Ship Building HOI style

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

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drek
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#16 Post by drek » Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:25 am

Impaler wrote:
1 Shipyards are System Level improvments and not attached to any Planet in the system
Shipyards should be on (or rather near) planets. However, shipbuilding could be a system-wide activity.
2 Shipyards are intended to be rare and expensive, players likly have shipyards in only a handfull of their systems.
Yes. Making a shipyard a) affordable to a low level empire b) expensive to a high tech empire is going to be tricky, but it's goal we should shoot for.

As in all games, we can expect that the hardcore player will figure out ways of getting around our crafted restrictions. The goal is rare shipyards; the UI should be designed with the expectation of a shipyard in every system.
3 Shipyards need to be improved/expanded inorder to produce realy big capital ships making these types of shipyard even rarer
Maybe not capital ships explicitly: rather, high tech ships. One method of ensuring a high tech empire will need expensive high tech shipyards.
4 Production Points that have been alocated towards Shipbuilding get pooled across the Empire and distributed based on Queue Priority to all Shipyards (possibly some exceptions for Blockading)
This is going to have an exceptionally clever UI design before I agree to this. The ideas expressed so far are, imo, inadequate. Haven't been able to think of any good ideas myself yet .

Further, I've never seen the big deal in being able to dump all PP onto a single starsystem. (a) It makes things easier for all players equally. (b) the existence of the shipyard provides a target for the enemy if he doesn't want gadzillions of ships to be built on his border (c) building a shipyard on a borderworld is asking for trouble in the first place (d) it takes time to build a shipyard, and there are requirements before one can be built. There'll be no nascent colonies pumping out huge fleets. (e) It's actually, dare I say, more realistic.

Here's the deal: if I move a ship up in the top of the global queue, it should build. But if that ship takes up all the capacity in the shipyard, then the #2 ship on the global queue won't be building if it's located at the same shipyard. Counter-intuitively, the #3 ship might be building, if it's assigned to another shipyard, or the first available shipyard.

Further, the half the idea of the global queue is to have Just One Queue (tm). The macromanagement advantage is nullified if there are more queues to keep track of.

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#17 Post by Impaler » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:17 am

Shipyards should be on (or rather near) planets. However, shipbuilding could be a system-wide activity.
I dont realy see a point for this except in Battle ware the Planetary Defences and Missle and what nots could defend the Shipyard (which is definatly a good thing) but from a Production point of view it will make no diference which was the point I was trying to make.
(c) building a shipyard on a borderworld is asking for trouble in the first place
This is an assumption taken from traditional 4X games inwhich production is limited and tends to be consentrated in the Core due to the longer period of economic growth their, the peripheral areas cant produce as much and tend to be weaker. By eliminating thouse limits you also eliminate the relative weakness of fring worlds. Add to that our system of starlanes which act as perfect bottle necks the player is simply going to spill out their full production in a good bottleneck system and use the huge fleet to defend the Shipyard.
Here's the deal: if I move a ship up in the top of the global queue, it should build. But if that ship takes up all the capacity in the shipyard, then the #2 ship on the global queue won't be building if it's located at the same shipyard. Counter-intuitively, the #3 ship might be building, if it's assigned to another shipyard, or the first available shipyard.
This is elentialy what I was proposing in my last post, to elaborate further on that example

Global Queue (600 Production total)

Priority #1 (location A)
Priority #2 (Location A)
Priority #3 (Location B)
Priority #4 (Location C)
Priority #5 (Location B)
Priority #6 (Location A)

Local Queue A (Capacity 200)
Priority #1 Limit of 200 per turn > Recives 200
Priority #2 Limit of 200 per turn > Recives 0 (this yard is at its limit)
Priority #6 Limit of 50 per turn > Recives 0 (this yard is at its limit)

Local Queue B (Capacity 400)
Priority #3 Limit 300 per turn > Recives 300
Priority #5 Limit 100 per turn > Recives 50 (global PP are all spent)

Local Queue C (Capacity 300)
Priority #4 Limit 50 per turn > Recives 50


If the Player had designated Priority #2 as Build anyware then it would have been built put in Yard B ware it would imediatly start building and item #3 would get any remaining capacity on that yard.
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#18 Post by krum » Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:30 am

It would be convenient if there is a logarithmic increase in the capacity for a linear increase of the cost of building a shipyard. In effect, it would only be worth building two smaller shipyards instead of one bigger if you can't afford to wait long enough (with the ratio of the given PP output to the cost, or maybe you wouldn't be able to start construction at all if your PP per turn output is too small? Sorry, I'm lagging behind on some game mechanics), or if you don't have the nessessary level of construction tech. Or would that be against what we aim for?

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#19 Post by krum » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:50 pm

My last post wasn't completely thought-out, so here's the options that I see.

