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 Post subject: Combat: Non-Ship Objects
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:02 am 
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This thread is to discuss issues related to things in battles other than ships.

Regarding Planets:

* Should planets interact actively with ships in battle, or be passive points of interest or battle terrain without shooting or being shot at?

If planets interact:

* Should there be a few expensive planetary defense buildings the player would build only on important planets, or should the strength of planetary defenses be tied to a meter and increase fairly smoothly for all planets as they develop, subject to tech requirements?

* Should there be planetary shields?

If there are planetary shields:

* What does the presence or absence of planetary shields mean?
** During a battle?
*** Can you glass a planet during a battle with regular ship weapons if it doesn't have a shield?
*** Can you attack the planet and damage its buildings and kill population and reduce infrastructure levels?
** After a battle or over several turns, with a hostile fleet in system?
*** Bombardment (see below)
*** Can ground troops bypass the shield (see below)?

* How do planet shields interact with ship weapons?
** Are they like the shield in Empire Strikes Back, which was strong enough to stop any bombardment (requiring ground troops to shut down)
** Can an attacker use normal (anti-ship) weapons or specialized (bombs) to wear down a shield over a few turns (edit: these are galaxy-map turns, not 5-second battle rounds)
*** Should they regenerate a bit each turn (edit: again, not battle rounds), so you need a sufficiently strong bombardment fleet to make any progress, and strong enough shields are invulnerable to too-weak attackers?
** Can an attacking fleet wear down planet shields during a space battle, rather than having to do so over several game turns? (edit: correction)


* Should there be planetary weapons, analagous to ship weapons, able to shoot back at attacking ships?

If there are planet weapons:

* Is there anything special about them, distinct from ship weapons?


Regarding other objects:

* How should a system's star be represented in battles?

* Should shipyards appear as distinct objects on the battle map?

* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?

* There will be another discussion about battle terrain issues, such as asteroid belts, in-system nebulae, and what happens if a ship is "in orbit" of a planet during a battle, etc.

This is a rather large topic, so we should probably try to work out the higher level issues first, and then deal with details that are consequences.

If there's anything major missing, feel free to note it.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 5:08 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Regarding Planets:
* Should planets interact actively with ships in battle, or be passive points of interest or battle terrain without shooting or being shot at?
If planets interact:
* Should there be a few expensive planetary defense buildings the player would build only on important planets, or should the strength of planetary defenses be tied to a meter and increase fairly smoothly for all planets as they develop, subject to tech requirements?

Planets should be interactive in battle. You should be able to hide behind planets, shoot at them. There should be planetary defenses, on any planet, though the defense meter is a good way to simplify planetary defense. A high defense meter would mean more defenses, based on the tech available. If you have ground batteries, then more of those. Or mines, then more of those. I do however thing this approaches AI based decisions for buildings on your planets.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary shields?
If there are planetary shields:
* What does the presence or absence of planetary shields mean?
** During a battle?
*** Can you glass a planet during a battle with regular ship weapons if it doesn't have a shield?
*** Can you attack the planet and damage its buildings and kill population and reduce infrastructure levels?
** After a battle or over several turns, with a hostile fleet in system?
*** Bombardment (see below)
*** Can ground troops bypass the shield (see below)?

Yes planetary shields. Yes stealth shields. Yes, tech to move planets to other systems. But at a basic level, an extra planetary attribute, shields and stealth is very good to have.

I see, that there is an advantage in having most weapons not able to damage a planet, to make bombs used more often. At the moment, such things are a matter of balance.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* How do planet shields interact with ship weapons?
** Are they like the shield in Empire Strikes Back, which was strong enough to stop any bombardment (requiring ground troops to shut down)
** Can an attacker use normal (anti-ship) weapons or specialized (bombs) to wear down a shield over a few turns
*** Should they regenerate a bit each turn, so you need a sufficiently strong bombardment fleet to make any progress, and strong enough shields are invulnerable to too-weak attackers?
** Can an attacker wear down ships during the time of a battle?

