Dreadnought Module Balance

Posted: //
June 7, 2017, 1:53 p.m.

Updated //
June 7, 2017, 2:40 p.m.

I've played this game for a while now and had a lot of time and experience testing different classes, with different loadouts and modules, and here are a few notes I have about Dreadnought modules in general (mostly relevant to the T4-5 range when all modules are unlocked). Also I don't know how to tab paragraphs in this thing or bold or anything like that so sorry for the monotony.

The only issues I find here are Scattergun Broadsides; they're pretty much useless. I tried them with several builds and wanted so much to make them work, but they just don't. They take too long to fire, offsetting most of the difference in cooldown between them and Ballistic Broadsides, plus their insanely limited range means they almost never have a chance to be fired at all. Additionally, they're far less potent against Corvettes than Plasma Broadsides. I'd up the range to 1200 meters and make them fire faster, to make them the real close range DPS option.

Light Missiles- They're pretty much the only relevant secondary for Dreadnoughts, and I've tried them all. Their balance between range, speed, damage, and cooldown makes all other options irrelevant, as each other option has some glaring issue. Vultures never hit anything because they're so slow, the torpedoes take so long to launch and track so poorly that they, too, never hit anything, and Flechettes take 10 seconds to fire off for some reason, which is absurdly long for a missile system intended for close range and rapid flight time. Light missiles fire fairly quickly, deal good damage, track very well, have good range, and have a low cooldown. I would make Dreadnought torpedoes deploy a bit faster and track a bit better, Flechettes should take at most 6 seconds to fire all missiles (Light Missiles should take longer than Flechettes is the main point), and Vultures should track a bit better, especially when they get close to the target. I tried to make the other options work on my Lorica but Light Missiles seem to be the only one that actually hits things with any reliability.

Triad Pods- They do nothing. Make them do something. They're flashy but completely ineffective.

I have no issues here- each option is useful to the right build(s) and none really overshadow the others.

Assault Thrusters- I like them and they can be useful but the second your ship nicks anything they turn off, plus you almost completely lose the ability to turn when using them and are stuck flying forward (you actually can't stop without disabling the boost first). Warp Jump is almost always better for getting place to place, especially at T4 when you can jump straight to any target within 5km, regardless of where your ship is facing. Manoeuvrability should be a bit better while using this, and it shouldn't be so sensitive to contact in how it turns itself off.

Endurance mode- I don't honestly know why it exists. If, when you activated it, you remained at the same percentage health as you already were at, then I'd be on board, but as is it's pretty useless given the nature of DPS battles. If you're being healed faster than you're taking damage, you don't need the extra max health, and if you're taking damage faster than you're being healed, you'll never get to use that max health anyway. It's pretty much just wasted space when you consider how useful the other internals are.

ARMOUR AMPLIFIER- This is my favourite Dreadnought module in the game, but for some reason it gets considerably worse as you upgrade it. I still use the T3 version on my Lorica, and if I could use the T2, I would. The cut in duration as you rank up is WAY to significant, especially when you consider that the cooldown only drops by 10 seconds from rank 2 to 5. In a prolonged battle, assuming consistent damage over time and you have Armour Amplifier up as frequently as possible, here's the math:

Rank 2: 80% reduction for 15 seconds on a 35 second cooldown. Net reduction of 24%. (As an added bonus, you are able to recharge most of your energy while the module is active such that you can shield when it goes down, thereby further increasing your damage absorption.)
Rank 3: 85% reduction for 12.5 seconds on a 33 second cooldown. Net reduction of 23.3%.
Rank 4: 90% reduction for 10 seconds on a 30 second cooldown. Net reduction of 22.5% (At this point you don't have time to charge you shields much over the duration of the module, meaning you will take much more damage after it wears off if you didn't already have energy banked.)
Rank 5: 99% reduction for 5 seconds on a 25 second cooldown. Net reduction of 16.5%. (Over 5 seconds you can barely charge any energy, so the rank 5 armour amp offers no time to regain shields.)
(This is my math btw I just put it in this box to make it stand out)

So basically, not only does the net absorption drop, especially at rank 5, but you also have no time to regen energy. The way I use Armour Amplifier is this: I use shields until I'm just about out of energy, then activate the module and drop shields. Over the duration (at rank 3 on the Lorica), I regain most of my energy over the 12.5 second duration. Once that wears off, I reactivate my shields. If I upgrade to rank 4, my ability to regen energy is cut a bit (down 2.5 seconds), so I'll take more damage than I would if I stuck with rank 3. At rank 5, I can't really regen anything so if I'm not out of trouble by the time the module wears off, I'm boned.

