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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:38 am 
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Daveybaby wrote:
I just figured that if you had limited building slots, you would probably need all of them in order to meet the requirements for a given ship type
Ah, ok. We agree then. I looked at it as needing more slots to make that system feasible, rather than few slots making it necessary to have lots of specialized shipyards...
Geoff the Medio wrote:
How many "slots" are there going to be? I was thinking roughly 4 or so... but having all these shipyard options go into slots would requie a lot more than that...

It is a serious issue though... as both "solutions" suck, imho.

Well... suck in that having 10 or more slots per planet is silly, and it'd then be better to just not have slots at all, or make shipyard upgrades not take up building slots.

... I am slightly torn though, in that I really dislike it when the only drawback to having something (aside from having to build it and not build something else) is a small "upkeep" or "maintainance" cost. In civ, the only ongoing cost for keeping an extra unit or building around is a few PP or gold / turn upkeep. This never really "registers" with me as a real cost, though, and I don't usually consider it when decided to build a unit. For FO buildings, having limited slots would be a more tangible drawback: If I build the facility to make lasers, I can't have missiles here as well.

Other more... "direct" drawbacks are feasible though. I've been keen for some time on buildings having penalties to various meters and such to balance their bonuses, in addition to maintainance.

I suppose it might also help if the maintainace for a single building is much more substantial than in Civ. 1 to 4 gold / turn doesn't make much of a difference for a single unit or building when you're pulling in 50 or 200 / turn. Yes it matters if you've got 40 of the building or 30 more units, but it's hard / not fun to make that sort of cost cutting decision for each building / unit. It helps that FO has less generic / mundame buildings, but I'd still like the individual semi-wonders having big upkeep costs if they have them at all... say 10 or 20 money units / turn when pulling in 50 or 200. Make *each* building's cost be a big deal for the empire.

Not sure what to do about ship maintainance though... Making it a cost a different resource isn't enough.

(and I realize that my stupidity or style of play are bad things to soley base a design on, but perhaps some useful design ideas can arise from them)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:30 am 
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i´ll bring up an old proposal again: (now is a better time for it i guess ;) )

constructing an oribital platform provides 3 orbital slots in addition to the planet-based slots. oribtal slots are used for military stuff like shipyard modules, repair docks or stationary defeses, planet slots are only used for civilian stuff like economy, research, environment (stuff that doesn´t need regular attention)

so basicly, everything that is of importance for combat is concentrated in orbitals - no clicking on planets is needed. orbitals could be system-based and shown on galaxy map to give players a better overview.

an early-game orbital platform could look like this:

slot 1: tiny/small ship production
slot 2: repair dock
slot 3: missile defense

very allround, it can construct tiny or small ships with standard components to choose from, repair those ships, and it also provides some defense vs unexpected early rushes.

a highly specialized mid-game orbital platform:

slot 1: tiny/small ship production
slot 2: advanced engine production
slot 3: heavy weapons production

this one can construct f.e. lots of tiny, very fast, unarmored ships that carry heavy torpedos to blow up the enemy´s oritals or death stars - think of a swarm of mad killer-bees ready to suicide ;)

a last one, a trap for the killer-bees:
slot 1: tiny/small ship production
slot 2: anti-missile systems
slot 3: stasis trap

combat starts, the killer bees head for the orital at full speed, release their torpedos, but the anti-missile systems make sure most of them miss. the bees retreat, but stasis trap prevents them from leaving combat - without any secondary waepons, the bees are screwed now and get picked off by a bunch of standard fighters.


one more thing about defenses: i think it´s ok to merge defenses with shipyards - just like shipyards, defenses are something you don´t want to be spammed all over your empire, but at certain points of strategic importance - at chokepoints, wonders, resources, or around your homeworld. turtling will also be harder - if you scout well, i guess most of the time you will be able to find a way to navigate around well-defended systems in order to pick on the weak ones.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 12:20 pm 
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How far off topic can a design thread go before Aquitaine implodes?

