Ship Design

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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skdiw
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#76 Post by skdiw » Thu Dec 08, 2005 4:50 pm

Zpock wrote:What's with all the "balanced ship" hate????, specialized ships always seem to come out on top anyway in most games with ship design. For example, a ship with mixed weapon ranges usually sucks at both short range or long range combat compared to specialized ones. Then there's usually components that give bonuses to/against specific weapon classes like beams or missiles too. It almost always makes sense stacking those bonuses as much as possible with a specialized ship. See Stars! for a good example. The RPS of missile BB < jammer beam BB < capacitor beam BB < missile BB etc is just beautiful.
We already discussed that. Go to page 3. Yes there is some natural rps, but as seen in most games, that rps is not enough. There needs to be some explicit bonus, often games implement that directly through tables. We need to boost rps to 50-100%, which I think its a good range to aim for and natural rps don't give you that high.

The the key to your arguement is: bonus. What bonuses are you stacking? That's what we are discussing here, how and what bonuses to implement so it's more beautiful than missile BB + 100% versus capacitor beam BB, but -50% versus jammer beam BB.
:mrgreen:

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Dreamer
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#77 Post by Dreamer » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:55 pm

Zpock wrote:What's with all the "balanced ship" hate????, specialized ships always seem to come out on top anyway in most games with ship design.
Because that is the way it is. And it's logical also. Even if it's a realism argument, there is a reason why you don't see a combat tank / troop transport hybrid or a carrier with a couple of cannons. You separete the components and specialize your unit so they can be used for certain tasks. Then you build severel types of tem so you can move them in or out as the situation goes.

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This is 4X not Homeworld (and some people don't even want a tactical element).
I totally agree. Plus, I would preffer to see a working 1.0 version of FO with simple stuff and then think on how to complicate things more. You end with 2 or more complete games instead of one complicated from the begining. And so you appeal to more people.

I would do something like the new system proposed by sapphire.

- select the ship size (a tons available number is given, "free space" if you want)

- select a focus in a simple way: "light" - "normal" - " heavy" for the following (and decrease available space according to size and focus selection):
- movement (both speed and maneuver toghether).
- resistance (hp and armor toghether)
- shields
- etc

- Select a number of slots depending on ship size (single fighters can have 1 slot, doomstars about 10). The space still available is divided between slots as a decreasing percentage. For 3 slots for example 50% for the first, 33% for the second and 16% for the third.

For each slot the player can select a system and a size like this:

- Heavy missiles
- Light beams
- heavy sensors
- assault shuttles

Once selected, as many systems of that type as needed to fill the allocated space are selected.

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About things like "phase shields in nebulae". I don't like it at all.

First it's more complicated to select tech since you need to have in mind how many nebulae are out there.

Second, Things grow more confusing since you can kick your enemy's ass several times and suddently you go to a nebulae planet and get your fleet mutilated just because you didn't look carefully to wich type of shield some (not even all) of the enemy ships were using and exactly what that shield meant. That kind of stuff can be VERY frustrating.

Third, bot ship design and combat GUI are more complicated since you actually need the player to be able to select and see shield types and it's description. An unnecessary thing IMHO.

Fourth, things became complicated to play. I need to have in mind the shield of every of my ships since some of them are obsolete outside of nebulae and good in them. And when I build new ships I need to think what to choose since my nebuale ships wont be able to successfully attack enemy planets without nebulae, thus reducing the ships efficiency. Etc.

And all this troubles because of ONE tech like this. Think in what happens when this is expanded to a system full of it.

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#78 Post by skdiw » Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:27 pm

I would do something like the new system proposed by sapphire.

- select the ship size (a tons available number is given, "free space" if you want)

- select a focus in a simple way: "light" - "normal" - " heavy" for the following (and decrease available space according to size and focus selection):
- movement (both speed and maneuver toghether).
- resistance (hp and armor toghether)
- shields
- etc

- Select a number of slots depending on ship size (single fighters can have 1 slot, doomstars about 10). The space still available is divided between slots as a decreasing percentage. For 3 slots for example 50% for the first, 33% for the second and 16% for the third.

For each slot the player can select a system and a size like this:

- Heavy missiles
- Light beams
- heavy sensors
- assault shuttles

Once selected, as many systems of that type as needed to fill the allocated space are selected.
I think you are just imposing arbitrary restrictions on how space can distributed, which in the case, a moo1 style from the way I mentioned is better. There is no additional rps, aside from the natural rps in your system.
About things like "phase shields in nebulae". I don't like it at all.