1) PP's get pooled to other systems, whether with or without a delay and/or a penalty.
Suboptions:
1a) We make game mechanics such that it is more convenient for the player to have a multitude of shipyras across the empire, and the only reason he would have a one big shipyard would be to concentrate newly built forces.
1b) Game mechanics make the player prefer one big shipyard, and the only reason he might prefer two smaller ones is lack of sufficient level of construction tech or an unwilling to wait for a bigger one be built.

2) To be able to direct the PP output of the planets in a given system towards shipuilding you need a shipyard in it.

For options 1a) and 2), I think an algorithm can easily be devised such that for the player it would not be a problem to construct a fleet in several star systems: A player wants a fleet with a given composition at star system X as soon as possible. Then the algorithm we devise tells him the ships' ETA, he can change a group of ships' ETA manually, the rest of the ships' ETA changes accordingly.

The two questions that I ask is, a) is this easily enough implementable (I'd rather say yes than no), and b) would that contribute to gameplay, or should choose option 1b) and simply globally pool PPs to a very small number of shipyards? Personally, I'm comfortable with any of these.

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#20 Post by Ranos » Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:08 pm

I have a suggestion for ship building that I think would cover all or most of the problems.

Before I go into my idea, I would like a more in depth explanaition of how the global build queue will work. Or at least a link to someplace that explains it more in depth. My primary concern is that if I have 100 planets in my empire and I have this global build queue, only one thing in my entire empire is getting built at once.

Here is what I have pictured as how that would work, from what I understand:

1) My build queue looks like this:
------A) Build Missile Base on planet A
------B) Build Farm on planet B
------C) Build University on planet C

Now with this setup, with my 100 planet empire and all of the production I would have at that time in the game, I could be building anywhere between 50 and 100 things in one turn. That, to me at least, would be even more complicated than planetary build queues. Is the queue going to be able to keep track of hundreds or thousands of different items to be built? I know I wouldn't find it entertaining to have to load the queue with that many things every turn or maybe every other turn.

Will there be a DEA system like in MOO3? If there was, would production just automatically be funneled to every planet so they could build these things?

2) The build queue looks like this:
------A) Build Missile Base on all planets
------B) Build Farm on all planets
------C) Build University on all planets

With this system, I wouldn't have to worry about loading the build queue every turn but then all my planets would be identical and that would be, IMO, very boring.

I could go on with this for a while but that would just make for a long and fairly pointless post, so if anyone could explain to me or give a link to an explaination on how this global build queue would work, that would be great.

On to my ship building idea. First, shipyards get built around planets but only one planet per system. The reason for this is because in space combat, a shipyard would be vulnerable and you have to have someplace to attack it at. The shipyards start as a basic yard being able to build ship size 1. Now maybe right at the beginning of the game you have a shipyard capable of building size 3 or whatever size is decided the minimum colony ship size is. As the game goes on, you gain the technology to increase the size of the shipyard. My personal preferance would be that this would automatically be included with the ship size technology. (How can a prototype of a ship be built when you don't have the tech to make a shipyard capable of building it. Sorry, a little MOO3 rant there.) So when you develope the ship size 10 technology, you automatically get the shipyard size 10 technology and just have to add that on to your existing shipyards.

Instead of including ship building in the global queue, yes I know the idea is to eliminate microing but hear me out, have a single ship building queue. Its one more queue which adds a minimal ammount of microing. This queue would get its pps from either a slider or a numeric field in which the player would set the exact ammount or percentage, whichever works better, of pps that would go to the shipbuilding queue.

The player would queue up the ships that he/she wants built and the queue would assign them to the individual shipyards based on space availability, maximum size capacity of the shipyard, etc.

Another thing I don't know is whether there is a tf setup as MOO3 or if it is an individual ship control setup like MOO2. I hated the mobilization center concept of MOO3 or at least the aspect that I could build a ship on one side of my empire and deploy it immediately at a planet on the other side that takes 10 turns to get to. So if there are tfs and mob centers, I think the ships should take x turns to get to the mob center where x is of course based on the distance and warp tech on the ship. If you are going with the individual ship control, then they immediattely get deployed at the system that they were built at.

I'm getting a little off subject but I have one last point on the tf or single ship setup. If anyone has played Star Wars Rebellion, you know what I'm going to suggest. In SWR, each ship was deployed as an individual but could travel in groups, just like MOO2. In battle, which started paused and could be paused by either player at any point during the combat, TFs would automatically be formed at the start and you could adjust them as you wished. Take the ship from TF A and put it in TF B. This made for a fun and realistic space combat.

Anyway, thoughts on anything that I said?

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#21 Post by emrys » Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:18 pm

drek wrote: erm, the local building queue is unlimited.
You can have as many build projects on a planet as you have capacity in the global queue.
egads! Do you actually seriously mean by this that in the final v1.0 version of the game you expect any planet to be able (should the player so choose) to build an effectively unlimited number of buildings (or other similar project whose result is localised on that planet) simultaneously?

