Ship weapons rework

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Oberlus
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Re: Ship weapons rework

#76 Post by Oberlus » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:07 am

LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:49 pm
May I try once again to interest you in my formation combat mechanic? viewtopic.php?f=5&p=95945#p95945
Did you check out this one? viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11003

- It's a good compromise between player-controlled combat (not possible in multiplayer) and deterministic combat without player input.
As for my understanding, we want no sort of such compromise. The tactical combat must be fully automatic, with no player input apart from ship design (what ships you build) and fleet composition (how many of each ship in the battle). This mean it's OK to require the player to check out enemy forces and decide research path (when you get what ship hulls and parts) and research/industry balance (more older ships or fewer better ships, quality vs quantity), but you can't ask him to

- It makes point-blank weapons (like rams) work differently, and imho much more interestingly, as they can either not strike at all (so being useless) or strike for the last three turns, depending on whether they find enemy ships on their tier or not, which itself depends on what orders each fleet (or more exactly, each parts of each fleet) would have been given.
- Obviously close-range and medium-range would work in a similar way, even if the change will be less important.
Current proposal already does this.

About stealth effects in combat, I would open a new thread for that. Or maybe there is some already. However the proposal in this thread already manages to give different weights to stealth depending on the weapon choices, which somehow provides us with some simple yet interesting choices.
A side note: I think lasers in space are invisible, the detection would come from the burst of energy when shooting the weapon (even if it is just the heat generated to shoot the light beams), so I think firing "guns" and launching missiles is at least as noisy than firing lasers. Or am I missing your point?
the ability or not to shoot while moving
That makes no sense. There's no fluff we can come up to explain why a ship should restrict the working of its engines (so as to stop thrusting, or having to thrust in a given direction) in order to use certain weapons.
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Re: Ship weapons rework

#77 Post by LienRag » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:18 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:07 am
Did you check out this one? viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11003
I don't think I did, thank you for pointing it to me. As it itself links to more topics, I'll need time to review them all.
It seems indeed to be very close to what I was proposing, so I'll have to ponder whether I can still add something to it (I didn't think about the eventuality of more than two fleet, so my mechanism was lacking apparently).
As for my understanding, we want no sort of such compromise. The tactical combat must be fully automatic, with no player input apart from ship design (what ships you build) and fleet composition (how many of each ship in the battle). This mean it's OK to require the player to check out enemy forces and decide research path (when you get what ship hulls and parts) and research/industry balance (more older ships or fewer better ships, quality vs quantity), but you can't ask him to
I don't really understand why you wouldn't want a system that you were a proponent of in the other thread, but there seems to be something missing at the end of your text, so maybe if you can edit it I would get a better understanding?
Current proposal already does this.
No it doesn't, or I deeply misunderstood it...
About stealth effects in combat, I would open a new thread for that. Or maybe there is some already. However the proposal in this thread already manages to give different weights to stealth depending on the weapon choices, which somehow provides us with some simple yet interesting choices.
The thing is, what I wrote here about stealth is deeply connected with my proposed combat mechanism and wouldn't work without it (if you remove the ability for ships to move between tiers during combat, long-range ships with good stealth could snipe entire fleets without any possible counter-measure).
A side note: I think lasers in space are invisible, the detection would come from the burst of energy when shooting the weapon (even if it is just the heat generated to shoot the light beams), so I think firing "guns" and launching missiles is at least as noisy than firing lasers. Or am I missing your point?
You maybe right actually? But what about lasers' visibility in space operas?
the ability or not to shoot while moving
That makes no sense. There's no fluff we can come up to explain why a ship should restrict the working of its engines (so as to stop thrusting, or having to thrust in a given direction) in order to use certain weapons.
Of course there is (orion engine needs to divert all its energy to the laser/plasma gun/death ray in order to give it enough power to pierce enemy ships' armor) but I was actually going the other war around, weapons that cannot target accurately if the ship is moving (like tanks from the WWII era up to quite recently).