First it's more complicated to select tech since you need to have in mind how many nebulae are out there.

Second, Things grow more confusing since you can kick your enemy's ass several times and suddently you go to a nebulae planet and get your fleet mutilated just because you didn't look carefully to wich type of shield some (not even all) of the enemy ships were using and exactly what that shield meant. That kind of stuff can be VERY frustrating.

Third, bot ship design and combat GUI are more complicated since you actually need the player to be able to select and see shield types and it's description. An unnecessary thing IMHO.

Fourth, things became complicated to play. I need to have in mind the shield of every of my ships since some of them are obsolete outside of nebulae and good in them. And when I build new ships I need to think what to choose since my nebuale ships wont be able to successfully attack enemy planets without nebulae, thus reducing the ships efficiency. Etc.

And all this troubles because of ONE tech like this. Think in what happens when this is expanded to a system full of it.
point taken. Though, dead techs just suck, but as sucky is those complication you mentioned.
:mrgreen:

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utilae
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#79 Post by utilae » Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:53 pm

Daveybaby wrote: My only worry with it is that its a bit too vague what the results would be. If you designed a ship with certain foci, you will never be exactly sure what you will end up with, which feels a bit Moo3 if you know what i mean.
Agree. I hate that focus ship design idea. That kind of system is not even needed for ship design, because I don't think there is much of a problem to do with micromanagement, compared to managing planets and their buildings.

Daveybaby wrote:
utilae wrote:The item with the greatest quantity would get charged at a more economical rate if the quanitity is higher, eg 2 @ 5, 5 @ 7, etc.
I have a couple of real problems with this 'bulk buying discount' system.

(1) It will make small ships uncompetetive.

(2) It will encourage really boring designs with ships of just one weapon type each. Note that role != weapon, and there is far more to RPS than just what weapon you load on (e.g. speed, armour, maneouvrability, sensors).
I also do not like the bulk buying system, though I thought I would lend some ideas to it. It could work out nicely, but I think it would cause 'one weapon ships' to be too common. And I want diversity in ship design. Balanced ships as well as ships with three possible strategic uses for example, eg A fast ship that can get close, has time dialation shields and has a powerful pulsar weapon for short range destruction.

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#80 Post by skdiw » Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:27 am

utilae wrote:
Daveybaby wrote:
utilae wrote:The item with the greatest quantity would get charged at a more economical rate if the quanitity is higher, eg 2 @ 5, 5 @ 7, etc.
I have a couple of real problems with this 'bulk buying discount' system.

(1) It will make small ships uncompetetive.

(2) It will encourage really boring designs with ships of just one weapon type each. Note that role != weapon, and there is far more to RPS than just what weapon you load on (e.g. speed, armour, maneouvrability, sensors).
I also do not like the bulk buying system, though I thought I would lend some ideas to it. It could work out nicely, but I think it would cause 'one weapon ships' to be too common. And I want diversity in ship design. Balanced ships as well as ships with three possible strategic uses for example, eg A fast ship that can get close, has time dialation shields and has a powerful pulsar weapon for short range destruction.
Firstly, you want to manage TFs, not individual ships. Keep in mind the grand scale of things. You don't want to micro wonder ships, TF, and each ships with in TF. The rule bonus is easily scaled so you can scale down for balance ships if you wanted.

Note that in your example, it is an one weapon ship. The rule, as it stands atm, only applies for weapon, which was agreed was the focus for rps. That does not mean we can't apply the rule into all elements of a ship design, meaning you can have multiple copies of engine for faster ship AND multiple pulsar; the rule says "multiple copies of the same item" so it ems could mean sensors, engines, armor... However, you are beginning to complicate the tactics of the battle, which opens a whole lot of new topics that needs to be discussed. For example, the rule does not prevent you from getting dialation shield and fast engine, since they are independent elements from weapons/special, but if you want emphasis on non-weapon elements aside from mods that you get from refining/applying a tech, then A) you ruin our original concept of tech tree, B) increase complixity, and C) how do you emphasize faster ships and all other elements (actual implementation)? and having it all balanced?
:mrgreen:

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utilae
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#81 Post by utilae » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:16 am

Dreamer wrote:
Zpock wrote:What's with all the "balanced ship" hate????, specialized ships always seem to come out on top anyway in most games with ship design.
Because that is the way it is. And it's logical also. Even if it's a realism argument, there is a reason why you don't see a combat tank / troop transport hybrid or a carrier with a couple of cannons. You separete the components and specialize your unit so they can be used for certain tasks. Then you build severel types of tem so you can move them in or out as the situation goes.
There are plenty of tanks with decent guns and that carry 5 troops. Also, you do get lots of specialised vehicles, but you also get 'jack of all trades/swiss army knife' vehicles. Versatility is a very good thing.
Dreamer wrote: About things like "phase shields in nebulae". I don't like it at all.

