Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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I've been doing some testing of the new ground combat for Season 4 and created some Foundry missions to fight different NPC groups. Based on what I'm seeing there compared to my experience in the episodes/explores, the Foundry enemies are MUCH more difficult to fight on higher difficulties. I haven't really played much ground combat on normal difficulty, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Foundry NPCs are harder there too/

I figured that it might be worth posting here, in case any Foundry authors are interested in helping to test the balance of the Foundry mobs. It would be a benefit to the Foundry if we could get the enemy balance right before S4 goes live.

I created some ground missions which allow you to spawn different enemy types for easy comparison:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...61#post3621661
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
07-03-2011, 07:36 PM
Thanks Nagorak, we've all been wondering how this will effect gameplay in Foundry missions. I'm curious, how many people routinely play foundry missions on advanced or elite?
Lt. Commander
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# 3
07-04-2011, 07:23 AM
there are a couple of factors

from what i understand low level mobs have been made easier so you can breeze past them, but higher levels mobs are a bit trickier and require some thought.

now foundry missions always scale up to your level, unlike much of the game which still does not.

that means that the harder level mobs should be tougher. whether that has made them OP on advanced or elite? i dont know yet, but i suspect the same would be true on the star cluster missions that also scale up to your level.

some high level mobs are hard as its is (nausicaans anyone) so i can see them being even tougher now.
Lt. Commander
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# 4
07-04-2011, 07:48 AM
I've been using Nagorak's test missions on Tribble, and I have to agree - there seems to be something different about Foundry enemies than ones in normal level matching missions. I've been jumping back and forth between the Orion test and Stranded in Space. They have the same health, but definitely not the same damage output. They're on the order of twice the damage output, even on normal foundry ground enemies are doing equal to better damage to advanced enemies in most missions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 5
07-04-2011, 12:17 PM
I've been testing on Normal difficulty... Seemed just fine to me in missions I'm very familiar with... the Dahar Master went down failrly fast and hasn't killed me yet... Haven't found anything "over-powered" at all...
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# 6
07-04-2011, 05:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon_BlownApart
I've been testing on Normal difficulty... Seemed just fine to me in missions I'm very familiar with... the Dahar Master went down failrly fast and hasn't killed me yet... Haven't found anything "over-powered" at all...
Well, on normal it's probably not a problem (even if the enemies are tougher, they're easy enough on normal that they'll still be easy enough to kill). It's when you scale the difficulty up to Advanced and Elite where you see the issues.

This was the case with the previous Foundry mobs as well (current Holodeck version). Everything's fine on normal, but when you set to Elite all of a sudden you're getting hit for a thousand points of damage from Gorn with Blast Assaults, etc.

Basically when playing on Advanced and Elite on Tribble, right now the Foundry mobs aren't in-line with others in the game. If you play an explore mission and fight Romulans, then go into a Foundry mission and fight the same exact group, you'll find they are much harder. Since the enemies are already a decent challenge on elite in explores, that means in the Foundry some are almost impossible to defeat.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 7
07-04-2011, 07:36 PM
ok... seeing as advanced and elite settings have never scaled correctly for all the different mob types... this is no big surprise to me... I would have hoped, of course, that the issue would be properly addressed...

As a foundry author it has always been a difficult decision on scaling enemy numbers for mission difficulty...

Previously I avoided the obviously broken mob types as much as possible and had consistent results. Some demented individuals have played my missions on elite and reported as having "an awesome time". I'm hoping this will remain the case... but I'm aware that some re-balancing of missions "may" be necessary.

Also the issue of scale comes to mind in this way... a mission played at Captain 1 and played again at Captain 10 will seem more difficult the first time... as the players position within the rank changes relative to the enemies...

Thus when we play Foundry missions at VA1 the enemies seem difficult because we are at the bottom of the scale of VA. If we were VA 10 level the same foundry mission would be much easier because our relative position of rank is improved. Thus the problem becomes that the level Cap is at the bottom of the Rank and not the Top.

This is what the problem is I think... and the change in difficulty level makes this disparity even larger...

When I level toons I always do explorations for that rank first, patrols second and story missions last... for the same reason... the story missions are much easier when you have advanced within your rank because the enemies strength in the missions is of a rank level - where as explore missions match to your specific level within your rank.

So the question is: are Foundry mission enemies based on the rank or the specific level of the player? Your analysis would suggest that Foundry mission enemies are based on the rank and not the numerical level of the player - and thus explain why the disparity of advance and elite difficulties are more pronounced.

I hope I've been clear enough on this and perhaps more experimental data would bear this out... We would need to test missions at minimal and max levels within the Various ranks to determine the relationship... and whether this is really the case or not. Testing with VA1's becomes useless for this purpose... as we cannot test the top of the rank for enemy numbers...
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 8
07-06-2011, 09:15 AM
I don't think it's a rank issue, because if it did it would work the same between Foundry missions and other level matching content like featured/remastered episodes.

Tested a bit this morning with Cardassians (mainly wanted to see their new uniforms STOked was talking about yesterday). Their plasma grenade was ticking for 75 in the foundry on normal, compared to under 30 in Skirmish. In both the Foundry and Skirmish I managed to get an interrogator all by myself away from my team. In the Foundry, he was putting 25-35 bleedthrough on shield hits, in Skirmish he was getting 7-15. I was easily able to take down the Skirmish interrogator with just my primary fire, but in the Foundry it took a hypo and my full kit to get him and I only managed that by playing ring around the pillar with him.


It actually seems to me like the Foundry did not update its enemy scaling a few builds back when enemies were doing too much damage on every setting and even ensigns were in oneshot range on elite.



Edit: Do you have a Devidian test posted? I'm interested in testing them because I've found they were one of the most dangerous enemies I've fought post-revamp, and that's only seeing them in their FE missions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
07-06-2011, 07:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
Edit: Do you have a Devidian test posted? I'm interested in testing them because I've found they were one of the most dangerous enemies I've fought post-revamp, and that's only seeing them in their FE missions.
I did post a Devidian test, so you should be able to test them. Search for Foundry Combat Test- Devidians. Note that due to the limit of 8 slots in the Foundry, some of these were posted by my friend, so if you search under my name you won't find them.

Edit: I just tried fighting the Devidians and the Captain group is extremely difficult to on Elite. All their attacks ignore shields now (was it like this before?) and the need to use consumables more often now means that you often don't have them available to clear their holds.

I fought the Devidians on Skirmish and they were decently balanced, but in the Foundry they are just insane (as are most Captain/Commander groups on the higher difficulties). Seems like the same issue as with any of the other mobs.
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-06-2011, 07:07 PM
Unfortunately, I'm afraid these concerns have fallen on deaf ears, because S4 is going live tonight, and no changes have been made, that I can see.

As soon as S4 is live, I plan to immediately put in a bug report and post one in the Foundry bugs forum. Hopefully that will draw attention to the need to address this issue.
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