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Re: Ship weapons rework

#78 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:20 am

LienRag wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:18 pm
I don't really understand why you wouldn't want a system that you were a proponent of in the other thread
Actually, what I proposed in that thread does not require any input from the player regarding formations or tactical orders. Charging, retreating or keeping distance from enemies would be determined by each ships configuration and the aggressive/passive fleet's toggle. In that sense, it would be better suited for the kind of gameplay that FreeOrion honours (no micromanagement) than your proposal as it stands now.
However, that does not matter in the end. If you read the answers to my tactical combat proposal, anyone that stated his opinion said bad things of it, and the project lead was very clear about it: too complicated. So it won't happen (at least not before FreeOrion 1.0, which is years ahead). So I let myself flow with the community and no longer defend a tactical combat engine. But again, I was not telling you that we don't want tactical combat, I was telling you that we want no player interaction, that's all.
but there seems to be something missing at the end of your text
Yes, sorry. I was going to say there that you cannot require the player to take several decisions per turn. Changing a toggle or two every few turns is OK, having to revise each incomming battle to make tactical decisions is a no-no.
Current proposal already does this.
No it doesn't, or I deeply misunderstood it...
Well, it does not do the exact same thing, but to some extend. It certainly "makes point-blank weapons (like rams) work differently", in that they can't shot in the first combat rounds (they need to get to close range first, getting shot in the way), and "close-range and medium-range would work in a similar way, even if the change will be less important". The "depending on fleet orders" is missing, yes, but that is good (as per above). Apart from that, the fact that I have 3 ranges (long, short, close) and you have 4 (point-blanck, short, medium and long) isn't a meaningful difference.
The thing is, what I wrote here about stealth is deeply connected with my proposed combat mechanism and wouldn't work without it (if you remove the ability for ships to move between tiers during combat, long-range ships with good stealth could snipe entire fleets without any possible counter-measure).
Sure. I was pointing out that the good thing that your proposal has about stealth (which is certainly a good thing) is already (partly) present in this thread's weapon rework without the need of tactical combat or player orders, which is way simpler and easier to implement than your proposal (or than mine own tactical combat proposal).
You maybe right actually? But what about lasers' visibility in space operas?
Ah, OK then :D
And what about proton torps visibility, and railguns visibility, etc? Those doesn't look like silent weapons, why should be want lasers to be more noisy than other weapons and not the other way around. I mean, I like the idea of differentiating weapons by noisiness (that's on Geoff's plans for a long time), but we don't need to make it sillier than needed just because in movies we are used to see laser beans (although usually what we see in movies is supposed to be plasma).
the ability or not to shoot while moving
That makes no sense. There's no fluff we can come up to explain why a ship should restrict the working of its engines (so as to stop thrusting, or having to thrust in a given direction) in order to use certain weapons.
Of course there is (orion engine needs to divert all its energy to the laser/plasma gun/death ray in order to give it enough power to pierce enemy ships' armor) but I was actually going the other war around, weapons that cannot target accurately if the ship is moving (like tanks from the WWII era up to quite recently).
Well, I meant "no reasonable fluff".
Imagine a ship of line having to throw the anchor and wait for the ship to stop before shooting the cannons. Hehe.
Same for space ships. Ships are traveling at very high speeds, and having to stop just makes no sense. Movement in fact is just relative. Being "stopped" in space does not have a meaning. Stoped with respect to what? The factthat this is a space opera game does not imply that it must be unnecessarily silly.
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Re: Ship weapons rework

#79 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:42 am

Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:20 am
LienRag wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:18 pm
The thing is, what I wrote here about stealth is deeply connected with my proposed combat mechanism and wouldn't work without it (if you remove the ability for ships to move between tiers during combat, long-range ships with good stealth could snipe entire fleets without any possible counter-measure).
Sure. I was pointing out that the good thing that your proposal has about stealth (which is certainly a good thing) is already (partly) present in this thread's weapon rework without the need of tactical combat or player orders, which is way simpler and easier to implement than your proposal (or than mine own tactical combat proposal).
The current suggestion has actually has both (very simplified) models of stealth and "moving through ranges".

