Author Topic: Hull and armor system overhaul  (Read 13310 times)

Offline Van-Tuz

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Hull and armor system overhaul
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:17:14 am »
Greetings again. This is a restart of my previous thread about overhauling the armor/hull system. The discussion there went off course. Here i gathered all of my arguments in one place together with a few more points and examples.

First, let me explain the flaws of the current system:

Ridiculously powerful explosive weapons.
Scylla mortar deals 237 raw explosive damage per second. Paired with greased rounds it ups to 425 real DPS against exposed hull.
Typhoon heavy flak deals 330 raw damage per shot. Loaded with charged rounds it can two-shot any ship except for Galleon. ((330*1.3*1.4)=600*2=1200)

The reason for such power is that anti-hull guns need to operate in the very small time window. This window can range from 15 seconds (roaming engineer and Galleon's armor) to as little as 2 seconds (2 engineers camping squid's armor)

Inconsistent Time To Kill.
The time to kill can be calculated only for perfect conditions. But if you ease the pressure for a few seconds (for example your gatling was disabled) then enemy armor would be completely repaired and you'd have to start over because enemy ship isn't taking any long-term damage while its armor is up.
But even if you destroyed its armor and dealed 50% of damage to the hull it doesn't mean that its TTK is halved. TTK for a ship with 50% hull hp left is only a few seconds less than the one with a full hull.
As a proof to that point: Yesturday i have played a very intense match as a Galleon captain. At some point enemy ship destroyed our armor and damaged our hull by 95%. However, he was killed shortly after giving us enough time to fully repair armor before the next attack. And despite the critical hull condition we have survived and won the batlle because the armor has endured all the attacks.


My suggestions:
Hull:
  • Always vulnerable.
  • Have a large health pool (much larger than now)
  • Repairable

Armor:
  • Acts as a damage reducer.
  • Damage is divided between armor and hull HP with appropriate damage multipliers.
  • The percentage of damage absorbed by armor is defined by armor class.
  • When armor is destroyed 100% of the damage directed at the hull.

Armor classes:
I suggest making 3 armor classes:
  • Light armor absorbs 30% of damage
  • Medium - 50%
  • Heavy - 70%
The armor class is its quality, not thikness (hp).

Weapons:
Damage multipliers against hull increased for every type except explosive by the same factor as hull HP.

Explanations:
Because the time window when the hull is vilnerable is eliminated, it should be able to withstand a lot more damage. Multiplying the hull HP by 2 (for example) would make it two times more resistant to explosive damage but at the same time it would take 2 times more time to repair. I'd like to make repairing hull during combat almost a waste of time and the full repair to take about 1-2 minutes. However other weapons already have a hard time dealing any conciederable damage to the hull. Increasing the damage multipliers for other damage types would compensate for that. I'd like other weapots to maintain their limited usability against hull.


My assumption is that making different armor classes would open 2 possible "kill builds"
  • Armor stripping (AS) - gat + mortar goes here
  • Brute force (BF) - double explosive weapons.
I expect both builds to be equally effective against medium armor. But AS would require more time to kill lightly armored ship than BF. BF on the other hand would be quite ineffective against heavily armored ships.
Do not take it as finalised though. These calculations may change drastically depending on what numbers do you choose for armor DR values.

Why making hull repairable is better than permanent damage:
Current system doesn't make damaged ship an easy target. Taking permanent hull damage is supposed to act as handicap to make you much easier to kill for a losing team. But as shown by Galleon example you could survive just fine even with critically damaged hull.
Current system doesn't force or even allow to change your tactics very much. The state of your hull doesn't change anything. There's no point in waiting.
On the other hand my system is really making badly damaged ships an easy target. But to explot that enemy must act quickly. And defenders may take evasive actions and slowly return to maximum combat capability.


