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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:27 pm 
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That's pretty much what infrastructure did originally. I'm inclined to have meter changing always be slow, so that changing a developed planet is particularly costly, so that picking a focus is a commitment, and rapid switching and tweaking is discouraged.


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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
That's pretty much what infrastructure did originally.

I had thought it was a horribly complex formula for setting max industry based on population and infrastructure, but that may've been changed by the time I started playing, I never did understand it anyway.
Quote:
I'm inclined to have meter changing always be slow, so that changing a developed planet is particularly costly, so that picking a focus is a commitment, and rapid switching and tweaking is discouraged.

Here's my issue with this opinion as things currently stand:

Concentration Camps and micromanagement

As an experiment, in my current game I've just gone through and built camps on 10 or so of my recently conquered planets. I'm using Leaf's laptop which is far better than mine so it's a massive map, I have Collective Thought and Black Hole Generator active. I was on 2.6K output last turn, this turnt he camps have started working, I'm on 4.23K.

I now need to go back through my sitreps and destroy all those camps. I rarely bother to build camps at all, but if a player can be bothered with the micromanagement hell of putting them on newly conquered worlds and/or worlds switched from research to production as the tech queue is completed, it gives a massive boost.

I would much rather see late game progress speeded up gradually due to a tech or a galaxy affecting building than have the massive advantage Camping newly conquered worlds gives, especially given we've set all metres to 0 on conquest now, which I think is, with the exception of this issue, a massive improvement.

Of course, one way of resolving it is to completely rethink concentration camps (and xenophobia as they're closely linked now), but I wouldn't know where to start there. But I'd definitely like to see either another souped up Force/Energy structures to speed up transition further in the late game (because my homeworld can produce 200+ industry in this game without a camp).

I agree that it should be a choice and rapid switching should be discouraged, but the +3/-5 of F/E structures seems like a nice balance to me, another tech and/or an addition to, say, Pure Energy Metabolism improving or adding another +3/-5 or similar would improve things while maintaining the important choice aspect? Possibly something like +(inf/10) / -(inf/5)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:59 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
I had thought it was a horribly complex formula for setting max industry based on population and infrastructure...
FreeOrion, and various things in it, have been around a lot longer than you've been playing... "Originally" meant around SVN 1500 in 2005, give or take a few years.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:29 am 
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Note: This is for after version 0.4.5. I just pondered so much about it that i want to share my thoughts, you don't have to rush with comments.

At the moment one of the biggest balancing problems of freeorion is that the growths of empires is much too fast. New colonies quickly lead to more RP and PP and that leads to more colonies. Expansion pays off much too quickly.

Could Infrastructure fix that?

eleazar wrote:
Originally the "Infrastructure" meter (or as it was called then, "Construction") was meant to be a streamlined replacement for the dozens of forgettable buildings that you would need to queue in a game like MoO2.
Sounds like it should do exactly what we want: slow down the output of new colonies.

Here is my plan:
Most of the techs that grant boni will have an infrastructure threshold before they kick in.

For example Nascent Artificial Intelligence will be:
Code:
All planets with Infrastructure 10 or higher will have their target research increased by 2.


Details:
10 Infrastructure requirement:
Nascent Artificial Intelligence +2 RP
Subterranean Habitation +2 pop (no more adequate colonies before Simbiotic Biology)
Orbital Construction +1 Supply (also no more bonus for Outposts)
Robotic Production +0.1 PP p. pop
Microgravity Industry +5 PP (with Asteroid Belts)
Industrial Centers +0.2 PP p. pop
Distributed Thought Computing +0.1 RP p. pop
Protection and Defense Focus (maybe less effective before 10 infrastructure)
Honeycomb Special bonus
Computronium Moon Special bonus