First it's more complicated to select tech since you need to have in mind how many nebulae are out there.
So you need to do a bit of scouting and deal with terrain, which space doesn't have much of. Nebula's are probably the only thing to worry about, except space mines.
Dreamer wrote: Second, Things grow more confusing since you can kick your enemy's ass several times and suddently you go to a nebulae planet and get your fleet mutilated just because you didn't look carefully to wich type of shield some (not even all) of the enemy ships were using and exactly what that shield meant. That kind of stuff can be VERY frustrating.
So a powerful player is suddenly going to cry about loosing when coming across a nebula. I think that such a tech as a shield that can work well in a nebula or shields that cannot work in a nebula should be ok. The penalty should not be so great that it is an instant loss. It should be inefficiency, but not impossibility. Moo2 also had nebulas. Shields did not work in them, no one complained.
Dreamer wrote: Third, bot ship design and combat GUI are more complicated since you actually need the player to be able to select and see shield types and it's description. An unnecessary thing IMHO.
Hardly complicated GUI at all. I expect various types of shields and weapons, so the information necesary should be there. I would be more boring if there was a lack of variety because people were afraid to implement a GUI that isn't even that complicated. I would in fact like that kind of depth. Select shields, scroll types, select phase shields, "I Like", click ok.
Dreamer wrote: Fourth, things became complicated to play. I need to have in mind the shield of every of my ships since some of them are obsolete outside of nebulae and good in them. And when I build new ships I need to think what to choose since my nebuale ships wont be able to successfully attack enemy planets without nebulae, thus reducing the ships efficiency. Etc.
The inefficiency should not be so great that it is impossible. The game is going to be complicated anyway with all the different types of weapons, ship designs, so it will involve a lot of sorting anyway.
skdiw wrote: Firstly, you want to manage TFs, not individual ships. Keep in mind the grand scale of things. You don't want to micro wonder ships, TF, and each ships with in TF. The rule bonus is easily scaled so you can scale down for balance ships if you wanted.
I did not really give an indication whether I was managing TFs or Individual Ships. I would like some flexibility, ie rather than being limited to selecting and controlling TFs, I can select and control groups of ships based on my desired selection. Eg, I can select two ships and say, "go here", etc. I think if things were done right, we could have that flexibility. We certainly should not have real time, I would like turn based or phased time (this more since I like it more).
skdiw wrote: Note that in your example, it is an one weapon ship. The rule, as it stands atm, only applies for weapon, which was agreed was the focus for rps. That does not mean we can't apply the rule into all elements of a ship design, meaning you can have multiple copies of engine for faster ship AND multiple pulsar; the rule says "multiple copies of the same item" so it ems could mean sensors, engines, armor...
You should expand the rule then, if you want. Does this "more economic with higher quanities" rule apply to weapons or like items in a limiting way. Eg, can I choose an equal quantity of Lasers, Missiles and Torpedoes and have the rule applied for all three resulting in quantities of 7, 7, 7. OR is it limiting, eg one gets the rule applied resulting in quantities like 7, 5, 5.

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skdiw
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#82 Post by skdiw » Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:55 pm

skdiw wrote: Note that in your example, it is an one weapon ship. The rule, as it stands atm, only applies for weapon, which was agreed was the focus for rps. That does not mean we can't apply the rule into all elements of a ship design, meaning you can have multiple copies of engine for faster ship AND multiple pulsar; the rule says "multiple copies of the same item" so it ems could mean sensors, engines, armor...
You should expand the rule then, if you want. Does this "more economic with higher quanities" rule apply to weapons or like items in a limiting way. Eg, can I choose an equal quantity of Lasers, Missiles and Torpedoes and have the rule applied for all three resulting in quantities of 7, 7, 7. OR is it limiting, eg one gets the rule applied resulting in quantities like 7, 5, 5.
The rule applies to any items that you have copies of. If you have 3 different types of items, the rule applies to each and of the type. The I said, the rule applies to all specturm of ships from balanced example that you have, to specific. The rule naturally scales to give more bonus (in terms of pp cost reduction) to more specific.
:mrgreen:

