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Should we return overlapping supply?
Poll ended at Mon May 01, 2017 3:33 am
Yes, absolutely 18%  18%  [ 2 ]
Yes, but only to address current issues 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Don't care 18%  18%  [ 2 ]
No, we should implement some other solution 27%  27%  [ 3 ]
No, absolutely not 36%  36%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 11
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 Post subject: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:33 am 
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Okay, so I've ranted in few other threads, but I think the current implementation of the supply mechanic is broken. I think we should simply roll the mechanic back to the previous form that allowed for overlapping supply. I think it is the simplest solution the the concerns in these threads here, here, here and even here.

Right now distributed empires, deep-space exploration and "stealth as a strategy" are only possible using highly specialized strategies with the current mechanic. Multiple threads have been proposed that would include all sorts of possibly complicated changes to game-mechanics that might not even fully work themselves. I think there are other issues in these areas to address but I think returning to overlapping supply is the most simple solution. If we want to return something like the current mechanic later, I think we could after we figure out how to do it without creating the problems we have now. I do think there are other issues, but I think this change in game mechanics has actually created problems that weren't there before and the simplest solution would be to revert to the former system where most of these weren't issues. I want to collect information to see how people feel about this.

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Last edited by labgnome on Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:17 am 
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I was never 100% sold on the idea, but having played it a lot, I've both gotten used to it and like it.

Now here's a caveat, I work in politics, mostly in the backend. This:
labgnome wrote:
Right now distributed empires, deep-space exploration and "stealth as a strategy" are impossible with the current mechanic.

Hyperbole. And provably false.

If you want to persuade people of a case, make the case realistically, asserting something as true that's clearly not hurts the case you're trying to make.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:59 am 
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MatGB wrote:
I was never 100% sold on the idea, but having played it a lot, I've both gotten used to it and like it.

Now here's a caveat, I work in politics, mostly in the backend. This:
labgnome wrote:
Right now distributed empires, deep-space exploration and "stealth as a strategy" are impossible with the current mechanic.

Hyperbole. And provably false.

If you want to persuade people of a case, make the case realistically, asserting something as true that's clearly not hurts the case you're trying to make.
I have yet to come close to doing it, and it was a regular strategy for me before, so I don't take it back. It is impossible for me, and I have yet to hear of someone pulling it off under the current mechanic. You say it's provably false: then prove it.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:18 am 
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Deep space exploration is dead easy with the current mechanic: I do it in every single game, it has always been my strategy to explore the map as much as possible.

By far the easiest approach is to use Organic line hulls, a Symbiotic Hull with Active Radar and Electromagnetic Dampener has two slots spare, so fuel and/or a ramscoop work fine. Depending on map size you can get most if not all of it stealthily mapped (obviously you'll need to upgrade the design over the game) a long time before you're ready to actually take down whoever you want to attack.

A ramscoop combined with an organic hull gives a really high refuel rate, scouts can keep moving almost constantly massively out of supply.

Stealth as a combat strategy isn't always viable because the AIs or other opponents can improve detection, and are doing so more with more recent versions as detection has been bumped up a priority. Regardless of this, it's still ridiculously overpowered up until detection is acheived, Fighters in particular are a massive boost to it, in such a way I worry it's too powerful.

That's 2 out of your 3 solved.

The third would take more work in a way it's probably not worth it, but stealthed carriers equipped with interceptors can hold your supply lines open, and you can stealth up colony ships easily, so expanding without being seen is fairly easy to do: I don't do this much because outwitting the AI isn't exactly a challenge.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:16 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
Deep space exploration is dead easy with the current mechanic: I do it in every single game, it has always been my strategy to explore the map as much as possible.

By far the easiest approach is to use Organic line hulls, a Symbiotic Hull with Active Radar and Electromagnetic Dampener has two slots spare, so fuel and/or a ramscoop work fine. Depending on map size you can get most if not all of it stealthily mapped (obviously you'll need to upgrade the design over the game) a long time before you're ready to actually take down whoever you want to attack.

A ramscoop combined with an organic hull gives a really high refuel rate, scouts can keep moving almost constantly massively out of supply.
Point made. However, the fact that the organic hulls are currently disincentivized by the game was a topic recently.

