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Author Topic: Targeting computer.  (Read 3864 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #60 on: 11 November 2022, 10:36:15 »
I want to go back, why was Monbovol comparing a Clan GR & TC to a IS GR w/ a pilot increase?  The Clan vs IS GR have a slightly different BV because 1 less exploding crit, right?
Colt Ward
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monbvol

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #61 on: 11 November 2022, 11:04:20 »
I want to go back, why was Monbovol comparing a Clan GR & TC to a IS GR w/ a pilot increase?  The Clan vs IS GR have a slightly different BV because 1 less exploding crit, right?

They have the exact same BV.

I suggested the IS version should have a lesser BV due to being one crit larger.

I did the comparison to illustrate a bit of a flaw in the BV system that makes the TComp a better BV investment than just a simple gunnery increase despite delivering the exact same game mechanical end results(when operated in the -1 to hit modifier mode) and by a margin that is not likely to be supported by the difference in win rates between the two designs.

Colt Ward

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #62 on: 11 November 2022, 11:09:40 »
The calc also neglects that the GR/TC uses more crits/weight that the improved gunner is going to find something to do with it.
Colt Ward
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"We come in peace, please ignore the bloodstains."

"Greetings, Mechwarrior. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Daoshen and the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces.

monbvol

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #63 on: 11 November 2022, 12:31:56 »
Okay this is going to come across a bit meaner than I really intend.

I already addressed that.  And more.  If you are really curious it is not that hard to go back and read what I have already wrote on the matter in this thread.

I am not against continuing such conversations but at this point they are now more about BV than TComps.  Which means different thread.

So yeah I think I have now contributed everything reasonably relevant I can to this thread.

OatsAndHall

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #64 on: 11 November 2022, 13:36:20 »
Battletech has always been a balancing act within the rules. For all intents and purposes, the developers have done a reasonable job of towing that line. There are times when it isn't perfect as has been pointed out when talking about TC versus gunnery BV. The trade off between the discrepancy is crit space taken up by TCs, relative to the number of weapons it controls. IMO, it'd be more lopsided if a TC cost as much BV as a one point gunnery bump but didn't chew up the crit space as you'd have mechs with a ridiculous number of weapons attached to the TC. Honestly, gunnery would matter far less as most folks would take mechs with TCs.

Retry

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #65 on: 12 November 2022, 04:11:04 »
I don't understand how this is a problem, unless BV isn't being used to help balance out games.
IME, in practice BV undervalues to-hit mod bonuses and overvalues to-hit mod penalties.  Mounting inherently accurate weapons like Pulse Lasers (especially Clan type) has much greater impact than BV would indicate, especially when you compare them to less-accurate-than-average weapons like Heavy Lasers.  That's because the original weapon BV calculations make the assumption that they have a to-hit number of 4 at short range.  If that were actually the case, sure, the Pulse Laser's -2 bonus would not be nearly as impressive, but typical table THNs are way higher and thus more heavily impacted by "small" accuracy changes.

Although that's still at least an attempt to account for the effects in BV balancing.  It's still a better situation than not accounting for an attribute at all, such as the case for UAC/RAC jam chances, or weapons with alternative ammunition types in general..

OatsAndHall

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #66 on: 14 November 2022, 10:55:55 »
I s'pose some of this comes down to working games in with certain tech level restrictions. We toss in IS-only tech games across multiple eras consistently. Those players that have become reliant on Clan tech (especially pulse lasers and TCs..) are forced to work outside of their comfort zone which is good for everyone involved. Doing this opened my game play up to thing like the intricacies of indirect fire: SG, TAG, NARC, vehicle spotters, etc..

And, honestly, those of us that have expanded our game play beat the hell out of those few players that are stuck in Clan-tech mode.

theagent

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #67 on: 16 November 2022, 19:18:39 »
IME, in practice BV undervalues to-hit mod bonuses and overvalues to-hit mod penalties.  Mounting inherently accurate weapons like Pulse Lasers (especially Clan type) has much greater impact than BV would indicate, especially when you compare them to less-accurate-than-average weapons like Heavy Lasers.  That's because the original weapon BV calculations make the assumption that they have a to-hit number of 4 at short range.  If that were actually the case, sure, the Pulse Laser's -2 bonus would not be nearly as impressive, but typical table THNs are way higher and thus more heavily impacted by "small" accuracy changes.

Although that's still at least an attempt to account for the effects in BV balancing.  It's still a better situation than not accounting for an attribute at all, such as the case for UAC/RAC jam chances, or weapons with alternative ammunition types in general..