This is a matter of balance. I think a planet should be treated like a really big ship, with a colony on it and no engines. A ship with enough weapons, technology, can blast through any lesser shield. Specialised shield weapons will break shields. Ground troops are useless against shields if they can't get through them, teleporter or shuttle or otherwise. Plus the star wars thing asumes the shield generator is on a location other than the planet.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary weapons, analagous to ship weapons, able to shoot back at attacking ships?
If there are planet weapons:
* Is there anything special about them, distinct from ship weapons?

Yes, planetary weapons should be possible. The only difference is that they are bigger, there is more room to build power planets (entire cities worth) to support massive laser batteries. I would even go a step further an allow (very late game) planetary weapons that can shoot other planets in other systems outside of battle (once a turn use etc).

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Regarding other objects:
* How should a system's star be represented in battles?
* Should shipyards appear as distinct objects on the battle map?
* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?
* There will be another discussion about battle terrain issues, such as asteroid belts, in-system nebulae, and what happens if a ship is "in orbit" of a planet during a battle, etc.

Depends if we have strategic zoom (supreme commander). But the star should be there. It would be cool to have shipyards, starbases and asteroid mines visible. I would expect there to be few buildings though, as if we have too many, then it could become like an RTS game, where once entering the system you could destroy all his buildings, etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 10:05 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should planets interact actively with ships in battle, or be passive points of interest or battle terrain without shooting or being shot at?

They can be shot at, shoot back, invaded, glassed, the works.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be a few expensive planetary defense buildings the player would build only on important planets, or should the strength of planetary defenses be tied to a meter and increase fairly smoothly for all planets as they develop, subject to tech requirements?

The meter, but it obviously should take its time, rather than instantly move from 0 to 100 when an invasion is on the way.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary shields?

Yes, strength depends on the defence meter. Normal weapons can attack planatary shields but they've got a LOT more hp than a ship's shield.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* What does the presence or absence of planetary shields mean?
** During a battle?
outside a battle nothing, (technobable: the planetary shield blocks civilian ships so its always off.) In battle, no shield makes it possible to attack the surface or invade the surface.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
*** Can you glass a planet during a battle with regular ship weapons if it doesn't have a shield?
*** Can you attack the planet and damage its buildings and kill population and reduce infrastructure levels?
dose glass mean anything special other than destroy all population and infustructure? if no then you can glass with regular weapons but for two qualifiers: attacking a planets surface uses a special damage type, this damage type is equal to hull damage after you take into account the effects of atmospheric entry and gravity on the weapon. Secondly you have a range penalty to attacking a planet, this represents the distance from the top of the atmosphere to the ground.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
** After a battle or over several turns, with a hostile fleet in system?
I'd say during a battle, and the battle isn't over until there are no enemy ships or planets left. (but you can order you're ships through a warp point in the "middle" of a battle)

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* How do planet shields interact with ship weapons?
** Are they like the shield in Empire Strikes Back, which was strong enough to stop any bombardment (requiring ground troops to shut down)
no, they're just normal shields, but much stronger
Geoff the Medio wrote:
** Can an attacker use normal (anti-ship) weapons or specialized (bombs) to wear down a shield over a few turns
why have "specialized" weapons, instead use "normal" weapons with high shield damage and low hull damage. Attacking a planet with any weapon is possible but at least in the early game most weapons should be too weak to be useful against planets. Think of Palestinians firing rockets into Israel, they're nasty but they won't actually destroy the country.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
*** Should they regenerate a bit each turn, so you need a sufficiently strong bombardment fleet to make any progress, and strong enough shields are invulnerable to too-weak attackers?
Sounds good to me
Geoff the Medio wrote:
** Can an attacker wear down ships during the time of a battle?
what do you mean here?


Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary weapons, analagous to ship weapons, able to shoot back at attacking ships?

If there are planet weapons:

* Is there anything special about them, distinct from ship weapons?