MatGB wrote:
Stealth as a combat strategy isn't always viable because the AIs or other opponents can improve detection, and are doing so more with more recent versions as detection has been bumped up a priority. Regardless of this, it's still ridiculously overpowered up until detection is acheived, Fighters in particular are a massive boost to it, in such a way I worry it's too powerful.
Good point. I would maintain that stealth as a strategy has been made non-viable against a human opponent, as even if they couldn't "see" your empire they'd still be able to see your disruption of supply. I never said it would solve all of the issues. Personally the more I think about it, the more I don't think we could have a primarily stealth strategy be a major game mechanic with the presence of passive borders/disrupted supply.

MatGB wrote:
The third would take more work in a way it's probably not worth it, but stealthed carriers equipped with interceptors can hold your supply lines open, and you can stealth up colony ships easily, so expanding without being seen is fairly easy to do: I don't do this much because outwitting the AI isn't exactly a challenge.
I would say that this sounds like it still might not be possible, at least in the sense that it does not sound maintainable strategy to me, but I'll accept that it's theoretically possible at this point with the introduction of carriers.

You're point has been made and my original post amended to reflect this. My position is still that "borders" should be something that you actively, not passively maintain. It is still the simplest and most parsimonious solution to many of the current issues. I don't like them and I'm not going to like them at the current rate.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:36 pm 
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I have successfully played stealthy empire strategies.

I agree with MatGB, for the reasons MatGB stated. The strategy works with/without stealthy carriers.

I'll add one point.

An empire gets full utility of the research points from planets that are not supply connected, which is useful for an empire in the stealth vs detection race. It means that supply doesn't matter if you use the isolated colonies for research. This is one of the benefits of the supply mechanic, it differentiates between research which is galactic and production which is supply island local.

The strategy can be summarized as: research stealthy planets and ships; use stealthy scouts to find planets for stealthy colony ships; use stealthy colonies to research more stealthy tech. It is more highly focused than "highly specialized".


Any strategy will be less effective against a human than our AI. Using a strategy successfully against an experience human player requires committing more completely than against the AI. For example, with an early rush strategy against a human, if you fail, there may be a riposte because the human knows that you have burned resources on the alpha strike and don't have a defense. The AI does not operate with this same level of abstraction. This is the same with the stealth strategy. As long as you stay ahead of your opponents, human or AI, in the stealth vs detection race, you can keep the game non-interactive. This does not mean that either an early rush or stealth don't work. Sometimes they work and sometimes they do not.


labgnome wrote:
I would maintain that stealth as a strategy has been made non-viable against a human opponent, as even if they couldn't "see" your empire they'd still be able to see your disruption of supply.

The supply disruption is not what reveals your colonies. Opposing players can see the colonies with a note saying this colony's stealth exceeds your detection. Even inexperienced players will be prompted to research more detection.



For the poll, I chose "No absolutely not". That is worded more confrontationally than necessary. If I could have chosen "We need to have more discussion about the nature of the problem", then I would have. The discussion currently spans the range from the stealth strategy is non-viable to it is over powered.


labgnome wrote:
You're point has been made and my original post amended to reflect this.

Changing the meaning of the original post was confusing. It makes MatGB's subsequent post seems to be debating a non-issue. I managed to read the original post and the newer one. It would have been more confusing if I had only read the edited version.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Actually non of the given poll replies are a fit for me.

I like the current supply mechanics as they simulate "trade war" for me between the empires.
You can "feel" the empires pushing their economic power against each other. I actually hope that supply will have more connotation into that direction in the future.

That said, I do like the stealthy supply idea. If your military vessels can enter enemy space without being stopped, so should non-military vessels (at least if you invest in a hidden supply fleet).
Extending your supply by hidden supply lines is a very elegant and I think natural way of doing this.
And the UI would be much much cleaner than the old overlapping supplies.

In essence would like a mixture of both. So what option should I choose in the poll? - took "No, we should implement some other solution"

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:06 am 
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LGM-Doyle wrote:
An empire gets full utility of the research points from planets that are not supply connected, which is useful for an empire in the stealth vs detection race. It means that supply doesn't matter if you use the isolated colonies for research. This is one of the benefits of the supply mechanic, it differentiates between research which is galactic and production which is supply island local.
You also cannot supply through allied territory either, making coordination against a common enemy highly difficult, and alliances nearly pointless.

