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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Ranos
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#121 Post by Ranos » Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:23 am

utilae wrote:Realism argument? I could easily use scifi jargon to explain it all. It does not have to make sense cause we have no shields invented yet. What matters is gameplay.
Immersion arguement. If you can use scifi jargon to explain it, then please do so. Impaler came up with an excellent one for Deplete Shields which he called Energy Dialation Shields and which I think should be named Time Dialation Shields. This is an excellent explanation. Time is slowed down where the shields exist which slows down the weapons causing the damage to slowly be applied instead of instantly. I now think this is a great idea and that it would be one of the most fun shields in the game. I do think, though, that it should be a late game shield.

It doesn't matter if we have real shields yet or not, what matters is if it is beleivable. Something being unbeleivable ruins immersion in a game. If we were making a fantasy game with magic in it and I said, "Lets have a weapon that you hold in one or two hands and you push on a part of the weapon and that causes a beam of energy to shoot out of it," would you think that was fun or would you look at it and say, "That sounds like a Scifi weapon and it just sounds wierd for it to be in a fantasy magic game"?

You got the same arguements when you made the suggestion of "Poison effect" weapons. Until you were able to explain it better, many were opposed to it because it sounded out of place in a space 4x game.
utilae wrote:In actual fact all the shields that I have come up with, as well as shields that others have come up with all come under the category of stopping some damage. To stop all damage is unfair. So since there is only one category, forget about this theory: "shields function in two ways".
Actually no. Stop all damage means that the weapon hits the shield and all damage is stopped. Stop some damage means the weapon hits the shield and some damage is stopped but some passes through. I am talking about the effect a shield has on a single weapon, not the effect it has over the course of a battle.
utilae wrote:The phased shields are very good against strong weapons, but poor against week weapons. It reverses the food chain in a sense. This makes things interesting, whats wrong with that?
Because it sounds weird and stupid to me. Why would somebody invent shields that would lower some damage and raise other damage? The same thing with Roulette shields. Why would somebody invent shields that would mosttimes reduce damage by x%, sometimes negate it completely and sometimes tripple it?

I just thought of an explaination for Flux shields that would make them beleivable. The shields can stop a certain ammount of energy all of the time but can't sustain higher levels. A charge is built up that is released at a random time and that is how you get the increase. A little more detail is needed on that but with that basic explaination, it sounds beleivable to me.
Impaler wrote:Ranos we are quie familiar with your unchainging position on shields, your oposed to anything beyond the 2 or 3 types you like. Your last 10 post have been little more then to repeatedly restated that point over and over again. Pllease give it a rest and let thouse of us who are actualy Brianstorming to Brainstorm stuff up before you shoot it down.
Unchanging would be me still insisting on only one or two kinds of shields and arguing against the rest. In my last post, I liked three maybe four kinds of shields. I am now up to five maybe six. Why have these changes occurred? Because I argued against things that didn't make sense and you and utilae tried to think of ways to explain them better and low and behold, they make more sense now.

I am brainstorming also. The problem you are trying to solve is coming up with multiple types of shields. The problem I am trying to solve is keeping us from using shields that don't make sense or seem unbalanced. Guess what, it's working. There are six shields that function in different ways and that make sense to me and five that seem to be balanced. Regen shields are the only wones that still seem like they may be unbalanced.
Impaler wrote:Another possible variation, the shield could reduce the attack not just by a % but reduce it all the way down to X so esentialy the Shield is acting to Cap the damage recived in any individual attack.
I don't think this would work since as weapon damage and armor HP increased, the damage done to the ship would remain the same and ships with these shields would be more effective. A possible solution is to give these HP so that the damage they reduce knocks down their HP. The problem that brings up is that they are then more powerful than Wall Shields. Two possible solutions are to give them less HP or have Wall shields evolve into these. The last thing that is needed is a fluff explaination for how they work. Why are they able to reduce all damage down to a certain ammount of HP?
Impaler wrote:Also if you want a shield that reflects an attack back at the attacker (remeinds me of Thorns Aura in Diablo 2) I would spin that off as a seperate shield with that being the only effect aka the shield dose. Personaly I think its a bit too outlandish especialy when it comes to missles and stuff.
Utilae suggested it as a serparate shield that deflects damage, I suggested it be a mod for Screen shields. The missile problem is easy, it only acts as a Screen when it comes to missiles and possible Kinetic weapons too and only deflects energy attacks. This would really give another reason for them to be mods on Screens.
Impaler wrote:Another idea might be for a shield that absorbs some attacks to add to its HP total, adsactly what attacks get absorbed I dont know.
Another good idea but I don't think it would work as a separate shield either. It basically sounds like either Wall shields that absorb some damage while still taking most (20% absorb damage delt is 100 so shield actually only takes 60 damage), or Screen shields with HP that absorb damage.
utilae wrote:Of course we could also balance the shields by their cost as well.
As shields stop more damage, they should get more expensive. They do also need to be balanced within combat though, otherwise a player that can afford those shields that reduce damage better would have more of an advantage then a player that can't afford them. All shields should have pluses and minuses. Shield stops all damage, it has hp that runs out. Shield reduces X% damage, Y% gets through.

