Stealthy Supply

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Ophiuchus
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#16 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:09 am

Stealth of supply should not be based on the stealth of planets but on ship stealth technology.

If using empire detection strength and that empire fleet stealth, one would not have to do bookkeeping for those values at systems. When figuring out who wins supply and which supply is hidden, just use those meters of the involved empires.
I think this makes it also easier to understand for the player.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#17 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:33 pm

labgnome wrote:
MatGB wrote:
Stupid question 2: how much of this could be solved (IE: the struggle of making distributed empires) by making colony ships cheaper?
You mean relative to the colony building/outpost approach? None, because we've deliberately made that the cheaper way to colonize for most players/strategies as it reduced micromanagement and player frustration substantially.
Oh I do like the new mechanic. I just think that the colony ships could use a re-balancing pass as it's been around for a while now. I know I basically don't use them past early game (and in quite a few I only use my starting one), and the advantage of the cyro-pod isn't really enough for me to invest in them. Maybe have one or all colony-pods that also boost fuel? Maybe one that didn't consume population (a clone-pod)? I get it's supposed to be more expensive, but it's more costly in time, resources and it consumes population from the source planets. It's not just that they cost more it's there's also not really any benefit to them, especially if you have even decent supply. Also: there are too few ships available early enough with a second internal slot to allow for extra travel range, which is exactly where a colony ship should have an advantage.
.
Boosting range would be reasonable... since that is the only reason colony ships still exist is for that long range colonization

I do think supply should stay overlapping. Borders are nice, but these aren't really borders if they go back and forth based on nonmilitary situations. (switching Logistics on/off)

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labgnome
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#18 Post by labgnome » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:59 pm

Krikkitone wrote:Boosting range would be reasonable... since that is the only reason colony ships still exist is for that long range colonization
Yeah, and maybe your starting could also let your colonies start at the minimum recolonizing size, at least putting some incentive there. I want to start a thread on this, but I have my fingers is so many pies right now I'm hesitant to.
Krikkitone wrote:I do think supply should stay overlapping. Borders are nice, but these aren't really borders if they go back and forth based on nonmilitary situations. (switching Logistics on/off)
Could you clarify: do you also want overlapping supply?

FYI: I think they're related problems. At the very least the new supply mechanic and the colony building mechanic play off each other so much that they're creating the current set of issues:
  • You need supply connection for the colony buildings.
  • Colony pods are so expensive in time and production without any associated benefits. So no one wants to use them.
  • You cannot supply through enemy (or even allied) territory.
  • Outposts produce no industry, so supply-disrupted outposts cannot produce colony buildings.
  • Outposts have no population, so they don't get any species-associated benefits, like stealth.
I would say we could address the majority of what people want to do in four threads now by returning overlapping supply and making colony ships a more viable option.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#19 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:00 pm

labgnome wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:Boosting range would be reasonable... since that is the only reason colony ships still exist is for that long range colonization
Yeah, and maybe your starting could also let your colonies start at the minimum recolonizing size, at least putting some incentive there. I want to start a thread on this, but I have my fingers is so many pies right now I'm hesitant to.
Krikkitone wrote:I do think supply should stay overlapping. Borders are nice, but these aren't really borders if they go back and forth based on nonmilitary situations. (switching Logistics on/off)
Could you clarify: do you also want overlapping supply?

FYI: I think they're related problems. At the very least the new supply mechanic and the colony building mechanic play off each other so much that they're creating the current set of issues:
  • You need supply connection for the colony buildings.
  • Colony pods are so expensive in time and production without any associated benefits. So no one wants to use them.
  • You cannot supply through enemy (or even allied) territory.
  • Outposts produce no industry, so supply-disrupted outposts cannot produce colony buildings.
  • Outposts have no population, so they don't get any species-associated benefits, like stealth.
I would say we could address the majority of what people want to do in four threads now by returning overlapping supply and making colony ships a more viable option.
I do think supply should be overlapping. (and correlated. colony ships should be useful when out of supply but only useful for that)

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labgnome
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#20 Post by labgnome » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:35 am

Krikkitone wrote:I do think supply should be overlapping. (and correlated. colony ships should be useful when out of supply but only useful for that)
Really I think this is the most KISS solution. Roll-back the supply mechanic and then (maybe) in the next release colony ships can get a balance pass. I started a poll on it to get a temp check.
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#21 Post by LGM-Doyle » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:13 am

This is an update on my progress implementing stealthy supply.

It is not done, but I have some images.

As mentioned before, it should work well with the other options on the table.

