Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

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

Moderators: Oberlus, Committer

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

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#31 Post by Dilvish »

well I've done some initial testing, though it's been hampered by the other bugs I've been running into with recent builds, so I haven't gotten to test it as well as I want yet. I am a little concerned about the rate of growth of the shielding, plus the fact that there can be 'auxiliary' ships present bearing the network shield part and contributing to the shielding of the 'primary' robotic hull line ships, even if those secondary ships don't have robotic line hulls. More specifically, it's seeming to me that I can build a lot of less expensive, stealthed, unarmed 'Shield Buddy' ships that won't ever go into combat to lose their stealth, but which can boost the main attack robotic ships up to effectively invulnerable levels of shielding.

I seem to recall some talk about changing that aspect of stealth once a side has attacked, but that's how it seems now. Plus, even without the cheaper 'Shield Buddy' ships, even with just a fleet of ships based on the standard Robotic Hull, it is seeming like this effect gives too much shielding. I am suspecting it should be slower growth. Like I say, due to other current problems I haven't been able to test it thoroughly yet, but wanted to give you my initial thoughts.
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
Ta'Lon
Space Squid
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#32 Post by Ta'Lon »

Perusing this thread, I see some pretty interesting concepts.

Something that just popped into my mind in relation to the Robotic vs Organic thing was Psionic abilities.

I.E. a Psionic race may be able to react more quickly than a simple Organic species, as they are controlling/communicating directly with their vessels using telepathy, as opposed to via an interface.

Such abilities would tie in with the Organic/Symbiotic Hulls tech line, and wouldn't work for your run of the mill Asteroid/Tin Can. Perhaps as a balancing feature this would incur a minor penalty to such races using Asteroids/Tin Cans, as they aren't 'comfortable' in those environments.

Also, said Psionic crews would be vulnerable to feedback when their ships are damaged (their ship is in pain), so perhaps a reduction in structural strength, or a penalty to accuracy when damaged or some such?

This would likely tie in with a revamp/balancing/beefing up of the Psionic tech tree, as has been suggested in numerous threads.
Conquering the galaxy, one planet at a time...

Any artwork that I submit for use in the graphics forum is submitted under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License.

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

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#33 Post by yandonman »

Removed "shield buddy" aspect
Added explanation and lore
Gave part a new icon.
Made location require a robotic species for this part to be built into a ship (prevents accidentally building it with the wrong species).

Didn't change algorithm as I can't win a game with this part, however I did refactor the algorithm part into a macro for easier editing in light of any future balance feedback.

I'd like to have this submitted so that it can get some testing.
Attachments

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

robotic-interface-shields.png
robotic-interface-shields.png (5.37 KiB) Viewed 1112 times
Code released under GPL 2.0. Content released under GPL 2.0 and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12818
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#34 Post by Geoff the Medio »

yandonman wrote:Removed "shield buddy" aspect
What does the patch actually do then? I thought that was the main feature...

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#35 Post by MatGB »

As soon as Vezzra can get a test version up that isn't broken in some way or other I'll be installing the patch, I've done so twice now then realised game was unplayable for this sort of thing so I've been testing things I can test, I like the idea but it'll need cost balancing with the other stuff we've got in mind.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#36 Post by MatGB »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
yandonman wrote:Removed "shield buddy" aspect
What does the patch actually do then? I thought that was the main feature...
It was installable on other ships that wouldn't get the bonus but would give the bonus to warships, bit nasty, potentially, build a chunk of decoys with it and your home fleet defenders can be invulnerable, it's recoded (from my reading) so it can only be installed on and only works on the right hulltypes.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#37 Post by yandonman »

"Shield buddy": Staffed with a robotic species, in the case of 1 organic with network shield part and 1 robo-hull with network shield part, the Robo-hull would get 1 shield and the organic hull would get none. Or, one gravictic ship (w/ part) and 100 organic ships (w/ part) would give the gravictic ship ~25 shields, though the organic ships would have 0 shields. Or 100 colony bases (w/ part) would make any robotic hull ship (w/ part) have ~25 shields, though each of the "decoy" colony base w/ part ships would have 0 shields.

(also, what MattGB said)
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: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#38 Post by Dilvish »

yandonman wrote:"Shield buddy": ... Or, one gravictic ship (w/ part) and 100 organic ships (w/ part) would give the gravictic ship ~25 shields, though the organic ships would have 0 shields.
Or, a gravitic ship with this part and a Deflector shield, plus 9 stealthed static multicellulars with this part and one of the cloaking parts, giving the gravitic ship shields of 16 if I'm reading things right, far easier to get and much sooner than in other ways (excluding luck with ruins lottery). Or a more realistic ratio, 4 such gravitics with 13 stealthed shield buddies, the gravitics would each have shielding of 19 I think. The more basic gameplay bugs lately had kept me from testing that out and verifying this though. So, that's why I'm thinking that restricting it all to only robotic line hulls makes sense.

Hopefully I'll be able to do some more testing of this part later tonight or tomorrow.
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: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#39 Post by yandonman »

Dilvish wrote:Or, a gravitic ship with this part and a Deflector shield, plus 9 stealthed static multicellulars with this part and one of the cloaking parts, giving the gravitic ship shields of 16 if I'm reading things right
No on this one. It uses the same stacking group as shields, which means that the greater of the two (networked shields OR defelctor shields) would be used. In this case, that would mean 9 shields. If there were only 3 other ships present, then the gravictic would have shields of 7 (from the deflector shield).
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: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#40 Post by Dilvish »

yandonman, just to check, was it also part of your vision for this part that it would make the Robotic hulls viable as-is from the get-go, with no need for organics or asteroids for an initial growth period? I can try to test it out along those lines if so, but otherwise I would be saving it for more of a mid-game thing when it works out better to go with more powerful/expensive ship builds.

