SpaceCombat Counters

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

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Impaler
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#31 Post by Impaler »

How about this slitly more poetic version

Kinetic
Energetic
Corosive
Explosive

Kind of rolls of the tounge dont you think :wink:

And the as of yet un-finalized "Normal Damage" which dose has no bonus/Penalties. I left if off my diagram because its so self explamitory.

This would be a total of 5 damage types though which might be a bit High for most people. If we have this many damage types my Diagram becomes unworkable and we would be better off going with PowerCrazies "4 on 4" plan which I have also made a diagram for (I hope I understood it correctly)

Image

All the rules are the same, thick line is Armor gets Bonus, thin is penalty. Note that under this senario only the "Normal" damage stuff will eve be normal, everything else is either Bonus or Penalty. Under the "3 on 6" plan that I posted earlier each armor gets 1 Bonus, 1 Penalty and 1 Nutral (not show in the diagram). 4 on 4 gives each armor 2 Bonus and 2 Penalties. Both of these plan might also have Normal damage as its realy "out" of the wheel and is rather optoional (An option I would like to see ofcorse).


Another interesting Idea that I discussed with LithiumMongoose (and which he didn't like) was that each Damage type could have a unique way inwhich its damage gets aplied mathematicaly to the ship. The idea came from the proposal that Corossive damage would be a DoT effect (aka poison). It seemed that if one damage type gets a cool effect like that then so should all the others. The nature of the effects would add greatly to the games strategy. Some basic ideas here

Corrosive - As was sugjested Corrosive is always a DoT effect. When a ship is hit with X amount of corrosive damage it dosen't directly take that damage, instead a "Corosion" Value of X gets added to the ship and each round this Corrosion will do its value in damage to the ship (at this point the armor gets to resist the damage) and reduce itself by a fixed % (like 1/2 or 1/3). If the ship takes more Hits from Corrosive weapons the values get added to what is already on the ship, thus you can build up the DoT effect untill it bleeding away as fast as your adding it on.

Explosive - Explosives apply their damage across all the systems on a ship which face in the direction of impact. Generaly the damage is light to compensate for the fact its being greatly multiplied, large ships can potentialy take a lot of damage from explosives but they also generaly have higher armor which can nulify the damage quite a bit. Note that Missles need not be the only thing that dose Explosive damage.

Kinetic - Kind of the Oposite of Explosive, dose all its damage to one of the ships components and is usaly very high in damage making it good at piercing stuff. Also their is a chance for these weapons to get a Critical Hit and Do double damage. The chance of Critical Hit is based on the ratio between Armor strength and Damage ammount. Damage can not carry over from one Component to another though so over-kill is a weakness.

Energetic - Humm still thinking of something for this to do, anyone have any ideas? If should be unique and differnt then whats already been listed.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

emrys
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#32 Post by emrys »

Sorry, this is totally childish of me but I just couldn't let this go:
Ranos wrote: Many of you have pointed out problems with my countering system, but not one of you has made up a countering system yourself. If you don't like mine, then fine, but make one so the rest of us can see what you think would be better.
Reviewing the thread, it is clear that Impaler, utilae and Powercrazy all posted suggested systems before you did. I suppose you didn't consider other people's suggestions "systems". :wink:

PowerCrazy
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#33 Post by PowerCrazy »

I kind of like the idea of each type of damage having its own unique damage type or ability. However instead of explosive doing damage over a variety of systems what about a splash damage effect. Against a Swarm of fighters or missles it damages them all. corrosive since it is more of a cloud would also be able to hit multiple targets. Kinetic could pierce through ships (as tech increased) and hit multiple targets. Energy could nullify shields completely as tech increases of course.

Thus at the end of the tech tree you could have ships that create MASSIVE clouds of corrosion that envelop the enemy fleet. Of course they won't care too much as their shields are resistant against corrosion. But then you shoot your energy leeching weapons and sap their shields away. Now they are feeling the effects of the corrosion cloud and will most likely be destroyed. Of course that is when they use their explosive kinetic weapons and inflict massive splash damage throughout your fleet...

So weapons could evolve like this.
Early game:
Chemical weapons usually affect a single ship, will most likely ignore shields because shield technology hasn't developed yet, but it only does a small amount of damage.
Explosive Damage: Affect a large area, small damage generally useless against shielded targets, but good against groups of fighters (as early game they aren't shielded yet.)
Kinetic/energy: Almost inditinguishable at this phase. Slight bonus to energy against shields.

Mid Game:
Chemical Weapons: are almost useless, most shields can nullify the effects, still moderately useful against swarms of fighters as they are lightly shielded and have low hps compared to larger ships.
Explosive Weapons: Do a lot of damage, but not good against shields, however if combined with energy weapons to sap shields away faster can be quite potent.
Kinetic weapons almost indistguishable from "normal" weapons at this point. Fair against Shields and Armor.
Energy Weapons: Excellent against shields, useless against armor.

Late Game:
Chemical Weapons: can get through most shields, about the same area of effect as midgame but a LOT more damage over a longer period of time. Almost necessitates some kind of auto repair system for your ships.
Explosive Weapons: More damaging, can nullify most lower lvl shields only has problems against very large targets or Very Sheilded targets.
Kinetic Weapons: Excellent against heavilly armored targets especially once the shields are removed.
Energy Weapons: Nullifys all but the highest level shields, does appreciable damage to the armor/systems of the target. Excellent against shields it doesn't just outright ignore.

