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PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:09 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Krikkitone wrote:
So you do the exact same thing but with money?



Well maybe not the exact same thing as I am more of a technology optimist.

What I am suggesting is a system where the production levels of your industry would rise and the production costs would drop when the technology develops. Now with this system the production levels of the industry which is maintaining your fleet would of course rise too and as a result of this you would probably need to have only little more industrial capacity to maintain the same number of bigger ships than you needed to maintain the smaller ones.

So I would have the production times and costs of your bigger ships drop, like in MOO 2, when the industry develops even though the ships would naturally have more advanced technology in them, as I believe that the industrial development would keep up and maybe even a little ahead of the technological development of your ships.

I would also allow the number of ships that you can build to increase atleast a little over time even though the ships would get bigger at the same time. This would show the player the clear effect of technological development.

Like I said earlier I would limit the number of ships by using maintenance costs. These could include things like the crew costs (salaries, food etc.), repair costs and the over all maintenance of the ship, like changing old parts to newer ones. Now these things cost money and the bigger the ship the more money its maintenance would cost. Of course when the technology develops these costs should probably drop as well and so you would be able to build a little more ships than before. But if you would build too many ships your economy would be in ruins as the up keep of your oversized fleets would require almost all the money of your empire. And so you couldn`t develop the other areas of your empire, like planetary infrastructure, technology, espionage etc. which would also require money.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:30 pm 
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MikkoM wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:
So you do the exact same thing but with money?



Well maybe not the exact same thing as I am more of a technology optimist.

What I am suggesting is a system where the production levels of your industry would rise and the production costs would drop when the technology develops. Now with this system the production levels of the industry which is maintaining your fleet would of course rise too and as a result of this you would probably need to have only little more industrial capacity to maintain the same number of bigger ships than you needed to maintain the smaller ones.

So I would have the production times and costs of your bigger ships drop, like in MOO 2, when the industry develops even though the ships would naturally have more advanced technology in them, as I believe that the industrial development would keep up and maybe even a little ahead of the technological development of your ships.

I would also allow the number of ships that you can build to increase atleast a little over time even though the ships would get bigger at the same time. This would show the player the clear effect of technological development.

Like I said earlier I would limit the number of ships by using maintenance costs. These could include things like the crew costs (salaries, food etc.), repair costs and the over all maintenance of the ship, like changing old parts to newer ones. Now these things cost money and the bigger the ship the more money its maintenance would cost. Of course when the technology develops these costs should probably drop as well and so you would be able to build a little more ships than before. But if you would build too many ships your economy would be in ruins as the up keep of your oversized fleets would require almost all the money of your empire. And so you couldn`t develop the other areas of your empire, like planetary infrastructure, technology, espionage etc. which would also require money.


The probelm is that the Size of your fleet can only be determined by one of two things

1. Empire Ship Production (ESP) / System Cost
2. Empire Maintenance Production (EMP) / System Maintenance Cost

Now ESP and EMP would both be
1. Empire size * Tech Factor (where they may have a different or similar tech Factor)

System Cost and System Maintenance Cost, are both a Pure Tech Factor

So the Size of your Fleet will always be

Empire Size * Tech Ratio

(where the tech ratio is one Factor/the other) depending on what the controlling Factor is.

I personally think that that Ratio should be nearly constant, every time you get an industrial tech it goes up, every time you get a new weapon/ship system it goes down.

Now for having the ratio be drastically different between Production and Maintenance, also creates a change in the game.

Basically, Production Cost/Maintenance Cost is a Time Factor... How long it would take you to fully replace a fleet without changing your overall level of military ..investment. Ideally this should Not change drastically with tech level, because it changes the nature of the turns in the game.



The reason to keep that initial
Fleet Size=Empire Size*Tech Ratio
the same is to prevent
1. Early battles being boring because of too few ships
2. Late battles from being boring because of too many ships

You would still get more ships later on, but that is because you are colonizing more planets, getting those planets fully developed, etc. New technology should Not be a key part of it, allowing the pace of the game to be maintained throughout


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For more control, each goal could be given a number of "points". The AI would then decide how to pursue those goals in order to maximize the number of points it earns.


I think something like this is mandatory, a simple this first, then that doesn't work (especially with self preservation.... because that is much more like will you risk 5%, 20% 60% of the fleet to achieve this goal... ie what are the levels of acceptable losses)


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:46 am 
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Quote:
The way to do that is to design the game so how many ships you can build stays nearly constant through out the tech tree.

Didn't happen in MOO2, there the higher you were in the tech tree the more ships you could build. (the max productivity of your HW started at 18 PP/turn and ended up at ~180 PP/turn) the Cost of a Battleship full of stuff stayed nearly constant.... now if a Battle ship full of stuff had increased in cost ~10x then you wouldn't be seeing Hordes of Doomstars in the end game...


