IMHO: This project has just lost its MoO feeling

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DeathAndPain
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#16 Post by DeathAndPain » Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:45 am

Aquitaine wrote:
Automated or Infrastructure buildings: you get these everywhere and never have to explicitly build them. Basically just tech advances. Some might only exist on certain worlds or require pre-eqs (like foci) but this seems unlikely.
Now you are contradicting yourself (although I am pleased with it). In the initial text with which you started the "Public Review II: Buildings" thread you wrote:
Making building decisions should be the exception and not the rule; the majority of building progress and technology that is mirrored on every planet should be 'factored out' into an infrastructure meter.
These words are clear: Abstraction from concrete buildings on the planets, and a boring infrastructure meter as replacement. And your comparing them with tech advances gives me the impression you still stick to that idea. You research a building, you have it, and it benefits all your planets without being built. It just increases the infrastructure meter.

Tyreth says concerning this:
As for planet images, we are still having the common buildings, but they are placed automatically.
Either he is unaware of your plans that these buildings will only be treated as tech advancements and not really be built (which means that they are not placed automatically, because a building cannot be placed if it is not constructed), or he just means that the tech advancements will be shown as graphical buildings on all your planets, with not a single planet having to actually erect them. That would mean newly-colonized worlds looking just like well-developed ones, because all the standard buildings pop out of nowhere as soon as your settlers place foot on the ground.

snakechia wrote:
Bold statement to say this game's economy is not like any MOO game, when in fact MOO 1 did not have ANY planet detail and very limited economic model. MOO 3 had VERY limited planet detail (at least that you controlled with any consistency). Maybe you meant that this game is unlike any MOO 2 you've ever played....there ain't nothin' wrong with that.
I admit that I never played MoO1. But MoO3 is very detailed concerning planetary buildings. You can order a number of buildings on the planetary level (or have your viceroy cretin do it for you). On top of that every DEA will build add-on buildings on its own. This is all listed in detail in the infrastructure view of your planet. I agree that MoO3 lacks the corresponding eye candy. (MoO3 graphics is not very overwhelming anyway.) But the detail is there.

Tyreth wrote:
On the contrary, planets will be more unique. You have a limited number of slots, and the buildings that you fill these slots with are semi-wonders.
What is a semi-wonder if you can have several of them on every single planet? I do not remember where I read it, but as far as I remember, a semi-wonder is a building that exists once per empire (or perhaps two or three, but not more). How many different "semi-wonders" are you going to have, if after colonizing 100 planets, you are still able to place several of them upon every planet? What you are saying just makes no sense. And if only some of your planets hold such wonders, then what I said applies: The rest looks just the same.

Concerning the wonders that you did build: What is the point of having a wonder on a certain planet if it does not really matter where that planet is, because everything it produces goes to the ominous "pool"? Ok, you will place the wonders on your most effective planets, but that's about it.

Tyreth wrote:
Planets with high RP output in MoO/SMAC were known and important to me when I played the game, even though RP was globally pooled.
Important in that you did not want to lose them. Otherwise, it did not matter at all.

Tyreth wrote:
Anyway, this is not a sudden decision. There has been much discussion on the topic for a long time, involving everyone in the community.
Yes. And when even drek became pensive because he just could not easily wipe away the arguments that spoke against it, the decision was made in favor of pool production without further comment.
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#17 Post by PowerCrazy » Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:26 am

Tyreth wrote:
There will be no lots of buildings that make a planet colorful. The planets will only differ by the length of their "infrastructuremeter" and occasionally a few special buildings.
You have a limited number of slots...
Not necessarilly.

Also DeathandPain, do you remeber Moo1? The original Moo? It was COMPLETELY different from Moo2 which to me "destroyed" the original MoO feel.
Besides FO has ALWAYS been about gameplay, not repeative build queues and no brainer decsions just so the player can feel like he is doing something.
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#18 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:51 am

Whenever i see someone complain that the game is moving away from the "great and perfect Moo2"... i breathe a great sigh of relief.

Seriously. If youre a Moo2 fan and youre not happy with the way FO is heading, then i am really, really glad.
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#19 Post by PowerCrazy » Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:54 am

Daveybaby wrote:Whenever i see someone complain that the game is moving away from the "great and perfect Moo2"... i breathe a great sigh of relief.