Yes, and they're stronger than ship weapons, but apart from that nothing special. Also since they're allways shooting from the surface they don't get the surface to atmosphere range penalty, just take that into account when choseing their range.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
* How should a system's star be represented in battles?
big impassible object in the centre. Stealth bonus if you go near it.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should shipyards appear as distinct objects on the battle map?
Are they in orbit? if so yes but behind the planetary shield.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?
only if they have a physical presence in the game beyond the battle.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should planets interact actively with ships in battle, or be passive points of interest or battle terrain without shooting or being shot at?


I think they should interact.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be a few expensive planetary defense buildings the player would build only on important planets, or should the strength of planetary defenses be tied to a meter and increase fairly smoothly for all planets as they develop, subject to tech requirements?


This is actually quite a though question. Now my original idea was that the player builds all of the planetary defence buildings by him/herself, since the defensive readiness of the planet, or as the space combat is going to be a system wide event, the defensive readiness of all the planets in the system is probably going to have a significant impact on the outcome of the battle. So it probably will matter whether you have only one missile base or three missile bases on a planet.

However as building all of the defensive buildings yourself is probably going to take a considerable amount of micromanagement, maybe some sort of a meter solution would be a good idea. But then there is of course the question of, how this meter would work? Now if there are for example four types of buildings that can be build on a planet: missile base, beam base, fighter base and planetary shield. How does the meter determine, which building will be build first and how many missile bases, beam bases and fighter bases does it build on a planet, assuming of course that you can build more than one of these buildings on a planet?

Also since there might be situations where you might want to speed up the planetary defences building process, should there be some sort of an option to put a focus on the planetary defensive buildings meter and by so doing remove the focus from one of the resources?

Or could there be for example civilian infrastructure meter, space combat infrastructure meter and ground combat infrastructure meter, which would all be presented to the player as resource meters are now presented. These meters would normally be set to an equal level, but the player could choose one of these meters as primary focus and the others would be reduced accordingly, and it should of course be possible to set them again at equal level. This focus setting wouldn’t affect or remove the focus settings of the resources as it would be an independent part. However I am not even sure if this kind of system could work with the already in place Construction Meter, since I don`t really have a clear idea about the purpose of the Construction Meter.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary shields?


Well I have already mentioned planetary shields in this post, and yes I think there should be planetary shields.

They could be considerably stronger than the shields of the ships, but I see no reason why they couldn`t be damaged by normal anti-ship weapons. The idea of planetary shields regenerating a bit is also a very good one.

And what comes to planets without a planetary shield, I see no reason why you couldn’t damage buildings/kill population and reduce infrastructure levels during a battle.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be planetary weapons, analagous to ship weapons, able to shoot back at attacking ships?

If there are planet weapons:

* Is there anything special about them, distinct from ship weapons?


Yes, I think there should be planetary weapons. And like utilae already suggested they could be more powerful than ships weapons or in the case of missiles and fighters there could be more of them, since there certainly is more storage space, space in general, factories and power plants on a planet than in a ship.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Regarding other objects:

* Should shipyards appear as distinct objects on the battle map?

* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?


I see no reason why these things shouldn`t appear on the battle map. It would only seem quite strange if they weren`t there.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
If there's anything major missing, feel free to note it.


Are defensive orbitals included in the planetary defensive buildings?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Tortanick wrote:
dose glass mean anything special other than destroy all population and infustructure?
Specifically what "glassing" means doesn't matter at this point; for now it can be thought of as destroying everything on the planet.

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
** After a battle or over several turns, with a hostile fleet in system?
I'd say during a battle, and the battle isn't over until there are no enemy ships or planets left. (but you can order you're ships through a warp point in the "middle" of a battle)

This point of this question is what happens between battles if there is or isn't a shield, if there is a hostile fleet in a system. Perhaps the fleet can do something over a whole game turn that it can't do during a battle...?

Quote:
why have "specialized" weapons, instead use "normal" weapons with high shield damage and low hull damage.

