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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:37 am 
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eleazar:
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"Guess what this ship does" should not be a major part of the battle.


Exactly. My argument all along. A role specific hull should be specific/obvious by design, but not necessarily by size(which can vary).

Edit: Just noticed Geoff's lastest response during reply session. Adding response to it hereafter.

Geoff the Medio


Regardless of what it's called, does anyone have any objections with a system where:

* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes


Depends which way we go, generic hulls, we only need about 5 sizes; role specific(or mix) at least double that.

* Hull sizes are visually distinct, and can be easily seen on the battle map and in other visual representations of a ship in the UI

Agreed (although roles shouldn't necessarily be limited to one size)

* Hull sizes have various characteristics that alter how ships can be designed on those hulls, and/or directly alter how ships designed on those hulls function

Agreed, no arguments here, in general.

* Hull sizes are not specific to any particular "ship role", though some hull sizes are more suitable for some roles than others. What role or roles a particular ship is good at is a function of its design and it hull size

Agreed. While I think a carrier should be a specific, dedicated designed hull, it can vary in size, e.g. Escort Carrier, Carrier, Supercarrier.

* The concept of "ship role" may be built into the game mechanics or UI. Some indication of the role of a ship, as a summary of its design, may be generated and displayed to players and/or used by AI to determine how a ship "should" be used tactically or considered strategically


Agreed, if I'm understanding you correctly.

* Even without this "role" detailed information, many important or basic characteristics of a ship should be clear from just its size, regardless of the details of its design

(again)Agreed, if I'm understanding you correctly.

* Hull size characteristics may or may not change with technology (in absolute or relative terms, to be determined)

Yes, they may, or may not; to be determined.


* Larger hulls are not better than smaller hulls. All hull sizes have different characteristics and different uses, and the "best" possible fleet contains ships with multiple different hull sizes doing different roles.


It depends, in general I would presume the opposite. But I can see a smaller hull of equal tech, having superior designed offensive firepower to defeat a larger hull. I agree on a various hull/size fleet to be a best case scanario.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:46 am 
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Sandlapper wrote:
* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes

Depends which way we go, generic hulls, we only need about 5 sizes; role specific(or mix) at least double that.

Call it what you want (see my previous post re: inconsistent use of the terms), the system would be as described in that post: The hull sizes aren't specifically tailored only to be used for a specific role, but they are also different in various ways that influence how they perform in various roles in practice.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:49 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The various hull sizes will be balanced so that all available sizes are useful and an optimal fleet will have a variety of the available sizes. Specific goals of balancing or how balancing will be done are beyond the scope of this thread.

I don't think this is correct, since that will just lead to all fleets having an equal number of different sized ships.

I think that it is more correct to say that:
"There is an equal chance that a player will use smaller hulls as the chance of the player using larger hulls."
This means that you may see the following fleet types:
*Large ship fleet
*Small ship fleet
*Mixed ship fleet

Geoff the Medio wrote:
utilae, I'm not going to respond to your post's details because much of it seems to be either you not reading what I wrote, or not reading it carefully enough before replying to what you thought it (should have) said.

I understood perfectly. This thread is mean't to be about role specific/neutral hulls yet you are now talking about hull sizes. I think my points were valid regarding your statements.

Anyway, in some cases I agree, but in some cases I find the statement unclear. I'll comment about the ones I mean now:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Various people are using the terms "role neutral", "role specific" and "hybrid" inconsistently.

