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Bastian-Bux
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#181 Post by Bastian-Bux » Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:24 pm

Ranos wrote:
If they can refine a weapon forever, then they will only research one or two weapons maybe three and refine those until the end of the game.

So what? Ranos, again, this isn't Ranos Orion. If you don't like to play with the same weapons for the whole game: DON'T. If someone else sees the best of the world in a laser MK 2.376, so be it.

Sorry if I sound hard, but you try to restrict something, without fully grasping its intention. And the only reason you wanna restrict it, is that you don't like / won't use it.

Lets not worry about that right now. We have to come up with "believable" theories. Then with "logical" applications. And after that we can get refinements that result in all kinds of mods, perks and whatever we call it.

Once we have all this implemented, we will find very bad imbalances. So we think how to balance them. And once we balanced them, some ingenious players will find more imbalances, and we balance again. Till we reach a point that each weapon has its place, with weakness and strengths at its place.

Ideally the same weapon might be the non-plus-ultra for one race, but totally worthless for another one. And even better, some weapons might be considered worthless by 90% of the players. And 10% will use precisely that weapon to butcher those ignorants by using that specific weapon at the correct place to its full potential.

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#182 Post by Ranos » Thu Nov 25, 2004 7:13 pm

When have I ever said that this was Ranos Orion? If you can show me then fine, but if not then quit saying that. I'm not arguing against this stuff because I don't want to do it, I'm arguing against it because it takes away from the strategy of the game.

Why is it that when someone makes arguements against something that somebody can't counter, they start using Realism Arguement, KISS or some the equally lame excuse as a reason why that persons points are invalid?

If you want to argue my points Bastian, then quote more than a single sentence and accuse me of trying to make this Ranos Orion. If you can't come up with a viable arguement then don't say anything, but don't attack me personally or accuse me of trying to get everything my way.
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utilae
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#183 Post by utilae » Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:57 pm

Ranos wrote: Why is it that when someone makes arguements against something that somebody can't counter, they start using Realism Arguement, KISS or some the equally lame excuse as a reason why that persons points are invalid?
Funny, you used realism arguments. :wink:
Ranos wrote: This is true. But lets compair how reserach works in the game and how it works in real life. In the game, we are going to have to select techs to be refined and it is going to take our RP to reserach that refinement. In real life, the governement finances a lot of research projects but there are also private companies that do this. Do you think that the US government, or any governments for that matter, funded the research to upgrade the bow and arrow? Did the goverment fund research on how to make a better catapult? No to both of those. Private industry funded the research on refining the bow. Advanced technology and better knowledge of physics is what would allow us to build a better catapult today.
Ranos wrote: I don't want the weapons to be equal. I want weapon A to be stronger than weapon B but weaker than weapon C which forces you at some point to research weapon D to overcome the weakness. But at some point weapon D would be weaker than weapon E forcing you to research weapon F. That is the strategy I was talking about earlier in forcing players to research new weapons instead of being able to always use the same one or same few.
This is the counter system. I of course also want this weapon to be good against corrosive, this one good against kinetic, etc.
Ranos wrote: Having to adapt your strategy to use a different type of weapon is strategy. Having to choose between a dozen weapons that are all the same except this one does this is nothing more than a choice, a preferance. If one weapon is stronger than another, you must adapt for that new weapon.
Strategy=Decisions=Choices
Ranos wrote: The tech tree is not balanced it is the same. If one weapon is stronger, then you have to go after that weapon to get a more powerful weapon. This forces you to change your strategy to adapt to the new weapon.
Refinements makes weapons more powerful. Plus, there is no strategy in getting the better weapon, because the opponent got a better weapon. That is common sense.

Stategy is researching the laser. Refining it and using it often. Researching the ion cannon, refining it and using it for disabling ships. Researching the area effect cannon, refining and using it to hit more than one ship, though still using the laser for its concentrated power to kill one ship.
Ranos wrote: That weapon can be refined but at some point, that weapon will need to be replaced because a more powerful weapon is available.
Refinements do the replacing.
Ranos wrote: That's fine, but at some point, that weapon should become less powerful and eventually useless as the technology of the other races advances. Refinements should run out at some point, not be available forever.
Refinements provide the tech race. If one race refines more, than another will have to refine to keep up.
Ranos wrote: No it wouldn't because new weapons would be popping up to replace old ones. That is the point of new weapons, to be better.
The point of refinements is to make weapon better.
Ranos wrote: What I don't want to see is people using the Laser effectively 300 turns into the game. By that time, a new weapon should have to be used.
But you think it is ok to use ion cannon to be used for X turns and then have to use the death ray which will be used for X turns until the death ray2 comes out.