Moving through ranges is modelled as shrinking distances each combat bout.

Ranges are modelled by not being able to hit when being too far away.

Stealth was like unchanged to old freeorion - you can not shoot at a target which is too stealthy. Shooting a weapon gives your ship away.

So one effect is that hidden ships with close combat weapons (e.g. battle ram or the monster claws etc) would be hidden until they are close up, attacking in combat bout 3, which would mean they would be (only) vulnerable in bout 4. On the other hand if the ship is not stealthy enough it may not survive until combat bout 3 to do any damage.

And long-range ships would deal damage starting in bout 1. So long-range stealth ships are only protected in bout 1 from incoming fire from other long-range weapons.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Ship weapons rework

#80 Post by LienRag » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:58 pm

For nitpicking: having point-blank weapons doing (depending of the relative combat orders) from zero to 4 times the same damage as they do in the current proposal (the one Ophiuchus mentioned) looks to me like a difference.

And, still for nitpicking: the "good thing" (ship parts noisiness) that I proposed is not my idea, I'm reusing someone else's (Geoff's I think?). What's my idea is to have it even for ships firing their weapons (it would reduces their stealth, not reveal their position per se) and it works (i.e. can be countered, so is a viable game mechanism, not a gamewrecker) only if there's a way to do "scouting by combat" (sending ships where we suppose them to be) - cue my formation combat mechanism.

Apart from that nitpicking:
What about Orbital Mirrors? Ship part that would have the damage value of the friendly planet's infrastructure the ship is orbiting around?
Or Space Slingers? Ship part that can accelerate small Asteroids and send them to the enemy when they're in a system with Neutral of Friendly Asteroid Belts (bonus rate-of-fire if there's an Asteroid Processor)?
Or Gas Masers? Powerful weapons that require a Neutral of Friendly Gas Giant in the system the ship is in to function (bonus damage if there's a Gas Giant Generator)?
It seems really important to me to have battles produce different results in different locations...

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Re: Ship weapons rework

#81 Post by Oberlus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:42 pm

LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:58 pm
For nitpicking: having point-blank weapons doing (depending of the relative combat orders) from zero to 4 times the same damage as they do in the current proposal (the one Ophiuchus mentioned) looks to me like a difference.
Sorry, a difference to what?
If you are referring to what Ophiuchus (wonderfully) explained, it refers to the weapon proposal in this thread, explained somewhere at the first pages.
And, still for nitpicking: the "good thing" (ship parts noisiness) that I proposed is not my idea, I'm reusing someone else's (Geoff's I think?). What's my idea is to have it even for ships firing their weapons (it would reduces their stealth, not reveal their position per se) and it works (i.e. can be countered, so is a viable game mechanism, not a gamewrecker)
I think that's exactly Geoff's idea.
only if there's a way to do "scouting by combat" (sending ships where we suppose them to be) - cue my formation combat mechanism.
I don't think that makes sense with the current combat system. And your proposed combat system is probably vetoed as was mine, because it's too complex (more complex than mine).
What about Orbital Mirrors? Ship part that would have the damage value of the friendly planet's infrastructure the ship is orbiting around?
Nice idea, noted.
Or Space Slingers? Ship part that can accelerate small Asteroids and send them to the enemy when they're in a system with Neutral of Friendly Asteroid Belts (bonus rate-of-fire if there's an Asteroid Processor)?
Something similar (without the asteroid belt requirement) is in the weapons proposal: mass drivers. But I'm not sure about weapons that could be useless (because of hard requirements) depending on the system you are. A bonus from the requirement could good, though. Same for your Gas Masers (another nice idea).
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Re: Ship weapons rework

