For the moment, I am going to ignore most of the posts that have been made since my last one. I want to better define my arguments for why refining should be limited and why there should be weapons that are almost identical to other weapons. Last time I posted my arguments, I used a realism argument (not for a valid reason why, but to show that there was a realism reason) and an argument based on my opinion. I won't be using those again because they are not good arguments for anything.
Arguments for Limited Refinement
When I say 'strategy,' I mean the decision making process of deciding between different things. When I say 'a strategy' or 'your strategy' or 'their strategy,' I mean the end result of those decisions.
If refinements are not able to continue through the entire game, but run out for some reason, that means that players must research new weapons because the old ones will become obsolete. This forces players to adapt or change their strategy to use the new weapons.
The point in having a countering system is to have players making a strategy based on the weapons, armor and shields they use. If a player is allowed to use the same weapon/weapons for the whole game, it takes away from the strategic thinking. They no longer have to rethink how things will work because of having to use a new weapon. They develop one strategy and stick with it because they use the same old weapons.
If the player has to get a new weapon, they have to change the way their strategy works. Other players would also have to change their strategy because the player who just researched a new weapons would probably be using a different type which would mean the other players' strategies against that player wouldn't work any more.
Weapons being able to be refined forever means the player doesn't need to research new weapons and so doesn't need to change their strategy.
#2 Weapon Equality
If weapons can be refined forever, then all weapons must be equal. A level 1 weapon that gets refined to level 25 must be equal to a weapon that is new at level 25. If the weapons are not equal, then refining forever is pointless.
If instead, a refined weapon is more powerful than a new weapon, but will soon run out of refinements, then there is a reason to research that new weapon and begin refining it. It will quickly become better than the old weapon.
If different weapons have different strengths at the same levels, then there must be strategic thinking involved. "Okay, if I start researching this weapon now and then refine it, it will be ready to replace my old weapon which is just about out of refinements."
#3 Space/Mass, Cost and Power Requirements
This ties in with the last point. If all weapons can be refined forever, then they all must be equally strong and must therefore take up the same amount of space/mass, cost the same and require the same amount of power. If a level 25 weapon took up more space than a level 1 weapon that has been refined to level 25, there would be no reason to get the new weapon. If the level 25 weapon took up less space, then there would be no reason to continue refining the old weapon. Cost and power requirements are the same there.
#4 Refitting vs. New Construction
This depends on how refitting on ships is done. If refitting is free or costs less than new construction (which it should) then this is a valid argument.
Having to build new ships to replace obsolete ships is another big part of the game and ties in slightly with strategy. A ship becomes obsolete because the weapons and defenses it has can no longer compete with the newer enemy ships. This means the player must be building new ships to replace both the obsolete ships as well as the ships lost in combat.
If refining goes on forever, then so does refitting and ships never become obsolete. This means all a player has to do is replace ships lost in combat.
Arguments for Identical Weapons
#1 Refinements are Limited
Obviously this point is only valid if refinements do get limited.
If the player gets Laser at the start of the game, they can use and refine that until the refinements run out. Once that happens, the Laser is gone and is no longer useful. After 50 or 100 turns or a few levels in the tech tree, a new weapon could be put in that is the new laser.
It is not the Laser only better because it is a different weapon. It doesn't matter if it does the same type of damage in the same way, because the Laser became obsolete. So you have to change your strategy because you lose the weapon, but later on, you can get the same type of weapon back and change your strategy again. This would help keep your opponent on their toes.
#2 Not Having to Refine the Earlier Weapon
If refining never runs out, then you shut yourself off from certain weapons if you don't research and refine them right away. If Lasers are available at the start of the game, then you can use and refine those. But if you don't refine them right away, you will never be able to use them in the late game because it would take forever for you to get all of the refinements required to make them equal to higher level weapons. While you are refining them, your opponents will be refining their weapons and making them even stronger, which puts you behind in the arms race.
If, however, we make an identical tech to Lasers later in the game, then a player can choose to switch to that weapon without suffering the massive penalty of having to refine to catch up.
At the moment, those are the only two reasons I can think of for that point.
I am, as you can see, in favor of refinements running out at some point. Most, if not everyone, seems to be against a hard cap. Diminishing returns is what everyone seems to like. Geoff the Medio posted a great chart on it. I would like to get the diminishing return system set as best we can because that will determine much of the rest of the way refinements will work.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ranos wrote: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.
I have a system for Diminishing Returns that I think would work that is based off of my refining chart from earlier in the thread and on Geoff's diminishing returns. It shows how refining would work with diminishing returns and what the benefits of refining would be.
Weapon refinement: Research Cost. Damage, Construction Cost, Space/Mass Required, Power Required, Rate of Fire
Mk1 (tech application): Cost 500 rp. 20 damage, cost 5, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 1
Mk2: Cost 100 rp. 20 * 125% = 25 damage, cost 6, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 1
Mk3: Cost 100 * 105% = 105 rp. 25 * 120% = 30 damage, cost 7, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 1
Mk4: Cost 105 * 110% = 116 rp. 30 * 113% = 34 damage, cost 8, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 2
Mk5: Cost 116 * 115% = 133 rp. 34 * 112% = 38 damage, cost 9, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 2
Mk6: Cost 133 * 120% = 160 rp. 38 * 108% = 41 damage, cost 10, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 2
Mk7: Cost 160 * 125% = 200 rp. 41 * 107% = 44 damage, cost 11, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 3
Mk8: Cost 200 * 130% = 260 rp. 44 * 105% = 46 damage, cost 12, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 3
Mk9: Cost 260 * 135% = 351 rp. 46 * 104% = 48 damage, cost 13, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 3
Mk10: Cost 351 * 140% = 491 rp. 48 * 102% = 49 damage, cost 14, space/mass 5, power 5, RoF 4
After Mk10, Research Cost would always be increased by 140%, Damage would always be increased by 102%, Construction Cost would always increase by 1 and Rate of Fire would always stay at 4.
Refinements could also activate modifiers to weapons like Long Range, Armor Piercing, etc.
Due to the large increases in later weapons (if a weapons base damage is 100 then it is going to be around 250 at Mk10) armor and/or shields should also be refined in a similar manner. That may have already been the plan but I wanted to make my view on that known.
Geoff the Medio wrote: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.
I am against this because this is still being able to refine weapons forever. The point of the diminishing returns is to encourage the player, without forcing them, to research different weapons. Allowing an eventual increase in refinement benefit would pretty much erase that.
200 and still a Wyrm!?! I don't want to be a Wyrm anymore. I've been a Wyrm for 100 posts now.