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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:01 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Thinking constantly how to change the game so a deep space expansion would make a viable strategy.

Why I want this - i love the exploration part more than the other 3X.

I see two main problems:
* you have to get there
* there is no need / no real benefit to grab far away planets in comparison to closeby planets


So what you think - lets increase the range of light ship hulls so exploration gets faster in comparison to expansion.

So I'm thinking along the lines:

Give small hull 4 extra fuel.

Give medium hull 2 extra fuel.

... (tbc)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:15 pm 
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If you want it as a game rule so you can play bigger, sparser games, fine, but not in general balance, if anything exploration, fuel and supply are too easy at the moment if playing within recommended parameters.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:49 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
if anything exploration, fuel and supply are too easy at the moment if playing within recommended parameters.
I very much agree with that assessment. IMO we should make it harder to explore and expand, currently, as Mat said, fuel and supply are far too easy. Supply especially, once you've researched a moderate amount of the supply increasing techs, fuel becomes almost pointless.

We need to balance the 4X so each one of them is at least roughly of equal significance, otherwise it's not really 4X anymore. As much as I enjoy the exploration part myself, I don't want to turn FO into a game that's primarily about exploration, and has the other 3X only as some kind of addition.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:38 pm 
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Something I think is missing, which would help make exploration more difficult, or at least make fuel more useful, is some galactic terrain variation. Effectively jungles, mountain ranges, and oceans in space, across which supply doesn't (at least at first) propagate, and which make ship movement more difficult (for most species / hull lines).


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Something I think is missing, which would help make exploration more difficult, or at least make fuel more useful, is some galactic terrain variation. Effectively jungles, mountain ranges, and oceans in space, across which supply doesn't (at least at first) propagate, and which make ship movement more difficult (for most species / hull lines).
Yep, absolutely. That's something I'd very much like to see, too.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Something I think is missing, which would help make exploration more difficult, or at least make fuel more useful, is some galactic terrain variation. Effectively jungles, mountain ranges, and oceans in space, across which supply doesn't (at least at first) propagate, and which make ship movement more difficult (for most species / hull lines).

I think we have all the necessary support mechanisms for that, it's just a matter of content scripting, in the form of fields which could impose supply penalties to the planets of systems they encompass (preferably via specials applied to the planets), and/or either (i) speed penalties, (ii) structural damage or (iii) fuel sapping being applied to ships travelling through such systems.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:51 am 
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Dilvish wrote:
I think we have all the necessary support mechanisms for that, it's just a matter of content scripting
I'd say, for the most part. There is a specific thing I'd like to see, which I don't think is currently possible to script: impede/obstruct supply propagation that originates "outside" (outside a field that has the supply impeding effect, or, if the effect is restricted to a system, supply that propagates into that system, etc.).

Could make for another way to making access to a certain special/strategic resource harder: instead of (or in addition to) guardians the system/planet with the special/strategic resource is deep within a nebula that severly impedes supply propagation, but in order to use the strategic resource, a colony on that planet needs to be supply connected to your empire. So, in order to push your supply propagation to that system, you need to have researched a certain level of supply techs.

Or we could script fields that completely obstruct supply propagation, and there is a specific tech you need to research to allow your supply to propagate through such a field.

I'd really like to have such scenarios, but I don't think we can really script that already...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:42 am 
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Dyson Forest

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I want to tilt balance more from expansion to exploration, so anything that makes supply less effective is also great :)
(Or to be more precise I want to tilt balance so that a strategy based more on exploration is also viable)

If you think about reach and supply vs fuel, increasing supply by one by researching the next supply tech basically means giving every ship two extra jumps if you start/end at your own places. Fuel has more flexibility compared to supply because its use is not connected to the distance from your supply networks. In regards of preventing micromanagement, supply is great because in many cases you dont need to think about fuel of your ships/fleet.

I like the supply terrain idea a lot. For the "outside origin" as Vezzra wrote - How about instead of decreasing supply by terrain effects give the terrain its own supply network which pushes against your supply network using the normal mechanics. That also has already a UI mechanism.

What i can think of in terms of terrain are e.g. black hole systems, space rifts (?acirema?), natives, rebels, pirate base, and pirate fleets which operate into the neighboring systems.
Or there could be a hard to reach planet with a nice special and a big supply (like 10) somewhere. Although Vezzras scenarios sounds actually better (need to connect that system).

Back to the idea of shifting to fuel in favor of supply: So if i guys got you right it doesnt make sense to increase fuel with the current galaxy settings. How about nerfing supply by changing the default values to a less dense universe? More systems per player, less (habitable) planets, leave supply as is and increase fuel? Wouldn't a less dense universe also allow for more tactical fleet manoeuvring?
Too much AI/balancing work?

edit 1: added examples; some rewording; removed the idea that supply should be only monotic (no decreases by extra effects). this in principle would lower complexity. but its not complex at all, so doesnt matter.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Hmmm, yes, I guess I hadn't thought through the supply suppression quite well enough and how it currently would only partially correspond to the suppression you guys want; all our current mechanisms for supply suppression would have to apply to supply sources and then their effect is basically unidirectional. Seems to me we could get pretty close to what you want, but there would be some notable differences, yes.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:47 am 
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Everything depends on the ratio number of planetary systems / number of players.

