FreeOrion

Forums for the FreeOrion project
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:59 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:35 pm 
Offline
Creative Contributor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm
Posts: 3286
OK, We've talked about this lots, I've set out my ideas in various threads, and we've agreed it needs working on. Vezzra made a comment elsewhere that we need to fix it before some other stuff and it was something we meant to work on this cycle. So, my basic ideas for now, so we can start hammering things out.

The big problem is that stealth is all or nothing, you can invest lots of RP and PP into building up a fleet of stealth strike ships, then your opponent researches the next detection tech and your fleet is dead in the water. Stealthed strike ships basically work like subs in naval games, and that's probably the way to go with them, hard to find, lethal until detected but when revealed fragile.
  • We have stealth numbers go up to 200+, detection ratings go 10, 30, 50, 70 then 300. We need to agree a scale (0-100, 0-300) and use it widely
  • Stealth granting parts, etc should be subject to refinement similar to weapons, with better parts getting better refinements (testing this currently in master with the Trans Spatial Hull, I like it)
  • Detection parts should all have an in-system stealth reducing effect over time, if you stay in the same system as a detector it will, eventually, find you, unless you kill it (make fighting against Laenfa a bit less unfun)
  • Detection techs should be split up, so that you improve your distance detection in one way and refine your detection strength a different way
  • Planetary stealth should be rethought, and the space cloud monsters junked:
    • I loath the current specials, especially the ugly ash cloud, and the clouds are simply more annoying than annoying things being very annoying
    • I like the idea that a colony or a population can be hidden from orbit, but the idea that intelligent vines somehow hide their entire planet from detection if it's covered in clouds unless you're in system is weird
  • Other parts, buildings and effects should be able to change things on an in system basis
  • Different weapons or fighter launches should reduce the stealth of a firing ship by varied amounts, launching fighters shouldn't automatically get you detected, but it should be completely free as it is now. Weapons and fighters could thus be introduced with varying stealth reduction effects making player choices more important.

Example, Electromagnetic Dampener currently takes a tech to research, and gives a 20 point stealth boost. What if instead of this it unlocked at game start with a 10 point stealth boost, and there was a moderate tech giving a 10 point boost and an expensive tech giving it another boost? A player dedicated to stealth could build low level stealth ships immediately but they'd be fairly easily detected, but other techs could make them better later. Absorption field could start at 20 and get 20 point boosts (assuming we go for the 300 ceiling here). Detection parts could get improved abilities with refinements as well.

We keep the current "you're either visible or not" paradigm, but make that question location specific and do things that allow both players to affect it: the on/off bonus from the trans spatial drive could apply, all stealth parts could give an extra bonus if you're set to passive, etc. No random effects, but allow synergies within fleets and refinements, while improving detection by having optical scanner able to, eventually, notice that moving plant unless it gets dislodged, when the player would need to start again from scratch (ie -10 stealth to opponents per turn in system or similar).

Virtually all of this is doable entirely in FOCS, but would require AI work. Numbers would need working on, costing, then extensive testing with tweaks.

_________________
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:35 pm 
Offline
Space Squid

Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 3:42 am
Posts: 58
I confess I didn't read every other discussion about stealth, so please forgive me if this has already been suggested.

Did any of you guys ever play Stars! ? It was a popular PBEM 4X space game in the 90's, and I liked the way it implemented stealth mechanics very much:

  • Cloaking would actually reduce the range at which you'd be seen, rather than be an all-or-nothing thing. Say, you want to attack a system with a 75% cloaked fleet, they have 200 ly detection range, thus they can only see you if you're within 200 * (1 - 0.75) = 50 ly. With a 95% cloaked fleet, they would see you at just 200 * (1 - 0.95) = 10 ly.
  • Cloaking parts stack multiplicatively with diminishing returns. If that's not clear, here's an example: say you have a cloaking ship part that grants 60% cloaking, and 3 available slots for it.
    • 1st part will provide 60% cloaking
    • 2nd part will provide (1 - 0.6) * 60% extra = 24% for a 84% total
    • 3rd part will provide (1 - 0.84) * 60% extra = 9.6% for a 93,6% total

Worked like a charm in multiplayer Stars! Even with top tech scanners at their disposal, players got paranoid all the time because of heavily cloaked fleets that could still reduce their effective range to 2 or 3%. The price you paid for that stealth was, of course, less weapon systems and/or defense and such on the ships, but at least stealth itself never got obsolete.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:44 pm 
Offline
Dyson Forest

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Posts: 213
Jaumito wrote:
I confess I didn't read every other discussion about stealth, so please forgive me if this has already been suggested.