What is this system is supposed to accomplish:
  • Stabilise TTK. Ships would always take some long-term damage. So even if you got your guns disabled enemies won't be able to fully recover in a few seconds.
  • Allow for more possible builds. More ways to fight = more depth. Gat+mortar as universal solution is deadly boring to me.
  • More (possible) customisation options. Changing armor type may open a wide array of possibilities. For example you may equip medium armor on squid to sacrifice some mobility for increased resilience. But you can't equip an armor type that is not supported by ship type.
  • More combat situations and tactics. We may even learn the word "tactical retreat". Currently we can't do that because there's not much space between "we're fine" and "o'shi..." And harpoons may become very useful to prevent it.

Constructive criticism is welcomed. If you see a weak point in my system - point it out. But please refrain from being fanatical. Do not post something like "it's fine as it" or "i just don't like it".

Offline SirNotlag

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 11:27:14 am »
I feel your system is designed to heavily on time to kill rather than the team orientation which is the primary focus of GOI. In games like COD or mechwarrior you want time to kill to be reliable based on the weapon your using and the amount of hits you land, But the big difference between GOI and those games is that each soldier and giant mech is a single entity under the control of one person. GOI on the other hand is an entity under control of multiple people and the reason your system is not an effective one for this game is because it focuses too much on the gunner and forgets that the engineers play just as an important role when two vessels are trading shots.

with the armour absorbing all the hits it allows the engineers to save a doomed ship from taking one more explosive round that would kill them and possible win them the gunfight, because they had good crew management and both engineers where where they needed to be.

Your system doesnt allow that as far as I can tell, with armour only absorbing some of the damage and the perma hull being repairable it comes down to whoever got the first shot. EX one ship(1) sneaks up behind another ship(2) and gets a full clip of damage into the rear of the ship (2) by the time ship (2) turns to bear guns ship (1) doesnt even have to worry about bothering to repair because they will kill ship (2) before he can kill them and then ship (1) just fully repairs everything before the next engagement.

the battle is already decided as soon as ship (1) spotted ship (2) and started firing. In the current system ship (2) can go on full repair mode with no gunning to keep their armour up and get their engines working so they can turn, after they tanked abit they can focus on fighting back, the fight is still winable by them if they use their cards right.

TL:DR I strongly dislike your system because it detracts too much from the teamwork of the game and focuses too much on turning the airship fights into dull slugfests.

Offline Van-Tuz

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 12:21:36 pm »
My system doesn't change much in terms of teamplay. I doubt it would change anything noticeable.
Everything that  SirNotlag have said is true for the current system as well. 
If a duel between two identical ships happens then the first who shot is winning.
The ambushed ship would take some hull damage anyway. Probably the same percentage. But it would be much more tolerable in my system because the hull would have much more HP and it is repairable. Ships would be able to survive for some time even with their armor stripped. Currently losing armor = quick explosive death incoming.




Offline Sammy B. T.

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 12:48:32 pm »
You are right that the current system requires perfect conditions for reliable time to kill. However you incorrectly call this a flaw. This requirement of having to hold the explosive for offensive or avoid/disable the explosive for defense greatly increases the teamwork aspect of the game. Having to create perfect conditions forces teamwork both for offence and defense. Knowing when to maximize the damage window for offence by good timing or minimize the damage window for defense by disables, double repairs, and so on.

You also incorrectly state that the state of the hull doesn't matter. It most certainly does. Armor doesn't last forever and against good enemies you can expect it to go down quickly once engaged in direct combat.

Offline Alistair MacBain

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2014, 01:39:05 pm »
Pretty much what sammy said.
The current system is totally based on teamplay. It takes alot from a team to know when to focus their fire and when to split fire.
Alot of this is know the correct time, realize it and do it. Thats not a flaw. Thats great. It allows more than one style.