20 Infrastructure requirement:
Gravitic Architecture +1 Supply (also no more bonus for Outposts)
Adaptive Automation +5 PP
Industrial Centers II +0.2 PP p. pop
Orbital Habitation +1/2/3/4/5 pop
Gas Giant Generator +10 PP (with Gas Giants)
Quantum Networking +0.5 RP p. pop

30 Infrastructure requirement:
Industrial Centers III +0.2 PP p. pop
Solar Orbital Generation +0.4/0.2/0.1 PP p. pop
Force-Energy Structures (meter growth)
Stellar Tomography +1/0.75/0.5/0.2 RP p. pop
Collective Thought Network +0.5 RP/PP p. pop
Megalith +2 Supply
Psychogenic Domination

40 Infrastructure requirement:
Black Hole Power Generator +1.2 PP p. pop

50 Infrastructure requirement:
N-Dimensional Structures +2/4/6/8/10 pop

Notable exceptions:
The growth techs Simbiotic Biology to Cyborgs and Pure Energy Matabolism
The Detection techs
The Stealth techs
The Defense techs (debatable)

Effects on gameplay:
New colonies will produce almost nothing in the first 10 turns and considerably less in the first 30 turns, which makes colonizing a mid to long term investment.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:31 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
At the moment one of the biggest balancing problems of freeorion is that the growths of empires is much too fast. New colonies quickly lead to more RP and PP and that leads to more colonies. Expansion pays off much too quickly.


I can confirm that. In my last game I've tried to pick a very minimalistic setting (low: Starlane, Density, Monsters, Specials, Natives) and moded the following:

shared_macros.txt:
COLONY_UPKEEP_MULTIPLICATOR
'''(1 + 0.08 * SpeciesColoniesOwned empire = Source.Owner)'''

FLEET_UPKEEP_MULTIPLICATOR
'''(1 + 0.03 * ShipDesignsOwned empire = Source.Owner)'''

MaxStarlaneLength 150

DensityModToPlanetSizeDist NoWorld Planetoid Small Medium Large Massive AsteroidField GasGiant
LowDensity 80 5 0 0 -5 -10 0 0

HighDensity 50 0 0 0 -5 -10 -5 -5

StarTypeModToPlanetSizeDist NoWorld Planetoid Small Medium Large Massive AsteroidField GasGiant
Blue 5 0 0 0 -5 -10 0 0
White 5 0 0 0 -5 -10 0 0

and further nerfed the production or research bonus from various techs but still the game allowed for production overkill, ie. I had more at my hands that I wanted to spend even under the presumption to (a) colonize anything available (b) be militarily omnipotent (c) turn all Gasgiants into BarrenWorlds


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:39 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
Here is my plan:
Most of the techs that grant boni will have an infrastructure threshold before they kick in.


The problem with this approach is that, currently, the AI builds basically all available shipyards at most of his planets and thats severely reducing the amount of infrastructure, because Basic Shipyard is -10 and Orbital Drydock is -15.

If you look in a game you'll find most AI worlds stay at 0 infracture forever, and that alone is sub-optimal because their Defense-regen is throttled.

You either have to do away with the mechanism of buildings using infrastructure up, or teach the AI to better manage this. For exmaple, I seldomly build shipyards twice because
(a) time it takes to errect the more advanced ones
(b) save production

instead, I take a central world (usually the starting world) and release any ship from this world (until I found a better species) and rather speed things up via engines, lighthouses, fast hulls.

However, such a specialization could actually cripple an AI if he cannot respond to threats to these mechanism accordingly (eg. if someone blocks the supply to his shipsworld)


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:00 pm 
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I will be very happy to remove the infrastructure penalty on the two buildings that have it sooner rather than later, it was introduced solely as a 'use' for Inf that never really took off.

