly when he looks at the T3 naval factory's build menu at that bad-behind looking carrier that he knows has gone the way of the mass fab. Sad face. :(

I'm glad we understand each other now. No hard feelings please. I just want you to know that I am right, you know what I mean? ;)
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby FunkOff » 12 Mar 2013, 04:26

If there's a compelling reason why carriers should move faster, sure... but I don't see it. Carriers should be in a good place now, as fleet support against T3 and T4 aircraft... less effective than cruisers against TML and T1/T2 aircraft, but more effective against T3 and T4 aircraft, and being able to build planes in a pinch is good too.
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby Mycen » 13 Mar 2013, 18:28

A_vehicle wrote:I guess I'm the only player who cries when his carrier is stuck a quarter of the way across Betrayal Ocean or Seton's Clutch and has to have his planes fly back and forth from it as if it was a big air staging platform and not Noah's Ark for airplanes.


Well clearly you haven't been reading the threads about fixing ASFs, or you would know that we're not allowed to talk about balancing units based on any maps other than setons bigger than 20x20, since any games on those are "anecdotal" at best. :roll:

More seriously though, "Noah's Ark for airplanes"? What do you mean by that?


As for factories making units heavier, that is completely arbitrary. The Czar and the Megalith can build more stuff and are faster. I am not saying supcom has to be like real life (if I was I would push for buffed crusiers and nerfed destroyers), I just want the amazing unit models in supcom to be useable in more game situations.


Hey man, you're the one who wanted an explanation for why SupCom carriers are not equivalent to real-life carriers - Not a "lot of room for big engines" with all that factory equipment. It's hardly arbitrary either, notice that the units you provide as counterexamples are both an entirely different barrel of fish than aircraft carriers. (One is a gigantic flying saucer, and the other doesn't even have the production facilities stored internally, it builds them externally as needed.) I certainly agree that the carrier could be as fast as a battleship just to keep fleets easier to maneuver as a whole, but that's minor. The same top speed as a destroyer or cruiser? No way.

I would love to see aircraft carriers used more often too. Just like I would love to see the Yolona Oss and the Mavor used more often. Does that mean I think they should have their roles and prices dramatically altered? No. Look at what happened when SCUs were rebalanced! Now any game on a large map (again, 20x20s are not large maps) has players running around with a hundred SCUs because they're so cheap and effective. My philosophy is that if you want carriers to be used more often, play more games where it isn't easier and faster to just fly back to your land base and send planes from your land-based air factories. If the proposed changes we're seeing about fuel time for ASFs go into effect, we'll probably see a big spike in carrier popularity anyway...


FunkOff wrote:Carriers should be in a good place now, as fleet support against T3 and T4 aircraft... less effective than cruisers against TML and T1/T2 aircraft, but more effective against T3 and T4 aircraft, and being able to build planes in a pinch is good too.


I'm confused. If the primary role of aircraft carriers is to shoot down high-tier aircraft, then why are they called aircraft carriers? Why do they have an air staging symbol as their icon? Surely their primary role should be to provide support for a naval fleet's air fleet, not go around hunting Soul Rippers? After all, if you're thinking of T3 air as disposable units, isn't it necessary to be able to quickly replenish them? And if you're not thinking of them as disposable units, isn't it important to have a convenient place for them to repair/refuel? Am I the only one who thinks it would be stupid to see fleets that include large numbers of carriers solely to shoot down enemy jets, when there aren't even any friendly planes for them to be supporting?


Make the AA they have maximally efficient? Sure. Give they Cybran carrier flak so it's not totally helpless? Why not? But I don't think we should be rebalancing them in such a way as to encourage their use independently of aircraft, otherwise they're just big Cybran cruisers.
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby Wakke » 13 Mar 2013, 20:13

Mycen wrote:Make the AA they have maximally efficient? Sure. Give they Cybran carrier flak so it's not totally helpless? Why not? But I don't think we should be rebalancing them in such a way as to encourage their use independently of aircraft, otherwise they're just big Cybran cruisers.


I agree with that. As I stated in the beginning of this thread:

Wakke wrote:I think carriers should be effective not by their combat abilities, but by their airstaging capabilities.