That just brought up another thought on Time Dialation shields. They would be vastly overpowered if they could take all damage and slow it down. An idea here is that there is a max limit of damage that can be slowed and once that max is reached, the shields fail and all damage that has been slowed is instantly delt to the ship. This would make them less overpowered.

@ Impaler and utilae

Both of you guys have great ideas and I hope you will keep coming up with more. Sorry if I am getting irritating but progress is being made, IMO. Throw something at me if it gets to be too much, just don't throw anything hard. :D
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utilae
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#122 Post by utilae » Mon Nov 08, 2004 3:06 am

Ranos wrote: Immersion arguement. If you can use scifi jargon to explain it, then please do so. Impaler came up with an excellent one for Deplete Shields which he called Energy Dialation Shields and which I think should be named Time Dialation Shields. This is an excellent explanation. Time is slowed down where the shields exist which slows down the weapons causing the damage to slowly be applied instead of instantly. I now think this is a great idea and that it would be one of the most fun shields in the game. I do think, though, that it should be a late game shield.
Yes, you are right. I'll include some explanations for the list of shield types I have. I'll call deplete shields 'Time Dialation' shields, unless we think of an even shorter name.
Ranos wrote: I just thought of an explaination for Flux shields that would make them beleivable. The shields can stop a certain ammount of energy all of the time but can't sustain higher levels. A charge is built up that is released at a random time and that is how you get the increase. A little more detail is needed on that but with that basic explaination, it sounds beleivable to me.
Ok, I'll use this and expand perhaps.
Ranos wrote: Unchanging would be me still insisting on only one or two kinds of shields and arguing against the rest. In my last post, I liked three maybe four kinds of shields. I am now up to five maybe six. Why have these changes occurred? Because I argued against things that didn't make sense and you and utilae tried to think of ways to explain them better and low and behold, they make more sense now.
True, keep up the good work of critisizing, hehe, it only helps.
Ranos wrote: I am brainstorming also. The problem you are trying to solve is coming up with multiple types of shields. The problem I am trying to solve is keeping us from using shields that don't make sense or seem unbalanced. Guess what, it's working. There are six shields that function in different ways and that make sense to me and five that seem to be balanced. Regen shields are the only wones that still seem like they may be unbalanced.
Fair enough, some explanation wouldn't hurt.
Ranos wrote: Utilae suggested it as a serparate shield that deflects damage, I suggested it be a mod for Screen shields. The missile problem is easy, it only acts as a Screen when it comes to missiles and possible Kinetic weapons too and only deflects energy attacks. This would really give another reason for them to be mods on Screens.
I don't think we should have mods for shields. We should just have shields that are variations of one another. So we would still have screens and deflectors seperately as different shields, they are different enough arfter all. Remember reflection shields in Moo2, that's what deflector shields should kinda be like.
Ranos wrote:
Impaler wrote:Another idea might be for a shield that absorbs some attacks to add to its HP total, adsactly what attacks get absorbed I dont know.
Another good idea but I don't think it would work as a separate shield either. It basically sounds like either Wall shields that absorb some damage while still taking most (20% absorb damage delt is 100 so shield actually only takes 60 damage), or Screen shields with HP that absorb damage.
No, wall shields absorb damage into hp, when hp goes over X, shields collapse. The absorb shields Impaler speeks of I tried to figure out, but I haven't figured it out yet. Basically damage is absorbed into hp. Somehow the higher hp value is used to stop more damage next time. Of course this has the effect of being too powerful as the hp may never decrease, unless the hp is emptied now and then, to cool down or prevent an overload.
Ranos wrote: That just brought up another thought on Time Dialation shields. They would be vastly overpowered if they could take all damage and slow it down. An idea here is that there is a max limit of damage that can be slowed and once that max is reached, the shields fail and all damage that has been slowed is instantly delt to the ship. This would make them less overpowered.
Let's say 5 weapons shoot a ship with Time Dialation shields. Each weapon does 100 damage. Time Dialation shields spread damage out over 5 turns, so in total 500 damage must be spread out over 5 turns. So because of the shields the ship would take 100 damage each turn for 5 turns. The ships attack next turn and this effect occurs again. The new damage being spread out mounts up with old damage being spread out. This is quite a short term life saver, but long term no damage is being stopped at all. In the end the ship will receive all damage and not stop any. The damage is only postponed not reduced. This is the interesting thing about this shield.


Shield List (note-none of these shields regenerate unless stated, although they may regenerate at a rate far less then Regen Shields):

Screen Shield-Damage hitting the shield is reduced by X%.
Screen shields coat the ship in a constant screen of energy that filters weapon damage, allowing only some to get through. Powerplants feed the screen shield a constant supply of energy.

