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 Post subject: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 12:56 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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Could someone explain to me exactly what this does?
I've read the description, but it seems odd to me. I don't really understand what it is saying.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:16 pm 
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The description does need updating and it's not clear, agreed.

Basically, it's a defensive structure, the system is stealthed, all inhabited planets are reduced to outposts and any ships that end a move in the system are destroyed.

Personally I've only used it once to see what it did and decided it wasn't for me, but I'm an excessively aggressive player, other more defensive players really like it, it's especially good against the AI as they tend to move fleets system to system instead of to a specific point.

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:54 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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OK, so I was reading that right.
All the planets are reduced to outposts?
That seemed really odd.
So any ship just passing through is unaffected?
EVERY ship that jumps into the system and ends its turn there is destroyed?
Have you ever seen the AI use this?
You have just made me very paranoid. :lol:
I will be building many more scout ships from now on. :wink:
I can see how it could be very useful, though.
A system with just a gas giant or an asteroid field in just the right spot...
You can build this on an outpost, correct?


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:18 pm 
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I'm fairly sure the AI isn't even programmed to use it so you don't need to worry about it (but enough scout ships to watch the map is a good strategy anyway, I always do).

And yes, you can build it on a gas giant outpost in an otherwise empty system.

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:54 am 
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Vacuum Dragon

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:15 pm
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I have used the Gateway at times. It's very handy dealing with Experimenter spawn, either to clean up an area in an AI's territory where they let things run amok, or in containing the monsters when you're busy doing something else.

I used it at least once against an AI when I ran into those rare situations where I was out-gunned, out-researched, and out-produced. You can set up a defensive perimeter and concentrate your forces at strategic points.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:50 pm 
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Posts: 359
Was looking at updating the description but something occurred to me.
Since the effect reduces the max pop to 0.1 (or lower), and not to an outpost, can the player ever be eliminated?
For elimination, player needs no ships and no planets, so even changing them to outposts would prevent a conquest victory.

Couple of possible options if that is a problem (could be both):
* disallow in system with the owners capital (destroy if a new one arrives)
* give an occasional window where neither the stealth and ship destroy effects apply.

The max pop effect probably needs a very late+ priority applied for pop bonuses.

I've always discounted this building, assuming it changed the planets to outposts.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:28 am 
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Hah, you're looking at it at the same time as me (it's the only open scripting issue). For reference
Code:
BuildingType
    name = "BLD_GATEWAY_VOID"
    description = "BLD_GATEWAY_VOID_DESC"
    buildcost = 200
    buildtime = 10
    location = AND [
        Not Contains Building name = "BLD_GATEWAY_VOID"
        OwnedBy empire = Source.Owner
    ]
    EnqueueLocation = [[ENQUEUE_BUILD_ONE_PER_PLANET]]
    effectsgroups = [
        EffectsGroup
            scope = And [
                Fleet
                InSystem id = Source.SystemID
            ]
            activation = Source
            effects = [
                Destroy
                GenerateSitRepMessage
                    message = "EFFECT_GATEWAY_VOID_DESTROY"
                    parameters = [
                        tag = "buildingtype" data = "BLD_GATEWAY_VOID"
                        tag = "planet" data = Source.PlanetID
                        tag = "fleet" data = Target.ID
                    ]
                    empire = Source.Owner
            ]
        EffectsGroup
            scope = And [
                PopulationCenter
                InSystem id = Source.SystemID
            ]
            activation = Source
            effects = SetTargetPopulation value = min(Value, 0.1)

        EffectsGroup
            scope = InSystem id = Source.SystemID
            activation = Source
            effects = SetStealth value = Value + 1000
    ]
    icon = "icons/building/monument_to_exodus.png"

#include "/scripting/common/enqueue.macros"
I'm fairly certain that the reduce to 0.1 comes from the days before we (they) had proper outposts and they were just tiny colonies with 0.1 population, I think it should simply kill all population either very quickly or immediately, so simply setting either target population or simply population to 0 works and actually does then reduce to proper outposts.

