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Ship Character

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:44 am
by utilae
I was playing Diablo 2 and had this idea of how we could work some rpg elements into ship design.

Basically you have a system similar to the skills system in diablo 2, where you can put a point into a skill to use it, or refine it, etc.

In FreeOrion what you would be doing is creating the 'character' of your ship. Maybe looks could be determined by putting points into certain styles. Also other ship features could be determined by puttin points into certain ship features, eg improving armor, shields and firepower for all ships to ever be created. This would not be technology, but stats that make all your ships lean torward a certain stat, eg you put more points inot firepower and overall all ships you build will have slightly increased firepower.

Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:24 pm
by Rapunzel
You would get more Point due to Battle Experients?

Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:32 pm
by Daveybaby
Not sure i like the idea, but IMO it would make more sense to incorporate the RPG elements into your race design than into your ships.

i.e. give your race additional bonuses in certain areas, only some of which might be ship combat related.

Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:03 pm
by Ablaze
I like it, but I don't really see an elegant way to make it happen. It seems like it would kind of take power away from tech, which is not a bad thing. Technology is overpowered in most conquest games.

Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:30 pm
by Geoff the Medio
Ablaze makes a good point about avoiding technology trumping everything else...

I'm not sure about getting diablo like points to allocate for each ship, as this sounds like it would be a lot of micro and would take forever...

However, something similar where what you use a lot (like a particular type of weapon's accuracy or rate of fire) gets improved could easily be explained and done as part of a crew experience system... and perhaps "training" for biological ships, if applicable.

This might dupliacate or interact with refinements in some way... so you can either battle a lot to get better guns, or just research the refinements, or perhaps need to do both? This might be a good way to give non-tech races a battle advantage: the tech races get newer and better parts, but the experience races get much better at using the ones they have.

To do this, a refinement might have a condition on it like "gives +10% to rate of fire, for ships with at least 3000 XP" or somesuch, rather than just "gives +10% to ROF" as soon as the refinement is researched...

The benefit of that would be that you don't have to pick something to advance each ship individually, avoiding tedium; if you have the refinement researched, then you'll automatically get the benefits when the ship gets experienced... And which refinements you research is a bit like which skills you pick in Diablo. Maybe this isn't really what utilae had in mind though...?

You'd still have to do the research though... and it would seem necessary to have large numbers of crew fight and survive to gain experience, as it wouldn't do you any good to have the refinements researched if all your ships have no experience and are thus unable to use them...

Maybe there's another tweak to this that would help...?

Getting great ships

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:13 am
by guiguibaah
In command and conquer generals, you could have units that gained experience making them stronger and better. The problem came with the type of unit.

For example. I have my little GLA light tank. It goes around and after a few battles, he goes from veteran to elite to special. He gets abilities like auto-heal and improved range and all that.... Also, I make it pick up junk on the ground to improve it's missile carrying capacity, further upgrading it! I now have a top-of-the-line GLA light tank.

...Then my opponent sends in a mig attacks and fries my GLA light tank, as well as about 6 others next to it in one quick swoop. Didn't even see it coming.

The same thing generally happens in Warcraft 3. You have a hero unit that gains experience and levels. However if you are not careful to retreat it during a heated battle, your opponent will force-fire on it and it dies. Fortunately you can ressurect the hero.

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:52 pm
by Geoff the Medio
We could have some sort of ressurection technology... Or perhaps a race trait would be whether or not the race has a noncorporeal form / soul / katra / telepathic experience-sharing mind or somesuch, allowing a ship / unit's experience to accumulate even if that ship / unit is destroyed / killed in a particular battle...


Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:09 pm
by guiguibaah
True, or pehaps something as mundane as warpable escape pods. Something so that, even if you lost the battle, you still gained something from it.

Perhaps a later application, such as emergency teleporters or brain scanning / cloning could make the attrition loss even less.

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:29 pm
by Geoff the Medio
A plot point in the latter (timeline) Dune books was reawakening ghola's memories from previous clones, which included the memories of clones not in the actual lineage of the latest clone. That is, most clones were clones of previous clones, so the memories could be stored in the dead clone body / genes / whatever, but some of the clones were offshoot branches, and were lost / destroyed, so there was no body or physical material to make a clone of, so they went back to older material and made a new line of clone... but despite this lack of a physical connection, reawakened memories in newer clones were able to include the memories of the offshoot branches.

So... yeah, FO could do something like that too, with appropriate tech or non-tech advancement...

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:20 pm
by utilae
Geoff the Medio wrote:I'm not sure about getting diablo like points to allocate for each ship, as this sounds like it would be a lot of micro and would take forever...
Ah, you've got it wrong.

I don't want to allocate points for each ship, but for all ships.

