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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:12 pm 
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Space Kraken
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Goodmorning All;

I really like Eleazars idea of battles which stretch over multiple game turns, it makes Epic battles really Epic, if both sides can genuinely "call in the calvary". *in fact even in Single player mode this is a benefit IMHO*

Also, i like the idea of having the comp track how much time you've made your peers(who were not themselves in battles) wait. and balancing it so that in the end everybody waits ~ the same amount of time.
*perhaps a simple system
Player_N's_remaining_time -= Other_Players_minutes_Waited/All_Player_minutes_in_battle*PlayerN's_minutes_in_battle

Player Time_battle Time_waited
A 5 2 (4 minutes with AI, one minute with B)
B 3 4 (one minute with A, then two minutes with An AI [how i don't know]
C 0 7

Total player wait time Total Player fight time
13 minutes. 8 minutes

Player A would 'loose' 6 minutes (5.625 minutes)
Player B would 'loose' 1 or 2 minutes (1.5 minutes)
C would 'loose' non, possibly gain some.

I have two additional suggestions.

Firstly,

Might it be possible for the game to present the user with how many battle minutes they have to invest, before a battle. Then have them Select how many minutes they think it will take to conclude the battle. To me the hardest part of MP games with side battles is not knowing how long it's going to be before your attention is needed again.

Psychologically speaking an 8 minute battle which you have to wait 8 minutes for is a LOT longer then a ~10 minute battle that you grab a snack from the kitchen, then respond to an email, then return to and wait ~1.5 minutes for.

The time deducted would be the time used not the time guessed, but going overtime could cost a little extra. (people might have to be discouraged from systematically over guessing however not certain how to achieve that.)

Secondly; I would like to resuggest (although i don't know who to credit, because it's not my idea) that empires be allowed to elect Allies to fight battles. This limits the number of minutes players wait pointlessly, fighting for your ally is time well spent.

Best wishes all.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:25 pm 
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Edited by Geoff. Removed stuff went here.

So the main point here is to reduce/eliminate the amount of time players have to wait while others do battle.

[...]

The other option is to let players who are done with their battles or have no battles to start their turn. They would be able to do everything they could in a normal turn except they wouldn't be able to move their ships or troops around and any systems in which battles were occurring would be unavailable to be managed.

As soon as all battles are resolved those systems would open up and ship and troop movement would be allowed.

The player would gain a bit of an advantage because they would have longer to do things than the players who are battling, but that would add another element to the game.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:06 pm 
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Edited by Geoff
I can't think of any reason why some pre-order phase orders can't be given for the new turn during the battles, but this probably won't gain us much time, since there is only so much you can do in your empire per turn. . .


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:13 am 
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hissun wrote:
Why not - it will be better when I can play my tactics againts (selected) simulated players ship/fleet. Designs are known or this option can be affected by Espionage - better know your enemy, better prepare your tactics.

So as a implication of this it will be better to have a fleet tactics for this situation (strong enemy, small enemy) and for this and that enemy (I can prepare a scrips for battle against this Race and another against someone else).

Tactics scripts can be even be "created" via this combat simulator by pressing "create tactic" button (and than be little modified with some else tool).


I guess I can see the benefit of that. Technology will be known if the tech trading system works the same as most other games. Designs should only be known if you steal them through espionage. Having them be automatically known would give an advantage to those players who aren't in battle.

Having scripts that you could create for tactics would also be an excellent help when allowing the computer to fight your battles for you.


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 7:41 pm 
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Edited by Geoff

I think there's enough good ideas in this thread to combine into a single, reasonable system.

First of all, as eleazar has pointed out, we should limit the number of battle turns per battle.
eleazar wrote:
This doesn't fully solve the problem... but i think a very good start is to limit the number of battle turns that can be played at one time.

I.E. if a battle isn't resolved in X number of turns, it is considered to have lasted the entire game-turn, put on hold, and will be continued the next turn.

This would make the max time a battle could take up in a turn something which can be reasonably guessed at, and spread huge battles out over multiple game turns. It would go a long way to preventing human players from running out of things to do.


This will make it less likely for people without real battles to fight become bored with their own combat simulations.

[Removed stuff about battle simulator to here: viewtopic.php?p=33533#p33533]

Naturally, if you don't want to control a combat, you should still have the option of giving the battle more strategic value than the average explosion fest.
Krikkitone wrote:
One Idea, it might be good to Have it look like this
Location: Terra
Estimated Fleet Strength Ratio: 90% (9 of ours for 1 of theirs)
Battle Directions: Select options
Manual Control (Yes/no)
Commitment v. Cost (Suicidal->Safe)
Goals (Conquer / Destroy / Guard, etc.)
etc.

So that you can give that minimal control over battles that you are autoresolving. And so that you have the minimal information needed to determine if it is worth manually controlling, (in cases where the EFSR was more than 95% or less than 5%, it shouldn't be worth controlling manually, as the result is basically assured)


The "Goals" part of that list is particularly important if we want this auto-resolve feature to be used as often as people don't feel like battling. Some hit-and-run options and spy deployment options should be available, as well as the ability to quickly give some secondary goals.

And of course, just because you're not directly engaged in a battle doesn't mean you can't still affect someone else's.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
If a player has a spy, or other in-game justification for being able to observe a battle they aren't directly participating in, and they want to help someone in a battle by providing information, presumably they should be allowed to do so. It makes sense in context, and provides something for the other players to do if they don't have a battle of their own.

If spies are involved, then letting neutral players observe battles they aren't involved in would probably be a configurable server setting. You can't do much without trusting the other players to play fair.
In fact, if your spies are good enough, even taking over an enemy ship and telling it to retreat and it's yours now could be an option, or using that ship against it's former owners at an opportune moment.


