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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:38 pm 
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In another thread about a particular species, the topic came up about the good+ weapons species being mostly restricted to a narrow band, and whether that was, or was not, something we'd want to continue.

So, just to brainstorm a bit:

Although the significance of those environmental restrictions is currently mostly an early game issue due to growth techs, it struck me that we could still strengthen the restriction, and that this could be a significant way to distinguish the terraforming line from the other growth techs.

The flavor story would be that advanced techs can enable species to live in all sorts of environments, if the environment is really rough for a given species then the local population has to focus on supporting basic Industry and Research rather than pursuing highly advanced/esoteric training, and so such planets would be unable to crew (build) ships employing certain advanced parts (like plasma cannons or death rays), or perhaps other parts, or perhaps certain hulls.

That could be a restriction that applies to all species, or with a slightly flavor modification we could say that the interference only manifests as a full blown restriction in the highly strung pilot species.

The scripting implementation would be straightforward-- there could be a FRIENDLY_ENVIRONMENT macro that encodes a condition check that the local planet has an environment at least X (Adequate?) for its species, and then that macro could be added to the Location condition for the respective parts/hulls.

For the AI, its shipbuilding planning would already automatically handle the constraint. AI colonization planning could be fairly easily given at least basic knowledge of the restriction, at least enough to make adequate decisions (fine tuning the weightings to let it do actually good planning in this area would be more challenging, but not beyond hope).

So perhaps that's simply a possibility to keep in mind when we get around to working on distinguishing terraforming from other growth techs.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:58 am 
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Strengthen environmental restrictions:

Yes please.

  • Split demographic growth from carrying capacity. -- if you want population to be primary resource this needs to be done.
  • Decrease demographic growth based on environment quality. Currently hostile with carry capacity 20 grows just as fast as gaia with carry capacity 20.
  • Decrease research, production, etc on planets based upon environment quality.
(I do have my own local commits for the items above)
There are more aggressive options as well.

Are you suggesting changing ship production that is done in space? With parts shipped from everywhere in the empire? In an environment completely separated from the world below? Which the entire rest of the game has gone out of its way to enable?

I disagree with changing what can be produced based upon species current environment.

And really if we are shipping parts all over the empire how hard would it be to ship crews around? Not advocating this but really, why couldn't an empire do this considering what it can already do? A ships crew should be much less then a pop point right? Why aren't ships built with the best parts available when it comes to crew? Current game play says we shouldn't. Anti micromanagement says we should.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:30 am 
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Gault.Drakkor wrote:
And really if we are shipping parts all over the empire how hard would it be to ship crews around? Not advocating this but really, but ... Why aren't ships built with the best parts available when it comes to crew? Current game play says we shouldn't. Anti micromanagement says we should.
For someone "not advocating" that sure sounds an awful lot like advocating. This primarily seems like it should be a different thread to me, but since it also seems to underpin your response to the basic idea floated above, I'll give a little bit of a response. I think you are overemphasizing simplification in the name of anti-micromanagement. The essence of a strategy game lies in making of choices subject to constraints, and the need to crew a ship with the local species was chosen as a strategic constraint for FO long ago. The proposal of this thread is entirely predicated on that existing underlying constraint. If you wish to discuss the strategic value of that underlying constraint please start up a separate thread for that.

Quote:
Are you suggesting changing ship production that is done in space? With parts shipped from everywhere in the empire? In an environment completely separated from the world below? Which the entire rest of the game has gone out of its way to enable?
It seems to me like these questions are all bringing in details that aren't inherently part of the game (well, maybe not the first question, but I don't see how it matters anyways). There only a few armor parts for which even the raw materials are indicated to be shipped around, let alone completed parts. You might choose to fill in those details because they fit your idea of 'realism', but in FO realism is just another type of fluff that we use for flavor when it supports the chosen design. When choosing between alternate design choices of equivalent value, we might let fluff be the feather that tips the balance, but we don't let realism or other fluff dictate design choices.

Quote:
I disagree with changing what can be produced based upon species current environment.
If there is something more to this sentiment beyond a mix of your realism concerns and your issue with the underlying constraint of crew being restricted to the local species, I'm not seeing it. If the local crew cannot use a certain part, then a ship employing that part cannot be crewed locally and therefore such ship cannot be built at that location. It doesn't matter at all where the individual parts could be imagined to have been built. And even this whole bit about saying the local crew "can't use" the part is just a bit of fluff for the proposed constraint on construction. Fluff is quite versatile and should be adapted to the strategic design choices, not vice versa.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:41 am 
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I think this thread is a good idea. As commented in some other old threads, Terraforming is seldom use, does not seem to be cost efficient (specially for it PP requirements) when compared to maxing out growth tech and then mostly ignore planet environment, because the difference in population between a hostile and a good planet is not big enough.