Three things to note in the images:
1. You have stealthy supply. If your supplying planets stealth is greater than opposing empire's detection strength, then the supply can't be blocked.
2. The UI only shows the supply network for the selected empire. You select an empire by clicking on a planet, fleet, ship or the empire in the empire table. This avoids having overlapped supply networks. To see where a ship can be supplied, click on the ship and voila.
3. I added an icon to the SidePanel with the system icons which details all of the factors involved in supply at that system: range, distance, stealth, bonus and the detailed bonus factors visibility, ships and colonies.

Here are some game play images.
stealthy_supply1.png
stealthy_supply1.png (1.26 MiB) Viewed 551 times
This is near the start of the game. I'm the A1 Test Corp a Laefnan empire. My nearest neighbors the Union are also Leafnan. I've selected Imra B and it highlights my supply network. The popup table in the SidePanel shows that there are two contributors to supply here, Terminus II with a stealth of 45 and a range of 0 and Imra B 1 with a stealth of 5 (its and outpost) and a range of 0.
stealthy_supply2.png
stealthy_supply2.png (1.25 MiB) Viewed 551 times
In this next image, I have selected the Union fleet near Hador a. There are not supply networks shown since all of the Union supply sources are greater than my detection strength. The open popup table in the SidePanel is from Hador and ass far as my empire knows the only source of supply is from Terminus II, with a range of 0.
stealthy_supply3.png
stealthy_supply3.png (1.73 MiB) Viewed 551 times
In this third image I have made peace with the empire Segment and switched my main planet to SuperTesters to provide better screen grabs.
stealthy_supply4.png
stealthy_supply4.png (1.72 MiB) Viewed 551 times
Here I have selected the Segment fleet and brought up the supply popup for Kaashyapa. Notice that the supply network overlaps with the network from the previous picture. Also the popup show two sources of supply in Kaashyapa, both local Kaashyapa II from my empire and the asteroids from the Segment empire.
stealthy_supply5.png
stealthy_supply5.png (1.68 MiB) Viewed 551 times
FInally, I clicked on the Union fleet near Hador and Hador itself to open the supply popup. The Union network also overlaps mine, because although hostile they can't detect my stealth 85 supply and so can't oppose it as shown in the table. In the top left corner you can just make out my stealthy colony ships, off to establish my far ranging empire.

For allied supply this change will show all allied networks, when selecting any allied fleet. The network that you see when clicking on a fleet is the network that can refuel that fleet.

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Voker57
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#22 Post by Voker57 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:19 pm

Supply stealth based on planetary stealth doesn't really make sense. Planets also can be affected by interstellar lighthouses. How about using max hull stealth + max part stealth instead?
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Dilvish
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#23 Post by Dilvish » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:38 pm

it should work well with the other options on the table
By 'other options' what do you mean, if not the current dueling supply pressure mechanic? I don't see how this proposal would (as described) be compatible, at the very least there are a number of unresolved issues about blocking, and I expect that is why it seems you have totally undone the dueling supply mechanic.

I rather like the dueling supply pressure mechanic; I can understand you being interested in supporting a stealth supply mechanic, but if you have already explored all the possible ways to make the two concepts compatible, I am apparently overlooking that. I think that should be explored more before you ask us to consider a mechanic that requires us to drop the dueling supply pressure mechanic.
2. The UI only shows the supply network for the selected empire.
If you intend this simply as an interim early stages of experimenting thing, then of course I have no complaints about that. However, I very much would not want that for the actual game UI.
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#24 Post by LGM-Doyle » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:01 pm

Voker57 max hull stealth + max part stealth is a global effect. So far, all of the stealth effects have been local. An opposing empire can only interact with a global stealth value by increasing their detection strength.

Using the colony stealth as the stealth for supply originating at that colony, means that an opponent can add a lighthouse or distortion modulator locally to find and disrupt otherwise hidden supply lanes. Also adding a lighthouse to your own stealth colony would disrupt your own supply. You can't be stealthy and have a lighthouse.

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Re: Stealthy Supply

#25 Post by LGM-Doyle » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:07 pm

Dilvish by other options I meant the two other options from the original thread. This thread was split from a longer thread Imperial stockpile that discussed two other ideas: adding a global imperial stockpile from which any colony can draw production points (subject to limitations) even when not supply connected and and allowing ships/planets to use supply from peaceful/allied empires . There was a third idea of adding supply ships, but I think that has been dropped. Ophiuchus and Geoff are working on implementation of the two other ideas.

This proposal does not undo the dueling supply mechanic. The examples I choose, were to highlight its differences and ability to facilitate a stealthy empire operating undetected and gave the impression that it is a completely different thing. The game is unchanged when playing with/against a typical empire at war.

