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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:46 am 
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Merged into our master branch a few minutes ago and (hopefully) available in the Test releases this afternoon is the main work we've been doing for the last few months, the Fighters branch.

It is, now, fully playable but not finished: to finish it we need feedback. The basic User Interface is working but needs improvements, the AI knows how to build fighter carriers and react to their existence in your fleets, there's a rudimentary tech tree in place and the relative power level of fighter carriers scales with the advances in other areas of fleet combat.

But nothing is finalised. We need feedback:
  • How can the UI be improved to let you easily tell what's going on?
  • Do you see the AI doing anything fighter-specific that's stupid? (eg ship designs that aren't sensible, leaving empty carriers stranded, etc)
  • Do you think the costs-to build and power levels of fighters are correct in the early game?
  • Does the tech tree refinement process make them too powerful or underpowered as the game progresses?

To do:
  • improve the descriptions of species traits for fighters (currently existing good/great pilots get damage bonuses from fighters that stack with tech bonuses)
  • Add extra parts: eg a large/improved launch bay, "flak" fighters, a core slot hanger with a large capacity
  • Update the premade ship designs (this is ongoing) to include/adapt fighter changes

A lot of this work was done by Geoff more than 6 months ago, then the AI team had to make a large number of changes to allow the AIs to adapt to them, when they'd got the barebones of that done I then put in some rudimentary tech stuff and then a lot of balancing and testing work was put in to make it actually playable (yes, this meant I played lots of games: it's a hard life).

So, if you're able to compile yourself roll your own immediately, otherwise start a new game with the test builds when Vezzra's done them and please give us feedback: but make it helpful ;-) If you think it sucks, say why, please...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:16 pm 
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Thanks! Our multiplayer mob have moved in and it looks good so far.
It seems like planets don't attack fighters and fighters don't attack planets. I don't see this behaviour specified anywhere.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:08 pm 
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L29Ah wrote:
Thanks! Our multiplayer mob have moved in and it looks good so far.

Cool, feedback from human-vs-human games especially useful given I only play against AIs and as you've proven before it's a massive game changer in some ways.
Quote:
It seems like planets don't attack fighters and fighters don't attack planets. I don't see this behaviour specified anywhere.

Correct, and good catch, another thing to update, it was a deliberate choice fairly early in the design process and makes for some interesting options, but it does need to be documented.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:59 pm 
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I didn't see this topic and asked on GitHub. I re-post here:

----------------------
In en.txt:

Quote:
At the end of combat, carriers will collect any fighters that have survived, if a carrier is in supply immediately after movement is resolved it will refill hangers to maximum.


This sentence seems unclear. Does it means there is two ways to refill a hangar or only one?

- After a combat, carriers will automatically collect non-destroyed fighters (does it refill a hanger to its full capacity regardless of the collected number of fighters? let's say only one "surviving" fighter collected, and the hangar is empty -default capacity is 3. The hangar refilled capacity will be 1 or 3?

- If a carrier is stationnary in supply range, hangars are refilled to their full capacity, whatever is their current capacity?

Or is it a mix of these two conditions?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:24 pm 
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There are 3 separate issues: fighter capacity, supply replenishment and combat fighter recovery.

Capacity
The hangar capacities are fixed as follows:
Interceptor Hangar 4
Fighter Hangar 3
Bomber Hangar 2

When an Interceptor/Fighter/Bomber Hanger is full it will have 4, 3 or 2 fighters respectively. The number of hangars in a ship's design determines its capacity.

Supply
If a fleet is within supply, then each hangar on a carrier will fill to capacity each turn. If a fleet is not in supply then fighters will not replenish.

Combat Recovery
In combat fighters work as follows:

Turn 1
First ships fire direct fire weapons.
Then any surviving carriers can launch fighters. Then can only launch as many fighters as then have launch bays for.

Turn 2
Ships fire direct fire weapons and fighters attack at the same time.
Then any surviving carriers with unlaunched fighters can launch more fighters.

Turn 3
Ships fire direct fire weapons and fighters attack at the same time.
Then any surviving carriers can collect any of their own surviving fighters. This is the only way that a hangar might be partially full, if some of the fighters were destroyed in combat and the carrier is not in supply.


I hope this clarifies that the ship's capacity is fixed by its design, its number of hangars times the capacity of that type of hangar, the supply replenishment happens each turn when a ship is in supply and will create new fighters up to a ships capacity and the fighter recovery happens at the end of combat and does not create fighters.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:37 pm 
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I thought fighters launched simultaneously with attacks each combat round... (so even if a carrier is destroyed on round 1, it can still launch fighters that can attack in rounds 2 and 3)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:45 pm 
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You are right. They follow each other in the code, but it checks if the carrier can launch before the direct fire.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:42 am 
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If I'm reading the documentation (aka source code) correctly, a fighter *can* attack a planet, but automatically does no damage. IE, if there's an enemy planet, a fighter can lose its turn because its silly pilot is distracted.

Similarly, if I understand correctly, at maxed fighter technology, a hanger2 holds 3 fighters that each does 13 damage and a hanger3 holds 2 fighters that each does 19. That's a total of inflicting 39 damage vs 38 damage, and taking 3 hits vs 2 hits. This doesn't sound like a great deal, made worse since hanger3 is more expensive. Granted, spewing all these fighters in a single turn requires more launchers: 2 hanger2s + 3 launchers versus 2 hanger3s + 2 launchers. Unless I'm missing something, hanger2s are better.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:16 am 
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ovarwa wrote:
If I'm reading the documentation (aka source code) correctly, a fighter *can* attack a planet, but automatically does no damage. IE, if there's an enemy planet, a fighter can lose its turn because its silly pilot is distracted.

