Are Ginormous Ships Necessary?

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solrac776
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#61 Post by solrac776 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:34 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
solrac776 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:Please don't reply about ship design systems in this thread. Make or find another thread if you want to discuss it in depth separately from the size issue.
Marhawkman was just giving an example, Geoff, to try and give the clarification that you asked for. There was no need to be so critical.
That wasn't directed at Marhawkman specifically, but rather anyone replying, and I wasn't being critical, though I can see how you'd read it that way.
Oh. My apologies Geoff.

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#62 Post by marhawkman » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:50 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
skdiw wrote:the differrent sizes or chasis are researched once. you stick whatever components in there. the different chasis may comprised of better "power plant" or something else that makes their performance in certain area better than predecesor. or the improvements could be a bigger hull size than before.
What's a "chasis" now, and how's it different from size?

In my suggestion, if there were "power plant" parts or somesuch, they'd be just another component you'd add, not an integral part of the ship size...
I think he's talking about something like the ship designs used in Stars!. In that game the "size" of a hull wasn't the only factor in determining what you could do with it. (for example: battleships had most of their hull slots only useable for weapons.)
Geoff the Medio wrote:
note that in your design, you also have competing factors: improvement in certain measures of the ship by increasing size, or just improving the measure and sticking it into your ship.
I can't tell what you're trying to say here...
I think he's talking about incremental improvements in your ships by doing additional technical research.
Geoff the Medio wrote:I suspect this would be better treated by just improving the ship parts that get put into the ship, rather than having the hull size itself be upgradable in anyway, though...
That's the way it worked in the Harrington books though. "incremental advances" resulted in new BattleCruisers being the size of the old Battleships, etc....
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#63 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:08 pm

marhawkman wrote:I think he's talking about something like the ship designs used in Stars!. In that game the "size" of a hull wasn't the only factor in determining what you could do with it. (for example: battleships had most of their hull slots only useable for weapons.)
Ship roles are an issue that should be discussed on another thread.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
note that in your design, you also have competing factors: improvement in certain measures of the ship by increasing size, or just improving the measure and sticking it into your ship.
I can't tell what you're trying to say here...
I think he's talking about incremental improvements in your ships by doing additional technical research.
I got that much, but he's got some specific idea and unstated assumptions he's refering to that I can't figure out from what he's written.
"incremental advances" resulted in new BattleCruisers being the size of the old Battleships, etc....
That would make them another size then. If you wanted that, you'd just build a ship of the bigger size. Sizes are fixed and discrete; no sub-sizes.

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#64 Post by marhawkman » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:14 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Sizes are fixed and discrete; no sub-sizes.
Aw... That sounds like a fun idea actually....I liked the idea of being able to improve the available space of your hulls by doing additional research.
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#65 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:22 pm

marhawkman wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:Sizes are fixed and discrete; no sub-sizes.
Aw... That sounds like a fun idea actually....I liked the idea of being able to improve the available space of your hulls by doing additional research.
You research the components to make the ship designs better.

Increasing hull size by research (other than a whole new size class) is problematic because it breaks upgrade compatibility between ship designs by changing the number of components that are in subsequent versions of the same class of ship (where class is same size hull and same type, though not necessary version, of components).