I'd always thought that your 'the fixed build time for a project will stop player's insta-developing minor colonies into fortress worlds' point implied that projects ON a planet would have to be build in serial. (i.e. for many XPP for Y turns buildings, it would take SUM(Y) to develop a planet with multiple buidings, rather than the MAX(Y) you now seem to be suggesting).

I see supporting strategic decisions is not your thing.

And as for the hated idea of being able to pour out the whole empire's production onto any world that's just about managed to get a tech 1 shipyard off the ground, if I can mangle a quote:

The gameplay for shipyards in freeorion is going be real ugly unless:

1: an alternative solution can be found
or
2: they have capacity limits.

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#22 Post by emrys » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:00 pm

Impaler wrote:Lets deside on the points that we agree on first so we can all brainstorm fromthe same page.

1 Shipyards are System Level improvments and not attached to any Planet in the system

2 Shipyards are intended to be rare and expensive, players likely have shipyards in only a handfull of their systems.

3 Shipyards need to be improved/expanded inorder to produce realy big capital ships making these types of shipyard even rarer

4 Production Points that have been alocated towards Shipbuilding get pooled across the Empire and distributed based on Queue Priority to all Shipyards (possibly some exceptions for Blockading)
1. "Shipyards are System Level improvements" -I agree completely
"not attached to any Planet in the system" - Gotta go with Drek on this one, I'd like to see one planet needing to build a (system exclusive) 'Shipyard support' building (as part of the initial shipyard build), which would give a definitive 'anchor point' for the shipyard, for combat reasons, and also maybe to allow us to link shipyard capacity with some detail of the planet should we so choose (several interesting ideas have been suggested on previous threads) )

2. I agree completely, as I presume does everyone else except Drek, who seems to be completely set on a system designed to ensure that players only have one shipyard operational at a time - one as close to their current opponent as possible.

3. I agree with the sentiment (shipyards must have a series on investments to keep them fully capable of building on the scale of the empire's capabilities).

I'd personally like to see shipyards limited in many ways, by PP /turn spendable there, by maximum number of hulls buildable simultaneously (num. of 'slips'), by maximum hull size and by max tech level (or a more convenient proxy for this like PP/hull).

I can see that 3 separate directions to develop a shipyard in (slips, max size, ship technical complexity) is quite likely to be rejected by most people as way too complicated, I just happen to find ship design, fleet construction and deployment a fun part of the game - so I thought I'd mention the options.

As a bare minimum we should have pp/turn spend limits which can be increased with investment.

4. "Production Points that have been alocated towards Shipbuilding get pooled across the Empire and distributed based on (global) Queue Priority to all Shipyards (possibly some exceptions for Blockading)"

Of course.

Can't see what Drek is complaining about on point four, since it's exactly what he want as well as what we want. The sticking point ought to be point 3, i.e. the idea of limiting the output of shipyards in any way,Since if the output of a shipyard is limited, then you may have a project at

maybe the problem is with Drek's commet
Drek wrote: A project high on the local queue might not receive production points it it's low on the global queue
Since I've not yet heard anyone in favour of limited capacity shipyards (Including me way back on the build queue design thread) suggest anything other than the local queues being merely a filtered section of the global queue, i.e. a system essentially as described by Impaler, this situation can't possibly arise. All the 'local queues' as you describe them would be would be the global queue written out ommiting anything not scheduled to build at that location.[/quote]
Drek wrote:Here's the deal: if I move a ship up in the top of the global queue, it should build. But if that ship takes up all the capacity in the shipyard, then the #2 ship on the global queue won't be building if it's located at the same shipyard. Counter-intuitively, the #3 ship might be building, if it's assigned to another shipyard, or the first available shipyard.
I just don't see this as a problem.

I'm pretty confident both you, I and everyone else playing the game will be able to look at a list of items, and see that item #2 says 'waiting to build, shipyard capacity fully utilized" or has a little graphic icon to that effect, or has 'available capacity =0' writen by it , or any of a hundred other ways of showing the same thing, and work out that that's why item #3 is building and item #2 not. Just as when I look at the list and see item #5 is stalled and has 'system blockaded' writen next to it, or item # 6 is stalled and has 'system in revolt' or 'Cannot build here, no megafarm complex' I'll work out there is a problem, and what to do to fix it.

So where does that leave us:

non-contentious

1a) Shipyards are System Level improvments
2) Shipyards are intended to be rare and expensive, players likely have shipyards in only a handfull of their systems.

