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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:47 am 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Somebody told me not to rely on effects priority. And that it shouldnt be used to coordinate effects in different items.
That's strange... the effects priority mechanic has been introduced with the explicit intent to make exactly that possible. And it is actually used already to coordinate e.g. pop and resource output boni. For example, the effects which provide pop boni that should be affected by the pop traits are executed before the pop trait effects.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:46 pm 
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I'm planning to make some tests soon on this priority thingy for population effects.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:57 pm 
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We could add a gaseous lifeform type and base the population fixes on that.

Then we could also add some rather rare growth specials on gas giants (so you have to explore the galaxy to find them). For this growth specials supply connection should not be necessary, but existence in empire should suffice.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:42 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
I'm planning to make some tests soon on this priority thingy for population effects.
It seems to work:

The environment modifier has EARLY PRIORITY.
Some techs like Symbiotic Biology and Xenologic Genetics also have EARLY_PRIORITY.
The population traits have DEFAULT_PRIORITY. This is the only effect that multiplies the value by a constant (0.75, 1.0, 1.25).
Some techs like Subterranean Habitation have LATE_PRIORITY.
Homeworld (focus) bonus have VERY_LATE_PRIORITY.
Self-sustaining trait has VERY_LATE_PRIORITY.
Phototropic has LATEST_GROWTH_PRIORITY.

All this seems to take effect. In my current game with Sly I can see:
Sym. Bio. +6
Xeno. Gen. +12
Sly Bad Pop. -4.5 (-1.5 from sym. bio. and -3 from xeno. gen.)
Sub. Hab. +6
(Homeworld +12)
Self-sust. +18
Total 27.5. Human with same techs would have large planets of size 20 (good) and 16 (adequate).

Xen. Hybrids does not apply to Sly GGs (no bonus to adequate env.).

What about changing the self-sustaining effect to EARLY_PRIORITY? That would mean that Trith get the same they always have but Sly get +13.5 (-4.5), taking down the previous figure of to 27.5 to 23.

Ophiuchus wrote:
We could add a gaseous lifeform type and base the population fixes on that.

Then we could also add some rather rare growth specials on gas giants (so you have to explore the galaxy to find them). For this growth specials supply connection should not be necessary, but existence in empire should suffice.
That's also an option. Gaseous in the sense of their own bodies or the environments they inhabitate?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:39 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Oberlus wrote:
I'm planning to make some tests soon on this priority thingy for population effects.
It seems to work:

The environment modifier has EARLY PRIORITY.
Some techs like Symbiotic Biology and Xenologic Genetics also have EARLY_PRIORITY.
The population traits have DEFAULT_PRIORITY. This is the only effect that multiplies the value by a constant (0.75, 1.0, 1.25).
Some techs like Subterranean Habitation have LATE_PRIORITY.
Homeworld (focus) bonus have VERY_LATE_PRIORITY.
Self-sustaining trait has VERY_LATE_PRIORITY.
Phototropic has LATEST_GROWTH_PRIORITY.

All this seems to take effect. In my current game with Sly I can see:
Sym. Bio. +6
Xeno. Gen. +12
Sly Bad Pop. -4.5 (-1.5 from sym. bio. and -3 from xeno. gen.)
Sub. Hab. +6
(Homeworld +12)
Self-sust. +18
Total 27.5. Human with same techs would have large planets of size 20 (good) and 16 (adequate).

Xen. Hybrids does not apply to Sly GGs (no bonus to adequate env.).

What about changing the self-sustaining effect to EARLY_PRIORITY? That would mean that Trith get the same they always have but Sly get +13.5 (-4.5), taking down the previous figure of to 27.5 to 23.

Probably generally a good idea to make *_POPULATION species traits apply to self-sustaining, too. But you need to check the other self-sustaining species for *_POPULATION traits (acirema?).
On the other hand most tech should not influence self-sustaining effect thought, not sure how e.g. Xen.Hybrids, Gaia and that one metabolism tech i cant remember right now (sth. energy only lifeforms?) work.

That values are for BAD_POPULATION, right? 25% decrease makes each gas giant an effective size 4.5, being slightly better than large planets having size 4. I think that could be acceptable.

Quote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
We could add a gaseous lifeform type and base the population fixes on that.

Then we could also add some rather rare growth specials on gas giants (so you have to explore the galaxy to find them). For this growth specials supply connection should not be necessary, but existence in empire should suffice.
That's also an option. Gaseous in the sense of their own bodies or the environments they inhabitate?

Well, fluff wise, they are already gas-bags; compared to us human fluid-bags. So I mean metabolism.