If specialized siege weaponry is required to assault a planet (during battles, or over several game turns), we create a new strategic class of ship that is useful for things other than fighting other ships. Ground troop transport ships would have a similar role (but would hopefully be made distinctive somehow)

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
** Can an attacker wear down ships during the time of a battle?
what do you mean here?

See edited original post. In short: "ships" should have said "planetary shields".

Quote:
[...There should be planetary weapons and they should be stonger for realism-based reasons...]

What gameplay purpose would planetary weapons they serve? A planetary shield could have lots of interesting strategic consequences, such as allowing long-term blockades and requiring specialized siege weaponry or ground troops to bypass, but what is the purpose of having weapons on a planet?

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should shipyards appear as distinct objects on the battle map?
Are they in orbit? if so yes but behind the planetary shield.

The abstract point of whether shipyards are "in orbit" is undefined and undecided at present. As noted, I'd like to defer specifics of what this means until a later discussion.

Regardless of the above, shipyards could exist as distinct objects in the system, not attached to a particular planet in any way.

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?
only if they have a physical presence in the game beyond the battle.

What do you mean by "physical presence"?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
This point of this question is what happens between battles if there is or isn't a shield, if there is a hostile fleet in a system. Perhaps the fleet can do something over a whole game turn that it can't do during a battle...?

If there is a planet from one side, and a hostile fleet, I'd start a battle, shield or no shield, the player could order his ships to attack the planet or just pass through the system to the next warp point. (the battle system is off topic, but suffice to say in my dream battle system the player can give either order in under a minuet and return to other tasks)


Geoff the Medio wrote:
If specialized siege weaponry is required to assault a planet (during battles, or over several game turns), we create a new strategic class of ship that is useful for things other than fighting other ships. Ground troop transport ships would have a similar role (but would hopefully be made distinctive somehow)
But if you make planets fight back then you arn't creating a tactical choice, you're creating a tactical requirement, bring glassers or you have 0% chance of defeating that planetary missile base.

I'd like specialised siege weaponry, but it should be an advantage not "required"


Geoff the Medio wrote:
What gameplay purpose would planetary weapons they serve? A planetary shield could have lots of interesting strategic consequences, such as allowing long-term blockades and requiring specialized siege weaponry or ground troops to bypass, but what is the purpose of having weapons on a planet?

I see the following gameplay consequences:
1) defender advantage, the defender gets powerful planets that can join the battle
2) Coolness, massive surface to orbital lasers are wicked! Landing ground troops mid-battle to take over or destroy these weapons is doublecool :)
3) Having a defence meter means that you're have to chose weather you want a planet as a defence fortress or something else.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should asteroid mining facilities, and other large orbital or system objects appear?
only if they have a physical presence in the game beyond the battle.

What do you mean by "physical presence"?

I mean that if there is an astroid mining facility in the game, creating minerals for you're empire in the Zeus system, then when you invade Zeus you should see this asteroid mine. However if there is no astorid mine then it shouldn't magically appear during the invasion of Zeus just to fill out the system.

MikkoM wrote:
However as building all of the defensive buildings yourself is probably going to take a considerable amount of micromanagement, maybe some sort of a meter solution would be a good idea. But then there is of course the question of, how this meter would work? Now if there are for example four types of buildings that can be build on a planet: missile base, beam base, fighter base and planetary shield. How does the meter determine, which building will be build first and how many missile bases, beam bases and fighter bases does it build on a planet, assuming of course that you can build more than one of these buildings on a planet?


Good point, perhaps the higher the meter is the more room for "defensive emplacements" you get on the planet. And its up to the player to build those defensive emplacements himself. Because planets with high defense will have low construction they should be able to be shipped around. In short the defence meter represents land set aside and trained personnel ready to run the defences rather than actual weaponry just waiting to be used.