Seriously. If youre a Moo2 fan and youre not happy with the way FO is heading, then i am really, really glad.

hehe.
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#20 Post by noelte » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:29 am

Daveybaby wrote:Seriously. If youre a Moo2 fan and youre not happy with the way FO is heading, then i am really, really glad.
Hmm, what does this mean. If i'm a huge fan of MoO2 i will never get fun out of FO? and vice vesa? MoO2 and civ are the games i like most (after i got out of my ego shooter shoes;-)). i liked moo too. I expect fo to be different as MoO2 was to MoO (but not as MoO3 to MoO2 :-()

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#21 Post by vishnou00 » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:29 am

There is still that creepy dark interface. If that isn't the MoO feel, I wonder what is!
: joke :

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#22 Post by drek » Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:16 pm

Yes. And when even drek became pensive because he just could not easily wipe away the arguments that spoke against it, the decision was made in favor of pool production without further comment.
Must....resist...urge...to feed...trolls.

Must...resist.

hehe. Is pensive a bad thing? I never thought so before.

You have valid critisms DeathAndPain. Local queues have been used in two of my favorite games, and many more that I enjoy. There's little doubt that FO with local queues has the potential to be a great game.

FO with system queues, or FO with locally pool production (Daveybaby's thingy) might have been cool too. All of the above still might come to be, thanks to the GPLed code.

I just happened to like tzlaine's global queue/pool, for reasons explained elsewhere in detail. Though again, I'm hardly the guy to convince: as a longstanding tradition, Aq only gives me half a vote in the public reviews. (Nightfish, aka the other guy, gets negative one vote. Powercrazy's vote is randomized.)

I think you are trolling a little bit, as in fishing for a reaction. I hope you can tone it down and hang out, or at least check back in a month or three down the line.
Last edited by drek on Thu Jul 08, 2004 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#23 Post by Aquitaine » Thu Jul 08, 2004 12:55 pm

Aquitaine wrote:Automated or Infrastructure buildings: you get these everywhere and never have to explicitly build them. Basically just tech advances. Some might only exist on certain worlds or require pre-eqs (like foci) but this seems unlikely.
DeathAndPain wrote: Now you are contradicting yourself (although I am pleased with it). In the initial text with which you started the "Public Review II: Buildings" thread you wrote:

Making building decisions should be the exception and not the rule; the majority of building progress and technology that is mirrored on
every planet should be 'factored out' into an infrastructure meter.
I don't see the contradiction. Tech advances from infrastructure do not require specific build orders. As for something 'just increasing the infrastructure meter,' all a local queue does is build something that 'just has an effect.'
Either he is unaware of your plans that these buildings will only be treated as tech advancements and not really be built (which means that they are not placed automatically, because a building cannot be placed if it is not constructed), or he just means that the tech
Uh, a building cannot be placed if it is not constructed? What?
advancements will be shown as graphical buildings on all your planets, with not a single planet having to actually erect them. That would mean newly-colonized worlds looking just like well-developed ones, because all the standard buildings pop out of nowhere as soon as your settlers place foot on the ground.
Frankly, you're mistaken about the system. It seems to me as though you are making a lot of assumptions (just as you did in the public review thread, even when I suggested that it wasn't a good idea to do so) and that you aren't even fairly considering what was passed since you decided beforehand that you don't like it.

This conversation is coming dangerously close to trolldom, so I suggest you either find a point in this discussion besides just griping (in which case I will move it to Rants and Raves) or let the thread die.
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#24 Post by Ellestar » Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:37 pm

DeathAndPain wrote:
snakechia wrote:Bold statement to say this game's economy is not like any MOO game, when in fact MOO 1 did not have ANY planet detail and very limited economic model. MOO 3 had VERY limited planet detail (at least that you controlled with any consistency). Maybe you meant that this game is unlike any MOO 2 you've ever played....there ain't nothin' wrong with that.
I admit that I never played MoO1. But MoO3 is very detailed concerning planetary buildings. You can order a number of buildings on the planetary level (or have your viceroy cretin do it for you). On top of that every DEA will build add-on buildings on its own. This is all listed in detail in the infrastructure view of your planet. I agree that MoO3 lacks the corresponding eye candy. (MoO3 graphics is not very overwhelming anyway.) But the detail is there.
Hmm. Let's see at FO.

We have a meters and focus settings for each planet. Try to rename it to DEA preferences for a planet... You can't immediately see resulting effects of your settings - just like DEA plans for governors.

We have a global pool of resources (most important is that we have a global pools of food and minerals). Now try to imagine that you researched a tech or made a wonder with a bonus to mining for all planets with a focus in mining. Your task is to optimize economy efficiency. Basically, you must reduce excess minerals to near-zero. Good luck looking for a planets where it's more efficient to change focus. Also, you must calculate effects of your actions because you must reduce your mineral production by a some fixed number (you don't know this number by the way, you must calculate it too). When all become fine, you researched industry tech...