If we do gaseous, we could do a modifier specific for gas giants. If we tweak *_POPULATION we need to consider hostile environments - starting from xeno gen currently the Sly can live on other planets but gas giants (which i like). E.g. I'm not sure if they should have VERY_BAD_POPULATION there.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:16 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Probably generally a good idea to make *_POPULATION species traits apply to self-sustaining, too. But you need to check the other self-sustaining species for *_POPULATION traits (acirema?).
Acirema and Kobuntura have average pop. (no effect on them), NYMNMN has bad population so they lose 3 pop on their homeworld down to 21 (not a great effect, plus can't colonise planets).

Ophiuchus wrote:
On the other hand most tech should not influence self-sustaining effect thought, not sure how e.g. Xen.Hybrids, Gaia and that one metabolism tech i cant remember right now (sth. energy only lifeforms?) work.
They have no effect on the others (appart from accumulating together).

Ophiuchus wrote:
That values are for BAD_POPULATION, right? 25% decrease makes each gas giant an effective size 4.5, being slightly better than large planets having size 4. I think that could be acceptable.
Yeah, for colonised GGs with no researched techs that's the percentage, but that percentage diminishes with late priority growth techs (sub. hab. adds +6, orb. hab. +6, and n-dim. str. +12.). But it seems to work overall.

Ophiuchus wrote:
If we do gaseous, we could do a modifier specific for gas giants. If we tweak *_POPULATION we need to consider hostile environments - starting from xeno gen currently the Sly can live on other planets but gas giants (which i like). E.g. I'm not sure if they should have VERY_BAD_POPULATION there.
Assuming the change of self-sustaining to early priority (so that it gets affected by the bad/good population traits), two scenarios could work for Sly: very bad population with GG env. good, and bad population with GG env. adequate. The former means better populations at start (18 vs 13.5) but worse at late game (45 vs 51) and slightly worse hostile populations (but that's irrelevant if player is going to colonise using conquered species). The latter also means less changes. I then would go for the latter (although I like the former for allowing to call "good" the native environment of the gas bags.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:31 pm 
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Is there any more feedback on the stockpile system? The last two pages have been about gas giant population balance, which is fine, but not really the point of the thread, which does itself warrant some more attention...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:38 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Is there any more feedback on the stockpile system? The last two pages have been about gas giant population balance, which is fine, but not really the point of the thread, which does itself warrant some more attention...
To what I said in here I can add that the stockpile use numbers you get with non-IS species are rather small and while it is useful it does not seem to be very exploitable to the point to hijack the supply system. Only Sly can do that (and they have no supply at all) and it requieres some management to get the most of it, which won't be excessive because of their species traits. However I haven't tried pursuing the IS techs earlier with non-IS species, it just doesn't feel the most efficient way to go, so I haven't really tried to exploit the IS system with non-IS species. Have anyone out there?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:03 am 
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I still agree with Vezzra, the stockpile mechanic works as a way to bypass the supply mechanic.

I playtested the supply mechanic with the master branch from last week by playing 10ish games as Sly with from 100 to 350 systems with dense planets in a variety of topologies with from 10 to 30 systems per empire.

Stockpile Mechanic

The stockpile mechanic requires too much micromanagement. Colonies should automatically draw from the stockpile if there is not enough local production to satisfy their demand. As it is now draw from stockpile needs to be enabled for every item built out of supply or temporarily blockaded. The interface should be simplified so that the position in the production queue, determines the priority/importance of the item to the empire. The empire should automatically draw from the stockpile to attempt to achieve that production order. There is already a mechanism, Pause, to prevent an item from being built.

There should to be GUI support to indicate if an otherwise blockaded colony is drawing from or adding to (connected to) the stockpile, and the colony is visible to the empire.

Having the number of stockpiled points constantly increasing over the course of a game has a feel bad vibe to it. It feels like better micro management earlier in the game could have prevented wasted points from getting into the stockpile and not being used. In my games by mid game I have 2 to 10 times my per turn PP in the stockpile.

Sly Species

The strategy that I employed with the Sly was to grab gas giants, build a gas giant generator and a space elevator in each system. This overcomes their supply impediment and denies areas to other empires, while generating PP to build more colonies and eventually doom stacks.

It is easy to build a non-interactive empire vs the AI by researching one level of planetary stealth (200 RP), which bumps the Sly colony stealth up to -65, which the AIs will not overcome until the 3rd level of detection (1500 RP). This is not "fun".

The Sly provide a huge benefit to an empire as the only species to colonize gas giants. They provide a bonus of 18 to 31 population per gas giant. In the mid to late game an empire that does not have Sly to colonize their gas giants is at a significant disadvantage. Balance is improved if the normal planet types are uninhabitable to the Sly and the Sly are xenophobic. I tried this and it seems better.

The Sly in their current form are overpowered. Even the AI dominates, when it starts as the Sly.