Terraforming (or Growth, or something) needs to be tweaked so that the environment of planets keeps playing a part in the mid to late game.

This said, I think Gault.Drakkor is pointing to the right direction, and aiming at the same time at the underrated Terraforming issue as well as to the steamroll balance problem. I agree with every one of his points and suggestions (even the off topic).

It would be great if Environment affected the production and research of species. Another way to achieve the same effect (and roughly same numbers) would be to nerf the bonus of growth techs on hostile and poor planets.

Both ways will increase the importance of environment, give value to the Terraforming project and to the strategic choice of what to colonise first, and help ease the steamroll effect of late game.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:01 am 
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One thing I'd like to do is make growth techs unlock a policy, rather than giving a fixed bonus. There could be (is already actually) a +growth rate policy, a +target pop on hostile planets policy, a +target pop everywhere policy.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:03 am 
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Dilvish wrote:
Gault.Drakkor wrote:
auto selection of pilots
This primarily seems like it should be a different thread to me, but since it also seems to underpin your response to the basic idea floated above, I'll give a little bit of a response.

Not it was not my primary point. I am sorry. It was a flippant, yet plausible counter to your suggestion that in my opinion fits with the current game rules. With the exception of "It is interesting game play that ship's crews match the production planet's species".

Dilvish wrote:
Gault.Drakkor wrote:
Are you suggesting changing ship production that is done in space? With parts shipped from everywhere in the empire? In an environment completely separated from the world below? Which the entire rest of the game has gone out of its way to enable?
It seems to me like these questions are all bringing in details that aren't inherently part of the game (well, maybe not the first question, but I don't see how it matters anyways).

By parts I mean what ever assemblies that the production point transfer arrives in. If you have a shipyard that is consuming more production then it produces, not all the production is happening at that orbiting shipyard. That is, local production could be irrelevant to ships being produced locally.

Core thing that is bothering me? Breaking of principle of least surprise. That you design breaks existing design, in ways that i think are surprising.
Production of ships works like <...> except on planets that residents don't like, except perhaps when they are better then average pilots that are even pickier...

What I was really wanting to suggest as means of strengthening environmental restrictions was more direct reduction. A reduction in terms of lower demographic growth, and lower of production/research on sub good environment worlds. Because right now there the environmental penalties and species differences get mitigated into unimportance by the end of the research tree. Which contributes to the late/end game run-away.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Anyone who is wanting to address the current game mechanic of ship's crew being determined by location of production, please post about that on the new thread I set up for thatrather than here.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Also think that strenghtening environmental restrictions is a good way to go for allowing wide/tall empire strategy distinction.

I am not sure if doing the "premium fleet on premium planet" is so great though. Generally i think the concept is interesting. For defensive troops for example (so its harder to defend a bad environment planet). But it soon gets complicated e.g. for attack troops. You train good Ugmor attacktroops (who like inferno) on an inferno planet. Will they fight average conquering a toxic planet? You train average Ugmor on a toxic planet, will they fight bad or average conquering a toxic planet?

For pilots i am not sure if the extra-difficulty to matching planet type with the right system (having the right sun or an asteroid belt) is too crippling to be interesting/forces you to send your fleet a longer way.
It adds a distinction between a broad_environment and narrow_environment species with good_weapons (broad finds it much easier to build a fitting pilots base), which i find interesting.
And of course one could introduce that as species traits *_IS_FRIENDLY_ENVIRONMENT, e.g. there could be a very dedicated native species with good_weapons, narrow_ep, and bad_is_friendly_environment.

Gault.Drakkor wrote:
  • Split demographic growth from carrying capacity. -- if you want population to be primary resource this needs to be done.
  • Decrease demographic growth based on environment quality. Currently hostile with carry capacity 20 grows just as fast as gaia with carry capacity 20.
  • Decrease research, production, etc on planets based upon environment quality.
(I do have my own local commits for the items above)

I think splitting growth and carrying capacity is the thing to do (with most of current techs only increasing carrying capacity).

For the population based research,production, etc effect that should suffice.
Decreasing the fixed bonus might make sense though.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:37 am 
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Gault.Drakkor wrote:
Core thing that is bothering me? Breaking of principle of least surprise. That you design breaks existing design, in ways that i think are surprising.
Production of ships works like <...> except on planets that residents don't like, except perhaps when they are better then average pilots that are even pickier...

Well, if we wanted for the UI we could add another building or split the basic shipyards so you could only build the "Excellence Academy" on friendly places.

Or hint it by you having to choose the necessary policy ("Fleet Excellence" allows pilots to reach their full potential) for the "Surplus on Friendly Planets" category/slot type which applies effects only on friendly planets. Maybe there could be also "Fleet Excellence" for the general military slot, but then you cant use that (more valuable) slot for other policies.
I think the first "Surplus on Friendly Planets" slot should be low cost/achievable in the first 20 turns.

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