(this is only for a global building production): You researched a building that increases some meter on all planets in 1 starlane radius. Now you have a task to find a best place in your empire to place this building... I hope it's possible to dump a planetary data in excel spreadsheet to calculate it. Hopefully it doesn't give a bonus to something like industry/mining/food...
(if there is no global building production): It's like MoO2, but you must think (=calculate) if it's a good idea to build a buildings. I hope there aren't a lot of buildings (on the other side, it's somehow shouldn't be like Galactic Civilizations with only several good buildings - then it lacks depth).

So maybe i'm wrong, but IMHO from a gameplay perspective FO economy is like MoO3 without governors and with some additional micro and calculations on top of that.

I don't know why someone think that these ideas reduce micromanagement. IMHO this system just makes micromanagement worse because you must calculate results of your actions for all empire instead of some local object. Compare it to SMAC where generally you must decide on a per-city basis and some of your decisions depend on a chosen global economic strategy plan (so some of them are pre-planned). There is only one pooled resource - energy. Effects of buildings, techs and government settings are immediate.

Also, i don't like HoI research tree idea, it lacks strategy (despite it maybe seems over wise).

Of course, it's a worst possible scenario. But that's something i worry about.

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#25 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:07 pm

Or alternatively, something happens in the game and (say) your mineral production increases (hardly a significant problem, since IIRC you can probably stockpile a certain amount anyway). You know exactly how much you are overproducing, and you can easily find out exactly how much each of your planets is producing. So you find one or two which are producing an amount similar to the excess, and change their focus to produce something else instead. I imagine that if it was considered useful enough, then there would be some helper UI code which would indicate exactly what the outcome of your decision would be in terms of local and global mineral production per turn, allowing you to make an informed choice.

Hardly the end of the world.

I'm not a massive fan of the tech tree system either, but then i'm also of the opinion that its pretty much irrelevant how the tech tree is modeled in the long run, as long as the player has interesting and meaningful choices to make then the details of the mechanism are unimportant.
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#26 Post by Ellestar » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:38 pm

Daveybaby wrote:Or alternatively, something happens in the game and (say) your mineral production increases (hardly a significant problem, since IIRC you can probably stockpile a certain amount anyway). You know exactly how much you are overproducing, and you can easily find out exactly how much each of your planets is producing. So you find one or two which are producing an amount similar to the excess, and change their focus to produce something else instead. I imagine that if it was considered useful enough, then there would be some helper UI code which would indicate exactly what the outcome of your decision would be in terms of local and global mineral production per turn, allowing you to make an informed choice.
Yes, that's why i don't worry too much. But then it's a "no brainer decision". Also, it's better suited for AI.
By the way, you need information about what part of the production comes from a primary and secondary bonuses separately to make a decision. Also, there is more difficult task - to improve some other production in the process of reducing overproduction (because really overproduction itself isn't a problem, but non-efficient use of planets is).
Daveybaby wrote:I'm not a massive fan of the tech tree system either, but then i'm also of the opinion that its pretty much irrelevant how the tech tree is modeled in the long run, as long as the player has interesting and meaningful choices to make then the details of the mechanism are unimportant.
With HoI tech tree, it's almost impossible to switch techs. You make a decision at the start and stick to it because it will take too much time to research a new tech group. Even if you need it (say, to counter enemy strategy), you can't get it fast enough. More likely than not that you'll win or lose long before that.
It's not that big problem in HoI because it's a game with a fixed scenario, so it's ok to use fixed strategy (say, noone needs a big fleet when playing for USSR, but relative lack of IC, lots of manpower and ground borders suggest infantry as a main army).
But FO should be more flexible IMHO, it should be possible to change strategies to counter enemy actions.

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#27 Post by PowerCrazy » Fri Jul 09, 2004 6:25 am

Really the only similiarity with the Tech trees between FO and HOI is the X rp for Y turns thing. Everything esle is yet to be decided. We won't even have research until v.3 maybe v.4. So put your worries about removing strategy to rest, as far as tech is concerned.

The micro nightmare you envision is hardly likely. I doubt we are going to have specific wonders that you must place in an optimal place. Or if we do, that will be one of the interesting choices in the game. Not one that must be made every turn ad nauseum.