#82 Post by LienRag » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:32 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:42 pm
LienRag wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:58 pm
For nitpicking: having point-blank weapons doing (depending of the relative combat orders) from zero to 4 times the same damage as they do in the current proposal (the one Ophiuchus mentioned) looks to me like a difference.
Sorry, a difference to what?
It's just nitpicking, but between the current proposal and my formation combat mechanics, a point-blank ship would either win (do four rounds of damage) or lose (do zero round of damage) depending of the initial position and orders received, so I can't say that it's the same mechanic, though I do admit that Ophiuchus's is a way to abstract it to some extent.
I think that's exactly Geoff's idea.
Oh, so apparently I brought nothing new here. Or maybe if Geoff's noisiness didn't affect ships before battle did I bring the reverse concept of what I thought I brought? Because I think both noisinesses are interesting and should be implemented, the one that lowers the base stealth of a ship AND the one that further reduces its stealth the more it uses its weapons in combat.

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:42 pm
Something similar (without the asteroid belt requirement) is in the weapons proposal: mass drivers. But I'm not sure about weapons that could be useless (because of hard requirements) depending on the system you are. A bonus from the requirement could good, though. Same for your Gas Masers (another nice idea).
Well, with the fluff I gave, they'll be useless outside their source of power...
And I think that's a simpler way that giving just a bonus, it shows clearly where they are supposed to fight.
I can understand how powerful weapons that work only around one's planets could turn into spammable orbital defense ships (and I agree that we don't want that), but it seems that to avoid this it's better to limit the boni from player-owned structures (Asteroid Processors and so on) than to allow these weapons to fight efficiently outside of Gas Giants/Asteroids/whatever: this way they'll be nearly as efficient on offense than on defense, fleet that use them should just be wary of not being caught flat-footed.
That makes Orbital Mirrors as I called them maybe a not-so-good idea actually - I'll let you decide about it.

(and again for nitpicking, aren't mass drivers a sort of gauss gun? I always thought of them that way.
Asteroid slingers are different in that they sling much more massive - let's say the size of a car - projectiles, and should as such make more damage to big hulls when this distinction will be implemented)

I don't know how the backend work but such weapons should definitely have their boni strictly depend on the system where they do fight, not begin able to carry them to other systems (even with waning effects like Solarweb).

I very much like the concept of Solarweb by the way, and Void Themes may use weapons with Black Holes boni perhaps?
It would be boring to have each theme have a similar mechanism to benefit from some specific Star type but if the design is different enough it's still an idea to pursue imho (the way Organic War Adaption works is in itself a way of differentiating Organic Hulls that allows for other Themes location-specific boni that would still be original).

Do we have weapons that are jammed by Galactical events (Ion Cloud, Nebulae, things like that)? That sure would be nice to be able to mount a surprise counterattack on a temporarily crippled bully (yes I know that some already disable shields and that's already a nice mechanism)...
Or maybe some that benefit from them? I'm sure in some of the weirdest Themes or side Themes there's a way to imagine wacky things...

Even maybe have one Theme that has its most effective weapons location-or-event-dependant? Going that theme will mean more powerful weapons but absolutely non-versatile ones, so a very specific playstyle.


By the way, I think that the Themes which are the most efficient for military production should be also the least efficient for Supply/Influence mechanisms: not only would it play on the narrative that "violence doesn't solve everything" but it should bring more intelligent strategies as one would have to choose between being able to wreak havoc to enemy fleet and worlds or being able to manage the wide Empire that his fleet are able to create.

A difference could also be made between Themes more suited for Space combat and those more suited for Ground combat...

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Re: Ship weapons rework

#83 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:38 am

LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:32 pm
It's just nitpicking, but between the current proposal and my formation combat mechanics, a point-blank ship would either win (do four rounds of damage) or lose (do zero round of damage) depending of the initial position and orders received, so I can't say that it's the same mechanic, though I do admit that Ophiuchus's is a way to abstract it to some extent.
I don't think we understand each other. Here nobody was talking about combat formations. And what Ophiuchus explained is about the proposed weapons (and combat) system described in this thread, as I told you.
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