Are Ginormous Ships Necessary?

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

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solrac776
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#121 Post by solrac776 »

haravikk wrote:Technically you could attach any size weapon to any sized ship.
Yes, in games and in fiction you can technically attach anything to anything.

But we don't want to destroy the user's sense of disbelief. It would be very hard to convince someone that you can attach to a ship something that's twice as large as it and that needs four times as much power -- and then still be able to operate the ship as before without awesome amounts of technology. At the very least you'd need something like what Zpock pointed out.

Your favouring smaller ships vs. larger ships in some respects and larger ships in others, is in keeping with the ideas discussed earlier in this thread.
haravikk wrote: But erm yeah, IMO in a space game mass is negligable, except in terms of engines getting a thing to move.
Mass is negligable in a space game that doesn't want to be bothered about gravity. As far as I know, gravity isn't going to be modelled in FreeOrion but it has been used to explain/justify concepts when brainstorming. The latter is true in several posts in this thread.
haravikk wrote:Maybe a better word would simply be structure points
That's a good term for it. Everything like power, hull strength, mass, and space needed being abstracted into "structure points". Then mounting a weapon would cost/require X structure points.
haravikk wrote: Back onto similar fleet sizes though, I guess part of this could depend heavily on the economics of it. If refitting is a good solution
I assume that refitting is already included as part of FreeOrion (a more informed poster would know otherwise). Anyway, refitting wouldn't restrict fleet-size per se. It's just as likely to lead to *larger* fleets.

As you mentioned, refitting out-dated ships to update them to the current designs, tends to be cheaper than scrapping the old ship and building a newer model from scratch. So it is more efficient to update your current fleet by re-fitting each ship than to scrap it and build a new one. You could then use the saved production time/points on other projects including more ships. That's how I've always seen it used by players. The maintenance costs that you mentioned would be more of a hindrance to fleet sizes.

I agreed with pretty much everything else in your post, though.

Impaler
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#122 Post by Impaler »

I'd like to see a ratio of up to 10,000:1 mainly for the purposes of alowing "Nomad" play ala HomeWorld. A super ship that serves as your races "world" would make for some interesting play.

Control realy should be stack based as was done in Moo1 and Stars!. With sufficiently good design the player should still be able to fee some conection with their larger ships which will typicaly run around a dozen at any one time.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

ewh02b
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#123 Post by ewh02b »

@Impaler:

That wouldn't be a ship, it would be a special item ("wonder").

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Krikkitone
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#124 Post by Krikkitone »

I may have mentioned this earlier in this thread but probably the best way to allow for reasonable ship sizes is to make the
Cost for a Weapon/engine/ship system of size X
be roughly proportional to what a planet with the same tech level can be expected to produce.

so if a planet makes 100 production in the early game and 2300 production in the late game, then
if basic Early game Battleship costs 1,000, a late game battleship should cost about 23,000

So the number of Battleships will roughly reflect the Size of your empire.. meaning it will grow, but not out of control.

Its only with a large empire that you would even think about making a Doom star even if you had the tech to build it... no matter what tech you were at.

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#125 Post by Eddie »

Just joined the forums recently, so don't know every bit of information yet, but what i know so far is this:
- ships will have weapon slots
- ships will get some form of combat bonus for beeing smaller (able to dodge)
- ship size diversity will be encouraged by different sizes having different roles in battle

Someone also proposed the research tree to have better versions for a ship of the same size.

That brings up in my mind the Mechwarrior way of outfitting. One of the most fun parts of the game for me. With some modifications i think it would serve FO very well.

Some details and explanation:
Mechs come in different sizes that roughly fall in different size categories (small, medium, large). Size here is discribed by weight, that is a rough indicator of how much stuff you can load on it. Whats more important though is what model it is, for they differ on speed, armor, cooling and weaponslots (specialised. You can't put rockets in a beamweapon slot). You can fit more armor on them and add more heatsinks, but they add weight you might also have used for more rocketreloads or another laser. There is a limit on how much weight each mech type can have.
Now to translate this into FO. Ships are treated like mechs (but weight substituded with space), in that you have to research each model and higher techs are better models. Bigger not neccesarily better. They also have specialised weaponslots, which means for an LR ship you need to use a model that has a big spinal direct fire weapon slot. For a carrier you need to use a different model that allows for a docking bay so you can put fighters on it. Each model also has a fixed value for size that is used for hit chance calculation, and also a modifier for manuverability that is multiplied by an enginetech value (which is also factored in when calculating hits). Depending on how much of an effect size and munverability has on surviving in combat, smaller ships have an advantage. On the other hand, a long range laser requires a medium to big weaponslot and lots of cooling, that a small ship can't provide. As techlevel advances, you might get a shipmodel that is medium but has one very big weapon slot.
I would also put a value on each weaponslot that determines how advanced the technology is it can hold. That leads as to the scouting issue. Just give smaller ships higher tech sensor slots. They can't be put on bigger ships because all the other stuff interferes with the readings.

