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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: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:02 pm 
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labgnome wrote:
Why can't we have two empires "supply into" the same system?
A major reason was the difficulty / impossibility of displaying to players who can supply into systems and along which lanes if it's possible for many empires to do so at the same place or along the same lanes.
labgnome wrote:
What happens if I colonize a planet in the middle of allied territory? Or what happens if an ally does that to me?
Right now, the game doesn't care whose territory it used to be; it only cares what supply range is bigger. Whether to add rules preventing colonizing on planets in others' supply networks is a separate issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
A major reason was the difficulty / impossibility of displaying to players who can supply into systems and along which lanes if it's possible for many empires to do so at the same place or along the same lanes.
This sounds like we've tried to solve a UI issue by changing game mechanics, why? Wouldn't at peace = old supply mechanic mitigate most of this?
Geoff the Medio wrote:
labgnome wrote:
What happens if I colonize a planet in the middle of allied territory? Or what happens if an ally does that to me?
Right now, the game doesn't care whose territory it used to be; it only cares what supply range is bigger. Whether to add rules preventing colonizing on planets in others' supply networks is a separate issue.
What I mean by the question is:
  • If player 1 & Player 2 are allies
  • And Player 1 places a colony on an unclaimed planet well inside Player 2's supply network
  • Is Player 1's colony supplied by Player 2's supply network?
  • Can Player 1's planet create a potential supply disruption of Player 2's supply network just by being there?

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:18 pm 
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labgnome wrote:
This sounds like we've tried to solve a UI issue by changing game mechanics, why?
The UI issue is partly due to the actual situation being potentially very complicated, with many overlapping supply networks. Having one empire supply each system is much simpler to understand and display.

It also creates an easily understood region that an empire "controls" or "owns", somewhat like cultural borders in Civ games, and creates possibilities for non-war-based competition between empires to control space.
Quote:
Wouldn't at peace = old supply mechanic mitigate most of this?
No. Peace actually makes it worse, since non-enemy ships don't block supply propagation, so there would be many more lanes and systems with multiple supply networks on them.
Quote:
  • If player 1 & Player 2 are allies
  • And Player 1 places a colony on an unclaimed planet well inside Player 2's supply network
  • Is Player 1's colony supplied by Player 2's supply network?
  • Can Player 1's planet create a potential supply disruption of Player 2's supply network just by being there?
More so Player 1's colony could be connected to other planets in Player 1's empire using a path through another empire's network (or multiple other empires), if the other planets are in supply groups that are close enough. (I don't know exactly what you mean by a colony being supplied... colonies are connected through the supply network, not supplied like ships.)

The system calculates supply propagation based on supply ranges of planets. A planet / colony "just being there" does nothing if a planet doesn't generate enough supply to compete with other nearby planets' supply ranges. A planet / colony can push back other planets' supply if its supply range is big enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
No. Peace actually makes it worse, since non-enemy ships don't block supply propagation, so there would be many more lanes and systems with multiple supply networks on them.

Unfortunatley, I've created a pull request and hit the send button that implements exactly that just before Geoff's post.

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1265

The PR changes the current mechanic in three ways:
1. At peace systems with colonies from a single empire no longer block supply
2. The empire(s) with the highest supply in a system now only block supply of empire that they are at war with.
3. Supply won't propagate into higher supply if at war with that empire.

It does not change the UI and will suffer from all of the complexity issues that Geoff described.

People can try it out if they want. Note, you will only notice the difference if you are at peace with an opposing empire.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:02 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
It also creates an easily understood region that an empire "controls" or "owns", somewhat like cultural borders in Civ games, and creates possibilities for non-war-based competition between empires to control space.
But we have no diplomacy or government mechanic for this to be meaningful. There is also no choice to engage or not.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
More so Player 1's colony could be connected to other planets in Player 1's empire using a path through another empire's network (or multiple other empires), if the other planets are in supply groups that are close enough. (I don't know exactly what you mean by a colony being supplied... colonies are connected through the supply network, not supplied like ships.)
If some construction project on this planet needed extra production not produced by the planet, where does it come from?

Geoff the Medio wrote:
The system calculates supply propagation based on supply ranges of planets. A planet / colony "just being there" does nothing if a planet doesn't generate enough supply to compete with other nearby planets' supply ranges. A planet / colony can push back other planets' supply if its supply range is big enough.
But can't supply propagate through allied networks? Why would it be pushing back? You're response makes me unsure this actually addresses these issues.
LGM-Doyle wrote:
People can try it out if they want. Note, you will only notice the difference if you are at peace with an opposing empire.
I will try it. I don't think I ever had issues with the old UI, but that could be a playstyle thing. Also if so few people use the peace option then we can address this when we get a diplomacy mechanic and will need a more sophisticated and finely-tuned approach anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:38 am 
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Trying to look at the options

Empire A (A is their colony, = is their supply)
Empire B (B is their colony, ~ is their supply)
--- is non supply link
X is blank system
capitals in bold
assume colonies have logistics of 1 or 0.

A==B==A==X--X~~B~~

Bs colony is cut off from the capital (and Bs ships around that colony are not supplied)... regardless of whether A/B are at peace
(true no matter what system is used)

B founds second colony set to logistics
A==B==A==X~~B~~B~~

now the options are
Current situation: Supply does not stack, not propagated through another empire.
The B colony surrounded by A (and any ships throughout As empire) is not connected/supplied

Modified current situation: (supply propagates through empires at peace)
The B colony surrounded by A (and any ships throughout As empire) are connected/supplied IF A+B are at peace.