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#83 Post by Dreamer » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:01 pm

skdiw wrote:I think you are just imposing arbitrary restrictions on how space can distributed, which in the case, a moo1 style from the way I mentioned is better. There is no additional rps, aside from the natural rps in your system.
The idea was to build it similar to planet focus. In the case of small ships only a primary focus is needed. Biger ships can have a primary and a secundary. Even bigger ships needs more. So how to separate the percentages for N focuses so they are decreasing? What I did with the example was, give the primary focus the number of total focuses and each focus below one less than the above, the number divided by the total is the proportion. I.E:

given / total = precentage of space allocated.
1 focus:
1 / 1 = 1 (100%)

2 focuses:
2 / 3 = 0.66
1 / 3 = 0.33

3 focuses:
3 / 6(3+2+1) = 0.50 (50%)
2 / 6 = 0.33
1 / 6 = 0.16

etc. It's only an example of how it can be done. But the basic idea is first select a general category for main components, then select focus to a variable number of weapons/specials depending on ship size. So smaller ships are simplier than bigger ones.
There are plenty of tanks with decent guns and that carry 5 troops. Also, you do get lots of specialised vehicles, but you also get 'jack of all trades/swiss army knife' vehicles. Versatility is a very good thing.
Yes, but that can be called a vehicle "specialized on versatility". My point is that you should be abble to decide what kind of ship you want and no strict system should be used to enforce versatile designs.
The penalty should not be so great that it is an instant loss. It should be inefficiency, but not impossibility. Moo2 also had nebulas. Shields did not work in them, no one complained.
It's not about all ships shields not working, its about WITCH ships work differently and witch ones doesn't. I had played Moo2 a LOT and I really didn't know that nebulae affected your shields till now!! I just didn't notice/care. It all about the greater complexity when a player needs to design a ship or balance how many ships construct of each type.

It's not that the idea is flawed or crazy, it about the fact (and it is a FACT) that every extra complexity added to the game makes it more complex to develop and more complex to play. Then it's all about how complex you want the game to be, how abble an AI can you get to work with that complexity and how much do you want to wait the game to be ready.

Some players would like that extra complexity and variety. Others will not care/notice and still play it and others will not like the complexity and will abandon FO completely. Myself? I'm all for simplicity (as complex as Moo1 works nice for me). I would like to play a game of FO in 1-2 hours in my few spare time, not spend weeks in a single game.

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#84 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:26 pm

Dreamer wrote:
skdiw wrote:I think you are just imposing arbitrary restrictions on how space can distributed, which in the case, a moo1 style from the way I mentioned is better. There is no additional rps, aside from the natural rps in your system.
The idea was to build it similar to planet focus.
I think you miss the point (and jump into detailed explanation), which is that there's a good reason for the very simplified planet model of pri/sec focus, which is the elimination of tedioius micromanagement that plagues 4X games. This doesn't (it is argued) apply to ship design however, which you only have to do once per design (as opposed to building a copy of 20 different buildings on each planet you control). Thus, ship design interface / system can be made more involved and complicated than the planet model interface / system.

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#85 Post by skdiw » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:30 pm

Dreamer wrote:
skdiw wrote:I think you are just imposing arbitrary restrictions on how space can distributed, which in the case, a moo1 style from the way I mentioned is better. There is no additional rps, aside from the natural rps in your system.
The idea was to build it similar to planet focus. In the case of small ships only a primary focus is needed. Biger ships can have a primary and a secundary. Even bigger ships needs more. So how to separate the percentages for N focuses so they are decreasing? What I did with the example was, give the primary focus the number of total focuses and each focus below one less than the above, the number divided by the total is the proportion. I.E:

given / total = precentage of space allocated.
1 focus:
1 / 1 = 1 (100%)


2 focuses:
2 / 3 = 0.66
1 / 3 = 0.33

3 focuses:
3 / 6(3+2+1) = 0.50 (50%)
2 / 6 = 0.33
1 / 6 = 0.16

etc. It's only an example of how it can be done. But the basic idea is first select a general category for main components, then select focus to a variable number of weapons/specials depending on ship size. So smaller ships are simplier than bigger ones.
So I did understand you correctly. Then in which case, my point still remains, that you are arbitrary imposing limits on ships are designed with no improvement in gameplay other less clicks to design a ship. The small benefit does not outweigh the cost of great restriction on how ships are built. For example, what if a player wants a small ship with a beam and a missile? Even if you select "balanced," that is not much different than from selecting one beam and one missile. And how is building two of these ships differ from an opposing team building one small ship equiped with two missiles and another small ship with two beams?

