Bigjoe5 wrote:Perhaps we should consider giving LLR a more significant range advantage over SLR...
Should particular hulls be predestined to be worldships, or should they be made worldships by virtue of a particular (large internal) part? The former seems like a better option to me.
I agree. I would think that a worldship would be a superconstruction, vastly larger than even the biggest ship considered viable for military purposes. Even if a very large ship has a crew of several thousand, it would still pale in comparison to even the smallest planetary population unit.
A more basic type of worldship could merely be a production center, which produces very few resources, but functions essentially like an extremely slow mobile outpost, on which certain types of buildings can be constructed...the player would have to increase the stealth and detection of the worldship either by putting the appropriate stealth and detection equipment on, or by building the appropriate building on the ship.
I thought originally that a special worldship hull would have special "worldship component slots" that might represent it's capacity for buildings, but I think this might needlessly clutter up the ship design interface. Worldships should, I think, be extremely expensive and rare, and dedicating a whole section on the regular ship design interface to their special components (especially when those components are buildings) is something of a stretch.
I would think that the worldship hulls should be set up and is defined as having a small number of internal and external slots, plus enough space for X population and/or X buildings, as separate additional intrinsics that regular ships don't have. The building and population interfaces would be accessed in the exact same manner as a regular planet, which the internal and external slots would be accessed in the same manner as any other ship. Internal slots might not be suited to a worldship, with the idea that a component designed for a medium-sized ship isn't going to effectively work on a ship the size of a moon, so maybe they would just have a handful of small external slots for PD and SR armament. We don't want to make worldships into invincible battlestations, but into mobile resource mechanisms.
Destroying a worldship shouldn't be impossible, but should be a matter of stripping away it's escorts and then pounding it from outside the range of it's point defense systems. Presumably they will have a large amount of life, so this might be a multi-turn affair where the defender is bringing in reinforcements. Fights over worldships could be a very interesting strategic and tactical part of the late game.
Care would have to be taken to avoid certain building/component combinations that could be decisively overpowered, if worldship hulls are given internal slots. You could relatively easily just make the effect of a building and a component not stack, I suppose, but I think not giving them ship internal slots is easier.
As a side effect of this, it might be better to have a "Construct Worldship" option at a sufficiently advance shipyard. Rather than build them from blueprints or mass-produced from the same mold, each Worldship would be individually designed at the time construction starts. You're only really talking about a couple components and defining whether it is to be used for population/resources/stockpiles, so it's not a big fiasco, considering how often you actually do it.
Should the number of buildings that can be built on a worldship be a property of the ship's hull, perhaps enhanced by adding certain parts or leaving empty slots? For worldships that are population centers, how should the max population be determined? Should it be determined entirely by the intrinsics of the hull, or should there be parts available to increase population? How do regular techs that increase the population of planets increase the population of worldships?
I think a property of the hull. Internal/external slots are representative of ship components, and they don't necessarily scale well.. Think of the biggest gun on the biggest battleship in the world, and then think of using that to shoot at the moon... Something as large-scale as a building or millions of population should be an intrinsic property of the hull.
Worldship buildings might be a separate class from planet buildings, or might have a few different options or limited options.. Asteroid Mine (for resource generation), Giant Cargo Bay (for moving your stockpiles), Stellar Habitations (for population).. A worldship hull might have 1, 2 or 3 slots for these types of buildings, so the player has to decide during construction what the role of the ship is going to be. In this case regular techs that increase the population of planets would perhaps increase the effectiveness of the Stellar Habitation..
Just train of thought stuff here, feel free to pick and choose what you like.
Organic vs Constructed Worldships
If the player is likely to research one and not the other, then it makes sense to make them largely redundant. I think you can get away with slightly adjusting the speed/health intrinsics and leave the basic building/population ratios untouched.
Presumably, worldships can be customized and outfitted with parts in the same way as a regular ship. It's up to the player whether or not he wants to maximize defense vs. utility or vice versa. Should such ships have lots and lots of slots? What about the proportion between large/small and internal/external slots?
Such ships should probably be extremely slow. An Organic worldship might be faster, able to approach or surpass the speed of the slowest of Constructed non-worldship hulls, but would have to pay a price in max population/building capacity/part capacity, etc.
I've given my thoughts on these in the above replies. Too many slots and you risk turning worldships into battlestations. I'd prefer to give them only a handful of slots and consider them to be miniature mobile planets, used for population, resource gathering, and stockpiling. If a player wants to defend one, he better make sure he has some fleet assets nearby. As far as constructed vs organic, because worldships are so specialized, and the player is only going to realistically get one of the two types, they should be mostly redundant in terms of buildings/population, the driving reasons behind why you make them in the first place. Making organic ships faster, and constructed ships more durable, is enough to make them unique without hugely upsetting the balance between them.
How would invading such a ship work? The way I'm envisioning ground combat is that the player drops troops and selects from a number of missions, including destroy/capture the planet, destroy/capture a particular building, kill civilians, damage resource meters, etc. The player might also choose the speed of the mission - faster missions are less likely to succeed, but are very useful if you have only fleeting space superiority, whereas slower missions are more likely to succeed, but are likely to be stopped prematurely by enemy forces orbiting the planet, unless the player definitely has space superiority...The number of mission speeds available would be a function of the object itself, so regular ships would only have one, and the one mission and mission speed would automatically be chosen.
For worldships then...as if he were invading a planet.
I'm going to throw a slight curveball here and go slightly off topic for a second, then come back. I have no objection to a "select your mission" type of ground combat. What I would think would be a little different is the mission "speed". I think that the type of mission vs available manpower should be the quantifying factor in how long it takes.
Certain types of missions might have "partial completion", where if you pull out before it's done, they still deal some damage. So as a quick list of examples:
Sabotage missions deal 1% stockpile damage per unit of invading troops per turn.
Kill Civilians missions kill 0.1 unit of population per unit of invading troops per turn until you pull out.
Destroy Building missions might take 10 turns, if you pull out early there is no effect.
Conquer Planet missions are constant ground combat until one side or the other is eliminated with no infrastructure damage, pull out early and you simply lose.
The enemy will still be fighting you as long as they have troops to do so, so your numbers will continue to reduce. Your goal, if it is to sabotage/kill/destroy deals damage turn by turn based on how many troops you still have standing.
Every one of these mission objectives applies to Worldships in the exact same way as it does to planets.