Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

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

Moderator: Oberlus

Message
Author
pheonixstorm
Space Squid
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:46 am

Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#1 Post by pheonixstorm »

As ships get old and obsolete you have two choices currently. Scrap them to save on maintenance or use them as fodder. Refits solves this but i think I may have something that would keep the micro to a minimum but not make upgrades a produce and forget (or free) part of the game. The concept I base this on worked well in Gal Civ II (though granted I actually need to replay GC2 to relearn a few things).

Anyway, lets start with the basic Mark I. A no frills early that we can sometimes mass produce in the early game. Once you get past mass driver 2 they become kinda useless. So why not a fleet/ship option for refits? There should be a cost to upgrade though. The balance for that may be tricky since weapons along the same line cost the same. Armor, shields, sensors, engines, and fuel tanks may be usable if they follow the same pathing weapons do. So a refit could cost 5 or 10 PP per weapon upgraded and take 1 turn to complete. This can only be done at a planet with a drydock though.

The 1 turn rule is the main reason I am not sure how well you could balance upgrading anything beyond weapons or perhaps armor. I guess you could use the cost/time difference between the two to allow for upgrading shields etc. but that would add more complexity to the code/scripting needed.

Thoughts?

User avatar
Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#2 Post by Krikkitone »

Perhaps
5% of old ship cost + difference

(and then 1 turn)

and a Fleet upgrade would be very important.

Perhaps when obsoleting a design you could say "upgrade to design X".. so you wouldn't have to choose what to upgrade to. (it would just be whether or not you want to upgrade)

AndrewW
Juggernaut
Posts: 791
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:15 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#3 Post by AndrewW »

Something like:

Upgrade all ships of this hull or this design to this design. If able (ie: has an orbital drydock and any other necessary resources such as a neutronium forge).

pheonixstorm
Space Squid
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:46 am

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#4 Post by pheonixstorm »

Perhaps when obsoleting a design you could say "upgrade to design X".. so you wouldn't have to choose what to upgrade to
That just adds an extra step to the micromanagement, not to mention an easy way to cheat the production system.

Mass driver takes 1? turn and is rather cheap. Death Ray takes 4 turns and is not so cheap. If you build a ship with the cheapest parts then create a new ship with the latest high tech parts you can cheaply mass produce ship A, obsolete it, then refit it based on ship B for a fraction of the cost and one additional turn. Overall not a good idea.

That is why I didn't base it on newer designs. That and the added micro. It is so much easier to find an oboslete fleet and tell them to refit and not have to deal with anything else, plus you can't cheat.

User avatar
Bigjoe5
Designer and Programmer
Posts: 2058
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Orion

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#5 Post by Bigjoe5 »

pheonixstorm wrote:
Perhaps when obsoleting a design you could say "upgrade to design X".. so you wouldn't have to choose what to upgrade to
That just adds an extra step to the micromanagement, not to mention an easy way to cheat the production system.
An option to upgrade all ships of design A at once is not more micromanagement than needing to find each individual fleet and select it for upgrade.
pheonixstorm wrote:Mass driver takes 1? turn and is rather cheap. Death Ray takes 4 turns and is not so cheap. If you build a ship with the cheapest parts then create a new ship with the latest high tech parts you can cheaply mass produce ship A, obsolete it, then refit it based on ship B for a fraction of the cost and one additional turn.
You seem to be making the assumption that the total cost of building a ship of design A and upgrading it to design B is cheaper than just building a ship of design B, which is exactly the opposite of what Krikkitone suggested in that very post.
Warning: Antarans in dimensional portal are closer than they appear.

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#6 Post by MatGB »

I wanted refits for ages, but there are so many ships built in this game I think it's probably not a good approach.

I think, instead, take a leaf from Civ, if you scrap ships at a shipyard building ships, then X% of their cost can be contributed to the new ships in production there, with some limits so, say, no more than 1 extra 'block' of production per turn?

Simple, fairly easy, and can be explained away in game as well.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

gfox
Space Krill
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:17 am

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#7 Post by gfox »

Hi all,

It's my first post here, so hello everybody.

I like the idea to be able to refit ships : in order to keep micro-management to the minimum, maybe the ship upgrade could be made through a "design" upgrade ?
I mean, you get some ship design named "Mark I" : if you chose to change a weapon or an armor or anything else, you only get "Confirm New Design" and if you don't change the name, you get a second "Mark I" design : how about make something like "Confirm Updated Design" if you select an already existing design? Then all new built ships with this design would have the upgrade, and when older ships stays some turns at a drydock or whatever tech needed by the design it could be upgraded as suggested above.

The main drawback of this idea is the "automatic" upgrade if ships are in a system containing the drydock (for example), which could be a loss of PP at rough times => maybe a "upgrade ships" button (similar to the "Colonize" button) would permit to start / pause / stop upgrades.

User avatar
OllyG
Space Kraken
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:03 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#8 Post by OllyG »

How about starting simple.

