Field upgrades, especially for weapons

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MatGB
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#16 Post by MatGB »

Vezzra wrote: Please consider we're not talking about a rather minor enhancement here, we're talking about a considerable jump in available firepower. One of our design goals concerning techs and research is that we do not want to have a lot of cheap, minor improvements when researching new techs, but make techs more expensive and have them provide a significant improvement instead. Meaning, if you research a weapon refinement, you're supposed to get a significantly improved weapon.
And that's the disconnect I think, because I wasn't parsing the current weapon stats and refinements in that way, the opposite is closer to the truth currently.

To research Laser 1, it's 60 RP and 8 turns, whereas Laser 2 is only 40 RP and 2 turns, generally your research output is improving substantially at this point. Yes, laser 3 is more, at 60 and 2 turns, but given it's equivalent to Plasma1, which is 300 and 8 turns, the costs don't really compare. Plasma1 and Laser3 are as strong as each other, but L3 is cheaper to produce and takes less time, to get to it after L1 you need 100 RP and 4 turns.

Even Death Rays, which are the most expensive refinements, only double at the highest end, from 15 to 30 base damage, but the costs for DR4 is massive (then, at the stage you're researching it it doesn't seem expensive).

Currently, therefore, refinements are the exact opposite of what you'r ethinking of, and I'm thinking entirely about balance within the game as is, you're thinking more about what we want it to be.

Ergo, if we introduce refinements in this way, it would with the current stats not be at all problematic as the improvements are cheap and relatively minor, but it could be problematic if we make the refinements more powerful.

However, I'd say that introducing this mechanic would give a much greater scope for refinement techs and make their potential as an interesting research point on their own much better.

You would absolutely be right if refinement techs were massively more powerful and they could come into force while in enemy territory, I didn't have an objection to the latter happening because, in the current game, the former isn't true.

I now understand your objection and, for the most part, agree with it, but I think like you said the discussion has moved on in a way I like the idea of & that, I think, reduces your concerns and opens up a whole new load of potential for different refinements and similar in a way that, if it works, wouldn't be unbalanced.
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Dilvish
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#17 Post by Dilvish »

MatGB wrote:Even Death Rays, which are the most expensive refinements, only double at the highest end, from 15 to 30 base damage,
Weapon damage needs to be assessed in the context of shield DR, and in that context refinements truly can be massive increases (in some situations technically infinitely more damaging). That just doesn't seem to me like the kind of thing that should happen behind enemy lines. It sounds like we may be moving towards consensus on a mechanism, but I didn't quite follow all of your post there so I felt compelled to call more attention to this aspect of refinements.
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MatGB
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#18 Post by MatGB »

That's true, yes—I'd almost given up on shields as parts in my designs until I did the recent change so don't always consider them in the same way, so yes, having a fleet that was unable to hurt you turn into a threat overnight would be wrong, but then I've just this week reduced the strengths of the shields to make that less of a problem.

My not minding it behind the lines was because I couldn't think of a way to upgrade some but not all ships, and I'd rather have all upgrade than none. But the idea of making it a meter that requires supply to go up is a startlingly good one that solves that issue anyway, so it's effectively irrelevent.

One related observation, in my current game I'm using shields, and there are lots of molecular clouds. I've noticed that shields don't replenish if you're in an enemy system, but do if you're travelling or stationary in neutral territory with no combat. Is that intended?

I bring it up here as it's possible to be in supply while blockading, at that point you can refuel, I suspect it'd be better if weapons don't upgrade in the way shields don't replenish (and it might be better UI if we made all three work exactly the same way? No refueling while in an enemy system? Might be annoying but consistency is good).
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Bigjoe5
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#19 Post by Bigjoe5 »

So if we ever have refinements that aren't just damage increases, we will need to add a part meter for that refinement? For example if we wanted some kind of "shield-piercing laser" refinement, we would need to add a "shield-piercing" part meter to use for the damage calculation, which only increases when in supply range, and then have the refinement increase the max "shield-piercing" of the part? And are we going to track these meters per part, or per ship?, because this example doesn't work at all if they're tracked per ship.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#20 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Bigjoe5 wrote:So if we ever have refinements that aren't just damage increases, we will need to add a part meter for that refinement?
Depends on how a part works. For any part that increases an existing meter, part-specific or general, refinements that increase the meter more don't need anything extra.

For a "shield-piercing" effect, I don't think that should be a refinement. If shield-piercing was going to be added to the combat system, then it would probably need to be added as a part meter.

Other specific examples might have different ways of being handled.

