Space Combat: Range and Detection

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eleazar
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#16 Post by eleazar » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:52 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:Building the tech tree is a different question but there's no inherent problem with starting with 50% and ending up at 300%
I suppose not... Declaring a particular range to be the natural one, and then defining other ranges relative to that seems rather arbitrary though. Another aspect of this is that I'd prefer that if something is presented as a percentage, that it's value actually vary between 0% and 100%. If you can go over 100%, then what's special about 100%?
I've addressed that:
eleazar wrote:•• A stealth advantage (ST-DB) of 1 (or 100%) makes a ship completely undetectable.
...
•• A max detection tech 1 (or 100%) doubles the range at which un-stealthed ships can be detected.
Also in this instance allowing the scale to have no ceiling allows for the creation of sentinels or space-monsters, with abilities beyond those the players can research.

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Geoff the Medio
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#17 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:19 pm

eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:...I'd prefer that if something is presented as a percentage, that it's value actually vary between 0% and 100%. If you can go over 100%, then what's special about 100%?
I've addressed that:
eleazar wrote:•• A stealth advantage (ST-DB) of 1 (or 100%) makes a ship completely undetectable.
...
•• A max detection tech 1 (or 100%) doubles the range at which un-stealthed ships can be detected.
Those points don't address the issue. For detection in particuar, 100% = doubling range is not notably different from 99% = almost doubling or 107% = a bit more than doubling. For both, individual ship designs will have ratings of some %, which can range from 0 to 100% to above. For these ratings, there's little or no significance to 100% in practice, as opposed to other nearby values; presumably if you can get 100% stealth or detection, your opponents can get 5% or 10% in the other. Presenting the values as a % suggests that 100% is the best, the full amount, complete, or some other signficant value, which it is not.
Also in this instance allowing the scale to have no ceiling allows for the creation of sentinels or space-monsters, with abilities beyond those the players can research.
There's enough range in a standard meter 0 to 100 scale to have a psychologically and practically huge difference between early-mid player ratings and highly-advanced or special objects. However I don't think we'd want to have values on a functional scale like this that are completely out of player reach, even at the end of the game. Presumably transcendence and similarly universe-upsetting powers will become available at endgame, so I don't see why a space monster or such should be so stealthy as to be undetectable even then...

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utilae
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#18 Post by utilae » Mon Mar 19, 2007 2:00 am

loonycyborg wrote: I want to say that that the ship's stealth technologies should not help it to reduce it's detection range when it has active scanner turned on.
There may be technologies to make active scanners more stealthy, but they must be applied to scanner, not to ship.
It would make no difference whether it is applied to the scanner or the ship.

If the ships stealth and detection is the sum of all components stealth and detection, then a stealthier active scanner would just have less of a stealth penalty than other active scanners.

eg

Ship Components
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -10 stealth
Stealth Generator +100 stealth
Stealth Active Scanner -10 stealth (Active Scanner would have -50 stealth)
+50 detection
Stealth=100-20-10-10=60 stealth
Detection=50

Note that without the Stealth Generator, stealth would be negative, which would be stealth 0 as Geoff has talked about.

In terms of active or passive scanners we can do this two ways. 1st is to just have it all automatic, like above where active scanner provides +50 detection and -50 stealth all the time and passive scanner provides +10 detection and -0 stealth all the time.

2nd way is to make active scanner a weapon, where you click an area, beams, pings, etc are fired, they cause no damage, but detect at some high rate and make your ships stealth bad (you detected) at this point.

I prefer the 1st way since this is mean't to be a macro game rather than a micro one. But I guess, we can see what happens.

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#19 Post by loonycyborg » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:22 am

utilae wrote: If the ships stealth and detection is the sum of all components stealth and detection
My idea was that bonuses from stealth generators should not to apply with active scanners on.

eg

Combat/Patrol mode
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -10 stealth
Stealth Generator +0 stealth(useless, since active scanners are on)
Active Scanner -20 stealth
+100 detection
Stealth=-20-10-10=-40 stealth
Detection=100

Stealth mode
==============
Engine -5 stealth(but slower)
Weapons +0 stealth(weapons offline)
Stealth Generator +50 stealth
Passive Scanner +0 stealth
+30 detection
Stealth=-5+50=45 stealth
Detection=30
1st is to just have it all automatic, like above where active scanner provides +50 detection and -50 stealth all the time and passive scanner provides +10 detection and -0 stealth all the time.
I think there should be two modes of ship operation: combat/patrol mode and stealth mode. Active scanners should be used in combat/patrol mode, passive should be used in stealth mode.
2nd way is to make active scanner a weapon, where you click an area, beams, pings, etc are fired, they cause no damage, but detect at some high rate and make your ships stealth bad (you detected) at this point.
I find the idea of scanner weapon interesting. Say, a special purpose torpedo that "illuminates" an area decreasing stealth of any ship within it.