Wall Shield-Damage is ignored and collected into 'collected damage'. When 'collected damage' > X, the shield is down, allowing all damage to get through.
The Wall shield will stop all weapon damage as long as the powerplants have the power to sustain the shield. Only when the ships powerplants run out of energy for the shields do the shields fall. The ships powerplants can store massive amounts of energy. Powerplants recharge at a very slow rate

Deflector Shield-All except X% of damage gets through the shield (X% for deflectors is less than X% for screens). X% is inflicted on the attacker as damage.
The Deflector shield attempts to bounce weapon damage back at the attacker resulting in some weapon damage making its way through the shield. Powerplants feed the deflector shield a constant supply of energy.

Roulette Shield-Make a random roll from 1 to 6. If you get a 6 then all damage is negated. If you get a 1 then 0% damage is blocked. All other rolls reduce damage by X%(less than X% for screens and deflectors).
The roulette shield is powered by a device called the roulette cube. The roulette cube harnesses the power of the random number to allow all weapon damage to be blocked in a single moment. Of course the power is so difficult to harness that other results occur. Most common is for weapon damage to be lightly filtered. The worst possibilty is for all weapon damage to be alowed through, definately an undesired result.

Regen Shield-This shield has X amount of 'hp' to start with (there is max hp: capX). When the shield is hit the damage is absorbed by the 'hp'. Any remaining damage gets through (eg damage is 100 and 'hp' is 50, then 50 damage gets through). Every turn X amount of 'hp' is added to total'hp'. The regen rate X and capX may be increased through tech.
The Regen shield creates a layer of energy around the ship that has strength based on the amount of energy in the ships powerplants. The ships powerplants are constantly recharged until full. Weapon damage hitting the shield reduces energy amounts in the powerplants, thereby reducing the shields strength. The powerplants dedicate more space to energy recharge then energy storage.

Phased Shield-An attack with damage<X has damage increased by 50%. An attack with damage>X has damage decreased by 50%.
The Phased shield creates an energy layer around the ship that phases matter. Matter that normally consists of high amounts of energy is depleted, greatly reducing weapon damage for more powerful weapons. There is however a side effect in that matter that contains low amounts of energy is depleted beyond possibility creating excesive energy outbursts, causing weapon damage of less powerful weapons to be increased.

Time Dialation Shield-All damage taken during this turn is ignored and instead the damage/X is taken every turn for X turns (starting this turn). All damage taken in this way (a poison type style) is able to mount up, eg you take 5 damage every turn for 6 turns, then next turn you are hit again and take 5 damage every turn for 6 turns. There are turns where you are taking 10 damage in this example.
The Time Dialation shield creates a time distortion field as a layer around the ship. Weapon damage that hits the shield is spread out over an axis of time dependant on the strength of the distortion.

Flux Shield-X is a random number between 1 and 3 (reset every turn). Damage is decreased by X*Y% (Y% is less than X% for screens, deflectors and roulette shields).
Flux shields coat the ship in a layer of energy that filters weapon damage. The ships powerplant feed the shields a supply of energy that is not constant, resulting in fluctuations in the shields filter strength. This allows more weapon damage to be blocked at some times and less weapon damage to be blocked at other times.

Absorb Shield-X is the flat amount of damage to be negated, while all other damage goes through. After the weapon hits, 50% of the weapon damage that got through is added to X (X starts at 50 or some number). When X>Y then X is reset to 50 (or some number).
The Absorb shield creates an energy layer around the ship that causes matter and energy to stick and be absorbed. Each time weapon damage tries to pass through the shield, parts of the weapon damage is absorbed and increases the shields strength, making it even harder for matter and energy to get through. The absorb shield puts great stress on the ships powerplants. To avoid a complete overload shields are shutdown and started again, resulting in a loss of absorbed matter and energy.
Last edited by utilae on Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

Ranos
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#123 Post by Ranos » Tue Nov 09, 2004 12:42 am

I finally figured out what my main problem with Roulette and Phased shields is. All shields have an upside and a downside. If you look at all of the different shield types listed, all but those two work in a similar manner. The upside is they stop some damage, the downside is they let some damage through. Wall shields stop all damage until they run out and then they let all damage through, but is is still basically the same.

With Roulette and Phased shields, they still have that similar effect but they also increase the ammount of damage done. This is the problem I see with them.

The purpose of shields is to stop damage as much as possible. Shields that increase damage just don't make sense. Even with the explainations you wrote utilae, they still don't make sense.

Still, I won't rule those two out as possible shield type just because of that. I actually have an even better explanation of why the Roulette cube works the way it does. The problem is, to make the explanation make sense, the shields have to drastically change as the game progresses and a slight complication to researching them has to be added.

