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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:47 pm 
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Space Krill

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 pm
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Hurray, another of my favorite classic games got a free version. And it is quite nice already :) Free Master of Magic anyone? :D

I started with the Debian version (4.6.4), then compiled 4.7.1 myself. Here are my notes (I'll do another one for bugs).

Gameplay:
1. At first I did not miss tactical battle much, but with the fighter extension I miss is a little more. Perhaps a little more options and a more sensible auto-combat would also help. At the moment my ships act totally brain-dead. Two examples:
- Attacking a Sentry in a system with ancient guardians, they fire their weapons at the planet instead of killing the sentry first, although the planet cannot harm them.
- They use the spinal antimatter cannon to destroy a fighter, than fire the flak at a shielded battle ship
Aggression setting could perhaps be extended to have more choice. Sometimes I want my ships to concentrate on troopers, to stop the opponent from conquering my planets, but when attacking I'd rather want them to destroy the battleships first.
2. Planets should also have an aggression level. When any ship starts shooting, the planets join, but why can't they destroy e.g. troop ships entering the system themselves?
3. Can we have partial repairs? At the moment, any ship or monster initiating battle stops the biggest fleet from doing any repairs (except by Logistics Facilitator). E.g. when the battle ends in the first round, the fleet could repair 2/3 of the normal amount.
4. It feels that scouts become pretty useless, as soon as you have the Scanning Facility. Thanks to derelict scouts sometimes even before that.
5. Fighter seem almost useless so far, except for catching fire (see point 1). I think the game needs a few hulls with more internal slots and the fighters should be able to fight in turn 1 to make them more useful. Then, with point 1 fixed, you probably also need the flak cannon.

AIs:
1. At some point the AIs simply stop growing. They seem to investigate all their energy into building more and more ships and only expand when one of their neighbors is weak enough to be conquered.
2. They build way to many troop ships and are totally careless with them.
3. I'd like to have an AI bonus factor. E.g. a factor of 1.1 would mean that the AIs get plus 10% to all their research and production points

Interface:
1. The Tech Tree is huge could use some interface improvements. E.g.:
- Pedia articles on techs could show how many RP are missing to get it and allow me to add the tech to the research queue.
- Partially unlocked is not very useful. What I would like instead is a setting, showing all techs I could research with e.g. 5, 10 or 20 times my current research rate.
2. The Planet view should allow me to search for a specific special.
3. A list of fleets would be nice.
4. Battle Log could include repairs by a Logicists Facilitator.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Programmer

Joined: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:37 pm
Posts: 198
Welcome Anvil.

Thanks for the feedback.

The "Objects" window may satisfy your interface requests 2. and 3.
You can open it by clicking on the 3 circles between the crown ("Empires" window) and the beaker ("Research" window) on the right side of the task bar along the top of the FreeOrion window.
In the bottom right of the "Objects" window is the "Filters" button which will allow your to search for specials.
Left click on the "Objects" window column names to sort the columns.
Right click on a column to change/add a column type.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:03 pm 
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LGM-Doyle wrote:
In the bottom right of the "Objects" window is the "Filters" button...
Bottom left.
Quote:
... which will allow your to search for specials.
Left click on the "Objects" window column names to sort the columns.
Right click on a column to change/add a column type.
One of the available columns is "Specials", and the columns can be sorted by left-clicking the header row.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Anvil wrote:
5. Fighter seem almost useless so far
You are aware that fighters are shield-piercing? Also, a carrier can always upgrade to the latest and best fighters available, opposed to weapons, where only upgrades to better refinement levels is possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:00 am 
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Space Floater

Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:58 am
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Vezzra wrote:
Anvil wrote:
5. Fighter seem almost useless so far
You are aware that fighters are shield-piercing? Also, a carrier can always upgrade to the latest and best fighters available, opposed to weapons, where only upgrades to better refinement levels is possible.


That's a good argument for bombers, but fighters are generally inferior.

At kinetic a light fighter hangar does 4 damage, a heavy fighter 9, and a bomber 10. Fighters you don't get out on round 1 deal less damage over the course of the fight so you're looking at 3 slots for the light fighters, 2.5 for the heavies, and 2 for the bombers, which makes the otherwise reasonable heavy fighters not so good.