And yeah, this would conflict with conquest victory quite badly, very uncomfortable that you can basically force a draw by putting one of these somewhere—we were meaning to update the definition of 'defeat' when the species effects were moved and it meant outposts kept their stats, I suspect that ought to be prioritised. If it can't be changed easily (and I know not), then this needs to have an off switch if the owning empire no longer has any population centres.

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:12 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Hah, you're looking at it at the same time as me (it's the only open scripting issue).

Go right ahead, was just looking through the open list ;)

Maybe require a supply connection to a pop center? Could make it fun™, start destroying planets on supplyline loss.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:22 am 
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Initially, want to basically fix the bug and problems, not rework, same principle as the Hyperdam, and anything that actually starts doing interesting things will need some AI attention and they're already swamped.

But yeah, a supply connection would work—it needs external power/control and you can then cut it off to deal with it if you know what you're doing.

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Mat Bowles

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:35 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:15 pm
Posts: 506
It should work in similar to fashion to concentration camps or evacuation. When the population goes to zero, then it becomes a true outpost that can later be colonized if desired (assuming the Gateway has been scrapped).

Right now, you can keep building ships at a Gateway system, as long as you move them out immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:47 pm 
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defaultuser wrote:
It should work in similar to fashion to concentration camps or evacuation. When the population goes to zero, then it becomes a true outpost that can later be colonized if desired (assuming the Gateway has been scrapped).

So should it be a gradual fall to zero, a fast fall to zero, or an immediate fall to zero?
Quote:
Right now, you can keep building ships at a Gateway system, as long as you move them out immediately.

That I wasn't aware of and definitely musn't be allowed to happen so this gets ramped up the list.

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:53 am 
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Vacuum Dragon

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:15 pm
Posts: 506
MatGB wrote:
So should it be a gradual fall to zero, a fast fall to zero, or an immediate fall to zero?

I dunno. Obviously the slower the de-pop occurs, the better for the owner, as you squeeze some final production out of the planets. I guess in "game universe" the Gateway probably kills all life on the planets immediately. Frankly, if I need to use to Gateway then the loss of a couple planets isn't that big of a deal.

MatGB wrote:
Quote:
Right now, you can keep building ships at a Gateway system, as long as you move them out immediately.
That I wasn't aware of and definitely musn't be allowed to happen so this gets ramped up the list.

It was a bit of surprise. Again though, originally they were just very tiny populations. As I recall, the flat-rate Production and Research remained. The fact that you could move ships out is consistent with Stargates, where movement precedes the effects of the building.


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:09 am 
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OK, messed around with several ideas and I'm a bit stumped.

I've rewritten it and will push changes that immediately turn all planets insystem into outposts regardless of ownership or current population and that updates the description to try to explain the point. However, this doesn't solve the victory-blocking problem.

Requiring it to have a supply connection to work sounds like a good plan but that would then stop it working at all on any ships that turn up as they block supply propagation in/out.

I basically want a very simple solution that stops this thing from preventing an empire stalemating a game, so it can go into Release (NB, the victory conditions have been rewritten this cycle hence this wasn't as big a problem before). At this point I don't want any major scripting work and definitely nothing that the AI will need warning about, just something quick (and if necessary dirty) that works.

Any ideas gratefully received.

ETA: placeholder fix in, long term solution needed 49f1121 / Gateway to the Void can be used to block defeat · Issue #838

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Mat Bowles

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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:08 am
Posts: 359
Count the number of colonies (similar to COLONIES_COUNT statistic), destroy the building if 0?


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 Post subject: Re: gateway to the void
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:28 am 
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Release Manager, Design
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Location: Sol III
dbenage-cx wrote:
Count the number of colonies (similar to COLONIES_COUNT statistic), destroy the building if 0?
For a quick-and-dirty stop-gap solution, that should be perfectly fine.

Still, I'm going to remove the "Release 0.4.6" milestone from the issue. If another fix goes in in time, very good, but I won't block the release for a rare edge case like this. Mats placeholder fix is good enough for the release.


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