You're talking about situational scenarios, however.  Is that 10+ you need to hit the Dire Wolf because you have a Green pilot...because you're firing at Medium Range after you Ran & it had a TMM 2...or because you took a shot at Long Range through a couple of stands of Woods when it failed to generate a TMM? 

Remember that weapon BVs are not just calculated based on a TN of 4+ to hit a target (assuming a Regular pilot with Gunnery 4), but are calculated with a modifier (x1.5 for energy, x1.2 for ballistic & missile weapons, with cluster weapons assumed to roll a 7 on the Cluster Hits Table for their average damage) and based on the total average damage they do (each hex being calculated separately, & the totals added together); the idea being that the pilot stood still to aim, & the target moved but less than 60m in that turn (2 hexes = 0 TMM).  Let's say we decide that weapon BV should be calculated instead on the "realistic" TN of 8+, & let's compare the Medium Laser to the IS Medium Pulse Laser.  Book BV are 46 & 48 apiece.  The ML reaches out to 9 hexes max, the MPL to 6 hexes.  Using the free Custom Weapon BV calculator on the HeavyMetal Pro website (https://www.heavymetalpro.com/bv_calc.htm), we can verify the book calculations for each weapon's BV.  To simulate a higher base TN for weapon BV calculation, we'll change the "To-Hit Modifier" for the ML to +4...giving us a new BV of only 14.  The MPL is recalculated using a +2 modifier (to reflect its -2 mod compared to the ML), giving it a modified BV of 24.  Sure, the margin is now bigger between the two (MPL having 10 more BV points to the ML, vs. the original 2 points), & the percentage difference is also much higher (goes from a +4% to a +71% increase)...but the base values have dropped drastically.

Consider, for example, what this does to the old standby scout 'Mech, STG-3R Stinger.  Not only is the ML's BV drastically dropped, but each MG's BV drops from 5 to 1.  ..& the MG ammo will have 0 BV.  Defensive BV calculations are the same, but the Offensive BV drops drastically:  base OBV drops from 77 to 36, modified OBV drops from  145.53 to 68.04...& final BV drops from 359.38 to 281.89.  Final rounded BVs mean the book BV of 359 has dropped to 282...a change of -77 (or 21.44% drop).  Congratulations, you made the already low-powered Stinger look even less powerful.

You want a more extreme example?  Consider the Hellstar 2.  Base BV for a Clan ER PPC drops from 412 to 117; even using a TC (like this model does) can't offset that drastic drop in offensive firepower.  Base OBV drops from 2,155 to 680, & final OBV drops from 2,413.60 to 761.6...so its impressive BV of 3,545 drops down to a less spectacular 1,893.

Note that this is completely affecting only the offensive portions of the BV calculation...which have already been revised & massaged by FASA & CGL over the years to balance them out as much as possible.  Changing weapon BV calculations affects unit BV calculations.  It places excessive reliance on the defensive calculations (which for the most part are designed around "how much damage can it take before it goes boom?"), & cripples the effectiveness of weapon selection.

Another thing I noticed is that, the longer the range of the weapon, the greater the reduction in weapon BV if you assume a higher base TN in the BV calculation, especially if the weapon has a minimum range.  The ML change was roughly 3.2:1; the Clan ER PPC was 3.52:1.  IS standard PPC drops from 176 to 44 (ratio of 4:1).  An LRM-20 would drop from 181 to 36...that's a ratio of 5.03:1 (& guarantees that it assumes any shot closer than 3 hexes with an LRM will always miss, no matter what).  And note that it also reduces the effectiveness of the Targeting Computer; if you reduce the base BV on a weapon, that means the +25% boost from a TC is going to also drop (as noted for the Hellstar 2).

So I think trying to adjust weapon BV calculations is a dead end in this particular instance, & just opens up a huge #10 can of worms.

theagent

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #68 on: 16 November 2022, 19:49:20 »
They have the exact same BV.

I suggested the IS version should have a lesser BV due to being one crit larger.

I did the comparison to illustrate a bit of a flaw in the BV system that makes the TComp a better BV investment than just a simple gunnery increase despite delivering the exact same game mechanical end results(when operated in the -1 to hit modifier mode) and by a margin that is not likely to be supported by the difference in win rates between the two designs.

The difference is that the TC doesn't affect every weapon -- no benefit for missile launchers, for example, or for HAGs.  A Gunnery skill improvement, however, improves every weapon on the unit across the board.  More importantly, especially from a campaign perspective, a TC only benefits the unit it's mounted in (& transferring it to another unit can not only be a major maintenance evolution, but also requires careful planning & calculation), but a better-skilled pilot can use his advantage in whatever unit he happens to be piloting at the moment.

