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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon
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Posts: 530
Here it is an attempt (first one maybe, I found nothing on the forum) to give points to available species characteristics and bonus/malus for a custom species creation system.

For the available attributes I just checked what are the traits that any species can have. I may have missed some.
To assign points I assume humans can be considered as having 0 points in total, and then I try to weight how much (dis)advantage does bring any possible trait in terms of RP/PP output when the rest are all equal. For example, an species with great production (200%) may be expected to progress at twice the speed of an average species (again, assuming rest traits are equal). The rest of stimations are even more intuitive than that, so I expect noticeable deviations from what could be considered balanced.


Output group:

* Research:
- 75%: +10 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -10 points.
- 200%: -20 points.
- 300%: -30 points.

* Production:
- 75%: +15 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -15 points.
- 200% -25 points.
- 300%: -35 points.

* Population:
- 75%: +20 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 125%: -20 points.
- 150%: -40 points.

* Metabolism:
- Robotic/Organic/Lithic: 0 points.
- Phototrophic: -5 points (I would say -20 points on young galaxy, -5 points on mature and +10 on ancient, if costs would be tied to galaxy age, what would be possible if species is customised after galaxy characteristics have been set).
- Self-sustaining: -20 points.

Expansion group:

* Supply bonus:
- +0: +5 points.
- +1: 0 points.
- +2: -5 points.
- +3: -10 points.

* Environtment tolerance:
- Narrow (no adequate planets): +15 points.
- Broad (double poor planets): -5 points.

* Colonisation speed:
- +25%: +5 points
- -25%: -5 points

Military group:

* Pilots:
- -1: +10 points.
- +0: 0 points.
- +1: -5 points.
- +2: -10 points.
- +3: -20 points.

* Defensive troops:
- 50%: +5 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -5 points
- 200%: -10 points

* Offensive troops:
- 50%: +5 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -5 points
- 200%: -10 points

Others group:

* Detection range:
- -20: +5 points.
- +25: -2 points.
- +50: -5 points.
- +100: -10 points.

* Planetary stealth:
- -20: +2 points.
- +0: 0 points.
- +20: -2 points.
- +40: -5 points.
- +60: -10 points.

* Others
- Telepathy: -5 points.
- Xenophobic: +5 points.

Pending:

* Diplomacy.

* Influence.


My next step should be, I think, to calculate the points that has the playable species as for this initial sketch of point costs, find out if they appear as over- or underpowered as for the points, and this get a picture of how reasonable is the sketch (considering that some species are better than others, like Egassem). To be continued. But don't hesitate to give any kind of feedback.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:32 am 
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Space Dragon

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Posts: 448
Oberlus wrote:
Here it is an attempt (first one maybe, I found nothing on the forum) to give points to available species characteristics and bonus/malus for a custom species creation system.

Hi Oberlus. Just curious, what would be the point of such a system? The species are one of the things which are the easiest thing to adapt via scripting.

In the best world i think the following happens - one wants a special species and hits the forums and asks for that. With some help the person does the first personal adaption of freeorion. And maybe gets the taste to change some more :)

Also I think it is good that we have distinctive names for species so we know what others talk about.

Oberlus wrote:
My next step should be, I think, to calculate the points that has the playable species as for this initial sketch of point costs, find out if they appear as over- or underpowered as for the points, and this get a picture of how reasonable is the sketch (considering that some species are better than others, like Egassem). To be continued. But don't hesitate to give any kind of feedback.

I think someone did an overview of the species, but in a spreadsheet. Probably @MatGB knows.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:01 am 
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Vacuum Dragon
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 530
Ophiuchus wrote:
what would be the point of such a system? The species are one of the things which are the easiest thing to adapt via scripting.