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#20 Post by utilae » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:51 pm

loonycyborg wrote: My idea was that bonuses from stealth generators should not to apply with active scanners on.

eg
Combat/Patrol mode
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -10 stealth
Stealth Generator +0 stealth(useless, since active scanners are on)
Active Scanner -20 stealth
+100 detection
Stealth=-20-10-10=-40 stealth
Detection=100

Stealth mode
==============
Engine -5 stealth(but slower)
Weapons +0 stealth(weapons offline)
Stealth Generator +50 stealth
Passive Scanner +0 stealth
+30 detection
Stealth=-5+50=45 stealth
Detection=30
I think it is better done like this. You see all the values are the same for both combat/patrol mode and stealth mode, the only value that changes is the active/passive scanners stealth penalty and detection value. It achieves the same things as you example above.

Combat/Patrol mode
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -20 stealth
Stealth Generator +85 stealth
Active Scanner -85 stealth
+100 detection
Stealth=-40 stealth
Detection=100

Stealth mode
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -20 stealth
Stealth Generator +85 stealth
Passive Scanner -0 stealth
+30 detection
Stealth=45 stealth
Detection=30

Also, I would add that Maybe stealth mode could be further expanded into "Operating Stealth Mode" and "Dead Stealth Mode". Operating Stealth Mode would leave your weapons and engines on, since in stealth mode you would like to do something. But if you didn't want to be detected at all, and operating stealth mode was not stealth enough, you could turn your engines and weapons and other systems off and become Dead Stealth Mode.

The stealth penalties from the engines, weapons, etc would become zero while in this mode.
loonycyborg wrote: I think there should be two modes of ship operation: combat/patrol mode and stealth mode. Active scanners should be used in combat/patrol mode, passive should be used in stealth mode.
Just remember, that if we have too many modes, etc it could get very micromanagement heavy if there are lots of ships. If there was a group functionality to give the order to the entire fleet, with all ships that can, go as stealth as they can, then I see it working.

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#21 Post by marhawkman » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:56 pm

I liked the way Stars did stealth. Stealth % was the distance you could be detected at.

If we do it that way, for Negative stealth you could have it increase the range at which you can detect the ship.
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#22 Post by Sandlapper » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:20 am

Just remember, that if we have too many modes, etc it could get very micromanagement heavy if there are lots of ships. If there was a group functionality to give the order to the entire fleet, with all ships that can, go as stealth as they can, then I see it working.

I think we could simply have a fleet UI option for agressive or passive stance, in regards to minimalising micro; let the computer compute best posture. I would prefer an additional option to allow micro. Perhaps an option for Agressive, Passive, & Special Orders. The special orders would make available further options, if they exist, e.g... a fleet consisting solely of stealth class ships(you could order an agressive stance toward enemy fleet once it crosses an established range threshold, but, until the threshold is crossed, remain in passive, powered down, high stealth mode).

Which brings up the range issue, at mid game would we expect to be able to sense and target capital ships at the opposite side of a star's system(assuming a very large system)? I mention capital ships with the presumption they will not have stealth capacity until late game(or do I presume incorrectly?).

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#23 Post by utilae » Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:02 am

Sandlapper wrote: I think we could simply have a fleet UI option for agressive or passive stance, in regards to minimalising micro; let the computer compute best posture.
I think that some things can be left to the Ships AI to do, eg If the Ship is stopped and no enemies are nearby, it is a no brainer to have weapons off and engines off to raise your stealth. Of course if there were lengthy times involved in getting weapons and engines back on, well I guess that should be ok. Once you click on the enemy, the Ship AI will know to turn on the weapons and engines. As they power up, you have 5 seconds to with stand damage.
Sandlapper wrote: I would prefer an additional option to allow micro. Perhaps an option for Agressive, Passive, & Special Orders. The special orders would make available further options, if they exist, e.g... a fleet consisting solely of stealth class ships(you could order an agressive stance toward enemy fleet once it crosses an established range threshold, but, until the threshold is crossed, remain in passive, powered down, high stealth mode).
Sure, it is always good to have orders and special abilities. They just need to be able to be used on a group level. It needs to be smart. Eg use detection weapon ability, then those ships in your selected group will use it.
Sandlapper wrote: Which brings up the range issue, at mid game would we expect to be able to sense and target capital ships at the opposite side of a star's system(assuming a very large system)? I mention capital ships with the presumption they will not have stealth capacity until late game(or do I presume incorrectly?).
It depends on whether in the late game we want weapon ranges to range from one system to another. I think in that regard the weapon would have to be planetary. I think that shooting across the system should be late game.