We have to be careful not to blindly buff everything purely based on their combat value (see also SACU's, these should not be treated like pure combat units).
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby FunkOff » 13 Mar 2013, 21:51

Mycen wrote:
A_vehicle wrote:I'm confused. If the primary role of aircraft carriers is to shoot down high-tier aircraft, then why are they called aircraft carriers? Why do they have an air staging symbol as their icon? Surely their primary role should be to provide support for a naval fleet's air fleet, not go around hunting Soul Rippers?


I don't disagree with your appeal to realism (that the primary purpose of aircraft carriers should be to carry aircraft) but you should consider that aircraft carriers are, in real life, a strategic weapon. The scale of FA simply doesn't value aircraft carriers because aircraft can (and, due to time constraints, must) fly across the largest maps in minutes if not seconds: The ability of the aircraft carrier is that it allows planes to launch minutes from their target instead of days or weeks.

There simply is no equivalent need in FA.

However, I wouldn't be against carriers (or, for that matter, air staging facilities) providing some kind of buff to planes docked within or upon them. Right now, air staging facilities and carriers aren't used because there's no value in aircraft interactions with them, and they aren't useful for anything else.
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby JaguarX57 » 14 Mar 2013, 00:40

Give they Cybran carrier flak so it's not totally helpless? Why not?

+1 this,
cybran fleet is out matched in terms of AA late game
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Re: Aircraft carriers changes.

Postby Mycen » 19 Mar 2013, 05:53

FunkOff wrote:I don't disagree with your appeal to realism (that the primary purpose of aircraft carriers should be to carry aircraft) but you should consider that aircraft carriers are, in real life, a strategic weapon. The scale of FA simply doesn't value aircraft carriers because aircraft can (and, due to time constraints, must) fly across the largest maps in minutes if not seconds: The ability of the aircraft carrier is that it allows planes to launch minutes from their target instead of days or weeks.

There simply is no equivalent need in FA.


It's not an appeal to realism, it's an appeal to nomenclature. They are called aircraft carriers, therefore their primary role should be related to carrying aircraft. We do not say that Cybrans have T2 aircraft carriers because the primary role of the Siren is not to service aircraft.


As for there being no need for staging facilities - sort of true. You're right that planes (especially T3) can reach any point on a map without the need for a staging facility. However, on large maps (again, 20x20 is not large) it can take several minutes to get from one side of the map to another. The planes will be vulnerable to interception as they are detected, and if they are being used in combat for more than a few minutes or so they will eventually need to land and repair. Even if you win the engagement your opponent can send reinforcement planes right from his base, while yours have to fly three or four times as far, and if you've retreated all the way to your base you've just given up all the ground you captured with that air battle. This is even more pronounced when one considers the changes to aircraft that are being discussed. If large groups of T1 interceptors become a viable defense against T3 air, then aircraft carriers will become much more important. Not only will they be able to refuel the much shorter-ranged interceptors, but they will also be able to quickly and easily replace losses of these fragile aircraft - which brings me to my next point....

You say that there is no equivalent need for a forward aircraft launch point in SupCom, but this is not exactly true. In SupCom planes are relatively disposable - one does not typically plan an attack with minimizing their own losses as a primary concern, but rather with maximizing the damage to their opponent, especially true if one is going for a strike against an ACU, SMD, or enemy strategic weapon (Paragon, Mavor, etc.). With this in mind, if carriers were able to construct planes on the move they could act in a similar, but more flexible, capacity as strategic missile subs: approach an enemy base while amassing a large number of strike aircraft in the safety of an accompanying fleet, and unleash them en masse to cause immediate damage. Even if the strike force is completely destroyed, even as few as three or four carriers could build a new one quickly and easily to do the same thing.

Without the ability to detect a large group of aircraft on radar ahead of time (even if they know the carrier is there, they don't know if you've built anything on it) your opponent would have a hard time positioning their air fleet to intercept, because, as you pointed out, you could always rebuild your planes at your home base and launch them from there instead.



Basically, I just think that, rather than focusing on carriers as an anti-air weapon - retasking them, essentially - we should focus on figuring out a way to allow them to construct airplanes as they move. (I'm assuming that allowing them to dock airplanes on the move isn't really within the scope of the game's coding.) I've seen some discussion of how that could work in this thread, and I think it's the first avenue we should explore before looking at other roles they can play instead of being what they're called.
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