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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:52 pm 
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Well, as long as we're talking about non-ship objects, how about mines and shipyards? Shipyards might be a better thing to discuss in the other thread, but specifics of how they would interact in combat would be off-topic there. Should they be in combat at all? Could they repair ships during combat? Could they have a few weapons of their own? How easy should they be to destroy? It seems we've been only talking about planets and orbitals for the last little while.

Mines could use a bit of discussion too. Are they worth bothering with at all? If we have them, how would they work? Would the player hand placing each mine when he lays them be too much micromanagement? Would the AI doing it for him be too restrictive? How stealthy should mines be? Should the attacker be able to destroy mines with PD weaponry? Would mines detonate if missiles or fighters are going past?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:57 pm 
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Mines as a ship weapon were discussed and rejected. Despite their potential to create terrain in battles, the extra complexity and effort to design and build minelayers and minesweepers. Their main function would be area denial in a battle, would can be accomplished by parking some ships at a location instead.

Some other form of mine, other than as ship weapons, haven't been specfically discussed. I'd need a convincing argument about their benefits or unique and specific strategic role to include them, though.

In-space buildings such as asteroid mines or (assuming applicable) shipyards have been discussed earlier in the thread a bit, and generally seem like good things to have in battles. They provide targets of interest on the battle map, which allow additional objectives in combat besides destroying all enemy ships.

MikkoM wrote:
[It should be] possible to destroy the shield by using some sort of shield breaking space weapons or normal space weapons in addition to ground troops or possible spy tactics. Using those weapons to destroy the shield might of course take some time, but the important thing, at least to me, would be that there are other alternatives to destroy the shield than endless ground combats.

How about shields, like any other meter, gradually increase their current meter value over several (or many) turns until it reaches the max value. If you had a fleet in a system with shielded enemy planets, you could use the orbital bombardment capability of the fleet to decrease the current shield meter every turn the fleet was present, depending on the combined strength of the weapons the fleet has. If the fleet has enough firepower to reduce the shield each turn by more than it regrows that turn, you'll wear down the shield over time. Eventually the shield would be knocked out completely, allowing orbital bombardment to directly attack the surface, killing population or destroying buildings and infrastructure.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:24 am 
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Naturally mines would be a bad idea as ship weapons. That's why I'm bringing them up here, in non-ship objects. A reasonably detailed explanation of my concept of mines can be found here.

I can think of a few good strategic reasons to implement mines. First of all, it provides a method of blockade that you can use without leaving a lot of battleships there.

Secondly, it adds to the geography aspect of one's empire. Where could my enemies cruelly block my colony ship with mines while my fleets are elsewhere?

Thirdly, it adds another strategic option for the player. Is this system important enough to guard with ships, or should I send in some battleships?

In order to get rid of them, a PD ship could more or less act as a minesweeper. The "minesweeping battle" in a mined unoccupied system would probably just be automated, with the damage to the fleet determined by the number of PD ships in the sweeping fleet, the overall number and size of ships in the sweeping fleet, the stealth level of the laying empire at the time of the mine laying, the detection level of the sweeping fleet, and, of course, the number of mines in the system.

These mines would be more of a light blockade, intended to stop small, lightly armed forces, and would be much less effective against massive death fleets.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
How about shields, like any other meter, gradually increase their current meter value over several (or many) turns until it reaches the max value. If you had a fleet in a system with shielded enemy planets, you could use the orbital bombardment capability of the fleet to decrease the current shield meter every turn the fleet was present, depending on the combined strength of the weapons the fleet has. If the fleet has enough firepower to reduce the shield each turn by more than it regrows that turn, you'll wear down the shield over time. Eventually the shield would be knocked out completely, allowing orbital bombardment to directly attack the surface, killing population or destroying buildings and infrastructure.


This seems like a nice simple way to make planetary shields woundrebal to enemy fleet attacks.