That's just an outline though there questions left: dose the defence meter control the amount of ground troops present or not? And should the planatary shields be directly related to the defense meter or a function of "defensive emplacements"

And of course we'd have to discuss exactly what "defensive emplacements" means. it could be something simple like shield/troop/beam/missile/fighter base. (autoupgrading to the newest tech or not?) Or it could be designed entirely like a ship with varying amounts of armour, targeting sensors and weapons of choice


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:28 am 
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Tortanick wrote:
But if you make planets fight back then you arn't creating a tactical choice, you're creating a tactical requirement, bring glassers or you have 0% chance of defeating that planetary missile base.

I'd like specialised siege weaponry, but it should be an advantage not "required"

Agree Completely.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
What gameplay purpose would planetary weapons they serve? A planetary shield could have lots of interesting strategic consequences, such as allowing long-term blockades and requiring specialized siege weaponry or ground troops to bypass, but what is the purpose of having weapons on a planet?

Planetary defenses, which includes weapons as a defense, are the first defenses you have, before ships. Killing a planet, is a major achievement, so a planet should not be so easy to take, there should be defenses.

Tortanick wrote:
I mean that if there is an astroid mining facility in the game, creating minerals for you're empire in the Zeus system, then when you invade Zeus you should see this asteroid mine. However if there is no astorid mine then it shouldn't magically appear during the invasion of Zeus just to fill out the system.

If the attacker enters the system, do we want them to seek out each of the different buildings (there could be 20 buildings) making for a long battle, or go for the important things, such as the planet, a starbase, a shipyard. As long as there are not too many buildings, we should have them appear on the map.

@Defenses
Maybe we should rename this thread to defenses.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:08 pm 
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utilae wrote:
If the attacker enters the system, do we want them to seek out each of the different buildings (there could be 20 buildings) making for a long battle, or go for the important things, such as the planet, a starbase, a shipyard. As long as there are not too many buildings, we should have them appear on the map.

Rather than having a correct way a battle should be played, it should be down to the player to make a decision like this. If the player wants to do a quick raid on weak targets like asteroid mines that's good. If they have a large fleet and want to burn an entire system to the ground, that should be an option.

utilae wrote:
@Defenses
Maybe we should rename this thread to defenses.

We'd have to stop talking about astroid mines then


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:28 am 
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I won't attempt to address all the questions. I'll just deal with certain aspects of shields and weapons.

In general i don't think asteroid mines and other minor items should figure into the system battle map. IMHO it would tend to clutter things up. Rare and significant orbitals, like ship-yards could arguably show up on their own, or it might work better to lump them in with a planet and it's defences. Orbitals, i.e. outposts with the purpose of "occupying" a system without a colonizable planet should however have a presense on the battle map, since they will be the only location of significance.

As in classic MoO, i'd like to see the planets participate in battles, fireing missiles and being bombed. There might be large structures which could be built that would have a system-wide defensive benefit, but in general (in this proposal) defence would be based on a couple of defensive meters, shields and weapons.
Perhaps governance choices would determin how much progress would be put towards the planetary sheilds and planetary weapons meters vs, the civilian construction meter. However it works, these meters would be built up gradually, and may have a connection to other meters like population or construction. The effectiveness of these weapons would also be connected to tech.
Now, since the player isn't choosing and tweaking his planetary weapons/shields, the tech tree would need to be unambiguious:
    * No tech branches
    * The newer tech is always and in all way better than the previous.
    * Therefore when the meter increases enough, the Computer will always be right in adding some of the latest tech to the defences, or (requiring less increase in the meter) replacing an old unit with the newer kind.
I really hope i don't need to explain the difference bewteen the "simple AIs" people are always proposing for annoying aspecs of managment, and this rule that behaves in an obvious, predictable way, and makes no judgement calls.

There would naturally be a classic tech-based arms race between planetary shields and ship-borne weapons. This would be essentially the same arms race experience in ship-vs-ship tech. Planetary weapons/shields would be applications of the same basic tech used by ships.
Higher tech shields would be virtually uneffected by low-tech weapons, and visa vera. Similarly planetary weapons would be increasingly powerful, armored, and gain longer range up the tech tree, but their effectiveness would be blunted by higher tech ship defenses.

