Geoff the Medio wrote:* Assuming the stealth / detection mechanics are the same for the galaxy map and the battle map, do we need entirely separate stealth and detection meters (and techs and ship parts and buildings, etc.) to set / modify / boost them? Either way, we can have effects that only alter the meters in one context or the other, but should the values be presented to players and stored internally as a signle or multiple meters of each type?
Rather than the first question this should be answered last. But obviously if all the other questions bring up no reason to treat these differently, then they should be treated the same.
Geoff the Medio wrote:** Systems (stars) - Currently all these can be seen by all players. However, this makes exploration of the galaxy less interesting and could potentially give advantages to human players over AIs in that humans are better able to infer what direction to scout based on the direction towards the centre of the galaxy.
I agree with previous posters like Josh that having visible stars does not detract from the fun of exploration. We have just 7 types of stars, the interest in exploration is in finding what sort of plants orbit a particular star. Besides making stars invisible is just weird. They are the most visible things in existence. Don't go crying "realism argument" here. My point is in the absence of compiling reasons to do otherwise (which i don't yet see), stars should be what people naturally expect them to be: visible
I'm not sure i understand the advantage Geoff fears human will have with visible stars, but it doesn't sound very significant.
Geoff the Medio wrote:** Planets - Currently all are visible after a system is explored, but if systems can be seen before reaching them, should planets as well? Being able to see into other systems without sending ships could be a valuable ability for certain strategies that don't use a lot of ships.
No. Seeing into distant systems without using ships is IMHO something for espionage. We don't need to duplicate the ability.
In a slightly related concept, i do think delayed discovery
on newly explored systems could be interesting.
Geoff the Medio wrote:** Buildings - Currently buildings are visible when the planet they are on is visible, but it might be interesting to make it generally harder to see buildings... A much more refined or advanced long-range detection system would be useful if it allowed a player to see buildings in other systems that would otherwise be undetectable.
I don't think buildings should have stealth values, IMHO that's taking this too far.
Buildings should be only detectable by ships in the system and/or
If this is too simple: buildings could have a binary status: obvious and non-obvious. Obvious buildings would be things like Orbital structures which cannot be hidden, and would be detected when ships are in the system, while non-obvious buildings can only be detected by espionage. Of course espionage could report on obvious buildings too.
Geoff the Medio wrote:** Other Empires' Fleets - Currently these are visible on starlanes adjacent to systems the player can see or in systems the player can see.
* How does that distance between the early, middle and late game? Presumably techs and buildings will make it possible to see unstealthy objects further away as the game progresses.
I think what we have is a good system. It's easy to understand, and concrete. With our starlane/chokepoint setup i don't think we need to have the ever-expanding "radar" techs that other 4X space games usually have.
There are plenty of ways to get "vision" in a system, and thus it's attached lanes: colonies, ships, spies, (stealthy probe ships?), possibly outposts. The strategy comes from the various ways of placing sources of vision in systems, and rooting out your enemies source.
Geoff the Medio wrote:*** Should it matter if a fleet is in a system or travelling on a starlane?
A fleet in the same system with a "source of vision" would be considered "closer" than a fleet in an adjacent starlane, and thus potentially more information would be available.
Geoff the Medio wrote:** Starlanes - Currently these are visible after one of the systems they are connected to is explored (ie. the planets in the system are visible).
This is a reasonable normal behavior. Exceptions (if any) should be relatively rare, otherwise navigation will be annoying. Finding a previously hidden starlane would be cool, but it becomes tedious if it's constantly happening. IMHO the whole galaxy should be navigable from the start without finding any hidden lanes, but hidden lanes might become useful short-cuts.
High-Tech empires might be able to stealth lanes adjacent to their own systems, and similarly high tech opponents would be able to see through that disguise.
Geoff the Medio wrote:*** Could you see a fleet travelling on a starlane even if the lane itself isn't yet known / visible?
Obviously we shouldn't have ships looking like they are off-roading. Either
1) the fleet would reveal the undetected Lane, or
2) fleets on invisible lanes would be invisible.
I prefer #1, since it would encourage players who have secret starlanes to act stealthy, and not use them in from of people who are supposed to be unable to understand.
Geoff the Medio wrote:* Are there levels of visibility?
I think we could do 2 or 3 levels of visibility. It would tie in with the new(ish) fleet icon concept
. Something like this:
1) Something is there (number and composition of fleet is unknown)
2) A general number of things are there (I.E. the only info you get is what you can glean from the icon.
3) You can open up the fleet icon and see the precise number and types of ships
Geoff the Medio wrote:* Is it important or beneficial for players to get bonuses to detecting ships if their empire knows something about the ships that are being detected? In particular, if the player has knowledge of the ship's design, should that give a bonus, or is this too complicated to worry about?
Too complicated, and not fun enough to worry about.
Geoff the Medio wrote:* How should we deal with cases where a more-visible object is contained within a less-visible object? For example, a planet might have stealth 5 and the system it is in might have stealth 20.
I don't believe systems or planets should have stealth. Problem solved.
I think you could make a case that the contents
of a planet should be stealthed, but not the whole thing.
EDIT: * The above comments should be taking in the context of making content for a game, not in the context of designing the engine.
* I should also mention that I like the idea of a treaty that shares full or partial vision with allies.