I probably better post more detailes in the ship technology thread, but i hope you understand what i'm aiming at.

ewh02b
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#126 Post by ewh02b »

I liked Mechwarrior 3 and 4, but my favorite was Mechwarrior 2. In MW2, you were a clan member, driving omnimechs--in other words, no specialized slots, just load the weapons onto whatever body part struck you.

We, however, could use the Innersphere system, and recognize that certain weapons have to be placed in certain locations.

Eddie
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#127 Post by Eddie »

Aye, i played the Mechcommander games and only the demo of Mechwarrior 4. Though i really liked the demo, i never got around to get the game. I'm no expert on the MW universe, but what you say is what i had in the back of my mind.

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Krikkitone
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#128 Post by Krikkitone »

Eddie wrote:Just joined the forums recently, so don't know every bit of information yet, but what i know so far is this:
- ships will have weapon slots
- ships will get some form of combat bonus for beeing smaller (able to dodge)
- ship size diversity will be encouraged by different sizes having different roles in battle

Someone also proposed the research tree to have better versions for a ship of the same size.

That brings up in my mind the Mechwarrior way of outfitting. One of the most fun parts of the game for me. With some modifications i think it would serve FO very well.

Some details and explanation:
Mechs come in different sizes that roughly fall in different size categories (small, medium, large). Size here is discribed by weight, that is a rough indicator of how much stuff you can load on it. Whats more important though is what model it is, for they differ on speed, armor, cooling and weaponslots (specialised. You can't put rockets in a beamweapon slot). You can fit more armor on them and add more heatsinks, but they add weight you might also have used for more rocketreloads or another laser. There is a limit on how much weight each mech type can have.
Now to translate this into FO. Ships are treated like mechs (but weight substituded with space), in that you have to research each model and higher techs are better models. Bigger not neccesarily better. They also have specialised weaponslots, which means for an LR ship you need to use a model that has a big spinal direct fire weapon slot. For a carrier you need to use a different model that allows for a docking bay so you can put fighters on it. Each model also has a fixed value for size that is used for hit chance calculation, and also a modifier for manuverability that is multiplied by an enginetech value (which is also factored in when calculating hits). Depending on how much of an effect size and munverability has on surviving in combat, smaller ships have an advantage. On the other hand, a long range laser requires a medium to big weaponslot and lots of cooling, that a small ship can't provide. As techlevel advances, you might get a shipmodel that is medium but has one very big weapon slot.
I would also put a value on each weaponslot that determines how advanced the technology is it can hold. That leads as to the scouting issue. Just give smaller ships higher tech sensor slots. They can't be put on bigger ships because all the other stuff interferes with the readings.

I probably better post more detailes in the ship technology thread, but i hope you understand what i'm aiming at.
Well I don't think we want something that limiting.

If I want to build a small ship that is nothing but a long range laser (and engines, control etc.), I should be able to do it. The cooling system and power supply for the laser should be included in the size of the laser itself.

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#129 Post by Eddie »

If you include a small ship type with one direct fire weapon slot, here is your nothing but a laser ship. Depends all on how it is implemented.
As for cooling and powersupply included: if you say its all included or nothing is included but add exactly that much room it would require to hull space (or substract it from laser size), what system offers you more freedom?
Certainly the one with less hardcoded components.

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Krikkitone
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#130 Post by Krikkitone »

Eddie wrote: what system offers you more freedom?
Certainly the one with less hardcoded components.
Exactly, and a 'direct weapon slot is a hard coded component, something we want to avoid.

Now if there is some way a Laser can be of any use without a power plant+cooling system, then it might be good to include those as seperate components... on th other hand, if a Laser needs a power plant + cooling system, having them seperate is just like not giving you a laser weapons option but instead a pwer plant, cooling system, ruby cryslal, properly oriented mirrors, turrent motor, turrent armor, Fire control system, etc. and Asking you to assemble a working laser.... That's what I spent my RPs to do, that's the business of the little electronic Psilons and Meklar to do that.

Which I why I think a Simple amount of space per wepon is the ONLY requirement a weapon should have (possibly an amount of space PER Shot for things like missiles as well)

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#131 Post by Eddie »

I thought ships having weapon slots has already been decided? It says so in the wiki.

The point of having energy seperated from the laser is to give you more options to tweak. Sure, you can say the laser comes with a basic power supply and cooling. But you can add generators and heatsinks to the ship (instead of adding more armor or shield generators) to get the laser to fire faster. It should be a tradeoff.
Of course, if you don't have weapon slots you'd just add another laser instead of generators for same effect, but personally the "more space = more guns" equation is too simple for my tastes.