For planetary weapons, i'd like to use orbital defense platforms exclusively. These orbitals can show up in a nice, obvious way- ringing a planet in battle. And they can blow up more obviously than an annonamous missile base on the surface.


The above system requires very little intervention from the player. He can make empire-wide decisions through governmental choices, and research, however, planetary defences require no micro.
It could be argued that a more complex system would be interesting, and i might agree, but i'm trying for the simplest interesting implementation.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:59 am 
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eleazar wrote:
In general i don't think asteroid mines and other minor items should figure into the system battle map. IMHO it would tend to clutter things up. Rare and significant orbitals, like ship-yards could arguably show up on their own, or it might work better to lump them in with a planet and it's defences.

Well going by the tech tree the player can build astroid mines, so I think they should be able to be destroyed. My view on what should be included is simple
  • If it exists in the strategic game it exists in a tactical battle
  • If it doesn't exist in the strategic game it dosn't exist in a tactical battle

eleazar wrote:
For planetary weapons, i'd like to use orbital defense platforms exclusively. These orbitals can show up in a nice, obvious way- ringing a planet in battle. And they can blow up more obviously than an annonamous missile base on the surface.

Well they have that advantage, but IMO a mix of orbitals (perhaps designed and built as 0 movement ships) and planet based defences would seem cooler. And I really do want to be able to capture/destroy planetary defences by sending in ground troops.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:03 pm 
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Tortanick wrote:
eleazar wrote:
In general i don't think asteroid mines and other minor items should figure into the system battle map. IMHO it would tend to clutter things up. Rare and significant orbitals, like ship-yards could arguably show up on their own, or it might work better to lump them in with a planet and it's defences.
Well going by the tech tree the player can build astroid mines, so I think they should be able to be destroyed. My view on what should be included is simple
  • If it exists in the strategic game it exists in a tactical battle
  • If it doesn't exist in the strategic game it dosn't exist in a tactical battle

That's silly and (at least sometimes) contrary to our design philosophy. Many things exist in the strategic game in a highly abstract form: interplanetary shipping, most "buildings", population, empire-wide stockpiles. These things can't exist in tactical battle in a meaningful way without trashing much of the v.2.3 reqs.

Tortanick wrote:
eleazar wrote:
For planetary weapons, i'd like to use orbital defense platforms exclusively. These orbitals can show up in a nice, obvious way- ringing a planet in battle. And they can blow up more obviously than an annonamous missile base on the surface.
Well they have that advantage, but IMO a mix of orbitals (perhaps designed and built as 0 movement ships) and planet based defences would seem cooler. And I really do want to be able to capture/destroy planetary defences by sending in ground troops.

There is no contest to reply the most quickly. Perhaps you should think things through a little more before jumping to an opinion.
With my proposal:
* Sheilds are still ground based
* Orbital weapons would presumably fall to the control of whoever conquored the surface.
* "Would seem cooler" does not outweigh the practical advantages that i mentioned.


Geoff wrote:
* Can you glass a planet during a battle with regular ship weapons if it doesn't have a shield?
* Can you attack the planet and damage its buildings and kill population and reduce infrastructure levels?

I would like to stick with the MoO paradim with attacking planets also. There are 2 military alternatives:
    1) Attack with bombs: "Normal" weaponry is of little or no value against an unshielded planet- though it can effectively blockade one. I think players will expect area-effect weaponry (MoO bombs) to be needed to attack a large dispersed target like a planet. This dicotomy adds a bit more RPS to ship design.
    Of course the downside of bombs is that the population/infrastructure is damaged. But it is easier and cheaper than a ground invasion.

    2) Attack with ground troops: This approach is more risky, and more expensive. However much less damage is done to the planet.

    3) There's also room for specialty attacks such as Bioweapons, which reduce population, without damaging infrastructure.


Geoff wrote:
Can ground troops bypass the shield (see below)?