LGM-Doyle wrote:
The supply disruption is not what reveals your colonies. Opposing players can see the colonies with a note saying this colony's stealth exceeds your detection. Even inexperienced players will be prompted to research more detection.
The "space cloud" monster (and its later forms) were specifically created to make it difficult to tell stealthed player planets form the activity of a random space monster. So just "seeing" you plants should not be enough to give yourself away. However the disruption of supply is a sure-fire giveaway as planets stealthed by the cloud-monster do not disrupt supply.

LGM-Doyle wrote:
For the poll, I chose "No absolutely not". That is worded more confrontationally than necessary. If I could have chosen "We need to have more discussion about the nature of the problem", then I would have. The discussion currently spans the range from the stealth strategy is non-viable to it is over powered.
Firstly: if this is a change that is going to be made I'd rather see it go into place before there is a solid commitment to any of the other ideas presented so far, as I dislike all of them in their current forms, and find the current mechanic highly irritating.

Secondly: I have not seen anyone here argue that stealth is overpowered (unless this is a discussion I missed between my last time here and now). Where are you getting that?

LGM-Doyle wrote:
labgnome wrote:
You're point has been made and my original post amended to reflect this.

Changing the meaning of the original post was confusing. It makes MatGB's subsequent post seems to be debating a non-issue. I managed to read the original post and the newer one. It would have been more confusing if I had only read the edited version.
That's because it isn't an issue anymore. I also clearly state that I made the edit and state my reason for doing so. He made his point and I conceded it. My first post is intended to be a statement of purpose. However, I over-stated that part of my point in the original post. That still doesn't change my position on the issue.

Ophiuchus wrote:
I like the current supply mechanics as they simulate "trade war" for me between the empires.
You can "feel" the empires pushing their economic power against each other. I actually hope that supply will have more connotation into that direction in the future.
I greatly dislike it and feel completely the opposite. I hate that it's completely passive and not only do I not have to do anything to disrupt my neighbor's trade except make colonies or research supply techs, but they're in the same position. Not only that taking your explanation you're in a "trade war" even with other empires you're at peace with. I don't want to have to go to war with my neighbor just because I want to keep a supply connection to colonies or outpost along our border. Game conflict should be initiated actively not passively. I should be able to choose who I have a conflict with, not be forced into it though basic mechanics and the circumstance of proximity. I want to be able to not have to worry about harassment from at least one of my neighbors, and under the current mechanic I can be harassed by them simply by them having supply nearby.

Ophiuchus wrote:
That said, I do like the stealthy supply idea. If your military vessels can enter enemy space without being stopped, so should non-military vessels (at least if you invest in a hidden supply fleet).
Extending your supply by hidden supply lines is a very elegant and I think natural way of doing this.
And the UI would be much much cleaner than the old overlapping supplies.
I never had a problem with the old UI. I honestly find the idea of having to be in a stealth vs. detection arms race with my neighbors just to not have to worry about supply disruption almost as annoying as the current mechanic. However it is the idea I dislike the least. I just don't think it's a good way to handle borders in the game either.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:30 am 
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labgnome wrote:
Game conflict should be initiated actively not passively.

Would love to see a neutral diplomatic status added and defaulted to. I don't know if the omission of such was an early design decision or just not yet implemented(diplomacy).

As noted above, I would also like to see supply routes overlap or shared among allied players.

I'd rather not see the 'new' supply mechanic removed if a neutral diplomatic stance is possible, rather it would only apply to enemies.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:36 am 
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labgnome wrote:
You also cannot supply through allied territory either, making coordination against a common enemy highly difficult, and alliances nearly pointless.
True, but diplomacy doesn't exist in the game in any sensible definition, there are random chances of AI players agreeing to work with you. Diplomacy is planned, at which point alliances will be specced out properly. This issue was raised (IIRC by Vezzra?) during initial testing and the plan is that real alliances will be able, in some way, possibly with tech requirements, share supply.
Quote:
So just "seeing" you plants should not be enough to give yourself away. However the disruption of supply is a sure-fire giveaway as planets stealthed by the cloud-monster do not disrupt supply.

Yes, but the planets disrupting supply was a late addition just before Release and isn't in the long term plan.

Basically, in playtesting I managed to completely shut down AI opponents as supply would propagate to each system based on highest there, so you could have your supply override an opposing players and have supply control of their system.