It's a completely different approach to what I've been thinking through, and they would be mutually exclusive, but it's not necessarily, overall, a bad idea. However, for me, the speed problem isn't in the early game, it's in the mid to late game, once you start getting the techs and the planet numbers together it starts to push you forward exponentially—generally I hope to have 25+ production and research by turn 50, 100 of each by turn 100 and close to 1000 of one by turn 150. I don't think we need to slow the (already very slow) early game down, we need to reduce some bonuses and change some boosts in and around the mid game, and really work on the total accumulated bonuses possible in the late game (with the Honeycomb now in game getting 300+ production isn't that hard, for example).

Specifically:
Quote:
Subterranean Habitation +2 pop (no more adequate colonies before Simbiotic Biology)

No, no and thrice no!

Even with recent changes, it's possible to not be able to plant your first, free, colony ship for ages as the only habitable worlds, even average ones, are behind sentries or otherwise unavaiable, if other players are able to start quickly you can fall so behind that regaining is difficult to impossible. Making it take even longer to be able to even use the ship that starts the game in orbit would be a Bad Plan.

If anything, I want to make Adequate worlds available earlier, I'm thinking of proposing giving Planetary Ecology a +1 Good/Adequate bonus that expires with Symbiotic Biology just to make it possible to at least get started if you're in a difficult starting position, etc.

But, I do want to give some serious thought about what to do with the stat, your proposal would at least make bombing runs a viable approach, even if the reductions would take a few turns to really have an effect. But, y'know, after we've got 0.4.5 at least into testing stages.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:22 am 
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MatGB wrote:
I will be very happy to remove the infrastructure penalty on the two buildings that have it sooner rather than later, it was introduced solely as a 'use' for Inf that never really took off.
Removing the infrastructure penalty goes without saying.

MatGB wrote:
However, for me, the speed problem isn't in the early game, it's in the mid to late game, once you start getting the techs and the planet numbers together it starts to push you forward exponentially—generally I hope to have 25+ production and research by turn 50, 100 of each by turn 100 and close to 1000 of one by turn 150. I don't think we need to slow the (already very slow) early game down, we need to reduce some bonuses and change some boosts in and around the mid game, and really work on the total accumulated bonuses possible in the late game (with the Honeycomb now in game getting 300+ production isn't that hard, for example).
My proposal doesn't change the early game very much, because you don't have a lot of the affected techs in the early game. What it does is letting all new colonies "relive" the early game (i.e. no boni) even in the mid and late game. Which affects expanding empires a lot but those that are stuck not so much.


MatGB wrote:
If anything, I want to make Adequate worlds available earlier, I'm thinking of proposing giving Planetary Ecology a +1 Good/Adequate bonus that expires with Symbiotic Biology just to make it possible to at least get started if you're in a difficult starting position, etc.
That's a good idea. Just granting +1 to Adequate would do the trick though and is what i prefer.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:42 am 
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Sloth wrote:
My proposal doesn't change the early game very much, because you don't have a lot of the affected techs in the early game. What it does is letting all new colonies "relive" the early game (i.e. no boni) even in the mid and late game. Which affects expanding empires a lot but those that are stuck not so much.

This is actually quite true, and yes, might be good.

For what it's worth my main idea is that multiple bonuses that come from buildings or techs, especially industrial centre and similar, go from being population based to infrastructure based, so you have a mixture of things that get better with more people (advantaging, say, Gysache) and things that get better with infrastructure (advantaging, say, Egassem).

It wasn't something I was even going to talk about much until after I'd finished the work I need to do for 0.4.5, which I keep getting sidelined away from anyway.

Another idea is to tie the vision bonuses from the detection techs strongly to infrastructure, so a newly built/conquered colony has minimal vision and that expands as the infrastructure is rebuilt, and the techs act more as a modifier than as a current flat rate boost. It would also mean that bombarding would reduce vision and similar, which I think would be a good strategic thing (and give a clear sing you've Done Something on the map.