The Roulette cube is based off of an ancient alien artifact. After studying the artifact, the scientists figured out that it is used to power shields and were able to figure out how to duplicate it. Once the duplicate was hooked up to a shielding system though, the results fluctuated. After further studying the artifact and the duplicate, it was discovered that the duplicate wasn't exact. There were flaws in it that could not be fixed no matter how many times they tried to make a new duplicate. The military leaders who were funding the research wanted to see results. When a demonstration was arranged and the leaders saw what the duplicate did, one of them said it was random as playing roulette and the power source, which is cube shaped, was named the Roulette Cube.

Now for the complications. First, to make the artifact part work, an artifact must be found in the game. This could be done one of two ways. Either the artifact is always found at a certain point in the tech tree or finding the artifact is a random event. If the first, then all races get it with no problem. If the second, then the technology could still be stolen but not refined by other races. Refinements would require a cube to study. Cubes could be stolen from other races.

Onto the refining process, as technology advances in the game, the artifact should become easier to understand and new techs should appear that result in more efficient Roulette shields.

My first thought on how to make this works is to change they way the Roulette shields work. There would still be a random number between one and six but those would then lead to random percentages. 1 would be 0-70%, 2-4 would be 71-100%, 5 would be 101-200% and 6 would be 201-300%.

This would then allow for easy advancement whether through refinement or new techs. The highest number in the possibilities would drop as the shields were refined. First refinement would lead to the numbers being 0-67, 68-100, 101-195 and 196-290. It would continue to drop like that for a couple more refinments and then the 2-4 roll could drop below 100. Numbers at refinement level 5: 0-57, 58-95, 96-165, 166-240. At refinement level 10, 5 would get grouped in with 2-4 so the numbers would look like this: 1 is 0-45, 2-5 is 46-75 and 6 is 76-190. All of the numbers are of course for example only but the basic point is that the benefits should increase as more refinement goes into the shields.

I still can't get around Phased shields though. I understand the concept and everything but they are overpowered in one way and in another, they would quickly become obsolete. Here is what damage would be changed to if X=50:

1-49 * 1.5 = 1.5-73.5
51-100 * .5 = 25.5-50

This looks quite ridiculous to me. Also, how would you refine them? The only way is to reduce what X is. That would eventually result in most damage being cut in half. Another thing is that depending on how high the reduction goes on Screen shields, as soon as they pass 50% reduction, Phased shields will be useless.

If you still insist on having them in the list, the first thing I would do is make the reductions flip. If high damage is decresed by 1/2 then low damage should increase by 2/1 or 2x. I think better numbers to use are 2/3 and 3/2 which would by 67% decrease and 50% increase. This would make the numbers look like this:

1-49 * 1.5 = 1.5-73.5
51-100 * .67 = 34-67 (apx)

These numbers would be closer together and help make it seem a little less ridiculous, but that is only a 33% reduction in damage and Screen shields would pass that fairly quickly.

The bottom line with Phased shields is, they really won't work well. They would have a very short lived life span of usefullness before they would be either overpowered or underpowered.

[EDIT]

Almost forgot about Absorb Shields. I think Impaler's idea there was for them to work in the same manner as Absorb works in Diablo 2. The way it works is if the character has 30% to fire absorbtion, 30% of the fire damage done to the characteri s added to his health instead, which really just means he has 60% fire resistance.

The only way to make them properly function is to give them HP and make them work like Screen shields but with HP. Basically, it is a redundant system and should not be included in the list.
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skdiw
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#124 Post by skdiw » Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:13 am

Lots of neat ideas here, but we should remember KISS and that we are design a 4X game. The key in designing should be top-down starting from a conceptual lvl then work your way into details like specific shield types and how that will fit into the overall RPS space combat system. Being more concrete using the shield ideas presented here, the question is when you actually playing the game why I would pick a screen shield vs. a roulette shield vs. a flux if statistically they will behave exactly the same? Remember, we are thinking of large fleets in battle so you want to know the effects of a particular shield vs. a large number of different weapons. Sure you might get lucky with a couple rolls taking no damage, but that is balanced by double damage, and the rest of the damage is just like screen shield so if you have 100 beams coming at your ship and you got 100 ships with roulette, you mind as well make it simple and just use a screen shield. If the two shields behaves the same, then one of the is just a dupe and we don't want that. If one kind is always inferior, using the exact description of roulette compared to screen from utilae, is why would I ever use roulette? Cost maybe? But again, we need to start from the overall picture and its RPS effectiveness.

The questions we should be trying to address is how the overall mechanics will work out, then come up with neat ideas as to how to accomplish it. Some question that I don't think have been answered are whether we gonna use armor, what are the advantages and disadvantages to hull types, how weapon vs defense RPS gonna work, and how everything relates to one another. So something like a mid-sized missile cruiser equiped with time-dialation shield drops its payload to capital ships in a couple turns then warps outs so it won't take any damage, but can be countered by small-fast ships that can chase cruisers down and fires rapidly, which is countered by large capital ships with phase shields with X < low damage per shot weapons equiped on small ships.