Didnt see any suggestions of choosing your stealth level (not sure if read right). There would be no UI to do this ATM.

Also did not see a combination stealth vs detection. That doesnt translate so well into freeorion concepts though, to make sense for fleets, this probably has to be system-wide. It could definitely make sense for hiding planets though.

And I like the stacking stealth parts... :)

_________________
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:57 pm 
Offline
Dyson Forest

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Posts: 213
Hi Mat, great post. i basically would want most of you said :)

MatGB wrote:
...The big problem is that stealth is all or nothing... Stealthed strike ships basically work like subs in naval games, and that's probably the way to go with them, hard to find, lethal until detected but when revealed fragile.
  • ...
  • Detection parts should all have an in-system stealth reducing effect over time, if you stay in the same system as a detector it will, eventually, find you, unless you kill it (make fighting against Laenfa a bit less unfun)
  • ...
  • Different weapons or fighter launches should reduce the stealth of a firing ship by varied amounts, launching fighters shouldn't automatically get you detected, but it should be completely free as it is now. Weapons and fighters could thus be introduced with varying stealth reduction effects making player choices more important.
...
We keep the current "you're either visible or not" paradigm, but make that question location specific and do things that allow both players to affect it: the on/off bonus from the trans spatial drive could apply, all stealth parts could give an extra bonus if you're set to passive, etc. No random effects, but allow synergies within fleets and refinements, while improving detection by having optical scanner able to, eventually, notice that moving plant unless it gets dislodged, when the player would need to start again from scratch (ie -10 stealth to opponents per turn in system or similar).

Did you mean that planets and ships would get a TargetStealth and that the stealth grows to the target? So in your example the scouts would simply decrease the stealth.
I think this is the most important thing for me.

Not sure on AI. Could it handle this?

_________________
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:11 pm 
Offline
Space Squid

Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 3:42 am
Posts: 58
Ophiuchus wrote:
Jaumito wrote:
I confess I didn't read every other discussion about stealth, so please forgive me if this has already been suggested.

Didnt see any suggestions of choosing your stealth level (not sure if read right).

I'll try to be more precise: in Stars!, the only source of stealth was ship parts (except for a playable race who had 75% cloaked ship hulls for free.) Adding those parts on a ship increased its stealth as I explained above. Ships also had mass, and when you built a fleet from several ship designs, the stealth of all those ships were averaged depending on mass. For instance, merging 2,000 tons of 75% cloaked ships with 1,000 tons of uncloaked ships would result in a 3,000 tons fleet of (2,000 * 0.75 + 1,000 * 0) / 3,000 = 50% cloaked ships. That's how you chose the stealth level of your fleets - individually. There wasn't an empire-wide stealth meter.
Quote:
Also did not see a combination stealth vs detection.

Yet it's there: stealth (expressed as a percentage) reduces detection (expressed as a distance/radius.) So S% stealth will reduce D ly detection to D * (1 - S/100) ly.
Quote:
That doesnt translate so well into freeorion concepts though,

Can't see why. It certainly can't translate 100%, but the "stealth vs detection" part I outlined just above certainly should, whether the stealth comes from ship parts or an empire-wide setting or both. Besides, it's the only implementation of stealth vs. detection I've ever seen that actually works in this kind of game.
Quote:
to make sense for fleets, this probably has to be system-wide.

