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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:34 pm 
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@afwbkbc, you need to slow down a bit. From your various posts and commets I get the impression that there are quite some differences between your idea of what FO should be and ours. Especially your repeatedly expressed opinion on how reality should matter. This tells me that you probably haven't read our design philosophy yet, nor our take on "realism". To get you up to speed, here a few links you really need to read and commit to the principles explained there if you want your suggestions and attempts at contributing to be taken seriously:


I strongly recommend that you take the time and read and consider all these linked articles, posts etc. carefully. Next it's probably a good idea to dig not only through the most recent, but also older threads, particularly on the design forums. All this will give you a better understanding what kind of game we are trying to make here. Which should already give you an idea that some of the suggestions you presented don't fit and therefore won't be picked up.

E.g. your idea of modelling the galaxy in a recursive manner like you suggested. I can already tell you right away, this isn't going to happen. Not because the idea in itself is bad - if you aim for a game that is something like SimGalaxy that would actually fit perfectly. But FO isn't SimGalaxy, quite the opposite actually. We aim for simplicity, a minimum of micromanagement, a fast paced game. We want to provide the player with simple, yet meaningful and interesting choices.

Adopting your idea would add a lot of detail, which in turn would complicate the interaction of all other game elements with the galaxy map a lot - for what? What are the actual improvements in terms of game mechanics/dynamics? What options and choices would that give the players that would justify the increased complexity?

Something I also want to recommend to you, because (judging by your ideas) you might like it, is Aurora4x:

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/

http://aurorawiki.pentarch.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

That's a 4X space game very different from FO, having been called the "Dwarf Fortress of space games" for a reason. It's (like Dwarf Fortress) pretty much the antithesis to FO. And don't get me wrong, I think both of those games are great! (Ok, Aurora4x is really hard in the micromanagement department, more than I can stomach, but still.) But FO isn't those games. What works for them does not work for us. And I can't see a multi-layered galaxy map working for FO.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Voker57 wrote:
I give you green light, go implement it.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Well... I got here a bit late, but it is a very interesting thread.
Regarding the initial discussion about the 20 freaking turns to get solar hulls (excesive internal slots aside, since they've been nerfed), I wonder how could a reduction of minimum time help countering if that would also allow your enemy to deploy the suns faster. I mean, you would be receiving that annoying bright visit sooner, so you would be further behind in the necessary research and build stuff to deploy your own solar hulls. Otherwise (i.e. if you were not behind in necessary research or building), what were you waiting for cranking out your own suns?
If you are waiting to see a drydock on a black hole system to decide to go for a "fast counter" and deploy your own solar hulls it means (to me) that you don't play this game right, being acknowledge of the potential of solar hulls and how hard it is to get them. It is hard too for your enemies. I'm not as experienced as afwbkbc and L29Ah yet I already have solar hulls as my ultimate and constant goal since the first turn. I.e. I get things like subterranian habitation, quantum networking or Enclave of the Void just to get faster to solar. If I'm building other stuff in my way to solar hulls, like robotic destroyers, self-grav battleships and bio-adaptive stealth carriers, and of course troopships, is just because I need to conquer stuff for the same purpose, to get faster to solar hulls.
Until there is some kind of RPS in which Solar is the rock, there is no point on concentrating into building massive fleets of anything (fractal or whatever) unless that's because your PPs got out of control and you nothing else to espend them in.


Regarding the increasing upkeep linear to raw number of ships and the corresponding handicap that it puts on small ship fleets (that otherwise could be a good counter against solar behemoths), has anyone suggested to make upkeep linear to total structure of owned ships? That would help balance things between small/huge ship fleets, maybe allow a viable counter for behind-research players against advanced-research players, and it would also encourage the use of expensive weapons against cheap armour (if that is really a problem).