Adjusting BV for tonnage and/or slots doesn't make a whole lot of sense, when a difference in tonnage/slots (particularly for comparing IS vs. Clan equipment) already provides a benefit.  Clan tech is lighter & less space-intensive, so you can fit more of it into a design; giving it an additional BV boost because it's lighter & more compact just exacerbates it.  Take the ANH-5W Annihilator:  if it didn't mount 4 Clan GR, it literally cannot fit in the CASE II or the 4 C-MPLs, & only gets 5 tons of ammo instead of 8...& that was with not using any Endo Steel (-5W apparently uses Clan ES) & using an IS XL Engine to save on the weight.  In fact, a purely IS version of the -5W is not only 5 million C-Bills more expensive (thanks to that XL engine), but the BV drops from 2595 to 2004 (the mixed-tech version having 29% higher BV thanks to mixing Clantech into the design).  Further penalizing the IS tech (or giving more benefits to Clantech) seems a bit biased.

Suboptimal

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #69 on: 20 November 2022, 12:27:00 »
So I think trying to adjust weapon BV calculations is a dead end in this particular instance, & just opens up a huge #10 can of worms.
If, hypothetically, you wanted to do that, you should just multiply OBV by a correction factor so that it's still on the same scale as DBV. Then the rest of that pretty much evaporates.

Retry

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #70 on: 21 November 2022, 22:59:03 »
As Suboptimal says, one would naturally need a correction factor in addition to the THN Refactoring so you get to the same scale..  As a quick-and-dirty example, current ML is 46 BV and with raw modifiers becomes 14, so multiply the numbers by 46/14 and call it the "Medium Laser Adjustment Factor".  So the ML is still 46 BV, cERPPC is fairly close to its original value at 384, and so on.

Since it's essentially changing the short/medium/long range bracket multipliers with another smaller one, the correcting factor could be made more accurate than using the Medium Laser differences as a rough guide, but I'm too lazy to bother.

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(& guarantees that [LRMs] assumes any shot closer than 3 hexes with an LRM will always miss, no matter what)

Any particular reason why this, specifically, is a problem?  Their huge minimum range effectively makes shots at ranges 1 & 2 even more difficult than making shots at maximum range.  IS Missile Boats tend to have backup short-ranged weapons for a good reason.

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And note that it also reduces the effectiveness of the Targeting Computer; if you reduce the base BV on a weapon, that means the +25% boost from a TC is going to also drop
I don't follow.  Not only does this not presume the use of a correction factor, but it presumes in absence of a correction factor such that Offensive BV takes a steep dive off a cliff, this somehow penalizes Battlemechs that utilize TCs.  But the opposite would be the case for BV balanced games: Since the effect of the is effectively the same but the BV factor it modifies is smaller, its "BV Effectiveness" increases and it would become better / effectively undervalued relative to its actual worth.

As an analogy, a piece of equipment that does literally nothing but raise the BV by 1000 would be a massive nerf to the carrying Battlemech, and would never be taken or used, while one that forced all shots to hit without adjusting BV in any way would become effectively mandatory and clearly overpowered equipment.

DevianID

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #71 on: 22 November 2022, 00:49:01 »
As a point of order on the suggested 'math'.  Setting the base target value at 8 instead of 4 makes no sense.  The '8' in question is factoring in either: target TMM (handled in the defensive portion, so no relevant) player movement (handled elsewhere in offensive multipliers, so not relevant) or cover (woods are not on every map, and can be destroyed as a core rule).  So assuming an 8 to hit means that, when mechs DO stand still in the open and blast each other, your '14' BV laser will actually be worth 46 per the normal calculation, but you messed up all the rest of the battle values by making raw firepower super duper cheap thus making armor/defense way more expensive then just tripling your damage.  AKA if a hellstar is only 18xx and a stinger under this idea is 282, thats 6-7 to one.  The current multipler is 10 to 1.  So your making the hellstar a better value, under a base 8 system versus the base 4, which is the WRONG direction, and it does not address for gunnery and tcomp either.

Thus, this still doesnt fix the actual problem here, which is that the pulse laser bonus is DIFFERENT then the other accuracy bonus mechanics.  Earlier in the thread I outlined this, but regardless to fix the issue you simply have to adjust the numbers so gunner skill just barely > pulse bonus which is just barely > specialized equipment like AES and tcomps (specialized equipment that can be destroyed to remove the accuracy bonus should be the cheapest option).  Currently its gunnery skill is 2x more then targeting comps/AES/ect which is 2x more then pulse bonus (so inherent pulse accuracy bonus, which the weapon cant lose, is much cheaper and also more resilient then specialized equipment.)