That way you might still need scout ships/detector parts in the mid to late game and not be dependent entirely on conquered planets giving you vision deep into enemy space almost immediately, etc.
Quote:
MatGB wrote:
If anything, I want to make Adequate worlds available earlier, I'm thinking of proposing giving Planetary Ecology a +1 Good/Adequate bonus that expires with Symbiotic Biology just to make it possible to at least get started if you're in a difficult starting position, etc.
That's a good idea. Just granting +1 to Adequate would do the trick though and is what i prefer.
[/quote]
Works for me, the reason I gave it to both was I really want the first turn research choices to all mean something/do something very early, AlgoEleg does, PlanEc doesn't, other techs need some work on. A small boost to the homeworld that also opens up adequate worlds makes sense for that objective, but I'm not strongly wedded and opening up adequate worlds is still a useful boost.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:22 pm 
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Quote:
Another idea is to tie the vision bonuses from the detection techs strongly to infrastructure, so a newly built/conquered colony has minimal vision and that expands as the infrastructure is rebuilt, and the techs act more as a modifier than as a current flat rate boost. It would also mean that bombarding would reduce vision and similar, which I think would be a good strategic thing (and give a clear sing you've Done Something on the map).

That sounds delightful. I always get such a kick out of the enemy colour diminishing on the map when I conquer a planet, getting that from bombing would make it much more fun.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:27 pm 
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Cool, I'll knock something up for master next week once the release branch is done so people can see what I mean and give it a try, I really like the idea, but I'm not certain about the implementation.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:44 am 
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Sloth wrote:
Note: This is for after version 0.4.5. I just pondered so much about it that i want to share my thoughts, you don't have to rush with comments.

At the moment one of the biggest balancing problems of freeorion is that the growths of empires is much too fast. New colonies quickly lead to more RP and PP and that leads to more colonies. Expansion pays off much too quickly.

Could Infrastructure fix that?

eleazar wrote:
Originally the "Infrastructure" meter (or as it was called then, "Construction") was meant to be a streamlined replacement for the dozens of forgettable buildings that you would need to queue in a game like MoO2.
Sounds like it should do exactly what we want: slow down the output of new colonies.

Here is my plan:
Most of the techs that grant boni will have an infrastructure threshold before they kick in.

For example Nascent Artificial Intelligence will be:
Code:
All planets with Infrastructure 10 or higher will have their target research increased by 2.



So I decided to go ahead and implement this :lol:

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/377

And playing with the new setting, the production and research outputs are noticeably throttled instead of exploding exponentially, like this (up to turn 226):

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 2:48 pm 
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pwhk wrote:
So I decided to go ahead and implement this :lol:
Ok, my friend, I take the discussion of your PR here to the forums, as I think the changes you introduce there need discussion and definite decisions first. So lets see:
Quote:
- make detection tech affected by infrastructure, in order to implement planet detection grow over time.
As we have already the defence techs affected by infrastructure, this seems to be a reasonable application of the principle to the detection techs. As far as I'm concerned, we can adopt that without much further discussion. Comments, objections?
Quote:
Removed infrastructure deduction due to shipyards as AIs tend to build them everywhere throttling the infrastructure.
This is a bit more difficult, as the basic idea behind that infrastructure deduction is a very good one we should not give up upon. That said, as thes current implementation is more or less just a proof of concept that hasn't been expanded upon so far, it might still be a good idea to remove them for the reason cited.

Again: comments, objections?
Quote:
- Changed base target infrastructure to 30, and make singularity-generation tech to give +10 target infra, and N-dim structure to give +20 infra (not stackable with each other) - so that the tech can get actually useful instead of being blocked by infrastructure not being able to reach the target
Which brings us to the main part, Sloths idea on gating the boni various techs/buildings grant by infrastructure.

The idea has a certain appeal, but there is conflict with a fundamental design principle here that needs to be addressed. Which is that resource production and all boni associated with it is based solely on population, not on infrastructure. That hasn't been always the case, there have been attempts to have some boni be based on pop, others on infra, or even a quite complicated mixed approach, which based the boni on both. Our (up until now) final verdict on all those experiments has been that by doing that pop and infra won't be sufficiently distinct game concepts, becoming too similar when both act as a base for resource production. Resulting in all approaches that base resource output on infra in one way or another being removed.