Could this solution also support technological advancement? By possibly so that early techs would only offer you minor growth towards the meter max value, whereas with more advanced techs the growth would be a lot faster. Now the weapon development would then of course work similarly, so that early weapons could only reduce the meter value a little, but more advanced weapons would have a greater impact on shield meter value. Another solution could of course be that there would be independent meter max values for each tech level, which was something, if I can remember right, that eleazar at least somewhat suggested when we were discussing the orbitals. The reason why I am suggesting this is that it would be nice to see the same clear technological advancement with planetary shields as you will probably see with ships shields.

Also would the orbital bombardment capability of a fleet be formed from specialized bombardment weapons or from all the weapons of the fleet? Or is this an issue that can be decided later? Now both of these solutions could of course work, but maybe if we would use specialized orbital bombardment weapons, it would force the player to use his/hers head a little more when designing ships/forming fleets. On the other hand specialized bombardment weapons might also make the game balancing a little more difficult, since there would be one more factor to take into account.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:05 am 
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Re: Mines: I'm not convinced there's any important enough reason to include them. They don't seem to be able to do anything that can't be done with regular ships.

Re: Tech advancements for planet shields / weapons: Yes, this is assumed. Since shields and orbital strength are tracked as meter, the existing tech / specials / buildings system of effects should be able to alter these new meters as well, with minimal additional coding.

Re: Specialized bombardment weapons: This is possible. Whether it will be needed or advantageous, I'm not sure.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:35 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Re: Mines: I'm not convinced there's any important enough reason to include them. They don't seem to be able to do anything that can't be done with regular ships.
I think that they would be a cheap, light, leave-and-forget blockade, and more importantly, I think they would be fun! :D The big things are what make the game good. The little things that we add are what make the game perfect.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Re: Specialized bombardment weapons: This is possible. Whether it will be needed or advantageous, I'm not sure.
I think regular weapons should be able to damage planets slightly, but bombs would be the ideal choice for specialized bombardment weapons. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:00 pm 
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Well, nobody has posted anything in a few weeks, so I think I'll type up a long, detailed defense of mines.

Space mines can have many uses. The most strategic one I can think of right now is to make the geography of ones empire even more of a factor. If I have system A mined and my enemy is trying to chase down my fleet and engage me at system B, I would try to get my fleet around system B to system A and engage them there. But if system A is beyond a choke point, I can't easily get there without my enemy engaging me. This adds strategic value in the placement of mines and the movement of ships in the empire. Also, If you lay mines at a choke point, then you have good defence for your empire, and even some limited defence if you have to divert your fleet elsewhere.

Another use I can think of has a great deal of potential for fun. You take a bunch of ships stuffed with mines to a system. Both of your enemies fleets are on their way there. They are also enemies of each other. You lay your mines and scram. Mayhem. How can you pass up a chance to put something like that in a game?

Another possible use is to put mines around a planet you want to colonize so that your enemy can't easily colonize it. Or you could put up a temporary blockade on a farming world if you just want starve their empire for a bit without diverting too many forces.

The possibilities that I come up with are only a drop in the bucket of creative uses that the player can come up with. Adding opportunities for creative strategy is generally a good idea, IMO.

Edit: Ummm is anyone EVER going to post here again????

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:26 am 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Mines could use a bit of discussion too. Are they worth bothering with at all? If we have them, how would they work? Would the player hand placing each mine when he lays them be too much micromanagement? Would the AI doing it for him be too restrictive? How stealthy should mines be? Should the attacker be able to destroy mines with PD weaponry? Would mines detonate if missiles or fighters are going past?



Bigjoe5's post in defense of mines reminded me of something.

I've been playing a lot of Space Empires lately, and invariably, the game bogs down to mining the warp points between sectors. I can contain entire empires and defeat the majority of their fleet through mine attrition at the choke points. It's what has turned me off of an otherwise entertaining game.

I would limit mines to planetary and space station defense, and not allow you to blockade a sector with them.