At laser it's 8, 15, and 16. Again, not much reason to pick either fighter type over bombers.

At plasma it's 12, 24, and 24. This is the best light fighters get and they're still only half as good as the others and the extra launch bays needed mean the heavy fighters have not actually reached parity.

At death ray it's 16, 39, 38. Heavy fighters pull slightly ahead of bombers on a per hangar basis, but the launch bottleneck means bombers are still better.

Even against hostile fighters you're better off taking bombers and filling the external slots you're not needing for extra launch bays with flak cannons instead of armor.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:05 pm 
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For what it's worth, we're very open that the current numbers (all of them, including launch bay capacity) for Fighters are subject to review, Geoff picked the initial numbers and I then tried to tweak and balance them so they were workable, I'm still not sure I made the right call in making them upgradeable with tech (I think I did but it wasn't the obvious choice).

I've always been cautious about the launch bay = 2 number, and yes it does make bombers the obvious choice because one hanger, one bay, job done.

They are going to get another balance pass at some point taking feedback from players into account, becuase some people only use the Release versions we wanted to get something workable out to solicit a lot more feedback, I'm actually tempted at some point to reduce all their damage and bonuses and increase numbers a lot, just to see what difference it makes.

But, in the meantime, the current balance pass is on research, production and population bonuses because, well, that's what I'm working on.

This feedback is, genuinely, very valuable: I/we want Fighters to be an integral and cool part of the game, currently I'm not sure they're at that point.

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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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PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Space Squid

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:22 am
Posts: 53
Hi,

MatGB wrote:

This feedback is, genuinely, very valuable: I/we want Fighters to be an integral and cool part of the game, currently I'm not sure they're at that point.


The second biggest big issue I believe that stands between fighters being an integral part of the game is *they are not available from Turn 1 but weapons are*.

If you're using a low-research species or strategy, you are likely to start building ships early and will be picky about research projects. This means that when it comes to decide whether to research Mass Drivers 2 or the first fighter tech, the answer is clear: MD2 will boost all of your existing ships, and it's very cheap. Go forth and blitz.

If you don't want to spam Mass Driver ships, but still want to be ready with an early fleet, you now get to choose between Lasers and fighter tech. Again, the answer is clear: Lasers! They work fine with your starting hulls and with most of the first round of better hulls.

If you have lots of research, you might consider organic hulls, fighters and weapons tech... but you care less about research costs, and the non-linear improvement of research and production means that you'll have Death Ray 4 rather soon after Death Ray if you want it, and why wouldn't you want it?

Even for a high-research strategy, RPs are scarce at the beginning of the game, forcing tough decisions about projects. Going with what you have is very attractive. Later on, you have more RP than you know what to do with.

Another note about early hulls: You probably have one internal slot. So you probably won't be fielding too many fighters/bombers anyway. And you've decided that shields are not part of your plan for a long time, even though you will probably be forced to research at least the first shield tech.

A stealthy fighter strategy might be fun, but it's not an integral part of the game because it takes you away from the default.

The #1 issue is that it's easy enough to totally ignore fighter production, but a total carrier weaponless strategy is not likely to go well, because direct fire weapons are an integral part of the game. Weapons can attack anything. Fighters cannot. Based on developer conversations on these forums, this is a Deliberate Design Decision.

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:58 am
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MatGB wrote:
For what it's worth, we're very open that the current numbers (all of them, including launch bay capacity) for Fighters are subject to review, Geoff picked the initial numbers and I then tried to tweak and balance them so they were workable, I'm still not sure I made the right call in making them upgradeable with tech (I think I did but it wasn't the obvious choice).

I've always been cautious about the launch bay = 2 number, and yes it does make bombers the obvious choice because one hanger, one bay, job done.

They are going to get another balance pass at some point taking feedback from players into account, becuase some people only use the Release versions we wanted to get something workable out to solicit a lot more feedback, I'm actually tempted at some point to reduce all their damage and bonuses and increase numbers a lot, just to see what difference it makes.