Any ship at a drydock currently gets repaired.

We could add:
If a ship at a drydock has lasers I and you have researched lasers II, it is refitted to lasers II automatically and for free.

It only works for the same type of weapon.

Makes it worth researching better lasers when you already have plasma cannons. (if you have old ships with bad lasers lying around.)
If you research better planetary defenses they are all upgraded for free, so why not start with ships (a little) and see if it breaks the game?

Edit: When I research lasers II, I update my designs but keep the same name for the design, so I often have lots of different ships with the same name, so I would be happy for refitted ships to keep their old design names.

Hihoo
Space Kraken
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:50 am

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#9 Post by Hihoo »

I suggest getting some infrastructure-bonus for a planet where you would be scraping ships.
Shouldn't be too hard to implement I guess and would be altogether plausible.

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#10 Post by Dilvish »

Hihoo wrote:I suggest getting some infrastructure-bonus for a planet where you would be scraping ships.
I much prefer the boost to current production approach; I think it's not many situations currently when a boost to infrastructure would have any real value.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12853
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#11 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Scrapping ships effectively decreases the cost of future ships already. Giving a local boost motivates players to always scrap at a location that can benefit, and could motivate producing ships solely to convoy PP to the scrapping location...

Hihoo
Space Kraken
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:50 am

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#12 Post by Hihoo »

I much prefer the boost to current production approach; I think it's not many situations currently when a boost to infrastructure would have any real value.
could motivate producing ships solely to convoy PP to the scrapping location...
Boosting infrastructure could make a planet nearly invincible by boosting its shield-regeneration value later in the game!! Just make the bonus small enough to discourage cheating.
(On second thought, why not even make cheating nonsensical by allowing to BUILD infrastructure - at an extremely high price, but more efficient than ship scraping)
However, boosting infrastructure is just an idea born out of noticing that there are so few useful applications for it now, exactly as you say.
Along these lines again: Wouldn't it make sense to boost local production indirectly on locally available infrastructure? t'would be a new strategic motivation to bomb certain planets early besides - and to gather intelligence about buildings/infrastructure. Motivation for hiding buildings (shipyards) is another feature which is currently underrepresented I guess.

Btw in 4.3.4.1-release the "old infrastructure" planet-special seemingly does nothing for the colonized planet's infrastructure?

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead and Programmer Emeritus
Posts: 4768
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#13 Post by Dilvish »

Hihoo wrote:...Boosting infrastructure could make a planet nearly invincible by boosting its shield-regeneration value later in the game!!
Perhaps there was a difference in understanding of "boost" here. I took it as a boost to the current value, not to the max value (and iirc max value meters, unlike target value meters, act as hard caps on the underlying value meter). Having the boost act on the max value would be much trickier to implement, I think. That distinction, btw, may be why you didn't notice the effect from the "old infrastructure" planet-special -- it boosts the starting value of the meter upon colonization, as opposed to increasing the max value. (And yes, I think it's a rather boring special.)
Wouldn't it make sense to boost local production indirectly on locally available infrastructure? t'would be a new strategic motivation to bomb certain planets early besides.
if you search a bit you'll find that's just what infrastructure used to do, and the bombing motivation was part of the discussions when that aspect of infrastructure was under consideration to be dropped. Having production (and research) depend on both population and infrastructure was deemed to be annoyingly complicated (it certainly complicated the scripting).
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#14 Post by MatGB »

Hihoo wrote: Btw in 4.3.4.1-release the "old infrastructure" planet-special seemingly does nothing for the colonized planet's infrastructure?
It does, it just doesn't display immediately, the turn you colonise the special is still there, but the turn after the special destroys itself and the colony is boosted by 10 inf.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

shawndream
Space Kraken
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:47 pm

Re: Ship Refits - fairly simple balanced idea

#15 Post by shawndream »

I can't be the only person who despises the idea of rewarding long serving ships by consigning them to the scrapheaps...

For that reason alone, I would push for refitting.

As for how to do it without letting it be gamed or become a micromanagement burden...

When you declare an refit, an item is created in the production queue named refit X to Y.

The cost of this item is the extra cost of a new Y over that of a new X (so current fleet upkeep is unskippable) times the number of Xs in service and in the construction queue, and the turns required equals that for Y.

While the upgrade is in the pipeline, no new Xs can be added to the queue, or quantities increased in the queue.

This solves economical exploitation, as the playing is buying upgrade kits at a slight markup.

As for tactical exploitation, while the upgrade is in the queue, all Xs in the field suffer a "Refitting" debuff that reduces their structure to 90% of max if it is higher than that.

Under this system the player upgrades their entire fleet at once without micromanagement, pays fairly in production, time, and tactical weakness for the priveledge, and can cancel the upgrade at any time before it finishes.
Everything I post is self-created unless noted otherwise. It is simultaneously released under GPL 2.0 or later, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0, and GNU Free Documentation 1.2. Make something awesome with it please!

Post Reply