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#66 Post by skdiw » Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:36 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
skdiw wrote:the differrent sizes or chasis are researched once. you stick whatever components in there. the different chasis may comprised of better "power plant" or something else that makes their performance in certain area better than predecesor. or the improvements could be a bigger hull size than before.
What's a "chasis" now, and how's it different from size?
i interpret ship size as increase in hull size. since our ships have roles, i figure it's better to say "chasis," or "class."
note that in your design, you also have competing factors: improvement in certain measures of the ship by increasing size, or just improving the measure and sticking it into your ship.
I can't tell what you're trying to say here...
for example, you can upgrade your small ships to move faster either by researching tiny, or research engine. you have redundancy in the tech tree. not saying necessary it's bad.
Successive ship sizes are not "generations". They are all to be used simultaneously.
ok, generation might not be the right word; but the point remains to be understood. remember that FO is a strategy game. tactical battles shouldn't change the outcome of good strategy. if i outplayed you in the macro game, it doesn't matter what ships you have, i should win. the only way i figure your idea would work is if the strategic landscape changes to justify a constant T. all other games have increase in T. I'm highly doubful your traditional ship classes have the proper returns/investments. you said it that each research tech should be important, and i totally agree. so that means the returns must be uber too (not just some minor bonuses in a niche) in order to balance the investments.
We could perhaps have refinements of ship sizes (contrary to my previous suggestion), that would hopefully also make smaller ship sizes more expensive to produce, but also better in some way (though not in a way that compromizes the distinct pros/cos of different ship sizes). These refinements would need to be significant improvements though, not baby-steps, or could be something you could seamlessly upgrade existing ships of the same size to, like replacing weapons with newer versions.
that was the idea.
I suspect this would be better treated by just improving the ship parts that get put into the ship, rather than having the hull size itself be upgradable in anyway, though...
improving ship parts don't equal better ship class. ship parts can be place on other ship class, whereas a ship class uses a part more effectively, thereby giving you a ship class rps, hence a mixture of ship classes.
research is considered growth part of rps macro-strategy. that means research must pay off more than it's investments in the long run, or else research serves minimal purpose for the player. therefore, T must increase, and connot be normalized to the same T after normalization.
Research can pay off even if T of all individual ship sizes is equal, if the combined fleet effectiveness increases due to having more different sizes in the fleet. Combined arms is much more effective than using a single type of weapon.[/quote]

well, two things could happen: the most likely case 1. larger ships makes your fleet more effective, yes, but don't justify the investments that players have to make. in other words, bad benefit:cost. players would not invest in research and just use the resources for more ships and outnumber you. case 2. strategic battlefield landscape changes and forces the player to adopt so that higher ship classes have good benefit:cost.

i'm not convinces it's 2. how are you planning to ensure that larger classes are worthwhile? it isn't obvious on paper.

Say you have ship A that has a rating of .5 in measure A and 1.5 in measure B, giving you a average T of 1. A high ship class B has 1.5 in A and 0.5 in B giving you the same T. How does a fleet compose of A+B, differ from a fleet compose of ship class C of 1 in A, 1 in B?
:mrgreen:

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#67 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:59 pm

skdiw wrote:i interpret ship size as increase in hull size. since our ships have roles, i figure it's better to say "chasis," or "class."
When you say "role" do you mean functions ships can perform, or predefined hull designed and limited to do a particular job? If the latter, when exactly was that decided?
note that in your design, you also have competing factors: improvement in certain measures of the ship by increasing size, or just improving the measure and sticking it into your ship.
I can't tell what you're trying to say here...
for example, you can upgrade your small ships to move faster either by researching tiny, or research engine. you have redundancy in the tech tree.
Are you saying my suggestion has this? (it doesn't) or that we should have this? (I don't see the need).
not saying necessary it's bad.
??!?!?!
if i outplayed you in the macro game, it doesn't matter what ships you have, i should win. the only way i figure your idea would work is if the strategic landscape changes to justify a constant T. all other games have increase in T. I'm highly doubful your traditional ship classes have the proper returns/investments. you said it that each research tech should be important, and i totally agree. so that means the returns must be uber too (not just some minor bonuses in a niche) in order to balance the investments.
You're the one who wanted parallelism so much... why is it suddenly improbable to have a system where all the ship classes are equally valuable?

Imagine a game of rock-paper-scissors where if you tie, you win 50% of the time, and randomly 50% of the time you know what the other player is going to throw and can thus react. Everyone starts out with just paper available to be thrown. You can also research scissors, or rock by forfeiting your chance to know what the other player is going to throw one time when you get that opportunity. When you have all three, each is of equal strategic value... none beats the others always, but if you know all three, you can win more often. You have to sacrifice something to get the extra options, but long-term doing so is in your best interest.