...

This feedback is, genuinely, very valuable: I/we want Fighters to be an integral and cool part of the game, currently I'm not sure they're at that point.


I think bombers are an integral and cool part of the game, but I don't see any way to justify multiple types of small craft in the current combat system. They have a chance to soak more shots, but the extra external slots could have been armor to soak shots or guns to try to kill things before they can take shots, or if you let them bottleneck over fewer launch bays they do even less damage.

I think that to usefully distinguish between the different small craft types they need different targeting priorities and thus have to wait for targeting priorities to be implemented. If fighters always went after small craft if there were any and bombers always went after or strongly preferred starships then interceptors (which I now realize I was calling light fighters in the last post) would be more useful for countering or escorting bombers and their terrible damage wouldn't matter. Fighters (which I previously referred to as heavy fighters) don't make sense in that paradigm, but they're kind of awkward now since they require an even number of free internal slots to come out even with launch bays, which is kind of awkward. Interceptors and bombers could be identical apart from targeting priority and have more defined niches than they do now.

If you don't mind me throwing some ideas at the wall, let's suppose we keep the current interceptor and bomber numbers and launch bay limits, but bombers launch on round two (and do correspondingly more damage). Interceptors give absolute priority to small craft and bombers have a strong (66%-80%) preference for starships. The delayed launch of bombers makes using a deliberate launch bay bottleneck to reserve interceptors so that they aren't all put at risk before enemy bombers launch a decision with actual pros and cons. I think running a 1:1 bay to hangar ratio would be better for defending from hostile bombers and running a 2:1 ratio better for escorting your own bombers. Fighters have current bomber stats (without the damage increase to compensate for late launch), and a preference for fighting small craft but not the absolute priority interceptors have. Flak guns stop functioning as weapons and instead become a purely defensive device that causes the first small craft (per flak battery) targeting the ship mounting the flak battery to abort its attack run and lose its action for the round. This removes flak from competition with interceptors since they don't kill small craft, but against offensively loaded carriers would still be better than armor.

The suggested flak implementation also allows it to be used as a special to make small craft more durable to other small craft, making a missile as small craft implementation viable. Missiles would be a chain off of Bombardment, come something like 6 to a magazine, be an alternate unlock for launch bays, do damage scaled to equal a bomber per hangar/magazine if none are shot down or blocked by flak, have flak, and vanish after 1 round. This missile implementation would share bombers advantage against shields and be more resistant to interceptors, but be weaker against flak, further differentiating the two defensive options.

ovarwa wrote:
If you don't want to spam Mass Driver ships, but still want to be ready with an early fleet, you now get to choose between Lasers and fighter tech. Again, the answer is clear: Lasers! They work fine with your starting hulls and with most of the first round of better hulls.


Kinetic bombers outdamage lasers as soon as shields appear unless you're using organic war adaptation. And they're 12 rp/3 turns instead of 60 rp/8 turns for the first tech and more for the upgrades.

Laser 1 and laser bombers are 100 RP/10 turns compared to plasma 1's 300 RP/8 turns and are, again, better against shields than even later plasma weapons.

ovarwa wrote:
Another note about early hulls: You probably have one internal slot. So you probably won't be fielding too many fighters/bombers anyway. And you've decided that shields are not part of your plan for a long time, even though you will probably be forced to research at least the first shield tech.


Multicellular Casting isn't that deep in and shares its non-hull prerequisite with the rather important Lifecycle Manipulation. The price is trivial compared to the price of getting shields. The organic hull line is generally cheaper in research than the robotic line as well and fits better with a carrier strategy. Asteroids are a bit deeper into the tech tree, but are good to transition to for the cheap armor and also make good carriers.

ovarwa wrote:
The #1 issue is that it's easy enough to totally ignore fighter production, but a total carrier weaponless strategy is not likely to go well, because direct fire weapons are an integral part of the game. Weapons can attack anything. Fighters cannot. Based on developer conversations on these forums, this is a Deliberate Design Decision.