So let's say you get a point to spend on your ship character. You spend points on abilities or stat affecting abilities. Right now you can put it in one of the following:
=Astro Burners-Lv1: Increase engine speed by 10%.
=Transporters-Lv1: Can land or board troops from 10% further away.
=Hyper Tuned Engines-Lv1: +100% travel speed. Must rest for 1 turn.
=Targeting computer-Lv1: +10% beam weapon accuracy.
=Scatter Computer-Lv1: +15% to missile blast radius.
=Missile Manufacture-Lv1: wait 3 turns to regain 6 missiles.
=Hard Shield-Lv1: +10% damage absorbed.
=Regen Armor-Lv1: wait 3 turns to regain 20% full armor.
=Anti Scan-Lv1: -10% to chance of enemy making a successful scan.

If for example you put a point into regen armor, then that ability is now infused into all of your ships. Every ship you build, whether it be a battleship or a colony ship will have regen armor. This means that you have to pay the cost and suffer the space loss of having regen armor (we could of course change this if its too much trouble). You cannot 'not' have the ability on your ships. The only case where you don't have the ability, eg Targetting computer, is when you don't have a beam weapon, which targeting computer requires.

Also new abilities can be unlocked and have certain requirements (eg maybe a certain tech having been researched or a certain tech level reached).

Like in Diablo 2, you can put another point into regen armor if you like, and it the regen armor you have will be level 2, eg
"Regen Armor-Lv2: wait 3 turns to regain 25% full armor."
If you have level 2 regen armor, then you cannot use level 1, you have to use level 2.

I'm not sure where points will come from, but maybe you could get them when you achieve something major, eg conquer 5 planets or unlock 5 techs or something.

Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:24 pm
by Geoff the Medio
All those examples sound like the sorts of bonuses that would be granted by researching or otherwise acquiring refinement techs...

However, that could be how it's implemented: Perhaps some refinements can't be researched directly, but if you have their precursor techs and/or meet various conditions, you get "battle experience refinements" or "engineer familiarity refinements" that improve the function of various ship parts due to them having been used enough that your ship crews and maintainance people get better at working with those particular parts.

I'm not sure how any player choice would fit into that though...

And I'd be worried that the players would need to set up or keep "battle-farms" of space monster nests or somesuch, which they would normally destroy, but which they can instead used to generate battles with which they can have lots of battles in order to artificially increase their race's experience with a particular type of ship or ship part... Presumably this would be "bad" due to excess micro, but could perhaps also be seen as a legitimate strategy...

Alternatively, if you could rephrase the advantages in a more... crew-experience-specific way, then the advantages could be treated under a larger racial / imperial / social customization system that would allow you to pick various perks for your race at various stages in the game, after meeting various conditions or when certain events happen (though this is perhaps a mostly realism-based distinction)...

In such a system, every player could get a point every 20 turns perhaps, in addition to bonus points for various special accomplishments such as you suggested.

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:23 am
by utilae
Geoff the Medio wrote: All those examples sound like the sorts of bonuses that would be granted by researching or otherwise acquiring refinement techs...
The difference between this idea and techs is that these bonuses you get are mandatory, and so is the cost in space and money of the bonus. So if you used 1 point to get regen armor, then all your ships must have regen armor, and all your ships must have 10 less space and 100 more cost as a result.
Geoff the Medio wrote: In such a system, every player could get a point every 20 turns perhaps, in addition to bonus points for various special accomplishments such as you suggested.
That sounds like a good way to gain points, by x turns going by.

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:19 pm
by Ablaze
It would be neat if whenever someone did something that was against the galatic rules (like wiping out another race) the game would put a bounty on that person't head. The bounty would decay over time, but if done correctly it could induce a situation in which one player mercessly wipes out another player, but then gets jumped upon by all it's neighbors so they can get the extra points and upgrade their ships faster.

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:50 pm
by utilae
Ha ha, yeah a bounty. Go waste this race and you get 2 points to be used for your 'ship character'.

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 10:45 am
by Kharagh
I don't like the idea of ships getting experience. Only the crews (or maybe organic ships and robo-controlled ones) should get experience, not the ship as a whole.

If you see it as the crew getting experience WITH the ship (or parts of it) that is another matter. After using a particular propulsion system for a long time, the crew will naturally learn how to handle it better, and so will e.g. get bonuses to speed. But that is the crew getting experience, not the ship.
After you have used a tech for a certain time and in a reasonably big scale, a special research could be added, like for example "advanced laser training". It would make all your crews better at using lasers. They would already learn how to use these during their basic training in the bootcamp.
It would be a bit like a reseached racial trait.

As to general techs which automatically apply to all ships you have: I don't like that idea very much, as it seems kind off illogical that you would be forced to build your regenerative armor on every single ship you own, although you don't want to.

Using my above way with the crews seems to me much more logical and offers similar possibilites as the direct ship upgrades for all ships.

We could even extend the model to other areas, e.g. pll learning to use their mining equipment better, etc