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 Post subject: Bombardments & Invasions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Bombardment is coming up in the discussion of other current topics, so i though i would give an official location for the discussion to take place. That's here.

The interface for bombardment is likely to be similar to the invasion/colonization UI.

Some questions that need answers:
    * Are "bombs" consumable like troop ships, renewable every turn, or only renewable when within supply range?
    * What do bombs destroy: buildings, population, troops, infrastructure?
    * * Can special types of bombs target only one of these, and others have the randomize potential to target all?
    * Can bombs apply/remove specials (for instance to simulate irradiated planets)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:02 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
* Are "bombs" consumable like troop ships...
Troop ships are consumable, like colony ships, because they can give the player another planet to control, so need to be limited to slow potential growth. Bombing planets presumably doesn't itself give the player a planet, so probably doesn't need to consume a ship.
Quote:
...renewable every turn, or only renewable when within supply range?
I'd assume bombs would work like any other weapon... If ammo is implemented, it could be consume and required for bombing like it would for any other weapon. Whether ammo should be limited in any case is probably a separate issue...

That said, if there is a special class of very powerful bombing, similar to Civ ICMBs, SMAC planet busters, or MoO stellar converters, which can effectively destroy a whole planet or have dramatically more powerful effects than "standard" ships' orbital bombardment abilities, making them consumable (effectively a very restrictive form of ammo) would probably make sense.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:21 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
* Are "bombs" consumable like troop ships...
Troop ships are consumable, like colony ships, because they can give the player another planet to control, so need to be limited to slow potential growth. Bombing planets presumably doesn't itself give the player a planet, so probably doesn't need to consume a ship.

IIRC the reason troop ships are consumable is because we didn't want to make the player bother with checking weather the ship had any troop pods, and then sending them somewhere to refill.



Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...renewable every turn, or only renewable when within supply range?
I'd assume bombs would work like any other weapon... If ammo is implemented, it could be consume and required for bombing like it would for any other weapon. Whether ammo should be limited in any case is probably a separate issue...

That said, if there is a special class of very powerful bombing, similar to Civ ICMBs, SMAC planet busters, or MoO stellar converters, which can effectively destroy a whole planet or have dramatically more powerful effects than "standard" ships' orbital bombardment abilities, making them consumable (effectively a very restrictive form of ammo) would probably make sense.


The difference from normal weapons (at least if we do the GUI as suggested in the OP) is bombarder needs to be a handful of ships -- it doesn't scale well to hundreds of bombers when you actually have to click each one. So even a "normal" bombarder should be something of a special ship. Doesn't mean it needs to be consumable necessarily, though that's one way to keep numbers down.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:23 am 
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eleazar wrote:
IIRC the reason troop ships are consumable is because we didn't want to make the player bother with checking weather the ship had any troop pods, and then sending them somewhere to refill.
That's another good reason. This suggests that ammo shouldn't be added then? Though fuel is present... so there perhaps hasn't been a very consistent answer to this sort of question.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Random thoughts:

* By default it should take twice as many invading troops to equal the defending troops. I.e. to win you need slightly more than double the defenders. Double is easy to add in your head, and gives a reasonable home-team advantage.

* Perhaps the effectiveness of bombardment varies with how full the meter being effected is. I.E. A bomb is guaranteed to destroy troops when the troop meter is maxed out, but if the current troop meter is at 1/2 of target, then there's only a 50% chance of taking out troops. The same for infrastructure and population, though it doesn't work with buildings which have no max quantity. This would mean that it is pretty easy to seriously damage a planet with bombs, but hard to entirely eradicate opposition.

* MoO2 IIRC had an interface where you could keep hitting the "Bombard" button until you wore the planet down to the point where you wanted it. If we follow the Invasion/Colonization model, you won't know how much was destroyed until the next turn. It seems waiting to see how much damage was done could be annoying. But is imitating the MoO2 method possible with multiplayer?

* Lets consider the number of troops not as the number of battalions or squadrons, but as a power rating. That way there's only one stat to keep track of and techs that improve your troops allow you to build a troop pod with a higher number. Also species with a "ground" bonus will simply generate a higher troop meter.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:01 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Random thoughts:

* By default it should take twice as many invading troops to equal the defending troops. I.e. to win you need slightly more than double the defenders. Double is easy to add in your head, and gives a reasonable home-team advantage.

sounds good

eleazar wrote:

* Perhaps the effectiveness of bombardment varies with how full the meter being effected is. I.E. A bomb is guaranteed to destroy troops when the troop meter is maxed out, but if the current troop meter is at 1/2 of target, then there's only a 50% chance of taking out troops. The same for infrastructure and population, though it doesn't work with buildings which have no max quantity. This would mean that it is pretty easy to seriously damage a planet with bombs, but hard to entirely eradicate opposition.

* MoO2 IIRC had an interface where you could keep hitting the "Bombard" button until you wore the planet down to the point where you wanted it. If we follow the Invasion/Colonization model, you won't know how much was destroyed until the next turn. It seems waiting to see how much damage was done could be annoying. But is imitating the MoO2 method possible with multiplayer?