What I want is for new weapons to be encountered and used. The old ones are not to be forgotten though and that is important in a good tech tree. Once you get the Carriers in StarCraft you don't stop using the zealots right. I can refine the zealot, by upgrading his blades, leg speed. I can refine the carrier by upgrading number of fighters, etc.
Ranos wrote: Also, with the Ion Cannon, the electrical systems of the ship are damaged and it can't be used until repaired. Your space marines must also fight a battle to take the ship. If you use the Death Ray, all of the crew is dead so there is no battle and the electrical systems are still fully functional so you can use the ship immediately.
The player will just see the Death Ray as a better Ion Cannon. Sure, they may work in different ways, but functionally, gameplay wise, they both aim to disable the ship. So Ion Cannon is not worth keeping. You refined it 5 levels to get to death ray. When death ray becomes available ion cannon is no longer used. Ion cannon is replaced with death ray. The point is, this is just a glossy form of refinements. It is like refining forever, but every 5 levels you change the name of the weapon and have a new description. That adds to the immersion, but it's one of those techs that the player doesn't want to see popping up, because it is not a major break through in weapons. It's a refinement or acts like one.

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Prokonsul Piotrus
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#184 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:39 pm

I have one of my long posts almost ready to answer most of questions raised here. Short version is:
* if new techs are diffrent, but not more powerful, what is the point of researching them at all?

Now I agree that weapons are similar, and we should emphasise their diffrences, and try to keep some of them - or even most of them - for new techs. But new weapon tech should bring us weapons that are worth researching - i.e. both more powerful and diffrent.

Refinement, for me, is a cheap research way to make existing weapon a little more powerful, without making it diffrent. In essence, it is a strategy-level choice - spending less on research but still getting some results. I see refinements as sth do do in war, when majority of resources go for economy and fleet, and there is not enough to fund big theoretical developemtns.
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Geoff the Medio
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#185 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:04 am

Ranos wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:utilae was saying that having power requirements that change after refinement gives rise to the same sort of problem as having space requirements that change after refinement. In either case, you would be able to add more of the weapon after refinement, if the number you had prior to refinement was limited by the reduced requirement. So if you need 5 units of power per gun before refining the gun, and had 20 units of power to spend, but 4 units of power after refining the gun, but still 20 units of power to spend, you'd be able to add an extra gun after refining (assuming no other limitations)
No. Read it again. I was talking about two weapons that do basically the same thing. One is much more advanced then the other. If there are two weapons that are researched independantly of eachother, then one can take less space than the other. If it is a single weapon that is being refined, then it should take less space because that would require designing a new ship just to upgrade your existing weapons.
How about you read it again? I, and utilae, understand why reduced size for refined weapons is bad. utilae's point was that reducing the power requirement for refined weapons has the same problem as reducing the space requirement (size): you have to redesign the ship to get the max # of weapons possible. In this context "space" and "power" are indistinguishable. They are both just a number that limits how many of a certain type of weapons you can put into a ship.

What happens with two independently researched weapons is irrelivant to this point. The point is about refinements.
Do you think that the US government, or any governments for that matter, funded the research to upgrade the bow and arrow? Did the goverment fund research on how to make a better catapult? No to both of those. Private industry funded the research on refining the bow. Advanced technology and better knowledge of physics is what would allow us to build a better catapult today.

Unless you want refining in the game to work in this same manner, then there should only be limited refining.
Perhaps we should make certain refinements have additional prerequisites than the previous refinement? So you can research lasers, and refine up to level 8, but to refine to level 9, you need quantum lensing theory first.

Alternatively, rather than having "mods" to apply to weapons, the refinements could themselves be the mods, and be arranged in a branching tree structure. So you can research the "continuous fire" laser refinement, or the "extra damage" refinement, and upgrade your lasers to one or the other. (But in order to research "continuous fire", you need the "plasma ducts" technology first, but for "extra damage", you need "low carb taco-making".)
To clarify, weapon A is available at level 1. Weapon B is available at level 5. To make refining existing techs and new techs equally viable, weapon A must be equally as strong as weapon B at level 5. This also requires some kind of control on refinements to make sure that somebody can't refine weapon A past level 5 until after weapon B has been researched.

Diminishing returns are fine with me as long as those returns have diminished beyond usefullness by, at most, Mk15.
Diminishing returns:
Lasers Mk. I do 20 damage, and costs 100 to research
Lasers Mk. II do 30 damage, costs 10 more to refine, 110 total cost
Lasers Mk. III do 38 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 130 total cost
Lasers Mk. IV do 44 damage, costs 30 more to refine, 160 total cost
Lasers Mk. V do 48 damage, costs 40 more, 200 total cost
Lasers Mk. VI do 51 damage, costs 50 more, 250 total cost
Lasers Mk. VII do 53 damage, costs 70 more, 320 total cost

Taco Cannons Mk. I do 40 damage, costs 200 to research
Taco Cannons Mk. II do 50 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 220 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. III do 58 damage, costs 30 more, 250 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. IV do 64 damage, costs 40 more, 290 total cost

etc.