4) Production Points that have been alocated towards Shipbuilding get pooled across the Empire and distributed based on Global Queue Priority to the first(all) Shipyard(s) (brackets apply if limits apply to shipyards).

probably non-contentious

1b) the shipyard in a system must (generally, leaving aside weird stuff) be strongly associated with a particular planet.

contentious:

3) Shipyards need to be improved/expanded inorder to produce (insert prefered form of limitation) making these types of shipyard even rarer.

and the biggy

5) Shipyards must at least be limited in terms of an improveable limit on the PP spent at a particular shipyard per turn.

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#23 Post by Ranos » Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:29 pm

So where does that leave us:

non-contentious

1a) Shipyards are System Level improvments
2) Shipyards are intended to be rare and expensive, players likely have shipyards in only a handfull of their systems.

4) Production Points that have been alocated towards Shipbuilding get pooled across the Empire and distributed based on Global Queue Priority to the first(all) Shipyard(s) (brackets apply if limits apply to shipyards).

probably non-contentious

1b) the shipyard in a system must (generally, leaving aside weird stuff) be strongly associated with a particular planet.

contentious:

3) Shipyards need to be improved/expanded inorder to produce (insert prefered form of limitation) making these types of shipyard even rarer.

and the biggy

5) Shipyards must at least be limited in terms of an improveable limit on the PP spent at a particular shipyard per turn.
1) I fully agree on both parts a and b.
2) This only works if 3 is implemented in a fairly drastic way. I'll explain later. So I don't agree with this one.
3) I agree.
4) Maybe. I don't fully understand the GBQ as I said in my last post.
5) Absolutely not!! If you have pp and the shipyard capacity, you should be able to turn out the biggest of ships in a single turn. Give me a good reason why pp should be limited in the manner you suggest.

Now, my problem with two. If you lilmit the number of shipyards allowed, then you must allow each shipyard to build multiple ships at once. Doing this means you must have a basic shipyard which produces one ship of the smallest size. You then must increase the size of the ships that it can handle as well as add on addition slips to build additional ships. This, although I personally think would add both fun and realism, makes for a very large ammount of microing in improving the shipyards.

One possible way around this is to say that when a shipyard is built, it is capable of building fifty ships at once. Then the only thing needed is to increase the hull size capacity. This would work well but would be almost ridiculously large.

I think that
1) There should be a maximum of one shipyard per system and that the shipyard must be orbiting a planet.
2) All star systems can have a shipyard, not just a select few.
3) Each shipyard would automatically be capable of building ten ships at once but with each new hull size, you must refit the yard to be able to build that size.
4) Refer to my previous post for my opinion on this.
5) In no way, shape or form should the ammount of pp a shipyard can use in one turn be limited. Only when the planet it surrounds is in revolt or the system is blockaded should pp be hindered.

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#24 Post by emrys » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:39 am

Right, so we're not quite as far along as we thought, since it seems that even point 2 is contentious. I.e. at least one person (Ranos) has advocated a system where having one shipyard in every system is not unusual (e.g. typically on the order of a hundred or many hundreds of shipyards in the mid-late game). I had kind of assumed we'd sold nearly everyone at least on the idea of aiming for a system which would tend to produce more like rather less than ten shipyards per empire even late game... Is Ranos in a real minority here or are other people leaning that way as well? If the latter case I'd have thought both Drek and Impaler's ideas would need a serious rethink.

n.b. "2) Shipyards are intended to be rare and expensive, players likely have shipyards in only a handfull of their systems", is meant to say that only a small fraction of systems are likely to have shipyards, not that the choice of which those systems are is in any way restricted, the player should still be ABLE to choose which systems, and indeed to choose ALL systems if he feels like paying the cost for that (i.e. probably loosing the game because he spends all his PP on building shipyards rather than building ships!).
Ranos wrote:
5) Absolutely not!! If you have pp and the shipyard capacity, you should be able to turn out the biggest of ships in a single turn.
Please define 'and the shipyard capacity'. Do you mean

a) "you have at least one shipyard, somewhere, of any kind", which would be Drek's version, or

b) "shipyard of kind capable of producing sufficient ships simulatenously/high enough tech ship/big enough hull ships (delete as applicable to your prefered mechanism) in order to be able to run ship builds costing that much per turn" in which case that's really only a difference of mechanism from a straight PP/turn throughput limit, and is essentially identical to Impaler's vision, or

c) that "ship projects should only be rated in terms of Xpp to complete, and so a 50pp ship takes 5 turns if you have 10pp/turn to spend and 1 turn if you have 150pp/turn to spend." In this case I think you'll find that that option has been pretty much rejected already, and that we have already agreed on a Hearts of Iron system whereby all ship build projects will be rated in terms of Xpp per turn for Y turns. I.e. a ship might cost 10pp for 5 turns. If you have 10pp/turn to spend you will get 1 ship after 5 turns, if you have 50pp/turn to spend you can get 5 ships after 5 turns, but CANNOT choose instead to have one ship after 1 turn, and one the next turn etc.