This depends on the purpose of bombardment...
you could have 2 reasons for bombarding a planet
1. make a planet easier to conquer by eliminating enemy troops
2. reduce the value of a planet for an enemy

Those do have 2 different goals
for #2 you just want to keep bombing until you are done
for #1 you want to eliminate Just enough troops while preserving the value of the planet

I like the "chance of hitting pop/troops/infra depends on current/max"

I'd suggest
2 targeting options Military/Civilian

Military Targeting
Targeted take Current/Target + Random 0-10% damage
Pop+Infrastructure takes 50%*(Current/Target) - Random 0-100% damage

So the targeted thing can be wiped out, but the other can be spared (potentially)

And buildings can take damage based on Infrastructure... unless they are become separately targetable


eleazar wrote:

* Lets consider the number of troops not as the number of battalions or squadrons, but as a power rating. That way there's only one stat to keep track of and techs that improve your troops allow you to build a troop pod with a higher number. Also species with a "ground" bonus will simply generate a higher troop meter.

Definitely agree


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:00 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
* By default it should take twice as many invading troops to equal the defending troops. I.e. to win you need slightly more than double the defenders. Double is easy to add in your head, and gives a reasonable home-team advantage..
I'm not really against it, but your fourth proposition would suggest that the "home-team advantage" could already be factored in.

eleazar wrote:
* Perhaps the effectiveness of bombardment varies with how full the meter being effected is. I.E. A bomb is guaranteed to destroy troops when the troop meter is maxed out, but if the current troop meter is at 1/2 of target, then there's only a 50% chance of taking out troops. The same for infrastructure and population, though it doesn't work with buildings which have no max quantity. This would mean that it is pretty easy to seriously damage a planet with bombs, but hard to entirely eradicate opposition.
I agree.

eleazar wrote:
* MoO2 IIRC had an interface where you could keep hitting the "Bombard" button until you wore the planet down to the point where you wanted it. If we follow the Invasion/Colonization model, you won't know how much was destroyed until the next turn. It seems waiting to see how much damage was done could be annoying. But is imitating the MoO2 method possible with multiplayer?
As long as randomness involved, the turn has to be passed for the server to do it.

eleazar wrote:
* Lets consider the number of troops not as the number of battalions or squadrons, but as a power rating. That way there's only one stat to keep track of and techs that improve your troops allow you to build a troop pod with a higher number. Also species with a "ground" bonus will simply generate a higher troop meter.
I agree.

eleazar wrote:
* Can bombs apply/remove specials (for instance to simulate irradiated planets)

"Bombs" that have an all or nothing effect (like destroying a planet or adding/removing specials) should be special ships that are consumable. They don't even need to be grouped together with normal bombing.

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Last edited by Sloth on Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:05 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
eleazar wrote:
* By default it should take twice as many invading troops to equal the defending troops.
...the "home-team advantage" could already be factored in.
Makes more sense to me to have 1 troop unit always be worth 1 troop unit, and factor in any relevant adjustments to determine that number.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:19 pm 
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The simplest way to get "bombardments" going, as well as allow for some specialized ships, is to allow ship hulls or parts (when "fired" at a planet as colony and troop ships are) to execute some script on the target planet.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:25 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
The simplest way...
I suspect we may have different definitions of simplest in this context...
Quote:
...to get "bombardments" going, as well as allow for some specialized ships, is to allow ship hulls or parts (when "fired" at a planet as colony and troop ships are) to execute some script on the target planet.
I think planetary bombardment, if it is to work similar to colonization and invasion, is enough of a special case with specific game logic and UI requirements that handling it just as part of a general mechanism and interface for user-directed targeting of effects doesn't make sense. That is, a general-use mechanism for targeting objects with effects with need a general-use UI for assigning targets. Bombardment probably has particular restrictions, mechanics, and relevant information about it to display that would be best-handled similarly to invasion and colonization, with a dedicated UI widget.

That said, it would be useful to get suggestions about how to set up the UI to allow user-targeting of objects (planets, ships, systems, fleets, buildings, fields), and to allow user-activation of part, ship, or empire ability / tech effects.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:00 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...to get "bombardments" going, as well as allow for some specialized ships, is to allow ship hulls or parts (when "fired" at a planet as colony and troop ships are) to execute some script on the target planet.
I think planetary bombardment, if it is to work similar to colonization and invasion, is enough of a special case with specific game logic and UI requirements that handling it just as part of a general mechanism and interface for user-directed targeting of effects doesn't make sense. That is, a general-use mechanism for targeting objects with effects with need a general-use UI for assigning targets. Bombardment probably has particular restrictions, mechanics, and relevant information about it to display that would be best-handled similarly to invasion and colonization, with a dedicated UI widget.

