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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:32 pm 
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Although the bombardment feature seems to be used by our multiplayer community even in its current form, there are some areas in which it could be improved; balance-wise it should be buffed; the UI should give more information on the effects of bombing; there seem to be some unadressed bugs. My suggestions on how to improve the bombardment feature:

Balancing:
- have bombing do full damage against target metabolisms, half against others
It's tedious to have to research a bombardment tech for each metabolism or to have to put several different bombardment parts on a bomber. Half damage is enough of a penalty for using a bomb against a metabolism type it is not aimed for.

- target pop and troops, chaos wave targets only troops (?)
Killing population can be helpful if intending to cripple a hostile empire; but for conquest it isn't useful. Aiming bombs on troops (in addition) will help with conquest.

- reduce RP cost for base+intermediate techs (?)

UI
- add bomb meter and show bomb ability on ship and fleet panel
This will help the player to estimate how much population/troop damage a bomber or a bomber fleet can do.

- renew order every turn, keep bombarding as long as it's worthwhile
Stop bombarding after planet was conquered or depopulated.

- add bombard fleet heads
To help players identify their bomber ships/fleets.

- create sitreps that describe result of bombardement to bombing party and bombarded party
Give exact information how much damage has been done to which meter. Don't create one message per part, but one message per planet and empire.

Game Mechanics
- bombardement should stop planet meter growth
Like attacking does, which is debatable; why does attacking stop meter regen if shields are still up?
Also, it's weird if the population of a planet regenerates while it is being bombarded, maybe even regenerating faster than dying.

- destroy buildings (?)

- bombard only when shields down (?)

Fix known bugs
(Haven't investigated in detail, will do soon.)
- bombard autoselection?
- falsely resetting planet bombard status?
- sidepanel updating correctly after selection?

Suggested code changes
Create AddBombardmentDamage for FOCS. Takes empire id, meter type and damage (float). Creates Effect that calls Planet::AddBombardmentDamage. Planet stores information a) from which empire it received b) what type of meter damage, and c) what amount of damage (std::map<int, std::map<MeterType, float>> m_bombardment_damage_by_empire;?). Actual planet meter effects are handled in Planet::PopGrowthProductionResearchPhase().

Advantages are that bombardments of multiple parts/ships/fleets can be combined into one sitrep message per planet, and that planet regeneration can be set to be interrupted when bombed.


That my suggestions so far, thoughts?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:39 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
- add bomb meter and show bomb ability on ship and fleet panel
This will help the player to estimate how much population/troop damage a bomber or a bomber fleet can do.
If you want an actual additional meter, that's not necessary. An indicator would make sense though.
Quote:
- bombard only when shields down (?)
Alternatively, bombardment could be made necessary to eliminate planet shields, and planets would be invulnerable during ship combat.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The Silent One wrote:
- add bomb meter and show bomb ability on ship and fleet panel
This will help the player to estimate how much population/troop damage a bomber or a bomber fleet can do.
If you want an actual additional meter, that's not necessary. An indicator would make sense though.
I believe an actual bomb meter would make some sense. Say the sum of the capacity of all bombs in the fleet is 10, then that would be the population reduction if you bomb the designated target metabolism (and 5 for a different one). Otherwise the player won't know how much damage he should exspect to deal when bombarding, or if he could even wipe out the entire colony in one blow.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Alternatively, bombardment could be made necessary to eliminate planet shields, and planets would be invulnerable during ship combat.


I would prefer to let bombardment weapons additionally participate in combat but only target planets. They could be given significantly higher damage than current short range weapons while planetary shields / defenses are increased by e.g. a factor of x20.

This would encourage the usage of bombardment parts in attack fleets while not making them mandatory (i.e. a strong enough fleet with standard weaponry can still beat down planetary shields but it isn't as trivial as it is now).