If you use fighters you can totally ignore weapon upgrades until tech costs stop mattering. Each fighter level is balanced against the final upgrade of the equivalent standard weapon against unshielded opponents and each fighter upgrade is cheaper than the standard weapon upgrades. Apart from mass drivers, each fighter upgrade is the same price as just the second standard weapon upgrade alone. Yes, you'll be using laser 1 instead of laser 4 for bombardment, but since planetary shields act like armor having cutting edge weapons isn't necessary to bombard effectively. Planetary defense upgrades are relatively cheap, but they're purely defensive so taking enough to make one unupgraded gun per carrier inadequate is still surrendering the initiative.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:19 am 
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Space Squid

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:22 am
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Hi,

Atarlost wrote:
ovarwa wrote:
If you don't want to spam Mass Driver ships, but still want to be ready with an early fleet, you now get to choose between Lasers and fighter tech. Again, the answer is clear: Lasers! They work fine with your starting hulls and with most of the first round of better hulls.


Kinetic bombers outdamage lasers as soon as shields appear unless you're using organic war adaptation. And they're 12 rp/3 turns instead of 60 rp/8 turns for the first tech and more for the upgrades.


Lots of stuff in this part of the game doesn't have shields. Organic War Adaptation is expensive, and requires Organic Hulls, which requires a planetary building, so let's just consider basic hulls, no shields.

You get to install exactly one hanger in your starting hulls, which have one internal slot. So your bombers aren't going to do much damage. Armor isn't bad, but the direct fire guy gets to choose whether to use more lasers instead.

If you have a hanger, you don't have a shield, so those direct fire weapons work at full efficiency against you.

You don't get to use those bombers on the first turn of combat.

You don't get to use bombers that have been shot down.

If you're out of supply, you don't get to replenish those bombers.

Seems kind of underwhelming, though I didn't join this thread to insist, and certainly seems in no way integral to the game, which is what I'm talking about.

Quote:

Laser 1 and laser bombers are 100 RP/10 turns compared to plasma 1's 300 RP/8 turns and are, again, better against shields than even later plasma weapons.

Of course, if I'm building laser ships, I probably want to avoid building plasma ships, and will instead go for laser 4.
Quote:

ovarwa wrote:
Another note about early hulls: You probably have one internal slot. So you probably won't be fielding too many fighters/bombers anyway. And you've decided that shields are not part of your plan for a long time, even though you will probably be forced to research at least the first shield tech.


Multicellular Casting isn't that deep in and shares its non-hull prerequisite with the rather important Lifecycle Manipulation. The price is trivial compared to the price of getting shields. The organic hull line is generally cheaper in research than the robotic line as well and fits better with a carrier strategy. Asteroids are a bit deeper into the tech tree, but are good to transition to for the cheap armor and also make good carriers.

I think you miss the point: You *can* have a carrier strategy, if you go deeper into the tree and make other choices to make it work, but it isn't at all integral to the game. But if you don't just decide to have a carrier strategy, if you start the game leaving your options open, you are always ready for a very good direct weapons strategy, which works if you go for robotic hulls, or organic, or asteroid, or energy.

Quote:
ovarwa wrote:
The #1 issue is that it's easy enough to totally ignore fighter production, but a total carrier weaponless strategy is not likely to go well, because direct fire weapons are an integral part of the game. Weapons can attack anything. Fighters cannot. Based on developer conversations on these forums, this is a Deliberate Design Decision.


If you use fighters you can totally ignore weapon upgrades until tech costs stop mattering.

I think you do not understand what I said there: A player can go the entire game without building a single hangar, and conquer everything. Not one fighter. Totally ignore those techs. A player cannot go the entire game without building a single direct fire weapon, and conquer everything (or even a single planet with troops.)

Fighters are totally optional, and easily ignored. That's the opposite of integral.

As for bombardment:
Quote:
Each fighter level is balanced against the final upgrade of the equivalent standard weapon against unshielded opponents and each fighter upgrade is cheaper than the standard weapon upgrades. Apart from mass drivers, each fighter upgrade is the same price as just the second standard weapon upgrade alone. Yes, you'll be using laser 1 instead of laser 4 for bombardment, but since planetary shields act like armor having cutting edge weapons isn't necessary to bombard effectively. Planetary defense upgrades are relatively cheap, but they're purely defensive so taking enough to make one unupgraded gun per carrier inadequate is still surrendering the initiative.