End-game: Rules/balance break down.
Chemical Weapons: Ridiculous area of effect and DoT. Only high level shields can stop it.
Explosive Weapons: Massive area of effect, Massive Damage, shields semi-effective.
Kinetic energy: Continuous fire. Goes through all ships in a line, with slightly less damage to each ship after the first. Shields are pierced but with a large damage penalty.
Energy Weapons: Shields are absorbed, and lots of damage to armor. generally Single target, though can be combined with various other types of damage i.e. a Large shield damaging chemical cloud.

Note that these are Damage types, which are different from the weapon types we will have. They can also be mods on the original Type A, B, C and D weapons, (or whatever we pick). However these allow each special type of weapon to be unique.

The bonuses that these will have will be less based on numbers and more based on the tactical deployment of these weapons, i.e. Multiple ship targeting and grouping. Area effect, and denial. Shield sapping.

These would essentially define the tactics that you would use in space combat.

Good Job Impaler, thats about how I envisioned it. With the potential for a "normal" weapon understood.
Aquitaine is my Hero.... ;)

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utilae
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#34 Post by utilae »

PowerCrazy wrote:I kind of like the idea of each type of damage having its own unique damage type or ability.
I would like to avoid locking abilities into a weapon based on its countering type. IT should be possible for a weapon to be of type corrosive without the poison effect, or even a small poison effect.

Keeping these abilities independant of weapon countering types would lead to greater combinations. A more flexible weapon system. It is a good idea to have abilities locked into the weapon and armor types, but maybe some abilities should be locked in, while some shouldn't.

I think things like poison effect, %of shield piercing, regeneration should be locked in.

Things like blast/spash/explosive radius should not be locked in. Even corrosive weapons will not always be cloud weapons, they may be a projectile of acid. Explosive weapons seem like they should have an explosion or spash locked in, but we need to leave open the fact that the explosion might be on a small scale, eg it affects what part of the counter system the weapon goes into, but it does not show any visible explosion (too small, or within the enemy ship/hull/armor).

Zpock
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#35 Post by Zpock »

I agree with utilae. The special ability stuff should not be directly locked to the damage type of the weapon. You can still make an ability common for certain damage types. Like having weapons that happen to do explosive damage are also oftenly area effect weapons, but there could be some weapons without area effect that still do explosive damage. And kinetic weapons that do area effect damage (fragmentation grenades). I think variation in the weapons will suffer otherwise.
That said I think 1 Penalty, 1 Bonus system I layed out will be the best way to go as its got nice symetry a bit like the MtG color wheel. Once you learn the wheel the single armor name gives a great deal of information, an individual type break down as Zpock proposed would I think require much more learning on the players part "Oh they have Krobnium armor whats that strong against?" Under my proposal you only need to know the type and point value to know all relevent information about it.
I think it's too symetric. Feels artificial. Too simple, can't model things as:
Chemical Weapons: Ridiculous area of effect and DoT. Only high level shields can stop it.
Kinetic/energy: Almost inditinguishable at this phase. Slight bonus to energy against shields.
If you want a dynamic countering system that changes with time in the game and minor/large bonuses you might want to consider using my resistance system instead of a set number of armor types with set modifiers to the damage types.

It's easier to keep track of when it's setup like this:

Advanced plasma shield:
60% resistance to explosive
20% resistance to kinetic
etc

Midgame plasma shield:
40% resistance to exploseive
etc

Early plasma shield:
20% resistance to explosive
etc

I mean, you can't do that without just copying the system and renaming things if you just decide on: Plasma shield, takes extra damage from kinetic weapons but reduced damage from kinetic weapons. There's not much difference just the resistance system is more flexible then set modifiers.

If you only had "plasma shield: takes extra damage from kinetic waepons but reduced damage from explosive weapons" and that was all, then a plasma shield is stuck with that. If you add in stuff like, "advanced plasma shield, takes even less damage from explosives but still vulnerable to kinetic weapons" then you could just as well put in the resistances breakdown. The onetype system loses its simplicity and the breakdown is more simple then.
Weapons doing more then one damage type and having more then one armor layer could work but the math needs to be very simple in my opinion or the player is going to get realy confused.
No, a new player does not calculate anythin. He just picks what "feels right". Calculation is done by advanced players seeking to find the perfect strategy. AKA mastering the game. It should be easy for the new player to pick something that feels right, and impossible or at least damn hard for the advanced player to master the game. So math behind the systems are better the more complex and hard to figure out they are. In this case I think it's easy tough. Just do the mitigation of damage on the total damage either before or after doing the resistance modification on each type. That's not so hard to understand.

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#36 Post by Ranos »