In the best world i think the following happens - one wants a special species and hits the forums and asks for that. With some help the person does the first personal adaption of freeorion. And maybe gets the taste to change some more :)
Good points. However, I still think it would be a nice addition to the game:
- Manual adaptation of species (or anything else) via scripting will always be less user-friendly than using the game GUI, and will always impose a limitation to a certain share of the players.
- The point creation system would be aimed not only at allowing user customisation but also providing a way (guideline) to produce relatively balanced species (for same amount of points).
- Moreover, it would provide a way to measure the amount of extra difficulty (or ease) of the game due to player's species' handicap (or advantage), and would work well with the replacement of victory conditions by achievements.

Quote:
it is good that we have distinctive names for species so we know what others talk about.
That is a "problem" regardless you make the adaptation/customisation via scripting or a window in the game. But you could always list the relevant characteristics.

Thanks for the feedback :)

PS: also, adapting via script mean that the modified species can also appear as an AI adversary. If your aim is to make game harder (or easier) some games won't be like that if your opponents have the same traits as you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Space Squid

Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 3:42 am
Posts: 80
Location: Catalonia, France, Europe, Earth, Sol, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Virgo Cluster
Ophiuchus wrote:
Hi Oberlus. Just curious, what would be the point of such a system?

I think it'd be really great for competitive multiplayer games, especially if you could disable the species specs/pedia pages. Just like old Stars!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Space Kraken
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm
Posts: 112
I like this idea for, if nothing else, as you said:
Quote:
providing a way (guideline) to produce relatively balanced species (for same amount of points).


I'd like to pursue this further, but one quick observation while i'm thinking of it:
Offensive Troops are much more useful than Defensive Troops and should have much greater points associated with it.

Not only are offensive troops used to take natives and aid in expansion (this is probably the most significant part, if natives are active in the galaxy), but also the penalty associated to defensive troops only typically affects a small fraction of your actual garrison on a planet, much of that being provided by the flat bonuses from Planetary Bunker and Planetary Fortification Network. I.e. if one species has 150% offense troops, while the other has 150% defense troops, the number of troop carriers that need to be built to take the planet does not remain constant, it decreases, since the offensive player gets the full 150% bonus to his number of troops, while the defensive player has that 150% only modify a portion of the defenders.

I suppose defensive troops does have the small advantage that you really need only one species in your empire to be building troop carriers, whereas defense will always have some utility, but i feel that this is, in general, very much outweighed by the above considerations. Perhaps the offensive malus is not as much worse than the defensive malus as the offensive bonus is better than the defensive bonus. I would say something like

* Defensive troops:
- 50%: +5 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -5 points
- 200%: -10 points

* Offensive troops:
- 50%: +7 points.
- 100%: 0 points.
- 150%: -9 points
- 200%: -20 points


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:59 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:57 pm
Posts: 250
So I recently started playing Stellaris, and one thing that they do is to not just have a point-buy system for traits, but also a set number of special traits and you have to spend all of your points. Which I think might be a good way to work-in balancing of player created species. IE: let's say you get a certain number of points to "buy" your traits, but are limited to 5 special traits. Sicne the metabolism types aren't all equal, I'd suggest 12 for phototrophic, 8 for self-sustaining and 10 for organic, lithic and robotic.