Introducing a mechanic that gates resource production by infrastructure reintroduces this concept, and I'm not yet convinced that this is a good idea. I think we have some promising ideas on how to use infrastructure in other ways, like applying it to the defence techs, and, with the changes in you PR, now also to the detections techs. Having buildings "consume" infra, or maybe require a certain (building specific?) min infra is another idea we shouldn't give up yet.

What this concept (gating boni by infra) effectively does is basically just delay when the boni kick in. As all the resource output boni are applied to target meters, they don't take full effect immediately anyway, but only gradually, as the resource meters grow toward the target. Most of them are also tied to pop (except the flat boni), so are already restricted by a colonies pop too anyway. By requiring a certain infra min, this introduces just another slowdown/cap, not a new/additional mechanic that is sufficiently distinct and therefore interesting enough.

Comments, thoughts? Geoff, IIRC you've been in favor of not using infra as a base for resource output for the reasons I cited, what do you think of this approach?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:40 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
pwhk wrote:
make detection tech affected by infrastructure, in order to implement planet detection grow over time.
As we have already the defence techs affected by infrastructure, this seems to be a reasonable application of the principle to the detection techs. As far as I'm concerned, we can adopt that without much further discussion. Comments, objections?
My very first patch uploaded was to do something similar (but not very well), I've long been in favour of it and it's my idea up thread. However, I had in mind something slightly different than the proposed numbers, I think that the multipliers setup given has the potential to give even bigger numbers than we currently have in a not-at-all-ideal manner and I agree completely it's currently too easy.

What I had in mind was something along the lines of Optical Scanner replaces it's current +50 bonus to all settlements with a flat 20 + infrastructure, Active Radar replaces the +75 with 40 + 2 * Inf (giving the potential for a higher than current bonus but not often), Neutron Scanner replaces the current 150 with 60 + 3 * Inf and Sensors replaces 200 with 80 + 4 * Inf. Not at all sure what to do with Omni, then I dislike that tech as is anyway.

The drawback of my plan is it reduces the effect substantially of outlying outposts, which the AI does currently rely on, but also tends to build scanning facilities at anyway. We could have a minimum, or a different scheme for outposts. Or we could go with what pwhk suggests which has different merits but I'd rather not gate it to always give at least the current levels as currently in his code, I want to have it that a newly captured/built/bombed planet has negligible detection and grows up, making warships with sensor arrays and/or heavily stealthed scouts an essential part of strategy instead of just relying on captured territory giving you eyes way into the backwaters.
Quote:
Quote:
Removed infrastructure deduction due to shipyards as AIs tend to build them everywhere throttling the infrastructure.
This is a bit more difficult, as the basic idea behind that infrastructure deduction is a very good one we should not give up upon. That said, as thes current implementation is more or less just a proof of concept that hasn't been expanded upon so far, it might still be a good idea to remove them for the reason cited.

Again: comments, objections?
Broadly in favour, it was aproof of concept for a scheme that never got off the ground, I was going to massively reduce the penalty to the drydock when I did the next damage control pass anyway. However, I wouldn't completely eliminate it, have a penalty that just applies to the basic shipyard making it a choice with a penalty makes sense to me, it's currently too high but it can be a good balancing effect.
Quote:
Quote:
- Changed base target infrastructure to 30, and make singularity-generation tech to give +10 target infra, and N-dim structure to give +20 infra (not stackable with each other) - so that the tech can get actually useful instead of being blocked by infrastructure not being able to reach the target
Which brings us to the main part, Sloths idea on gating the boni various techs/buildings grant by infrastructure.

