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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:45 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
Dilvish wrote:
Perhaps this should default to on for 0.4.5?
Yes.
Done.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:29 pm 
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One problem with the whole organic hull branch is (a) less external slot (b) less hitpoints so basically none of these hulls make a good warship (or at least, better what you can do with a Robotic hull), and by the time you'd get to the Bio-Adaptive hull (which is quite nice) you could already also reach the Self-Gravitating hull which is superior (by far).

Another thing is that the Sentient hull isn't worth picking because the stealth bonus currently does nothing. (and the increased sensorrange becomes irrelevant midgame because the bonus from sensory techs is sufficient).

Nevertheless, the organic series are finely balanced and they make good scouts (if you add fuel tanks) and troopships, I'd recomment Sentient + Protoplasmic hull here, they also profit from the added hitpoints in the long run.

I'd love to see an automation for terraforming & gaia, if it could be customized ie.:
[ ] terraform every Racename world AND/OR/NOT
[ ] terraform every planet whose quality is below/greater to hostile/poor/etc AND/OR/NOT
[ ] terraform every planet whose size is below/greater tiny/small/medium etc AND/OR/NOT
[ ] use Gaia

:-)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:00 pm 
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Scara wrote:
Kassiopeija wrote:
Speaking of decoys, does the Scattered Asteroid shield bonus still add up to the Mini Asteroids shield bonus? I remember I once build these together and put only armour on the Mini Asteroids so they were rather cheap to build and had alot of shields and could basically soak in all damage from the main ship....

I tried to put Mini Asteroid together with Scattered Asteroids, but it didn't seem as if the Miniasteroids provided any further shield bonus or shield bonus at all when in a fleet without scatted astros.


Well this is what I get when I put them together:

The Scattered Asteroid Flagship only has weapons in its external slots, and a 7 shield which, together with its own bonus of 5 makes it a total of 12 shield. Cost is around 1000 prod.
The other 10 ships are Asteroid Swarms outfitted wit 2*Rock Armour making their hp 52, they have their own shield bonus of 5, and also get the bonus from the Scattered Asteroid Flagship another 5, making it a total of 10. Cost of this ship is ~~50 prod.
It all comes down that, for an increase in total cost of going from 1000 to 1500, I can increase the hitpoints of my flagship/fleet to 300%, and decrease the chance that my precious flagship is hit to ~10%. If there are ever ships to fall it'll very minor losses which can be replaced easily.
The point is that I'll never loose the production of a weapon (!)
Also, because of the flagships enormous hitpoints it'll always repair back via the 10% repair of total hp.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Kassiopeija wrote:
Scara wrote:
Kassiopeija wrote:
Speaking of decoys, does the Scattered Asteroid shield bonus still add up to the Mini Asteroids shield bonus? I remember I once build these together and put only armour on the Mini Asteroids so they were rather cheap to build and had alot of shields and could basically soak in all damage from the main ship....

I tried to put Mini Asteroid together with Scattered Asteroids, but it didn't seem as if the Miniasteroids provided any further shield bonus or shield bonus at all when in a fleet without scatted astros.


Well this is what I get when I put them together:

The Scattered Asteroid Flagship only has weapons in its external slots, and a 7 shield which, together with its own bonus of 5 makes it a total of 12 shield. Cost is around 1000 prod.
The other 10 ships are Asteroid Swarms outfitted wit 2*Rock Armour making their hp 52, they have their own shield bonus of 5, and also get the bonus from the Scattered Asteroid Flagship another 5, making it a total of 10. Cost of this ship is ~~50 prod.
It all comes down that, for an increase in total cost of going from 1000 to 1500, I can increase the hitpoints of my flagship/fleet to 300%, and decrease the chance that my precious flagship is hit to ~10%. If there are ever ships to fall it'll very minor losses which can be replaced easily.
The point is that I'll never loose the production of a weapon (!)
Also, because of the flagships enormous hitpoints it'll always repair back via the 10% repair of total hp.

Ahh, I see want you mean, I thought the miniasteroid would provide a bonus to other ships, but would be nonsense anyway.
Wow 10 Shield without shield! I saw it but haven't really noticed ;-)

I just saw in the build from today that it might be that Happybirthday Colony build is missing. I didn't find it among the different Colony Buildings even the locked ones.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:41 pm 
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Scara wrote:
I just saw in the build from today that it might be that Happybirthday Colony build is missing. I didn't find it among the different Colony Buildings even the locked ones.
Yes, that's already been noted in a different thread. I have the basic fix ready, but it got held up because we wanted to explore having it take longer to build than other colony buildings, and I haven't gotten to coding that aspect of it yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:34 pm 
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Kassiopeija wrote:
Scara wrote:
Kassiopeija wrote:
Speaking of decoys, does the Scattered Asteroid shield bonus still add up to the Mini Asteroids shield bonus? I remember I once build these together and put only armour on the Mini Asteroids so they were rather cheap to build and had alot of shields and could basically soak in all damage from the main ship....