Mechanic changes
I will explain the changes to the supply mechanic, but first I will explain the current mechanic.

Currently, at peace and at war a single empire can supply each system. Which empire can supply a system is determined by contesting the system based on supply range, local ships, outposts and colonies, the total supply available in system and the distance to the supply source. Propagating supply can be blockaded by stationary, aggressive, armed ships present in a system before their opponents and systems in which only a single empire has any supply sources.

This proposal changes:
  • nothing in the mechanics for empires that are at war that can detect each other's supply. I did not provide examples of this. It is the same as the current game.
  • For empires that are at peace/allied this proposal removes the competition, so that they can have overlapping supply. This is what I showed in the image where I made peace with the Segment empire. Our supplies overlap.
  • For empires at war that can't detect the other's supply, there is also no competition resulting in overlapping supply. This is shown by the Union empire before I switch my empire to Super-Testers. I am unable to detect their supply network.

UI changes
The first UI change is the addition of the supply summary to the SidePanel. It provides a summary of all the factors contributing to supply in the selected system. I think that independent of the other changes in this PR, this UI addition can clarify the many factors that affect which empire can supply the selected system.

The second UI change I made because the current system does not handle overlapping supply.

I chose to show only the selected empire's supply network. This produces poor screen shots, but the game play is intuitive. The supply network that you see always corresponds to the object that you have currently selected. This answers questions relevant to the selected object. Can this fleet be refueled in that system? Why is this colony not supply connected to the main empire? etc.

An other alternative is to show all of the supply networks overlapping with parallel lines. I didn't try this because I thought it would be cluttered.

Do you have other suggestions for the UI?

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em3
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#26 Post by em3 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:13 pm

Parallel lines will always have limitations. Maybe the answer is to display supply borders instead (some kind of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_diagram or something)?
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Ophiuchus
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#27 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:18 pm

LGM-Doyle wrote:...
An other alternative is to show all of the supply networks overlapping with parallel lines. I didn't try this because I thought it would be cluttered.

Do you have other suggestions for the UI?
Don't do overlapping between allies (instead use the combined supply group already implemented).

So you only have to show overlapping supply networks if you are successfully hiding. Then you only have maximum two parallel lines, right? Not too cluttered, I think.
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#28 Post by Dilvish » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:02 am

LGM-Doyle wrote:Do you have other suggestions for the UI?
Yes, I do. It draws from your proposal but sort of blends it with the existing display. I think that for all starlanes which are not experiencing overlapping supply, then they should be colored by empire as they would be normally, and it is only for the lanes with overlapping supply that you would have any variance in display. Just how you handle those lanes is a trickier issue-- my suggestion would be that they always get just a single color and be dashed. If the currently selected empire has supply there, then the color would be theirs, if not then the color would be the default grey or some other grey. Another optional detail could be that the spacing on the dashes could be used to indicate how many empires have supply over that lane -- if it's two empires then the dashes and spaces are equal, if 3 then the spaces are twice as long as the dashes, if 4 then the spaces are 3 times as long, etc.

Do I understand it right that you are proposing that if empire A had stealthy supply with respect to empire B, and empire B did *not* have stealthy supply with respect to empire A, then empire B's supply would be blocked in all areas of overlap, and that empire B would not even be able to protect the supply connection by posting warships at all relevant systems? And it seems to me that such events would be relatively common because it is only in that general setting that the whole stealth supply system even matters. While there perhaps might be nothing clearly "wrong" with such a system, it seems to me to be distinctly unsatisfying. How does empire B go about trying to fix their situation, besides prioritizing detection and/or stealth and praying that empire A slacks and lets them catch up?

It seems to me like empire B is just totally hosed, and that this forces the game into a much stronger stealth/detection race than does stealthy combat, because for the latter stealth is just a first shot advantage, not an outright win button like it would be for supply. If I had the AI play a stealth game like that I guarantee nearly all the players would tremendously hate it.
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Re: Stealthy Supply

#29 Post by LGM-Doyle » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:48 pm

em3, displaying supply as areal regions is intuitive. And the power diagram implementation is a cool way to display the constraints placed on high supply colonies by other high supply neighbors. However it conflicts with the current display of detection range. They both make sense as areal displays, but they would need toggles to distinguish them.

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Re: Stealthy Supply

#30 Post by LGM-Doyle » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:49 pm

Ophiuchus, I may be misunderstanding your point, but I think there can still be more than two sides with overlapping supply. For example, if more than two empires are at peace but not allied.

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