Again, can't see why. What would be the problem I'm apparently missing?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:20 pm 
Offline
Dyson Forest
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 238
Ophiuchus wrote:
Also did not see a combination stealth vs detection. That doesnt translate so well into freeorion concepts though, to make sense for fleets, this probably has to be system-wide.
Not sure if I've understood you. In current FO, if I'm not wrong, stealth for ships is ship-wise: and Empire with detection D will see the ships with stealth<D within its range of detection. If a fleet has ships with two different levels of stealth, the detecting empire will see the ships with stealth<D and not see the others (very good for bait ambushes).
So I don't see the requirement for system-wide stealth. Neither the need for fleet-wise stealth from Stars!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:56 pm 
Offline
Programmer

Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:08 am
Posts: 359
Ignoring the fleet change, there is no defined distance between objects within the same system.
Might apply the concept in reverse: increase a ships effective stealth with distance (was this discussed before and deemed too high of a performance cost?)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:39 pm 
Offline
Space Floater
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:46 pm
Posts: 29
MatGB wrote:
Stealth granting parts, etc should be subject to refinement similar to weapons, with better parts getting better refinements (testing this currently in master with the Trans Spatial Hull, I like it)

Not a bad idea. Another, which may have been floated before, is to make certain installed parts swappable at a drydock. Weapons, stealth parts, detectors. Not armor, that’s too integrated with the hull, I think; or at least, changing armor should take much more time than changing other parts. Bays and shielding might be too integral to the ship’s structure as well. Engines, maybe a little slower than usual.

MatGB wrote:
Planetary stealth should be rethought, and the space cloud monsters junked:[list][*] I loath the current specials, especially the ugly ash cloud, and the clouds are simply more annoying than annoying things being very annoying

I also dislike space clouds and company, but they do serve a useful purpose gamewise, which is to screw us over just when we’re about to colonize that great planet we found — arrgh, we can’t see the damned surface to land on anymore! And now we have to research the next detection tech or colonize another planet and build a lighthouse. All of which I hate as much as the next person, but it makes the game more challenging and interesting. I do think a building that eradicates those specials would be nice, just to keep one’s planets tidy.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:28 pm 
Offline
Space Squid

Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 3:42 am
Posts: 58
Oberlus wrote:
Neither the need for fleet-wise stealth from Stars!

It doesn't have to be per fleet just like in Stars!, here I was just elaborating to explain how it worked. The same principle would work just as fine on a per-ship basis as we have in FO, for instance (using my previous example) instead of a 50% cloaked fleet you'd have a fleet with some 75% cloaked ships and some uncloaked, and you might only detect the latter depending on scanning power.

The key point is the stealth vs detection logic of Stars! (stealth decreases detection range) because, again, it's the most efficient way (in my opinion, the only one) to make sure stealth is never made obsolete by detection tech. Having played competitive PBEM Stars! for quite a few years (and quite some time ago, showing my age here :lol:), I'm speaking from experience: IT. JUST. WORKS.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:48 am 
Offline
Creative Contributor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm
Posts: 3286
Observation, FO used to have a range element to detection, it was removed before I got involved, it was complicated and didn't work very well. We want to keep things simple for the most part, that's why I proposed the compromise of in system effects.

Some nice feedback so far, anyone got strong objections to the basic ideas outlined?

_________________
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:57 am 
Offline
Vacuum Dragon
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:51 pm
Posts: 500
My only comment here so far, is that you need to consider more than two parties. If an empire sends a scout into a system, in which two opposing stealthy fleets have resided for a long time, it should not get a "detection boost" just because the two stealthy fleets are just at the brink of seeing each other.

EDIT: And by "detection boost" I meant the stealthy fleets having reduced each other stealth by the time the scout arrives.

_________________
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556


Last edited by em3 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:28 am 
Offline
Dyson Forest
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 238
MatGB wrote:
We have stealth numbers go up to 200+, detection ratings go 10, 30, 50, 70 then 300. We need to agree a scale (0-100, 0-300) and use it widely
Agree.
But I think the relevant equation(s) should be decided first.

MatGB wrote:
Detection techs should be split up, so that you improve your distance detection in one way and refine your detection strength a different way
Hmmm... I think it makes sense to improve the range of detection separately for different detection techs (as detecting electromagnetic fields, gravitational fields, etc. would require different technologies and thus different ideas would be needed to improve each one). So I guess I agree with this too.