And the guy who stuffs his ship with direct fire weaponry instead of launch bays obliterates planetary shields quickly, so that troops don't have to wait extra turns to invade. There's no need to waste slots on an unupgraded gun, and no deviation from a strategy that simply works.

(Of course, anyone pursuing a deep stealth strategy is not going to enjoy that unupgraded gun that reveals the mothership....)

My point is that although a carrier strategy is workable, it is not integral to the game, and there's no great reason to deviate from the direct fire strategy that everyone starts the game already pursuing. Except for wanting to try something different just because.

Anyway,

Ken


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:12 am 
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Atarlost wrote:
That's a good argument for bombers, but fighters are generally inferior.
Ah, you're using the term "fighters" to refer to interceptors. Yes, I agree with you on that, with the current numbers interceptors aren't really a viable option.
Quote:
you're looking at 3 slots for the light fighters, 2.5 for the heavies, and 2 for the bombers, which makes the otherwise reasonable heavy fighters not so good. [...] Even against hostile fighters you're better off taking bombers and filling the external slots you're not needing for extra launch bays with flak cannons instead of armor.
MatGB wrote:
I've always been cautious about the launch bay = 2 number, and yes it does make bombers the obvious choice because one hanger, one bay, job done.
And that's a major reason why: the interceptor hangar itself may be accordingly cheaper compared to the fighter or bomber hangar, but the fact that you need more launch bays totally cancels that out. Having to sacrifice an additional external slot and the extra PP actually makes 4 interceptors more expensive than 2 bombers. Making the interceptors pointless, because for offensive purposes bombers, and for defensive purposes flaks are the clearly superior options.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:22 am 
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MatGB wrote:
I'm actually tempted at some point to reduce all their damage and bonuses and increase numbers a lot, just to see what difference it makes.
Enthusiastically seconded! I had the same idea already too.
Quote:
I/we want Fighters to be an integral and cool part of the game, currently I'm not sure they're at that point.
Depends on what you mean by "integral part", but I agree with ovarwa, direct fire weapons are a must, while fighters are completely optional. Currently the choice players have is not between direct fire weapon based and carrier/fighter based strategies, but purely direct fire weapon based and direct fire weapon complemented by carrier/fighter based strategies.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:30 am 
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Atarlost wrote:
At kinetic a light fighter hangar does 4 damage, a heavy fighter 9, and a bomber 10. [...]

At laser it's 8, 15, and 16. [...]

At plasma it's 12, 24, and 24. This is the best light fighters get and they're still only half as good as the others and the extra launch bays needed mean the heavy fighters have not actually reached parity.

At death ray it's 16, 39, 38. Heavy fighters pull slightly ahead of bombers on a per hangar basis, but the launch bottleneck means bombers are still better.
At DR (and maybe plasma) the heavy fighters can be better than the bombers with just one hangar and one launch bay, depending on the chances to loss a fighter during combat turn 2:

For DR and no fighters lost in combat turn 2, we get:
Combat turn 2: 2x13 dmg (HF) and 2x19 dmg (bomber).
Combat turn 3: 3x13 dmg (HF) and 2x19 dmg (bomber).
Total damage 65 (HF) vs 76 (bomber).

For DR and one fighter lost in combat turn 2, we get:
Combat turn 2: 2x13 dmg (HF) and 2x19 dmg (bomber).
Combat turn 3: 2x13 dmg (HF) and 1x19 dmg (bomber).
Total damage 52 vs 57.

For DR and two fighters lost in combat turn 2, we get:
Combat turn 2: 2x13 dmg (HF) and 2x19 dmg (bomber).
Combat turn 3: 1x13 dmg (HF) and 0x19 dmg (bomber).
Total damage 39 (HF) vs 38 (bomber). Yay, HF is marginally better here. And not so marginally if we think that every fighter down means less damage (I mean, hurtful bomber or DR shots) to your main ships.