Geoff the Medio wrote:There are only a few not-extremely speculative types of physical armour in my mind... They include Ablative, Composite / Reactive and Bulk Rock (asteroid ships with important parts under tons of natural rock...).
This is a fairly limited list. We currently use Composite and Reactive armor on our armored vehicles. There is a Polarized armor under developement which would have a magnetic current flowing through it. Ablative armor is an easy step to make, armor falls off as it is damaged to prevent damage to the rest of the armor. Then we just need to get a little creative. While it is creative, the astroid ship sounds like it would be very big and cumbersome and more work wold probably be required to carve out the interior than it would be worth.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Perhaps there's no need for armour types at all. Indvidual armours could be rating against each damage type, and named or classified according to what damage type(s) they are most effective against. (This is sort of the reverse of the MoO system where weapons are rated against armour and shields, I guess...)
Maybe you didn't notice, but that is what I did. I was going with a double strong/weak system instead of just a single so I added other items to the first.
Geoff the Medio wrote:The names you assign are not as important as the overall system being well balanced. If a well balanced system doesn't perfectly fit the names and interactions you've thought of, that's unfortunate, but not really a big problem. Maybe we won't have a "reactive armour" if it doesn't fit into the web as designed. Maybe "reactive armour" is weak against chemical damage, even though there's no obvious reason for this to be the case from a fluff perspective. This is not a huge problem.
If you do it well, the names will fit and it will be balanced.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
How can we come up with a set number of types of things we want, without coming up with the types themselves?
By thinking about the strategic implications of the number of things and their interactions. What they are called is (comparitively) irrelivant.
How can we make them interact with eachother without knowing what they do?
By drawing countering lines on a graph or assigning bonus/penalty numbers to a chart, and thinking about how the abstarct system would work strategically.
How can we make special considerations as you list them without knowing what we are using?
By deciding what abstracted types will synergize or be mutually exclusive with what other types, in order to make the whole system more interesting and condusive to the player having interesting and difficult strategic decisions to make. The fluff can be fitted to this later.
We then end up with a system that is definately balanced but makes absolutely no sense to people. Why does armor A take more damage from weapon B and less damage from weapon C when B and C are almost identicle?
Geoff the Medio wrote:
I think only one armor type per ship should be allowed. Same with shields. If you allow more than one, you start to lose the purpose of counters.
Agreed. Seems like an instance where KISS applies well.
Well at least we agree on one thing.

@Zpock

I like both your weapons damage system and the idea of using a resistance type setup for armor and shields. I am making a new countering system which incorporates more items into it and uses this resistance system. I don't think one type of anything should outweigh another. They should all be balanced so choosing one gives no greater benefits over another. Give something that reduces 60% damage, and people are more likely to pick that since it will be of greates benefit to them.
Zpock" wrote: Another big advantage of the resistances is that it can easily be used in a intuitive way with non-armor gizmos.We could have modules that increase resistance, as an option to adding more armor. Modules that boost resistance for a short amount of time. Modules that can lock onto other ships and increase their resistances. Modules that can lock onto enemy ships and decrease their resistances. Modules that effect all ships nearby increasing their resistances, or decreasing them.

To prevent one from abusing this to get 100% resistance there would be diminishing returns, a module giving 10% more resistance to a ship with 50% resistance alredy would only give 5% for an example. Then cap it at 75% or something. This would all be very familiar to anyone who has played fantasy games such as diablo.
This idea I don't like. To me, it sounds too magical instead of scifi. I think we should stick with armor on this. PD would of course effect missiles and fighters, but not the damage types.
LithiumMongoose wrote:You know, I'm almost starting to think Kinetic should be rolled into Energy, since they're both piercing-type attacks.
Definately not. Energy and Kinetic are two completely different types of damage and the weapons employing them would function in different ways. They should be kept separate.
Impaler wrote:Oh isshues of Race Balance. I think each race should have a preferense (either through reserch, combat, consturction Bonuse) for a particular type of damage. They also have preferences and possibly restrictions to 2-3 differnt armor types that would follow a pattern along the wheel such as always having access to 2 adjacent Armors. Its a bit like having a 2 color deck of cards in MtG, each can cover the weaknesses of the other.
This makes it so you know what types of weapons, armor, etc. each race is using. This means either it is easier to counter it or certain races will be at a disadvantage due to their preferance. If all races can pick all armors, weapons, shields, etc. it will mean the same general thing all of the time. Think diversity. Different all of the time, never the same, never predictable. Predictability and the same thingall the time is what makes games boring.

I like the idea of weapons doing multiple types of damage but I see allowing multiple types of armor on one ship causing one of two problems. One Impaler already stated, how do you figure out when damage to one stops and the other starts. The other arises from his potential solution, creating a hybrid. This would nullify the counters. The counters are there for balance purposes and allowing hybrids would through off the balance.
Impaler wrote:If something is a "Damage Nulifier" it acts to subtract a fixed number of points off of an attack, shields in Moo1 and armor in StarCraft work this way. Attacks never change the Armors Value no matter how much damage gets through to the "meat" underneath.

Damage - ( Bonus/Penalty x Armor Value ) = Damage Done
This is what MOO3 did with deflection value on armor or at least I think that is how it worked. This is a good system for causing old weapons to become obsolete and useless. If the weapon doesn't do enough damage to get by the deflection value, it does zero damage.
Impaler wrote:A "Damage Mitigator" acts it reduce an attack by a %. Attacks of smaller size are much more advantagus here because they will never be completly useless no matter how thick the armor.

Damage x Bonus/Penalty x % Reduction = Damage Done
This is what should be used for the counters system. No set numbers but percentages.
Impaler wrote:My preferance is for 3 layers

Shields - Damage Nulifiers or Mitigator that dont have Bonuses/Penalties
Armor - Damage Nulifier with Bonuses/Penalties
Structure - Damage Sink with Bonuses/Penalties (ship "breaks up" aka dies when this reaches zero)
I'm in favor of a fourth, Internals. This would include the engines, command center and electrical systems. When this reaches zero, the ship has become disabled. This way, disabling ships is not a random chance that you destroy the bridge. My personal opinion on having a bridge on a spaceship is that its ridiculous. The bridge on our naval ships today are high up so the CO can see at a greater distance. The logical way of doing a command center on a space ship is to put it at the heart of the ship, where it and the CO are in as safe a place as possible. Just my two cents on that subject.

