Battle Math

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Bigjoe5
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Battle Math

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:11 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:The health meter is the ship equivalent of what health is for living things. Damage to the ship reduces health. If a ship is damaged, the power of its weapons is decreased in proportion to the amount of lost health. So, if a ship is at 50% health, its weapons do 50% of full damage potential per turn. There are no other combat effects of damage before a ship is destroyed.
Later on in this thread, it was suggested and accepted that other ship statistics would decrease along with weapon power. After giving some thought to combat groupings and orders, I've decided that this system of battle math is too complicated.

In my opinion, ships should either be fully functional, or at a defined level of limited functionality, i.e. Above 50% (or whatever threshold is appropriate, perhaps 75%) health, everything functions perfectly. Below 50% health, speed, weapon power, detection, stealth and/or whatever else is appropriate is reduced to 50% power (or whatever power level is appropriate).

This is significantly simpler in terms of gameplay - either the ship is functioning normally, or it's not, and there's no gradual degradation of functionality as the ship is damaged for the player to keep track of. If the player is in combat, it's much more reasonable and realistic to expect him to be able to decide what to do with his damaged ships if there is a clear distinction in functionality between "damaged" ships and "functional" ships. In addition, if the player is controlling a grouped amalgamation of ships, the player will certainly want to regroup his ships based on the amount of damage that has been taken. Frankly, I don't want to have to sort through lots of different ships of varying levels of functionality every time I regroup - damaged vs. functional is the only distinction the player should have to make in terms of his ships' functionality.
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Re: Battle Math

#2 Post by RonaldX » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:46 am

I'm with Joe on this, because I dislike both extremes. A ship which is 90% destroyed shouldn't be able to operate as if it were undamaged, but I also think that a ship which is operating at 10% shouldn't necessarily be a sitting duck, unable even to run away.

Just as a quick suggestion, I don't know if any of you ever played classic Battletech.. In that system, a machine which takes damage that penetrates the armor is subject to a "critical hit", at which point you would roll dice etc. and sustain damage to your internal components, which would have effects such as increased heat, reduced speed, or the disabling of weapons.

A similar system could be produced where: upon sustaining X amount of structure damage (not absorbed by armor or shields), your "slots" are subject to destruction.. So you could have a random system be destroyed, which might be a weapon (now unable to fire), or might be a module (such as a cloaking device, which makes it impossible to stealth), or might be your engines (slowing and/or immobilizing you). It would give the system a little more dynamic feel without too much complication, as opposed to static percent effectiveness drops as you take damage.

-Ty.

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Re: Battle Math

#3 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:00 am

RonaldX wrote:A similar system could be produced where: upon sustaining X amount of structure damage (not absorbed by armor or shields), your "slots" are subject to destruction.. So you could have a random system be destroyed, which might be a weapon (now unable to fire), or might be a module (such as a cloaking device, which makes it impossible to stealth), or might be your engines (slowing and/or immobilizing you). It would give the system a little more dynamic feel without too much complication, as opposed to static percent effectiveness drops as you take damage.
This was brought up in the above-mentioned thread, but it was decided (and I agree with this decision) that damage to individual ship components would be too difficult to display in the UI, and would be too complicated for the player to need to keep track of. Something like that works well for a game in which there are fewer units, but FreeOrion will, AFAIK, support combats with literally thousands of units. Keeping track of individual ship components wouldn't be practical for the player, and would only weigh him down, since we would then not only be back to the scenario where the player has to sort between numerous ships of varying levels of functionality, but actually has to sort between ships of various types of functionality, which will be a nightmare for ship grouping.

I liked in MoO2 how a random amount of structural damage would be diverted to random systems - it made tactical combat very interesting. In FO however, such a system is not practical, and tactical interest will be created in different, equally interesting ways that scale up nicely to truly epic encounters involving thousands of units.
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Re: Battle Math

#4 Post by RonaldX » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:04 am

Edit: Went back over the linked design thread. Nevermind my original point.

I'm curious, though, what kind of tactical interest you can provide without firing arcs and a damage system based purely on attrition? It would seem that the best strategy is just to rainbow everything you have and attack the enemy head-on. By "Rainbow", I mean setting up the proper line of LR, SR, and PD to produce a maximum frontal damage on the enemy's most expensive ships while protecting your main damage dealers and just marching it forward.

Evony is a miserable trainwreck of a game where the entire combat system is based on the tactics of range and rainbowing.. (http://evonylord.blogspot.com/2009/08/w ... od-in.html .. english is bad but it illustrates the point).

If the only tactics in the game involved whether to put your PD units in front of, or behind your LR units, then there isn't really a whole lot of tactical variety there. You end up with a pretty bland Rock-Paper-Scissors combat, and the only progression as the game advances is that the ships have more life and the weapons hit harder, much like GalCiv2.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, just expressing the concern and asking for clarification so I understand how exactly you want combat to work before I go off making irrelevant suggestions again.

-Ty.

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Re: Battle Math

#5 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:18 pm

Tactical interest will be created through the positions of various ship types, relative to each other, the enemy, and the environment. I obviously haven't written every conceivable tactic in the Battle Tactics thread, but I intend to update shortly it with basic tactics for the positioning of LR and Carrier units as well. Stealth and detection will also play a role in various tactics, as will certain aspects of espionage, such as having infiltrated an enemy ship. Furthermore, attempting to accomplish strategic goals on the tactical map will also serve to create tactical interest, since the player's main objective might not be the survival of his ships or the destruction of his enemy's, but the bombardment of a particular planet, or even a ground assault mission to destroy a particular building. If you're worried that tactical combat in FreeOrion will be dull, the best thing you can do is try to come up with some tactics of your own, and post them to the Battle Tactics thread.
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Re: Battle Math

#6 Post by RonaldX » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:44 am

Fair enough, thanks for the clarification.

-Ty.

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