So at first, it's cheaper to get moderately refined lasers that do more damage than unrefined taco cannons that cost more. As you refine lasers more though, you get less and less benefit, and refined taco cannons start to be more cost-effective compared to refined lasers. Eventually refined taco cannons are much cheaper do more damage than refined lasers.
how many niches is one person going to fill? If they can refine a weapon forever, then they will only research one or two weapons maybe three and refine those until the end of the game. If at some point refining a weapon becomes useless, pointless or impossible, then that would solve some of htat problem.
Refining always gives you better weapons, but it eventually becomes more cost-effective to research a whole new type of weapon, and start refining that, as refining the old weapon gives very little benefit for the cost of the refinement. (This works within a countering system... the new weapons might perfectly replace the old ones in the countering web, might have slightly different strengths / weaknesses, or there might not be a comparable replacement for a weapon in a particular niche in the web)
If weapons could be refined forever, then a weapon that is available at level 1 and gets refined to level 25, must be equal in size and damage to a new weapon that gets researched at level 25. Maybe the weapon that has been refined takes 5 space and 5 power and does 25 damage but the new weapon takes 25 space 25 power and does 125 damage.

With refinements going on forever, that is how everything would need to work. There must be some way that all weapons at some point are equal in every way.
I'm not assuming that new weapons will occur as part of the refining process... It seems that you are though...? For me, the taco cannon would be researched separately from refinements of the laser. There is no reason / need for the damage per unit size of both to ever be equal.

If that's not what you mean, then why would you need the damage / size values to be the same at some point?
It may not be strategically best to use that same weapon throughout the game but allowing it to be used takes away from the strategy but not forcing you to change weapons.
There's a difference between "not forcing" something, and making something a much better choice. At some point, you're much better off changing weapons. You don't *have* to though... the choice of when to change actually adds another level of strategy.
Because one of the people, utilae, seems to want all weapons to be refined forever. If this is the case, then weapons would need to be equal to make them all viable in the game. If weapons can be refined forever but they aren't equal, then it is either pointless to research the new weapon or it is pointless to refine the old one.
It's never "pointless" to refine the old one or research a new one... but there's always a cost vs. benefit and now vs. later tradeoffs. At certain times, it's much better to reserach a whole new weapon, and others times it's better to refine, but in the middle, there's a grey area where it's hard to decide what's best, and where what's best probably depends on your in-game strategic situation (do you need good weapons right now, or can you afford to research a new one, meaning you'll have less-refined weapons for a while, but be better off in the long run...?)

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#186 Post by Ranos » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:05 am

utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: Why is it that when someone makes arguements against something that somebody can't counter, they start using Realism Arguement, KISS or some the equally lame excuse as a reason why that persons points are invalid?
Funny, you used realism arguments. :wink:
You misunderstood. What I was trying to say, and didn't word right, is that person A says that a system should work like this and person B says the system should work in a different way. Both of the people arguing the two points go back and forth for a while and person A makes a point that person B can't counter, so person B comes up with the lame excuse like person A is making "strawman arguements" or "this is not Person A Orion." They argue that a certain point is a realism arguement so they can just dismiss it without considering it or they bring up KISS and say the system is too complicated.

Those are not valid arguements for why someone else's idea wouldn't work. These are excuses for not making a real arguement against the system.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: I don't want the weapons to be equal. I want weapon A to be stronger than weapon B but weaker than weapon C which forces you at some point to research weapon D to overcome the weakness. But at some point weapon D would be weaker than weapon E forcing you to research weapon F. That is the strategy I was talking about earlier in forcing players to research new weapons instead of being able to always use the same one or same few.
This is the counter system. I of course also want this weapon to be good against corrosive, this one good against kinetic, etc.
That is not the countering system. I am talking weapon vs weapon in damage, space, energy, etc. The countering system is weapon vs shield.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: Having to adapt your strategy to use a different type of weapon is strategy. Having to choose between a dozen weapons that are all the same except this one does this is nothing more than a choice, a preferance. If one weapon is stronger than another, you must adapt for that new weapon.
Strategy=Decisions=Choices
Yes but Choices does not = Decisions does not = Strategy. The choice to use two identical weapons is not a strategy if the weapons are the same, it is merely a choice. Having to adapt to use a new weapon because your old one is useless is haveing to change your strategy. There is no choice involved in it unless you choose to use the old inferior weapon.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: The tech tree is not balanced it is the same. If one weapon is stronger, then you have to go after that weapon to get a more powerful weapon. This forces you to change your strategy to adapt to the new weapon.
Refinements makes weapons more powerful. Plus, there is no strategy in getting the better weapon, because the opponent got a better weapon. That is common sense.

Stategy is researching the laser. Refining it and using it often. Researching the ion cannon, refining it and using it for disabling ships. Researching the area effect cannon, refining and using it to hit more than one ship, though still using the laser for its concentrated power to kill one ship.
Yes refinements make weapons more powerful but it is the same weapon functioning in the same way. I never said there was strategy in choosing to use the better weapon, I said you had to change your strategy to use the new weapon. There is a difference.