I see merit for "yes" and "no" to this question. Perhaps unless the answer is somehow important to the development of this topic, the question can be tabled until ground combat is tackled.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:38 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Tortanick wrote:
Well going by the tech tree the player can build astroid mines, so I think they should be able to be destroyed. My view on what should be included is simple
  • If it exists in the strategic game it exists in a tactical battle
  • If it doesn't exist in the strategic game it dosn't exist in a tactical battle

That's silly and (at least sometimes) contrary to our design philosophy. Many things exist in the strategic game in a highly abstract form: interplanetary shipping, most "buildings", population, empire-wide stockpiles. These things can't exist in tactical battle in a meaningful way without trashing much of the v.2.3 reqs.

When you put it that way it dose seem very stupid. If I clarify it to only include non-abstract objects dose it sound any better?

eleazar wrote:
There is no contest to reply the most quickly. Perhaps you should think things through a little more before jumping to an opinion.
that wouldn't have helped much since my post was based on a misunderstanding of yours that wouldn't have changed, although the main reason I post so fast is that I have lots of free time at the moment.
eleazar wrote:
* Sheilds are still ground based
But they protect the orbitals right?
eleazar wrote:
* Orbital weapons would presumably fall to the control of whoever conquored the surface.
That really wasn't clear from you're post. I thought you ment things like the starbases in MoO 2, witch while built as a building were really just another spaceship. Now you've clarified this I'm a lot happier with using orbitals.
eleazar wrote:
* "Would seem cooler" does not outweigh the practical advantages that i mentioned.
Coolness is a practical benefit since it enhances the enjoyment. However I'd agree that it doesn't measure up to the practical advantages by itself, I never said it did instead I included it as one of several arguments.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:22 pm 
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Tortanick wrote:
eleazar wrote:
For planetary weapons, i'd like to use orbital defense platforms exclusively. These orbitals can show up in a nice, obvious way- ringing a planet in battle. And they can blow up more obviously than an annonamous missile base on the surface.
Well they have that advantage, but IMO a mix of orbitals (perhaps designed and built as 0 movement ships) and planet based defences would seem cooler. And I really do want to be able to capture/destroy planetary defences by sending in ground troops.


Maybe you two have already at least somewhat said what I am going to say here, but since I am not sure I am going to say it my way. Utilae here gives a nice meaning for having weapons on a planet:

utilae wrote:
Planetary defenses, which includes weapons as a defense, are the first defenses you have, before ships. Killing a planet, is a major achievement, so a planet should not be so easy to take, there should be defenses.


Also if it will be possible to send ground troops through planetary shields, planetary weapons might also prevent situations where a player has no fleet in a system, and so it becomes possible for another player/ the AI to play it "dirty" and just send a couple of troop transports to conquer the planet/s.

And now to the point. Perhaps we could use a different system for defences on a planet and for orbital defense platforms that are in space.

This way we could tie defensive buildings on a planet to a meter, so you wouldn`t have to build these buildings yourself. These buildings could also be "the first defences that you have" like utilae said and, so they could be developed to be strong enough to withstand attacks from a small attacking fleet on their own. They could also naturally support your fleets defensive battles and by so doing give you an advantage in a defensive battle. The maintenance costs for these buildings could be small or perhaps there wouldn`t even be maintenance costs for them.

The orbital defense platforms however would be build by the player, like ships, and they would also have much greater maintenance costs than the defensive buildings on a planet. Also for the orbitals to be worthwhile as an independent component they should differ from ships in some way. Maybe a possible solution could be that it is possible to build orbitals that are either considerably smaller than any of the ships, and so much cheaper and you can build many of these, or much bigger than any of the ships, and so they can take more damage/have more weapons than any of the ships, but are also considerably more expensive than ships.