I actually don’t think that the number should stay constant. But I (and most other Moo2 fans I know) agree that you have a point. IMO the number of ships (you can support) should grow (nearly) linear (at least as long as you expand). And I even think that this was intended by the game designers. They overlooked that the command point penalty is unimportant in the late game (since the empire output is growing exponentially). A simple solution would be to increase the command point penalty exponentially.

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 12:41 pm 
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well, do we want to grow the command point exponentially? a navy spread across several star systems, with varying needs for food, munitions, and other supplies, will be an administrative nightmare. we could very easily make command point demand grow exponentially, and give the player various tools to grow their command point supply, such as "Fleet Supply Depot" and "Fleet Administrative Headquarters" buildings.


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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 8:18 pm 
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not necessarily "exponentially", but increased somewhat. ANYONE with Warlord pretty much didn't need command points. And Warlord was the most often chosen once you got you 4 advantage points later.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 1:47 pm 
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Space Dragon
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ErikAlbert wrote:
Let's do it like GalcivII, and classic civilization. You attack a fleet, and watch the dice roll... Then Computer plays out some imginary 3D battle that looks exciting.


Since I already have submitted my main ideas about the space combat I started to think about this. Now this could be easily done alongside with the player control of combat as at the start of the battle you could have the options to command the battle yourself, automanage it or watch it.

Now if you decided to watch the battle the AI would command bouth of the fleets or all the fleets that take part in that battle, but you could still observe the action. Where as if you would just decide to automanage the battle there wouldn`t be no action display and you would only get to see the result of the battle.

If I can still remember correctly there was this kind of system in MOO 3 and I think that it could be useful here as well, because the watch option would satisfy the needs of these kinds of players and the automanage option is always useful in strategy games as there usually is, at least a few not so important battles that you would like to skip. Although maybe we are able to build so good tactical combat engine that you want to command all of your battles yourself. :wink:

Also I would like to say that the idea which someone presented earlier in this thread of being able to see the space combat of two or more players in the multiplayer if you have a spy onboard one of their ships is an excellent one. Now I have never played the multiplayer games of these kinds of games, but this is a feature that I have for long time thought to be one of those which I would very much like to see when I am playing a multiplayer game.

Although like someone already suggested the battle should probably be shown from a neutral perspective so that the spectator couldn`t give valuable information about the other sides strategy and fleet movement through for example mobile phone.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:13 pm 
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I've put quite a few thoughts regarding space combat, tech and tactical engines on the Space Combat: Where & How? message board, that you might want to read.

I haven't had time to read through the past posts on this forum, but will do at the first opportunity.

Looking forward to the up-and-coming doc on the shape of the tactical engine...

F.O.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:39 pm 
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Aquitaine wrote:
Requirement 2: Combat must support at least 4 sides.

If each ‘side’ is considered ‘one fleet,’ combat must support four fleets simultaneously


One question - when does the combat get resolved? When only 1 side remains victorious? That would exacerbate the "turtling" problem, could force an unwanted battle between some of the combat participants and would unnecessarily lengthen the battle. I suggest that there are two sides and x number of indepdents in a battle. Of course, each "side" can have multiple allies. Under this structure, a battle gets resolved when victory and defeat is determined between the two sides, or both sides are defeated by independent(s).

Aquitaine wrote:
Requirement 9: Combat must support three-dimensional movement.

Whether it’s through a fully 3D movement, the use of terrain, or some other solution, combat must take advantage of all three planes.


I agree with most of the others that 2D would be more easy to manage and fun. 3D sounds cool but I am not sure whether UI can be made to truly enable a battlefield that is easy to understand.

Two related questions:

1. In what size will the star, planets and other debris be represented in the battlefield? Will they correctly scale with the size of ships or rather represented in a symbolic size? This would obviously have impact on the size of the battlefield, the terrain it creates and occupies and combat tactics.

2. If we are going with 2D, will the battlefield always on the same plane with the planet orbits? I would think an easy way to give the player a "3D" feel would be randomizing the 2D battleplane in relation to the planet orbits plane. However, this could mean less terrain effects for the actual battlefield, since planets may be placed up or down from the battlefield plane, and ships wouldn't be able to reach them.

I would suggest rewording the requirements specifying the answers as to the questions posed above.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:10 am 
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Quote:
One question - when does the combat get resolved?

My suggestion would be to impose a time-limit on space battles. That means - if there are any hostile sides left, continue next turn. This would make sveral-players multiplayer games bearable AND would allow to send in reinforcements during a battle (adding a tactic "hold out untill my heavy ships get here")

as for the battles, I think 3D is the way to go. At least model-wise. The underlying mechanics can support only 2D if that would make it any easier. Still, a fully 3D battleground would be more suitable for space battles. Maybe something a bit like Star Wars Supremacy? But not so obviously limited.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:49 pm 
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SowerCleaver wrote:
1. In what size will the star, planets and other debris be represented in the battlefield? Will they correctly scale with the size of ships or rather represented in a symbolic size?