Yes that is a strategy. But having to find a new weapon because the Laser becomes obsolete inolves more strategy than refining the Laser forever because you would have a strategy based around the damage type of the laser and you would probably get a new damage type when the laser became obsolete which forces you to adapt your strategy to use the new damage ype instead of the old.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: That weapon can be refined but at some point, that weapon will need to be replaced because a more powerful weapon is available.
Refinements do the replacing.
Refining is not replacing, it is upgrading. The Laser Mk2 is not a new weapon, it is the same weapon that can do more damage requiring you to upgrade a component or two in the Laser. Replacing a weapon is completely removing the old weapon and puting in a brand new one.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: That's fine, but at some point, that weapon should become less powerful and eventually useless as the technology of the other races advances. Refinements should run out at some point, not be available forever.
Refinements provide the tech race. If one race refines more, than another will have to refine to keep up.
Refining is not a tech race, it is an upgrading race. Discovering new technologies is a tech race. What do you mean Refinements should run out at some point, not be available forever? That makes no sense.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: No it wouldn't because new weapons would be popping up to replace old ones. That is the point of new weapons, to be better.
The point of refinements is to make weapon better.
The point of refinements is to make a SINGLE weapon better for a period of time. Eventually, the refinements run out and the weapon can't get any better and must be replaced. New techologies should bring new and better weapons. That is the point of technologies. At some point, there will be no new technologies to discover because of a limited tech tree, but by that time, the game should be over.
utilae wrote:
Ranos wrote: What I don't want to see is people using the Laser effectively 300 turns into the game. By that time, a new weapon should have to be used.
But you think it is ok to use ion cannon to be used for X turns and then have to use the death ray which will be used for X turns until the death ray2 comes out.
No. I want to use Ion Cannon until it becomes obsolete. Then after a while, Death Ray is discovered. Death Ray is not discovered immediately after Ion Cannon becomes obsolete.

It is ok to do this because it is a new weapon even if it functions similarly to the old one. It would not immediately replce the old one, but would show up later in the game.
utilae wrote:What I want is for new weapons to be encountered and used. The old ones are not to be forgotten though and that is important in a good tech tree. Once you get the Carriers in StarCraft you don't stop using the zealots right. I can refine the zealot, by upgrading his blades, leg speed. I can refine the carrier by upgrading number of fighters, etc.
Actually, what is important to a good tech tree is for certain techs to become useless, at least in the military parts of it. Old weapons going bye-bye means there is room for new weapons. If everything sticks around and is useful for the whole game, then there is no room for new weapons because the old ones will be in the way.
utilae wrote:The player will just see the Death Ray as a better Ion Cannon. Sure, they may work in different ways, but functionally, gameplay wise, they both aim to disable the ship. So Ion Cannon is not worth keeping. You refined it 5 levels to get to death ray. When death ray becomes available ion cannon is no longer used. Ion cannon is replaced with death ray. The point is, this is just a glossy form of refinements. It is like refining forever, but every 5 levels you change the name of the weapon and have a new description. That adds to the immersion, but it's one of those techs that the player doesn't want to see popping up, because it is not a major break through in weapons. It's a refinement or acts like one.
But that isn't the way I want it to work. You arestill basing my opinions off of my attempted compromise system. The idea is that the Ion Cannon becomes obsolete because it has rechaed it's refining limit. After x number of turns, the Death Ray becomes available.

There is no more 5 refinements then a new tech. That system is gone in my mind. I made it only in an attempt to make a compromise with your insistance that if it did the same thing then it was the same weapon and should just be a refinement.
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#187 Post by Ranos » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:40 am

Geoff and Piotrus posted while I was writing my post.
Piotrus wrote:I have one of my long posts almost ready to answer most of questions raised here. Short version is:
* if new techs are diffrent, but not more powerful, what is the point of researching them at all?
I agree on that point completely.
Piotrus wrote:Now I agree that weapons are similar, and we should emphasise their diffrences, and try to keep some of them - or even most of them - for new techs. But new weapon tech should bring us weapons that are worth researching - i.e. both more powerful and diffrent.

