Well, that’s just not true, since the Ratsender isn’t functioning at all. You can use the rats without even buying the sender, let alone equipping it. The intended functionality, as discussed upthread, is that the player has to buy and equip the sender as an auxiliary item to be able to use the rats to repair. This isn’t happening right now. You can just buy and use the rats.
Functionally, the Rattusses are health potions. That’s all they are. Poor rat souls that die for the hulls!
However, generally in most games health pots have scales to keep up with rising HP. If you’re playing WoW, the earliest health pots are useless when you get to higher levels and have a much larger pool of HP to heal. Right now, there’s no scaling with the rats, or more types of rats on offer that cost more but do more repair.
From a meta game perspective this makes the rats progressively less useful as the player gets better ships. They’re GREAT for the starter ship. 10 hull when your total is 75 is a HUGE percentage of your total Hull Points (specifically 13 percent). When you get to the frigate at 450 HP, 10 points of repair is worth a LOT less (2% repair). If you’re in the Dreadnought, it’s even worse at 1.6%.
The real problem comes in at relative cost here. Early on when echoes are sparse and you’re in the base steamer, 100e for 10 points of repair is a tough but fair trade for emergency repairs in the middle of combat with the weaker enemies. You’re still better served at disengaging and just using the supplies to repair however. The advantages are there, and the item is fairly useful for playing the game a bit more safely.
To play it safe in the frigate when you’re fighting, say, a Lifeberg that does 30 damage per hit, you’re going to be blowing through Rats and completely destroying your bank balance in the process for only minimal healing. Sure that extra 10 hull might come in handy as a last ditch save. But you’re talking about a really RARE occurrence here that most players are unlikely to ever see. More often than not the battle will be resolved before they blow a rat (with the player either winning or running away) and they’d be better served to go back to London and spend the same amount as they could on one more rat to get 100% repairs in the drydock, or blowing through some supplies if they’re really at a critical level. And if the sender was working properly this would be a huge problem because the player is sacrificing one of their 6 potential equipment slots to allow for this functionality.
When you only have six slots for equipment, every single potential item that can be slotted better be worth the player’s time.
What I’m suggesting does that. Moreover it makes the ratsender itself a functional device throughout the whole game rather than it being only useful right at the beginning if the player happens upon 700 echoes and invests in the sender and a few rats. It makes the highly circumstantial and mostly deadweight item much more useable and feasible and thus desirable. It makes it worth the player’s time.
Then make supply repairs work on a percentage basis as well. This would make more sense anyway. The whole idea there is that you’re burning through supplies to have the entire crew work on the ship, and feeding them during the process. Theoretically it’s sort of like raising the timescale as days pass while you sit at sea and just work on the ship (which is why it shouldn’t even be an option during combat at all in my opinion). The larger the ship, the larger the crew, and thus more repair should be possible. Hell, now that you mention it, this function should probably relate to the percentage of crew the player has on ship in some way, with the maximum amount of repair not attainable unless the max amount of crew is on board.
[quote=Dagmar]The Ratsender isn’t supposed to make your Frigate effectively invulnerable in combat but you’re proposed change would do exactly that with a ship being able to shrug off a Behemothstache’s hits every 3 seconds for as many Rattuses you’re willing to stock up on. It’s meant to be emergency insurance against death. It’s fine as it is. To the extent it might need some tweaking it doesn’t need something as radical as you’re suggesting.
edited by Dagmar on 2/24/2015
edited by Dagmar on 2/24/2015[/quote]
While I agree it shouldn’t make you effectively invulnerable, where you and I disagree is that it’s even useful right now in its current iteration (disregarding the bug that’s breaking the functionality). I don’t think it is - in general, but especially once the player gets to the Corvette or any ship after that in the progression. You think that the current amount is acceptable because of the in-battle functionality as a clinch save makes it valuable.
But I argue that the whole idea behind the item is for conservative players who want to maximize at least one element of safety - their hull. That is literally the only point of the item - to play it safe.
If it can’t do that because it repairs so little hull in the late game relative to the player’s total pool, then the item become nominally useful at best, completely useless at worst.
Now, 5% may be too high. Sure that’s actually less repair when in the starting ship than the rats currently do, but you’re right that on the later ships that will successfully negate a lot of attacks the player receives. So maybe it should be 3%. Or maybe it should be 4% but the player gains 1 terror every time they use it because the rats freak the crew out. Or maybe there can be later game ratsenders themselves that cause the rats repair to increase in value, so that the base sender lets the rats heal 10 points of hull, but an improved sender lets them heal 20, and some super secret quest in Nuncio will eventually result in a stream-lined super sender where the rats do 30.
I’m fine with other caveats being added to it to balance the item out, but right now, the items starts at an OK-ish amount of utility but quickly diminishes to almost nil as the player progresses.
Hell, I’d even add that in general, I don’t think a lot of the tougher zee beasts do enough damage right now. I just fought Behemoustache and it was only doing 16 damage on a charge. Considering the size of the thing, I’d expect it to be a lot more. A Lifeberg did 30 to me on it’s one hit, and that seems pretty low to me too considering how tough the later ships are.
Monster damage output is a whole other side of the balance equation though. I think the tougher foes should be doing a lot more than they currently are, but ALSO that the player should be capable of healing more. That would lead to a more interesting game, especially the late game. But of course, that’s just, like, my opinion.
edited by MisterGone on 2/24/2015
edited by MisterGone on 2/24/2015