Geoff also has a point that ship design is a once in a while event. In addition, most player enjoys designing, so we don't need the focus mechanics here.
:mrgreen:

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#86 Post by Dreamer » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:53 pm

skdiw wrote:Geoff also has a point that ship design is a once in a while event. In addition, most player enjoys designing, so we don't need the focus mechanics here.
Anyway, what I would like is a simple combat sistem and simple ships around. I don't care much for how complicated is the design process for them. Anyway, I get your point. Maybe Moo2 design is the best after all, but I would still have a reduced set of weapons / specials (no need to have every beam, bomb and missile terch unless they have a different evvect in combat).

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#87 Post by discord » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:18 pm

dreamer: then advocate a 'strategic battle' option, which foregoes all ship design and other boring tactical aspects like interactive ship combat.

create complexity in simplicity, just toss components in, and see what happens with the numbers....want faster? toss in more engines, more hits? add more armor.

<edit>
and just to toss in, energy is quite possibly the most important part in a ship...although you can go with a the size of the power needed is included in each system' but that is booooooring.
</edit>

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#88 Post by Dreamer » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:36 pm

discord wrote:dreamer: then advocate a 'strategic battle' option, which foregoes all ship design and other boring tactical aspects like interactive ship combat.
Thinks are not only black and white. In this case I want grey. It's not about having or not complexity, its about the level of complexity. And I would preffer simple but not as simple as a risk game.

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#89 Post by Kostik666 » Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:05 pm

Just to put in my 5 cents...

Adding a little complexity to ship design would be good.

I think it would be better to really be able to tweak ship characteristics, rather than just build 1000 ships. Make it more individual ship combat, such that its more interesting to battle in 3 v 3 ships giving the player some choice of strategy.

MOO3 pissed me off, because by the end i had like 30 armadas or more, and because of the generic designs it was like controlling 30 units that did the exact same thing... move forward ---> shoot ---> repeat. until the end.

With more customization, you could limit the maximum amount of ships that a player builds, and yet give him a feel that his empire's ships are better than the enemy (not just in quantity)


again... i have not been paying attention to development in a while, so if this has been mentioned, or ruled out due to development problems, dont hesitate to ignore this post.
>^)

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#90 Post by skdiw » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:55 pm

Kostik666 wrote:Just to put in my 5 cents...

Adding a little complexity to ship design would be good.

I think it would be better to really be able to tweak ship characteristics, rather than just build 1000 ships. Make it more individual ship combat, such that its more interesting to battle in 3 v 3 ships giving the player some choice of strategy.

MOO3 pissed me off, because by the end i had like 30 armadas or more, and because of the generic designs it was like controlling 30 units that did the exact same thing... move forward ---> shoot ---> repeat. until the end.

With more customization, you could limit the maximum amount of ships that a player builds, and yet give him a feel that his empire's ships are better than the enemy (not just in quantity)


again... i have not been paying attention to development in a while, so if this has been mentioned, or ruled out due to development problems, dont hesitate to ignore this post.
nothing is firmly decided yet. When something is decided, we say it's "passed" and it will appear in the features thread. Everything in brainstorm are subject to change/ignored.

So far, many people don't like WC3 style combat, so you won't see many large or wonder ships duking it out. However, that doesn't mean you can't funnel all your resources into making super ships with powerful specials to tackle Klackon's Hive fleet that are composed with many small generic ships. We could balance the game that way. ship sizes rps hasn't been decided yet, but it seems people prefer conventional large ships is generally better game design. We decided that there going to be weaponry/defense rps. There are four different category of weapons, each with its own unique characteristics, as well as a special bonus when used against certain defense. We are also discussing terrain effects so it won't necessary mean move forward and attack, repeat. Again, none of these are passed, but just what we are favor atm.
:mrgreen:

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