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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:08 pm 
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We've got another design discussion emerging in the comment section of a PR, that should be better continued on the forum.

Below the discussion on PR#1853 so far, please continue here.

Vezzra wrote:
The 50/75 % max structure caps for the Damage Control techs don't make much sense to me. After all, these are supposed to be a ships capabilities to repair itself, without outer help. You'd expect minor damages to be repaired most easily... why would a ship be able to repair almost critical damage, but not be able to repair some minor scratches? Not going for realism here, it's just very counter-intuitive.

If anything, I'd do it just the other way round: no repair if damage *exceeds* 50/75 %. That makes much more sense to me...

dbenage-cx wrote:
Advanced Field Repair [...] allows repair outside of supply


Have some strong reservations about that. Having to be in supply is what sets the Fleet Repair techs apart from the Damage Control techs. It's their unique characteristic.

Dropping that requirement makes Advanced Fleet Repair more like another level of Advanced Damage Control, and IMO much too powerful, even more so considering that Advanced Fleet Repair and Advanced Damage Control stack.

MatGB wrote:
I have zero problem with the idea of advanced field repair being used out of supply, I completely reworked that tech and absorbed it into the main damage control tree ages ago and it was fairly useless before.

But Vezzra's put his finger on my problem with the %age thing, from a pure balance perspective it sort of makes sense but from any sort of actually playing/realistic expectation sense it's confusing. I can justify it: you can't fully repair a ship unless you go to a dock but you can bolt on extra plates and cover holes, but I'm not sure I get the why. If we're fairly strongly limiting repair of badly damaged ships then it's encouraging a return to drydock anyway.

Dilvish-fo wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
why would a ship be able to repair almost critical damage, but not be able to repair some minor scratches


Hmm, I have mixed thoughts on that-- you could think of it as dropping in a new engine or welding on new hull plates, but the welds won't be as strong as the original, and any non-replaced structures will still have microfractures accumulating, etc. Have you ever crashed a car and then had it repaired back to 100%? I think not :laughing: In at least some ways I like the idea of having a cap on how much a ship can be repaired, but I could also imagine it might just wind up seeming more like a complicated nuisance.

Vezzra wrote:
MatGB wrote:
I have zero problem with the idea of advanced field repair being used out of supply


Well, I do, particularly from a fluff explanation POV - if you want an even more effective repair tech that works out of supply, just add another Damage Control tech refinement (or even replace Advanced Fleet Repair with that, of you don't want to have both). But don't make a tech that in essence is an even more advanced Damage Control tech and label it as Fleet Repair. That's very counter-intuitive IMO.

That said, from a balance perspective I'd still prefer an Advanced Fleet Repair tech that requires to be in supply. It just makes sense that you can provide better repair within supply than out of it, like it makes sense that you can provide better repair at drydocks than out in the field.

The more severe the restrictions/requirements are to gain a certain level of repair, the better that level of repair should be:

* out of supply -> no requirements, works everywhere -> least amount of repair
* within supply -> moderate requirement, doesn't work everywhere, but still way better than have to return to a special location -> medium amount of repair
* drydock -> strict requirement, only works at special locations -> highest amount of repair

IMO we could make refinement techs for all these "levels of requirements", so you can improve the repair rate for strictly self repair (out of supply), supply aided repair (within supply) and repairs at drydocks (as even drydocks don't necessarily repair all damage immediately now).

Dilvish-fo wrote:
you could think of it as dropping in a new engine or welding on new hull plates, but the welds won't be as strong as the original, and any non-replaced structures will still have microfractures accumulating, etc.


I'm well aware that finding a proper fluff explanation isn't the problem here, although, if you want to go down that specific road to justify it, I could probably think of a couple of things why that still doesn't make sense (I mean, come on, we can, however slowly and painstakingly, do repairs on a ship that is at 1% structure, meaning, at the point of falling apart, and, given enough time, get back to 50 or even 75% structure, but if just a single armor plate gets blown off in the last combat, we can't replace it???).

My main issue is it's counter-intuitive. As a player I expect a basic damage control tech to be able to deal with minor damage best/fastest, and becoming increasingly ineffective/useless with more serious damage.

Or, to phrase it the other way round, having to resort to repair methods that are more difficult to provide (be it by having to return to a drydock, or researching more advanced repair techs) when having to deal with more serious damage.

That's simple, straightforward and intuitive. Probably not realistic, I certainly give you that - in reality, for a really complete repair, especially after suffering severe damage, you'd have to go to a drydock.

But from a gameplay perspective, I don't see the fun in this. As a player I'd find that mostly annoying, having to send my ships around to get minor damage repaired. Ugh... :roll: :wink:

Quote:
In at least some ways I like the idea of having a cap on how much a ship can be repaired


The only way how that could be interesting in my eyes would be if making that cap dependent on how much damage a ship has suffered since the last visit to a drydock. E.g. you could say Damage Control techs can only repair up to double the amount of the lowest structure the ship has had since it has last been at a drydock.

Of course, that would make the whole repair mechanics more complicated. You'd have to keep track of that "structural low point", which would only get reset to max structure at a drydock.

I have to admit I actually like that idea, but I really wonder if that wouldn't make repair too detailed and complicated. Not really KISS anymore.