Not that I'm saying building a particular ship size is throwing rock, paper or scissors, but the point is the extra options make you more likely to win.
I suspect this would be better treated by just improving the ship parts that get put into the ship, rather than having the hull size itself be upgradable in anyway, though...
improving ship parts don't equal better ship class. ship parts can be place on other ship class, whereas a ship class uses a part more effectively, thereby giving you a ship class rps, hence a mixture of ship classes.
I was talking about hull size, not ship class, but if ship "classes" are defined by what parts they have, then upgrading ship parts improves your ship class(es) that use those parts.
Research can pay off even if T of all individual ship sizes is equal, if the combined fleet effectiveness increases due to having more different sizes in the fleet. Combined arms is much more effective than using a single type of weapon.
well, two things could happen: the most likely case 1. larger ships makes your fleet more effective, yes, but don't justify the investments that players have to make. in other words, bad benefit:cost. players would not invest in research and just use the resources for more ships and outnumber you.
You have provided no justification for this view. I see no reason why we couldn't balance things so that research new ship sizes is worthwhile, some of the time. (We'd actually want it to be a neutral opportunity cost to research or not researching bigger hull, making the choice of whether to do so or to do something else more difficult). At the very least, the tech cost can be reduced until it is worthwhile to research new ship sizes.
Say you have ship A that has a rating of .5 in measure A and 1.5 in measure B, giving you a average T of 1. A high ship class B has 1.5 in A and 0.5 in B giving you the same T. How does a fleet compose of A+B, differ from a fleet compose of ship class C of 1 in A, 1 in B?
Depends what the measures A and B are. Jobs that benefit from one measure and not the other would be better done by specialized ships. How much better depends on how the measures of A and B translate into cost effectiveness at a particular job.

If you need a minimum rating in special equipment to use a particular part, then you'd want the specialized ship that has that rating, rather than the average ship that doesn't. Having that equipment available could be much more important than the lost 0.5 in whatever else.

If you need both scouts and battleships in combat, then you'd want the faster / stealthier / better detection range ships to do the scouting and the better-at-shooting-and-being-shot ships to do the shooting and being shot.

If you need to scout the map to figure out where to send your battleships, you'd want the stealthy / fast / long-range weak ships to do the scouting and the better-at-combat but easy-to-see and slow ships to go direct to their destination once its found.

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#68 Post by skdiw » Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:09 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
skdiw wrote:i interpret ship size as increase in hull size. since our ships have roles, i figure it's better to say "chasis," or "class."
When you say "role" do you mean functions ships can perform, or predefined hull designed and limited to do a particular job? If the latter, when exactly was that decided?
when you say ship size A can do better in one measure and poorer in another, while ship size B is other way around, i label those pro/cons as "roles." ship size A has a different role, or different sets of measures than ship size B.
for example, you can upgrade your small ships to move faster either by researching tiny, or research engine. you have redundancy in the tech tree.
Are you saying my suggestion has this? (it doesn't) or that we should have this? (I don't see the need).
read for the idea, not the example.

in more general terms, you can either improve a measure through size or improving that measure by researching that measure.

so if i want to improve speed, you are saying i can only do that by researching tiny, but there will be no techs for faster engine? your code has tiny better at speed, i believe.
You're the one who wanted parallelism so much... why is it suddenly improbable to have a system where all the ship classes are equally valuable?
it's easy to balance and understand how parallelism would work and satisfy macro game. this isn't so with your idea, especially not knowing how other aspects will interact with your idea (tech tree for example, and what measure is better in what situation, how and what situations will arise).
Not that I'm saying building a particular ship size is throwing rock, paper or scissors, but the point is the extra options make you more likely to win.
i would say must win or almost, rather than more likely. Do you agree that tech lvl 90 psilons should beat tech lvl 50 klackons? As I said earlier, it's easy to undermine research with your idea.
I suspect this would be better treated by just improving the ship parts that get put into the ship, rather than having the hull size itself be upgradable in anyway, though...
improving ship parts don't equal better ship class. ship parts can be place on other ship class, whereas a ship class uses a part more effectively, thereby giving you a ship class rps, hence a mixture of ship classes.
I was talking about hull size, not ship class, but if ship "classes" are defined by what parts they have, then upgrading ship parts improves your ship class(es) that use those parts.[/quote]

your hull sizes have rps. they have different sets of measures that they are good in. i'm suggesting to use ship "classes" in lieu of size for better immersion.
You have provided no justification for this view. I see no reason why we couldn't balance things so that research new ship sizes is worthwhile, some of the time. (We'd actually want it to be a neutral opportunity cost to research or not researching bigger hull, making the choice of whether to do so or to do something else more difficult). At the very least, the tech cost can be reduced until it is worthwhile to research new ship sizes.
didn't say you can't; just said it will be difficult and sophisticated. like in your example, it would be hard to balance an even mixture of scout ships and battleships, as oppose to just a few scout ships to scout and mostly battleships to do the heavy fighting.
:mrgreen:

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#69 Post by marhawkman » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:35 pm

Hehe.... I've seen a lot of places where what you call a "size" for example "battleship" is referred to the other way. Kinda like "the Enterprise is a Galaxy-class starship". I think that's kinda what he means Geoff...
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#70 Post by utilae » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:52 pm

skdiw wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
skdiw wrote:i interpret ship size as increase in hull size. since our ships have roles, i figure it's better to say "chasis," or "class."
When you say "role" do you mean functions ships can perform, or predefined hull designed and limited to do a particular job? If the latter, when exactly was that decided?
when you say ship size A can do better in one measure and poorer in another, while ship size B is other way around, i label those pro/cons as "roles." ship size A has a different role, or different sets of measures than ship size B.
In this thread we are talking about ship sizes, not roles. We all know that a role is a 'use'. Just cause we are giving ship hull sizes advantages does not mean they are roles. Bigger hulls still had an advantage of more space the way they were in Moo2 and they were not referred to as roles.

So, enough discussion of the definitions. Let's move on.
skdiw wrote:
You're the one who wanted parallelism so much... why is it suddenly improbable to have a system where all the ship classes are equally valuable?
it's easy to balance and understand how parallelism would work and satisfy macro game. this isn't so with your idea, especially not knowing how other aspects will interact with your idea (tech tree for example, and what measure is better in what situation, how and what situations will arise).
All your parallelism idea is, is to have some techs that make improvements to a specific hull size, ie 'increase space for small hulls'. This idea can co exist with the idea of Geoffs, where each hull size has an advantage. If you add the parallelism idea to coexist, then you can improve hull sizes, ie improve space for a small hull, but no other hull size can gain as efficiently as the hull size whoose advantage is its own (eg a small hull will never as much space as a large even if you upgrade the small hull alot).

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#71 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:25 pm

skdiw wrote:so if i want to improve speed, you are saying i can only do that by researching tiny, but there will be no techs for faster engine? your code has tiny better at speed, i believe.
The specific measures I listed were just examples... we'd need to figure out which ship properties would be determined by ship size and which by separate part's you'd research. Speed specifically could fall into either category, or both. If it was both, then you could get faster ships by researching (once) and building tiny ships, or you could research better engines and use them on your small ships. You could not re-research and improve your tiny ship hulls to further improve all tiny ships, though... you could only make a faster tiny ship than your current tiny ships by researching better engines. (Hypothetically)
You're the one who wanted parallelism so much... why is it suddenly improbable to have a system where all the ship classes are equally valuable?
it's easy to balance and understand how parallelism would work and satisfy macro game. this isn't so with your idea, especially not knowing how other aspects will interact with your idea (tech tree for example, and what measure is better in what situation, how and what situations will arise).
We'd have to figure out the details either way. I'm not clear on what features of your version of parallelism make it so different from mine. Is it just that you'd have to research a while before getting the larger sizes in mine, and that any research is necessarily an insurmountable cost that no differentiation without complete dominance in different measures of the resulting ships could possibly overcome?
Not that I'm saying building a particular ship size is throwing rock, paper or scissors, but the point is the extra options make you more likely to win.
i would say must win or almost, rather than more likely.[/quote]
I can't tell what you mean by that...
Do you agree that tech lvl 90 psilons should beat tech lvl 50 klackons? As I said earlier, it's easy to undermine research with your idea.
I'm guessing you want this to be "yes", though I'm not sure... And am not sure what the relevance is...
your hull sizes have rps.
Short answer: No, they don't.
they have different sets of measures that they are good in.
Yes, they do, but that's not the same as rock-paper-scissors balancing, as the different measures being optimized for the different sizes does not mean that those sizes "beat" any of the other sizes in one-on-one competitions, since such one-on-one competitions don't really make sense in many cases. How do you decide whether a small ship cloaked scouting to detect enemy fleet movements of medium and large ships beats a huge ship carrying ground troops?

...it would be hard to balance an even mixture of scout ships and battleships, as oppose to just a few scout ships to scout and mostly battleships to do the heavy fighting.
This would be a function of the range of the scouts' vision and how effective un-scouted-for battleships are. If battleships can shoot very well while scouted-for, and very badly without scouts, then a player with some scouts could find the enemy battleships and blast them while being undetected and unattackable by the enemy.