Overlapping Supply lines:
The B colony surrounded by A (and any ships throughout As empire) is not connected/supplied... they would only be connected/supplied if B had a third colony set to logistics in the same area as As colony
A==B=~A/B=~X~~B~~B~~


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:40 am 
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labgnome wrote:
But we have no diplomacy or government mechanic for this to be meaningful. There is also no choice to engage or not.
So we need to implement them.
Quote:
If some construction project on this planet needed extra production not produced by the planet, where does it come from?
If it the allied empire surrounding a planet has a supply network that reaches to a supply group that includes other planets of the empire that owns the planet, then the planet is treated as part of its owner's supply network and can use PP generated in that group.
Quote:
But can't supply propagate through allied networks?
No. But two disconnected supply groups of a players empire could be connected to eachother if one or more allied empires' supply networks are adjacent to them and act as a bridge.

Rephrased: supply propagation (what determines where you have empire-coloured lines and system circles) stays the same, but if an allied supply network separates parts of your network, you can connect the parts together, though the allied network, into one supply-sharing group. You can also resupply ships within allied supply networks.

Eg: This exclave of Germany can share beer and widgets with the main part because Switzerland lets German trucks pass through its territory.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:16 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Eg: This exclave of Germany can share beer and widgets with the main part because Switzerland lets German trucks pass through its territory.

Hah, I thought I knew all the daft little enclave/exclave bits in Europe but that's both a new one and a particularly daft one. Good example though.

I think I like the basic idea: would this mean that all border systems would be supplied by either one player or the other in this sort of case? Because if supply is going to link up it would need to actually link visibly in some way.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:59 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Hah, I thought I knew all the daft little enclave/exclave bits in Europe...
That seems unlikely...
Quote:
...would this mean that all border systems would be supplied by either one player or the other in this sort of case? Because if supply is going to link up it would need to actually link visibly in some way.
It can't be "one player or the other" arbitrarily because while two empires might be at peace, one but not the other might be at war with a third empire, and which of two empires supplies a system can affect where the third empire can resupply or connect. I suppose in this case we'd just have to mark the connecting lanes for anyone who is tied for top-rank supply into the system, leaving the circle neutral coloured. At least this just requires one colour per lane, which is substantially better than the previous overlapping supply network situation in which any lane could have arbitrary numbers of empires' supply networks traversing it. Or, systems where nobody has the highest supply rank could be left unsupplied for fleet purposes. Since adjacent systems would remain supplied on either side, this wouldn't really impact fleet movement. Lane colouring would still indicate potential connections to other empires' networks at the system.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
It can't be "one player or the other" arbitrarily because while two empires might be at peace, one but not the other might be at war with a third empire, and which of two empires supplies a system can affect where the third empire can resupply or connect. I suppose in this case we'd just have to mark the connecting lanes for anyone who is tied for top-rank supply into the system, leaving the circle neutral coloured. At least this just requires one colour per lane, which is substantially better than the previous overlapping supply network situation in which any lane could have arbitrary numbers of empires' supply networks traversing it.


What if prioritize the color of viewer empire? I mostly interests in the my supply instead others.

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Rephrased: supply propagation (what determines where you have empire-coloured lines and system circles) stays the same, but if an allied supply network separates parts of your network, you can connect the parts together, though the allied network, into one supply-sharing group. You can also resupply ships within allied supply networks.
This - I'm very satisfied with the way supply currently works. "Shared supply" could be a possible treaty (meaning it doesn't need to be connected with an alliance).

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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Initial step: allied (at peace) fleet resupply: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1268


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
...would this mean that all border systems would be supplied by either one player or the other in this sort of case? Because if supply is going to link up it would need to actually link visibly in some way.
It can't be "one player or the other" arbitrarily...
Might use lane length to break ties. It's local, so easy to understand, and seems reasonable...


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:45 pm 
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As, The Silent One pointed out "shared supply" is a relaxation of the supply range limitations, since you get full use of the allied supply network. With overlapped supply, the normal limitations of supply range apply.

The problem with overlapping (and stealthy) supply is that no one has proposed an simple UI to convey that multiple empires can/are supplying a system.

Here is a gratuitous table.

Code:
Mechanic                  Controller                                                         UI                                                Range
current supply            single empire controls and can supply each system                  straightforward UI one color per node             normal supply range
ally shared supply        single empire controls each system but will supply allies          straightforward UI one color per node             range boost using allies supply
overlapping supply        multiple empires can supply some systems                           **UI conundrum**                                  normal supply range

"o01eg", pointed out that player's primary concern is whether their empire can supply a system.

Why try to display all of the information in the MapWnd? Why not use the PlanetTab?

Currently the planet table has summary infographics for production, research and trade. We could add an infographic for supply. Perhaps a pie chart with a colored wedge scaled to each empire's available supply range. The popup for the infographic could also detail the supply system bonus factors (visibility, ships, colonies and outposts) which are currently not visible to the player, but do influence the supply resolution.

If we can solve the UI issue, then we can consider combining the mechanics.
- At war, the current system. Hard borders.
- Peace treaty, overlapped supply. Porous borders with no assistance.
- Shared supply treaty, combined supply network. Assistance with supplying ships and colonies.
- Stealthy supply. If hostiles can detect it, it follows the normal rules. Otherwise it looks like overlapped supply.


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 Post subject: Re: Supply Mechanic Poll
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:03 pm 
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Based on the above suggestions, I'd suggest for an "overlapping UI"

Supply along starlanes only shows the viewing empire's supply by default (Maybe with the possibility of other empires being switched on).. it would include allied supply if you can use it.

In systems,
Small colored dots for each empire that has independent supply and Doesn't have a colony in the system


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