I think this combination of ideas would be very effective in eliminating ye olde combate bordome. As long as players always have something to do and a limited time to have to do it in, we're set.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:59 am 
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Battles do not present a problem in Single player mode as the player can opt in or leave it to AI as they see fit. The problem is in Multiplayer (MP) games where non-combatants have to wait or a player with multiple battles has to deal with them sequentially. Here's a compromise suggestion.

If any battle occurs that involves a real player rather than AI, a Battle Clock (BC) is shown to all players. This informs the non-combatants that the have some time to kill.

Whilst the BC is running all combat is resolved concurrently. Combatants (or observers) are given a list of their conflicts (with an appropriate status bar) and may select a high priority battle or click through all of their battles to observe the progress and refine their orders. Perhaps a split screen could be developed to enable more than one battle to be observed at any one time.

Some other thoughts on this idea:
Max time for the BC is a game setting (default 5 min).
If there are only small battles, the computer may be able to estimate a shorter time for the BC
After the BC has expired, all unresolved conflict is carried over to the next turn.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:51 pm 
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I haven't seen this question answered anywhere -- maybe I just haven't read the documentation closely enough.

Are combats going to be multiplayer or just 1-on-1? That is to say, if there are three different fleets in the same system, will all three fleets be present in the combat? I've been assuming that would be "yes" (and if so, a //very// welcome departure from the MOO series)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Yes, that is the case AFAIK. I think it's mentioned in the 0.4 design document somewhere.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:45 am 
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Seemless Turns

A good thing to do would be to have an option at the start of the game to prohibit players from pausing between turns to give orders. This would streamline battles very quickly and provides no benefit to RTS buffs because no matter how fast you give orders they won't be commited until the start of the next turn (Which would only be 3-5 seconds away anyway)

As always any orders not completed by the end of each turn would carry over to the next one so players could seemingly just give each fleet a single order for the whole battle.

To round off this concept, at the start of the game you would be able to put a hard lock on the total time given to each battle (default one minute) and how much time for all battles (default five minutes) But I think we've already finalized that part.

Although, as this seemless approach would be a little confronting to first time players, Single player games would have the option of not having to set this limit (like in MoO3)

Objectives
Of course another major focus should be setting your objectives on the Galaxy map the turn before the battle. The crux of this would be that battles don't start until at least one side has an objective. When a player completes all of their objectives they comfortably leave the battle to fight another one, Giving a simple task to the computer put in charge of his/her units if the battle continues. (Such as Engage, Harass, Defend or Retreat)

All Objectives would be set on the Galaxy Map, You would have an Objective Queue for all your forces in each system, there you could set objectives such as Capture of Planet A, Destruction of all enemy forces, Enforce Blockade (This sort of objective would only be completed when its removed from the queue)

During the Battle Screen you would be able to set up the Overall Orders for the AI for the battles you won't be taking part in (The same as the Four mentioned above, Engage etc.) using radio buttons, then there would be a second list next to it containing 1/ Concentrate on Objectives, 2/ [Overall Order], but use opportunities to Complete Objectives, 3/ Ignore Objectives.

Whenever your not fighting you would be on the Battle Lobby Screen and you would be abale to freely jump in or jump out of any combat as you see fit as well as changing your Overall Orders and Objective stances whenever you want. Battles with no players taking part would be resolved only at the end of Battle time or if all players ticked their Ready box. A battle would start only once a player jumped in.

There should also be a minute long Planning Period before any battles start during which players could organize deployment in each system and modify their Objectives. Players can jump into their own combats as a Commander, or any visible battle as an Observer. Once this period is over, Any battle with a Commander would start automatically while all other battles would be paused (including those with only Observers in them) At any time, if a player is observing a battle in which they have troops they could immediately switch to Commander.

And as I mentioned before, a paused battle would start as soon as a Commander on any side enters it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:33 pm 
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General_Zaber wrote:
A good thing to do would be to have an option at the start of the game to prohibit players from pausing between turns to give orders. This would streamline battles very quickly and provides no benefit to RTS buffs because no matter how fast you give orders they won't be commited until the start of the next turn (Which would only be 3-5 seconds away anyway)


That's not actually true, if you did that then a fast clicker could set up two pincer movements in 5 seconds while a slow clicker could only order some units to attack. If you really wanted to streamline battles I'd do the opposite and make turns really long, players only give orders once: at the start of the battle players chose objectives, create a plan and some more general backups for when there plans inevitably don't work like clockwork.

Watching the actual fighting only happens if there is time to spare.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:00 am 
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That's why you can give your initial orders during deployment when the gameis paused anyay, provided orders are vague enough you wouldn't have to give another order throughout the entire battle. There just needs to be a little common sense implemented. For istance an Attack order on an enemy ship should mean that once the target is destroyed, the ship/fleet you gave the order to should continue engaging any ships nearby, keeping in mind the objectives set on the Galaxy Map.

Besides the whole point should be to give as few orders as possible. I said specifically before that players get a whole minute in the loby to organize their deployment in every system.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:09 am 
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I suggest people interesting in this topic read some of the other threads and the v.4. While not everything in this area has been nailed down, there has been a lot of progress made, but it seems like many of the posters here are starting from scratch unaware of what came before.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:16 pm 
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If not everything here has been nailed down, it would be helpful if someone in charge would provide a list of questions that this thread should answer, but hasn't yet, so that we can focus on the aspects of this topic that are relevant/undetermined. This thread is over a year old, after all.

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