Similarly, if I understand correctly, at maxed fighter technology, a hanger2 holds 3 fighters that each does 13 damage and a hanger3 holds 2 fighters that each does 19. That's a total of inflicting 39 damage vs 38 damage, and taking 3 hits vs 2 hits. This doesn't sound like a great deal, made worse since hanger3 is more expensive. Granted, spewing all these fighters in a single turn requires more launchers: 2 hanger2s + 3 launchers versus 2 hanger3s + 2 launchers. Unless I'm missing something, hanger2s are better.
You might actually be right there, I've tended to use H3s until I've researched a bigish hull then switched to H2s but not fully done the maths on cost/benefit all the way through, which frankly I should have.

But all the numbers are due to change as we playtest further, this was an initial pass and I definitely need to change some of them.

How it combines with species bonus is also pertinent and with that I think H3 comes out better but am not at all sure yet.

@Ouaz, I hope it's been cleared up for you, you're right, that sentence isn't as clear as it could be and needs fixing, goo dcatch: also, sorry I didn't ask you to look over the text I'd pushed over the weekend, I should have and you could've both picked that up and got the French done before the test release, mea culpa.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Space Squid

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Hi,

MatGB wrote:
ovarwa wrote:
If I'm reading the documentation (aka source code) correctly, a fighter *can* attack a planet, but automatically does no damage. IE, if there's an enemy planet, a fighter can lose its turn because its silly pilot is distracted.

Similarly, if I understand correctly, at maxed fighter technology, a hanger2 holds 3 fighters that each does 13 damage and a hanger3 holds 2 fighters that each does 19. That's a total of inflicting 39 damage vs 38 damage, and taking 3 hits vs 2 hits. This doesn't sound like a great deal, made worse since hanger3 is more expensive. Granted, spewing all these fighters in a single turn requires more launchers: 2 hanger2s + 3 launchers versus 2 hanger3s + 2 launchers. Unless I'm missing something, hanger2s are better.
You might actually be right there, I've tended to use H3s until I've researched a bigish hull then switched to H2s but not fully done the maths on cost/benefit all the way through, which frankly I should have.


Pretty sure I'm right about the other too. :)/2


Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:53 pm 
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Dyson Forest
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MatGB wrote:
@Ouaz, I hope it's been cleared up for you, you're right, that sentence isn't as clear as it could be and needs fixing, goo dcatch: also, sorry I didn't ask you to look over the text I'd pushed over the weekend, I should have and you could've both picked that up and got the French done before the test release, mea culpa.


Not a problem, when a big change is made to the stringtables and it's too late to commit the FR translation , I simply wait the next weekly build. :)

And two birds killed with one stone: I had still to install the previous weekly build which includes dbenage-cx's pedia article sorting by category (I currently work on the new categories)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:18 pm 
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I'm finding that I've adjusted my ship designs so they all have a single flak gun and now I can pretty much ignore fighters. I don't know if the flak gun is overpowered vs fighters (too many fighter kills per turn?) or if the fighters need to be stronger.

Early game I use robot hulls with 1x flak 3x laser, shield
mid game grav hull with 1x flak, the rest plasma.

Occasionally I will run into an enemy fleet with 50-100 fighters later in the game and I will build a handful of dedicated pure flak ships to use as a supplement. Five grav hulls with all flak guns chew through a lot of fighters.

I haven't seen a benefit to using fighters over regular guns yet? I've been meaning to try a 'Battlestar' configuration with a solar hull crammed with heavy bombers, but haven't gotten a game that far along yet.

Edit: this was for build 12-06, downloading 12-13 now.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:09 pm 
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Pupating Mass

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UI Improvement Suggestions:

Add fighter info to Pedia ship design info screen; number of fighters, fighter damage reflecting tech and species bonuses, fighters launched per turn

Add flak gun info to Pedia ship design info screen; total flak shots per round reflecting tech and species bonuses

Maybe resulting in something like:
__________________________________________

Hull: Scattered Asteroid Hull
Parts: Neutronium Armor Plating x9, Launch Bay x4, Bomber Hangar x4, Spinal Antimatter Cannon, Flak Cannon x2

For species: Generic
Total Damage: 146 Structure: 505 Shield: 3
Speed: 60 Fuel Capacity: 4
Detection Range: 25 Stealth: 5
Colonization Capacity: 0 Troops: 0
Estimated combat strength (ignoring shields): 833 (0.74 per PP)
Against enemy attack 22.9 and shields 14.8: 656 (0.58 per PP)
Flak Number of Shots: 6
Carrier Capability:
Number Carried : 8
Damage Per : 5
Launch Capacity: 8
Total Damage of Ships Launchable : 40


For species: Egassem
Total Damage: 164 Structure: 505 Shield: 3
Speed: 60 Fuel Capacity: 4
Detection Range: 25 Stealth: 5
Colonization Capacity: 0 Troops: 0
Estimated combat strength (ignoring shields): 833 (0.74 per PP)
Against enemy attack 22.9 and shields 14.8: 656 (0.58 per PP)
Flak Number of Shots: 8
Carrier Capability:
Number Carried : 8
Damage Per : 7
Launch Capacity: 8
Total Damage of Ships Launchable : 56

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:25 am 
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Pupating Mass

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In the Combat Report Log file it would make more sense if carriers were shown launching fighters before they are shown being destroyed.

Currently you find:

The Hegemony ship BlahBlah was destroyed
BlahBlah launches 2 Fighter

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:19 am 
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With fighters it's possible to destroy sentinels and any low-tech opponent w/o taking any damage using cheap ships and stealth. Also, flak cannons costing only 1PP makes it quite cheap to take down unshielded targets in the early game.

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