Please explain what you mean by this. You just make this statement, but if it is true, then it should be addressed, since it is an important issue.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes

You are probably trying to say that hull role types can have any size the player chooses, eg Small Carrier, Large Carrier. I agree with this.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Hull sizes have various characteristics that alter how ships can be designed on those hulls, and/or directly alter how ships designed on those hulls function

I guess you are saying that the characteristics that come with size affect the ships hull role, eg a small carrier is faster then a large carrier because if its size. I agree.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Even without this "role" detailed information, many important or basic characteristics of a ship should be clear from just its size, regardless of the details of its design

I agree, but only for properties that are strictly the result of size, eg a player can tell that a large ship has more space, more structure, uses more fuel, etc. You still cannot tell that it is a carrier or LR ship simply from its size though.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Hull size characteristics may or may not change with technology (in absolute or relative terms, to be determined)

As Elezar suggest technology can keep small sizes competitve with large sizes, though I am still wondering whether there is any point. Role types might change with technology too. Eg you may get carrier hull designs that allow more space, etc. I agree, since this is an open statement not favouring any particular decision.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:08 am 
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Geoff the Medio


Quote:
Sandlapper wrote:
* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes

Depends which way we go, generic hulls, we only need about 5 sizes; role specific(or mix) at least double that.


Quote:
Call it what you want (see my previous post re: inconsistent use of the terms), the system would be as described in that post: The hull sizes aren't specifically tailored only to be used for a specific role, but they are also different in various ways that influence how they perform in various roles in practice.


A clarification, I meant for about 5 generic sizes, but for specific/mix, my intention was to at least double the hulls in number, not in sizes. Irregardless of roles, I'm inferring there should be about 5 sizes either way.

What I'm trying to convey is that role specific is not tailored to any specific size hull. Although some roles lend themselves to certain general sizes (carrier toward larger hulls, stealth toward smaller hulls). For example, a stealth hull, irregardless of which size it is built at, will have inherent steath bonuses beyond a generic ship of equivalent size. If you assume 5 sizes of initial generic ships, and assume you apply steath hull tech to all 5 sizes, you end up with 10 different hulls.

Sorry about that, just wanted to clarify that I meant hulls, not sizes.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:35 am 
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Hmm... I do agree with most of what Geoff stated. One thing I feel the need to point out though. I still favor Utilae's idea of having hull type (largely) unconnected to hull size.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:34 am 
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utilae wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
The various hull sizes will be balanced so that all available sizes are useful and an optimal fleet will have a variety of the available sizes. Specific goals of balancing or how balancing will be done are beyond the scope of this thread.
I don't think this is correct...

What do you mean by "correct"? There is not yet any actual system we're arguing about how to describe, such that the description could be "correct" or not. Rather, we're trying to figure out what system to use.

Quote:
...that will just lead to all fleets having an equal number of different sized ships.

Why "an equal number"? All the quoted point says is "a variety". It does not follow that all sizes will be in every fleet, or that all sizes will be in equal number or of proportional cost in a fleet.

Quote:
I think that it is more correct to say that:
"There is an equal chance that a player will use smaller hulls as the chance of the player using larger hulls."
This means that you may see the following fleet types:
*Large ship fleet
*Small ship fleet
*Mixed ship fleet

The latter does not really follow from the former. If you want the latter, than say so directly. Also, what do you mean by "chance"? Are players being assigned ship sizes randomly?

Also, note that I said an optimal fleet would have a variety of sizes. Not all players would have an optimal fleet. Likely you'd have to separately research/produce different sizes of ship, so unless a player devoted lots of resources to researching and producing ships of all the different sizes, they'd have a limited array of sizes available, and their fleet would be non-optimal, and would contain fewer than all the available sizes.

Quote:
This thread is mean't to be about role specific/neutral hulls yet you are now talking about hull sizes.

Linking hull sizes indirectly to roles via non-role-specific size-dependent characteristics was introduced as a partway solution between fully generic hulls with no role-association, and fully specialized hulls, which are each intended for use only on a single role. In more detail: there are several different (sized) hulls on which ships can be designed, which are distinctive in that they are better or worse in ways that affect how well they do particular roles, but can be used for several different roles, including ones they aren't partciularly well suited. Also, different-sized hulls are visually distinct and will have obvious associated characteristics, which should be easy to describe, discern and understand for players, rather than fully role-independent generic hulls which have no association to particular roles. In this system, it's not as easy to see what a ship is or can do as it would be if there were easy-to-see roles inherent in the ship's form or appearance, but it's better than having no information such as might occur with fully generic hulls.

