Design: Detection and Visibility

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#61 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:22 pm

0.4 Design Pad wrote:The factor of 10 scaling difference between meter values and battle map distance is used because the range of meter values (0 to 100) and the battle map distance units (1000 unit system radius and 100 units between planet orbits) were decided upon independently and a scaling factor is needed to make things work reasonably.
Better, IMO, is a scaling factor of 100 for battles, so a ship with a detection of 10 could see any minimally stealth ship anywhere in the system, but such a ship could still never see a ship with 10 stealth. This same stealthy ship however, could be detected anywhere in the system by a ship with 20 detection. This way,
0.4 Design Pad wrote:Advancing technology renders previously stealthy ships, or very good detectors, less useful. A ship that is totally undetectable with one set of detection equipment become easily detectable with better detector equipment. Similarly, if a ship design can be easily detected, a more advanced version with better stealth equipment would be much harder, and possibly impossible to detect.
The advantage to having greater than the amount of detection required for basic visibility of a ship would be the ability to see detailed information about its hull, parts, damage, orders, etc., so in this way, having detection above the level where you can just barely see all the enemy ships is still a useful, tactically valid option.
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#62 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:48 pm

Most ships at the beginning of the game should probably be visible from anywhere in the system with basic detection equipment. However, such ships should probably not be visible from anywhere in the galaxy with basic detection equipment. Perhaps in combat, an object with stealth less than 1 would be visible from anywhere, whereas in the galaxy map, only objects with stealth 0 are visible from anywhere. This also solves the problem with planets not being immediately visible in combat if their stealth is .01.
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#63 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:42 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:
0.4 Design Pad wrote:The factor of 10 scaling difference between meter values and battle map distance is used because the range of meter values (0 to 100) and the battle map distance units (1000 unit system radius and 100 units between planet orbits) were decided upon independently and a scaling factor is needed to make things work reasonably.
Better, IMO, is a scaling factor of 100 for battles, so a ship with a detection of 10 could see any minimally stealth ship anywhere in the system, but such a ship could still never see a ship with 10 stealth. This same stealthy ship however, could be detected anywhere in the system by a ship with 20 detection.
That sounds reasonable, although note that a scaling factor of 100 would only let a detection 10 ship see anything with minimal (near but above 0) stealth in the system if the detection 10 ship was in the middle of the map. If it moved off to the side, there'd be an unobserved crescent on the opposite side of the system.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Most ships at the beginning of the game should probably be visible from anywhere in the system with basic detection equipment. However, such ships should probably not be visible from anywhere in the galaxy with basic detection equipment. Perhaps in combat, an object with stealth less than 1 would be visible from anywhere, whereas in the galaxy map, only objects with stealth 0 are visible from anywhere. This also solves the problem with planets not being immediately visible in combat if their stealth is .01.
I'm reluctant to have too many magic number thresholds of this sort, but it may be necessary.

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#64 Post by TBeholder » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:26 am

(from the new version of ruleset by Bigjoe5)
Probes (recon "fighters") is a good idea, but is there a reason why they don't give the ship generic (out-of-battle) detection bonus? Only when it stands still, of course.
Making VDA may be too much, but recon drones?..

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#65 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:42 am

TBeholder wrote:...is there a reason why [probe fighters] don't give the ship generic (out-of-battle) detection bonus?
One could argue it either way, but if ship weapons start giving long-range galaxy-map detection bonuses, there's somewhat less point to having dedicated detection parts.

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#66 Post by TBeholder » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:14 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
TBeholder wrote:...is there a reason why [probe fighters] don't give the ship generic (out-of-battle) detection bonus?
One could argue it either way, but if ship weapons start giving long-range galaxy-map detection bonuses, there's somewhat less point to having dedicated detection parts.
If it have large detection value and zero attack values it is a dedicated detection part. :)

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#67 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:37 pm