Minor point: regen shields aren't overpowered if you focus fire. regeneration is worthless when the incoming damage far exceeds regeneration rate, which is like every battle except the first few.
:mrgreen:

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utilae
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#125 Post by utilae » Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:08 am

Ranos wrote: I finally figured out what my main problem with Roulette and Phased shields is. With Roulette and Phased shields, they still have that similar effect but they also increase the ammount of damage done. This is the problem I see with them.
Since each has a major plus, they must also have a major negative. I think it is good to have such effects, after all if we stay traditional and safe with our ideas things wont be that interesting.
Ranos wrote: The purpose of shields is to stop damage as much as possible. Shields that increase damage just don't make sense. Even with the explainations you wrote utilae, they still don't make sense.
The 'main' purpose is to stop damage or reduce it. Sideeffects, such as increasing damage are part of the risks and negatives you get for having a shield that can block all damage.
Ranos wrote: The Roulette cube is based off of an ancient alien artifact. After studying the artifact, the scientists figured out that it is used to power shields and were able to figure out how to duplicate it. Once the duplicate was hooked up to a shielding system though, the results fluctuated. After further studying the artifact and the duplicate, it was discovered that the duplicate wasn't exact. There were flaws in it that could not be fixed no matter how many times they tried to make a new duplicate. The military leaders who were funding the research wanted to see results. When a demonstration was arranged and the leaders saw what the duplicate did, one of them said it was random as playing roulette and the power source, which is cube shaped, was named the Roulette Cube.

Now for the complications. First, to make the artifact part work, an artifact must be found in the game. This could be done one of two ways. Either the artifact is always found at a certain point in the tech tree or finding the artifact is a random event. If the first, then all races get it with no problem. If the second, then the technology could still be stolen but not refined by other races. Refinements would require a cube to study. Cubes could be stolen from other races.
I don't like how a history is built into the explantation. Also having to go find the shield is a pretty big negative, considering the negatives it already has.
Ranos wrote: Onto the refining process, as technology advances in the game, the artifact should become easier to understand and new techs should appear that result in more efficient Roulette shields.
Regarding the roulette shields refinement: as you refine it, the major negative (doubling damage) should be reduced. The odds of getting the 'stop all damage' effect should increase. Of course this shield could become too powerful if the risks are no longer there.
Ranos wrote: I still can't get around Phased shields though. I understand the concept and everything but they are overpowered in one way and in another, they would quickly become obsolete. Here is what damage would be changed to if X=50:

1-49 * 1.5 = 1.5-73.5
51-100 * .5 = 25.5-50

This looks quite ridiculous to me. Also, how would you refine them? The only way is to reduce what X is. That would eventually result in most damage being cut in half. Another thing is that depending on how high the reduction goes on Screen shields, as soon as they pass 50% reduction, Phased shields will be useless.
The thing about phased shields is that while you don't refine phased shields, and your enemy gets more powerful weapons, with damage > X, phased shields get more powerful. Plus, as X decreases almost all weapons will have damage > X, so phased shields will be powerful, although damage only gets cut in half. Still a large reduction in damage, the obvious solution is to make screen shields not be refined beyond 50% reduction.
Ranos wrote: If you still insist on having them in the list, the first thing I would do is make the reductions flip. If high damage is decresed by 1/2 then low damage should increase by 2/1 or 2x. I think better numbers to use are 2/3 and 3/2 which would by 67% decrease and 50% increase. This would make the numbers look like this:

1-49 * 1.5 = 1.5-73.5
51-100 * .67 = 34-67 (apx)

These numbers would be closer together and help make it seem a little less ridiculous, but that is only a 33% reduction in damage and Screen shields would pass that fairly quickly.
This is a good idea. The main thing about phased shields is that weapons with lower damage work well against them over a weapon with more damage. If we go with this idea of bringing the numbers closer together it is with the intention of making smaller damage weapons get alot of pluses.
Ranos wrote: The bottom line with Phased shields is, they really won't work well. They would have a very short lived life span of usefullness before they would be either overpowered or underpowered.
They would suit races who can't research high damage weapons quickly enough.
Ranos wrote: Almost forgot about Absorb Shields. I think Impaler's idea there was for them to work in the same manner as Absorb works in Diablo 2. The way it works is if the character has 30% to fire absorbtion, 30% of the fire damage done to the characteri s added to his health instead, which really just means he has 60% fire resistance.

The only way to make them properly function is to give them HP and make them work like Screen shields but with HP. Basically, it is a redundant system and should not be included in the list.
Oh I see, basically part of the damage would heal the ship, though this would effectively only be a reduction.