[quote="utilae"Now shields:
Basically a weapon is as Zpock put it. And armor is the same, but armor and shield are now one. Shield is now a type. So an armor could be:
Kinetic=20
Explosive=10
Shield=70

There would also be a type that matches shield for weapons.[/quote]

But what good does this do? Instead of having two separate countering devices which could each have different strengths and weaknesses, now you have only one counter with a shielding type defense. How would that work? What does the shield effect and how does it effect it? If it works the same exact way as it would without being combined, then I don't think they should be combined. While streamlining the ship design as well as the reasearch processes, it would also take away from some of the feel of the game.
Impaler wrote:Another interesting Idea that I discussed with LithiumMongoose (and which he didn't like) was that each Damage type could have a unique way inwhich its damage gets aplied mathematicaly to the ship.
I'm going to have to say I don't like this. It complicates things a bit more than I like and takes away from a unique feature. Corrosive would do a small ammount of damage over time instead of a large ammount of damge all at once. This would work the same way poison worked in D2.
emrys wrote:Sorry, this is totally childish of me but I just couldn't let this go:
Ranos wrote:Many of you have pointed out problems with my countering system, but not one of you has made up a countering system yourself. If you don't like mine, then fine, but make one so the rest of us can see what you think would be better.
Reviewing the thread, it is clear that Impaler, utilae and Powercrazy all posted suggested systems before you did. I suppose you didn't consider other people's suggestions "systems". :wink:
Yes it is childish and totally unnecessary. I obviously misspoke on what I said. I was wrong about that and I apologize for saying that. It was primarily aimed at the people who seem to criticize what everyone else says but not be able to come up with an idea of their own.
PowerCrazy wrote:I kind of like the idea of each type of damage having its own unique damage type or ability. However instead of explosive doing damage over a variety of systems what about a splash damage effect. Against a Swarm of fighters or missles it damages them all. corrosive since it is more of a cloud would also be able to hit multiple targets. Kinetic could pierce through ships (as tech increased) and hit multiple targets. Energy could nullify shields completely as tech increases of course.
I still stick with my bad idea opinion but must say that allowing explosive damage to do such a large ammount of damage to so many targets would overpower them. Also, corrosive wouldn't necessarily only be a cloud. It could be a missile that explodes into a cloud or it could be a kinetic weapon that impacts on the hull and releases nanites which crawl into the structure and begin doing damage. Energy should never nullify shields. That would overpower energy.

After rereading your whole post, I'd have to say I dislike the whole thing. And once again I see somebody wanting to limit the use of tactics due to the way the system would work. If the system works properly, there should be an unlimited number of tactics that would work in battle.
utilae wrote:I would like to avoid locking abilities into a weapon based on its countering type. IT should be possible for a weapon to be of type corrosive without the poison effect, or even a small poison effect.
Corrode (and corrosive by extention) is by definition to wear away gradually. Corrosive should be nothing but the poison effect. Now if you launch a bullet type thing with corrosive material contained in it, it will be treated as a kinetic weapon until after it impacts, which is when it will be treated as a corrosive weapon. So this weapon would do say 15 kinetic damage upon impact and then it would do 5 corrosive damage per turn/minute/whatever.
Zpock wrote:I think it's too symetric. Feels artificial. Too simple, can't model things as

<snip>

If you want a dynamic countering system that changes with time in the game and minor/large bonuses you might want to consider using my resistance system instead of a set number of armor types with set modifiers to the damage types.
This is an excellent suggestion. This could mean that armor types would still be basically strong vs./weak vs. but the percentages could change over time. This allows for unlimited possibilities. Hmmm....

It will probably take me a few days to get my new countering system together and balanced properly, but when I'm finished, it will have names to systems and everything. Those of you who think this is bad are welcome to those thoughts, but I'm doing it anyway. It will be fairly easy to change it as more suggestions are made and the system evolves.
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utilae
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#37 Post by utilae »

Ranos wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:There are only a few not-extremely speculative types of physical armour in my mind... They include Ablative, Composite / Reactive and Bulk Rock (asteroid ships with important parts under tons of natural rock...).
I agree with Ranos. An Asteroid type armor isn't very good. I mean why have an asteroid armor when standard metal armor is far better. No doubt if a missile or laser hit your asteroid armor some smaller asteroids would fly off into your other ships, lol.
Ranos wrote:
Impaler wrote: My preferance is for 3 layers
Shields - Damage Nulifiers or Mitigator that dont have Bonuses/Penalties
Armor - Damage Nulifier with Bonuses/Penalties
Structure - Damage Sink with Bonuses/Penalties (ship "breaks up" aka dies when this reaches zero)
I'm in favor of a fourth, Internals. This would include the engines, command center and electrical systems. When this reaches zero, the ship has become disabled.
In Moo2 there was exactly these four. The was one weapon that only did damage to internal systems, it was good for boarding ships.
Ranos wrote:
utilae wrote: Now shields:
Basically a weapon is as Zpock put it. And armor is the same, but armor and shield are now one. Shield is now a type. So an armor could be:
Kinetic=20
Explosive=10
Shield=70

There would also be a type that matches shield for weapons.
But what good does this do? Instead of having two separate countering devices which could each have different strengths and weaknesses, now you have only one counter with a shielding type defense. How would that work? What does the shield effect and how does it effect it? If it works the same exact way as it would without being combined, then I don't think they should be combined. While streamlining the ship design as well as the reasearch processes, it would also take away from some of the feel of the game.
I know, I was thinking out loud. It isn't really the best idea. My main concern was that you had only one weapon counter type to choose from for weapons. But with armor and shields having counter types, you would have two layers of counters to worry about there. But I guess since we have hull, armor, shields and internals, it really doesn't matter. I think we should have shields as normal, though they can also have counters built into them. I guess it would balance out with two positives and two negatives.
Ranos wrote: Corrode (and corrosive by extention) is by definition to wear away gradually. Corrosive should be nothing but the poison effect. Now if you launch a bullet type thing with corrosive material contained in it, it will be treated as a kinetic weapon until after it impacts, which is when it will be treated as a corrosive weapon. So this weapon would do say 15 kinetic damage upon impact and then it would do 5 corrosive damage per turn/minute/whatever.
While this is mostly true it is not all true. Imagine a zerg creature that can spit acid which travels and stays intact while in space, but when it impacts it does initial acid damage, but no further damage over time, because it burns out too quickly, though achieves nice damage in the process. So this weapon could have 15 corrosive damage, but it is not over time, it is initial. Remember the main function of counters and types such as corrosive is to have a system of strengths and weaknesses between weapons.