Now with this system the defensive buildings on planets would represent the basic level of defence that the planets would have and wouldn`t be expensive to upkeep or take too much of the players time to be constructed. However if things like empire shape are going to matter or some planets are for some reason really important to you, you might want to upgrade their non ship defensive readiness by building defensive orbitals around them, in case you need your fleet elsewhere. But as defensive orbitals would be under maintenance costs, like your ships, you couldn`t build them around every planet in your empire without destroying your economy or reducing the amount of ships that you can build. So you could only build them around strategically important worlds.

One reason why I am suggesting this kind of a system is also that even if you can somehow influence the defensive buildings building process, maybe by setting a focus to it like I suggested in my first post to this thread or perhaps like eleazar suggested in his post. I would still like to be able to influence the defensive readiness in a more concrete way and since there already is one player build able defensive orbital in the game this would only seem natural.


eleazar wrote:
Tortanick wrote:
eleazar wrote:
In general i don't think asteroid mines and other minor items should figure into the system battle map. IMHO it would tend to clutter things up. Rare and significant orbitals, like ship-yards could arguably show up on their own, or it might work better to lump them in with a planet and it's defences.
Well going by the tech tree the player can build astroid mines, so I think they should be able to be destroyed. My view on what should be included is simple
  • If it exists in the strategic game it exists in a tactical battle
  • If it doesn't exist in the strategic game it dosn't exist in a tactical battle

That's silly and (at least sometimes) contrary to our design philosophy. Many things exist in the strategic game in a highly abstract form: interplanetary shipping, most "buildings", population, empire-wide stockpiles. These things can't exist in tactical battle in a meaningful way without trashing much of the v.2.3 reqs.


Do we really have so many player build able buildings that are in space that they could clutter things up?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:04 pm 
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MikkoM wrote:
One reason why I am suggesting this kind of a system is also that even if you can somehow influence the defensive buildings building process, maybe by setting a focus to it like I suggested in my first post to this thread or perhaps like eleazar suggested in his post. I would still like to be able to influence the defensive readiness in a more concrete way and since there already is one player build able defensive orbital in the game this would only seem natural.

We don't need redundant methods of building planetary weapons. If you think the player should be able to directly control the defensability of his planets, then propose that. Its a more reasonable proposal by itself. It's much more important that the idea is simple and effective than that it contains a little piece of everyone's ideas.

MikkoM wrote:
Do we really have so many player build able buildings that are in space that they could clutter things up?

Maybe. But part of what i mean by "clutter" is that it's irrelevant to the battle.

Tortanic wrote:
When you put it that way it dose seem very stupid. If I clarify it to only include non-abstract objects dose it sound any better?

Honestly, i still don't think it becomes a useful when phrased that way.
The more important question is "Does adding something to the tactical battle enhance the game?" We should be free to add or withold element from the strategic game, on that basis alone. We are not attempting to make a realistic simulation.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:49 pm 
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A few points:
* It hasn't been established that there will be anything like "defensive orbitals". There is a buildable "defense orbital" in v0.3, but that's just leftover temporary solution from v0.2.
* If we have an abstracted defense meter, or defense level that's a function of something else, such as the construction meter, we probably won't have discrete buildable defensive buildings or "orbitals"
* Additionally, defensive orbitals seem to me to mostly duplicate the function of a ship (without interstellar engines), and so are redundant
* Starbases or Shipyards, if they exist on the map, would probably not be protected by a planetary shield. Planetary shields protect the planet, and anything significant enough to appear on the battle map separate from a planet would likely require its own shielding, armour, etc.
* Things like asteroid mines aren't necessarily important to the battle directly, but by having them on the battle map, they can be points of interest in the battle, giving more potential objectives during a battle besides killing ships
* Most buildings located on a planet surface probably shouldn't be represented separately from the planet in a battle. Things actually in space, particularly large notable things in space, could reasonably be shown and interactable during battles.
* If a player has no fleet in a system, an enemy fleet probably should be able to drop ground troops onto planets, assuming they can do so while a shield is in place. This gives offensive ground troops a distinctive purpose from ship-to-ship weapons. Note however that the defensive player in this situation could have his/her own ground troops on the planet to defend against such attacks.


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