Offline Van-Tuz

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 01:45:08 pm »
This requirement of having to hold the explosive for offensive or avoid/disable the explosive for defense greatly increases the teamwork aspect of the game.
...
You also incorrectly state that the state of the hull doesn't matter. It most certainly does. Armor doesn't last forever and against good enemies you can expect it to go down quickly once engaged in direct combat.
These teamwork aspects aren't going anywhere. But they would be less mandatory. Experienced teams would still hold the mortar fire until the armor is stripped to deal 2x more damage. But inexperienced teams would not be punished so hard for the imperfect performance. They would deal less damage but would still deal it.
Besides, i think that the situation with 5% hull Galeon should not be normal. It was very thrilling for me but i bet it was frustrating for my opponents to not being able to kill my barely duct-taped ship.
...
Example: you're on a Junker against a Spire and something else. No matter how much Spire's teammate bitten off your hull you'll still die from a single charged Hflak shot once your armor go down.
Does it really matter how many time pass between armor going down and hull going down under mortar fire: 2.5 or 3 seconds. Your tactics and combat actions aren't changing.  Your survival is dependent on your luck more than on your skill.
I think the possibility of evading combat to repair critically damaged hull opens up much more strategic choices. Currently you have no other choice but to engage in combat.

Offline Alistair MacBain

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 03:16:07 pm »
I love the current influences from one engagement into another by simply dealing permahull dmg in the first encounter.
Id hate to see that pass. It would also punish inexperienced teams much harder gainst mediocre experienced teams. They wouldnt be able to get a single kill just because their enemy can repair up fully.
Just because of one weird game you cant state the system doesnt work. In a similiar skilled environement those fight influences are pretty important. Positioning, dmg dealt ... Those things matter and are part of the tactic.

And yes a hflak will kill you if you let the spire stay at his range and dont punish him. Thats totally fair and wanted. If you let one of the enemies do what he pleases then youve done sth wrong.

Offline HamsterIV

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 05:51:06 pm »
More combat situations and tactics. We may even learn the word "tactical retreat". Currently we can't do that because there's not much space between "we're fine" and "o'shi..." And harpoons may become very useful to prevent it.
Don't presume to speak for all of us. I have successfully escaped from many bad engagements, and have seen others do it too. A lot of close games are decided by a loosing captain knowing when and how to cut his losses and retreat. I will agree that there is not much time between when an engagement goes bad and the time a captain must act to effect a proper escape. You don't see many escapes among newer players because they don't know what a bad situation looks like until it is too late to do anything about it.

Offline Canon Whitecandle

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 01:25:00 am »
More combat situations and tactics. We may even learn the word "tactical retreat". Currently we can't do that because there's not much space between "we're fine" and "o'shi..." And harpoons may become very useful to prevent it.
Don't presume to speak for all of us. I have successfully escaped from many bad engagements, and have seen others do it too. A lot of close games are decided by a loosing captain knowing when and how to cut his losses and retreat. I will agree that there is not much time between when an engagement goes bad and the time a captain must act to effect a proper escape. You don't see many escapes among newer players because they don't know what a bad situation looks like until it is too late to do anything about it.
I can vouch for this. As a mid/long range pilot half of my time at the helm is spent driving in reverse at a funky angle to keep my port side guns on target while I back the f*** away because my short range escort got chewed up.

Offline Piemanlives

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 03:51:44 am »
-Snip-
-Snip-
-Snip-

I can also attest to this, as I typically fly a close range vessel I often find moments where my wingman has suddenly gone down and I'm about to get engaged in a 2v1 with no hope of victory, depending on the map and environment I find myself in there can be a variety of ways to escape. Most of the time it's running kerosene and making a mad dash for whatever location my ally has decided to spawn in.

Offline Van-Tuz

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2014, 09:38:17 am »
Please answer a few questions. Some of them almost rhetorical, some are related to basic knowledge but trust me, they're all important for the discussion.
  • How much time does it take to kill an exposed hull with mortar? Assuming that gunner is competent.
  • How much time does it take for a destroyed team to engage into battle after the last ship was destroyed?
  • How much damage your ship is supposed to take for you to recognise a "bad" and "really bad" battle situations? Assuming that's you're not outnumbered.
  • How much time does it take to perform all necessary repairs to return to a "good" condition from that states? Assuming that your engineers are competent.
  • How does your damaged (by 50%) hull changes your tactical and strategic behaviour?

