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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:41 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Tyreth wrote:
the system Geoff proposed after this discussion

i'm confused. It sounds like you're saying Geoff proposed something somewhere else?


Sorry, my sentence was poorly constructed. The fourth post in this thread, Geoff proposed a system. I was wanting a summary of the thoughts on that system now that there's been discussion in this thread, and it seems to have fallen quiet now.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:37 pm 
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This doesn't quite sum up all discussion, but covers a lot. I went through
the original questions, one by one, since some were not discussed yet. This may spur some additional discussion (to counter some of my proposals) before a final summation is made.


How far can units see?
This has been discussed in general relative to stealth. In general overall practice, hinted at through the stealth discussion, we can have general navigational scanners that come as part of the propulsion sysem. I will propose, for midgame, that navigational scanners reach 5 AU, and battle\exploration scanners reach 25 AU. For battle scanner, range decreases dramatically for reduction in scannable ship size (perhaps fighters only detected at 1AU?), stealth factor not applied.


How far do weapons reach?
Midgame, I propose LR beam weapons to be 10AU(LR missles\kinetic could be system wide 50AU), SR 2AU


How does stealth work?
Midgame, refinement of early game physical stealth, i.e... ship coatings, hull design,etc., cloak generators (early stages), active jamming.


To make the discussion more concrete, let's assume that all star systems in the game are 100AU across (or 50 AU radius from the star). It's a nice round number, and it's approximately how far out Pluto reaches in our own system. We might change this scale later, or not use AUs in the actual game, but for our purposes, let's use this convention. Note that this has the nice property that 1AU is equivalent to 1% of the system's width.

So assumed.

Here is a list of specific questions we need to answer, though it may not be all of them. "Range" below needs to be two numbers: the minimum-tech-level value and the maximum-tech-level value, so we can also discuss how the values evolve over time to some degree. Important: for the first part of the discussion, let's assume the tech level is exactly in the middle. In other words, let's determine the relative ranges of everything first, assuming a mid-game scenario. At the end we can determine how the ranges should scale over the range of tech levels.


What is the basic detection range of ships?
See first question.

Does ship size impact detection ability, and if so, how do the sizes compare?
Ditto, see first question.

What is the basic detection range of fighters?
Perhaps 5AU?

Does stealth merely modify the above ranges, or do something else?
Just modify range, only?

Do we want a continuous value for stealth on ships (0%-100%)?
Stealth is rated 0-100, with net value calculated between inherit stealth tech and tech of opposing fleet. Stealth and stealth detection tech climbs in plateau steps, with minor refinement in between.

If so, how does a ship's stealth value affect its visibility?
Cloak generator, would make ship visually invisible.

Does it just extend reduce the range at which it can be detected, or do something else?
Nothing else, yet?

What is the basic range of SR?
See question 2.

What is the basic range of LR?
Ditto, see question 2.

What is the basic range of Fighters?
Firing range? Probaly 1AU?

Bonus questions, to be answered after the above:
Do we want to have special detection equipment for ships? If so, how should it work?

I would propose a refinement to scanners, to scan for power fluctuations,i.e...power up propulsion, power up weapons while under cloak, would be detectable.

Do we want to have special stealth equipment for ships? If so, how should it work?
Related to previous question, stealth propulsion and weaponry.

What (besides possible special stealth equipment) affects a ship's stealth?
Already covered.

How do the various ranges change during the progression through the tech levels?
As mentioned earlier, fewer, larger steps through tech tree, with minor refinements.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Sandlapper wrote:
I will propose, for midgame, that navigational scanners reach 5 AU, and battle\exploration scanners reach 25 AU. For battle scanner, range decreases dramatically for reduction in scannable ship size (perhaps fighters only detected at 1AU?), stealth factor not applied.

I'm not clear on your difference between navigational scanners, and battle\exploration scanners, but it sound like early game battles will consist primarily of looking for your enemy. Perhaps realistic, but not very exciting.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:02 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
...it sound like early game battles will consist primarily of looking for your enemy. Perhaps realistic, but not very exciting.

Avoiding this, at the start of the game, is why I've suggested having stealth 0 be a special case in which detection range is ignored, and ships can always be seen, regardless of distance. It wouldn't be until ships start getting stealth ratings above 0 that you'd have to start looking around for them, and even then, only the actual ships with stealth above 0 would be hard to find; if a fleet had some stealth 0 and some stealthy ships, the stealth 0 would still be easily found.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:41 am 
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There are other ways of eliminating pointless hide&seek besides manipulating the stealth/detection formula, for example:
Fleets could start the combat in each other's detection range or close to it.
If fleets stray too far away from each other's detection range the combat could automatically end in draw.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:13 pm 
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loonycyborg wrote:
There are other ways of eliminating pointless hide&seek besides manipulating the stealth/detection formula, for example:
Fleets could start the combat in each other's detection range or close to it.
If fleets stray too far away from each other's detection range the combat could automatically end in draw.

Then a player could defend his planets merely by staying so far away, that the battle would end if the enemy approached it. I don't see the point of having a large battle map and then rigging things so that the generally fighting only takes place in small fraction.

Remember there could be 10 inhabited planets colonized by various sides in any given system. The entire system may be relevant to the battle. Parts of the battle will sometimes take place all over the map, and sometimes involve more than two sides.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:52 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Then a player could defend his planets merely by staying so far away, that the battle would end if the enemy approached it.