Forseeing that that kind of calculation could be a seen as a problem for programming or game performance, I would suggest to keep a variable for each empire to which add the structure of every constructed (or captured or found in ancient ruins) ship and substract the structure of any destroyed (or lost in any way) ship. I guess it would work exacty as the ship count (I think it is called ShipDesignsOwned in upkeep.macros), and be accessed exactly in the same functions that the ship count is already accessed.
The current constant for upkeep (0.01) should be scalled down quite a bit and that would need testing. But assuming that the average structure per ship could be 100 then it would be 0.0001.

What do you think? I feel like I had a good idea. Now waiting for Morlic to come by and say something nice and helpful.


Last edited by Oberlus on Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:44 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
MatGB wrote:
how hard would it be to distribute players around the edges of a map and avoid the centre?
Hard to say, lets I expect that to be quite challenging. The algorithm we have now is, despite all the improvements we made, still comparatively basic... well, LGM-Doyle's recent revision probably lifted it from that to something more sophisticated.

But once you want to take global positioning into consideration, things reach a level where we actually have to replace the current algorithm with something that does a far more sophisticated evaluation. Basically an algorithm would be required that assigns each system a merit value which factors in a number of different, weighted parameters. The home system selection process more or less would have to be rewritten from scratch (although I think LGM-Doyle's work could serve as a very good starting point).
I'd like to try and do that. Although I'm not yet qualified to mess with programming into FO, I'm experienced with algorithms in general and graphs in particular. I'd do it without expectations of it being used, in fact I would get some fun from it anyway.

Vezzra wrote:
Any home system selection algorithm that aims at taking the global position into consideration has to be "galaxy shape aware", so to speak. No way around it. Anything else would only be a half measure.
That's not necessarily true. If you use the appropriate characteristics, perhaps based on distance to other potential homeworlds, the shape of the galaxy can be ignored because the positions on the center would have worse values. So the same algorithm could work just fine for every possible shape.

Nevertheless, a possible easier and computationally faster way to achieve that kind of balanced distribution of homeworlds as well as natives and specials would be to change the galaxy generation algorithm to first deploy the homeworlds and then the rest of systems. The too powerful specials/species wouldn't be placed at places where the necessary guarding monster would be blocking/isolating any player. So there won't be need for any game mechanic change (except the galaxy creation algorithm itself, but nothing else and nothing that affects AIs).

Vezzra wrote:
what I'd like to see are space monsters that only protect a single planet. They let you pass through the system, even colonize other planets, and don't initiate combat. But unless you destroy them (in which case you have to initiate combat), you can't do anything with the planet they protect.
Another way to deal with this without changing monster mechanics (not that I'm against that kind of change, just throwing in some more ideas) would be to create some kind of (extra) special that confers huge shield and orbital defenses to the planet it is in there. That special would have the name and icon of a given monster and would be removed from the planet once its shield is knocked down.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:08 pm 
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Quote:
upkeep linear to total structure of owned ships

I don't think it has been suggested before, might be workable with existing FOCS keywords with exception to damaged ships.
One of the main issues for any upkeep changes is providing the player with current upkeep info, while preserving the ability to change the upkeep formula in scripts.
The AI also will want such information to include in design preference calculations.
(see related PR comments)

Quote:
I'd like to try and do that.

Please do :D Some galaxy type with exactly the same starting conditions (or close enough as possible) would probably be very helpful for AI testing.
Such a map could serve as a basis (with some added entropy) for some less balanced/playable version.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:05 am 
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Oberlus wrote:
Regarding the increasing upkeep linear to raw number of ships and the corresponding handicap that it puts on small ship fleets (that otherwise could be a good counter against solar behemoths), has anyone suggested to make upkeep linear to total structure of owned ships? That would help balance things between small/huge ship fleets, maybe allow a viable counter for behind-research players against advanced-research players, and it would also encourage the use of expensive weapons against cheap armour (if that is really a problem).


