Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

Creation, discussion, and balancing of game content such as techs, buildings, ship parts.

Moderators: Oberlus, Committer

Post Reply
Message
Author
yandonman
Creative Contributor
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:32 am

Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#1 Post by yandonman »

Reduced Gravitating and Titantic hulls' fleet upkeep to 1% (was 5%) - base hull cost is so high, fleet upkeep % really hurts it; attempting to make it more viable.
Attachments

[The extension patch has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]

Code released under GPL 2.0. Content released under GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

Burkey
Space Squid
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:20 pm

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#2 Post by Burkey »

yandonman wrote:Reduced Gravitating and Titantic hulls' fleet upkeep to 1% (was 5%) - base hull cost is so high, fleet upkeep % really hurts it; attempting to make it more viable.
What... there is fleet upkeep??

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#3 Post by Dilvish »

he's talking about the increased cost of building the hull portion of each next ship: base * ( 1 + total_ships*upkeep% ) Your ships that have been destroyed don't count against that. The base cost of hulls is generally about at least as expensive as all the parts that can fit into it, and so this increase on the hull cost become a very significant thing as total fleet sizes grow. One way of looking at that increase is as a prepaid upkeep cost.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#4 Post by Dilvish »

Looking this over, and thinking about it, I think this is way too huge of a change in favor of these hulls. Reducing their dependence on fleet size compared to the other hulls, as opposed to reducing base cost, guarantees that at some point as fleet sizes grow one of these will be the only reasonable choice for future construction, which seems totally wrong and too hard to try balancing. Adjusting base cost could certainly be reasonable though, but as I explain below, I'm not sure it's needed.

Let me first talk through some value comparisons of the ship hulls without the upkeep, and then with the regular 5% rate, and then talk about what the 1% increase would mean.

If we compare a titanic hull to, say, a sentient hull -- the former has about 3 times the structure (though armor/shields would reduce that difference) and can house a little over 2 and a half times as many weapons as the latter. If we just looked at this one on one, of one versus handful, I'd estimate that a titanic ship is worth roughly 5 times a sentient ship, not taking into account fleet upkeep cost increases. So on that basis, and imagining no fleet upkeep, and if we start with the sentient hull cost of 16, we could estimate the titanic hull value as maybe around 80 (again, I'll acknowledge there are other differences & this is just a very rough ballparking). I think that would be pretty fair relative values if there were no fleet upkeep or if total fleet sizes were tiny.

Let's take a minute to consider fleet upkeep cost increases -- once we have a total fleet of 100 Sentients, which could be (perhaps) roughly matched by a total fleet of 20 Titanics, then our next 5 sentient hulls are going to cost us each about 6 times base cost, or ~480 total, whereas the next, matching, one titanic hull is only going to cost around 2 times base cost, which would suggest the fair base cost would be around 240, if we chose that overall fleetsize as our balance point. If we look at a total fleet of 500 Sentients, which could be (perhaps) roughly matched by a total fleet of 100 Titanics, then our next 5 sentient hulls are going to cost us each about 26 times base cost, or ~2080 total, whereas the next, matching, one titanic hull is only going to cost around 5 times base cost, which would suggest the fair base cost would be around 400, which coincidentally is the pre-adjustment base cost for them. If we scale up total fleet sizes from there the comparison stays about the same -- the 400 base cost for titanics is roughly balanced versus sentients for total fleets starting around 80 or so titanics versus 400 or so sentients, and roughly holds going forward, with the 5% upkeep considered for both.

If we give the titanics only 1% upkeep, then at 100 sentients / 20 titanics, our next set of 5 sentients is still costing us ~480 total, and the the matching titanic would now cost 480 -- so we're balanced at this point. But the different cost growths drastically skew things going forward. At 500 sentients / 100 titanics, with the next 5 sentients costing ~2080 total, the next titanic would only cost ~800, so it already drastically favors the titanics and only gets more extreme as the total fleet sizes grow. So that really doesn't seem like the kind of thing we're shooting for.

My value comparisons are of course rough estimates, & only look at these two hulls (both are distinctly value-inferior compared to fractal hulls for example), & different folks could very reasonably think the base costs should get balanced differently, but I think it's pretty clear that the distortions of having different upkeep /cost-growth rates would apply no matter what.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
Bigjoe5
Designer and Programmer
Posts: 2058
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Orion

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#5 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Dilvish wrote:Looking this over, and thinking about it, I think this is way too huge of a change in favor of these hulls. Reducing their dependence on fleet size compared to the other hulls, as opposed to reducing base cost, guarantees that at some point as fleet sizes grow one of these will be the only reasonable choice for future construction, which seems totally wrong and too hard to try balancing.
For this very reason, the 0.05 should be the same for all hulls, always, and furthermore, that value should be defined in a macro somewhere and referenced, so it can be altered easily, instead of repeating the literal "0.05" for every hull.
Warning: Antarans in dimensional portal are closer than they appear.

User avatar
Sloth
Content Scripter
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:28 am

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#6 Post by Sloth »

Bigjoe5 wrote: For this very reason, the 0.05 should be the same for all hulls, always, and furthermore, that value should be defined in a macro somewhere and referenced, so it can be altered easily, instead of repeating the literal "0.05" for every hull.
I agree and my attached patch does just that.