The idea has a certain appeal, but there is conflict with a fundamental design principle here that needs to be addressed. Which is that resource production and all boni associated with it is based solely on population, not on infrastructure. That hasn't been always the case, there have been attempts to have some boni be based on pop, others on infra, or even a quite complicated mixed approach, which based the boni on both. Our (up until now) final verdict on all those experiments has been that by doing that pop and infra won't be sufficiently distinct game concepts, becoming too similar when both act as a base for resource production. Resulting in all approaches that base resource output on infra in one way or another being removed.

I think the bigger problem last time it was done was it was a complicated formula in which the best of X was applied. I'm very minded to redo the Hyperspatial Dam sooner rather than later and have that give an Inf based bonus as well as a population malus, hopefully getting it so it gives a net benefit if you haven't got a Black Hole Generator but is neutral or marginally negative in effect if you have. I was partially going to do that as the building as is is a waste of space and partially as a proof of concept.

I do continue to like the idea that a production bonus can be based on infrastructure not just pop, and that several should be moved in that direction, as long as it's very clear and those bonuses have some automatic reduction for if/when a planet gets bombed we could be onto a winner.

eg: Industrial Centre is changed to give a bonus of, say, .2, 0.4 and 0.6 Inf, but if your production is higher than target and you're focused on Industry then production falls instantly. This would mean that sending a raiding party of warships in to bomb planets not capture them immediately becomes a viable strategy as industrial bombing does reduce output for awhile. It gives us a neat extra strategic choice, is easy to explain and means that small well developed worlds can have a high output (think Taiwan/Japan) whereas worlds with poor Inf with high populations can get different bonuses. Tiny and Small worlds become less useless and Good/Bad population isn't as powerful for production output purposes.

But, I also like the idea of gating certain bonuses in the way proposed, Sloth and I have differed a lot on whether the population bonus techs should 'unlock' planets or similar, but my way has won by default simply because coding a gating on techs is a pain. However, doing it this way with Sub Hab not kicking in until a seed colony has had time to establish itself might be more balanced and would actually work, while allowing for more nuanced balancing.

And it also makes bombing runs targetting infrastructure useful as population'll start falling after a bombing which, frankly, it should, even if no death spores or similar are used.
Quote:
Introducing a mechanic that gates resource production by infrastructure reintroduces this concept, and I'm not yet convinced that this is a good idea. I think we have some promising ideas on how to use infrastructure in other ways, like applying it to the defence techs, and, with the changes in you PR, now also to the detections techs. Having buildings "consume" infra, or maybe require a certain (building specific?) min infra is another idea we shouldn't give up yet.

What this concept (gating boni by infra) effectively does is basically just delay when the boni kick in. As all the resource output boni are applied to target meters, they don't take full effect immediately anyway, but only gradually, as the resource meters grow toward the target. Most of them are also tied to pop (except the flat boni), so are already restricted by a colonies pop too anyway. By requiring a certain infra min, this introduces just another slowdown/cap, not a new/additional mechanic that is sufficiently distinct and therefore interesting enough.

Comments, thoughts? Geoff, IIRC you've been in favor of not using infra as a base for resource output for the reasons I cited, what do you think of this approach?

For what it's worth, I'm not 100% convinced on this at all. However...

We're at the beginning of a release cycle. We want to do something with Infrastructure more than we currently do. This is something. It has drawbacks and I can see flaws in it, but I suspect it'll be a net gain and it's worth giving it a go then seeing how it pans out, tweaking it or dumping it after feedback.

Caveat: If it requires major work to the AI, I'm less keen on committing and testing, but if the AI can handle it without major work then I vote try it and tweak/replace it later.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:09 pm 
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My sentiments are pretty close to Mat's.

As for outposts, it has always bothered me a bit that they get zero infrastructure; especially if we make detection based off infrastructure perhaps they should get at least some base amount like 5 or 10.

As for the AI, it would affected by this yes, how much depends a lot on just what we wind up doing. Most of it I think would be a reasonably minor weakening, and at some point myself or one of the other AI guys should be able to help redress that.

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