Also, there are quite a few traits to include, so here's a catalog:
  • Ultimate Research: 12
  • Great Research: 8
  • Good Research: 4
  • Bad Research: -4
  • *No Research: -8
  • Ultimate Industry: 12
  • Great Industry: 8
  • Good Industry: 4
  • Bad Industry: -4
  • *No Industry: -8
  • Ultimate Population: 15
  • Great Population: 10
  • Good population: 5
  • Bad Population: -5
  • **No Growth Focus: -10
  • *Fixed Population: -15
  • Ultimate Weapons: 12
  • Great Weapons: 8
  • Good Weapons: 4
  • Bad Weapons: -4
  • ?No Weapons: -8
  • Ultimate Shields: 9
  • Great Shields: 6
  • Good Shields: 3
  • Bad Shields: -3
  • No Shields: -6
  • Ultimate Fuel: 15
  • Great Fuel: 10
  • Good Fuel: 5
  • Bad Fuel: -5
  • Ultimate Offensive Troops: 15
  • Great Offensive Troops: 10
  • Good Offensive Troops: 5
  • Bad Offensive Troops: -5
  • No Offensive Troops: -10
  • Ultimate Defensive Troops: 9
  • Great Defensive Troops: 6
  • Good Defensive Troops: 3
  • Bad Defensive Troops: -3
  • No Defensive Troops: -6
  • Ultimate Detection: 9
  • Great Detection: 6
  • Good Detection: 3
  • Bad Detection: -3
  • Ultimate Stealth: 12
  • Great Stealth: 8
  • Good Stealth: 4
  • Bad Stealth: -4
  • No Stealth: -8
  • Ultimate Supply: 15
  • Great Supply: 10
  • Good Supply: 5
  • Bad Supply: -5
  • Broad Tolerance: 5
  • Narrow Tolerance: -5
  • Telepathic: 5
  • Xenophobic: 5
  • Communal Vision: 10
  • Telepathic Detection 5: 10
  • Telepathic Detection 4: 8
  • Telepathic Detection 3: 6
  • Telepathic Detection 2: 4
  • Telepathic Detection 1: 2
  • Ultimate Asteroid Industry: 18
  • Great Asteroid Industry: 16
  • Good Asteroid Industry: 12
  • Average Asteroid Industry: 8
  • Bad Asteroid Industry: 4
  • ***Light Sensitive: -5
  • *Cannot Colonize: -10
  • *Cannot Build Ships: -10
  • *Always Advanced Tech: 10
  • *Always Moderate Tech: 5
  • *Primitive: -5
  • *No Advanced Foci: -5
  • ??Extinct: -10
  • Gas Giant EP: 10
  • Asteroid Belt EP: -5
  • Playable & Native: 8
  • Native Only: 4

*Native species only.
**Organic, Lithic and Robotic Only
***Not phototrophic species.
?As an extrapolation this should technically be an option, but I don't know about game-play impact, or exactly how "weapon" should be qualified (fighter and bombardment come to mind). Probably only natives, but maybe one the diplomacy aspect gets going maybe kind-of feasible for a playable species.
?? Could be available option for a playable and "native" species. Certainly would make for an interesting "lost civilization" kind of scenario. Note to self: design this species later, give communal vision.

Yes scripting in species is one of the easier things to do. However, I think having a tool for the player to do so would be useful, and certainly before getting to 1.0, so having that set up so that the species created are balanced would be nice. Not just for playable species either. It might be nice to have an easy tool for people to populate their galaxy with self-designed species so they can have as much variety as they like. Mind you, these numbers are entirely preliminary and I don't know that they would necessarily be right, but I do think this covers all the different traits the various species have. Playable and Native is not something that currently exists, but it is something I've used in my games. Namely with humans (because all of their stats are average) and George (for the interesting effects of the communal vision), but if it is something that we would want to include it should probably cost. I am personally of the opinion that only planet-bound native species should get "ultimate" traits, but Egassem seem to be sticking with it, so I am including them and not tagging them as native only. I also included a full range of traits that currently only one species has at a special level, or even has at all. Apparently there is work now on a playable gas giant species, which I do think is cool, but also realize could be OP, so unlike other environmental preferences it should probably cost, and I've also included asteroid belt preference for that reason.

Really, what I am unsure of is certain aspects that play off of each other. Like no ships also effectively means no attack troops, and telepathic detection implies telepathy, as does communal vision. Stellaris does use a system of interdependency and mutual exclusion, but it isn't always clear or intuitive. If we did do something like that, it would effect the costs as we might want to make sure they are appropriate, but also that we aren't double charging the player for them either. This also isn't going into some of the bigger proposed changes like "good" and "bad" fighters, or the influence mechanic.

I do think that working out a "cost" for the different traits would be a good idea. Namely in that balancing certain species in the game has been tricky, the Thrith and Egassem for example, and if we were able to assign values to the traits, and the basically re-build some of the more "problem" species using them we might actually be able to have them be properly balanced.

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