I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to say and what my opinions on the latest issues are.
This could go two ways. You can either refit a ship as many times as you want or you are limited to one or two. By limiting it, you force the player to build new ships on a regular basis. By not limiting it, a player can refit the ships he starts with at the beginning of the game to be usable at the end of the game. Both have good pointsand bad points. I really don't think there are good gameplay reasons why either should be done. I prefer to limit it and I'll tell why later.
Whichever system we go with, there should be some kid of penalty/penalties involved in refitting. This is to put more emphasis on building new ships instead of on refitting the old ones. At the moment, I'm at a loss for a gameplay based reason why this should be done. My main reson for it is that I think it would be completely stupid to have refitting be equal in cost to new ship building. To me it seems to be a balance issue. The game would be unbalanced if the two were equal. Whenever somebody got a new tech and designed a new ship, they would refit the old ones to keep them useful.
When I stop and think about it, to say that everything should have a reason based in gameplay is ridiculous. There is a reason why everything would work in gameplay what matters is the one that people enjoy more. More strategies, less strategies, more complexity, less complexity, more of a challenge, less of a challenge.
While allowing continuous refitting would allow all ships to be usefull for the whole game, limiting refitting would force the player to have to figure out what to do with the obsolete ships. Are they cannon fodder in a big battle, are they scrap to add money or materials into your empire or are they patrols to keep down piracy in the systems you control? Limiting balances the game more by preventing people from wasting loads of pp/time/money refitting their ships all the time while somebody else uses that pp/time/money to build more new ships. Both have their strategic values and it all boils down to preferance.
Puting any penalties on refitting, whether it be simple cost increases or complex systems that effect damage done, HP, speed, etc, gives players more of a reason to build new ships than to constantly refit the old ships. Not having penalties allows people to always refit their ships with now additional cost, making it be smarter to keep your ships upgraded so they are usable in battle.
Shipyards need to be limited in some way. Two ways have been brought up that I can recall. One is pp/turn, which we are already going to use. The other is max ship size. Having a max ship size gives the players limits and forces them to use strategies where ships will generally be the same size. Having no max size allows players to build ships as big as they can dream up which forces players to expect the unexpected when a battle begins. They could be facing a hundred little ships with one weapon on each or they could face a huge behemoth that can destroy a ship with a single shot from a huge superweapon.
By making a max size that increases over time, the start of the game will have players fighting with similar sized ships. As the size increases, so does the diversity of ship sizes. Maybe at some point in the late game, the max ship size will be removed allowing the building of moon or planet sized ships. This allows for changing strategies over the whole game from same vs. same to who knows what it will be. This also boils down to what you prefer. Would you rather have evolving strategies or who knows what strategies we'll have to use?
The topic of this thread is how ship design is done. There is no good way, bad way, right way, wrong way because all of the methods that have been introduced have been used in one manner or another in other games. Each person has things that they liked and disliked about those systems. What seems easy to me, and therefore a good gameplay reason to use it, seems difficult to another person and a reason why it shouldn't be used.
Zpock wrote:Here comes my argument: The penalty removes an interesting strategy, to try and build a really huge ship at the beginning of the game. If the strategy is to have any merit the huge ship must have some advantage over a large number of small ships built in the same time. The strategy also has a major drawback, you are vulnerable to attack for the time you build the thing. So I don't see this strategy as cheesy or abusive in any way whatsoever. Or maybe you just don't like having many possible strategies in the game?
It removes an insane strategy from the early game, building something that big would take 1000 or more turns to build using your single planet's industrial capacity and prevents you from building other things to increase the size of your emepire. The strategy is easily viable late game espacially if we remove size caps at that time. Having the size cap would prevent people from making a stupid mistake at the beginning that would cost them the game.
If that strategy is either overpowered or underpowered, then there are some balance issues. It would be interesting in the late game to allow a huge ship llike the deathstar that has one or more huge weapons on it and the only way it can be destroyed is with a small surgical strike, like the trench run in Star Wars IV. This would make for some interesting strategies but would be unbalancing.
So I ask you this, which do you prefer? That is what it is really about, how many people prefer which system and what the design team thinks would work best.