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Various people are using the terms "role neutral", "role specific" and "hybrid" inconsistently.

Please explain what you mean by this. You just make this statement, but if it is true, then it should be addressed, since it is an important issue.

Look back through the thread. Some people describe a system under one name, and then someone else will say it's more like something else. The point isn't that important though... it's just an observation, and a reason why I didn't describe my list of bullet points under any of those terms.

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes
You are probably trying to say that hull role types can have any size the player chooses, eg Small Carrier, Large Carrier. I agree with this.

I don't know what you mean by "hull role types". I've described is sizes as the basis for design. In that system there are no role-specific hulls (by any definition), so if there were "large" and "small" hulls, the player could probably make a hull of either size into a carrier.

Sandlapper wrote:
I meant for about 5 generic sizes, but for specific/mix, my intention was to at least double the hulls in number, not in sizes. Irregardless of roles, I'm inferring there should be about 5 sizes either way.

What I'm trying to convey is that role specific is not tailored to any specific size hull. Although some roles lend themselves to certain general sizes (carrier toward larger hulls, stealth toward smaller hulls). For example, a stealth hull, irregardless of which size it is built at, will have inherent steath bonuses beyond a generic ship of equivalent size. If you assume 5 sizes of initial generic ships, and assume you apply steath hull tech to all 5 sizes, you end up with 10 different hulls.

Most of that was hard to follow, but it looks like you want a vareity of hull types, each tailored to a specific role, which each available at different sizes. That's fine, but it's not what I'm suggesting.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:15 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
...that will just lead to all fleets having an equal number of different sized ships.

Why "an equal number"? All the quoted point says is "a variety". It does not follow that all sizes will be in every fleet, or that all sizes will be in equal number or of proportional cost in a fleet.

Sorry, my main point was to state what my thought was on the balance of ships in a fleet. A variety still lends itself to a mix of all types, or an equal number of all types. In the end what I mean't had nothing to do with the number of each ship, as I'l explain below.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Also, what do you mean by "chance"? Are players being assigned ship sizes randomly?

I'm talking from a statistical point of view, where chance is always involved when you are talking about a choice or decision. Given a choice of X ship sizes, each size has an equal chance of being used by the player in the game. This is balance imo. Obviously a player might choose a certain ship size based on the situation. The idea is that one size (larger) will not always be chosen over the other as happens in Moo2. Anyway, enough of this. It's off topic.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
In more detail: there are several different (sized) hulls on which ships can be designed, which are distinctive in that they are better or worse in ways that affect how well they do particular roles, but can be used for several different roles, including ones they aren't partciularly well suited.

Agreed.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Also, different-sized hulls are visually distinct and will have obvious associated characteristics, which should be easy to describe, discern and understand for players, rather than fully role-independent generic hulls which have no association to particular roles. In this system, it's not as easy to see what a ship is or can do as it would be if there were easy-to-see roles inherent in the ship's form or appearance, but it's better than having no information such as might occur with fully generic hulls.

I think this problem is resolved with the idea of icons/mouseover text. I know it makes sense, as an example a Detector ships should be easy to tell as a detector ship since it has so many attenae or a warship with so many weapons. But in the end, its too complex imo.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
I don't know what you mean by "hull role types". I've described is sizes as the basis for design. In that system there are no role-specific hulls (by any definition), so if there were "large" and "small" hulls, the player could probably make a hull of either size into a carrier.

You used the word 'hull' with sizes. I wanted to use the word 'hull' but with roles.

Sandlapper wrote:
What I'm trying to convey is that role specific is not tailored to any specific size hull. Although some roles lend themselves to certain general sizes (carrier toward larger hulls, stealth toward smaller hulls). For example, a stealth hull, irregardless of which size it is built at, will have inherent steath bonuses beyond a generic ship of equivalent size. If you assume 5 sizes of initial generic ships, and assume you apply steath hull tech to all 5 sizes, you end up with 10 different hulls.