This is in the long term plan in some way, but the AI team did not have the time then or now to teach the AI how to defend supply lines in a way a player can, ergo the fix of planets blocking supply as well as ships was put in.
Quote:
Secondly: I have not seen anyone here argue that stealth is overpowered (unless this is a discussion I missed between my last time here and now). Where are you getting that?
That's probably me being unclear in a comment above: currently, stealthed carriers are overpowered against the AI, if you are sufficiently ahead in stealth and have unarmed carriers, you can completely overwhelm a high power military AI with a small number of ship at zero cost to yourself.

This is mostly a problem because the AI doesn't know to up the priority of detection techs if it's up against stealthed opponents: again, this is planned. I doubt it would work for long if at all against a sensible player.

I discovered this by accident when I had a very small force meant to defend my border while I invaded elsewhere manage, over time, to completely destroy a fairly powerful AI war machine, I think I took out an entire AI with 2 carriers, 2 stealth frigates and troop ships. I've replicated this fairly frequently since and am working on ways to make it less evil, but ultimately it'll be fixed when the AI is able to prioritise research and remember that blocked supply means threat, neither of which it can currently do.
Quote:
Not only that taking your explanation you're in a "trade war" even with other empires you're at peace with. I don't want to have to go to war with my neighbor just because I want to keep a supply connection to colonies or outpost along our border. Game conflict should be initiated actively not passively. I should be able to choose who I have a conflict with, not be forced into it though basic mechanics and the circumstance of proximity. I want to be able to not have to worry about harassment from at least one of my neighbors, and under the current mechanic I can be harassed by them simply by them having supply nearby.

Again, this isn't a problem with the supply mechanic, it's a problem that we don't have a diplomacy system, currently in the game you're at war with everyone by default, and if you're playing against Maniacal AIs you're always at war with everyone.

When we have diplomacy it changes, but for now any peace simply is simply a non aggression pact, cultural expansion is still going to happen: hopefully diplomacy can happen sooner rather than later, but it relies on better Devs than me, especially the AI team, being able to work on it, until then there is no peace amongst our stars: there is only war (hey look, I managed another WH40K reference without meaning to...)
Quote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
That said, I do like the stealthy supply idea. If your military vessels can enter enemy space without being stopped, so should non-military vessels (at least if you invest in a hidden supply fleet).
Extending your supply by hidden supply lines is a very elegant and I think natural way of doing this.
And the UI would be much much cleaner than the old overlapping supplies.
I never had a problem with the old UI. I honestly find the idea of having to be in a stealth vs. detection arms race with my neighbors just to not have to worry about supply disruption almost as annoying as the current mechanic. However it is the idea I dislike the least. I just don't think it's a good way to handle borders in the game either.
[/quote]Well, nothing's finished.

Vezzra had said in the past he disliked that you can 'see' supply lines even to systems you can't actually see currently and that supply was always visible, I hadn't at the time considered it a problem but now I do. If we have a tech to hide supply lines, or have an 'empire stealth' tech that's used as a default for supply lines and outposts, that would be an acceptable stopgap until diplomacy and a properly thought through system can be implemented.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:27 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Again, this isn't a problem with the supply mechanic, it's a problem that we don't have a diplomacy system, currently in the game you're at war with everyone by default, and if you're playing against Maniacal AIs you're always at war with everyone.
But it is: this problem didn't exist until the mechanic was changed. I might not have been able to have a proper alliance, but I could have a more functional one. They have in fact been rendered even less relevant. It seriously detracts form my game experience and I don't actually want for wait for diplomacy to come around after the influence mechanic just to not have to consider starting a war just because my supply bumped into someone else's. It's basically getting to the point where I just play alone against the guardian monsters because the AI empires winding up next door have become more irritating than getting surrounded by dyson trees.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:23 am 
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Sounds like making it possible to supply-connect through at-peace-other-empires' territory, and perhaps also resupply ships in their territory, would resolve a major part of the complaints. That would not be especially difficult to implement.

Some minor quirks to work out with regard to what counts as adjacent with other empires... Current supply mechanics block propagation into a system if the top competing empires have equal propagated range into a system. Would probably not want to connect two empires' supply networks if they both reach into adjacent systems but neither has range to go a step further into a system into which the other also has range. Probably could say:
-If two systems are connected by a starlane, and the propagated range into the systems is at least 1 (ie. could go a lane further) for either empire, the two networks can be connected.
-If a system is not supply connected to any empire, but there are at least two empires that could supply connect to it if not for having tied range and thus neither getting into it, then the two can connect networks through that system.
-Can't merge supply networks if the connection point is obstructed for either empire.