I tried to put Mini Asteroid together with Scattered Asteroids, but it didn't seem as if the Miniasteroids provided any further shield bonus or shield bonus at all when in a fleet without scatted astros.


Well this is what I get when I put them together:

The Scattered Asteroid Flagship only has weapons in its external slots, and a 7 shield which, together with its own bonus of 5 makes it a total of 12 shield. Cost is around 1000 prod.
The other 10 ships are Asteroid Swarms outfitted wit 2*Rock Armour making their hp 52, they have their own shield bonus of 5, and also get the bonus from the Scattered Asteroid Flagship another 5, making it a total of 10. Cost of this ship is ~~50 prod.
It all comes down that, for an increase in total cost of going from 1000 to 1500, I can increase the hitpoints of my flagship/fleet to 300%, and decrease the chance that my precious flagship is hit to ~10%. If there are ever ships to fall it'll very minor losses which can be replaced easily.
The point is that I'll never loose the production of a weapon (!)
Also, because of the flagships enormous hitpoints it'll always repair back via the 10% repair of total hp.

I meant to mention, there's nothign in teh code preventing them stacking, and I decided not to change that, although I may want to reduce the base miniasteroid self bonus at some point.

Observation: the repair techs are changing, very soon, to be a %age of current structure, not max structure, meaning dadly damaged ships should withdraw for repairs, when that happens you might want to change strategy a bit. I haven't tried what you've suggested here, but I'll look into it and see if I can abuse it, but I don't think it's overbalanced, just a different, valid, approach.

Of course, with it mostly being us vs the AI, it's hard to know how particular combos work against each other, but the AIs getting a lot better at shipbuilding now so when they're able to build all the hulltypes we might see more weirdness.
Quote:
One problem with the whole organic hull branch is (a) less external slot (b) less hitpoints so basically none of these hulls make a good warship (or at least, better what you can do with a Robotic hull), and by the time you'd get to the Bio-Adaptive hull (which is quite nice) you could already also reach the Self-Gravitating hull which is superior (by far).

Well, they are meant to be a swarm style line with lots of numbers that're individually more fragile. I'd rate a large number of Ravenous Hulls over a similar production cost Self Gravitiating fleet to be honest.

That'll especially be true when we've got enough core and internal parts available so that you don't automatically put engines everywhere, Organics are meant to be faster, and I really want to make engines non-stacking, but currently can't due to lack of other parts for variety.

BioAdaptive isn't really a frontline warship, but it can be very good as a stealth cruiser, three external is, just, enough for combat ops against monsters or lightly defended planets, sneak attacks on strategic locations behind the lines is something they're meant to be doing. Of course, that'll require stealth-as-a-strategy to be viable, which it technically is but needs more work to finish, I'd hoped to do that for this release but life got in the way, there've been some tweaks and I need to finish a few more, but, y'know, it's a process.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:09 am 
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I've probably overdone it a bit by using a 10:1 ratio, because that will result in having much more hitpoints versus firepower ratio. But the thing is that even when going 5:1 or 3:1 it is still effective and doesn't alter the production costs of the big ships too much.

MatGB wrote:
I'd rate a large number of Ravenous Hulls over a similar production cost Self Gravitiating fleet to be honest.


I just went into the game to check on this hull and I kin dof find it weak... but it kinda depends on the level or number of techs one had aquired and used them to make the hull effective. So what are you using?

If I make a comparison of my current game it would come out to something like this:

Gravitiator:
649 prod
Att: 66 (6*laser4)
Def: 7
Structure: 105
Speed: 90
Fuel: 5
Note: Core slot unused (could aquire more speed here but for considerable costs), no research on structure components necessary

Ravenous:
441 prod
Att :44 (4*laser4)
Def: 7
Str: 28-48 (1*Rock Armour)
Speed: 110
Fuel: 4

So, for the same amount of production you'd have 2 Gravitators versus 3 Ravenous. Attack & shields is the same, Gravitiators have 50-100% more hitpoints and will therefore win. They also repair more and see a lesser production increase over time. Wjen you find a race with a +50% weapons multiplier they get around +100 attack which I find optimally balanced versus their hitpoints.