My idea of an absorb shield is pretty good though. The explanation is a good one too. It uses the flat rate of reducing damage that Impaler originally suggested, but increases that rate of reduction based on weapon damage. This rate of reduction increases to a massive amount if the enemy has very powerful weapons. The very high reduction rate can't get out of control and be invincible though, this is done by reseting the reduction.
skdiw wrote: Lots of neat ideas here, but we should remember KISS and that we are design a 4X game. The key in designing should be top-down starting from a conceptual lvl then work your way into details like specific shield types and how that will fit into the overall RPS space combat system.
Yes, and we are doing that. We have come to a point where the ideas and the mathematics are the core of how shields work.
skdiw wrote: Being more concrete using the shield ideas presented here, the question is when you actually playing the game why I would pick a screen shield vs. a roulette shield vs. a flux if statistically they will behave exactly the same? Remember, we are thinking of large fleets in battle so you want to know the effects of a particular shield vs. a large number of different weapons. Sure you might get lucky with a couple rolls taking no damage, but that is balanced by double damage, and the rest of the damage is just like screen shield so if you have 100 beams coming at your ship and you got 100 ships with roulette, you mind as well make it simple and just use a screen shield. If the two shields behaves the same, then one of the is just a dupe and we don't want that. If one kind is always inferior, using the exact description of roulette compared to screen from utilae, is why would I ever use roulette? Cost maybe? But again, we need to start from the overall picture and its RPS effectiveness.
All shields should be balanced, and there should be none that is better. Sure it seems that screens would be better than roulettes, after all why would anyone want to take a risk and depend on luck. Roulettes can still be competitive though. They have major penalties and major bonuses, but in the long run, through refinement the penalties would be reduced and the bonuses increased.
skdiw wrote: Some question that I don't think have been answered are whether we gonna use armor, what are the advantages and disadvantages to hull types, how weapon vs defense RPS gonna work, and how everything relates to one another.
I think there is a consensus on having armour. We have discussed a RPS type counter system throughaly. So we are onto shields now, join the fun.

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#126 Post by PowerCrazy » Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:32 am

skdiw wrote:The questions we should be trying to address is how the overall mechanics will work out, then come up with neat ideas as to how to accomplish it.
The name of a shield is unimportant. Any special cases you want the shiled to have are unimportant. What IS important is that shields will stop damage. Will they be better at stopping certain types of damage? Will they have hitpointlike armor does? Or will they just block a flat % of damage.

If we convolute this thread with too many huge theories of how the combat system should work, we aren't going to be able to get anything done.

We have a bunch of good Ideas about Armor and how it should work. Same with shields. But we need to be more general.

This shield will stop X damage or X% damage. It will have Y Hitpoints. That will regnerate or not. Don't start defining arbitrary damages and hitpoints of armor/shields or weapons. We need the general direction THEN we can start filling in the specifics.
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utilae
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#127 Post by utilae » Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:02 am

PowerCrazy wrote: The name of a shield is unimportant. Any special cases you want the shiled to have are unimportant. What IS important is that shields will stop damage. Will they be better at stopping certain types of damage? Will they have hitpointlike armor does? Or will they just block a flat % of damage.
We have discussed all of these things mentioned? We have since moved on.
PowerCrazy wrote: Don't start defining arbitrary damages and hitpoints of armor/shields or weapons. We need the general direction THEN we can start filling in the specifics.
Right now the general direction is multiple types of shields varying by how damage is reduced/stopped (the math of it). We are feeling out this idea for shields and so have thought up ideas for different types of shields, which is necesary to see if it is feasable to have different shields, defined by how they stop damage. Obviously if there are not enough different ways of stopping damage then the idea is not feasible. We have however come up with many ideas that show that it can be feasible.

I think the main direction for shields to go from now, is to come up with other ideas for a shield system. There are a few ideas/proposals discussed in this thread, but we do still need to come up with a range of proposals and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each, see what is liked best, etc.

We also need to look at the high level and see how everything works together, eg shields+armour+counters+weapons.

Right now I am in favour of the following:
We should have armour and weapons to be grouped into types for the counter system, and use the resistance method for armour and weapons. Then we have the shield system that Impaler, Ranos and I have been dsicussing where each shield is different by how it stops damage (the math). I think hull types should determine how you design your ship, but not directly influence space combat (ie there should not be a counter system involving hull types, I think if we have too many counter systems overlapping, it would become too complex).

Any other little bits to be added in, such as hull types, etc also need to be discussed to get consensus and tidy up what we want.