The Silent One wrote:
Balancing:
- have bombing do full damage against target metabolisms, half against others
It's tedious to have to research a bombardment tech for each metabolism or to have to put several different bombardment parts on a bomber. Half damage is enough of a penalty for using a bomb against a metabolism type it is not aimed for.

I really dislike that you have to research and build different type of bombardment weapons for each species. In my opinion having only a single type of bombardment weapon (upgradable) would make the entire idea much more attractive (and more in line with the KISS approach).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Morlic wrote:
I would prefer to let bombardment weapons additionally participate in combat but only target planets. They could be given significantly higher damage than current short range weapons while planetary shields / defenses are increased by e.g. a factor of x20.
I concur.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:38 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
I believe an actual bomb meter would make some sense. Say the sum of the capacity of all bombs in the fleet is 10...
You're describing a calculation / sum you want an indicator for, not a new meter. There are already capacity meters for the parts. The ship object itself doesn't need a separate "bomb" meter.
Morlic wrote:
I would prefer to let bombardment weapons additionally participate in combat but only target planets.
This is conflating two separate things... "Bombardment" as now is a way to let ship parts cause effects on planets when targeted on them. Those effects can include but are not at all limited to reducing shield or population meters. Weapon parts like short range (mass drivers) or fighters participate in combat. Having a class of weapon part that only fires on planets is a reasonable suggestion, but it's not really the same thing as the effects-production from current bombardment parts.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:40 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Having a class of weapon part that only fires on planets is a reasonable suggestion, but it's not really the same thing as the effects-production from current bombardment parts.


I understand that these are two different things. My suggestion is indeed to merge those two concepts into a single part type.

If it is preferred to keep the concepts separate I can appreciate that as well but I think the concepts are similar enough and have a synergy to make for more interesting gameplay.
If bombarding planets remains highly situational, I would argue it is better to make it relatively easily available or pair it with a similar but more common use-case as suggested. That way, the player will be encouraged to go for these parts and there are incentives to make the interesting strategic turn-by-turn decisions ("Do I bombard the planet now or do I wait and invade?") which do not come into play if there is big enough reason to ignore the entire game concept (by gating it behind specialized techs and parts).

If bombardment otherwise becomes a more interesting and more integral game mechanic, there is of course good reason to keep it separate from combat mechanics.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Morlic wrote:
I would prefer to let bombardment weapons additionally participate in combat but only target planets.
This is conflating two separate things... "Bombardment" as now is a way to let ship parts cause effects on planets when targeted on them. Those effects can include but are not at all limited to reducing shield or population meters. Weapon parts like short range (mass drivers) or fighters participate in combat. Having a class of weapon part that only fires on planets is a reasonable suggestion, but it's not really the same thing as the effects-production from current bombardment parts.
I think we should have a class of weapon that only hits planets and ignores ships and fighters.

And for initial testing purposes that weapon class/category should be the existing bombardment parts so that, while getting the idea right we aren't cluttering up the display and we can give the parts something that's actually worth doing.

Generally, unless playing Trith, I don't bother with bombardment and even with Trith Camps are better. I tested all the parts when we introduced all the extra metabolism based parts to make sure they worked but I've always thought that, given the current balance of the game, they're a bit pointless.

Owning colonies is key in the current balance, wiping out population doesn't help you win, in any stratregy at all, unless you're going for concentration camps, and then you want it high to start with.

Bombardment needs to be made a lot better, but probably more limited: you can only launch the bombs if shields are down but those bombs a) kill more ( a base amount plus a percentage and/or planet size based?) and b) reduce troop numbers.

In addition the Troops tech tree needs a bit of adapting to reduce the troops an Outpost would end up with compared to a heavily populated planet.

We might also want to take another look at when 'defeat' is, it used to be if all your colonies were destroyed or captured outposts turned their defences off so mopping up was easy, but that was changed when we moved the Effects out of Species and into the techs: a move which was essential and is overall much better but the downside is annoying.