TBeholder wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
TBeholder wrote:...is there a reason why [probe fighters] don't give the ship generic (out-of-battle) detection bonus?
One could argue it either way, but if ship weapons start giving long-range galaxy-map detection bonuses, there's somewhat less point to having dedicated detection parts.
If it have large detection value and zero attack values it is a dedicated detection part. :)
More importantly though, it is a tactical detection part, which makes it strategically distinct from parts which are actually "detection class". Their uniqueness is partially lost if they also give a bonus on the galaxy map.
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#68 Post by TBeholder » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:33 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:More importantly though, it is a tactical detection part, which makes it strategically distinct from parts which are actually "detection class". Their uniqueness is partially lost if they also give a bonus on the galaxy map.
1) it sort of makes sense that if optical sensors works on large-scale (and are stackable), array does too
2) it isn't necessarily the same, since it may be working only if stationary, gradually growing with time to the maximum, not fully stackable (e.g. Max Detection raises by 0.6 + 0.4/unit), or all this at once (already tested). Which sort of makes sense too.
3) when used on a lower-level variant with little combat detection this may give better "ol' good sci-fi" atmosphere - arrived, released the probes... mineral deposits detected * ! :)

Code: Select all

Part
    name = "FI_RECON_PROBES"
    description = "FI_RECON_PROBES_DESC"
    class = Fighters
    type = Interceptor
    antishipdamage = 0
    antifighterdamage = 0
    launchrate = 2
    fighterweaponrange = 1
    speed = 60
    stealth = 0
    health = 1
    detection = 20
    capacity = 10
    buildcost = 5
    buildtime = 1
    mountableSlotTypes = External
    location = OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
    effectsgroups = [
        EffectsGroup
            scope = Source
            activation = Stationary
            stackinggroup = "FI_RECON_PROBES_EFFECT"
            effects = SetMax Detection value = Target.MaxDetection + 0.6
        EffectsGroup
            scope = Source
            activation = Stationary
            effects = SetMax Detection value = Target.MaxDetection + 0.4
        EffectsGroup
            scope = Source
            activation = And [
                Stationary
                CurrentHealth low = 1 high = Target.CurrentHealth + (Target.MaxDetection - Target.CurrentDetection)
            ]
            effects = SetCurrent Detection value = Target.CurrentDetection + 0.2
    ]
    graphic = ""
*) By the way. Do you think it's a good idea that a few special (like minerals under ground) should not be visible from afar (have stealth)? With possible un-stealthing later (for minerals, when someone starts to dig).

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#69 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:56 pm

TBeholder wrote: *) By the way. Do you think it's a good idea that a few special (like minerals under ground) should not be visible from afar (have stealth)? With possible un-stealthing later (for minerals, when someone starts to dig).
A planet special should only have stealth if it has no effect unless detected.

ie if there are "secret mineral deposits"=+25 mineral meter
then you don't get the +25 mineral meter until you have detected them.

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#70 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:11 am

TBeholder wrote:1) it sort of makes sense that if optical sensors works on large-scale (and are stackable), array does too
2) it isn't necessarily the same, since it may be working only if stationary, gradually growing with time to the maximum, not fully stackable (e.g. Max Detection raises by 0.6 + 0.4/unit), or all this at once (already tested). Which sort of makes sense too.
3) when used on a lower-level variant with little combat detection this may give better "ol' good sci-fi" atmosphere - arrived, released the probes... mineral deposits detected * ! :)
1) isn't really relevant

2) is kind of weird. Why would that be preferable to just not having the part give a detection bonus on the galaxy map?

3) will turn into heavy micromanagement if this has to happen on every single planet

Essentially, the point of recon fighters is to have mobile detectors in combat. The advantage compared to a regular detection-class part is that they can be launched and used to search the system for enemy ships. The disadvantage is that they don't give a bonus to detection on the galaxy map. Sure, you could just make them more expensive instead, but how is that more fun?
By the way. Do you think it's a good idea that a few special (like minerals under ground) should not be visible from afar (have stealth)? With possible un-stealthing later (for minerals, when someone starts to dig).
I believe that the game should support that possibility, but great care should be taken assigning stealth to specials. It would be very awkward if the player had to deliberately re-explore every planet for each new level of detection equipment he researched. Instead, the special might only be visible if the player has ownership of the planet. That would mean there's no extra micromanagement in exploration, but the player can still find interesting and surprising specials.