I was thinking of addons being more interesting than "advanced engines" and "heavy weapons". My conception involved something like an RTS, where a particular building let you build certain categories of ship part. The categories are part of a complicated rock-paper-scissors strategic web of counters. The "tech level" of the parts you can build depends on what you reserach, not the addons.

Starcraft has the "hydralisk den", "defiler mound" and "spawning pool", which let you make the units "hydralisks", "defilers" and "zerglings" respectively. FO could have "metacelluar regeneration biovats", "stellar plasmatap" and "telepathic colony" that let you make the ship component types "organic armour", "plasma-based weapons and armour" and "telepathic armaments" respectively. Addons for larger hulls are fine, though I'd prefer the larger hulls to not always be better than smaller hulls for a given production cost. Addons could also have a prerequisites to build tree, like Starcraft buildings. (And these are just a sample... the web would have much more and be more complicated than just RPS)

The main point here is that if you only have 3 orbital slots, then things get too restrictive. Defence vs. Production capacity / options is a nice tradeoff, but not worth it, imho.

I don't really see the need for slots on the planet either... but in orbit they'd be even more restrictive. (And would also create the need to have many more shipyards around the empire than I think is wanted)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 12:59 pm 
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Quote:
FO could have "metacelluar regeneration biovats", "stellar plasmatap" and "telepathic colony" that let you make the ship component types "organic armour", "plasma-based weapons and armour" and "telepathic armaments" respectively.


Obviously, our stuff should have creative names and do cool things. That goes for ships parts, techs, buildings, race picks, planet specials, etc. Seems like you have might have a talent for it, which will be useful in the coming weeks (tech tree and building design).

Quote:
The main point here is that if you only have 3 orbital slots, then things get too restrictive. Defence vs. Production capacity / options is a nice tradeoff, but not worth it, imho.


I figured there'd be four or five slots on a planet. That should be plenty: players shouldn't be able to build every last single type of shipyard on a planet. Via limiting slots to a low number, the player is forced to pick and choose carefully.

Don't know if I like the orbital slots; actually pretty sure I don't. Half the idea of slots is that the player has to choose between sticking military production, defensive, or economic into the slot. Orbital slots "cheat"--the player can have it both ways.

Davey:
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I just figured that if you had limited building slots, you would probably need all of them in order to meet the requirements for a given ship type, so you would probably end up needing at least 1 shipyard (plus upgrades) for each ship type you wanted to build. Probably not a serious issue, but worth bearing in mind.


a) any shipyard would be able to build using basic parts
b) it's a feature, imho, not a bug, esp. if shipyards are uber-expensive to maintain (both in terms of PP locally and money from the empire). It would be foolish to build lots of different shipyard combinations, since it would sap away resources from actually building ships.

Example: The main Romulan shipyard world has a Cloak Fab on it, so their ships tend to have cloaks. The Romulans would be wise to research better cloaking tech and find strategic resources that grant bonuses to cloaks. Meanwhile, the Federation, through various means of intelligence, discovers the Romulan focus on Cloaking. They'd then know to target cloaking strategic resources and the Cloaking Fab. Wisely, the Feds held off from building in the final slot of their main shipyard planets. While they've so far produced crappier ships because of this, they are now in a good position to build Advanced Sensor facilities to counter the Cloaking devices.

I find that it's too easy to switch production to counter enemy tactics in many strat games. Locking players into a strat (making it expensive to change mid-course) should diversify the number of potential strats, as opposed to moo2 where you'd just research and build everything. Players would have to devote a lot more thought into ship/shipyard design, since esp. early to mid game they'd pretty much be stuck with whatever they have.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 1:55 pm 
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Drek: You sold me on your shipyard concept. I like the idea that you will have to make a long term strategy to your ship building, as long as it's not super-restrictive (which it seems is along your lines of though, too).
I think the basic shipyard would give you access to most hull types(maybe not deathstars) and most weapons and ship systems. Then the add on modules are for special types like cloaking, deathstars, carriers, command ships, etc and/or bonuses to the things you can build from the base shipyard (like double capacity shields).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:00 pm 
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drek wrote:
Quote:
"metacelluar regeneration biovats", "stellar plasmatap" and "telepathic colony"