Spatial Flux Bubble Hull

The Spatial Flux Bubble Hull with either the outpost or colony module is cheaper, faster, has more fuel, and is a full detection level stealthier, than its standard counter part. Its stealth also automatically upgrades during the game. Its only drawback compared with the basic colony ship is that it has lower structure and can't power past any monsters. All empires should replace their basic outpost/colony ships with these new hulls.

The Spatial Flux Bubble Hull is the only hull with automatic stealth upgrades. Either neither stealth modules nor hulls should automatically upgrade, only stealth modules should automatically upgrade, or both stealth modules and hulls should automatically upgrade. It was surprising and inconsistent to notice that the Spatial Flux Bubble hulls had upgraded their stealth late in the game. Not allowing automatically upgrades would mean that empires need to create a new wave of colonizing ships when enemy empires upgrade their detection.

This hull has the stealth of the Spatial Flux Hull which requires 98 RP and 10 turns to research, slightly more speed (100) than the Organic Hull(90) requiring 42 RP and 10 T to research and slightly less speed than the Compressed Energy Hull(120) requiring 160RP and 3 turns to research.

In order to be balanced, this hull should require a similar amount of research to these comparable hulls.

The UI should show sensor ghosts for the Flux hulls, when they are at rest in a system if the empire saw the ship arrive. That is after all the last known location of the flux hull.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Quote:
I still agree with Vezzra, the stockpile mechanic works as a way to bypass the supply mechanic.

I playtested the supply mechanic with the master branch from last week by playing 10ish games as Sly with from 100 to 350 systems with dense planets in a variety of topologies with from 10 to 30 systems per empire.
Sly are so OP in the master version that it's crazy. You could try Laenfa (that has the same +40 not-fun planetary stealth from start) for a very similar playstyle but without the population unbalance of the Sly to see how much the IS can bypass the supply mechanic.

Quote:
The stockpile mechanic requires too much micromanagement.
Absolutely. For Sly (with population corrections to make them not so OP), the lack of supply means you need to constantly change focus between research, production and stockpiling to not waste PPs but maximise what you can build in isolated GGs (that are the most until you get slevators but even after that if you are playing totally stealthy and there are enemies orbiting your systems everywhere (mines cripple AI, if I research them I destroy more ships than the other 13 AIs combined before I built a single armed ship). The pause mechanism is also a nightmare, having to do it item by item.
The suggestion of two bars that you can drag and drop in the production queue to mark <up to here you can drag from IS> and <up to here projects are enabled, the rest are paused> would greatly reduce the number of clicks required every turn but not completely remove the need of micromanagement that happens almost every turn.
The previous IS system with a constant percentage of efficiency was better in this sense, because you didn't have to optimise your processes to adjust to that thresshold of efficiency that is the maximum stockpile use.
There must be a way that has the good attributes of both ways and none of the drawbacks...

Quote:
In my games by mid game I have 2 to 10 times my per turn PP in the stockpile.
Not my case. I manage to have less than 200 PPs in turn 100 with a production of 70 PPs/turn or so and less than 400 by turn 200 when i have a production of 1000 PPs/turn (and almost all techs researched). But I have elevators and all ship-production buildings in almost all planets.

Quote:
Balance is improved if the normal planet types are uninhabitable to the Sly and the Sly are xenophobic.
Also if planet size of GGs are treated as 4 (still testing it, but seems better than the other changes I was testing: disable subterranean for GGs, make self-sustaining an early priority effect, add very bad population trait...).

Quote:
The Spatial Flux Bubble Hull with either the outpost or colony module is cheaper, faster, has more fuel, and is a full detection level stealthier, than its standard counter part.
Agree (also with Dilvish in the other thread). It should require some easy tech to be researched (maybe like spatial flux hull?).


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Micromanagement must be reduced.

Before IS, there was already some "micro"-management necessary every turn regarding production, to avoid waste, involving thinking what else you need and where and when to build it. That's more than fine, it's a big part of the game. Note that this management tends to be more laborious the more supply groups you have, so I think we have to distinguish between the inherent micromanagement of the production system when you have many supply groups and the actual micromanagement that IS may bring into the game.

With the absolute stockpile use limit of the IS (SUL), in which you have 100% stockpiling efficiency for all you store under that limit, and 0% for the rest), when you are in need of extra PPs in your isolated groups, you need to worry about how much PPs you are devoting to IS on each of your other supply groups (overall, you need it to be as close as possible to the SUL to maximise expansion rate without wasting anything, that's a demanding micromanagement task).
With the previous IS version, with the percentage of all excess production stockpiled, you didn't have to worry about adjusting to any absolute limit (just caring about not devoting too much to the IS, because it implies waste now and because you may not need that much storage later on). But this method had the problem of the easy exploitability to bypass supply mechanics, e.g. because of the huge PP numbers you can get late game.