However, yes I agree having various different roles for ships will be more difficult to balance. I don't see this as an insurmountable problem, however.
marhawkman wrote:Hehe.... I've seen a lot of places where what you call a "size" for example "battleship" is referred to the other way. Kinda like "the Enterprise is a Galaxy-class starship". I think that's kinda what he means Geoff...
In my own writings (ie. not referring to what others wrote), I (AFAIK) exclusively refer to sizes as "small", "medium", or "large", etc. and not the MOO2-style terms like "battleship" or "destroyer", which are more appropriate for ship roles, since the size of this generation's battleship is next generation's destroyer or cruiser.

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#72 Post by skdiw » Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:23 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
skdiw wrote:
Do you agree that tech lvl 90 psilons should beat tech lvl 50 klackons? As I said earlier, it's easy to undermine research with your idea.
I'm guessing you want this to be "yes", though I'm not sure... And am not sure what the relevance is...
ok, here is what i see as your mistake. the following is the logic why your idea is troublesome using the basic design of any strategic game:

1. Strategy games have some sort of rps. in our case, and maybe all, offense > growth > defense. from your favorite strategy game to chess, you name it, they all have some strategic rps.

2. FO is a strategy game. so there is a macro-strategy rps in the game that features needs to be able to support. albeit a very significant feature, tactical battles are subordinate to strategy.

3. research is part of growth. the reason why players research is to out grow. if a tech superior race can't beat an inferior race, why do research? if unperturbed, over time, the player who grow the most will have the advantage over the undeveloped player.

the problem with linear progression of techs with same benefit:cost (constant T) is that growth is not guaranteed. when growth doesn't translate into an advantage, then you break the strategy paradigm. when there is no strategy, there is no FO.

most games have techs with increasing benefits:cost (increasing T), so that over time, a growing player would win. i just want to make sure you know this, since it's crucial and being fundamental to game design. again, play any game from moo to civ to your favorite rts, this is true and it must be or else you have unbalanced game.

parallelism guarantees above conditions are satisfied, where as a linear constant T progression does not, or at best, not obvious. one thing is for sure: your position needs to be better as you grow. it's not necessary that T has to improve, but your situation must be better. the only way i could think of that still keep the case true with a constant T is if the macro-environment changes creating a strong demand and players who don't meet those changes is relatively in a inferior position. that's the problem I have with your idea: it's not obvious if research bigger sizes is worthwhile.

for your idea to work, it needs a very delicate interplay among many aspects of the game. i'm just saying that it won't be easy to have it all worked out and balanced in the end, because i never seen a game like it, except in maybe Starcraft.

all this was just a big fat warning label making sure you know what you are getting into and know what you are doing.
:mrgreen:

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#73 Post by ewh02b » Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:37 am

skdiw wrote: parallelism guarantees above conditions are satisfied, where as a linear constant T progression does not, or at best, not obvious. one thing is for sure: your position needs to be better as you grow. it's not necessary that T has to improve, but your situation must be better. the only way i could think of that still keep the case true with a constant T is if the macro-environment changes creating a strong demand and players who don't meet those changes is relatively in a inferior position. that's the problem I have with your idea: it's not obvious if research bigger sizes is worthwhile.
the rest of your post was very thoughtful, but I thought I'd have some insight into the last sentence above. I think Geoff is advocating player choice. Geoff (from my reading of previous posts) thinks that if a player puts all of his/her research into medium ships and fighters (tiny), and another player puts their research into large ships, the medium player should still have some advantages against the large player.

Reasons tiny/medium combo is viable, with research emphasis on tiny:
1. Research on things designed for small ships can be cheaper or faster
2. Small ship research can emphasize size reduction, so that both a small ship and a large ship can field missiles. the large ship shoots missiles with large warheads, while the small ship has armor piercing/emp missiles that allow the smaller ship to still compete.
3. Tiny ships can be very hard for large ships to hit, as the large ship cannot use fixed forward guns to shoot tiny ships swarming around it in 3D space. The tiny ships, on the other hand, can fire off the previously mentioned EMP missiles to take the large ship out of the fight without having to blow away hundreds of tons of armor.