Obviously, our stuff should have creative names and do cool things. [...] Seems like you have might have a talent for it
Seriously? By now, I figured most not-completely-stupid ideas for sci-fi techs are pretty clichéd... (including those, which are about as insightful as treknobabble)

Regarding what stuff does in game, I'm actually a little worried right now. A disturbingly large number of CivIII and SMAC wonders are "free (building) in every city", "(building) effect doubled" or "acts as super-(building)". Given the abstractions that are being done in FO, these effects translate to variations on "+# to all / some planets' meters". Is that most of what wonders will be able to do? I guess some can unlock stuff, or meddle with details of as-yet-undesigned other systems... but mostly meter meddling isn't a whole lot of variety.

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I figured there'd be four or five slots on a planet. That should be plenty: players shouldn't be able to build every last single type of shipyard on a planet. Via limiting slots to a low number, the player is forced to pick and choose carefully.
Or just build a whole bunch of shipyards all over to get access to all the options. I don't necessarily see this as a problem... but if we want there to be only a very few shipyards, this might be a bad system.
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if shipyards are uber-expensive to maintain [...] It would be foolish to build lots of different shipyard [...] it would sap away resources [...]
Good point... though I do worry that only having one or two options per shipyard, and not being able to make any more, would be more annoying than strategically fun. Maybe it's just a paradigm shift I'd need to make.
Quote:
Wisely, the Feds held off from building in the final slot of their main shipyard planets.
No scrapping / replacing of stuff in slots? (Annoyance-meter rising!)
Quote:
Locking players into a strat (making it expensive to change mid-course) should diversify the number of potential strats, as opposed to moo2 where you'd just research and build everything. Players would have to devote a lot more thought into ship/shipyard design, since esp. early to mid game they'd pretty much be stuck with whatever they have.
I'd think strat-locking would be better done by making the cost of researching many different branches of the tree more expensive than researching a select few. In that case, the slots limitation for shipyard addons/types would be redundant...

Also, it can't be impossible to change strats, as the game would be completely based on luck. If you happen to pick a set of components that bests what your enemy picks, you win... there would be no chance to react or adjust strategies to counter.

Edit: Thought: An addon / yard type doesn't have to unlock only a single type of component... they could come in groups... perhaps with some overlap. (But I'd like to avoid ending up unlocking discrete combinations that only work as a set, as then we're back to RTS units, and not actually designing ships.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 2:31 pm 
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Quote:
No scrapping / replacing of stuff in slots? (Annoyance-meter rising!)


Of course you can scrap / replace stuff, but it's a waste of resources.

If you build max Shield Yards at your main shipyard planets and later find that you need Laser Yards to counter the enemy, then you've wasted PP and turns constructing the Shield Yards (which now need to be scrapped) that could have been spent on economic improvments or mo' ships.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:07 pm 
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Back to the pooling limitations:

Are we going to vote/review the method of pooling limitations?

I see a few options now:

1) Davey's distance method of PP loss
2) My infrastructure effeiciency method of PP loss
3) PC's infrastructure hard # requirement for building method
4) combinations

The Shipyard limitations are somewhat different, as they only appy to ships.

A) Davey's local maintainance fees
B) Drek's slots for parts
C) combination

Add others if I've missed any.

I think a combination, C, is the best for shipyards.
The shipyard limitations still don't address buildings/wonders limitations. I think we need something in this area, as well. I think a combination of 2 and 3 would work well. I can see that there should be some infrastructure minimum requirement for building certain things, but additional limitations are required. I think that my method passes the KISS test. It would be applied to all build projects. I would say that any of them, once refined would be good (I'm not married to my system, but I might as well argue for it until it is squashed :D ).

Related is the idea that infrastructure will either build itself or be built by PP. I know there is some support to just leave it alone, but I would like to see the ability to speed up or slow down the rate of infrastructure growth. This adds strategic depth to the economy and fits in well with my propotional loss pooling limitation.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:51 am 
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Ragnar:
-There was some discussion of local-only PP for buildings, and pooled PP for ships: http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2369#12369

(Is that what you meant by "3) PC's infrastructure hard # requirement for building method" ? If making a listing like that, a bit more description would be good... or a link.)