Let's not think of it that way and keep them seperate. I mean sure, you can have 10 different hulls, eg [size] x [roles] = 5 x 2 = 10, etc. But we are not going to list 'Small Carrier', 'Large Carrier', etc 10 different hulls for a player to choose from. Keeping the seperate, they can choose the size, then choose the role (stealth hull) to get what they want.


@Geoff
Right, where should we move to next. I guess there has been too much off topic discussion and a loss of focus.

I suggest we reclarify and summarise the main choices and contributed ideas. Role Specific, Role Neutral, Hybrid Role. Three choices.

Tyreth wrote:
we'll discuss the size and role of ships in FreeOrion. Ships will have roles both in battles and on the galaxy map.

This thread is about whether we should use role-specific hulls.

So,
* Is a ship's role determined by what predefined role-specific hull it is based on, or
* Is a ship's role simply what you make of it, based on a design starting from a role-neutral clean slate?

Note that Size is only mentioned once. And Role is mentioned 7 times.

It seems to me that we shouldn't even be talking about the size of a ship. It's decided imo that there will be X ship sizes. These would affect ship role performance, but really it has nothing to do with this discussion.

We should only be talking about a ships role, specifically in ship design whether the ships hull is role specific or role neutral. Now role neutral can just be thought of as no role, so a hybrid system would involve hulls specific to a role and one hull that has no role.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:03 am 
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utilae wrote:
We should only be talking about a ships role, specifically in ship design whether the ships hull is role specific or role neutral. Now role neutral can just be thought of as no role, so a hybrid system would involve hulls specific to a role and one hull that has no role.

Those are possible names of solutions, and that is one possible meaning of "hybrid" (I don't care what you call them). We have been talking about those, or similar questions, already in this thread.

To address some of the issues raised in those discussions, I've suggested a system in which hull sizes have various characteristics that affect how ships function in different roles.

Size could be irrelivant to the question of how initial hull choice relates to ship roles, but the suggestion links the two by classifying hulls by size. That Tyreth's original post mentions size only once is irrelivant; even if size wasn't mentioned at all, classifying hulls primarily by size would be a valid option.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:05 pm 
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Well basically Geoff the Medio`s system seems to be quite good if I understood it correctly. That is of course if it`s easy to understand which hull will be the best suited for a certain role. Now this would mean that the system would be so natural that you would be able to use your own head to determine for example that a small hull would probably be the best suited for a stealth ship, since a small ship would be harder to detect and easier to cover if you would have something like a cloaking device. So what I am trying to say is that there wouldn`t be no artificial against common sense bonuses given to certain kinds of hulls.

Now I am also still in favour of using utilae`s icons and mouse overs system in space combat so that the ships role identification would be easy although maybe this part of Geoff the Medio`s post already has this or atleast a similar system in it:

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* The concept of "ship role" may be built into the game mechanics or UI. Some indication of the role of a ship, as a summary of its design, may be generated and displayed to players and/or used by AI to determine how a ship "should" be used tactically or considered strategically


Also as a little off topic thought mouse overs could also be used in the galaxy map to make the icons fool proof and also display more information with them. I maybe posting my idea about this topic on the Enhancing the GUI thread later.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:02 pm 
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Utilae:
Quote:
Keeping the seperate, they can choose the size, then choose the role (stealth hull) to get what they want.


Exactly my point. You chose build ship, then chose size, then chose role. A generic,role nuetral ship is always available. A role specific hull may be available (upon research). These hulls would have role specific bonuses.
Different role specific hulls may, or may not be available to all sizes(doesn't matter to me)
And as discussed, different size hulls can have unique effects to how a ship functions.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:49 am 
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Sandlapper wrote:
Exactly my point. You chose build ship, then chose size, then chose role.

Just remember that I do not necesarily mean in order. You can choose the role then the size. Or you can choose the size and then the role. My point is if they are seperate things, they can be done in any order, changed at any time, etc.