So being able to do poison type damage isn't really important for corrosive type weapons, what is important is that corrosive is good against X and bad against Y. We can make the majority of corrosive weapons have poison style damage anyway, achieving the same effect, but still having the flexibilty in designing our weapons.

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#38 Post by PowerCrazy »

PowerCrazy wrote: Note that these are Damage types, which are different from the weapon types we will have. They can also be mods on the original Type A, B, C and D weapons, (or whatever we pick). However these allow each special type of weapon to be unique.

The bonuses that these will have will be less based on numbers and more based on the tactical deployment of these weapons, i.e. Multiple ship targeting and grouping. Area effect, and denial. Shield sapping.

These would essentially define the tactics that you would use in space combat.
I think people missed the last part of my (rather long) post. You could make a weapon an Explosive type of weapon, like a mod. I'm not saying that an Explosive would be a weapon type.

For example I research Weapon Type 'A'. A has some properties against certain types of armor. Then we could add another mod to A and make it be an explosive type of weapon. Thus it still has all the bonuses and penalties of 'A' but it has an additional ability that woudl be splash damage. If you don't want it to do spalash damage odn't make it an explosive weapon.

By definition an explosive type of weapon would have an area of effect, in order to balance it we have to make sure that it doesn't do much against shields.

A corrosive mod would make it damage over time with a cloud type attack.

A kinetic mod would make it better against armor with piercing.

Energy would make it better against shields, etc.

These are additional properties that the player can define about the weapon systems on their ships. These are also the things that change the dynamic of the individual weapons. Obviously every weapon couldn't use every mod, that would be a balancing point, but it would allow the player the flexibility to choose the weapon effects and build their tactics around it.

A final example. Lets say I research "laser" Well I can now leave the laser as a normal damage type, it it just has the properties of a laser, say good against A and B armor. I can also make the Laser a Kinetic Laser, where it does extra damage against Armor, but reduced damage against shields. Or I can make the laser do extra damage against shields, but reduced damage against armor.

Now lets say I research Plasma Weapons, I can have just a normal plasma beam with increased damage agianst B or C armor. Or I can make the plasma "enveloping" by making it a corrosion weapon, or I could make it an Energy type (or perhaps both when tech gets high enough).

I get Particle Cannon. I could leave it alone and it gets it normal damage bonus to C and D amor. Or I turn it into Particle bombs that have lots of splash damage, but weaker against shields. Or I make it into a heavy hitter beam that does Increased damage to Armor, but no splash. Etc.
Aquitaine is my Hero.... ;)

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Geoff the Medio
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#39 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote:I mean why have an asteroid armor when standard metal armor is far better.
Because it's a lot easier to build a ship with a few km thick of pre-existing rock armour than it is to manufacture and attach "standard metal" armour. I don't care how good your 1 meter thick metal is, 1 km of rock is going to be even better. Making spacecraft by hollowing out asteroids is also a common science fiction plot element, thus worthy of inclusion, even if it doesn't seem (to some) to be realistically practical.
Ranos wrote:We then end up with a system that is definately balanced but makes absolutely no sense to people. Why does armor A take more damage from weapon B and less damage from weapon C when B and C are almost identicle?
I do not believe, and you have not given sufficient reason to believe, that it will be impossible or difficult to find appropriate fluff names for the components in a countering web designed without specific names in mind. Most of this stuff is sufficiently removed from people's own experience that we could probably chose almost any relationships between components and it would have little effect on how understandable it is. Who's to say whether subspace or chemical damage are better against ablative or organic armours?

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utilae
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#40 Post by utilae »

Power Crazy wrote: For example I research Weapon Type 'A'. A has some properties against certain types of armor. Then we could add another mod to A and make it be an explosive type of weapon. Thus it still has all the bonuses and penalties of 'A' but it has an additional ability that woudl be splash damage. If you don't want it to do spalash damage odn't make it an explosive weapon.

These are additional properties that the player can define about the weapon systems on their ships. These are also the things that change the dynamic of the individual weapons. Obviously every weapon couldn't use every mod, that would be a balancing point, but it would allow the player the flexibility to choose the weapon effects and build their tactics around it.
Oh now I see what you mean. I thought that you were saying the mods should be built into the counter system

Mods have been brought up before and people do want them, eg fit an explosion mod to a laser to make it do splash damage. My idea was that weapons 'learn't mods as you refined them'. I do not want mods to be part of the core counter system though. I think the counter types we have been talking about here are enough.

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utilae
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#41 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: I do not believe, and you have not given sufficient reason to believe, that it will be impossible or difficult to find appropriate fluff names for the components in a countering web designed without specific names in mind. Most of this stuff is sufficiently removed from people's own experience that we could probably chose almost any relationships between components and it would have little effect on how understandable it is.
Let's stop going back and fourth discussing the process of creating the counter system, lets just create the counter system. The majority of posts in this thread have already shown commone thoughts among us, so lets develop what we have created so far.
Geoff the Medio wrote: Who's to say whether subspace or chemical damage are better against ablative or organic armours?
We are! Anyway don't think about it too much, this is a balance issue. We will refine these things later. For now lets think of a counter system that appears (at least at first) to be right.