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Vezzra
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#21 Post by Vezzra »

MatGB wrote:One related observation, in my current game I'm using shields, and there are lots of molecular clouds. I've noticed that shields don't replenish if you're in an enemy system, but do if you're travelling or stationary in neutral territory with no combat. Is that intended?
What do you mean by "replenish"? Or are you talking about planetary shields? Because ship shields don't get depleted, they reduce damage, how can they replenish?
I bring it up here as it's possible to be in supply while blockading, at that point you can refuel, I suspect it'd be better if weapons don't upgrade in the way shields don't replenish (and it might be better UI if we made all three work exactly the same way? No refueling while in an enemy system? Might be annoying but consistency is good).
I assume by "enemy system" you mean a contested system, with enemy forces present (ships and/or planets)? And you mean weapons shouldn't upgrade (and ships shouldn't refuel) when in a contested system, even if it's supply connected, right? I agree, sounds reasonable. Even if your fleets are "just" blockading an enemy planet, I'd consider that a combat situation, and I think I prefer ships not being able to refuel/repair/upgrade their weapons in that case. Makes sieges more difficult.

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Dilvish
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#22 Post by Dilvish »

Vezzra wrote:Because ship shields don't get depleted,
He mentioned Molecular Clouds, which do effectively deplete ship shields. I hadn't noticed them not replenishing unless the ships were in supply; I'll have to pay attention to that going forward.
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Vezzra
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#23 Post by Vezzra »

Dilvish wrote:He mentioned Molecular Clouds, which do effectively deplete ship shields. I hadn't noticed them not replenishing unless the ships were in supply; I'll have to pay attention to that going forward.
Ah, that's what's going on. Always thought once ships got out of the could, their shields instantly go back up to full strength, like you I never noticed that this only happens within supply. Well, will have to look out for that too.

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MatGB
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#24 Post by MatGB »

Vezzra wrote:
Dilvish wrote:He mentioned Molecular Clouds, which do effectively deplete ship shields. I hadn't noticed them not replenishing unless the ships were in supply; I'll have to pay attention to that going forward.
Ah, that's what's going on. Always thought once ships got out of the could, their shields instantly go back up to full strength, like you I never noticed that this only happens within supply. Well, will have to look out for that too.
I thought that was what was meant to happen, but in recent games I've noticed it doesn't. I have no idea if this is new behaviour as I rarely used shields before, but they definitely aren't going back up if you're in combat in some form when the cloud ceases to affect you. and it's not within supply, it's just not in combat, they do replenish if moving as far as I can tell.
I assume by "enemy system" you mean a contested system, with enemy forces present (ships and/or planets)? And you mean weapons shouldn't upgrade (and ships shouldn't refuel) when in a contested system, even if it's supply connected, right? I agree, sounds reasonable. Even if your fleets are "just" blockading an enemy planet, I'd consider that a combat situation, and I think I prefer ships not being able to refuel/repair/upgrade their weapons in that case. Makes sieges more difficult.
Correct, yes, enemy system meaning system containing a planet owned by an enemy (but anything contested should probably count). they can't currently repair if blockading (deliberately scripted on my part, partially as I think that's right, partially as it makes mines actually do something) but can refuel.

They can repair if all ships in system are set to passive as the planets won't initiate a fight but no blockade happens either, can be useful, especially if you've captured the planet with the drydock first. I don't actually have a problem with that, if no combat is happening then you've retreated to the edge of system or in orbit around your own planet, and you can justify the other happening as well but I'm less keen on it.
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Vezzra
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#25 Post by Vezzra »

MatGB wrote:They can repair if all ships in system are set to passive as the planets won't initiate a fight but no blockade happens either, can be useful, especially if you've captured the planet with the drydock first. I don't actually have a problem with that, if no combat is happening then you've retreated to the edge of system or in orbit around your own planet, and you can justify the other happening as well but I'm less keen on it.
I think that's perfectly reasonable. As you said, that constitues a no-combat situation, so there is no reason to prevent repair/refueling/etc (assuming now that we harmonize those as you suggested) from happening. That actually presents the blockading player with a decision: continue the blockade at the price of not being able to repair/refuel/etc or lift the blockade and being able to repair/refuel/etc at the price of the sieged planet(s) no longer being cut off.

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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#26 Post by AndrewW »

Vezzra wrote:That actually presents the blockading player with a decision: continue the blockade at the price of not being able to repair/refuel/etc or lift the blockade and being able to repair/refuel/etc at the price of the sieged planet(s) no longer being cut off.
Split the fleet, move part of it to where it can repair/refuel/etc then swap with the part left blockading.

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Sloth
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#27 Post by Sloth »

Geoff the Medio wrote:That said, something like that could probably be implemented now with just FOCS changes by using specials to implement the upgrading on each ship.
I just had another idea how to do this with FOCS:
- A refinement tech will have an effect that adds a tag (like "Laser 2") to all supply connected ships each turn.
- Each ship part will check the ship it's on for refinements to calculate its effect.

Refinements that aren't tied to parts could also work the same way by creating macros which every hull shares.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#28 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Sloth wrote:- A refinement tech will have an effect that adds a tag (like "Laser 2") to all supply connected ships each turn.
Individual ships don't have tags. Hulls, parts, designs, building types, specials, species, etc. do. There is consequently no AddTag effect.

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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#29 Post by wheals »

Cool to see that my idea for this has been implemented. Thanks Geoff! :mrgreen:
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The Silent One
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Re: Field upgrades, especially for weapons

#30 Post by The Silent One »

I think this is a great improvement. Nice job!
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