Refinement, for me, is a cheap research way to make existing weapon a little more powerful, without making it diffrent. In essence, it is a strategy-level choice - spending less on research but still getting some results. I see refinements as sth do do in war, when majority of resources go for economy and fleet, and there is not enough to fund big theoretical developemtns.
That is the way I look at refinements but at some point, the ability to refine something should run out. For a while, there should be no new weapon that is like the one that became obsolete. After a while, though, there should be a new weapon that does something similar to the one that became obsolete.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ranos wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:utilae was saying that having power requirements that change after refinement gives rise to the same sort of problem as having space requirements that change after refinement. In either case, you would be able to add more of the weapon after refinement, if the number you had prior to refinement was limited by the reduced requirement. So if you need 5 units of power per gun before refining the gun, and had 20 units of power to spend, but 4 units of power after refining the gun, but still 20 units of power to spend, you'd be able to add an extra gun after refining (assuming no other limitations)
No. Read it again. I was talking about two weapons that do basically the same thing. One is much more advanced then the other. If there are two weapons that are researched independantly of eachother, then one can take less space than the other. If it is a single weapon that is being refined, then it should take less space because that would require designing a new ship just to upgrade your existing weapons.
How about you read it again? I, and utilae, understand why reduced size for refined weapons is bad. utilae's point was that reducing the power requirement for refined weapons has the same problem as reducing the space requirement (size): you have to redesign the ship to get the max # of weapons possible. In this context "space" and "power" are indistinguishable. They are both just a number that limits how many of a certain type of weapons you can put into a ship.

What happens with two independently researched weapons is irrelivant to this point. The point is about refinements.
Hello? Is this thing on? NEW WEAPON. New weapons should be able to change in size. Refinements should not. Does that make sense. NEW WEAPONS should change in size. My point was that we could reduce the power requirements of new weapons NOT REFINEMENTS. I understand all of the things you just said. Do you understand the things I just finished saying?

The whole point is about the difference between refining and new weapons. That is what we are discussing, not just refinements.

Just in case you didn't understand it from my last couple of paragraphs, refinements should be the same size to prevent the problem of redesigning ships every time a weapon is refined. New weapons can and should be different sizes to give them one more characteristic that sets them apart.
Geoff wrote:Perhaps we should make certain refinements have additional prerequisites than the previous refinement? So you can research lasers, and refine up to level 8, but to refine to level 9, you need quantum lensing theory first.

Alternatively, rather than having "mods" to apply to weapons, the refinements could themselves be the mods, and be arranged in a branching tree structure. So you can research the "continuous fire" laser refinement, or the "extra damage" refinement, and upgrade your lasers to one or the other. (But in order to research "continuous fire", you need the "plasma ducts" technology first, but for "extra damage", you need "low carb taco-making".)
That is fine but at some point, weapons should run out of refinements. I have already listed my arguements for that multiple times.
Geoff wrote:Diminishing returns:
Lasers Mk. I do 20 damage, and costs 100 to research
Lasers Mk. II do 30 damage, costs 10 more to refine, 110 total cost
Lasers Mk. III do 38 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 130 total cost
Lasers Mk. IV do 44 damage, costs 30 more to refine, 160 total cost
Lasers Mk. V do 48 damage, costs 40 more, 200 total cost
Lasers Mk. VI do 51 damage, costs 50 more, 250 total cost
Lasers Mk. VII do 53 damage, costs 70 more, 320 total cost

Taco Cannons Mk. I do 40 damage, costs 200 to research
Taco Cannons Mk. II do 50 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 220 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. III do 58 damage, costs 30 more, 250 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. IV do 64 damage, costs 40 more, 290 total cost

etc.

So at first, it's cheaper to get moderately refined lasers that do more damage than unrefined taco cannons that cost more. As you refine lasers more though, you get less and less benefit, and refined taco cannons start to be more cost-effective compared to refined lasers. Eventually refined taco cannons are much cheaper do more damage than refined lasers.
That looks good to me. I am assuming that at some point it would take two levels of refinement to see any benefit. Is that correct?
Geoff wrote:Refining always gives you better weapons, but it eventually becomes more cost-effective to research a whole new type of weapon, and start refining that, as refining the old weapon gives very little benefit for the cost of the refinement. (This works within a countering system... the new weapons might perfectly replace the old ones in the countering web, might have slightly different strengths / weaknesses, or there might not be a comparable replacement for a weapon in a particular niche in the web)
This sounds good to me too.
Geoff wrote:I'm not assuming that new weapons will occur as part of the refining process... It seems that you are though...? For me, the taco cannon would be researched separately from refinements of the laser. There is no reason / need for the damage per unit size of both to ever be equal.

If that's not what you mean, then why would you need the damage / size values to be the same at some point?
I was but I abandoned that idea. The reason weapons would need to be identical at the same level is if you could refine weapons forever. If one weapon was better than another, then there would be a clear reason to just abandon the other one.

That is not what I want. I want refinements to run out whether it be through a hard limit or through diminishing returns. This forces an adaptation of strategies.
Geoff wrote:It's never "pointless" to refine the old one or research a new one... but there's always a cost vs. benefit and now vs. later tradeoffs. At certain times, it's much better to reserach a whole new weapon, and others times it's better to refine, but in the middle, there's a grey area where it's hard to decide what's best, and where what's best probably depends on your in-game strategic situation (do you need good weapons right now, or can you afford to research a new one, meaning you'll have less-refined weapons for a while, but be better off in the long run...?)
That's perfectly fine with me. It requires even more decision making than what I was thinking.
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Geoff the Medio
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#188 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Nov 26, 2004 1:36 am