I shall answer these questions myself after seeing some answers from my opponents. Otherwise it would be (again) a discussion about my skill level.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 09:40:37 am by Van-Tuz »

Offline Mezhu

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 10:16:53 am »
There's no definite answer to any of these questions as they are extremely abstract and generic.
1. How much time a mortar takes to kill an exposed ship? It depends on range, ammo being used on mortar, mortar being buffed or not, evasive movement of enemy pilot, your own ship's movement, reaction, tools and coordination of enemy engineers. If you're shooting an average crew at point blank range with a greased buffed mortar it will take 2 seconds. If you're shooting a highly skilled and well organized crew it's not unlikely you won't do any perma damage at all.
2. That depends on the team itself. Were they fighting away from their spawn? Will they choose to spawn closeby? Will the ship to have died first try to spawn as close as possible in an attempt to assist its' ally? Is the enemy team chasing the surviving ship into your team's spawn or are they retreating?
3. None at all. An experienced pilot can tell when he can't earn anything from a situation before the first shot has landed against his own ship. Certain ships perform at certain ranges or need to approach the enemy from specific angles to be effective. Certain ships aren't built around killing an enemy at all. Certain ships are almost absolutely countered by others. All ships are unable to perform 1v2 (assuming equal skill level and non-shit builds on both sides)- so being able to recognize your ally either dying or being controlled means you have to consider an escape option beforehand.
4. What does that even mean? Since you mostly complain about gatling/mortar I'll assume that's what you specifically are wondering about. A broken hull takes varying time to fix depending on ship and crew but a pyra is able to get his hull rebuilt, fixed and even rebuffed in almost no time time with enough people who know their shit participating. A junker not as much, but breaking the junker's hull is an achievement by itself and should be rewarding. Galleon neither, but it can soak up a ton of permadamage before dying so it's perfectly viable. If more parts are disabled the time obviously increases but there's no average answer to cover all possible scenarios.
5. A damaged hull simply means you have to change your priorities and look into engagements more carefully. You can have the other ship try to act as a meatshield assuming that's viable. You can avoid head to head engagements until you see a chance (a flank, a disabled target, a target whose guns are reloading, a ship out of its' effective range, a ship that's just bumped into something etc). You can shift your goals from killing the other ship to doing as much damage as possible before dying so that you put him at a disadvantage at the next fight. In a few circumstances, mostly in CK matches but not only, a very valid option might be to commit suicide simply to respawn with a fresh hull.

Instead of trying to prove the current system problematic try adapting to it instead. As you keep playing and if you're willing to learn you'll notice people doing stuff that render all the above questions and ideas silly. Yes the game is hard to learn and master but that's what makes it rewarding and enjoyable.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 10:20:46 am by Mezhu »

Offline Sammy B. T.

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 10:53:58 am »
This requirement of having to hold the explosive for offensive or avoid/disable the explosive for defense greatly increases the teamwork aspect of the game.
...
You also incorrectly state that the state of the hull doesn't matter. It most certainly does. Armor doesn't last forever and against good enemies you can expect it to go down quickly once engaged in direct combat.
These teamwork aspects aren't going anywhere. But they would be less mandatory. Experienced teams would still hold the mortar fire until the armor is stripped to deal 2x more damage. But inexperienced teams would not be punished so hard for the imperfect performance. They would deal less damage but would still deal it.
Besides, i think that the situation with 5% hull Galeon should not be normal. It was very thrilling for me but i bet it was frustrating for my opponents to not being able to kill my barely duct-taped ship.

It is majorly game altering to go from needing to wait for armor breaks to kind of wanting to. Making it so that basically any weapon combination can work for a team is great for individual based games like your average fps. However it takes away from the team work based dynamic. Yes you do loads better in your average fps if you are on a team, using team working and theory crafting which guns you bring. However its not as necessary.


Quote
Example: you're on a Junker against a Spire and something else. No matter how much Spire's teammate bitten off your hull you'll still die from a single charged Hflak shot once your armor go down.
Does it really matter how many time pass between armor going down and hull going down under mortar fire: 2.5 or 3 seconds. Your tactics and combat actions aren't changing.  Your survival is dependent on your luck more than on your skill.
I think the possibility of evading combat to repair critically damaged hull opens up much more strategic choices. Currently you have no other choice but to engage in combat.