However, spreading mines like caltrops through the system as Bigjoe5 mentioned does sound fun. Having consumables like mines, satellites, probes, etc. really do add an element of strategy that enhances the overall game experience. They would definitely be missed.

Edit: I'd like to throw out a few ideas from BigJoe5's quoted post:

Would the player hand placing each mine when he lays them be too much micromanagement?

Not if the player wants that. Giving the player the option to micromanage if they wish is generally a good thing, as long as the thing they are managing doesn't imbalance the game in favor of those who spend the extra time on it.

Would the AI doing it for him be too restrictive?

I don't think so. Auto release all mines or a certain number of mines in cargo is pretty straightforward. Planetary AI could release mines into orbit automatically I suppose.

How stealthy should mines be?

As stealthy as the ECM tech tree allows. If you allow ECM on a space station, why not a mine, unless ECM are considered too large to build into the mine.

Should the attacker be able to destroy mines with PD weaponry?

Yes.

Would mines detonate if missiles or fighters are going past?

I could see small mines working against small fighters, but a small fighter sailing right by a large mine. I could see a self destruct signal sent to a mine field acting as a sort of one-time missile screen.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:31 pm 
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Goodmorning everybody.

I'm new to posting here, but i've read quite a lot of the posts, and all of them for this topic, i belive.

I get the fealing that the defence's discussion is all but dead. . . . But upon reading the posts i was uncertain what the final descition was.

If the topic is still unfinished i would suggest a quick thing.

IMHO, Sheilds can provide a very effective distiguisher between 'Ground' targests and 'orbital' targets.

I would very much like to see orbitals, much like the defencive orbitals mark 1-2-3-4 system.

I would have them orbit inside the planetary sheild grid. and be attackable by both all weapon types.

I would propose a Shield system which is:
Locally weaken-able *allowing peircing weaponds to attack orbital targets with, but with reductions to damage*
Vonerable to Bomb type damage *making bombs usefull - bombs which penitrate shields doing considerably more damage on the surface then beam type weponds which gain thier strenght by being pointlike, and therefore not good against distributed targets such as surface targest (bombs would almost be fundimentally nessisary to properly glass a planet, think about trying to pick off every building worth mention for space with a pensil beam . . . )*

I would support eathor a one meter system with one or two Wonder-like buildable objects to provide *extra - Significant* defenses at your most valued planets, over a two meter system for symplicity.

The Orbitals would be build according to the 25 max (defencive)orbitals, mark 1, 2, 3, 4 system, and would be used to protect the planet from attack, and protect the shipyard if any is present. Any shield system would remain in reitive lockstep to same meter for symplicity.

If a system is bloackaded, then new orbitals would be unlanchable *Some level of tuning needed to get a new orbital working, which bloackadders would not permit to occur* so that extra battles are unnessiseary.

Regarding troops, troops would be able to be delivered to a planet, during battle, and have a chance to capture ground controle of one or more orbital defencive stations (making troop deployment in battle a sound tactical manuver).

The system I am suggesting(a very small divergence from the systems i've read about) would allow planets to defend themselves *weather the defences are actaully on surface or in orbitals may be an irreivant issue of realism, as long as they are somewhere*. allow shields to provide some meaningful tactical value . . . Visa Vie, protecting orbitals, the plante surface from mistles,bombs, and beams(if not deamed psudo irrelevant); When a shield is worn down completely over several game turns, then bombs and mistles would begin to do surface damage *allowing time for reinforments to arrive even for semi-large invation fleets, before population/infustructure losses begin to accumulate.*

if the desition has been made, could somebody point me to it :- D

thanks

Robie.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:16 am 
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Semi-final decisions are in the design pad on the wiki:

http://freeorion.org/index.php/0.4_Desi ... _in_Combat


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:52 am 
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Regardless of how it's done, I think Planetary Shields should be balanced by considerable maintanance costs.