Ranos wrote:Hello? Is this thing on? NEW WEAPON. New weapons should be able to change in size. Refinements should not. Does that make sense. NEW WEAPONS should change in size. My point was that we could reduce the power requirements of new weapons NOT REFINEMENTS. I understand all of the things you just said. Do you understand the things I just finished saying?
Yes, I understand what you've just said, and what you've just said indicates you probably understand what I was trying to say as well. However, prior to what you *just* said, you were only reiterating the problem of size reductions with refinement, and not acknowledging the problem of power reductions. I was trying to emphasize utilae's point that power and size are functionally equivalent in this sense, which your replies did not acknowledge (until your last post, which at least mentioned power... suggesting that you've made / understood the connection). That utilae's original statement was in response to you talking about new weapons, not refinements, is beside the point... or... before the point... whatever.
I am assuming that at some point it would take two levels of refinement to see any benefit. Is that correct?
I hadn't really thought about it. This could be the way it's done, but IMO it'd be better to make all refinements do *something*, even if that something is small. We can make each individual refinement cost more, if we need to slow down the progress even more than the trends in the example suggested. And I don't expect those numbers to be at all accurate... they're just an example.

A further wrinkle might be that after a while, additional refinements for heavily refined weapons starts to get more beneficial / cost effective again... so you'd have a long-term insentive to keep refining weapons, even though those refinements don't get you much benefit since you have another, currently better weapon available... But eventually, the refinements will pay off, giving you an extra-super powerful weapon. I'd be like a bonus at the end of the difficult costly refinement path.

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#189 Post by utilae » Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:01 am

Ranos wrote: Yes but Choices does not = Decisions does not = Strategy. The choice to use two identical weapons is not a strategy if the weapons are the same, it is merely a choice. Having to adapt to use a new weapon because your old one is useless is haveing to change your strategy. There is no choice involved in it unless you choose to use the old inferior weapon.
Choosing between two weapons that are the same is not strategy. It doesn't matter which one you choose, therefore no strategy. Choosing between two weapons where one replaces the other is not strategy. It is common sense, there is only one clear choice.

I never said that weapons would be the same, I said balanced within the entire tech tree. The main issue is that when you research for a new weapon, it should be stronger or have something that makes it worth researching. This is of course the mindset that Moo2 and other games have given people. It does not have to be this way of course. It would be fine to have a few repeat application techs that are like the first laser, but better. Some application techs are in the tech tree (of Moo2) though that don't have any better versions after, eg Tractor Beam.
Ranos wrote: Yes that is a strategy. But having to find a new weapon because the Laser becomes obsolete inolves more strategy than refining the Laser forever because you would have a strategy based around the damage type of the laser and you would probably get a new damage type when the laser became obsolete which forces you to adapt your strategy to use the new damage ype instead of the old.
"having to find a new weapon"=="refining the Laser"
Researching a replacement weapon makes the old weapon obsolete, just as refining laser lv1 to laser lv2 makes laser lv1 obsolete. These things are exactly the same in every single way. The way I put the refining of the laser is alot simpler and tidier than researching a newer replacement weapon. It's really a preference as to which appears better.
Ranos wrote: Refining is not replacing, it is upgrading. The Laser Mk2 is not a new weapon, it is the same weapon that can do more damage requiring you to upgrade a component or two in the Laser. Replacing a weapon is completely removing the old weapon and puting in a brand new one.
Now you are confusing research and refinements with ship design and refitting. I have always been talking about the weapon and not the weapon sitting in the ship (covered that I think).

The only reason Laser Mk2 is not a new weapon in your eyes is because it does not have a nice name. In pure game mechanical terms, throwing names and descriptions out the window, if object A is better than object B and replaces it, then whether object A is achieved as a result of a refinement process or whether object A is achieved as a result of researching another application, it is the same, because it pure game mechanics object A replaces object B.
Ranos wrote: Refining is not a tech race, it is an upgrading race. Discovering new technologies is a tech race.
Refining and upgrading are the same. Discovering new techs is upgrading or refining or improving technology. My point is, is the tech race centered around refinements, new applications or both. The tech race exists in both refinements and applications. Refinements just seem more natural to me to upgrade/improve weapons, then having to research new weapons through applications. New applications should be a big change. Not just a bigger badded laser. This can be acheived through refinements, so why not let the differences between weapons play a stronger part in making the research effort worth it. Newer weapon applications should be indirectly better, while refinements are directly better.
Ranos wrote: The point of refinements is to make a SINGLE weapon better for a period of time. Eventually, the refinements run out and the weapon can't get any better and must be replaced. New techologies should bring new and better weapons. That is the point of technologies. At some point, there will be no new technologies to discover because of a limited tech tree, but by that time, the game should be over.
I do agree that the tech tree is a system of technology that improves, but is also changes. We have cars that have wheels. But when hover cars come along, they don't replace cars. People still could use wheeled cars for things that hover cars can't be used, eg burnouts, but this is a poor example.
Ranos wrote: Actually, what is important to a good tech tree is for certain techs to become useless, at least in the military parts of it. Old weapons going bye-bye means there is room for new weapons. If everything sticks around and is useful for the whole game, then there is no room for new weapons because the old ones will be in the way.
That is true, but I am using refinements to achieve this effect.
Ranos wrote: But that isn't the way I want it to work. You arestill basing my opinions off of my attempted compromise system. The idea is that the Ion Cannon becomes obsolete because it has rechaed it's refining limit. After x number of turns, the Death Ray becomes available.
Ok, but this just creates redundancies. In ship design you will still have the ion cannon and the death ray for backwards compatiability.