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#128 Post by skdiw » Wed Nov 10, 2004 10:29 pm

utilae wrote:All shields should be balanced, and there should be none that is better. Sure it seems that screens would be better than roulettes, after all why would anyone want to take a risk and depend on luck. Roulettes can still be competitive though. They have major penalties and major bonuses, but in the long run, through refinement the penalties would be reduced and the bonuses increased.
Screen, flux, and roulette are EXACTLY the same. Just do the math. If you are saying roulette gets better thru tech and screens don't, then everyone will pick roulette. But we want to balance them and by the math, there are NO differences. Again, please do the math first. It's not hard. I did all of them in my head.
utilae wrote:Right now I am in favour of the following:
We should have armour and weapons to be grouped into types for the counter system, and use the resistance method for armour and weapons. Then we have the shield system that Impaler, Ranos and I have been dsicussing where each shield is different by how it stops damage (the math). I think hull types should determine how you design your ship, but not directly influence space combat (ie there should not be a counter system involving hull types, I think if we have too many counter systems overlapping, it would become too complex).
There is a difference between strict RPS and soft RPS. Strick RPS is just like rock-paper-scissors or type A weapon beats X defense but loses against Y. Soft RPS is less discrete and more continuos so type A weapon is good against X, but not as good against Y and varying effectiveness of type A weapon will result in continuous effectiveness. For example of soft RPS: where type A weapon deals 100 damage agasint a 10% screen shield vs. against -20 flat absorption shield. The former does 90 damage, while the latter does 80 damage; clearly, absorption is better. But if a missile comes that deals 1000 damage, the screen shield is better. So how effective a weapon is depends on how much damage it does and don't fall into strict categories as to how effective it is against different types of shield/defense

Strict RPS is much easier to design compared to soft RPS, but it is very dry so we agreed to try to avoid it if we can come up with a good system using soft RPS. The shield types presented are based more on math than true or false strict RPS so it can be the a part of soft RPS. THe problem becomes what are the weaknesses and strengths of each shield type? How would you pick one over the other? The example I gave above involves only two different types of weapons, but I think we all want more choices than just two. If you were to design one based on strict RPS, then the ideas presented are kinda useless.
:mrgreen:

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#129 Post by utilae » Thu Nov 11, 2004 2:13 am

skdiw wrote: Screen, flux, and roulette are EXACTLY the same. Just do the math. If you are saying roulette gets better thru tech and screens don't, then everyone will pick roulette. But we want to balance them and by the math, there are NO differences. Again, please do the math first. It's not hard. I did all of them in my head.
All shields would get better through refinement. Plus these three are very similar, but also largely different. Here are some imaginary numbers to demonstrate how they could be balanced:
Screen-Damage hitting the shield is reduced by 10%(at most 30% through refinement)
Flux-X is a random number between 1 and 3 (reset every turn). Damage is decreased by X*5%(at most 15% through refinement).
Roulette-Make a random roll from 1 to 6. If you get a 6 then all damage is negated. If you get a 1 then 0%damage is blocked. All other rolls reduce damage by 6%(at most 20% through refinement).

Now, I tried to make them balanced and competitive with each other just by adjusting percentages. The screen shield is a safe bet all the way through and at most stops 30% of damage. The Flux shield both stops less and stops more damage then screen shields. While a fully refined screen shield can stop 30% damage, it is possible for a fully refined flux shield to stop 45% damage, although at times it will only stop 15% damage, half of what a screen shield will always block. The roulette shield is very risky, but has the most extreme rewards and penalties. In the early game the roulette shield will only stop 6% of damage, though there is the magic chance it will stop all damage, and then the chance it will double all damage. When fully refined the roulette shield will stop 20% damage most of the time, will also stop all damage, though rarely. The roulette shield seems difficult to balance though, I think doubling damage may be too harsh a penalty, and am thinking that maybe it should just block 0% of damage as the worst scenario.

The bottomline is that all three of these shields are different. They may not be as original as time dialation shields, but are different none the less.

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#130 Post by skdiw » Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:36 am

Okay, so you got the three shields balanced (more or less), my question is why would you pick one over another if they all prevent the same amount of damage on average over many rolls? Give me a situation of why one will picked over another. The amount of damage prevented has nothing to do with RPS and no luck when you think large scale like in a 4X game. The three are just dupes when you think practially and use statistical mechanics. They are very different as to the details on how they work, but we care about gameplay--and they are identical.

Small note: You might be wondering why I said more or less balanced in the beginning even though you got the average damage all equal the same, using a simple model. This is very minor mistake, but your error is overkill. Suppose you have 1 HP ship, roulette shield is better since you have a chance to live. Now flip it around to think about double damage so overkill happens more often so roulette shield is slightly superior than the other two so everyone is going to pick roulette and use it on low HP ships. Double damage is not harsh, rather it actually benefits you because of the overkill factor, which you have to raise the % on 4/6 rolls to compensate using a simplified statistical mechanics.
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#131 Post by utilae » Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:49 am

skdiw wrote: my question is why would you pick one over another if they all prevent the same amount of damage on average over many rolls? Give me a situation of why one will picked over another. The amount of damage prevented has nothing to do with RPS and no luck when you think large scale like in a 4X game. The three are just dupes when you think practially and use statistical mechanics. They are very different as to the details on how they work, but we care about gameplay--and they are identical.
If they statistically stop the same amount of damage over the course of the game or over many battles, then isn't that a good thing. My objective is for these shields to be equally viable choices for the player. If one is superior, then that is not good in my view. One shield should only be superior to another through refinements. If one is superior, then the shield should cost more or something to maintain the balance.