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Krikkitone
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#132 Post by Krikkitone »

Eddie wrote:I thought ships having weapon slots has already been decided? It says so in the wiki.
No it is being considered, nothing finally decided as far as I know
The point of having energy seperated from the laser is to give you more options to tweak. Sure, you can say the laser comes with a basic power supply and cooling. But you can add generators and heatsinks to the ship (instead of adding more armor or shield generators) to get the laser to fire faster. It should be a tradeoff.
Of course, if you don't have weapon slots you'd just add another laser instead of generators for same effect, but personally the "more space = more guns" equation is too simple for my tastes.
Well there you would just be using some option that gave a Laser a Higher Fire Rate (Auto Fire or something like that)

The other option would be treating Lasers sort of like missiles... How many Basic systems do you want (How many Laser/Missile Tubes) and then how much Rate of Fire/Ammo do you want them to have avaialable. The thing is, if that was unlimited there would almost never be a reason to have more than One laser that fires X times a second rather than X lasers that fire once a second (since they would require the same amount of power/cooling, but more actual lasers on the second one)

I'd rather have additional Lasers than just one laser firing more often. but the point is choosing between the two is either pointless or automatic (either one option is always better, or it doesn't matter) since they are both the same in combat, the player shouldn't be forced to bother about that decision.

An option to tweak is a BAD idea if it is pointless, and even worse if it alsways the best to do it one way.

Better to just leave the option off. You want to do more damage with the ship, fill more space with weapons [more weapons will always be equivalent to a higher ROF, although things like shield/armor penetration, range, targetability may be better served by customizing the weapon] but that is an option that should be there Without slots

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#133 Post by marhawkman »

Krikkitone wrote:
Eddie wrote:I thought ships having weapon slots has already been decided? It says so in the wiki.
No it is being considered, nothing finally decided as far as I know
Ipersonally hate that idea.
Krikkitone wrote:The thing is, if that was unlimited there would almost never be a reason to have more than One laser that fires X times a second rather than X lasers that fire once a second (since they would require the same amount of power/cooling, but more actual lasers on the second one)
simple. Use a sytem similar to SE3 wher taking damage to the ship will sometimes disable systems. Having a single laser firing like a Vulcan Cannon might do a bit more damage, but if the Laser gets hit your weapons are gone.
Computer programming is fun.

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#134 Post by Eddie »

You didn't get the point.
Generators would be much smaller than a whole laser. But to make it super clear, lets say its a stellar converter, not a laser. Do you get my point now?

In any case, if the slot weapon system gets used (which the generator idea is intended for), you will have a limit on how many weapons you can put on a ship. The generators should rival armor and shield for space. Or engine power.
You can use your hull space for shield generators, weapon power generators, more armor or more engine power.

And to respond to that gatling laser thing: There should be an upper limit for how many generators can effectively be used. I said this in another thread i think.

To remove all misunderstanding, here an example:
Your mark IV battle cruiser has 20 hull space left to outfit. Extra power generators for weapons take up one space, as do extra shieldgenerators, extra armor and extra engine boosters.
If you want a totally offensive ship, you'd put in 16 weapon power generators (more won't raise damage further). Then 2 extra shield generators and 2 extra armor.
For a defensive ship, it would be 10 armor and 10 shield.

Easy to understand system.

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Krikkitone
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#135 Post by Krikkitone »

Eddie wrote: In any case, if the slot weapon system gets used (which the generator idea is intended for), you will have a limit on how many weapons you can put on a ship. The generators should rival armor and shield for space. Or engine power.
You can use your hull space for shield generators, weapon power generators, more armor or more engine power.


Easy to understand system.
OK I think I get it, generators would be a way that 'generic slots' could be used for weapons without ruining the use of weapons slots.



I think my basic problem is with the slot system, I think it makes things too restrictive and necessitates us (as game makers) designing a bunch of Hull types to try and fit all the needs we think the game should fill. I think its far easier just to have lists

Weapons/Defenses/Sensors/Stealth/Engines/Other

You then fill those lists up*, have a little thing indicating total size of ship used. Possibly another thing indicating the range of a desired size/current size... so that if your ship is, 180 it displays 180=Small (100-199) OR 180 < Large (600-899) the later if you select Large.

*The lists do not have any 'Limit' on the, they would just be a way for you to easily sort through waht systems were on your ship.

As for the Type of Hull... I'd include it as a System on the ship
(so the ship could have 3 Standard Hull Systems... making it stronger than 2 Standard Hull Systems.. and the larger the ship got the weaker it would get)

One Thing that would be good for this (especially in situations like the Hull, Armor, Shield, [Defense] and Engine systems... and probably Stealth Systems as well would be to just set a performance mark

So I could set my Engines to give a performance of 2, and then whenever I added a Weapon system on making my ship bigger, the # of Engines would automatically adjust to make sure there were enough to give this new, bigger ship a performance of 2.
Last edited by Krikkitone on Sat Mar 25, 2006 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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