My solution was gunnery goes down to 1.15 multipliers instead of 1.2, and pulse weapons take a +25% BV increase, and we leave specialized equipment and it's 1.25 weapon modifier alone.  The end result makes all accuracy cost close to the same, but universal accuracy from gunnery skill is a tiny bit more then inherent accuracy of pulse, and equipment dependent accuracy is the cheapest like it should be.  This fixes most of the math in a pleasing way.

Suboptimal

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #72 on: 23 November 2022, 11:48:34 »
The '8' in question is factoring in either: target TMM (handled in the defensive portion, so no relevant) player movement (handled elsewhere in offensive multipliers, so not relevant) or cover (woods are not on every map, and can be destroyed as a core rule).
It's not factoring those in so much as moving the calculation to a more realistic part of the probability curve.
So assuming an 8 to hit means that, when mechs DO stand still in the open and blast each other, your '14' BV laser will actually be worth 46 per the normal calculation, but you messed up all the rest of the battle values by making raw firepower super duper cheap thus making armor/defense way more expensive then just tripling your damage.
A correction factor would fix this. It would put OBVs back on their previous scale and as comparable as they ever were to DBVs.
AKA if a hellstar is only 18xx and a stinger under this idea is 282, thats 6-7 to one.  The current multipler is 10 to 1.  So your making the hellstar a better value, under a base 8 system versus the base 4, which is the WRONG direction, and it does not address for gunnery and tcomp either.
Expanding on the sketched idea, one would presumably address gunnery and TC by finding new factors that are appropriate based on the new weapon BV calculation. Estimating based on the cLPL and ML, a TC might be anywhere from, say, 30% to 50% instead of 25%.

theagent

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Re: Targeting computer.
« Reply #73 on: 23 November 2022, 21:11:41 »
As Suboptimal says, one would naturally need a correction factor in addition to the THN Refactoring so you get to the same scale..  As a quick-and-dirty example, current ML is 46 BV and with raw modifiers becomes 14, so multiply the numbers by 46/14 and call it the "Medium Laser Adjustment Factor".  So the ML is still 46 BV, cERPPC is fairly close to its original value at 384, and so on.

Since it's essentially changing the short/medium/long range bracket multipliers with another smaller one, the correcting factor could be made more accurate than using the Medium Laser differences as a rough guide, but I'm too lazy to bother.

Mainly because there is no "fixed" multiplier that works.  Picking a 46/14 multiplier based on the IS ML's apparent ratio, for example, turns the IS MPL into a BV 79 weapon (its apparent ratio is 48/24, or 2:1).  There are no other examples of "flexible" multipliers in the BV calculation, as every other number is cut-and-dried (speed multipliers being based on the actual speed factor, armor multipliers being based on the type of armor & not whether a particular location can even stop a SL, etc.).  Picking an arbitrary multiplier when there's no need to even resort to an adjustment with a modifier in the first place unnecessarily complicates the calculations for custom designs...& just imagine what that will do to the calculations of the stock designs.

The main thing to remember is that the weapon BV calculations are assuming target practice:  a Regular (Gunnery 4) pilot in a unit that is not moving (but not immobile) shooting at a target that is not currently moving (but again not immobile).  Basically, 2 pilots standing still & just trying to "stand & deliver" each other until one of the 'Mechs is dead.  No fancy movement, no use of terrain modifiers or atmospheric/gravitic conditions, just 2 'Mechs in flat open country squaring off like Old West gunslingers...only instead of seeing who's the fastest draw, it's seeing who can inflict the most damage faster at longer ranges.  The BV calculations already account for range modifiers -- less BV points accumulate for Medium & Long brackets vs. Short bracket, with Minimum Range also dropping the accumulation of BV points.  Note that's the only difference in BV calculations for Clan vs. IS LRM launchers:  aside from IS LRMs having a minimum range, they both have the same range brackets & same average damage...but that Minimum Range means a Clan LRM has more BV.

Quote from: Retry
Any particular reason why this, specifically, is a problem?  Their huge minimum range effectively makes shots at ranges 1 & 2 even more difficult than making shots at maximum range.  IS Missile Boats tend to have backup short-ranged weapons for a good reason.
I don't follow.  Not only does this not presume the use of a correction factor, but it presumes in absence of a correction factor such that Offensive BV takes a steep dive off a cliff, this somehow penalizes Battlemechs that utilize TCs.  But the opposite would be the case for BV balanced games: Since the effect of the is effectively the same but the BV factor it modifies is smaller, its "BV Effectiveness" increases and it would become better / effectively undervalued relative to its actual worth.