For the details, I like the way Moo2 did it, where it reduced damage but never eliminated it. The shield it's self never got "depleted" as long as the generator operated, but since it was so big you could punch holes through with bigger/higher-tech guns. Moo2 did basic integer subtractions, we could have percent-based damage reductions, even varying ratios of reduction based on the amount of damage done or weapon mount (so like, a heavy hit tends to punch through with only a 25% reduction, point defense barely trickles through with a 75% reduction, etc.)

I do think planets should interact with ships. I dont think you should have tangible shipyards & other orbitals though.
The abstract defense meter is great. I'd like to be able to tell my ships to concentrate on the ground batteries if that's what was hurting me the most though. Individual bars during a battle would be nice. When you tell some ships to attack a planet, you could select a sub-system to focus on like the Ground Batteries or the Shipyards. Here's a visualization:
Image
As your ships obey your order to focus on Ground Batteries, the planet's Ground Battery meter goes down and as it does, the amount & frequency of the red beams coming from the Planet to hurt your ships decrease. This meter would reset after the end of each battle, just like the 'hit points' of defensive installations in Moo2.

The idea is that all shipyards & orbitals & batteries are made abstract, with some rough visual to show their presence & actions. in this case teh grey X is orbital Def. and shipyards are the grey boxes. If you told your ships to attack the shipyards, the blue shipyard meter would go down and those grey boxes would start to dissapear. You don't actually target "a" shipyard. You just give the high-level fleet orders.

EDIT: Just wanted to add in that from the defender's point of view, if he looks at his planet, the Ground Battery meter should flash to indicate that it is the batteries which are under attack and nothing else. If attack had no focus, everything would flash, but obviously damage would be taken slower since it's distributed.

EDIT AGAIN lol: This is a very zoomed in camera view ofcourse.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:25 am 
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I think the idea is that Planetary Shields effectively Remove the Surface of the Planet from Tactical combat (to allow Ground combat/bioweapons to be useful... it gets nearly impossible to just glass a planet with shields from orbit... but you can lavd troops and have Them glass everything, or use bioweapons

Only Orbital installations could attack incoming ships (and would be similar to immobile ships themselves in some respects)

A Planetary Shield would be so tough that only Entire Years of bombardment could take it down, but it couldn't let weapons leave


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:17 am 
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Looks like I arrived late to the party.

I rather like utilae's idea, and it doesn't really conflict with what's in the design doc. Letting players design the orbitals that would be included in planetary defense constellations would be fun, and you can always /auto it if you don't care to.

As to mines: it would seem to make sense for minelayers to give the defender a certain area of minefields to be placed before the battle. There generally wouldn't be time to lay extensive minefields in actual combat. Also, adding ECM to mines is a little silly. ECM uses active deception to obfuscate the exact location and nature of a target, so the minefield would be a giant glowing blob on enemy sensors. What you'd want to do would be make them out of energy absorbent/low profile materials and then build them to give off the least amount of emissions possible as cheaply as possible. As for mining starlanes: you're not really mining the starlane, you're mining the exit point. Also, if you put mines right next to it so that your own ships pop out of hyperspace next to it, chances are you'll end up blowing up your own people, so there would sensibly be a limit as for how close you could put mines to a warp point. They would still be useful for area denial, channeling enemy movement, limiting the speed at which they can enter the system, etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Tsenzouken wrote:
I rather like utilae's idea, and it doesn't really conflict with what's in the design doc. Letting players design the orbitals that would be included in planetary defense constellations would be fun, and you can always /auto it if you don't care to.

I don't really like the idea of being able to auto planetary defenses as an option if you can actually design them, because the player who actually takes the time to design all their planetary defenses will always have an advantage. This=advantage for microing=longer turns for no reason=not good.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:07 am 
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You only really need to design the pattern once. Not per planet.


This counters the microing, because you never micro on a per-planet basis, only on an empire scale. Not only would it add flavor, but also provide possible weaknesses to exploit. This would be something that would require balancing work.


Last edited by Tsenzouken on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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