In this case the player has failed to defend the planet and the enemy can blockade and bombard it.

Quote:
I don't see the point of having a large battle map and then rigging things so that the generally fighting only takes place in small fraction.

Remember there could be 10 inhabited planets colonized by various sides in any given system. The entire system may be relevant to the battle. Parts of the battle will sometimes take place all over the map, and sometimes involve more than two sides.

Scanner ranges will increase with technology.

Planets can have scanners too. Most likely planets will have most powerful scanners.

On early stages of the game when engines are slow it may be frustrating to traverse a large battle map without some rigging.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:09 pm 
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eleazar:

Quote:
I'm not clear on your difference between navigational scanners, and battle\exploration scanners, but it sound like early game battles will consist primarily of looking for your enemy. Perhaps realistic, but not very exciting.


The navigational scanner was discussed as a basic "built in" scanner for the ships propulsion system to allow it to navigate obstacles(other ships, asteroids, etc.), in lieu of having an optional advance battle scanner intalled. Every ship would have ths basic scanner.

With the 50AU, sun to periphery, a ship or orbital station with a 25AU scanner would be able to scan the entire extent from sun to periphery, by being at the midpoint of the system orbit. Only six scanners would be needed for majority of system to be covered. I suggested this level of coverage to be obtained by midgame. If we need to have this level obtained much earler in the game, so be it; that's why we are discussing this. So we can reach at least a ballpark balance before the code is written in earnest.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:39 pm 
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I have another question that should be considered:

Do planets, stars, big ships, etc. cast "shadows" in scanning coverage? Perhaps depending on the tech?

This would allow for even low tech ships to create an ambush.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:37 pm 
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maelstrom512 wrote:
I have another question that should be considered:

Do planets, stars, big ships, etc. cast "shadows" in scanning coverage? Perhaps depending on the tech?

This would allow for even low tech ships to create an ambush.


That would be a hide and seek scenario.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:59 pm 
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maelstrom512 wrote:


Quote:
I have another question that should be considered:

Do planets, stars, big ships, etc. cast "shadows" in scanning coverage? Perhaps depending on the tech?

This would allow for even low tech ships to create an ambush.


I would propose that in early game, that there be a "shadow" area that cannot be scanned, from a moon size upwards (possibly a very large station complex), but I would not allow capital ships this ability. Additionally, I would have a tech refinement option to allow viewing of these "shadow" areas, albeit at a reduced capabilty, by midgame. Creating technobabble here, perhaps a tech that allows a scanner to use a planet's gravitational field to "bend" it's scan around a planet enough to acquire a contact, but with reduced capabilty.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:04 am 
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Tyreth wrote:
This thread is for you to input ideas on the related ideas of range of weaponry and detection(/stealth). This is to run concurrently with discussion taking place elsewhere.

This is a cut and paste of what tzlaine wrote as the framework of discussion. We'll be using any good ideas from here to work into the other discussion, and hopefully form the 0.4 document.

tzlaine wrote:
How far can units see?
How far do weapons reach?
How does stealth work?

To make the discussion more concrete, let's assume that all star systems in the game are 100AU across (or 50 AU radius from the star). It's a nice round number, and it's approximately how far out Pluto reaches in our own system. We might change this scale later, or not use AUs in the actual game, but for our purposes, let's use this convention. Note that this has the nice property that 1AU is equivalent to 1% of the system's width.


I believe there are other foundation stones we need to focus this discussion.
• How long should a battle last?
• How fast can ships move?


Which may need to be derived from:
• How often does combat occur? and,
• How important is combat to the whole game?


Unless we agree on or at least accept a decision what in general, vague strokes FO space combat is like, trying to hash out the details of a specific element of combat will be unprofitable. I mean we have people here who love space games where the experience of combat is the main point of the game, and at the opposite side of the spectrum there are games where the player is merely a spectator. Apparently FO is somewhere in-between, but where?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:34 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Unless we agree on or at least accept a decision what in general, vague strokes FO space combat is like, trying to hash out the details of a specific element of combat will be unprofitable. I mean we have people here who love space games where the experience of combat is the main point of the game, and at the opposite side of the spectrum there are games where the player is merely a spectator. Apparently FO is somewhere in-between, but where?
I like the idea of making you like a real-life general. you don't give orders to each individual ship. you give the fleet orders and let them execute those. Or maybe have your forces seperated in groups and give each group orders.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:55 pm 
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Some of this is partially covered by the link Geoff provided:

Quote:
Geoff the Medio

Note that the above post assumes some knowledge of some already-established decisions, which are noted in the V0.4 Design Pad. Reviewing that first is reccomended before posting.


See second post on page one, link highlighted there.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Sandlapper wrote:
Some of this is partially covered by the link Geoff provided:

Thanks, i'm already familiar with that document.

Certainly, this discussion would be more chaotic without it, but i don't think it really provides enough information to truly focus the discussion on stealth & detection. The implementation of this topic will greatly effect the average length of combat. And lets face it, for a multi-player game, that's much more important to the overall game experience than how we implement stealth.

An additional concern is the ease with which the AI can be programed to effectively use the stealth implementation, but i can't address that.

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