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#42 Post by Impaler »

Agreed Utilae, lets focus on what we have so far.

Basicaly their are 2 "wheel" systems which I call "3 on 6" by Ramos and myself (but Ramos is working on some new material which may be totaly different still) and "4 on 4" by PowerCrazy and Utilae. 3 on 6 has 3 core damage types and 6 armors. 4 on 4 has 4 of each and either system can have as an option a "Normal" damage type that gets no bonus/penalties.

An altinative proposed by Zpock inwhich each individual armor or shield the player discovers has its own unique set of resistances that can be any combination of numbers we wish to specify. Esentialy every armor in the game is its own type and more advanced armor gives better values. Damage types would likly be the full 4 types used under the 4 on 4 system.

We have a clear choice between these three systems, "3 on 6", " 4 on 4" and "variable". I am personaly starting to lean toward variable because it can esentialy encapsulate/recreate both the other systems if the game data were set up in that fashion (so everyone can be happy with a bit of Moding). I think the actual game data tables should be designed in such a way that I can avoid having to explicity put down a bunch of %'s for every armor and can instead parse in a set of values I define once. So for example I can define "Ablative" once and then just say Zortium = 50 "Ablative" and be done with it.


It seems most people are in favor of keeping Damage types completly seperate from effects such as splash damage and DoT. My intention was mearly to create some balance because I though their was a plan for Corosive to be linked to DoT but I see now that I was mistaken. I agree that is probably best that way as it gives us the most flexability.

One other thing I must respond to
No, a new player does not calculate anythin. He just picks what "feels right". Calculation is done by advanced players seeking to find the perfect strategy. AKA mastering the game. It should be easy for the new player to pick something that feels right, and impossible or at least damn hard for the advanced player to master the game. So math behind the systems are better the more complex and hard to figure out they are. In this case I think it's easy tough. Just do the mitigation of damage on the total damage either before or after doing the resistance modification on each type. That's not so hard to understand.
I could not disagree more with this statment. Making a player just guess what "feels right" is a shure fire way to confuse and frustrate him. Relavent data must be given to the player not only to the effect that "this laser dose 10 damage" but what that will realy mean in battle how the damage will be subtracted from the enemy ect ect. Being unable to access or understand the core mathematics that decide what happens is terrible. Ask anyone who ever played SMAC, its a great game but damn its math. Even the simplest things seem to be dictated by algebra equations with 10 variables, thank god they document some of the more inportant equations.

And it has nothing to do with "mastering" the game, games with simples rules are often the hardest to master because mastering the game is deeper then simply knowing the rules. If a game is poorly balanced and its underlying math is obscure then everyone just stumbles around in the dark and learns the game in a crude "Darwinian" fasion aka "well that strategy dosen't work but I dont know why". After inordinate study and experimentation one can reverse enginer many of the games rules and "discover" a mathematicaly sound strategy that will virtualy guarantee victory. All this shows is a poorly balanced design is realy at fault, not the players understanding of the system that alows them to "see" the perfect strategy, the game should not HAVE a perfect strategy.

Its much like arguing a house should be built without lights or windows so that it will be dark inside so no one can see how ugly it is inside. The proper solution is to build a good house with good lighting that will actualy incresse the enjoyability.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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#43 Post by Mystiqq »

I could not disagree more with this statment. Making a player just guess what "feels right" is a shure fire way to confuse and frustrate him. Relavent data must be given to the player not only to the effect that "this laser dose 10 damage" but what that will realy mean in battle how the damage will be subtracted from the enemy ect ect. Being unable to access or understand the core mathematics that decide what happens is terrible. Ask anyone who ever played SMAC, its a great game but damn its math. Even the simplest things seem to be dictated by algebra equations with 10 variables, thank god they document some of the more inportant equations.

And it has nothing to do with "mastering" the game, games with simples rules are often the hardest to master because mastering the game is deeper then simply knowing the rules. If a game is poorly balanced and its underlying math is obscure then everyone just stumbles around in the dark and learns the game in a crude "Darwinian" fasion aka "well that strategy dosen't work but I dont know why". After inordinate study and experimentation one can reverse enginer many of the games rules and "discover" a mathematicaly sound strategy that will virtualy guarantee victory. All this shows is a poorly balanced design is realy at fault, not the players understanding of the system that alows them to "see" the perfect strategy, the game should not HAVE a perfect strategy.
I cant agree more with this... This should be included as a separate sticky thread. :)

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#44 Post by Zpock »