Ranos wrote:
Piotrus wrote:I have one of my long posts almost ready to answer most of questions raised here. Short version is:
* if new techs are diffrent, but not more powerful, what is the point of researching them at all?
I agree on that point completely.
I agree, but only to an extent. While it is necesary for the newer weapon to be worth researching, it does not have to be more powerful. Little things could make it worth more, though mainly the weapon style is what I am after.
Ranos wrote: That is the way I look at refinements but at some point, the ability to refine something should run out.
If refinements are naturally limited by diminishing returns, then why add a second limit. Why not let players refine forever and basically gain very little. Simply having the possibility is a good thing.
Ranos wrote: For a while, there should be no new weapon that is like the one that became obsolete. After a while, though, there should be a new weapon that does something similar to the one that became obsolete.
A new weapon that does something similar. The thing I find boring is that the weapon is just the same, more damage, etc. I want to put that part into refinements and have applications not contain repetive parts like that.
Ranos wrote: Hello? Is this thing on? NEW WEAPON. New weapons should be able to change in size. Refinements should not. Does that make sense. NEW WEAPONS should change in size. My point was that we could reduce the power requirements of new weapons NOT REFINEMENTS. I understand all of the things you just said. Do you understand the things I just finished saying?
Unless refining a weapon also upgrades all ships weapons to the latest refined weapons, then you face the same problem with 'new' weapons as refined weapons.
Ranos wrote: The whole point is about the difference between refining and new weapons. That is what we are discussing, not just refinements.
I am trying to say that they are the same. When you boil it down to numbers and mechanical game workings, they are the same. The only difference is that you want to get replacement weapons through applications, while I want to get replacement weapons through refinements.

Geoff wrote:Diminishing returns:
Lasers Mk. I do 20 damage, and costs 100 to research
Lasers Mk. II do 30 damage, costs 10 more to refine, 110 total cost
Lasers Mk. III do 38 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 130 total cost
Lasers Mk. IV do 44 damage, costs 30 more to refine, 160 total cost
Lasers Mk. V do 48 damage, costs 40 more, 200 total cost
Lasers Mk. VI do 51 damage, costs 50 more, 250 total cost
Lasers Mk. VII do 53 damage, costs 70 more, 320 total cost

Taco Cannons Mk. I do 40 damage, costs 200 to research
Taco Cannons Mk. II do 50 damage, costs 20 more to refine, 220 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. III do 58 damage, costs 30 more, 250 total cost
Taco Cannons Mk. IV do 64 damage, costs 40 more, 290 total cost

etc.

So at first, it's cheaper to get moderately refined lasers that do more damage than unrefined taco cannons that cost more. As you refine lasers more though, you get less and less benefit, and refined taco cannons start to be more cost-effective compared to refined lasers. Eventually refined taco cannons are much cheaper do more damage than refined lasers.
thoughts of the player:
To me this is just boring. Oh I refine lasers. Oh look a new weapon that is better in every single way, Taco cannons. Why I have just been mucked around by the system. I research lasers only to research them again. This time though they are renamed to Taco cannons. Is this all the weapons I am going to expect from now on. Boring times ahead then, since the new weapon will be called Zed Cannons and will be the same as lasers and taco cannons only stronger still.

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#190 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:28 am

utilae wrote:thoughts of the player:
To me this is just boring. Oh I refine lasers. Oh look a new weapon that is better in every single way, Taco cannons. Why I have just been mucked around by the system. I research lasers only to research them again. This time though they are renamed to Taco cannons. Is this all the weapons I am going to expect from now on. Boring times ahead then, since the new weapon will be called Zed Cannons and will be the same as lasers and taco cannons only stronger still.
There's nothing in the chart you quoted that says Taco Cannons have to be exactly like Lasers in every way other than the damage they do. Taco cannons could be strong or weak against different things than lasers. Tacos could require ammo, while lasers do not. Tacos could fire in a different way (lasers = beam, tacos = ballistic explosives).

That said, if Taco Cannons are amost exactly like souped-up lasers, with the same ammo/firing pattern/counters, the player has not been "mucked around by the system" if they refine lasers. The player made a choice to refine lasers for quick benefits, knowing that later on, the reserach into lasers wouldn't be worth anything, since better weapons would eventually come along that are much cheaper to research and refine.