Now I thought about a simplified combination of both methods:
Consider the IS as an "upper" supply group, the smuggling network, connected to all of your regular supply groups.
The input of this upper supply group is a percentage (SMUGGLING_EFFICIENCY) of the excess production of each supply group (that will be 0 PPs on the supply groups that are in need of using the smuggling network).
The output (available on every supply group) is 100% of the input (efficiency loss already paid), but must be limited by planet (to avoid huge PP investment outside of supply range once you have many PPs/turn, this problem was already noted with previous IS version that used the same percentage mechanic), and it is assigned to each item in the building queue the same regular PPs are (no need for the toggle to use "stockpile", they are always used, see why below). The limitation for by-planet use (EXTRACTION_LIMIT) should be absolute because there's no way to adjust percentages for this to avoid a blatant by-pass of supply mechanics late game.
Whatever is not used each turn is lost. That is, remove the storage capacity of the IS (I know, this looks nuts, but I couldn't think of any way to have a capacity that is both unexplitable and needs no excessive micromanagement). And that's why the IS would require a change of name (there is no such stockpiling with this suggestion), smugglers networks looks great to me.
As last kiss to KISS, stockpiling focus could be removed.

Possible numbers for SMUGGLING_EFFICIENCY: 0 at start, increased to 20% of excess PPs with techs. GREAT/GOOD_STOCKPILING (GREAT/GOOD_SMUGGLING?) would add to that number 20%/10% from start and unlock the first tech. Thus Sly/Laenfa has 20%/10% at start and 40%/30% late game.

Possible numbers for EXTRACTION_LIMIT: I'm thinking on something like 5 per tech level for non-smuggling species (max. 20 PPs per turn on a given planet). GREAT/GOOD_SMUGGLING would multiply that number x4/x2 and unlock the first tech. So Sly with all four techs (late game assumed) could use up to 80 PPs per turn on a given planet, maybe modified by specials (the resonant moon, the eccentric orbit and the planetary stealth stuff are good candidates) and by supply-connected buildings (adding to the base number before the GREAT/GOOD_SMUGGLING multiplier).

Alternatives regarding "stockpiling":
You can make the input available as output only on the turn after it was added to the stockpile, but that is the seed of the capacity, why not make it available also after two turns if you don't use it? etc. And the extra complexity I think is not worthy, not adding real fun value to the game and little "realism".
You can include a capacity (and probably a decay ratio, so you can't efficiently stockpile stuff too much in advance unless proper techs unlocked). I think it is not worth the extra complexity nor the extra windows it opens to bypass general supply group mechanics.

Influence alternatives:
Influence could be used (however influence is used, dunno if it is already designed) to get better SMUGGLING_EFFICIENCY or EXTRACTION_LIMIT (on a given planet or in all of them).

I hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
For Sly (with population corrections to make them not so OP), the lack of supply means you need to constantly change focus between research, production and stockpiling to not waste PPs but maximise what you can build in isolated GGs...
Why do you need to constantly change focus if you have the stockpile mechanism available?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Oberlus wrote:
For Sly (with population corrections to make them not so OP), the lack of supply means you need to constantly change focus between research, production and stockpiling to not waste PPs but maximise what you can build in isolated GGs...
Why do you need to constantly change focus if you have the stockpile mechanism available?
I was confused when wrote that. The problem is with the stockpiling system altogether.
I quote myself from the post that followed the one you quote:
Quote:
With the absolute stockpile use limit of the IS (SUL), in which you have 100% stockpiling efficiency for all you store under that limit, and 0% for the rest), when you are in need of extra PPs in your isolated groups, you need to worry about how much PPs you are devoting to IS on each of your other supply groups (overall, you need it to be as close as possible to the SUL to maximise expansion rate without wasting anything, that's a demanding micromanagement task).
The fact that Sly are bound to use that IS since they have no supply (until space elevators, hostile colonisation or switching to a conquered species), means they must suffer the micromanagement burden. But any species wanting to use the IS will suffer it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:20 pm 
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For the next iteration, I'm inclined to remove the stockpile input limit, keep the extraction limit as it works now, and make everything on the production queue default to stockpile enabled. That way there's no micromangement to use the stockpile for something on the queue, no micromangement to add to the stockpile, and extracting more than a trivial amount still requires dedicating some planets to stockpiling.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:45 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
I'm inclined to remove the stockpile input limit, keep the extraction limit as it works now, and make everything on the production queue default to stockpile enabled. That way there's no micromangement to use the stockpile for something on the queue, no micromangement to add to the stockpile, and extracting more than a trivial amount still requires dedicating some planets to stockpiling.
I like this too. If there is no efficiency (loss) involved in the storage I can stop worrying about keeping my excess PPs close to a threshold. If I put too much I can use it later, it's not a waste. The use limit for the extraction to avoid excessive bypass of the supply mechanics. Looking forward t playtest it.


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