I also think that if you have researched heavily into stealth generators and can fit enough of them on a large ship and the other equipment on the ship does not lower stealth too much, then you can have a stealth capital ship. But yeah, maybe near late game, have high power output emissions for their massive engines.

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#24 Post by eleazar » Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:26 pm

utilae wrote: ...
Stealth mode
==============
Engine -20 stealth
Weapons -20 stealth
Stealth Generator +85 stealth
Passive Scanner -0 stealth
+30 detection
Stealth=45 stealth
Detection=30
...
Please remember that stealth is just one component of ship design and combat. It is not the heart of FO.
I would argue that only a few, obvious factors should effect a ship's stealth rating, possibly limited to:
  • • Stealth Technology
    • Ship's size or weight
    • Weather the ship is firing
I don't think stealth generators should be turned on and off. (I certainly don't think engines and weapons should be turned on and off) For a Star Trek, turn-on-turn-off type stealth to be effective would require continual attention from the player, i believe, which is not good.

Ships with stealth tech, always gain the benefit from it. However when firing, the benefit is lessened. This would also make sense if early stealth techs are described as a "non-reflective, non-radiating coating" or some such.

In combat the important option IMHO, is to be able to take ships in and out of "Silent Mode" in which the ship does nothing to jeopardize it's cover.
As expected i would argue that there should be a limited number of modes, or iinstructions for ships in combat. These modes and instructions should be significant, and should IMHO be able to fit in a single contextual menu (possibly radial), with only one or 2 levels. Remember, we have 3-5 seconds to command an entire fleet. Obviously you won't change your orders for every ship every turn. But it should be possible to know what's going on at a glance, which becomes increasingly difficult as additional modes and more complex instructions are added.



Detection range.
I'd also like to see inhabited colonies also add to the range of sight of the fleet of their empire. Possibly that range could be increased as defenses or infrastructure increases.

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#25 Post by utilae » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:33 am

eleazar wrote: Please remember that stealth is just one component of ship design and combat. It is not the heart of FO.
I would argue that only a few, obvious factors should effect a ship's stealth rating, possibly limited to:
  • • Stealth Technology
    • Ship's size or weight
    • Weather the ship is firing
As I explained it, stealth and detection would be variables of the component object/class. So, it doesn't mean that every component would have stealth or detection values, but I had the idea that some components might lend themselves to stealth or detection better than others. We can always make most components have 0 stealth, having only the important 'big' equipment pieces have stealth, but that is to be determined I guess.

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#26 Post by Sandlapper » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:48 am

@ utilae:

I wasn't inferring that there would be mid-game weapons fire across to the far side of a system, as much as just simply detecting ships system wide. I think mid-game would still be limited to long range missles, maybe. I would envision cross system direct fire as needing massive ships with massive weapons, and being inherently a late game option. I would also expect active cloaking to be increasingly difficult to place on larger ships, because of size and power penalties.

@ eleazar:

I am not concerned with individual ship control, persay, but I still want to turn cloak on and off for a fleet during battle. I would still allow a fleet to consist of only one ship, if some situation required individual control.

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#27 Post by Yeeha » Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:59 pm

What do u think about making sort of radar blips that happen sometimes when stealth tech wasnt perfect in covering. U cant see what it was or where it was but u have general region where anomaly was.

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#28 Post by utilae » Wed Mar 21, 2007 7:45 pm

That would be cool. Perhaps some kind of early Stealth Technology where it looses stealth for 1 second every minute.

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#29 Post by Tyreth » Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:08 am

Some good thoughts here. Does anyone feel like summarising what they currently think of the system Geoff proposed after this discussion, and if they consider any changes/caveats necessary?

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#30 Post by eleazar » Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:33 am

Tyreth wrote:the system Geoff proposed after this discussion
i'm confused. It sounds like you're saying Geoff proposed something somewhere else?

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