Difficult choices are good... not a bad thing to whine about because it makes it hard to choose.

Additional quirk idea: Some weapons require strategic resources. Planets with strategic resources tend to form / promote factions that support the use of a particular weapon that requires the resource on that planet, as use of the resource pumps imperial money into the planet's economy. Picking another / not using the faction's desired weapon makes the faction / planet unhappy.

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#191 Post by utilae » Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:23 am

Geoff the Medio wrote: There's nothing in the chart you quoted that says Taco Cannons have to be exactly like Lasers in every way other than the damage they do. Taco cannons could be strong or weak against different things than lasers. Tacos could require ammo, while lasers do not. Tacos could fire in a different way (lasers = beam, tacos = ballistic explosives).
Well that will be fine. But if they replace the laser then that's what I disagree with. It's totally fine if they have strengths and weaknesses that lases do not.
Geoff the Medio wrote: That said, if Taco Cannons are amost exactly like souped-up lasers, with the same ammo/firing pattern/counters, the player has not been "mucked around by the system" if they refine lasers. The player made a choice to refine lasers for quick benefits, knowing that later on, the reserach into lasers wouldn't be worth anything, since better weapons would eventually come along that are much cheaper to research and refine.
Yeah, but if taco cannons were better than lasers in every way and you could refine lasers or get taco cannons, then it really is two identical research paths and I am not sure that it is a good thing.
Geoff the Medio wrote: Additional quirk idea: Some weapons require strategic resources. Planets with strategic resources tend to form / promote factions that support the use of a particular weapon that requires the resource on that planet, as use of the resource pumps imperial money into the planet's economy. Picking another / not using the faction's desired weapon makes the faction / planet unhappy.
Hey, that is a neat idea. Though how would you determine what resource the weapon is made of. I guess it would be easy enough to say planet A has XGems and planet B has ZedOre. Weapon A is made from ZedOre, while weapon B is made from XGems.

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#192 Post by Bastian-Bux » Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:35 am

@Ranos: sorry for my harsh words, but some of us explained severall times clearly what refinement is. And you seemed to ignore that completely for a few pages of this thread. So my assumption was that you either couldn't understand it, or deliberately choose to force your opinion on us. So I reminded you that you ain't in a position to force anything on us.

@Geoff: I fullhearthedly agree with your post which contains that dimishing returns table. :) Lets make it this way, that will work.

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#193 Post by Kharagh » Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:56 am

@Geoff: I fullhearthedly agree with your post which contains that dimishing returns table. Lets make it this way, that will work.
That is just what I suggested in my attempt of a compromise:

Increasing the costs for each refinement, which in effect is equal to smaller benefites after each one.
This will create kind of a natural cap for the level of refinement, without forcing the player to stop refinement after a specific level. It also adds to the strategy, as a player will have to decide if a weapon is still worth being refined.

It could also create interesting reanimations of weapons ofter being out of the game for a while.

It adds a lot more variations to the game strategy and gives you a lot more choices to make during the game.
If a laser is one of the few weapons good against a specific sort of shield (which will become available at level 15 for example), then ppl will maybe refine their lasers a few levels only at first and then stop. Once this special shild is discovered however, it might be useful to get out the good old laser a bit, refine it a little and give your foe a nasty surprise.

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#194 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:41 pm

This is the thread from hell.

However one good thing has come from it : Taco Cannons.

Each level of refinement for these terrifying weapons would add extra helpings of chilli, guacamole and cheese, to the point where, by end game, a single shot from a taco cannon can give a dreadnaught a coronary, and harden the arteries of even the most heavily shielded doom star.

The only defence would be a PD array of Burrito Launchers.


* disclaimer : i cant be bothered to read this argum^H^H^H^H^Hthread all the way through, so if this is the 5th time somebody has made this joke, i apologise.
The COW Project : You have a spy in your midst.

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#195 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Fri Nov 26, 2004 6:54 pm

Ranos wrote: That is the way I look at refinements but at some point, the ability to refine something should run out. For a while, there should be no new weapon that is like the one that became obsolete. After a while, though, there should be a new weapon that does something similar to the one that became obsolete.
Yes, I have to agree with that and what Kharagh posts later:
Increasing the costs for each refinement, which in effect is equal to smaller benefites after each one.
This will create kind of a natural cap for the level of refinement, without forcing the player to stop refinement after a specific level. It also adds to the strategy, as a player will have to decide if a weapon is still worth being refined.
We need to differentiate making the weapon more powerful and making it more diffrent. For example, Laser Mk.II dealing 10 damage is a refinement of Laser Mk.I dealing 9 damage, but what about Gatling Laser shoting 2 times for 4 damage? I think that such diffrent weapons should be developed on the application level, not by refinement (i.e. the gatling special) BUT as long as they are from the same theoretical application, perhaps refining one (increasing its damage) could make it easier to refine another one?
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