The difference between Drek and Impaler's visions for ship building come down to whether there will be ANY kind of limit, at ANY stage of the game on the number of ship projects that can be conducted simultaneously at one shipyard, i.e. if at any point you will have to do something other than or in addition to just producing more PP in order to be able to build more ships at once, whether that be build another shipyard or upgrade an existing one. NO limits is Drek's vision, SOME limit is Impaler's (and mine!, in case you hadn't guessed :wink: ).

Ranos wrote: Give me a good reason why pp should be limited in the manner you suggest.
The best argument for limiting concurrent builds is simply that the almost inevitable consequence of not doing is that all shipbuilding will occur at a single shipyard, the closest one to the place you want the ships (i.e. the enemy.) In addition since there is no simultaneous build limit then any shipyard capable of building the ship will do, so the most likely result is that players will slam all the empires productive capacity onto one little backwater planet (that happens to be near an unsuspecting opponent) to get it a shipyard as soon as possible and then immediately funnel the entire empires capacity there to churn out a hundred, thousand, million etc. ship fleet of the shortest minimum build time ship they can build and then roll over the poor sucker next door, repeating this 'strategy' (if you can call it that) ad infinitum. In other words the strategic elements of placement of shipyards to maximise gain against risk and to balance development and productive capability against more tactical time-to-front issues will be swamped by cheesy exploitation of the weaknesses of the build system.
Ranos wrote: Now, my problem with two. If you lilmit the number of shipyards allowed, then you must allow each shipyard to build multiple ships at once. Doing this means you must have a basic shipyard which produces one ship of the smallest size. You then must increase the size of the ships that it can handle as well as add on addition slips to build additional ships. This, although I personally think would add both fun and realism, makes for a very large ammount of microing in improving the shipyards.
Obiviously the basic shipyard need neither be limited to one ship, nor of the smallest size, nor must we choose to make players develop shipyards along each of these axes separately (I'd personally like to, but then I'd enjoy this particular piece of micro, possibly a bid sad, but that's my preference, I doubt everyone agrees).

The basic shipyard could have a fair range of capability, and/or we could easily combine the two axes into one (i.e. a limit on the sum of the PP/turn costs of projects running at an individual shipyard, the minimal case of Impaler's idea). However, as you say, development of shipyards would be required, and would add to the management, the choice is whether we consider the decisions relating to the development to be trivial (i.e. micromanagement) or significant contibutors to the strategic aspect of the game (i.e. 'fun').

eeek, another stupidly long post, sorry.

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#25 Post by Impaler » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:13 pm

Actualy I think that was a very nice post. To elaborate on some possible Limitaion Strategies tha work in sligtly differnt ways but ultimatly produce similar results.

I will be taking as basic assumptions the following things. 1 - That we divide up ships by their Sizes into atleast a dozen or so catagores "Destroyer" "Cruiser" "Battleship" ect ect. 2 - As the game progresses more PP will be needed to make high tec ships and the player will gain access to larger sized ships.


Strategy A - Ship Yards have a Capacity value that limits how many PP they convert into ships each turn and a completly independent "Max Hull Size" value that desides how big a ship can be made here. Any combination of small/large ships can get produced at the same time. As the Yard mills through its Queue of ships to build it adds PP to each ship and completes the ship untill its run out of points. If the total capacity accounts for only a fraction of a Battleship or a hundred squadrons of Fighters dosent realy matter. Costs to expand a Yard are linear but multiplied by the Max Hull Size value so to expand the capacity of a "Destroyer" yard from 100 to 200 costs less then expanding a "Battleship" Yard from 100- 200. Upgrading a Yard to make bigger ships costs more the larger the Capacity of the Yard. The order in which all of this is done is ofcorse irelivent to get a yard of X size and Y Capacity always costs XY in total cost if its built from scratch or progressivly upgraded and/or expanded. Tec level of ships being built is completly ignored by the shipyard.

Strategy B - Slot based aproatch. This model alows the player to combine any number of "Bays" to make the whole shipyard. Each Bay is a destinct component that can be part of a space stations design just like in Space Empires IV. Each Bay has a Max Hull Size which is literaly the size of the ships it can fit (think HomeWorld Motherships capitalship foundry). When a ship is being built it is defined as being "IN" a particular Bay that must meet all the legalities required. Each Bay then individualy Mills the ship its working on using the Global Pool of PPIt also has another factor that serves as a limit. The potentials their are...

B1 - Tec Level - Each ship you can build is given a teclevel (presumably resulting from the Components and design of the ship). Ships of this design can only be built in Bays of Equal or greater value. Note either B2 or B3 would still be needed to cap production quantity this serves to cap quality and is rather speculative. I dont propose we do this at this time.

B2 - Production Points - As in idea A production points that get added towards the ships completion each turn is a constant. More advanced Bays alow more points to be milled each turn.