One thing that has been suggested is making the upkeep relative to the number of slots, or more specifically to the number of filled slots.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:20 am 
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AndrewW wrote:
One thing that has been suggested is making the upkeep relative to the number of slots, or more specifically to the number of filled slots.
I guess that would work very similar to the structure upkeep, and would have the same (straighforward?) implementation. I guess it wouldn't encourage weapons over structure as would do the structure upkeep, but that is not necessarily bad (not sure what afwbkbc would prefer, but I have no preference since I don't see a problem in the currently cheap armour parts).

dbenage-cx wrote:
might be workable with existing FOCS keywords with exception to damaged ships.
I wouldn't take into account damaged ships (i.e. a titan hull with 10 neutronium armour parts, totalling 560 structure armor, would add 560 regardless of current damage).

Edit:
Quote:
Morlic-fo commented on 14 Jan
What stops me from spamming COMsats or generally empty hulls as cannon fodder?
Such hulls definitely stay relevant even with fighters as they protect the main fleet from capital ship fire in the first turn before fighters are launched.
Quote:
Vezzra commented on 15 Jan
Good catch. That means when calculating the cost increase factor we either need to either:
a) still also need to factor in the number of ships (so even ships without any parts on their design get counted)
b) consider the part slots regardless if their are used or not.
I think that b option would be the best solution if using the parts upkeep. So it would not be parts upkeep but slots upkeep.
If using the structure upkeep instead, since comsats have just 1 structure they would still be a viable (and unwanted) cannon fodder strategy. In that case I would use something like min(ship_structure,10), where ship_structure should be the initial (not damaged) structure of the ship (i.e. the by design structure). Thus, comsats get a value closer to the smallest hulls (probably that 10 should be adjusted).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Yes, it might be the case!
tachophobiaipledges


Last edited by rony albert on Fri May 05, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
I'd like to try and do that.
By all means, go ahead!
Quote:
Although I'm not yet qualified to mess with programming into FO, I'm experienced with algorithms in general and graphs in particular.
All of us had to just dive in at some point. Python (the language used for the universe generation scripts), is easy to learn (if you don't know it already), especially if you're already an experienced programmer.

Maybe you also want to consider lending the AI team a hand. Your experience with graphs should come in handy, AFAIK the AI still isn't "topology-aware" at all (so, can't identify choke points, can't place it's forces strategically, etc.). Which is why it scatters it's forces so much.
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I'd do it without expectations of it being used, in fact I would get some fun from it anyway.
If what you cook up is better than what we currently have, I see no reason why we wouldn't use it.
Quote:
Vezzra wrote:
Any home system selection algorithm that aims at taking the global position into consideration has to be "galaxy shape aware", so to speak. No way around it. Anything else would only be a half measure.
That's not necessarily true. If you use the appropriate characteristics, perhaps based on distance to other potential homeworlds, the shape of the galaxy can be ignored because the positions on the center would have worse values. So the same algorithm could work just fine for every possible shape.
Hm. I'm not sure at all about that, because I think the galaxy shape is a significant factor when assessing this "merit value". A ring galaxy for example doesn't even have a center, that is, of course it has a center, but no star system are there. Spiral galaxies probably need to have home systems distributed reasonably evenly across their arms - not sure if just going by distance to other homeworlds/center can achieve that.

At least, that's what I'd expect, I'm no good at math and algorithms though. So please, you're certainly welcome to give it a try. If you can come up with an algorithm that works well across all shapes, I certainly won't complain! :D
Quote:
Nevertheless, a possible easier and computationally faster way to achieve that kind of balanced distribution of homeworlds as well as natives and specials would be to change the galaxy generation algorithm to first deploy the homeworlds and then the rest of systems.
Can you elaborate? What do you mean by "deploying homeworlds/systems"? Determining their positions (that is, creating the base map) and starlane generation? Wouldn't that actually complicate the map generation? I mean, creating a spiral galaxy sounds more complex if you first place n home systems and then try to generate the rest in a way that it fits with these pregenerated systems.

Or do you mean populating the star systems with planets?

