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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:37 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Having the starting species be "special" in an empire is something we generally avoid.
We do?

That's news.

Laenfa, Trith, Eaxaw, George (that's one of your recent ones), Etty and even Egassem are special and unique in many factors, Laenfa specifically are vastly different in starting advantage/disadvantage and I've been planning to work on a few other ideas.
In the sense of game mechanics treating starting / capital species differently, we do / it does (not). Eg. it doesn't say you get an effect because you started with / have X species at your capital. Whereas it does say you can get an effect because if you have X species in your empire.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
You can always move your capital, can't you?
So after I moved my capital, my outposts are suddenly populated by a different species and get better stealth? That's kinda weird.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:11 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
You can always move your capital, can't you?
So after I moved my capital, my outposts are suddenly populated by a different species and get better stealth? That's kinda weird.

Compare its weirdness with other global effects like nascent intelligence. NAI basically means that all planets are suddenly producing scientific output, no matter how many people live there or how big a scientific community was established there before.

Outposts have negliblible population (0). After change of government key positions are replaced. Sounds like common practice to me ;)
For fluffiness, you come to a planet and find an outpost erected for humans. Apparently abandoned, just a lot of plants survived (etty/laenfa).

For game design the important thing to argue about is the game consequences. "Realistic" is just insofar interesting as it leads to expectations which helps players think up a working model of the game.
For game design - Why I want outposts to be hidable? Because colonies are too costly for building a long stretch of refuel stations.
For "realism"/expectations - outposts are like a lesser form of colony, just a lot smaller. So outposts should be easier to hide than colonies; but colonies are easier to hide because they are eligible for species bonus.
Also one weird thing about the current species bonus system is that a species with bad detection will suddenly detect less if it upgrades an outpost to a colony.

One other way to get some species bonus for outposts would be to add species on outposts as well, but i think that idea was killed long a ago (don't know the reasons). E.g. a population center with a population between 0.001 and 0.1 could be considered an outpost, a population center with a population above 0.1 would be considered a colony. But then you would have to evacuate a outpost first before settling there.

What I also feel to be off a bit is that the changes would happen suddenly. Maybe it would be better if stealth would slowly increase or decrease. So if changing the capital to a stealthier race, the outposts would build up stealth over multiple turns.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:15 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
What I also feel to be off a bit is that the changes would happen suddenly. Maybe it would be better if stealth would slowly increase or decrease. So if changing the capital to a stealthier race, the outposts would build up stealth over multiple turns.
Agreed, that would feel right.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:31 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
MatGB wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Having the starting species be "special" in an empire is something we generally avoid.
...Laenfa, Trith, Eaxaw, George (that's one of your recent ones), Etty and even Egassem are special and unique in many factors,...
In the sense of game mechanics treating starting / capital species differently, we do / it does (not). Eg. it doesn't say you get an effect because you started with / have X species at your capital. Whereas it does say you can get an effect because if you have X species in your empire.

I think that your empire and your choices will look a lot different (at least early/midgame) depending on your starting species. So while the mechanics are the same, the game is different.

@Geoff If I read you right, you oppose choosing a single species to get extra effects, right? Would a bonus based on the most stealthiest species be more acceptable to you?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
@Geoff If I read you right, you oppose choosing a single species to get extra effects, right? Would a bonus based on the most stealthiest species be more acceptable to you?
If you want to set up some complicated ranking of possible species that could affect outposts, sure, but I'd probably just have one or a couple species with the "perk" that the give a bonus to the stealth of outposts controlled by the empire that controls planets the species is on (perhaps gated by happiness). Maybe use a stacking group to avoid getting the effect twice from multiple species. Would probably be better put in a tech, though, so that it doesn't have to check for every planet populated by the species (or also ships?) what planets to attempt to apply it to and then cancel the effect part way through processing due to stacking limits.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:11 am 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Compare its weirdness with other global effects like nascent intelligence. NAI basically means that all planets are suddenly producing scientific output, no matter how many people live there or how big a scientific community was established there before.

Not a great example, as NAI is predicated on computers doing the research, not the inhabitants.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:41 pm 
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defaultuser wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
Compare its weirdness with other global effects like nascent intelligence. NAI basically means that all planets are suddenly producing scientific output, no matter how many people live there or how big a scientific community was established there before.

Not a great example, as NAI is predicated on computers doing the research, not the inhabitants.

Sorry for bad explanation, I'd appreciate a better one :)
Still NAI is weird. NAI fluff sais you need researchers for input - which is an explanation why you need a colony. Research output is the same for any colony, for a tiny radiated one with minimal number of exobots the same as a huge planet of great researchers. Why not split the NAI centers on the huge planet in 25 tiny NAI centers and have 25 times the output?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Ok first time I try to establish community consensus...
I'll try to sum up the discussion here. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Nobody is totally opposed to an outpost stealth benefit based on a species in the empire.

There is some resistance (e.g. Mat,Vezzra) against a stealth benefit based on the stealthiest of your empire's species.

All but Geoff would accept an outpost stealth modifier based on the species of the capital, if stealth of outposts changes gradually if the modifier changes.

Nobody seemed to be totally opposed to an outpost stealth technology (?? not based on species ??). I imagine this as something faster to research than planetary stealth technologies.

While I personally am most inclined on the capital's species solution because it would IMHO add flavor.
I try to make a suggestion:

Instead of applying a species bonus directly on outposts:
1) Lower great stealth bonus (Laenfa) to 20 and make the stealth techs cheaper to research for great stealth races (half the RP). Probably adjust AI to prioritize stealth research more in this case.