On an unrelated note, can anyone tell me why the bonuses for stealth and detection parts stack? That just makes for a balancing nightmare, and pretty makes the progression of stealth and detection techs pointless, since researching a hull with more slots will do the same thing as getting better stealth or detection equipment. It seems to me that it's much more reasonable for gameplay if they don't stack.
Krikkitone wrote:A planet special should only have stealth if it has no effect unless detected.

ie if there are "secret mineral deposits"=+25 mineral meter
then you don't get the +25 mineral meter until you have detected them.
That should be easy enough to accomplish with the VisibleTo condition, but there might be some cases in which having an unknown effect makes more sense in terms of gameplay and realism.
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#71 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:55 am

As far as I know, the detection meter of a ship will be the same in battle as on the galaxy map. This means that if a recon fighter part gives a bonus to the *ship* detection, that ship will have a bonus to detection during battle. This doesn't make much sense, since it's the fighters that will be doing the detecting, not the ship itself.

Specials aren't objects, so don't and can't have stealth ratings or meters in the current build of the game. This means you can't check if a special is visible to an empire, and the visibility of a special is always the same as the visibility of the object it's attached to. Specials could be extended to have a stealth rating, if that was desired, but it would require adding an extra step to turn processing to decide what specials are visible to what empires.

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#72 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:02 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:A planet special should only have stealth if it has no effect unless detected.
ie if there are "secret mineral deposits"=+25 mineral meter
then you don't get the +25 mineral meter until you have detected them.
That should be easy enough to accomplish with the VisibleTo condition, but there might be some cases in which having an unknown effect makes more sense in terms of gameplay and realism.
That would be Very bad for gameplay, in almost all cases. ie I check my Mineral output on a planet, and when it lists the breakdown it either

1) gives results that don't add up (+5 secondary focus = 30 total)???
2) gives a +25 Unknown category???

The second just has the player looking up what gives a +25 and can be stealthed.

Now in something like an attack from a stealthed ship.... well the player should know how much damage they take from the attack but they don't know who it is, because there is a wide variety of way to deal X damage.

But Unless there are multiple different stealthed planetary specials that deal X effect, then the player should either
1. See it as soon as they are affected by it or
2. Not be affected by it until they see it

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#73 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:13 pm

There could be an invisible special which causes random bad effects, which to the owner empire are indistinguishable from enemy sabotage. This means that such effects cannot immediately be attributed to enemy espionage, which makes espionage viable in more circumstances. Such effects also cannot be immediately attributed to the special either, since there is no way to know what is causing these effects.

Just one example. The minerals example is obviously ludicrous...
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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#74 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:43 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:There could be an invisible special which causes random bad effects, which to the owner empire are indistinguishable from enemy sabotage. This means that such effects cannot immediately be attributed to enemy espionage, which makes espionage viable in more circumstances. Such effects also cannot be immediately attributed to the special either, since there is no way to know what is causing these effects.
It would be helpful to have some standardized sizes of bonuses, perhaps +1, +3, +5, +10, that are commonly used for various effects from specials, techs, espionage, buildings, etc. unless there's a particular reason to do something different. This way, if there is an "unknown" effect listed in a meter accounting breakdown, it's difficult to guess which of three or five possible sources are responsible, since all would appear the same way to someone who doesn't know the source.

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Re: Design: Detection and Visibility

#75 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:03 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:It would be helpful to have some standardized sizes of bonuses, perhaps +1, +3, +5, +10, that are commonly used for various effects from specials, techs, espionage, buildings, etc. unless there's a particular reason to do something different. This way, if there is an "unknown" effect listed in a meter accounting breakdown, it's difficult to guess which of three or five possible sources are responsible, since all would appear the same way to someone who doesn't know the source.
Sources of bonuses in general should probably always be made known to the player, and those I prefer to be multiples of 3 if they're focus-dependent, so that the ratio of the bonuses between primary and secondary focus can remain the same without requiring awkward decimals or fractions. Most penalties would not be focus dependant however, and some should be unknown to the player, so a common set of values would probably be appropriate and useful.
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