B3 - Turns to Build - This is the idea I was originaly toying with at the outset of this topic. A novel idea here the Bay is defined by the # of turns it requires to build a ship of a particular size (so for example a small fighter might take 1/5 of a turn to make and 5 are made in one turn). The ships total PP cost is divided by this number and milled by that many points each turn and and finished off with no remainder or wasted capacity in the stated turns regardless of overall cost or tec level of the ship built. More Advanced Bays have shorter build times esentialy translating into faster milling of PP (having more expensive ships will also produce faster per turn consumption of PP)
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#26 Post by Ranos » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:43 pm

I'm seeing the light on the concept of pp/turn but what are the limits and how are they set? If it a minimum of 5 turns for all ship hulls or does it increase with each size? Are there ways to reduce the number of turns required? Imho, when I have research hull size 10, I don't want it to take 15 turns to build one ship of that size, nor do I think that it should still take 5 turns to build one ship of the smallest size. So how exactly are these limits set and how do they change as the game progresses?
emrys wrote:Please define 'and the shipyard capacity'. Do you mean
I meant c but as I said above, I'm kind of seeing the light.
emrys wrote:Right, so we're not quite as far along as we thought, since it seems that even point 2 is contentious. I.e. at least one person (Ranos) has advocated a system where having one shipyard in every system is not unusual (e.g. typically on the order of a hundred or many hundreds of shipyards in the mid-late game).
How many star systems are there going to be on a single map? A hundred or hundreds of shipyards? If you are refferring to a single empire, then that would be close to impossible. If you are reffering to multiple empires, then what is the problem?

My position on this could change depending on which of the following would be done.

If a shipyard has a set number of slips for building the ships, say around 10 as a suggested, then one shipyard per system is not all that insane. Maybe even make it only 5. By late game, a huge empire would be building well over a hundred ships at a time and probably close to two or three hundred and maybe even more. If this is the case, then one shipyard per system is pretty much needed.

If instead you say shipyards automatically build additional slips without the player needing to do anything and cap it at 50 slips per yard, then I can see having only a few per empire, even in the late game. Now this would work in one of two ways.

1. (I'm assuming you start with a shipyard at your home planet) You start with a shipyard that has 10 slips on it. When you click on the shipyard, it says that it has 10 slips. The game checks to see how many of those slips you are using and when you get up to using 8 at a time, it automatically builds 5 more. Now when you click on the shipyard, it says it has 15 slips. This would of course take some extra programming for a practically pointless thing.

2. All shipyards allow for 50 slips when they are first built, but in the documentation, ingame or whatever kind there will be, it tells the player that slips are automatically added as they are needed. This give the illusion that the shipyard is small to start with and grows over time.

Last on the number of slips, if there are an unlimited ammount of slips on a shipyard, then what is the point in building more than one?

One thing I personally don't want is to just have to build the shipyard and then do nothing with it after that. If there will only be a limited number of yards, that means that each yard must have many/lots of slips say 50. This means that if the shipyard started off with 10 slips, then you would need to micromanage building 40 more slips. With this case, you would say that the yard automatically increases the hull size capacity. If you went the other way and said the yard automatically increase the number of slips as they are needed, then the player should have to order the increase in hull size capacity.

Here we go with another long post but a thought just occurred to me.

Lets say that both hull size capacity and number of slips are automatically increased. I am assuming that there will be some sort of maintenance cost that must be paid on the shipyard every turn. When a new hull size is developed, the maintenance cost should increase by some ammount for a few turns to cover the cost of upgrading the shipyard. This could also be done when new slips are added if #1 in my above suggestions was used.

Doing this would eliminate the need to micrmanage the shipyard in anyway.

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#27 Post by emrys » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:35 am

Ranos wrote:I'm seeing the light on the concept of pp/turn but what are the limits and how are they set? If it a minimum of 5 turns for all ship hulls or does it increase with each size? Are there ways to reduce the number of turns required? Imho, when I have research hull size 10, I don't want it to take 15 turns to build one ship of that size, nor do I think that it should still take 5 turns to build one ship of the smallest size. So how exactly are these limits set and how do they change as the game progresses?
Just to be clear there are two areas where PP/turn is being discussed. The first is the HOI-style costing of projects, e.g. that a project costs 5pp/turn for 4 turns. This is pretty much set in stone. The second is the idea of limiting the sum of the per turn cost of projects running at a specific location (a spending rate cap), this is very much not.

As for the HOI costing model, and it;s interaction with the FreeOrion research model, my understanding of it is that e.g. when a ship design is first researched it will have an certain per turn cost and time to build, i.e. 10pp/turn for 10 turns. If you do nothing more this will probably never change, and so when you research you (higher tech) larger design, it may well only cost 12pp/turn for 8 turns, which would probably make the choice of which design to build a no brainer. However there will be 'refinements' to an application (i.e. a ship design) which it will be possible to research. These will alter the costs or capabilities of a design, so that if you were to put similar levels of research effort into refining your early design and getting the ability to build the larger one, by the time you get the ability to build the larger one, the costs of the smaller may have fallen to 5pp/turn for 4 turns, and it's abilities improved, so it is no longer a no-brainer.