-I've suggested making addons for shipyards that do not require slots. The shipyard itself could optionally take a building slot, but the upgrades would not.

http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2731#12731

-You missed the "no limits" at all on pooled spending option. Would just have X / turn for Y turns and would balance by balancing ship costs for effectiveness.

http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2502#12502
http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2555#12555


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:06 pm 
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Personally I'm sold on (any of a variety of minor variations on) Davey's local maintenance fees to limit shipyard output, i.e. a fixed base and a cost proportional to the maximum rate of PP spend there.

On the other hand, I'm not desperately happy with any of the suggestions for local spending limits.

1) Daveybaby's distance method - I'm worried about UI issues, encouraging players to fiddle about too much with the assignments of supporting and supported locations, how appropriate 'distance' is in a starlane based game etc.

2) Infrastructure efficiency method. One key point, what is the maximum infrastructure level (i.e. 100%)?. If it's fixed thoroughout the game, then surely initially even your core worlds will be at about 5% to allow room to improve with tech. If it represents 'best available with current tech', then when you discover a new tech, all you spending efficiencies will go DOWN, (as a world with infra rating of (100% of 60) will now be at (75% of 80)).

3) Simple infra# minimums: doesn't really avoid the 'knock out every improvement to a planet all at once' problem, which I'm personally interested in, and totally doesn't address the aesthetic point of pumping out production in a far flung outpost of your empire like it was a core world, which I personally couldn't care less about, but some people find unpleasent.

4) Projects happen in serial (i.e. one thing destined for one planet at a time, Xpp for Yturns means you need to wait a large number of turns to churn out all that stuff..). Upside: addresses the 'everything at once issue'. Downside: annoys the heck out of one of the major proponents of the global build system (not naming names, because everytime I do I remember it wrong and blame the wrong person :) ) EDIT: also, still means a piddly little backwater planet can follow exactly the same development path at the same speed as a maxed out infra core world... so probably needs one of the other limits as well.

I'd think we should have at least a combination of 4) and 3). Though If anyone has a novel and wonderful idea, that might be better.

Perhaps I should add

5) The fleetingly floated idea of ditching local PP completely, and replacing it with building things locally by forgoeing infrastructure development (i.e. from the planet's Construction meter under the meter scheme currently being cobbled together). On the other had, in essence this seems to be isomorphic with localised PP, pooled ship production, and economically costly infrastructure , an option that seemed to garner antipathy in the building review.

(Personally I wanted a max PP per turn limit based on the planets 'General Development Level' (i.e. somethign like the average level of infrastructure, plus projects with X pp for Y and infra # minimums, but I suspect that's unlikely to be popular, and even I admit it might be a bit complicated/clumsy. )


Last edited by emrys on Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 4:37 pm 
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Quote:
4) Projects happen in serial (i.e. one thing destined for one planet at a time, Xpp for Yturns means you need to wait a large number of turns to churn out all that stuff..). Upside: addresses the 'everything at once issue'. Downside: annoys the heck out of one of the major proponents of the global build system (not naming names, because everytime I do I remember it wrong and blame the wrong person )


I don't know if I'm one of the names or not, but I imagine that building projects do happen in serial, on the planet level. Meaning, if you building MegaFactory X on planet Cheese, you can't build Shipyard X on planet Cheese until the first project is finished.

However, you could be building that Shipyard on planet Milk, so in that sense the global queue/pool builds in parallel.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:21 pm 
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emrys wrote:
2) Infrastructure efficiency method. One key point, what is the maximum infrastructure level (i.e. 100%)?. If it's fixed thoroughout the game, then surely initially even your core worlds will be at about 5% to allow room to improve with tech. If it represents 'best available with current tech', then when you discover a new tech, all you spending efficiencies will go DOWN, (as a world with infra rating of (100% of 60) will now be at (75% of 80)).