Making that hull line is a much bigger topic, but I'll mention something that comes to mind just now -- I think it would make a BIG difference for the line if it had something to offer the early game. One idea that comes to mind is changing the Spatial Flux hull (base cost 50, 2 external slots, only 3 structure, 80 speed, regular detection), seems pretty uninteresting to me as it is. If it were just made comparable in price to the small asteroid hull (base cost 2, one external slot, one internal, 15 structure, 60 speed, poor detection) then it would a whole lot to make the robotic line useful in the early game.
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: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#41 Post by Dilvish »

The more I think about this adjustment to spatial flux hull, along with reducing the cost of the spatial flux drive tech to something like 25*tech_multiplier, i.e., 50 RP, the more I like it. It gives a small cheap fragile hull that for scouting and troops is superior to what could be had at a similar research cost from Organics or Asteroids. What those lines have that this doesn't is an inexpensive hull with internal slots for colonization. Seems like a tradeoff that is at least worth exploring.
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
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#42 Post by MatGB »

Currently, the Flux hull is completely pointless. I'm definitely in favour of either giving it a use or dumping it completely.

More generally, it's fairly obvious to me the more I do the numbers that certain hull types are really too expensive and other hull types are far too cheap.

I think that hulls that require lots of research and/or expensive or time consuming buildings should be cheaper than hulls you can churn out with just a shipyard or yard+drydock.

But the current differentials are too excessive and make some hulltypes, especially the very basic hulltypes, actively bad for the game (see the feedback thread for people not spotting how bad some hulls are).

So when I'm going through to reassess things and propose new costings for the hulls themselves (not going to touch the techs, yet, I think that's another can of worms), should I be looking to increase undercosted ships, decrease over costed ships or a bit of both?

I'm personally inclined to mostly do a bit of both, but with more emphasis on decreasing instead of increasing. But the balance needs to ensure that spamming out cheap ships isn't as easy as it currently is for an experienced player.

I'm also thinking the descriptions of most of the hulls in en.txt and the pedia need completely reworking, with a bit more guidance given to relevent strength for a newer player.

Also...

Does anyone use most of the hulls in premade ship designs? The AI doesn't seem to. I definitely think they need rethinking unless we're going to make the basic hulls massively more competetive than they currently are. I'd also like to add a few in that I find myself always building, with improved descriptions for basic common stuff.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#43 Post by yandonman »

Dilvish wrote:was it also part of your vision for this part that it would make the Robotic hulls viable as-is from the get-go, with no need for organics or asteroids for an initial growth period?
Kinda - yes and no. I did not want to make the part required to make the Robotic hulls viable. I did envision that the strategy of using this part would require an investment to make it work. I did imagined that an early investment would be the best approach, but that wasn't a goal.

Main objectives:
* New 'teamwork' gameplay mechanic (modeled after ST:CCG's Rouge Borg Mercenaries)
* Add a unique play-style to the robotic line (flavoring)
* Buff the robotic line somewhat
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: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#44 Post by Dilvish »

ok, so I've committed a revised version of the patch, and a couple other changes mentioned above that no one objected to, to help make the robotic line of hulls more competitive. I've done enough testing to find this fun to experiment with & conclude it's not obviously unbalanced, but it may of course wind up needing further adjustments after more review & feedback.

As far as direct revisions to the patch--
* All the other shields have a max shielding of 20, I didn't see why this should be higher so put it at 20 also.
* I made the shielding growth curve a little smoother by reordering the operations (FOCS exponentiation includes a final int() operation); I also changed the multiplicative factor so that slower growth starts at shield level 7 and overall growth thereafter is slightly slower.

Additional changes --
* made SH_ROBOTIC Hulls a little more competitive by reducing their cost from 75*upkeep to 60*upkeep
* reduced tech cost of 2nd robotic hull, spatial flux, from 150 to 50, more in line with organic and asteroid hulls
* drastically reduced cost of SH_SPATIAL_FLUX hull, to 6*upkeep, and reduced its fuel from 10 to 6

MatGB wrote:Does anyone use most of the hulls in premade ship designs? The AI doesn't seem to. I definitely think they need rethinking unless we're going to make the basic hulls massively more competetive than they currently are. I'd also like to add a few in that I find myself always building, with improved descriptions for basic common stuff.
The AI doesn't, but mostly that was because I didn't want the AI dependent on what anyone did with their premade design list. I don't think the premade design list should try to be comprehensive; I meant it to just be enough to get beginners through the first stages of a game and give them time to learn things & start making their own designs. It could probably stand some changes, sure, but I don't think we should put in a large set of anyone's preferred designs.

I've added a number to my own local files, but part of the fun (I think) is learning to make your own designs, so I wouldn't want to coddle players with too many designs. Perhaps at least one design for each hull, though, so players will always get an obvious reminder that they have a new hull to work with (more obvious than requiring them to check their available hulls list). Why don't you start another thread to discuss that more.
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
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship and ship parts balancing and flavor ideas

#45 Post by MatGB »

Dilvish wrote: I've added a number to my own local files, but part of the fun (I think) is learning to make your own designs, so I wouldn't want to coddle players with too many designs. Perhaps at least one design for each hull, though, so players will always get an obvious reminder that they have a new hull to work with (more obvious than requiring them to check their available hulls list). Why don't you start another thread to discuss that more.
Definitely agree with that, I'll play with some ideas when I've time and then start a thread with it—I'm mostly thinking of either a) designs you pretty much always make if you use a tech, like Cryonic Colony bases, or b) stuff that isn't as obvious, like a larger troop ship or similar. I'll think it through more and start a thread when I've time.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Post Reply