Quote:
but I could also imagine it might just wind up seeming more like a complicated nuisance.


Yeah, pretty much this.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
To me, whether a ship has a limit to how much it can be repaired in various situations seems like it would be a hull-line-dependent feature.

Vezzra wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
To me, whether a ship has a limit to how much it can be repaired in various situations seems like it would be a hull-line-dependent feature.


That's certainly an interesting idea, I like it. Would add another thing by which we can distinguish the hull lines. Maybe even have hull line specific repair techs (I mean, it would make sense that there are certain repair techniques that work particularly well on asteroid hulls, but not at all on organic hulls, and vice versa).

dbenage-cx wrote:
I pushed some changes I had been testing along with consistent naming. I am open to any proposed changes (still parsing the discussion), but the improved descriptions may help clarify the division.

My intention towards the normal damage control techs were for those temporary repairs done to keep a ship still functional, with the objective of those repairs to return for full repair. e.g. the ship crew does not include dedicated maintenance staff. Such definition might couple better if there were side-effects for ships with low structure (reduced movement / erratic behavior).
I will remove the cap on these techs, they were intended to satisfy 'do not fully repair'.

The self repair techs were for more proper repairs when a drydock is not available, and requiring the ship be stationary. I added supply requirement to advanced field repair. Out of supply repairs seem like a good candidate for a part effect.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:39 pm 
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dbenage-cx wrote:
The self repair techs were for more proper repairs when a drydock is not available, and requiring the ship be stationary. I added supply requirement to advanced field repair. Out of supply repairs seem like a good candidate for a part effect.


I could see that, a Workshop, Engineering Shop, Repair Bay or some such internal slot item that could fully repair up to a certain amount of times before running out of replacement parts.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:09 pm 
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dbenage-cx wrote:
My intention towards the normal damage control techs were for those temporary repairs done to keep a ship still functional, with the objective of those repairs to return for full repair. e.g. the ship crew does not include dedicated maintenance staff.
The basic idea isn't bad, but I just can't see it really working. For the already cited counter-intuitive reason, and more: for really badly damaged ships damage control won't do much (because the repair rate depends on current structure now), neither would it for slightly/moderately damaged ships (because of the caps). The only cases where damage control would matter would be those where a ship is damaged badly enough that damage control would yield significant repair, but not so badly that the repair rate is too low to sustain repair in a reasonable amount of time. That's a sufficiently specific case to render the Damage Control techs almost pointless IMO.
Quote:
Such definition might couple better if there were side-effects for ships with low structure (reduced movement / erratic behavior).
Yes, definitely. However, not having damage impact stats has been one of those early, fundamental design decisions, which aren't going to change even when hell freezes over... ;)
Quote:
Out of supply repairs seem like a good candidate for a part effect.
Seconded. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:17 pm 
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AndrewW wrote:
I could see that, a Workshop, Engineering Shop, Repair Bay or some such internal slot item that could fully repair up to a certain amount of times before running out of replacement parts.
Don't know... I mean, that would be another thing to keep track of (which ships can repair themselves how many times). Then having to consider both damage and "repair parts left" to decide which ships to split off from the front line forces to send back for repairs. For potentially hundreds of ships on several war fronts. I guess you can see where that is headed... :shock: :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Vezzra: Thank you for taking time to copy discussion over.

With relation to Basic Damage Control and Advanced Damage Control, damage control could be defined as repairs that can occur without affecting normal ship operations.
Currently that means repairs take place even while moving and without supply requirement. These techs would be suitable for promotion to in-combat repairs via some future addition.
In general, the amount repaired should be lower than other forms of repair.

In relation to hull repair effects: Robotic and Nanorobotic hulls could boost damage control. Organic hull growth could boost field repairs (and possibly override damage control).
These would serve as the general forms of hull line specific repairs, with a hopeful side effect being a reduction in the amount of active repair related effects.

Similar to Andrew, I was thinking about some capacity limit for out of supply, but I have to agree that it starts to sound confusing (and definitely do not want a "Repair Ship' button).

There is potentially a (imo minor) issue for the current form when in system with the only drydock being on an owned zero population planet.
In this case, the field repair probably will not trigger, but I've yet to create such a scenario to test a possible fix (removing zero pop drydock effect and requiring minimum pop on other effects).
If others think it is minor and rare, the standing fluff explanation is your ship crew too unsettled by the ghost town to perform repairs.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:05 pm 
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If one really wanted to distinguish between easy to repair damage and critical/hard to repair damage, one has to track when damage happened.
If you distinguish damage types you can have one tech line address the critical and another one address the easy-to-repair bulk damage.


One way to do that would be to add another internal meter. Like easy-to-repair-max-hp.

As an example, 25% of every damage could be considered critical

Lets start with a ship with (100/100/100) 100hp 100max-hp 100-easy-to-repair-max.

80 damage in first combat i.e. 20 critical damage: 20/100/80

Ship heals 40 hp with fleet repair the easy-to-repair damage: 60/100/80

40 damage in next combat, i.e. 10 critical damage : 20/100/70

and so on...

ceterem censio: Making combat more complicated does not automatically make the game more interesting. Complexity makes the AI harder to write thus makes the game less challenging.

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