Auto better troop pods

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Ophiuchus
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Auto better troop pods

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:53 pm

I still dont like having to upgrade ship designs because of research in colony and troop parts.

One way around is would be to auto-upgrade the troop pods when built after the time of research like in PR-1961.
So if you e.g. research GRO_NANO_CYBERNET in turn 30, all troop pods build before would have normal capacity, but troop pods built afterwards will automatically have double the capacity.

Downsides
  • advanced troops dont have increased cost (was double the cost before)
  • advanced troops need only 2 instead of 4 defensive troops at build location
  • Pedia information lists troop capacity of the part always as 2


What you think?
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Dilvish
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#2 Post by Dilvish » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:43 pm

For troops I prefer the upgrade being a distinct part; at the very least the cost scale would have to be maintained and the upgrade process could not allow for a sudden doubling of troops anywhere near a combat situation.

As had been discussed when the larger troop pods were introduced, the cost of troop pods is an important part of combat balance.

I also think I like having both options when I field troop ships rather than necessarily always using the larger pods once I have researched the tech. That's a more minor issue and perhaps doesn't really matter though.

On the colony pods, I think we had a bit of a discussion about it when we started having the colony buildings automatically get the benefit of the upgrade. You should search that out. I don't recall myself having a strong opinion on it, but I suspect Vezzra does.
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Dilvish
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#3 Post by Dilvish » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:52 pm

Let me also note, I think that if we did go this route, then the cost of the tech would have to go up tremendously.
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#4 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:21 pm

Dilvish wrote: the upgrade process could not allow for a sudden doubling of troops anywhere near a combat situation.
Like implemented, existing pods dont get upgraded
As had been discussed when the larger troop pods were introduced, the cost of troop pods is an important part of combat balance.
Hm. Maybe there is a way to do the cost dynamic as well...
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:11 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:Hm. Maybe there is a way to do the cost dynamic as well...
Should work similarly to tech costs:

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... ocs.txt#L6

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Re: Auto better troop pods

#6 Post by LGM-Doyle » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:38 pm

With distinct troop parts, there is the possibility to decouple the research and construction costs. For example, if the research costs for advance troops are low, but the construction costs are high, then that favors production oriented empires. If the cost of the advanced troop pods is significantly higher than the basic pods, then the decision to include them in a ship design is no longer a no brainer and becomes a question of balance with the relative value of the slot freed up for other uses.

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Vezzra
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#7 Post by Vezzra » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:40 pm

Dilvish wrote:As had been discussed when the larger troop pods were introduced, the cost of troop pods is an important part of combat balance.
This, and...
LGM-Doyle wrote:With distinct troop parts, there is the possibility to decouple the research and construction costs. For example, if the research costs for advance troops are low, but the construction costs are high, then that favors production oriented empires. If the cost of the advanced troop pods is significantly higher than the basic pods, then the decision to include them in a ship design is no longer a no brainer and becomes a question of balance with the relative value of the slot freed up for other uses.
...this.

The issues Dilvish pointed out could be sufficiently addressed by making sure only troop pods built after the tech has been researched (which, if I understand correctly, has already been planned anyway) and and by having the tech also increase the build costs of the troop pod.

However, I don't see how you could address LGM-Doyle's points. And giving up these possibilities just to save a bit of work due to having to upgrade a couple of ship designs (which, with only one upgrade for the troop pod will only happen once in a game) doesn't sound reasonable to me. Trying to minimize micromanagement is fine, but I don't consider having to do upgrade ship designs now and then when new techs become available as micromanagement (as long as it doesn't get too much, as it has been the case when each weapon refinement gave you a new weapon part).

Therefore, I'd rather keep the Advanced Troop Pod as a separate ship part.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#8 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:59 pm

Vezzra wrote:...having the tech also increase the build costs of the troop pod.
Not acceptable. Techs can't be turned on/off, so can't have negative effects like this (possibly outside special cases, which this isn't).

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Vezzra
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#9 Post by Vezzra » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:20 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Not acceptable. Techs can't be turned on/off, so can't have negative effects like this (possibly outside special cases, which this isn't).
Point taken. In that case, even more reason to keep the Advanced Troop Pod as a separate ship part. The amount of troops you can field via troop ships is already too high in mid and late game IMO, and essentially cutting the costs for troops in half with an upgraded troop pod will only compound that problem.

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Re: Auto better troop pods

#10 Post by Oberlus » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:32 pm

Another point to keep adv. troop pods as a separate tech:
You only need to redesign the ships once for each game. And you can have such designs saved from previous games and ordered in a fashion that appear before the regular troop ships. Only annoyance for this, IMO, is to have to "obsolete" old designs you don't want to be shown, but that I have to do many often regardless of the troop parts (in fact, I did delete most standard designs that come with the game and I never use, but I don't do it anymore since I have to repeat it after each master pull or test version download).

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Re: Auto better troop pods

#11 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:05 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Vezzra wrote:...having the tech also increase the build costs of the troop pod.
Not acceptable. Techs can't be turned on/off, so can't have negative effects like this (possibly outside special cases, which this isn't).
I know that design rule and thought of it.

In this case the cost per effective troop stays the same as the cost of the part as well as the number of troops in it doubles.


What would change though is the cost per ship design.