Your critisms are valid, but don't give up, and odn't just critisize. Come up with solutions, and if the solution you propose has already been decided against for one reason or another, find the thread and come up with another one. One of the best ways to contribute to the project is to READ, READ, READ, and THEN post and critisize.
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#28 Post by DeathAndPain » Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:10 am

daveybaby wrote:
Whenever i see someone complain that the game is moving away from the "great and perfect Moo2"... i breathe a great sigh of relief.
I agree. Who did?

daveybaby wrote:
Besides FO has ALWAYS been about gameplay, not repeative build queues and no brainer decsions just so the player can feel like he is doing something.
Yes. No brainer decisions can be automated; the player needs not be bothered with them. No reason to discard everything that makes the game colorful because it is related to such automatable decisions though.

drek wrote:
Is pensive a bad thing? I never thought so before.
Absolutely not! I was pleased that you became pensive rather than just showing an overbearing (not to say offensive) behavior like some others in this thread. The problem is that there is no sign of these considerations having been taken into account when the decision was made.

drek wrote:
FO with system queues, or FO with locally pool production (Daveybaby's thingy) might have been cool too. All of the above still might come to be, thanks to the GPLed code.
The problem is that in any software project, the later mistakes are recognized the higher the cost to correct them. Aquitaine knows that, or he would not execute such a professional approach with clearly predefined version steps and lots of discussion before writing the requirement specification. That is why I was so surprised he swept away all concerns so easily this time. (I know you protest, Aquitaine, but that is how it looked. Your decision was in ignorance of where the discussion had developed to.)

When the project is finally done, some mods may introduce some kind of localized production (I suppose that is what you mean, drek), but then the whole project, including all subsequent design decisions, is based on the pool model. Of course you can scamp in some localized production rather quickly, but it will not fit into the way the game has been designed. Modding the finally completed FO 1.0 into localized production and still making all parts of the game interact with each other in a reasonable manner would mean revamping half of the game if done properly.

Aquitaine wrote:
Uh, a building cannot be placed if it is not constructed? What?
The expression "being placed" is too much of a honor for a "building" that is not really being built. Let's face it: There are no regular infrastructure buildings. There are just some tech upgrades that bear the name of buildings. These upgrades are not placed or built on automatic, Tyreth - they are not built at all! The planets have lost this feature that would have allowed you to watch them grow up and prosper, seeing one of the buildings you researched after another being erected as the planet develops. All you will be watching is an infrastructure slider slowly moving to the right (or up or whatever it will be displayed like).

I never said the player must order all these buildings manually (like in MoO2), PowerCrazy. It is np if it happens on automatic, following a reasonable build order. Still you will have experiences like: "Hey, my new world just finished the Planetary Supercomputer! Cool!" rather than "hey, the slider of the research meter of my new world just moved another .5 inches to the right...".

Aquitaine wrote:
Frankly, you're mistaken about the system.
Perhaps I am, but in that case I am not sure whether it is because I am too foolish to get it, or if you have not explained it properly. After all your leader Tyreth expressed the assumption that we still have buildings, which are placed automatically and are being erected so that they can be displayed on the planetary screen. This contradicts your statements that buildings are reduced to mere tech improvements that effect the infrastructure meter.

Aquitaine wrote:
It seems to me as though you are making a lot of assumptions
I am interpreting the information you have given away the way I have understood it. If that leaves room for lots of wrong assumptions, then you did not express yourself clearly enough.

Aquitaine wrote:
and that you aren't even fairly considering what was passed since you decided beforehand that you don't like it.
Now you are "assuming" something... I explained my concerns in great detail and got no response other than several people saying that I got a good point. drek said he would consider them and reply later, but the thread was closed before he got the chance, and you did not care to drop a single word concerning them.

Aquitaine wrote:
This conversation is coming dangerously close to trolldom, so I suggest you either find a point in this discussion besides just griping (in which case I will move it to Rants and Raves) or let the thread die.
Please excuse my lack of education (might be because I am no native English speaker), but I am not sure about the exact meaning of the fashion word "trolldom" (along with its variants like "to troll"). I can guess its meaning at best. And the only meaning I could find for "griping" in the dictionary is a disease in the viscera...

Trying to interpret your words the way they appear to be meant (do not blame me if I misunderstand you this time), one point of this thread is to make up for/discuss the missing explanation of your decision which clearly was in favor of pool production although the corresponding discussion thread was way from being unanimous in that respect. I also wanted to shed a clear light upon the consequences that this decision, which I regard a major mistake, will have upon the project. On this background, I am of the opinion that the topic is appropiately placed in "General Discussion" (unless you cannot deal with criticism). It is not my fault that a few other participants became cynical in their replies (although I am all in all positively impressed by the discipline of the discussion in these forums).

Ellestar wrote:
We have a meters and focus settings for each planet. Try to rename it to DEA preferences for a planet... You can't immediately see resulting effects of your settings - just like DEA plans for governors.
Yes, but some time later I will be able to check out in detail what "attachments" my DEAs have built - and what planetary-level buildings have been erected on either my or my viceroy's command. All MoO3 lacks (in this respect) is a beautiful graphics displaying the developed planet. In FO, you will not have "buildings" that deserve that name - because buildings have been degraded to mere tech upgrades. As the consequence, the only thing you will watch erected on your planets is the infrastructure meter.