I'd like to do things with bombardment that is not (at least currently) scriptable, but other bombardment (and bombardment like actions would be easily scriptable if there was a way to "fire" them at the planet.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
That said, it would be useful to get suggestions about how to set up the UI to allow user-targeting of objects (planets, ships, systems, fleets, buildings, fields), and to allow user-activation of part, ship, or empire ability / tech effects.

    Targeting:
    planets -- just like invasion/colonization
    systems -- i don't see the need, if necessary, they could be acted on like ship act on planets for invasion/colonization
    fleets/ship -- that's tactical map stuff
    buildings -- i'm not sure but that probably shouldn't be possible, except orbital buildings on the tactical map
    fields -- big area things shouldn't be clickable/targetable. If you want to interact with one, script a building/hull/part to have an effect on them

    User-Activation of:
    part/ship -- that's tactical map stuff except when acting on a planet like invasion/colonization
    empire ability / tech effects -- Using a custom focus works but is clumsy for some purposes. I would want to avoid having lots of little controls all over the map. Some important things should have their own screen, like government stuff.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:33 am 
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eleazar wrote:
    systems -- i don't see the need, if necessary, they could be acted on like ship act on planets for invasion/colonization
This could be useful for things like stargate, instead of the current focus magic.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:11 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
...how to set up the UI to allow user-targeting of objects...
planets -- just like invasion/colonization
One or both of us doesn't understand the other. I don't see how a general-use targeting mechanism could be set up like the invade / colonize buttons. They are very single-purpose, but an arbitrary number or variety of in-game objects could be targeting arbitrary numbers of planets... Are you suggesting up to dozens of buttons be shown on every planet panel for all possible things that could be ordered done to the planet?
Quote:
systems -- i don't see the need, if necessary, they could be acted on like ship act on planets for invasion/colonization
What do you mean by "acted on"?
Quote:
User-Activation of:
part/ship -- that's tactical map stuff except when acting on a planet like invasion/colonization
OK, but how would ships or parts be activated for things similar to invasion or colonization, like perhaps orbital terraforming?

And what about things like stargates, which seem quite popular in forum discussions? There's presumably a building providing the ability, a fleet being moved, and a system destination, all of which may need to be activated or selected.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:15 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
...how to set up the UI to allow user-targeting of objects...
planets -- just like invasion/colonization
One or both of us doesn't understand the other. I don't see how a general-use targeting mechanism could be set up like the invade / colonize buttons. They are very single-purpose, but an arbitrary number or variety of in-game objects could be targeting arbitrary numbers of planets... Are you suggesting up to dozens of buttons be shown on every planet panel for all possible things that could be ordered done to the planet?

Perhaps you are thinking too generally. I'm not suggesting that FO's interface should support user targeted actions between any conceivable objects.

Just that ships can target planets and possibly stars-- that are in the same system. Anything beyond that starts to get confusing, and should probably appear on the tactical map if at all.

If you want a ship to act on a planet you select the ship(s) in the fleet panel. Then a button appears in the system sidepanel by all valid targets. The button would appear up at the top by the sun graphic if we make things that can target the sun/entire system. When no ships that have actions are selected no, invasion/colonization/bombardment/whatever buttons are shown.

That's what i mean by "just like invasion/colonization"

If custom-scripted targeting actions are allowed, it will be good to allow the scripting of a custom overlay graphic to appear over the ship in the fleet panel.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
And what about things like stargates...

To do it well, stargates would need to be specially supported by the galaxy map.
See this post.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:13 pm 
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Some notes on bombardment:

I was playing a 10 Cautious (that's bastion of the brave, right?) AI, 255 system game (RC2/3/4) (I did surprisingly well), and I was thinking about how boring the game got after a while. Before long, I spent most of the time with my ships parked at enemy systems waiting for my troop ships (since troops are used on invasion, and you can't protect the troop ship specially in combat, you really have to have separate troop and attack ships) to come in and invade the planets, so I could move on. I wanted to constantly press against the AIs, since that seemed like the optimal strategy against them. I was getting pretty sick of this after a while, and I thought that maybe bombardment could help me out.

I really didn't need to conquer those planets. Some of them were not good EPs (I guess even cautious sometimes does that), and I had sufficient PP to win the rest of the game easily. So I felt that bombardment would be a good alternative to conquering every single last damn planet that belongs to another empire.

Current bombardment setup, AFAICT:
Automatic: Any ship that wins a battle against a planet reduces that planet's infrastructure. This goes on indefinitely, with power depending on the ship weapons (I think).
Researched: You can research death spores, which will give you a ship part to lower a planet's population. Presumably, that will be able to solve the problem of conquering planets: just kill 'em till they turn into outposts. In fact, it gives you a nice tradeoff with whether to use the spores in your design or not. I like them so far. I think this is a good model, but I'd like to say whether and why anybody disagrees.
Another: The nova bomb! Blowing up things is fun wheeeeee!

Of course, as mentioned before, there is another use for bombardment: destroying the usefulness of a planet. I feel like automatic bombardment should maybe do a bit more damage, perhaps lowering other meters on a planet.


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