There was also a mistake that changed the buildtime instead of the buildcost of the Nanorobotic hull with the "1 + 0.05 * ..." formula. This has been fixed as well.
Attachments

[The extension patch has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]

All released under the GNU GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licences.

yandonman
Creative Contributor
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#7 Post by yandonman »

Very interesting feedback, and very appreciated.
Looking this over, and thinking about it, I think this is way too huge of a change in favor of these hulls. Reducing their dependence on fleet size compared to the other hulls, as opposed to reducing base cost, guarantees that at some point as fleet sizes grow one of these will be the only reasonable choice for future construction, which seems totally wrong and too hard to try balancing.
Even with these changes, I feel that the research line required to go Self-Gravitating (then later Titanic) will lose a player the game. The organic line is RP cheap and quick to research incrementally better ships. The robotic line has a big RP investment to get a big ship, and there's fewer ships. Also, the organic ships are base hull PP cheaper than the Self-Gravitating, which means in the early to mid-late game organics still rule.

Getting to the point in the game where there are 100 Sentient ships on the board is pretty late game (greater than turn 250?). So in theory, everything pre-100 Sentient ships is more cost effective for the organics. So the choice to the player is "do I gimp myself early by investing in the robotics line to get a more cost effective fleet late game?"

I would love some real play feedback from anyone.

Too hard? Come now, I would have thought writing an AI would be too hard. ;)

(from a game design/balancing philosophy, I am adamant about giving the player interesting choices - and very adamant about avoiding the "one choice only" situation. This patch is experimenting a tad - your theory may very well prove right, but I'd like to see it proven one way or the other)
Code released under GPL 2.0. Content released under GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

User avatar
Bigjoe5
Designer and Programmer
Posts: 2058
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Orion

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#8 Post by Bigjoe5 »

If there's less incentive to use constructed hulls than there should be, then by all means, buff them, decrease their research cost, decrease their build cost, or do whatever else you want to do - just don't do it in a way that breaks things, like changing the exponent on the build cost modifier would.
Warning: Antarans in dimensional portal are closer than they appear.

User avatar
Sloth
Content Scripter
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:28 am

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#9 Post by Sloth »

yandonman wrote: Even with these changes, I feel that the research line required to go Self-Gravitating (then later Titanic) will lose a player the game. The organic line is RP cheap and quick to research incrementally better ships. The robotic line has a big RP investment to get a big ship, and there's fewer ships. Also, the organic ships are base hull PP cheaper than the Self-Gravitating, which means in the early to mid-late game organics still rule.
I haven't tested enough to give real data, but i think you are right that going for Self-Gravitating/Titanic is a bad route at the moment.

I would like to point out though that the large number of ships is suspected to be a reason for slowdowns in FO. So raising some costs should be the better direction than reducing the others.
All released under the GNU GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licences.

unjashfan
Creative Contributor
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:08 am

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#10 Post by unjashfan »

The organic line is RP cheap and quick to research incrementally better ships. The robotic line has a big RP investment to get a big ship, and there's fewer ships. Also, the organic ships are base hull PP cheaper than the Self-Gravitating, which means in the early to mid-late game organics still rule.
I think some of the earlier constructed hulls could have reduced production cost. Since the organics rock so much early game, the early game predominantly revolves around who can incubate these ships the fastest. The production cost jump from the small and medium hulls to the organics is also pretty extreme - suddenly an empire would be able to produce 3-4x more ships once organics are available. I think the organics dominating early game takes some flavour out of the game. Wouldn't a fleet of robotics vs a fleet of organics be more exciting?

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#11 Post by Dilvish »

I agree it's a pretty darn extreme drop in costs once the first organic hull comes online; probably shouldn't be quite such a big deal. Maybe they should step up, like starting with something more akin to a small basic hull or a small asteroid hull, then medium and maybe then on to the current Organic hull.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

yandonman
Creative Contributor
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#12 Post by yandonman »

Looking this over, and thinking about it, I think this is way too huge of a change in favor of these hulls. Reducing their dependence on fleet size compared to the other hulls, as opposed to reducing base cost, guarantees that at some point as fleet sizes grow one of these will be the only reasonable choice for future construction, which seems totally wrong and too hard to try balancing.
%5 of 10 is a lot different than 5% of 100. As is, the lower costing hull will start out, and stay, the only reasonable choice for construction. At least with some hulls having high initial cost but low upkeep percentage, they would be a bad choice at the beginning, and then become a good choice later.
Code released under GPL 2.0. Content released under GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#13 Post by Dilvish »

yandonman wrote:At least with some hulls having high initial cost but low upkeep percentage, they would be a bad choice at the beginning, and then become a good choice later.
And then becoming the only choice shortly thereafter? Anyways, sorry I didn't pick up on the reference in the other thread you started.

What size is your current total fleet, and what is the rough breakdown between hull types? One of the things that I've thought about following on the above conversation in this thread, is that while above, I compared an all-titanic armada to an all-sentient armada, but the actual process of swapping an armada over to all-titanic might be painful and have significant transition costs. That might be some of what you're experiencing in the game you posted the screen from in the other thread.

also, could you please specify what exactly are the structure, shields, and attack numbers of the ships you want to discuss? If you want to get into the detail in the other thread that's fine.

**edit** I know the detailed ship tally will be kind of a pain, but it's hard to have a good discussion without that. The objects window can help some, but it looks like although it can display owner, it doesn't seem to actually let you filter by owner (or am I missing something, can you sort by column?)
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12861
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Minor Patch: Gravitic and Titantic reduced upkeep

#14 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Dilvish wrote:The objects window can help some, but it looks like although it can display owner, it doesn't seem to actually let you filter by owner (or am I missing something, can you sort by column?)
Missing / incomplete features...

Post Reply