No!
Very few things in space can be represented correctly in scale to each other. To try to achieve correct scale would make the game a pain to play.

Our sun is a speck next to a large star. A terrestrial planet is a speck next to to our sun. A space craft is a speck next to a terrestrial planet. If you would zoom out enough to see our entire solar system, everything in it would be specks.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 3:31 pm 
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Since the facing of the ships part of the space combat design is still undecided and this thread is still open I decided to add my ideas about the subject.

My answer to the question how to make ship facings matter is weapon facings. Now if you think about for example torpedo tubs they must be pointed to a specific direction. So if a ship attacks you from behind the torpedo tubs facing strait ahead won`t be much use to you.

So my idea is to allow the player when designing ships to make some sort of decisions on these weapon facings. So will you place all of your 6 torpedo tubs to face strait ahead and leave your ship woundrable to behind attacks or will you place for example 2 tubs to the rear section of your ship so that it won`t be so woundrable to a rear attack, but at the same time loose fire power from the front side of your ship?

Now this would also work with beam weapons as the only beam weapons that could turn 360 degrees and to face up or down at the same time could only be placed at the "roof", bottom or the sides of your ship and so they would be a lot more woundrable to the enemy fire than the beam weapons that would be protected by the armour, but then again beam weapons protected by the armour couldn`t use as wide of an firing angle as the 360 weapons. So you could place your beam weapons so that the armour would protect them, but in so doing you would lose the ability to turn them 360 degrees or you could place the weapons on, under or the sides of your ship so that they could turn to face the enemy ships coming from almost every angle, but at the same time without the protective armour these weapons would be an easier target for the enemy ships than the weapons protected by the armour.

This kind of system would also make the ship design a much more tactical process as you would have to think about if you want to make a ship capable of defending itself from enemies coming from every angle, but at the same time you would loose the fire power advantage that you would get if you would place nearly all your weapons to face forward for example.

I also thought about the armour being weaker in some parts of the ship as in some WWII tanks or doing the same with shields so that you could spare money or production points if some parts of the ship would get for example weaker shields, but in the end I would think that allowing the player to decide about weapon facings is the most effective way to deal with this issue.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:19 pm 
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MikkoM wrote:
...I would think that allowing the player to decide about weapon facings is the most effective way to deal with this issue [than armour being weaker in some parts of the ship].

Why?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 2:11 am 
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Space Dragon
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
MikkoM wrote:
...I would think that allowing the player to decide about weapon facings is the most effective way to deal with this issue [than armour being weaker in some parts of the ship].

Why?


Well as space is a 3D environment where ships can attack you from every possible direction at least I wouldn`t want to spare money or production points on leaving the armour or shields on some parts of the ship more woundrebal to enemy fire. And yes I have noticed the 0.4 design pad which says: "This does not imply movement in 3D space; it only refers to representation on screen." But if "combat will be rendered in 3D" you would probably like to think that it is a real 3D environment.

Now with weapons I would like to think that as they take a lot of space with their ammo or generators and etc. , it would be really hard to come up with a ship which could defend itself effectively against enemies coming from all the possible attack directions an even if you had that kind of a ship its fire power to a certain direction wouldn`t be very good. So you would be more likely to build ships which would have for example a good firing power strait ahead, but if attacked from behind they would have lesser fire power to defend themselves than the attackers and there for the attackers could cause heavy damage before the attacked ships could turn around to give their "best performance".

Now this is just my vision and probably by allowing the player to decide about the weapon facings and shield + armour strengths on different parts of the ship would allow more tactical thinking in the ship design process, but I was just wondering if this complicated of a system could work in space combat with many different ship designs flying around and so if I had to choose between the weapon facings and the possibility to place weaker armour or shields on some parts of the ship I would choose the weapon facings for those reasons which I have tried to explain in this and in my previous post.

Also one way to make beam weapon facings more important would be to make the bigger guns unable to turn and so you could only have 360 turning smaller and less effective beam weapons. Now if I can remember right someone already has suggested this, but I just wanted to clarify my idea about these weapon facings.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:44 pm 
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I think it should be like this:

In Design: Player can design ship to have armour or shields on certain sides of ships and weapons facing in certain directions.

In Combat: Player can manuever ships so that armour is against enemy fire, and weapons are facing enemies (assuming one way weapons, one way armour, etc). This would add the flanking tactic to the game. Some weapons (point defense) have 360 degree field of view, are good at hitting targets and may even have decent range, but will not be as powerful as bigger fixed directional weapons.


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