Sandlapper wrote:
A generic,role nuetral ship is always available. A role specific hull may be available (upon research). These hulls would have role specific bonuses.
Different role specific hulls may, or may not be available to all sizes(doesn't matter to me)
And as discussed, different size hulls can have unique effects to how a ship functions.

Ok, I agree with all. Thats as I understand it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:29 am 
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utilae wrote:
Sandlapper wrote:
What I'm trying to convey is that role specific is not tailored to any specific size hull. Although some roles lend themselves to certain general sizes (carrier toward larger hulls, stealth toward smaller hulls). For example, a stealth hull, irregardless of which size it is built at, will have inherent steath bonuses beyond a generic ship of equivalent size. If you assume 5 sizes of initial generic ships, and assume you apply steath hull tech to all 5 sizes, you end up with 10 different hulls.

Let's not think of it that way and keep them seperate. I mean sure, you can have 10 different hulls, eg [size] x [roles] = 5 x 2 = 10, etc. But we are not going to list 'Small Carrier', 'Large Carrier', etc 10 different hulls for a player to choose from. Keeping the seperate, they can choose the size, then choose the role (stealth hull) to get what they want.

At some point we have to "think about it that way."
As best i can make out you have proposed nearly 300 hull types:
24 roles x 6 sizes x at least 2 materials = 288
It is irrelevant to quibble over the exact numbers at this point, but the point should be obvious, your "plan" even if modified has an excessive number of hulls. For one thing, it is not practicable to give that many a distinct appearance.

Besides why do you still think that we need role-specific hulls? I thought you agreed with the idea that "put everything in the biggest hull" mono-design could be avoided by building some sort of RPS into the nature of shields, weapons, and the tech-tree.

In this and in general in this thread, you do not seem to be considering the implications or consequences of any ideas. This isn't a brainstorming thread, where listing out every possible idea is helpful.

In this thread we need to narrow things down to a design plan that is fun and simple, and possible to implement in our lifetime.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:19 am 
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eleazar wrote:
At some point we have to "think about it that way."
As best i can make out you have proposed nearly 300 hull types:
24 roles x 6 sizes x at least 2 materials = 288
It is irrelevant to quibble over the exact numbers at this point, but the point should be obvious, your "plan" even if modified has an excessive number of hulls. For one thing, it is not practicable to give that many a distinct appearance.

Its not my plan, just an idea to list all those roles, etc (from my first post?). Spark some conversation. Anyway, this highlights the exact problem we may face. Are you going to have a different graphic for every role, for every size and for every material (wherever you got material from?)? No, we can't. We either have a different graphic for sizes or roles.

eleazar wrote:
Besides why do you still think that we need role-specific hulls?

I suggested we could have both (hybrid). In any case, I see that it would encourage players to be more focused on designing an RPS ship. If it wasn't immediately obvious what RPS types there were for the ship to be, the player may not focus enough to use the proper RPS type. Otherwise (Role Neutral:) they may make a mix type. Or chop and change until they have experienced what they want.

eleazar wrote:
I thought you agreed with the idea that "put everything in the biggest hull" mono-design could be avoided by building some sort of RPS into the nature of shields, weapons, and the tech-tree.

I still do. And it can be done and role specific hulls can be used with it. Role Specific hulls are just a means of sorting all the RPS information for the player to understand better. If all weapons, shields etc are the RPS, then hulls are a means of quick designing your ship.

I think choosing a hull could be very close to choosing a template. Choose a carrier hull and it puts fighters in too. Why not? It might be what the player wants, to just choose the role, and their is their role specific design. Or the player can choose a blank role neutral hull. That sounds like a hybrid system to me.

eleazar wrote:
In this and in general in this thread, you do not seem to be considering the implications or consequences of any ideas. This isn't a brainstorming thread, where listing out every possible idea is helpful.

My very first post was like that. But I think what you say here is incorrect.

eleazar wrote:
In this thread we need to narrow things down to a design plan that is fun and simple, and possible to implement in our lifetime.