eg.
Code:
Two empires' (a and b) networks are adjacent without sufficient range to extend further, even if the other empire wasn't there, can't connect:
2a - 1a - 0a - 0b - 1b - 2b

Two empires (a and b) tied, neither reaches into system X, can still connect networks through X:
2a - X - 2b

Three empires (a,b,c) tied at one jump apart, all can connect to eachother:
4a - 4b
  \ /
  4c

Supply propagation for one empire (b) blocked by obstruction ( ] ) that doesn't affect the other empire (a), can't connect:
2a] - 4b

Also, I'm increasingly feeling like the mechanics have reached a point where a basic government system is needed, so that effects can be enabled and disabled by choice... Eg. An effect that reducing the supply range of all your colonies substantially, specifically to be used to prevent them from extending supply and thus revealing their presence. Various other optional effects would also be possible. The Civ6 government card system seems nice to me for this purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Sounds like making it possible to supply-connect through at-peace-other-empires' territory, and perhaps also resupply ships in their territory, would resolve a major part of the complaints. That would not be especially difficult to implement.
That's good to hear. I didn't want to either presume that would be an easy fix just because it sounded like one or propose yet another new game mechanic.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Some minor quirks to work out with regard to what counts as adjacent with other empires... Current supply mechanics block propagation into a system if the top competing empires have equal propagated range into a system. Would probably not want to connect two empires' supply networks if they both reach into adjacent systems but neither has range to go a step further into a system into which the other also has range. Probably could say:
-If two systems are connected by a starlane, and the propagated range into the systems is at least 1 (ie. could go a lane further) for either empire, the two networks can be connected.
-If a system is not supply connected to any empire, but there are at least two empires that could supply connect to it if not for having tied range and thus neither getting into it, then the two can connect networks through that system.
-Can't merge supply networks if the connection point is obstructed for either empire.
I think so...
Basically at peace = old supply mechanic and at war = current supply mechanic? I'd say implement whatever is the fewest or simplest tweaks to make and work out details in subsequent releases.

I'm guessing that for various states it would look something like this:
  • Magenta at war with Cyan and Blue but at peach with Green.
  • Green, Cyan and Blue are all at peace with each other.
Attachment:
Starlane Supply.png
Starlane Supply.png [ 49.75 KiB | Viewed 252 times ]

  • Cyan has better supply than Magenta, so disrupts Magenta's supply.
  • Because Cyan and Blue are at peace Cyan blocks Magenta's supply while allowing Blue's supply
  • Magenta and Blue have equal supply, so they can block but neither one can disrupt the other.
  • Even though Magenta and Blue are at war, because Green is at peace with them Green's supply can be carried through either of their systems.
  • There is one system with a space-monster blocking supply, disrupting the connection for colonies for both Green and Blue

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Also, I'm increasingly feeling like the mechanics have reached a point where a basic government system is needed, so that effects can be enabled and disabled by choice... Eg. An effect that reducing the supply range of all your colonies substantially, specifically to be used to prevent them from extending supply and thus revealing their presence. Various other optional effects would also be possible. The Civ6 government card system seems nice to me for this purpose.
I totally agree. I even have preliminary ideas for FO along those lines. I just do not want to wait another two or three releases for proper government or diplomacy. Especially given all the currently existing things that need to be balanced or re-balanced. Though I think the supply giving away colonies could be solved by having the "default" state or relations be some kind of "neutral" that would not passively disrupt supply, but still allow you to actively do so if you wanted to, but that's probably a bit more complicated than the current fix you're proposing.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:02 pm 
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labgnome wrote:
Basically at peace = old supply mechanic and at war = current supply mechanic?
No. The current supply mechanic would remain for determining which empire "owns" or "can supply into" a given system. The change would be to let empires use allies' supply connections as if they were their own.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
labgnome wrote:
Basically at peace = old supply mechanic and at war = current supply mechanic?
No. The current supply mechanic would remain for determining which empire "owns" or "can supply into" a given system. The change would be to let empires use allies' supply connections as if they were their own.
Maybe? That sounds more complicated and possibly a bit more confusing than what I was thinking. I'll take your word that it is easy to implement.
  • What happens if I colonize a planet in the middle of allied territory? Or what happens if an ally does that to me?
  • Why do we need to assign who "owns" a system before we have functional government or diplomacy to do anything with or about that?
  • Why can't we have two empires "supply into" the same system?

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