Ok, you convinced me on the mystery math issue. I don't think you can get away with just having simple rules to make the game hard to master tough (not saying that you need complpicated rules). Game balance so that there are many different strategies is key and ultimateldy there should be new strategies coming up even after a long time. I don't think there's an easy answer here and what makes a game hard to master is worthy of discussion. Perhaps in another thread tough, even if it does relate to the countering system.
Ranos wrote:I like both your weapons damage system and the idea of using a resistance type setup for armor and shields. I am making a new countering system which incorporates more items into it and uses this resistance system. I don't think one type of anything should outweigh another. They should all be balanced so choosing one gives no greater benefits over another. Give something that reduces 60% damage, and people are more likely to pick that since it will be of greates benefit to them.
I'm very happy a lot of people saw the light here :) Can't wait to see that system and I'm probably going to try to make one myself. You could probably go on forever adding new little twists to a system built with the resistance breakdown without having the system itself getting any harder to understand for the player. Things like not having an armor type with a certain resistance available at a certain point in the tech tree so that some particular weapon with that dmg type gets a small window of opportunity. But then an armor with very good resistance against it could be available a bit farther up in the tech tree, or in a rarely taken path in the tech tree. So that trying to use that window of opportunity will have a certain risk to it. You can also experiment with having different combinations like 30/30/30/0 armor*, so It's pretty good against most damage type but has an achilles heel. 40/30/20/10 armor, like a sliding set of advantages and disadvantages to it. 0/0/5/70 armor, the opposite of the achilles heel armor, using it is like putting all your money on one card, but the rewards can be great if you get it right. If there's a greater benefit to using one armor type over the other in general, you are more likely to use that one, so the nasty counter that does work against it increases in value. So it kind of evens out in the end, of course this assumes there IS a nasty counter to it, such as that 30/30/30/0 armor. A 60/60/60/60 armor is of course not welcome. Unless maybe as a twist in the end of the game when you get that resistance ignoring weapon.
Ranos wrote:This idea I don't like. To me, it sounds too magical instead of scifi. I think we should stick with armor on this. PD would of course effect missiles and fighters, but not the damage types.
Scifi and magic are the same, you just put different names on it. Consider this example:

Particle Destabilization Field
Description: This module sends out high frequency quantom waves that destabilize the particles in armor on nearby ships making them vulnerable to kinetic damage.
-5% to kinetic resistance on all ships nearby when active.

The more special modules there are that do stuff like this, the richer the strategies and ship designing.

*With 30/30/30/0 armor I mean 30% resistance to energy, 30% to kinetic etc.

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#45 Post by Ranos »

Here is my new proposal for a countering system. It includes hopefully everything that needs to be included in the system. If I left anything out, please tell me.

Weapons

These are broken up two ways. First is by weapon type (Beam, Bolt, Missile, etc.). Second is by damage type (Thermal, Explosive, Kinetic, etc.). Both can be used but in different ways. Here are the types:

Weapon Damage- Description

Basic Energy - Basic forms of energy including electrical and thermal damage. This includes Fusion Cannon, Ion Cannon, Hard Beam, Lasers, Plasma Cannon and Nova Wave Emitter.
Advanced Energy - Advanced forms of energy including fluctuating and subspace damage. This includes Subspace Disruptor, Black Hole Generator, Phasors, Disruptor and Quantum Laser.
Kinetic - Projectile weapons. This includes Mass Driver, Rail Gun and Particle Cannon.
Corrosive - Weapons that eat through the material they come in contact with (acids, biologic, and technologic - nannites). This includes Acid Pellet Cannon, Nannite Cannon and Rust Mites.
Explosive - Weapons that explode, this includes Missiles and Torpedos.

Weapons can have more than one damage type. Explosive should, IMO, always be combined with another type. All explosions are caused by some forc which would fall under one of the other categories. Nuclear Weapons are thermal and would therefore cause thermal (Basic Energy) damage. A Subspace torpedo would explode causing subspace damage. Just my opinion of course but it sounds good to me. The others would be optional. For example, Plasma Cannon would do both Basic Energy and Kinetic damage. This is due to the fact that it is a glob of super heated plasma (matter which = kinetic) which causes thermal (heat which = energy) damage.

Weapon Delivery - Description

Beam (Direct Fire) - A sustained beam of energy is fired at the target. Due to the requirements of sustaining the energy, damage is not high.
Bolt (Direct Fire) - A bolt of energy is fired at the target. Damage is high due to the concentrated nature of the energy.
Wave Emitter (Area Effect) - A weapon that creates a wave of energy that expands as it travels from the ship. It does moderate damage, but can cause damage to freindly ships if they get in the way. Some weapons are directional, some expand in all directions from the ship. (Think shockwave)
Projectile (Direct Fire) - A solid projectile of some kind is fired at the target. Damage is moderate and does not disipate over distance. Ammunition is limited.
Missiles (Indirect Fire) - A large, self propelled projectile with homing capabilities. They are capable of doing moderate to high damage. They are limited by the ammount of fuel and ammo.
Torpedos (Indirect Fire) - A large ammount of energy of some kind contained within an energy field that does severe damage. Their range is not as great as Missiles due to the fact that the energy field dissipates over distance. There is no ammunition since these are charged within the ship. Reload time is longer than that of missiles.
Fighters (Indirect Direct Fire) - These are small, single person ships with smaller versions of Beams and Bolts and possibly other weapon types.
Drones (Indirect Direct Fire) - These fly at an enemy ship at full speed and then attach to the enemy ship. Once attached, the drone deploys a weapon and starts shooting other enemy ships. The weapons should be limited to Beam and Bolt. The enemy ships must attack their own ship to get rid of the drone. These, in effect, work as missiles until they attach to the target. Once attached, they act as the weapon that is mounted on them. The choices are limited to Beam, Bolt and Projectile. A certain level of refinement is needed for a weapon before it can be mounted on a drone.
Energy Spores - They look like glowing energy balls. They fly at enemy ships and pass thru them doing damage. They then return to take another strike. They continue bombarding the enemy ship until the the spores die (they slowly die by themselves, but can also be damaged from pd weapons, flying through shields, nebula ???). This would be a high level tech and would only have one or maybe two different weapons.

Hull Type

Metal - This hull is made from metals mined on planets. The metals are refined, molded and fastened together.
Crystal - This hull is made from crytaline formation. Different types of crystals are grown separately and then brought together where they meld into the formations needed.
Organic - This hull is made from organic material. In the same way crystals are grown and then joined together, so are organic hulls.
Energy - This hull is made from pure energy. Just like the race that makes these, not much is known about how they are made. (My thought here is that there is one race that is non-player that acts as the Antarans in MOO2, but as the game progresses, they start taking planets instead of just raiding. If this idea is not liked, I will of course change all of my information.)