I also use Interstellar Lighthouses on key routes to speed them up (plus the additional +20 from a tech) to ensure I can hit another node in one turn (the AI won't have time to jump away - which, for me, is the whole point of having engines on warships)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:17 am 
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Kassiopeija wrote:
But the thing is that even when going 5:1 or 3:1 it is still effective and doesn't alter the production costs of the big ships too much.
That really all depends on how big your fleet is. If you only have a few big ships, then sure, surrounding them with some decoys doesn't make a huge difference to your future production of big ships. But once you're into the tens of big ships, then trying to surround them with decoys will make your future ship production costs explode. Perhaps that ramps up too slowly now, though -- maybe we should try fleet maintenance at 2% or 3% rather than 1%.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:34 am 
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MatGB wrote:
I may want to reduce the base miniasteroid self bonus at some point.
Yes, please! The Scattered Asteroid Hull is supposed to be a far superior version of the miniasteroid in that regard (AFAIK), so it's bonus shouldn't be less that that of the miniasteroid (even if it grants its bonus to all own ships iin the system). IMO it doesn't make sense otherwise.

As the bonus for the Scattered Asteroid Hull has already been reduced, reducing the bonus for the minisateroid should be done for 0.4.5 also.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:53 am 
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Dilvish wrote:
maybe we should try fleet maintenance at 2% or 3% rather than 1%.
It has been higher in the past, and had been reduced because the cost increase was too much (at least for some situations/mechanics, I don't remember what exactly it was). I don't think we can really get that right, it will always be too low for one thing and too high for another.

What we really need to do is (besides coming up with a better mechanic), is to find a way to make it dependent on some kind of measurement of "ship size". Having basically the same maintainance costs for something like the Small Hull and something like the Solar Hull is fundamentally flawed, and screws things up.

The problem is, we don't have any "ship size" stat. Three options come to my mind:

  • Expose a function to FOCS that simply returns the total count of all slots (regardless of type), so that the cost increase formula can be based on the total sum of slots of all your ships instead if just the ship count. This would use the number of slots as an indicator of "ship size".
  • Another indicator for the "size" or "value" of a ship could be their base production cost. So, instead of counting the ships, calculate the total base production costs of all your active ships, and derive the cost increase from that. This would effectively base maintainence cost on build costs.
  • Add a "size" or "maintainence cost" stat to each hull type. Instead of counting the ships, you calculate the sum of this stat for all your ships. Would allow for more flexibility when defining the maintainance costs for a certain hull type, we could differentiate between low maintainance hulls (asteroids? organics?) and high maintainance hulls (energy?).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:34 am 
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Vezzra wrote:
Having basically the same maintainance costs for something like the Small Hull and something like the Solar Hull is fundamentally flawed, and screws things up.
How so / why?

(I assume you refer to the additional cost to produce something else due to having such a ship, and not their own additional cost. If the latter, since it's a % increase, more expensive hulls already do have higher maintenance costs when being produced.)
Vezzra wrote:
Expose a function to FOCS that simply returns the total count of all slots (regardless of type), so that the cost increase formula can be based on the total sum of slots of all your ships instead if just the ship count. This would use the number of slots as an indicator of "ship size".
There is a complex int valueref that returns the number of parts in a ship design. Almost the same thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:15 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
Having basically the same maintainance costs for something like the Small Hull and something like the Solar Hull is fundamentally flawed, and screws things up.
How so / why?

(I assume you refer to the additional cost to produce something else due to having such a ship, and not their own additional cost. If the latter, since it's a % increase, more expensive hulls already do have higher maintenance costs when being produced.)

Strategic distortion, it is always better to keep maintenance costs low by building merely the biggest warships you can afford, a mixed fleet including picket vessels, light cruisers, destroyers etc is sub optimal because the 3 gunned robotic frigate has the exact same upkeep as the 12 gunned fractal battlecruiser.
Quote:
Vezzra wrote:
Expose a function to FOCS that simply returns the total count of all slots (regardless of type), so that the cost increase formula can be based on the total sum of slots of all your ships instead if just the ship count. This would use the number of slots as an indicator of "ship size".
There is a complex int valueref that returns the number of parts in a ship design. Almost the same thing.

Actually, parts used might be better than slots, there'd be a marginal benefit to not filling up every slot just because you can, meaning you think more about what you need, etc.

Of course, it'll be harder to explain, but given a lot of newish players don't understand the current system very well, we can easily justify giving up on keeping it this simple.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:17 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
Dilvish wrote:
maybe we should try fleet maintenance at 2% or 3% rather than 1%.
It has been higher in the past, and had been reduced because the cost increase was too much (at least for some situations/mechanics, I don't remember what exactly it was). I don't think we can really get that right, it will always be too low for one thing and too high for another.
Digging through the archive, it looks to me like the change you're thinking of was actually a dual pronged change-- we swapped from 5% per ship upkeep being applied to hull costs only, to 1% per ship being applied to both hull costs and part costs. It seems to me there is still plenty of reason to explore changing the current 1% to 2% or 3%.