So in battles against fleets with many small ships (instead of few massive ships) heavy fighters can yield better results than bombers to win the battle while keeping alive your capital ships.

The same happens when we are talking about ships with two hangars and two (or three) launch bays, bombers yield more damage during the battle unless there are heavy losses on the fighter fleet during turn 2. Also, number-wise, it is better to use only two launch bays for two heavy fighter hangars and have a weapon instead of a third launch bay.
However, the cannon fodder capabilities of (light/heavy) fighters can tip the scales of a battle towards your side. Every enemy DR shooting down one of your fighters (light, heavy or bomber, but preferably the first two) is a waste for him. It's true that one armor part instead of the third launch bay can get similar results, but I think (please, someone, correct me) that a fighter can soak more than one shot (it was dead with the first one, but you can never be lucky enough) while a given armor part will further degrade for each received shot.
So, despite the total damage numbers showing preference for bombers, I find that in practice I prefer to have as many fighters flying at turn 2 as possible rather than having some extra direct shot damage. Fighters replenish for free after the battle, ship losses require PPs.


ovarwa wrote:
a total carrier weaponless strategy is not likely to go well
Certainly! because they don't shot planets.
However, it's impossible to pursue such strategy except with bio-adaptive and sentient hulls, since late game hulls have many more extern slots than inner slots, so you always have space to toss in some or many DRs.
And, well, that works pretty well, the fighters doing its cannon fodder magic is the difference between a marginal and a definitive victory in some fleet combats.



Atarlost wrote:
to usefully distinguish between the different small craft types they need different targeting priorities and thus have to wait for targeting priorities to be implemented
I'd like this so much. Bombers that preferably target ships, interceptors that preferably target other fighters.
But then main ships could also have targeting preferences, aim at the other main ships and make the fighter cannon fodder strategy inviable. Hmmm... I don't know what would be better.

Quote:
If you don't mind me throwing some ideas at the wall, let's suppose we keep the current interceptor and bomber numbers and launch bay limits, but bombers launch on round two (and do correspondingly more damage). Interceptors give absolute priority to small craft and bombers have a strong (66%-80%) preference for starships. The delayed launch of bombers makes using a deliberate launch bay bottleneck to reserve interceptors so that they aren't all put at risk before enemy bombers launch a decision with actual pros and cons. I think running a 1:1 bay to hangar ratio would be better for defending from hostile bombers and running a 2:1 ratio better for escorting your own bombers. Fighters have current bomber stats (without the damage increase to compensate for late launch), and a preference for fighting small craft but not the absolute priority interceptors have. Flak guns stop functioning as weapons and instead become a purely defensive device that causes the first small craft (per flak battery) targeting the ship mounting the flak battery to abort its attack run and lose its action for the round. This removes flak from competition with interceptors since they don't kill small craft, but against offensively loaded carriers would still be better than armor.

The suggested flak implementation also allows it to be used as a special to make small craft more durable to other small craft, making a missile as small craft implementation viable. Missiles would be a chain off of Bombardment, come something like 6 to a magazine, be an alternate unlock for launch bays, do damage scaled to equal a bomber per hangar/magazine if none are shot down or blocked by flak, have flak, and vanish after 1 round. This missile implementation would share bombers advantage against shields and be more resistant to interceptors, but be weaker against flak, further differentiating the two defensive options.
I love all this!



ovarwa wrote:
A player can go the entire game without building a single hangar, and conquer everything. Not one fighter. Totally ignore those techs. A player cannot go the entire game without building a single direct fire weapon, and conquer everything (or even a single planet with troops.)
Yeah, if you have a good start.
But I'm so sure that against a powerful non-fighter enemy (specially if it is AI) you have way better chances of victory if you do use fighters. Exchanging two or three direct shot weapons by fighters you divide the chances of your capital ships being targeted in combat turns 2 and 3 while only loss a minimal percentage of the total damage your ship can deal.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:11 am 
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Space Krill

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LGM-Doyle wrote:
Welcome Anvil.
The "Objects" window may satisfy your interface requests 2. and 3.

Thanks, Doyle, although it is only point 2.
Either I've overlooked it or it did not exist in 4.6.4 and I did not re-check with 4.7.1.