Balancing all this so that mostly refining early designs, mostly just developing new ones, or doing a mix of both are all fairly equally matched strategies (or better still designing game mechanics that mean they are intrinsically balanced) will be the interesting part of tech tree, ship, combat and build mechanism design...

(Obviously this leaves aside the detail of issues like ship design, however extending the idea should be fairly clear. We just (!) need to come up with some reasonable method of combining the individual component costs and times to get an overal cost and time for a ship design.)

Edit: forgot to mention explicitly that I expect that other research projects, and probably refinements of shipyard techs would also affect(i.e. reduce) the cost or time to build of ships.

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#28 Post by Impaler » Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:35 am

As I see it we have 3 major areas of Tec Improvment

Improving the Components/Devices > Level 1 laser becomes Level 2 Laser, Level 3 Laser ect ect. Unlike Moo2 Refinments on components should not make the component smaller as this has the anoying side effect of requiring you to redesign every ship with MORE of said device in it inorder to get any real return. As a rule nothing that requires or encourages redesigning the ship should be involved. Thus the size/mass (what ever determines how many can fit in a ship) stays constant. Cost could go down along with the device becoming harder to destroy. Most bonuses come in the form of getting more "effect" out of the device Weapons likly get better rates of fire and incressed damage output. Sensors see further, Armor has more defence value, Engines go faster ect ect.

Improving Shipyards > If we keep Capacity and Hull Size buildable as seperate atributes then we naturaly have 2 seperate areas of refinment. Its been mentioned in this thread that getting a new Ship Hull and getting the Shipyard to build it should come with the same Tec and I agree. Thus it follows that the same Tec is getting refined to improve the Shipyard. My idea is that the Shipyard becomes cheaper to upgrade to the desired size as you refine that Size Tec. The Building Rate inprovments come in the form of reducing the # of turns needing to be spent on the ship. So lets say the Shipyard is at "Capacit level 3" and the ship normaly requires 110 PP over 8 turns but because of the high level it instead takes 8-3 = 5 turns. Total Production points remains the same though so insted of 110 its now ((110 * 8 ) /5) production per turn or 176 PP per turn being used. The normal turns to complete a ship would be derived from the ships design with higher tec and larger ships having longer production times and higher total costs.


Improving ShipDesigns > My idea here is to let the player make "Designs" to their hearts content but it cant be built untill its reserched as a Tec project like any other Tecnology the player would normaly reserch. The Design can then be refined to reduce the overall PP cost of the ship say by 5-10% with each level of Refinment. You dont need to redesign the ship simply to change the Level 1 lasers to level 2 thats done automaticaly. This type of refinement simply acts to make the whole ships cheaper to build. Their could also be refinements of the Tecs that give each Hull size (same Tec as refered to for Shipyards) so you could refine "Super Capital Ship Hulls" and get a bonus to all your Dreadnaugt designs just as if you had refined each design individualy. (if you only have one design in that catagory your probly better off refining it directly).
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#29 Post by Ranos » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:32 pm

emrys wrote:As for the HOI costing model, and it;s interaction with the FreeOrion research model, my understanding of it is that e.g. when a ship design is first researched it will have an certain per turn cost and time to build, i.e. 10pp/turn for 10 turns. If you do nothing more this will probably never change, and so when you research you (higher tech) larger design, it may well only cost 12pp/turn for 8 turns, which would probably make the choice of which design to build a no brainer. However there will be 'refinements' to an application (i.e. a ship design) which it will be possible to research. These will alter the costs or capabilities of a design, so that if you were to put similar levels of research effort into refining your early design and getting the ability to build the larger one, by the time you get the ability to build the larger one, the costs of the smaller may have fallen to 5pp/turn for 4 turns, and it's abilities improved, so it is no longer a no-brainer.
I understand it a little bit better but I do have one point of contention. Refinements to a hull size should not reduce the number of turns but should increse the space (increase the ammount of items that can be put onto a ship) and maybe the ammount of armor mounted or something like that. Building something fast is not in the design of the thing itself but in the way things in general are built.