If that ratio is high (players far away from each other), the exploration (and expansion) parts are more relevant in the early stages of the game and the extermination part takes some time to kick in.
If the ratio is low (players close to each other), the exploration (and expansion) becomes shorter and harder (you can't send scouts through enemy lines, that are surrounding all your planets, unless stealthy), the exploitation becomes more important in comparison with the expansion, and the extermination kicks in sooner and takes a stronger role in the other parts since you need military force for anything.

If some of you feel that fuel and supply is too easy in the recommended galaxy parameters (that have relatively low systems per player) and nerf it, then for lower ratio configurations it will become harder than it already is, not allowing you to focus on exploration and forcing you to expand instead (to enlarge your supply range) thus not allowing you to follow your own gamestyle.
And vice versa, if supply and fuel is boosted, then for high ratio configurations it will become too easy and render useless the supply and fuel techs (only be researched if they are a requirement for anything else).

Something that could solve both problems, instead of fixing one and worsening the other, would be to modify final supply meters of each system depending on the systems per player value. A suggestion:
Assuming the supply-fuel system is relatively well balanced at 20 systems per player (so that we want to keep that as it is, reduce supply range in lower system settings and increase it at higher system settings), each system supply meter could be multiplied by SQRT(systemsPerPlayer)/4.5 (*) and then round up or down as you find better.

Systems per player : supply multiplier (rounded):
5 : 0.5
10 : 0.7
15 : 0.86
20 : 1
30 : 1.22
40 : 1.4
60 : 1.72
100 : 2.22

(*) If instead of 4.5 we use 5, the supply modifier = 1 goes for 25 systems per player.


Something similar could be done to the fuel capacities of hulls and tanks to make the autonomy of ships relative to the ratio systems/player.

___________


About the terrain modifiers proposed by Geoff, I like the appeal of the idea but I think that more or less the same is already available with current game mechanics:
A straight line of a thillion parsecs between a system and another (far away) one requires 1 fuel unit and many turns to traverse, while to move from the first system to another one that is a few parsecs away through three empty systems requires 4 fuel units and 1 turn. Supply-wise, the far away system can be supplied from the first system with supply strength=1 while the closer planet requires supply strength=4.
So the terrain modifiers for supply range are the empty systems that can be (or not) within origin and destination.

Anyway, I like the idea of some kind of system specials that could further affect the supply chains that pass through systems with it.
The accretion discs do something like that, right? can't remember right now, do they affect the supply meters only of the planets in that system? If so, they could be changed to affect the supply strength of any supply chain traversing it (effectively counting the system as two or more hops, no matter which direction the path comes or goes, when computing the supply reach network).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Aside: in my plan for revamping the tech tree (when my health is up to getting more done with it) is included changing Gravitic Architecture to simply negate the malus for large worlds rather than being a global +1, and to also change Galactic Infrastructure, probably to have meter change affect for various things instead of a supply bonus (eg colonies would grow supply to max quicker instead of getting another +1, and possibly a few other meters that aren't affected by Force/Energy).

But the AI currently doesn't handle the current supply mechanics well and it's a lower priority than making learnign interesting and getting the production/research/growth tech boosts right (all the late game numbers are too high).

I've been playing Civ 5 a lot last week or so (I needed a break and was ill so I'm using my Win laptop in bed) and I really like terrain. I've suggested in the past adding more field based terrain effects, especially for Nebulae: if you haven't read it, Yoon Ha Lee's short story "The Battle Of Candle Arc" is free online and very good, loosely based on historic events if you think it a bit unrealistic, they toned down the non-SFnal elements, reality is too weird.

Two types of terrain: 1: starlane gaps (roughly equivalent to oceans), created by the Python galaxy gen scripts: if someone fancies it Clusters should be really good for this but currently creates a bit of a mess. 2: Field effects, we have some that move around (whcih is very cool) but it'd also be nice to have some that're static, reduce move, increased stealth, reduced affects for some weapon types, shield improvement, etc.

A LOT of this is scriptable currently, and adding variable effects to the existing nebulae, possibly even making them bigger so they envelope several systems would be an easy first step. Well, easy to script, IIRC the AI still isn't good at situational affects, both for field effects and things like the solar concentrator ot robotic shields.

A nebula affect that can change depending on whether it just shrank of got bigger would be cool, represent some sort of 'tide' affect, especially if it could be relatively predictable when the change would happen.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:50 pm 
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Dyson Forest

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Ophiuchus wrote:
I like the supply terrain idea a lot. For the "outside origin" as Vezzra wrote - How about instead of decreasing supply by terrain effects give the terrain its own supply network which pushes against your supply network using the normal mechanics. That also has already a UI mechanism.

I think nobody answered this. I had a short look at 600 lines of SupplyManager::Update(), but couldnt figure out if this was more or less easy to implement.
So maybe someone who knows that code can answer: would it be easy to have other game objects besides empires have supply groups?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:21 pm 
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It would not be simple to associate a supply network with a non-empire.


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