Btw.: How can I start the old version without losing my configuration and more importantly all window positions? Where does freeorion store its configuration?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:35 am 
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ovarwa wrote:
The second biggest big issue I believe that stands between fighters being an integral part of the game is *they are not available from Turn 1 but weapons are*.
While I agree that this is an issue, I don't think it's a big one. Having basic direct fire weaponry at the game start and being able to choose whether to further go down the direct fire weapon road or take the carrier/fighter road can be perfectly viable, provided the tier 1 carrier/fighter techs are actually matched against the tier 2 direct fire weapon techs. Of course having basic carrier/fighter techs available at game start is an equally viable, in some ways probably simpler approach.
Quote:
Another note about early hulls: You probably have one internal slot.
I see that as a much bigger issue than the above. And it's not just the early hulls, even in many later hulls internal slots are scarce (the organic hull line in particular is plagued by that, even the flagship of that line, the Sentient Hull, has only 3), making fighters very expensive, because they require a lot of that scarce resource.
Quote:
The #1 issue is that it's easy enough to totally ignore fighter production, but a total carrier weaponless strategy is not likely to go well, because direct fire weapons are an integral part of the game.
It's actually worse than that, a purely carrier/fighter based strategy is completely impossible, because of two things:

  • Carrier/fighter techs depend on the direct fire weapon techs. Meaning, to get carriers/fighters, you need to pay the research costs for the direct fire weapons too. Of course you can leave out the direct fire weapon refinements, but that still leaves a huge amount of RP you need to spend on something you don't want to use. However, you don't need to waste one single RP on carrier/fighter techs if you want to go direct fire weapons only. That's severely inbalanced.
  • You absolutely need direct fire weapons to attack planets. Which basically means you need to research all the direct fire weapon techs anyway (you're going to need all that firepower when trying to take on enemy systems with many colonies and maxed out planetary defences and shields, otherwise you're going to get hurt badly).
Quote:
Weapons can attack anything. Fighters cannot.
Yep, that's a serious problem with the current setup. We have a weapon line that can target everything, and we have another one that can't. Even being better at what that weapon line can do, the fact it can't do the other at all makes the latter just an optional extension for the former. What we need to complete this setup is another weapon line that can target what fighters cannot (which is planets), while not being able to target what fighters can (which is ships and other fighters). Then the combination of fighters and those anti-planet weapons can work as a viable alternative to direct fire weapons (if designed and balanced correctly).
Quote:
Based on developer conversations on these forums, this is a Deliberate Design Decision.
To be precise, the Deliberate Design Decision was not to make fighters not being able to target planets. The Deliberate Design Decision was to make fighters high number, low damage combat crafts, and to make them shield piercing, so they can actually be a viable, distinct alternative to direct fire weapons.

Making fighters not being able to target planets was just an unavoidable consequence, because of the way planetary defenses work. Planets get one extremely powerful shot in combat (that is, per combat round of course). Which makes them effective against few high damage targets (massive capital ships), but very ineffective against lots of low damage targets (swarms of small ships and fighters). If we had allowed fighters and planets to attack each other, fighters would have been so overwhelmingly powerful against planets, that balance would have been completely screwed. The solution to that would be to redesign how planetary defenses work: giving planets much more, but much less powerful shots.


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 Post subject: Fighter discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:45 am 
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Space Krill

Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 pm
Posts: 6
Hello everyone,

I've listed 12 points and now we got a huge discussion on fighters. Are the other points not even worse a comment?

Saying fighters are useless was probably a bit harsh, but one thing I can definitely say is you can still easily win the game without even researching them. Laser 4 does 11 points of damage (or more, depending on pilots) and I found that the most games were well decided before any AI comes up with shields better then Force Field Harmonics (3). In fact making shields stronger could also be a way to make fighters more important.

Please, what ever you change regarding fighter, also consider my first point. When fighters really become and integral part of the game, then the Flak should be, too. At the moment that weapon really is close to being useless, once the AI gets shields.

A long-shot idea: How about adding fighters to the planetary defense? Story wise it surely makes sense, but the balancing could be tricky.


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