As an analogy, a piece of equipment that does literally nothing but raise the BV by 1000 would be a massive nerf to the carrying Battlemech, and would never be taken or used, while one that forced all shots to hit without adjusting BV in any way would become effectively mandatory and clearly overpowered equipment.

Because there are situations in which even a Green pilot can have a reasonably good chance of hitting a target from 1 or 2 hexes away with an IS LRM launcher.  Prone target that's immobilized (shutdown due to heat scale, pilot lost consciousness, quad 'Mech has all 4 legs destroyed, etc.) is a base modifier of -6 from the adjacent hex, -3 from 2 hexes away; a Green (Gunnery 6) pilot standing still (no mod) has a +5 (2 hexes) or +6 (1 hex) with Minimum Range, so from 2 hexes away they only need an 8+ to hit, & adjacent they only need 6+.

Remember, the calculation of an individual weapon's base BV is based on its average damage x % chance of getting a hit in each hex, totaling all hex amounts for Short/Medium/Long brackets.  If your calculation assumes base 8 for Short, & you apply more than a +4 mod for Minimum Range, there's zero chance to hit, & therefore 0 to add to its total BV... even though there are situations where you can hit from that range.

Sure, that's a very limited scenario that doesn't happen too often...but we aren't recalculating a unit's BV every time a scenario or mapsheet changes, are we?  We're not saying, "Oh, there's a lot of Heavy Woods on here, I should penalize my Gauss- and LRM-equipped units on their BV because they aren't going to be able to utilize their longer ranges effectively", & we certainly don't say, "let's boost the BV for our Medium Laser 'boats' since they're going to shine on this map".  We don't say, "oh, there's a lot of open terrain on this mapsheet, my short-ranged 'Mechs are going to need their BV nerfed since they'll get torn up by Gauss & LRM fire before they can close in".  Those are situational factors that change from session to session, & even then are also affected by player tactical decisions (stay in the open vs. running through the woods) & simple dumb luck (sometimes the dice roll high all day, sometimes they roll low).

And, no, the TC effectiveness will drop off.  Depending on how you do the calculation (separate for the TC or modifying each weapon's BV), the TC modifier is applied to the base weapon BV for each weapon.  If you reduce the weapon's base BV, the TC mod also drops...& if the actual divisor for the weapon's BV reduction is more than 3, then you just cut the TC's bonus as well.  IS PPC's base BV is 176 (using 4+ as the base for the strike roll before range mods).  The TC adds +25%, which means either add +44 or modify the PPC's BV to 220.  If you recalculate the PPC's base BV using 8+ as the base strike roll, its BV drops down to 44...& multiplied by 3 is only 132.  132 is less than 176; you basically cost your unit 44 points of base offensive BV (prior to any movement modifier).  With the TC's 25% bonus, that leaves you with a pre-multiplier mod of +11 (55 points total), giving you 155 points with the x3 multiplier.  Again, 155 is not only way less than the standard 220, it's less than the standard PPC's value without a TC.  Similar thing happens with the Gauss Rifle (Clan or IS):  book BV 320, TC adds +80 on, final total 400; recalculating using 8+ for the base drops it to 88, TC adds +22 for 110 total, with the x3 multipliers you get up to 264 & 330 (essentially meaning that with the modified BV a TC-enhanced Gauss is barely better than the unmodified book Gauss value without the TC).  In fact, the only weapons that seem to make out better with that convoluted math are pulse weapons, as their base BV only seem to drop in half, so using that kind of mod actually gives them 50% more base BV than normal (even before the benefit of the TC).

In the end, though, BV is meant to be a semi-immaterial method of comparing the relative strength of 2 different units, but still recognizes that many other tactical & situational factors will affect the outcome of a battle.  Trying to overcomplicate the BV calculations to try to adjust for a particular situation not only complicates the matter, but ends up opening the door for further "adjustments"...like, for example, the modifier for TC on a unit should be lower as the pilot's Gunnery score number drops...because the actual improvement on accuracy from the -1 mod drops as the actual TN drops (going from 12 to 11 triples your accuracy; going from 3 to 2 only increases accuracy by only 2.8%).  Imagine having to recalculate your TC bonus, then recalculating the adjustment due to the Speed Factor, then applying the skill multiplier for the pilot's P/G scores, every single time you put a new pilot into the 'Mech...or worse, every single time he improves his Gunnery skill.  But that's the same kind of situational BV recalculation that's being suggested here.