Yes, and I am not the only one responsible for doing that. I think I have made it clear where my support lies. If everyone was to vote, well I have got my vote in mind, though I am always open to changing my mind, if there is a good reason.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:06 am 
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eleazar, you are right about the impossibly high number of differrent hulls the artists would have to create. We should try to keep the number of hulls we have to create at a reasonable level.

To do this I propose the following:

We will have about 5 sizes of hulls
We will have an as yet unspecified (but relatively low, perhaps 10) number of hull shapes

[edited by Geoff the Medio - Implementation details are off topic in this thread]

These ship shapes will be available in any of the above mentioned ship sizes. So we will have a max of about 5*10=50 ship hulls we need to design. This should be more resonable than the 300 mentioned above.

The player will be totally free to use any ship shape together with any ship size as he sees fit. The role of the ship is not determined by any artificial "ship role" the player has to chose but solely by the equipment he puts on the ship.

[edited by Geoff the Medio]

Some kind of role selection could be implemented at ship design, to help the player categorize his ships, but not together with any bonuses. The player could create these roles as he sees fit, e.g. a "Support Carrier" for the above mentioned shere design, or a "Assault Carrier" for the Cylinder.
However these designations would have no impact on gameplay other than it helps the player (and perhaps his oppenent if he has the appropriate scanners) to know what the general purpose of a ship might be.

I think this system would offer the highest amount of flexibility and freedom in ship design, which in turn would offer a lot of differrent choices and thus strategies.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:23 am 
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just an idea, how about you have an option or techs that either increases the space you can pack into a hull or each duplicate component gets a reduction in space used and cost. so basically a player can chose whether he build general type ships or role ships.

we already have weapon rps, do we really want more sophistication in tactical combat? what about stealth/detection and all those other ideas... maybe we already have our plates more than full. how about using general trends like, the bigger the ship, the more engines you need to propel the massive ship so the less weapons it carries or you can make a slow moving death star ship. if you folks like stealth/detection, you can use a general tread too like the larger the ship is, the easier to detect. This line of design is so called hybrid in which a class of ship has a general characteristic, though the player can alter it depending on the component he chooses. i suppose if you want ship role design to be more complicated, you can have a list of ability and fix number of points. the more points you allocate, the better the ship in that abilty or you can distribute equally for a generic ship.

note that we have component rps ie weapns/armor and we are deciding on ship class rps, so no boring monotonic hulls. the two are more or less independent. also note that in classic 4x designs, bigger hull = higher tech so it is mandatory that players use big hulls at the end. if we are to break apart from that, we have to do some tech design changes or some hull rps or something else. another note, we should classify hulls by "class" not "size" :p, size could just be one of the attribute of the hull. "hull" is fine too; size is just too specific. i don't know why so many of you have trouble with this idea. yet another note, we don't necessary need to balance or have every ship class in a fleet for a optimal fleet. we could balance the game so that one game is all about stealth/detection and another game is all about speed and manuverbility depending how the players research tech to develop their game. alternatively, we could balance roles in a fashion that one player focus on speed is same as another player focus on stealth so that the game has a lot of depth yet has variety.

Quote:
Regardless of what it's called, does anyone have any objections with a system where:

* Ship hulls are one of a small set of sizes
i prefer size a set of hulls. i'll sub hull for size for remainder of discussion in this post.

Quote:
* Hull sizes are visually distinct, and can be easily seen on the battle map and in other visual representations of a ship in the UI
that would be nice.

Quote:
* Hull sizes have various characteristics that alter how ships can be designed on those hulls, and/or directly alter how ships designed on those hulls function
i prefer hulls as like a guideline on design or how the ship behaves, in which player can opt to alter by adding components. maybe you mean the same thing.

Quote:
* Larger hulls are not better than smaller hulls. All hull sizes have different characteristics and different uses, and the "best" possible fleet contains ships with multiple different hull sizes doing different roles.
there is a proper tool for every job. i just don't want a panacea ship design that you see all the time in every game. however, i'm not oppose, depending on how it's done, one hull dominants for a set of turns or in a game.

all other items looks good to me so far.

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