All hull sizes should have a preset pp/turn that increase as the hull gets bigger. Hull 1 takes 5 turns, hull 2 takes 8, hull three takes 12 and on up to the biggest size. This can only be reduced by refining the building techniques. This is done either by having to research improvements to shipyards (not to be able to build bigger hulls but to build all hulls faster) or by having specific building technique refinement techs.
Impaler wrote:As I see it we have 3 major areas of Tec Improvment

Improving the Components/Devices > Level 1 laser becomes Level 2 Laser, Level 3 Laser ect ect. Unlike Moo2 Refinments on components should not make the component smaller as this has the anoying side effect of requiring you to redesign every ship with MORE of said device in it inorder to get any real return. As a rule nothing that requires or encourages redesigning the ship should be involved. Thus the size/mass (what ever determines how many can fit in a ship) stays constant. Cost could go down along with the device becoming harder to destroy. Most bonuses come in the form of getting more "effect" out of the device Weapons likly get better rates of fire and incressed damage output. Sensors see further, Armor has more defence value, Engines go faster ect ect.

Improving Shipyards > If we keep Capacity and Hull Size buildable as seperate atributes then we naturaly have 2 seperate areas of refinment. Its been mentioned in this thread that getting a new Ship Hull and getting the Shipyard to build it should come with the same Tec and I agree. Thus it follows that the same Tec is getting refined to improve the Shipyard. My idea is that the Shipyard becomes cheaper to upgrade to the desired size as you refine that Size Tec. The Building Rate inprovments come in the form of reducing the # of turns needing to be spent on the ship. So lets say the Shipyard is at "Capacit level 3" and the ship normaly requires 110 PP over 8 turns but because of the high level it instead takes 8-3 = 5 turns. Total Production points remains the same though so insted of 110 its now ((110 * 8 ) /5) production per turn or 176 PP per turn being used. The normal turns to complete a ship would be derived from the ships design with higher tec and larger ships having longer production times and higher total costs.


Improving ShipDesigns > My idea here is to let the player make "Designs" to their hearts content but it cant be built untill its reserched as a Tec project like any other Tecnology the player would normaly reserch. The Design can then be refined to reduce the overall PP cost of the ship say by 5-10% with each level of Refinment. You dont need to redesign the ship simply to change the Level 1 lasers to level 2 thats done automaticaly. This type of refinement simply acts to make the whole ships cheaper to build. Their could also be refinements of the Tecs that give each Hull size (same Tec as refered to for Shipyards) so you could refine "Super Capital Ship Hulls" and get a bonus to all your Dreadnaugt designs just as if you had refined each design individualy. (if you only have one design in that catagory your probly better off refining it directly).
1) Improving the Components/Devices. This is a definate but it should not be a technology to be researched. The MOO2 way is exactly how it should be done. You researched the basic weapon and over time, improvements were made on it. This was far better than the MOO3 way of having to research 2 miniturization techs along with autofire, armor piercing, etc.

When someone sets out to develope a weapon, their goal is to make the weapon work. Once they have figured out how to make it work, it is out of their hands. It is manufacturers and those who use the weapon that figure out better ways of making it smaller or making it work better (do more damage, fire farther, etc.). Weapons should get smaller over time not just better.

Look at the history of the machine gun. It started out big and clunky, had to be carried by two people and set on a tripod to be fired. Now you can hold one and fire it one handed. On the reverse, cannons started out fairly small and as time went on, we came up with ways of making it bigger meaning it could fire farther and do more damage.

Weapons on ships should therefore get both smaller and more powerful. This doesn't mean that you absolutely need to design a new ship every time the weapon gets miniaturized. I don't know how FO is going to work, but my experience in both MOO2 and MOO3 was that by the time I could build a smaller or better version of a weapon, a new and better weapon had been developed. The smaller just meant I could use it to fill in the gaps and the better meant that it did a little more damage, making it more useful.

2) Improving Shipyards and 3) Improving ShipDesigns. Here is where everything starts to lean towards micromanagement. If there are 500 base techs in FO, meaning hull size 2, robotic factories, plasma cannon, etc., that is already a lot of techs. Now if you add in 5-10 improvements that need to be researched for even 100 of those techs, that increses the number of researchable techs to 1000-1500.

I have never played HOI, which I understand is what the tech tree will be based, on so I don't exactly know how it will work. If the technology is going to work like MOO3, where you adjust how much research goes into each area but it all comes as the tech level is reached, then it isn't quite as big of a deal but would still mean a whole lot of research needing to get done and therefore a whole lot of time would be spent on research.

If the tech tree is going to be more Civ like where you have to select everything that needs to be researched, then that is even more microing than civ and moo combined.

On top of that, why must a design be researched? That takes research points away from the normal techs. You researched the hull size, you researched the armor, weapons, engines, shields, sensors, fighters, etc., etc. to go on the hull. Why should you then also have to research the new design. That does one thing and one thing alone. Make you wait longer for what you've alread earned. If I'm in a war and I'm losing ground I'm already in trouble. If I see that my scientists are about to develope a new weapon or stronger shield or whatever that will at least even the odds if not tip them in my favor, I don't want to get that weapon only to have to wait another few turns, which I may not have, to be able to use my new ship design.

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#30 Post by Impaler » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:37 pm

Acdidental double post :P
Last edited by Impaler on Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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