(And maybe you couldnt design your ships to the exact number of troops before, so in worst case you would be wasting the cost of one troop (3.42PP) per planet you take) in the normal case you would save a lot PP because you need to build less ships.

So for troops id say that the negative effect is the special case.
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#12 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:36 pm

Oberlus wrote:Another point to keep adv. troop pods as a separate tech:
You only need to redesign the ships once for each game. And you can have such designs saved from previous games and ordered in a fashion that appear before the regular troop ships. Only annoyance for this, IMO, is to have to "obsolete" old designs you don't want to be shown, but that I have to do many often regardless of the troop parts (in fact, I did delete most standard designs that come with the game and I never use, but I don't do it anymore since I have to repeat it after each master pull or test version download).
Maybe this bothering me because i play on a laptop without mouse. Without mouse the UI to add/remove/obsolete design sucks a bit.

Adding is the easiest because the designs only become available if you already have the tech.

In my opinion the obsolete techs clutters things up a lot. It doesnt show so much with troop and colony pods, because you can upgrade them only once and usually you dont have many designs based on them (two to four colonizer designs, two to six invasion designs). So an example from when fuel techs were still separate: Lets say you have one colony design you keep using - a protoplasmic hull with one fuel, armor, stealth tech and a colony pod.
So lets say you research 2 fuel techs, 1 colony tech, 2 stealth techs and 2 armor techs. This lead to 3*2*3*3==54 meaningful protoplasmic colonizer designs you have to manage. Ok, I exaggerated, thats the total number of combinations, so thats rather the reason why you have to manually design these while playing and cant really predesign them. But still each tech leads to a redesign of hulls with that part. So in normal games, with one protoplasmic colonizer, the in-system colonizer and a basic colonizer this would mean (2+1+2+2) + (0+1+0+0) + (0+1+0+2) design upgrades, so 14 different designs need to be managed for colonization. For troops its more (i guess about double).

So I dont think the argument that other things are more micromanagy and everybody got used to this annoiance holds.

The argument that you could change it easier if it stays two parts is the most valid I think. If the balance stays like it is, I think we could overcome the technical problems that were mentioned in an acceptable way. If we have only one tech, the rule geoff mentioned (no negative effects by researching an advanced tech) constrains the balancing. For troop pods we might be interested to introduce different kind of troops and maybe some people also like to balance-ship-hull-vs-part-cost "mini-game". For colony pods at least i believe we would never breakt that rule follow as there is only one part in every design.

If at the moment (in the coming six months) it is not planned to balance troops pods in different way, one could say that its ok to remove the part now and add it again to the game when we need the balancing(?).

But all that said: maybe its more worthwhile to improve the UI than fixing the parts, because it helps also with the cases where you cant fix the parts without removing something interesting from the game.

So for a start what I would like to suggest is a "obsolete tech" category. E.g. you could right click the mass driver, choose "Obsolete tech and all designs with Mass Driver". All designs having mass driver parts become obsolete and also the part in would not be shown in the design view in "Available", but in "Obsolete" tech. If we can easily obsolete techs, we can also predesign more designs without cluttering the design view and production view.
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#13 Post by Dilvish » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:33 pm

I like this last suggestion, improving the UI, much better as an avenue for alleviating the difficulty of playing with limited hardware support than I do the idea of content being constrained by not-so-common hardware constraints. (Can I suggest you buy a mouse? :D )

I have also long mulled a design obsoleting system. What you propose is a bit simpler than what I had in mind (and very similar to the obsolete parts-hiding I had implemented before we had auto-upgrades) but would certainly help and be easier to implement than the system I'd like to get to. I'd like to have a ranked, transitive obsoleting process (I suppose the ranking could just be taken from the order that obsolete designations are made, that idea has just come to me and I think would really do a lot to ease implementation) and so that the BuildWnd would always should the non-obsolete designs able to be built at that location. So that if you build an asteroid reformation processor somewhere and obsolete zortrium, but then have an isolated system where you can't build the rock armor, it would still show you designs with zortrium.
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Re: Auto better troop pods

#14 Post by LGM-Doyle » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:35 pm

Extending the (obsolete, available, unavailable) categories to cover hulls and parts, was the next step I had planned after extending the saved designs and allowing obsoleting of designs. I have started work on this addition.

Dilvish, the plan that you are suggesting sounds automatic and mandatory. Would that prevent empires from intentionally building sub-standard ships in order to "gift" them to an "ally"?

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Re: Auto better troop pods

#15 Post by Dilvish » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:58 am

LGM-Doyle wrote:Dilvish, the plan that you are suggesting sounds automatic and mandatory. Would that prevent empires from intentionally building sub-standard ships in order to "gift" them to an "ally"?
No, neither mandatory nor automatic (at least not in the way I think of automatic, you'd have to tell it what you want to make obsolete and whether to show or hide them), and I'd want to add a way that you could show and hide obsolete designs the same as you can show or hide unavailable designs (or at least largely the same, maybe as a separate checkbox or something since it does not really add a third category not overlapping with available/unavailable). For some purposes I build 'substandard' ships for my own use, I wouldn't want to limit a player's ability to do that.

That's partly why I really prefer the design-by-design-with-transitivity approach rather than just a part-wise approach to obsoletion, I like the extra flexibility. But the part-wise approach has the benefit of seeming far simpler to implement.
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