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 Post subject: Some notes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Space Floater
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Playing 4.6, the stable release.

Played a couple simple games, mainly to reacquaint myself with the game. I do have some notes here, and most of these don't require their own thread, just simple observations, and we should be able to keep the discussion straight. A couple others I'll post in separate threads as they are quite focused. Most of these are just observations and suggestions, a couple bugs maybe too. There may be a coding reason why they would be a pain to implement, but if not, I think they will add to the game.

First off, you guys have been doing good work! I played around with 3.5 (I think) on my old laptop a few months ago, and I still had fun then. I was tickled to see the project is still going and the improvements are amazing.

The galaxy background is really neat, with the nebulas and such. My first thought was "eh, just some unnecessary eye candy, oh well, they're trying". Then I noticed the no shields in a cloud mechanic, and thought that makes sense, but none of the clouds are near any systems, so.... huh? Then I noticed they moved, that was cool. And then they created a star. I think I peed a little at that. That's really cool.

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Other Spinal Guns, perhaps a huge Mass driver. Allows for lower level techs to use Large hulls more efficiently. Also can save on PP's.

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Allow for changes in ship design for in production ships. If a design is changed, any ship currently in production that has had PP spent on it would pause for 1 turn and spend 5% of the total PP's for that one ship, as the necessary adjustments are made to the currently laid hull. Sometimes it may be cheaper/faster to scrap the ship and requeue, sometimes not. Any ships not currently in production, but are queued, would not receive any penalty. At the very least, have ships that are queued, but not yet in production (including the ships in a queue of which one ship is in production), reflect the design changes.

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Allow for retrofitting of ships. If a ship's design has been updated, allow ships already in existence to be refitted to reflect the new design. If a ship is out of combat, at a drydock with the appropriate facilities for the upgrade, then it should be allowed to be refitted. The ship will be taken out of service, and will remain in drydock for the numbers of turns the part is 'worth', plus 25%. It will also cost the PP for the new parts, plus 25%.

Mechanics wise, the ship could be removed from the game, and a new ship added to the top of the production Queue, with the appropriate amount of PP and time remaining. Designs that have been obsoleted would not be eligible for refits, only updated current designs.

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The item parts in the design screen do not reflect the current values for each weapon. Only after mounting each weapon does the true value show up in the 'ship summary' screen.

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Sitrep entries should have a checkbox to remove them from the list. This can be included in the filter list to show checked items. Allows for easier management of long sitrep lists. Possibly an option to automate this, when a player clicks on a link within the sitrep, it will automatically check it off, but not remove the item until another item is clicked on.

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Starlane Nexus and Bore buildings are a really neat addition. I would like to see focused bores though. Sometimes I don't want to build 3 or 4 bores to get the one I want. Maybe adding a mechanic similar to the Nova Bomb, where a vessel would have a Bore Target. I've read some sci-fi that uses this mechanic as plot lines. Balanced to cost more than a regular bore, also dependent on length, but less than a Nexus.

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I understand the need to connect to the net for multi player, but it won't load a saved game if I'm offline. Any reason why? I'm on a metered net connection and every byte counts.

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The Terraforming mechanic bugged me a little. I was at a point in a game where I was able to have the spare PP and time to fully terraform a planet. I would have to add 2-3 buildings to the Queue, reducing the amount of PP's available to other projects. Yes, I could add them as it went along, but then those planets would take longer to terraform, or I could add another and move it up. I'd prefer a fire and forget method though. Just like you can queue up a series of ships to be built in succession with one production item, you should be able to do the same with terraforming. If a planet needs 2 to reach a good state, then you should be able to queue up one building, but have it repeat. The drop down box should not list more than it needs.

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Production Point Decay. If an item in the production queue is not being actively worked on, but has had some PP spent towards it, the amount of accrued points should decay at something like 2%-3% of accrued per turn. So after 30-50 turns, a project would be back at square one. This would represent the production facility having to retool and replan the work done on the item. Modern construction projects that get halted/abandoned are never in the same condition they were left in, there is always something that needs fixed or redone.

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Scrapping of a ship could return a small percentage of PP back into the system.

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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:12 am 
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Thanks for this: some of the UI stuff isn't my area so just on the stuff I know:

Sitreps can be double clicked to remove them from the list, or right click the icon and you get a bunch of options (um, actually, the right clicking might be in recent Test releases not last Release, we're nearly at next release): not exactly what you suggest but close enough.

Starlane bore/Nexus were both introduced by Geoff as proof-of-concept, doing more/making them more flexible is a plan but not a high priority one. He did the Black Hole Collapser at a similar time, that's really fun to watch but currently a pointless gimic, we hope to do more with that at some point as well.

We've had many many discussions on what to do/how to improve Terraforming, no one likes the current iteration but while we're closer we're not there on a much better plan, I might knock something together early next Cycle for testing.

Something you might have missed: you can queue buildings from the Objects menu, so filter it to just your planets and queue terraforming/etc in bulk.

I would love it if someone can spec out/code a way to refit ships that isn't broken, or a mechanic to scrap ships that doesn't involve micromanagement/resource shipping, but it's beyond me.

Keep planning on doing more with spinal mounted guns, haven't found time, definitely want a planet killer in there in some way. Also want to do more with nebulae/fields, again that's a find-the-time thing but as it also requires AI work is an even lower priority.

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Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:34 am 
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Programmer

Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:08 am
Posts: 359
Quote:
won't load a saved game if I'm offline.

I can not reproduce, how are you disconnecting?
Possibly you are disabling all networking instead of the specific connection, but then you should see the same issue for new games as well.

If you can start a new game when "offline", but not load one, could you create a new issue?


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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Space Floater
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:54 am
Posts: 33
It only seems to happen when I limit internet access through my firewall. I have local access fully enabled for FO, but no outside access, and I cannot load or create a game. With the wifi turned off, I can load and create a game.


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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
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Location: Munich
Try a new test build? I believe the way the interprocess connections are done has changed to avoid such firewall issues for local client-server communication.


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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:29 pm 
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I'm fairly sure, but not certain, that some work has been done in this area since the most recent Release as there was a variant blocking offline play for someone else, there was a firewall issue... found it:
Fix #874 "Singleplayer freeoriond opens socket with INADDR_ANY triggering firewalls" by adrianbroher · Pull Request #878 · freeorion/freeorion

And it's before 0.4.6 so should be usable by you.

There's the ability to force the client to not try to use a network to talk to the server that you have to manually add to your config file, beyond that I don't know how it works or how to use it, but it might help. Geoff/adrianbroher?

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Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


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 Post subject: Re: Some notes
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:08 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
There's the ability to force the client to not try to use a network to talk to the server that you have to manually add to your config file, beyond that I don't know how it works or how to use it, but it might help. Geoff/adrianbroher?
No idea what you're referring to.


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