The Junker is a horrible example for this as it has the lowest perma hull in the game as a balance to its high armor, maneuvering, and weapons. Without tar barrel, all things being equal it can't really escape anything, damage systems being irrelevant. However there are plenty of things you can do to alter your tactics to prevent Hflaky death. Balloon blocking, dodging (the junker is a great dodger), calling extra engineers to hull, buffs, tar or just outright killing. So basically in your scenario I am not strategically limited and if I wasn't, it isn't from the damage system.

Quote
How much time does it take to kill an exposed hull with mortar? Assuming that gunner is competent.
Assuming 100% accuracy, unbuffed mortar using normal rounds and discounting air time delay (the mortars begin hitting the moment armor is down

Pyramidion 700 perma
6 shots, 2.75 seconds
Squid 850 Perma
7 shots, 3.3 seconds
Junker 500 perma
4 shots, 1.65 seconds
Goldfish 1100 perma
9 shots, 4.4 seconds
Galleon 1400 perma
12 shots 6.05 seconds
Spire 750 perma
6 shots, 2.75 seconds
Mobula 700 perma
6 shots, 2.75 seconds

A lot of assumptions here, especially the 100% accuracy, the mortar is a hard gun to shoot when the enemy is popping hydro for one of those mythical escapes that apparently never happen.

Quote
How much time does it take for a destroyed team to engage into battle after the last ship was destroyed?

Dozens of variables, most of them having to do with map and how close one is to spawns. You can generally expect at least 30 seconds though.

Quote
How much damage your ship is supposed to take for you to recognise a "bad" and "really bad" battle situations? Assuming that's you're not outnumbered.

None. This is whats the most stressful part of being a captain. The split second an egagement begins you have to run a big equation in your mind comparing who began the egagement, the amount of time it takes for a ship to react to the engagement and then how long before a ship wins the engagement (kills, achieve better positioning, disable etc) and captain tricks to fudge these numbers (balloon blocking, escape tools, cover, ally, etc). Armor break is not the definitive "you've lost" moment, sometimes is too late and sometimes its too early.

Quote
How much time does it take to perform all necessary repairs to return to a "good" condition from that states? Assuming that your engineers are competent.

Since escape point is varaible, ship damage is variable. Some ships like a galleon can tank all day with downed components  (I've gone minutes without the main thruster of a galleon) Others ships like squids and junkers need their components up and running and thus need to escape before those go down. Waaaay to many variable to consider.

Quote
How does your damaged (by 50%) hull changes your tactical and strategic behaviour?

"Whats your perma?"
"Full, you?"
"About 50, you take lead?"
"Sure"

Changes how much I'll request a hull engineer to watch hull vs shoot weapons, esepcially relevant on junkers and galleons.

Also that equation I mentioned earlier is great effected by this.



--------------

And as typing mezhu responded and basically said the same thing, damn. Now I look like a copy cat. Esepcially on point 3.

Offline Alistair MacBain

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2014, 01:17:58 pm »
How much time does it take to kill an exposed hull with mortar? Assuming that gunner is competent.
How much time does it take for a destroyed team to engage into battle after the last ship was destroyed?
How much damage your ship is supposed to take for you to recognise a "bad" and "really bad" battle situations? Assuming that's you're not outnumbered.
How much time does it take to perform all necessary repairs to return to a "good" condition from that states? Assuming that your engineers are competent.
How does your damaged (by 50%) hull changes your tactical and strategic behaviour?