Ellestar wrote:
So maybe i'm wrong, but IMHO from a gameplay perspective FO economy is like MoO3 without governors and with some additional micro and calculations on top of that.
I do not see where the additional micro and calculations should come from. Your example of the 1 starlane radius improvement is what the "semi-wonder" idea aims for, and this is an idea I like. Then again, MoO3 already included it, so it is nothing "additional" as you put it. (MoO3 had several DEAs (like the Recreation DEA) with an outreach effect that influenced neighboring systems.)

Ellestar wrote:
I don't know why someone think that these ideas reduce micromanagement. IMHO this system just makes micromanagement worse because you must calculate results of your actions for all empire instead of some local object.
Definition:

Micromanagement: Handling things on a local (in our case: planetary) scale, meaning to babysit every single planet

Macromanagement: Handling things on a broader scale, with interplanetary or even empire-spanning effects as the scope.

So what you are saying actually means that not micro, but macro is increased. And that is our goal. That is also what daveybaby has not understood: that I am not proposing excessive MoO2-type micro. I would just like to have real worlds with real buildings (not abstract meters) developing, with the no-brainer decisions being made on automatic (sparing the player with them but still having him watch the outcome). The DEA attachments of MoO3 are a good example for this. You do not have to build them manually, but still they are real buildings that are erected. The real problem in MoO3 are the planetary buildings and DEAs, which the viceroy chooses in a foolish manner (unless you disable him and micro all planets on your own).

In reply to:
So you find one or two which are producing an amount similar to the excess, and change their focus to produce something else instead.
Ellestar wrote:
Yes, that's why i don't worry too much. But then it's a "no brainer decision". Also, it's better suited for AI.
If you take away even the choice of planetary focus from the player, then you can as well automate the whole economy and limit the player to conducting the fleet. Whether such a game can still be considered MoO-type remains to be discussed...
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#29 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:41 am

noelte wrote:
Daveybaby wrote:Seriously. If youre a Moo2 fan and youre not happy with the way FO is heading, then i am really, really glad.
Hmm, what does this mean. If i'm a huge fan of MoO2 i will never get fun out of FO? and vice vesa? MoO2 and civ are the games i like most (after i got out of my ego shooter shoes;-)). i liked moo too. I expect fo to be different as MoO2 was to MoO (but not as MoO3 to MoO2 :-()
It just means that i'm not a moo2 fan. At all. IMO it took all that was good about Moo1 and binned it, then added lots of tedious repetetive dross in its place. So anything that takes FO further away from Moo2 is a good thing as far as i am concerned - cos it means that i'm more likely to enjoy playing the game. And dont be too dismissive of Moo3's design - on paper it was almost the perfect sequel (which is why so many of us hung around there for so long) - most of its problems were implementation specific.

In the early days on these boards there was a highly vocal minority (?) who just seemed to want to remake Moo2 with better graphics, to the point that originally, thats what i thought the FO project was, which is why i initially stayed well away from here. It took me a while to realise that there was more going on than that, and that most of the design is heading in the right direction.
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#30 Post by vishnou00 » Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:55 am

DeathAndPain wrote:Absolutely not!
:)
DeathAndPain wrote:The problem is that in any software project, the later mistakes are recognized the higher the cost to correct them.
I disagree. That cost (in coding time & efforts) is already paid nearly in full to be modular. The biggest turn-around time will be at the game design level (for a game design decision).The danger risk of a community project is to lose its community. Many reasons can cause a community to dissolve, one of them is ignoring its members, however new or old (that's for the public review), another one is losing bearing (that's for the various design docs, specs and roadmap) and another one is not moving forward (that's for going for decisions that, while not unanimous, please a majority of the community). So, if there is a revision of a past game design decision, it will be mainly the game design people that will pay the cost to correct them. I don't know for you, but it is the design process I enjoy, more than the prospect of playing "the game of my dreams". That is, I will gladly try to achieve fun gameplay, even if we have to "revisit" the design process.

Other kind of decision may cause other people to suffer turn around time, like the present planet animations to rotating textured sphere, but that's between coding and art.
DeathAndPain wrote:Please excuse my lack of education (might be because I am no native English speaker)
Ah, fellow non native English speaker! Merriam-Webster is you friend. In that context, I'd say "griping" refers the second intransitive sense, "to complain with grumbling". For trolling, I'd refer to google searching for 'forum troll'.

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