Reasons to have tiny/large combo, with emphasis on large:
1. Research makes weapons larger and deadlier.
2. If a player goes for the large ship approach, they can carry larger, deadlier weapons, have tougher armor, and have more space for fighters, bombers, and assault shuttles. Think Star Destroyer. TIE fighters are technologically unsophisticated, but cheap.
3. Large ships can deploy sophisticated radar systems, and either shoot off point defence missiles or use gun turrets.

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#74 Post by utilae » Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:35 am

skdiw wrote: 1. Strategy games have some sort of rps. in our case, and maybe all, offense > growth > defense. from your favorite strategy game to chess, you name it, they all have some strategic rps.
Chess has no RPS. Can I say that a rook beats a queen, and a queen beats a knight and a knight beats a rook. Yes. But everything beats everything. In Chess, queen is > all. It's just a variation on movement limits and starting position of pieces.

I guess you could say there are hard counters (RPS) and soft counters (filtered RPS, perhaps no RPS).
skdiw wrote: 3. research is part of growth. the reason why players research is to out grow. if a tech superior race can't beat an inferior race, why do research? if unperturbed, over time, the player who grow the most will have the advantage over the undeveloped player.
You have this RPS: offense > growth > defense
It doesn't really work. How does Defense beat Offense? If you never attack, you'll always be attacked. Growth and defense are the same, since the growing player isn't attacking or doesn't build as many ships. A defensive player upgrades tech more than if he were attacking. Defense and offense are the same, since ships can be used for both.
skdiw wrote: that's the problem I have with your idea: it's not obvious if research bigger sizes is worthwhile.
It will be worth it. Your researching for the extra space and cause its realistic that a bigger ship would be more difficult to figure out how to build then building a smaller ship.

We could have them all the same:
HULL SIZE_____SPACE__FUEL___STEALTH__COST__RP COST
Small_________50______150___150_______50____400
Medium_______100_____100___100_______100___400
Large_________150_____50____50________150___400

Do you think they are even? Looks ok. But maybe space is worth more than fuel efficieny and stealth.

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#75 Post by marhawkman » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:07 am

skdiw wrote:[quoteGeoff the Medio"]
skdiw wrote:
Do you agree that tech lvl 90 psilons should beat tech lvl 50 klackons? As I said earlier, it's easy to undermine research with your idea.
I'm guessing you want this to be "yes", though I'm not sure... And am not sure what the relevance is...
ok, here is what i see as your mistake. the following is the logic why your idea is troublesome using the basic design of any strategic game:

1. Strategy games have some sort of rps. in our case, and maybe all, offense > growth > defense. from your favorite strategy game to chess, you name it, they all have some strategic rps.

2. FO is a strategy game. so there is a macro-strategy rps in the game that features needs to be able to support. albeit a very significant feature, tactical battles are subordinate to strategy.

3. research is part of growth. the reason why players research is to out grow. if a tech superior race can't beat an inferior race, why do research? if unperturbed, over time, the player who grow the most will have the advantage over the undeveloped player.

the problem with linear progression of techs with same benefit:cost (constant T) is that growth is not guaranteed. when growth doesn't translate into an advantage, then you break the strategy paradigm. when there is no strategy, there is no FO.

most games have techs with increasing benefits:cost (increasing T), so that over time, a growing player would win. i just want to make sure you know this, since it's crucial and being fundamental to game design. again, play any game from moo to civ to your favorite rts, this is true and it must be or else you have unbalanced game.

parallelism guarantees above conditions are satisfied, where as a linear constant T progression does not, or at best, not obvious. one thing is for sure: your position needs to be better as you grow. it's not necessary that T has to improve, but your situation must be better. the only way i could think of that still keep the case true with a constant T is if the macro-environment changes creating a strong demand and players who don't meet those changes is relatively in a inferior position. that's the problem I have with your idea: it's not obvious if research bigger sizes is worthwhile.

for your idea to work, it needs a very delicate interplay among many aspects of the game. i'm just saying that it won't be easy to have it all worked out and balanced in the end, because i never seen a game like it, except in maybe Starcraft.

all this was just a big fat warning label making sure you know what you are getting into and know what you are doing.
One example of this is the way engine tech works in SE3. The high level engines cost the same as the low level ones, but they make your ship go faster anyways.
Computer programming is fun.

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