My main point is this: Dreadnoughts are usually employed to tank damage for the team over as long a time as they possibly can. This means that 15 seconds of 80% reduction is far more useful than 5 seconds of 99% reduction, both for yourself and the team, as it allows you to soak up damage for a longer time and keep enemy fire focused on you. With 99% reduction, a smart enemy will just retarget to someone else because they're doing nothing shooting at you, putting your teammates in more danger. Plus the duration is so low that you'll likely have to duck for cover when it wears off as you won't have shields, further reducing your tanking effectiveness.

I would keep the duration across all levels locked in at somewhere from 10 to 12.5 seconds, and scale absorption from 75-80% at rank 2 to 85-90% at rank 5, while maintaining the current cooldown scaling. I think this is a good way to give the rank 2 module the slight nerf I think it could use, and to make the rank 5 version actually superior.

Anyway, those are all of my balancing notes on Dreadnought Modules. Thanks for reading and let me know if you agree.

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Posted: //
June 7, 2017, 4:09 p.m.

I'm sure I read in a blog post they are looking at armor amp, and are going to make it more viable in higher levels.

As for the missiles. Yeah Vulchers almost always miss. Given there ranger you would think they would always hit something.

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Posted: //
June 7, 2017, 7:33 p.m.

I agree with you, I just hope the developers see it!- I have never seen them comment on any post or feedback we make after the second or third day of a patch.

Scattergun broadsides, and ballistic broadsides kind of fall into the same category of insanity. These are for builds where you have to get very very close to your target to use and well one could argue that they are to be used on those wonderful flys that we call vets. Frankly if I am getting that close to you on my Dreadnought there is something wrong.
Triad pods need to do more damage and be harder to kill.

You are right on about Internal modules for dreadnoughts. I think someone at graybox is trying to justify 99% damage reduction ( Why not just go with 100%?) and the trade-off they can come up with is well we will make it just last longer Joy! I am sorry but to be frank the trade off for getting the next module should not be that it works less effectively then the previous one.


Posted: //
June 8, 2017, 5:10 a.m.

I think replacing Triad Pods with the Artillery Pod would make much more sense for a Dreadnought. More long range pew pew.

Excellent post again LMS! I heartily agree.

Also great game last night. I was healing you for a bit and I think you ended up 14-1-7 or something? That's great as a Dread (Gravis/Lorica?) for such a short game.

Posted: //
June 8, 2017, 9:20 a.m.

Greatheart#0108 posted (#post-123833)

I think replacing Triad Pods with the Artillery Pod would make much more sense for a Dreadnought. More long range pew pew.

Excellent post again LMS! I heartily agree.

Also great game last night. I was healing you for a bit and I think you ended up 14-1-7 or something? That's great as a Dread (Gravis/Lorica?) for such a short game.

Thanks! And I think Triad Pods are fine fit in concept, they just aren't good at the moment. Dreadnoughts aren't meant for long range, plus they already have Vulture Missiles for that. You don't want to add enough long range ability to Dreadnoughts to make the competitive with Destroyers or even Artillery Cruisers. Triad Pods are meant to be an area-control DPS option, which is perfect for a Dread as they have no similar Secondary module, but they do no DPS and therefore can't help control an area.

Also thanks for the healing lol- I can work wonders in my Lorica if I have a good healer on my back xD In case you're interested my normal build is Plasma Broadside, Light Missiles, Stasis Pulse (though I often switch that one around), and Armour Amp (rank III), with Module Recycler, Module Amp, Nav 101, Eng 101. Basically an in-your-face spam-modules-to-heck build (I still enjoy that he11 is censored xD).

Again, thanks for the feedback! I put in a lot of time on the forums so it's nice to see that some people find my posts worthwhile.

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