Armor

Armor, again IMO, should have multiple types, five in this example, each of which would be usable with all four Hull Types. I think armor would work best by having the same number of armor types as there are weapon damage types. This would ensure that there are no balance issues with one weapon type not having a counter while another one does. The strong against/weak against types are the primary focus of the armor but all resistances would be counted as percentages.

Armor - Description - Strong against weapon type/weak against weapon type

Ablative - Pieces break off to prevent damage tranferring to other pieces. -Corrosive/Kinetic
Reactive - Explodes outward to deflect incoming shots. - Kinetic/Energy
Woven/Dense - Thin strands of armor materials woven together to form strong compact armor. - Explosive/Corrosive
Polarized - A magnetic field runs through the armor giving it a minor shield effect. - Energy/Advanced Energy
Resonating - A sonic field runs through the armor causing it to vibrate microscopically. - Advanced Energy/Explosive

Shields

Shields can also work in one of two ways. One is for the shields to block all weapons until the shield is depleted. The other is for shields to only block energy type weapons, normal shields anyway. The first allows for a very balanced system with everything being fairly equal. The second allows for more character, but the need to balance weapons in a more complex way. Both ways have their good points and bad points but as I was reworking this part from my last countering system, the second way just seemed to fit better. Here is the new system:

Shield - Description - Purpose

Energy - Basic energy is what powers this shield. - Strong against Basice Energy, normal against Advanced Energy, no effect on Projectiles and Missiles.
Harmonic - The field of energy created by this shield vibrates, causing a faint humming sound, if the ship is in atmosphere - Strong against Advanced Energy, normal against Basic Energy, no effect on Projectiles and Missiles.
Hard - This shields energy is so strong, a human could stand on it, if he didn't get vaporized first. - Decreases Kinetic damage on armor, stops Missiles, damage is increased of energy weapons.

Corrosive weapons have no bearing on shields since the corrosive material is still in its delivery container.

Hull Size and Engine Speed

These should not be broken down into specific categories, just individual techs. Hull size would be one of the factors of manueverability. The bigger the hull, the less manueverable it is. Engine speed would be the other factor of manueverability. The better the engine, the more manueverable the ship is. Manueverability would then be the main calculation in evasion which would effect whether or not a weapon hit a target. I can't remember the proper terms from math class but evasion should work so that the small ships with the most advanced engine would be highly evasive and the big ships would be easy targets. If it was plotted on a graph it should start high with the small ships and descend quickly but curve and at the bottom, the majority of the larger ships would be easy to hit since they can't move fast enough. It should also work that at the beginning, the smaller ships can't move fast enough to make them higly manueverable. This would make it so at the beginning of the game, when the ship size is in the lower 50%, they can be as easily hit as the largest ships would be in the end game. This all barely makes sense to me with how I wrote it so I'm hoping somebody who remembers the proper terms will be able to understand it and translate. This should be the only way that ship size and engine speed effect the countering system.

Additional Counters

There would be weapons or specials that would counter other weapons. For example, PD is a counter for Missiles and Fighters and with the right tech, Torpedos. There could be counters developed to cause Drones to become detached from the hull, an electro field frying the circutry of the drones, until a new drone is developed that is resistant to the electro field. Nannites that would counter the corrosive effect of other nannites and chemicals, until new ones are developed that would overpower the countering nannites.

Armor and Shields by % damage recieved (Basic/Advanced/Kinetic/Corrosive/Explosive) (For purpose of example only)

Ablative - 90/100/125/75/110
Reactive - 125/100/75/110/90
Woven/Dense - 110/100/90/125/75
Polarized - 75/125/90/100/110
Resonating - 110/75/100/90/125
Energy - 75/100
Harmonic - 100/75
Hard - 110/110, Kinetic Damage to Shield/Armor = 60/40%, Explosive Damage to Shield = 100%

When the percentages are averaged out, the damage should be 100% for armor, <90% for the two energy shields and > 100% for the Hard shield. This keeps a balance for all while not severely hindering everything.

Hull type - Bonuses and Penalties

Metal - -10% Damage from Kinetic, +10% Damage from Advanced Energy
Crystal - -10% Damage from Basic Energy, +10% Damage from Kinetic, +10% Damage from Wave Emitters
Organic - +10% Damage from Corrosive, Heals X% damage per minute/turn*, Drones have 10% chance of falling off per minute/turn*
Energy - -100% Damage from Kinetic, -25% Damage from Basic Energy, -10% Damage from Advanced Energy, +25% Damage from Explosive, Drones cannot attach unless made of pure energy (a later tech).

* This would obviously depend on whether combat was real-time or phased-time.

The above list is just a basic start, it needs to be more balanced between the first three but the fourth one is overly powerful on purpose. See my comment where I describe the hull types above.

For more examples of how weapons damages would be combined, see Zpock's post, 10th one on the 2nd page.

Comments and suggestions of course welcomed, criticisms argued. :D

[EDIT]

There could be specials that would alter the percentages on the armors and shields. These would be fluff items assigned to the system so I don't think they need to be discussed now. The above system should be balanced but the basic purpose of these specials would be to throw off that balance, but not too much.

[EDIT 2]

Hard shield and Reactive armor damage calculation: If a Mass Driver does 100 damage (for purpose of easy calculations only not for actual game use), it would hit the Hard shield and do 60 damage to the shield while the other 40 would be applied to the armor. The Reactive armor's 25% reduction would then be figured dropping the damage to 30.
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