You got me there.

emrys wrote:
(Personally I wanted a max PP per turn limit based on the planets 'General Development Level' (i.e. somethign like the average level of infrastructure, plus projects with X pp for Y and infra # minimums, but I suspect that's unlikely to be popular, and even I admit it might be a bit complicated/clumsy. )


This got me thinking about a solution to the hole in my method that is somewhat different.

What about merging the efficiency model and your general development level idea? Subject to tweaking and balancing, we can set several levels of production that are based on your own relative development. So, any planet that is within 10% development of your most developed planet could spend 100% PP, any planet within 20% could spent 90% PP, and so on. This would take into account all stages of the game, because it is relative to your most developed planet. I would set it like this as opposed to the 10% most developed get 100%, because that would limit you late game. Theoretically, you could get all your planets within 10% of your most developed.

As far as combining the above with X pp for y and infra # minimums, I am also for that. The building in serial for Y turns should only apply to buildings/wonders, not ships. Ships should still take Y turns, but you should be able to build more than one per shipyard at a time. I would be in favor of limiting the number of ships build in parallel by some type of shipyard capacity. [/quote]


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 5:36 pm 
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No need for all that.

There's a construction meter that's used to determine rate of infrastructure growth. The same meter could determine a multipler to the costs of projects assigned to build on a planet.

Like the resource meters, construction has a max value determined by tech, race picks, and nearby specials. As a colony ages, the current value of Construction rises to match the max value.

But I think we should hold off on introducing this kind of bonus/penalty to construction, and instead just use the various meters as hard limits on what can be built on a planet. Since buildings are meant to be rare and expensive, I doubt we'll be seeing the kinds of problems that would be solved by a variable build cost dependant on infra.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:28 pm 
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I was under the impression that production was in parallel. ie. each project n has a limit of X(n) PP / turn, the planet/shipyard/empire has a limit of Y PP / turn, so you can make Y / X(n) of project n simultaneously.

I don't like any distance based penalties... too complicated to understand when abstracted.

I don't think the construction meter should determine a cost multiplier for stuff built at a planet. Maybe it could determine a PP spending limit locally (as I've previously suggested, but with some function of the Industry meter... but construction works as well or better for this) I also don't like non-resource meters having max / current values and rising over time, but this would be a good reason to do so.

There's no need to list infrastructure as a %. A sum of the the resource meters, or the value of the construction meter are fine.

Don't base spending limits on a "generalized infrastructure" that includes the farming, money, research and mining meters. If it's going to be based in on infrastructure (as in meter levels), then base it on production only. (or construction meter perhaps)

Any civ-corruption-like system sucks. A world shouldn't get less effecient or able to spend PP because another world got more "developed"

Shipyard part maintainace is fine, either set arbitrarily for each shipyard part or always dependent on production capacity. It should not depend on what is current being spent at that shipyard, as then it becomes essentially a tax on ship production (ignoring any constant), which is basically pointless, imo.

Buildings having minimum requirements in for various meters to be constructed is good.

Buildings should be built with the same PP as ships. (Also some food, minearls, reserach money and microresources as well... but mostly production... even for superfarms and wonderlabs that will affect other resource meters when complete)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:01 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
I was under the impression that production was in parallel. ie. each project n has a limit of X(n) PP / turn, the planet/shipyard/empire has a limit of Y PP / turn, so you can make Y / X(n) of project n simultaneously.

I think whats being proposed is a global build queue, with parallel production across separate planets, but keeping a serial build queue for each planet.

Quote:
I don't like any distance based penalties... too complicated to understand when abstracted.

Heh, i'm starting to agree with you, and i proposed it. I'd like to imagine that people just would worry about things to that level of detail, but somehow i doubt it.


Quote:
Any civ-corruption-like system sucks. A world shouldn't get less effecient or able to spend PP because another world got more "developed"

Amen to that.

Quote:
Buildings should be built with the same PP as ships. (Also some food, minearls, reserach money and microresources as well... but mostly production... even for superfarms and wonderlabs that will affect other resource meters when complete)

Eeep... i'd hope production and minerals only. Keep food for feeding people and research for finding out how to build stuff. You've already spent them once, so why need to spend them again when you build something?

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