MatGB wrote:
Stealth granting parts, etc should be subject to refinement similar to weapons, with better parts getting better refinements
Thus we would have e.g. four electromagnetic damper parts with something like +20, +25, +30 and +35 stealth bonus; four absorbtion field parts (+40..+55), four dimensional cloaks (+60..+75) and four phasing cloak parts (+80..+95).
Numbers should be overhauled if the yet-to-be-chosen equations need it.
I would take the occasion to swap dimensional and phasing cloak. Hiding by means of being in part in other dimensions seems to me like something way more advanced, costly and effective than just neutralising the emissions of the ship through phase modulation.

MatGB wrote:
Different weapons or fighter launches should reduce the stealth of a firing ship by varied amounts, launching fighters shouldn't automatically get you detected, but it should be completely free as it is now.
Agree.
I would say the more damage the weapon does, the higher stealth malus it brings. And also that that malus would fade away once combat is off.

MatGB wrote:
Detection parts should all have an in-system stealth reducing effect over time
Agree. I would say that moderately obsolete (say one level under the enemies detection tech) stealth parts should allow an small ship to pass by the system undetected, same levels of detection/stealth would allow to stay a few turns if keeping low profile, and higher stealth would allow to stay for several turns even after engaging in combat (maybe got detected while firing its weapons but then went cloaked again after some manoeuvres, all explained through the different in-system stealth malus and bonus).

I would search in this forum and elaborate on the equations for discussion but have no time this days.


Em3 just added a very important comment.
Summing up, how would be represented in the game mechanics the stealth of each ship (or fleet?) on each turn and against each enemy? Meters everywhere?




Tualha wrote:
Not a bad idea. Another, which may have been floated before, is to make certain installed parts swappable at a drydock.
We better discuss that in here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7801


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:50 pm 
Offline
Vacuum Dragon
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:51 pm
Posts: 500
Oberlus wrote:
Summing up, how would be represented in the game mechanics the stealth of each ship (or fleet?) on each turn and against each enemy? Meters everywhere?

I was thinking about this... and I'm not sure if we should show this at all. The numbers could become misleading anyway, if someone were to build a very stealthy detector ship (think Protoss Observer). Enemy stealthy units should not know that "their stealth goes down", as that would reveal the presence of the stealthy detector.

Of the points raised here, I'm very in favor of stealth and detection technology refinements. We can always find lore that matches gameplay.
Oberlus wrote:
Thus we would have e.g. four electromagnetic damper parts[...]
Actually, there would be one part with efficiency increased by effects contained in later techs, just as it is now with weapons. No need to change the parts in designs etc.

_________________
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:53 pm 
Offline
Creative Contributor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm
Posts: 3286
Exactly: I'm not sure how to handle multi player situations, that might actually need some backend code doing, hadn't actually considered it, so good catch, will need to test stuff and see what can be done.

Aside: not keen on complicated formula in the game, ever. I used to be good at maths but that was 20+ years ago, I want to keep things very simple, addition, subtraction and very rarely some multiplication. Hull stealth rating plus part stealth rating plus/minus local/opposing effects is enough in all but exceptional cases.

Although the idea of extra parts that add a diminishing cumulative effect isn't something I'd considered at all, worth pondering.

_________________
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:11 pm 
Offline
Programmer

Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:08 am
Posts: 359
Quote:
Summing up, how would be represented in the game mechanics the stealth of each ship (or fleet?) on each turn and against each enemy? Meters everywhere?

Initial reaction is an object level meter for detection strength, not modifying the actual stealth of an object but the effective stealth wrt to the detecting empire for that case, prior to any detection check.
(again, I suspect this was discussed previously and rejected, so some less expensive alternative may need to be proposed)
Agree with em3 with no direct indication if an owned object is detected.

No real objections outside of determining an objects effective stealth per empire.
Quote:
Virtually all of this is doable entirely in FOCS

Triggered effects (or however a PR proposes to handle reducing stealth on weapons fire) looks to be the only point needing supporting work.

_________________
Any content posted should be considered licensed GNU GPL 2.0 and/or CC-BY-SA 3.0 as appropriate.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 33 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group