1. Dependant on alot of factors. the ship you fly, the state of your ship (permahull), the positions of your engineers, the movement of your captain and the enemy captain ...
A pyra can be killed in one clip without any chance assuming 100% accuracy on the hull and not one hit closeby and no evasion on the receiving end. A squid or goldfish can survive more than one armordown if the engineers are fast enough.
2. Depends on the map, the spawn they choose the position of the fight and their way of approaching. It can take no time or a long time. Thats sth youve got to take into account. When you fight inside the enemy spawn you have to count on your enemy spawning closeby and killing you right after the engage was won.
3. Dependant on ship, actual position, skill etc etc no time or alot. Its hard to judge. A clearly bad situations like an enemy in your back is easy to judge as "holy crap im dead". A straight forward engage with both ships with gunarcs can take longer to decide as of who gets the gun superiority. For example 2 goldys facing each other, one with a hcarro and one with a hwacha. If the hwacha hits first and correct youre fine. If the carro gets the first disable the situations turns to really bad.
4. Dependant on crew and the coordination within the crew aka are they used to each other to the point they know blind who does what ... barely any time.
5. Depending on ship not alot to alot. A Goldy with half perma gives me headaches and needs a crew to be onspot with its tanking or it dies in the first armorbreak. A galleon with half perma isnt that much of a worry. I know that the guns have to hit correct to save me anyway. Similiar for a spire ... But i admit i fly on strange and kinda unusual spires.

Offline Van-Tuz

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Re: Hull and armor system overhaul
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2014, 11:30:12 am »
Okay, here's a recap:
  • 2 of 3 people are evading to give me straightforward answers like they're in the court and i an the judge.
  • 2 of 3 people are possessing an inhuman calculations capabilities. Average human can only make brief assumptions here. Throw in 4 human factors per crew too. Sure, you could classify the situation but i doubt anyone is capable to precisely tell the result.
  • Captains and crew skills are halved when the hull is on full health. I might start thinking that the awkward movie trope, where a hero absolutely needs to take a few punches before he could start fighting back, is actually true.
  • I should have asked some of the questions in other way.

But hey, at least i've  got some straightforward answers that proved my points:
Taking 50% hull damage decreases your TTK only by 0.8-3 seconds. (1.68 seconds average) Throw in greased rounds for a better effect.
Taking 50% hull damage doesn't change anything major in your behaviour. Sure, you'll fly more carefully but still you don't have any choice but to fight.
Exploiting the enemy's permanent damage is difficult

Yes the game is hard to learn and master but that's what makes it rewarding and enjoyable.
It is majorly game altering to go from needing to wait for armor breaks to kind of wanting to. Making it so that basically any weapon combination can work for a team is great for individual based games like your average fps. However it takes away from the team work based dynamic.
There's a catch: "work" and "work effectively" are 2 significantly different things.

Easy to learn, hard to master.
This is the design paradigm used by many good games. It is implies that a game should be easily accessible and have a room to grow.
Imagine you've got a powder monkey on your team. He occupies mortar and shoots continuously dealing little to no damage. The result: you lose, everyone frustrated.
Why is it happening? Because the game isn't asking you to play as team. It punishes you for not doing so.


The other facet here is choice vs calculations
I won't make a wall of text describing the difference between the two of these. Just watch this video.
In a game choice is always more engaging for a player than a calculation.

Here's an example for you:  Your ship was destroyed and you're moving towards your ally. But when you almost arrived your teammate was destroyed too. What's your actions? Only one: run. By the time you'll engage enemies would be completely repaired and this is a logical calculation to regroup and attack together.
Now, imagine the same situation but if it's a CP game, not a deathmatch. You may want to move forward to block the point. Or wait for your ally. You're making a choice.
Calculations are engaging only the first time. Next time you'll know the correct answer and just execute it. Choices are always engaging.

My system can allow for a choice to be made in the first situation. In my system exploiting hull damage would be much easier and if know that one of the ships has sustained heavy damage you may consciously choose to take a risk. You may easily kill damaged ship and turn it into 1 v 1 battle. The other team would also be presented with a choice: retreat to repair hull damage or risk to lose one ship if you decide to exploit it.
"To be or not to be" that question weren't so engaging if it would've had a definitive answer.

Now give me straightforward answers to these 2 questions:
  • Would it be better for a game if it would stimulate players instead of punishing them?
  • Do you want to have more opportunities to make a meaningful choice in the game?
No more "depending on..." please. Just "Yes" or "no"