For making it easier to hide outposts than colonies:
2) Add for every planetary stealth tech a outposts stealth tech.
Make the outpost stealth tech a prerequisite for the planetary stealth tech.
The outpost stealth tech works the same as the related planetary tech, just for outposts only.

Not sure if this is feasible and probably needs discussion in another thread:
3) Make planetary stealth changes not apply immediately, but let it grow/shrink to target values. Let it grow slower if there is an enemy empire watching (as long as the planet's stealth is lower than the detection value of the watcher).
This give empires a the chance to recapture planets invaded by the stealthy enemies.

edit 1: Rewording to make clear that stealth should not be cheaper generally, but for Laenfa

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Last edited by Ophiuchus on Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:07 pm 
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Ophiuchus wrote:
Let [planetary stealth] grow slower if there is an enemy empire watching (as long as the planet's stealth is lower than the detection value of the watcher).
Does a stealthed watcher count for this purpose? If so, this could reveal that there is a stealthed detector nearby. Probably an unnecessary complication.

A ship part that prevents planet stealth from growing (in the same system) might be interesting, though...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
In the sense of game mechanics treating starting / capital species differently, we do / it does (not). Eg. it doesn't say you get an effect because you started with / have X species at your capital. Whereas it does say you can get an effect because if you have X species in your empire.

Ah, I misunderstood your point, but I'm still not sure I agree with it. Both Etty and Eaxaw used to grant an advantage by being starting species only, and all species currently get a Happiness boost if the capital is inhabited by their species.

I have zero problem with the idea that empires can emphasize the traits of a specific species in some way, but as a compromise we could have a tech that grants outposts a bonus and have some species grant that tech automatically or with a caveat (eg: if Happiness > 5 empire gains X tech).

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:35 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:
Let [planetary stealth] grow slower if there is an enemy empire watching (as long as the planet's stealth is lower than the detection value of the watcher).
Does a stealthed watcher count for this purpose? If so, this could reveal that there is a stealthed detector nearby. Probably an unnecessary complication.

This is similar to the hidden-empire-cant-disrupt-supply problem in the Stealthy Supply thread.
There would be multiple options:
* just assume that if you can hide, you want to hide - so if your ship is undetected you wouldn't interfer with stealth growth
* some way of specifiying your preference for disruption vs hiding. Make this either empire-wide or in relation to other empires (empire-relation: Ally (no disruption), Enemy (disruption), Hidden(no disruption))

Quote:
A ship part that prevents planet stealth from growing (in the same system) might be interesting, though...

Maybe something you can use from a neighboring system? Some tracking device which would work in your ship's detection range. If your enemy was able to land troops probably you cant send your ship in that system right now.
Would also allow a nice combination of parts - add some sensors to increase the range of the tracker.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Here are my opinions. Please consider the negative ones as mild disagreement.

I love the Laenfa and would like to see them rock a new style of play. Don't nerf their stealth.

I don't like the idea of species stealth improving outpost's stealth. I don't think that an outpost has enough sentients on it to gain their species benefits.

For example, Earth has 1 trillion trees, with 1000 trillion leaves. Ten percent of them are Laefna. That is 100 trillion telepaths telling us to ignore that some of the rustling leaves are actually walking from tree to tree. However, I think that one or even 100 Laefna 400,000 km away on the moon would not be able to convince anyone on Earth that an alien looking tree is anything other than the start of an invasion.

I'm fine with researching techs for stealthy outposts. It does make stealthy empire less distinct. Currently, to play a stealthy empire you have to build stealthy colony ships, sneak behind enemy lines and then ramp up your supply to punch through the enemy supply back to the empire. Only in the core of your empire, where you can defend them can you have production boosting outposts. Narratively, I think of this as my fifth column bidding its time and growing its population. It makes the game approach distinctive, start to finish. With stealthy outposts, the strategy/game play for a stealthy empire is the same as any other empire, except with stealthy outpost and stealthy colonies.

I like the idea of applying planetary stealth changes overtime. Why does/should an observer affect the rate? If I was watching the Invisible Woman turn invisible, I don't imagine it would slow her down any. I would just be able to point to the last place that she was standing. This would fix the instantly disappearing planet after an invasion annoyance.

I like the idea of empire's starting species/choices flavoring/affecting the entire empire.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:01 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
Ah, I misunderstood your point, but I'm still not sure I agree with it. Both Etty and Eaxaw used to grant an advantage by being starting species only, and all species currently get a Happiness boost if the capital is inhabited by their species.

I have zero problem with the idea that empires can emphasize the traits of a specific species in some way, but as a compromise we could have a tech that grants outposts a bonus and have some species grant that tech automatically or with a caveat (eg: if Happiness > 5 empire gains X tech).
Okay, this shows my poor coding skills: I totally missed that that was for the species, and not a local effect at the planet. Now that I get that creating something that applied the species stealth to outposts could be done as an effect of the imperial palace. It certainly would help with both the stealth as a strategy and making starting species choice more meaningful, something that's been brought up several times before.

Alternately it could be a building at the capitol, perhaps even a Lafena specific building, that sets outpost stealth to some pre-set value.

Off topic: we need to figure out what happiness does. Specifically before we introduce the influence mechanic in a release version.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:11 pm 
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LGM-Doyle wrote:
I like the idea of applying planetary stealth changes overtime. Why does/should an observer affect the rate? If I was watching the Invisible Woman turn invisible, I don't imagine it would slow her down any. I would just be able to point to the last place that she was standing.

I guess one would move strategic assets if their position was known.
One can move the position of an outpost, but it doesnt help if somebody is looking while you do it (they will know the new position).

The reasoning for slowing down is that is easier to track something that you know is there from finding something unspecific somewhere in big place.

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