I think if you're defeated then mopping up should be easy and not require picket warships all over the place. Then if you've wiped out an empire actually collecting the planets would be a couple point/click tasks not the fairly tedious mopping up currently.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
You're describing a calculation / sum you want an indicator for, not a new meter. There are already capacity meters for the parts. The ship object itself doesn't need a separate "bomb" meter.
Without a bomb meter, how would I "register" an icon to the ShipDataPanel or FleetDataPanel? All ship/fleet stats there are associated with a meter type.

MatGB wrote:
Owning colonies is key in the current balance, wiping out population doesn't help you win, in any stratregy at all, unless you're going for concentration camps, and then you want it high to start with.
I think what also might help to make bombard weapons more attractive would be if bombing were able to remove outposts - that way it is much harder to rebuild a colony after it has been wiped out.

MatGB wrote:
...you can only launch the bombs if shields are down...
Agreed.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:10 pm 
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MatGB wrote:


Owning colonies is key in the current balance, wiping out population doesn't help you win, in any stratregy at all, unless you're going for concentration camps, and then you want it high to start with.



Hopefully when happiness/influence is in the game, taking a colony from another empire as your own will get more difficult. That would make bombardment a reasonable alternative (troops landing could just get all killed by continuous rebellions)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:56 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
MatGB wrote:
Owning colonies is key in the current balance, wiping out population doesn't help you win, in any stratregy at all, unless you're going for concentration camps, and then you want it high to start with.
Hopefully when happiness/influence is in the game, taking a colony from another empire as your own will get more difficult. That would make bombardment a reasonable alternative (troops landing could just get all killed by continuous rebellions)
That is brilliant.

Lets make the actual conquest of a planet harder than now, and provide many ways to do it:

a) Occupation & subjugation: After military invasion (with troops), devote extensive military effort into pacifying the planet's native population (wiping out rebelions/resistance), requiring many turns for this (accelerating the process by x2 should require a bigger increase of the cost, like x4). Only once this is done you can get full benefit of the local population, including from enslaving them (Camps).

b) Mass destruction: bombard the planet with nuke-like bombs that wipe out the population as well as the troops quickly, but also destroying many other things. Should require considerably less effort than a occupation and subjugation, but cause a deep loss of some planetary resources (to be considered: maybe produce a permanent malus to infrastucture and/or planet size that can't be removed, or can't be removed easily because it needs a lot of time and/or PPs). Then you can just repopulate the planet with colonists from other, already empire-friendly planets.

c) Population erradication: Bombard the planet with metabolism-specific weapons that does not affect the planets infrastructures and resources (appart from the inherent loss due to the loss of the population and the loss of any special of the affected metabolism). This weapons should be harder to get than nuke-like bombs, more expensive to produce, and maybe cause bad influence, or loss of influence, for species of that metabolism (whatever this finally means), but have the benefit of allowing easier/faster recover of the planets full potential (i.e. no malus applied to the planet afterwards).

d) Occupation & conversion: After military invasion, devote extensive sociological? (influence) effort to turn the native population view of your Empire. This will be harder the worse it was the war in that planet when you conquered it. Compared to ocupation & subjugation, this will improve the influence on that species and require more influence than PPs. But work the same way in that accelerating the process should require more resources than the acceleration you get from that extra effort, and that only once the conversion is finished you get the full potencial of the planet.

e) Influencial conquest: Not using any violent form of conquest (appart from assasination of local leaders contraire to the "invading" empire) but only influence-based methods: propaganda. This should be the most expensive way of conquest in terms of global (RP+PP+influence points) cost, or for the same effort should be the slowest, but also the one that gets the best outcome from the planet once the conversion of the local population is finished and the one that gets better influence on the affected species and the causes less stress on the populations of other planets in terms of public opinion, etc .

In every place where I said species you can also use faction, an interesting concept that pairs really well with the influence concept.

We need influence so bad (I'll try to refrain from posting ideas/concerns on anything not related in some way to influence).


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