Or just that natives, specials etc. should be placed after the homeworld systems have been determined? Because that is already the case.
Quote:
Another way to deal with this without changing monster mechanics (not that I'm against that kind of change, just throwing in some more ideas) would be to create some kind of (extra) special that confers huge shield and orbital defenses to the planet it is in there. That special would have the name and icon of a given monster and would be removed from the planet once its shield is knocked down.
The Ancient Guardians species which have been added in 0.4.7 to be used as an alternative to guard monsters are practically what you suggest here. So, already done. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Quote:
Vezzra commented on 15 Jan
Good catch. That means when calculating the cost increase factor we either need to either:
a) still also need to factor in the number of ships (so even ships without any parts on their design get counted)
b) consider the part slots regardless if their are used or not.
I think that b option would be the best solution if using the parts upkeep. So it would not be parts upkeep but slots upkeep.
The downside of this, as Mat already pointed out elsewhere, is that it would very strongly encourage players to fill all slots on all their designs, otherwise they waste resources on empty slots. Not a deal breaker, but not really optimal either. Which is why I, personally, lean more toward option a.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:56 pm 
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What about adding a data field to every hull for upkeep?

If it's by slots or structure hulls with some outstanding feature other than slots or structure will be undercosted. An energy line hull has three free slots worth of engines compared to an asteroid line or basic hull. Some organic and robotic line hulls have free repair. Even slot configurations aren't equal. They're closer than they used to be, but there are still slot balances so extreme it's hard to argue they don't meaningfully reduce their value per slot (eg. the Fractal or Zentronium with their complete inability to mount shields or the Camouflaged Asteroid, which is as far as I can tell practically worthless).


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:26 pm 
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Atarlost wrote:
What about adding a data field to every hull for upkeep?
That's actually what I'd prefer. It would also e.g. allow for low build cost/high maintenance cost vs high build cost/low maintenance cost hull dynamics. Which will give more flexibility in balancing the various hulls.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Atarlost wrote:
What about adding a data field to every hull for upkeep?

If it's by slots or structure hulls with some outstanding feature other than slots or structure will be undercosted. An energy line hull has three free slots worth of engines compared to an asteroid line or basic hull. Some organic and robotic line hulls have free repair. Even slot configurations aren't equal. They're closer than they used to be, but there are still slot balances so extreme it's hard to argue they don't meaningfully reduce their value per slot (eg. the Fractal or Zentronium with their complete inability to mount shields or the Camouflaged Asteroid, which is as far as I can tell practically worthless).
I love this suggestion.
Sure there is more on this on older threads or elsewhere, but that upkeep could be payed in form of production or (in not far away future) trade points.
Upkeep adds another dimension to the differences between hull lines that can influence strategy. I'd suggest this progression from more to less:
- Energy hulls (they are made of pure energy under harness, you probably need extra energy to keep it that way). This counterbalances its high speed. Of course Solar Hull should get the biggest upkeep of all.
- Standard (they need constant maintaining).
- Robotic (automation has its advantages).
- Organic (they may take care of themselves even better than robotic with automation). Maybe living ones cheaper than dead ones (unless they're supposed to be fed, then the other way around).
- Asteroid hulls could be the cheapest (they are supposed to be resistant to space conditions).

Edit: Vezzra got ahead of me.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 3:54 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
upkeep could be payed in form of production or (in not far away future) trade points.
The idea has been brought up to pay the upkeep for ships with the planned influence resource (which will be introduced in 0.5.0).


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 4:05 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
The idea has been brought up to pay the upkeep for ships with the planned influence resource (which will be introduced in 0.5.0).
Isn't influence something about cultures (societies) absorbing/being absorbed by other cultures, as in GalCiv2? Planets that happily change of empire with less military expenditure.
I don't know how the influence of my empire can fill up my fuel tanks, keep ships on shape or pay the wages of the soldiers.
I think it really makes no sense, not only in the "real-life" matter but also for strategy and variability purposes of the game. If you tie up the costs of a huge fleet to having huge (cultural?) influence, you will be asking players to always go for both "strategic" lines that will be just one, it would make no sense to go for only one of them.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
I don't know how the influence of my empire can ... pay the wages of the soldiers.
That specific thing is exactly what "influence" would do.

If it helps, consider that "money" is a means of influencing other people to do what you want them to.


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