Quote:
What we really need to do is (besides coming up with a better mechanic), is to find a way to make it dependent on some kind of measurement of "ship size". Having basically the same maintainance costs for something like the Small Hull and something like the Solar Hull is fundamentally flawed, and screws things up.
Screws things up in what way? It does create pressure in favor of larger ships, but it's not at all clear to me that's a significant problem. Certainly the biggest problem anyone is complaining about right now is the dynamic favoring the use of Decoys, which is the opposite problem. I'm afraid that any of your three suggestions by themselves would only make that problem worse.

Although I can totally sympathize with Mat wanting to run with a mixed fleet, I think the bigger issue is to deal with the issue of decoys. It's not that I think they're inherently bad or anything like that, but it does seem they are currently imbalancing. I think that increasing maintenance costs to 2% or 3% has a chance of really correcting that, and should be explored. Could I please have a couple volunteers, especially folks that have been using decoys, to change your fleet upkeep costs to 2% or 3% and see how that impacts the viability of decoys? The change would be made in shared_macros.txt:
Code:
FLEET_UPKEEP_MULTIPLICATOR
'''(1 + 0.02 * ShipDesignsOwned empire = Source.Owner)'''
(or "1 + 0.03")

(BTW, I really think that ValueRef is confusingly misnamed and should be changed from "ShipDesignsOwned" to "ShipsOwned")

Vezzra, going back to your suggestions, it comes to mind that perhaps a hybrid maintenance calc could work-- instead of being based on either the sum of ships, or the sum or parts, make it based on a combination of the sum of ships and the sum or parts. In order to weigh a bit more against decoys I think that the ships should count more, perhaps
Code:
FLEET_UPKEEP_MULTIPLICATOR
'''(1 + 0.02 * ShipsOwned empire = Source.Owner + 0.01 * ShipSlotsOwned empire = Source.Owner)'''


One more idea on creating a counter-incentive to decoys-- adding another combat mechanic, a chance that when a ship is killed it releases an explosion damaging other ships of the same owner in that battle. If it were something like a 10% or 20% chance, and the amount of the explosion was the same amount as whatever the killing blow had been (maybe up to some maximum) then for a regular warfleet it would not make a big difference to combat I think, but it would drastically change the scenario for decoys. A single such explosion would probably wipe out all the decoys, and cause damage to the main ships, making the decoys dramatically less appealing. It seems to me that coding it up into our combat would not be too bad.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:46 pm 
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Dilvish wrote:
Quote:
What we really need to do is (besides coming up with a better mechanic), is to find a way to make it dependent on some kind of measurement of "ship size". Having basically the same maintainance costs for something like the Small Hull and something like the Solar Hull is fundamentally flawed, and screws things up.
Screws things up in what way? It does create pressure in favor of larger ships, but it's not at all clear to me that's a significant problem. Certainly the biggest problem anyone is complaining about right now is the dynamic favoring the use of Decoys, which is the opposite problem. I'm afraid that any of your three suggestions by themselves would only make that problem worse.

I totaly agree with Dilvish here. Lots of small ships create more micromanagement in the long run, so creating a penalty for the long run fits perfectly.

Dilvish wrote:
One more idea on creating a counter-incentive to decoys-- adding another combat mechanic, a chance that when a ship is killed it releases an explosion damaging other ships of the same owner in that battle. If it were something like a 10% or 20% chance, and the amount of the explosion was the same amount as whatever the killing blow had been (maybe up to some maximum) then for a regular warfleet it would not make a big difference to combat I think, but it would drastically change the scenario for decoys. A single such explosion would probably wipe out all the decoys, and cause damage to the main ships, making the decoys dramatically less appealing. It seems to me that coding it up into our combat would not be too bad.
I don't like this approach. The basic combat mechanics should be very simple, so that a new player can learn what's going on.

What i propose is adding countermeasures in the tech tree. For example:

1. A weapon ship part that always hits all enemies (like system defense mines).
2. A combat computer tech (or ship part) that increases the chance of weapons hitting the biggest threat (at least only armed ships).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:53 pm 
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Dilvish wrote:
(BTW, I really think that ValueRef is confusingly misnamed and should be changed from "ShipDesignsOwned" to "ShipsOwned")
It's not misnamed, in the sense that it also has a
design name parameter that is not being used in that example... But if you wanted to change all the "ShipDesignsX" tokens to just "ShipX" tokens, it should be simple enough to edit the tokens list and IntComplexValueRefParser.cpp.
Sloth wrote:
A combat computer tech (or ship part) that increases the chance of weapons hitting the biggest threat (at least only armed ships).
A variety of "Targetting Computer" type parts is on my to-do list, to adjust target selection priorities. A species-grudge influence might also be added, eventually. I'd also expect leader / great people to be able to act as admirals, and have a similar effect, but without having to put a part in the design to get it, and being able to change targetting preferences from turn to turn.


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