That doesn't say that number of slots couldn't be balanced against cost. The point is that there wouldn't be anything besides cost (ie. "other hull properties") to balance against. By fixing a hull's battle and starlane speed properties, fuel capacity, stealth, health, numbers of external and internal slots, cost and build time, there are many more options to vary to make each hull good or bad in specific and different ways. This makes each hull more interesting and distinctive, as opposed to just having a single axis of tradeoff between number of slots and cost.mZhura wrote:2."would make it much easier to balance engine characteristics against other hull properties" - please explain why number of free sockets and cost to build doesn't allow to balance ship properly?
Difficulty often leads to poor balance, and good balance is important and good. Therefore, easier balancing is good."much easier" - i'm ready to agree, but who said that easier - the better?
You seem to be mixing up the role of the game designer and the player. The goal of the designer isn't to give the player everything they could possibly want or to remove all possible restrictions. The goal of the designer is the give the player difficult and interesting choices. That means limiting player options in some cases, to avoid there being an obvious best choice. This "complicates" the player's decision making, yes, but that's not a bad thing.3."There could still be add-ons or other engine-related parts to alter engine-related ship characteristics" - that part looks to me like avoidable complication. if (2) would be "much easier" than (3) would be "much harder" and again we're back to where we start. only the concept of ship design receive some additional predefined restrictions that complicating original task
The possible engine-related parts will be carefully chosen as well. If a particular engine modification is impossible to balance, we won't make it available. That might mean only certain tech tree branches unlock certain kinds of engine modifications, while other branches in which they would be too powerful won't have access to them. Or, a particular engine property might not be modifiable with any parts. I suspect ship speeds in particular will be difficult to modify with parts in most cases.
I'm not sure what you're asking, but I don't expect to have any hulls / ships without capability for interstellar travel. This complicates fleet management, and could lead to cases where there are no-travel ships mixed with travel-capable ships, but the resulting fleet couldn't move. It's also just conceptually simpler to have a ship always be able to travel between systems (aside from fuel limits).4. "various hulls have distinctive characteristics that affect their usefulness for particular roles" - and where the "chip defense", i mean engine-less ship just for defending shipyard system?
Again not sure what your point is... There's nothing in the design that prevents us from having a hull that is fast and which can mount a colony pod. However, we might find that this ability would lead to imabalance, so we might try to limit it or make it more difficult to get a hull with both these properties, at least earlier in the game. If the design system has too few ways to restrict what players can do, making this sort of balance modification might be impossible.about hull "shape" - i think it must identify ship main role, but i see absolutely no reason why role must be bound with speed. what if i want some "fast colonizer" for my own tactical purpose, and no matter the cost?