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#132 Post by Ranos » Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:02 am

@ skdiw

I already made similar arguements to those in ealier posts. It did no good. While they are all the same on one level, they are different on another. Personally, I would get rid of them because I agree, they are the same with just some changes. I suggested making mods out of a couple of these that are the same. While the things discussed in this thread may be used in the game, at this point, it doesn't really matter what ideas we come up with. All of this stuff won't be implemented for another few versions. We are throwing ideas around in an attempt to come up with some useful material. When a discussion is opened in the design thread on counters, we can go in and write down the suggestions we have made. The rest of the community and programming gods will then veto things that they dislike and support things that they do.

My point is, it doesn't matter if all three are the same or different because at this time, they are just ideas. I've been arguing against things because they sound ridiculous in a realism/immersion way. That has resulted in fluff explainations that have turned stupid ideas into great ones.

I personally would prefer that all shields had HP and recharging but functioned in different ways. Screen shield with HP and recharge, Wall shield with recharge, TD shield that can fail because of holding too much energy and must be down for X ammount of time before it can be reactivated (not HP and recharge but fairly similar). I would rather see Deflectors be a mod on Screens. Those are just my preferances. I am sure that either all shields will be the same, Wall shields are what are used in most games, or each shield will be mostly unique and not have HP and recharge on all of them, like the system we are working on.

I still strongly dislike Phased shields because they still sound ridiculous to me. They would also still be either under or over powered and would be in the middle very rarely.

I also would like to see Roulette shields get thrown out. The closest thing to a good explaination for them, IMOSHO, was my explaination about ancient alien technology. Its the only way to explain why someone would invent a shield that gives such varying results.

Flux shields could go either way. They are the same as Screens but with a fluctuating percentage. After looking at utilae's numbers, I'm even more inclined to say let's throw them out. If Flux shields do either 15, 30 or 45 percent damage reduction, the median number is still 30 and if Screens do 30 all of the time, why would I go with a shield that fluctuates? The chance of having the greater reduction is equal to the chance of the lesser reduction.

If Roulette shields only do a max of 20% reduction, I'm picking Screens over them too. Screens will always reduce by 30% and never have the chance of allowing all damage through. While the stopping all damage is nice, it is the same as Flux shields, the odds are the same that I will stop all damage or take all damage. I'm not a big gambling person. I would rather stick with shields that are going to give me the same performance through the entire battle instead of having my last ship get blown up by your last ship right before I fire the killing blow because a 6 was rolled and that extra 30% damage that I took was enough to destroy me.

This will be my only mathmatically based arguement against those two shields. The rest will be on beleivability.
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#133 Post by utilae » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:00 am

Ranos wrote: Flux shields could go either way. They are the same as Screens but with a fluctuating percentage. After looking at utilae's numbers, I'm even more inclined to say let's throw them out. If Flux shields do either 15, 30 or 45 percent damage reduction, the median number is still 30 and if Screens do 30 all of the time, why would I go with a shield that fluctuates? The chance of having the greater reduction is equal to the chance of the lesser reduction.

If Roulette shields only do a max of 20% reduction, I'm picking Screens over them too. Screens will always reduce by 30% and never have the chance of allowing all damage through. While the stopping all damage is nice, it is the same as Flux shields, the odds are the same that I will stop all damage or take all damage. I'm not a big gambling person. I would rather stick with shields that are going to give me the same performance through the entire battle instead of having my last ship get blown up by your last ship right before I fire the killing blow because a 6 was rolled and that extra 30% damage that I took was enough to destroy me.
I guess that people don't like a random shield, because all they see is the average performance of the shield, so they think that the positives will be negated by the negatives. Of course if we did go with this system of shields being different by how they reduce damage, we could have many shield types (like i have described). It wouldnt hurt to have a few superior shields and a few bad ones, a few dupes, etc. If the player wants to pick a dupe then they can. I would prefer all shield types to be equally viable, so no shield is superior to another throughout the game.

It is true that flux shields, roulette shields and screen shields are basically the same, but at the end when the important decisions are made we will pick from a big list of shield types. At the very least we could make shields such as flux/roulette as mods to a screen shield for example. I would be ok with that, as long as there are plenty of unique shield types.

Perhaps some other people could think of more shield types. I know we shouldn't be thinking of the shield types right now, so if anyone can think of a direction we can go from here, then lets go.

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#134 Post by Ablaze » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:41 am

Roulette shields would be good on small ships in which even 30% of a shot would kill in one hit. These would allow small ships to take an average of 2+ hits before being killed, despite having basically no armor.
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#135 Post by Impaler » Thu Nov 11, 2004 3:45 pm

Here another idea to handle the effects of Armor Resistences and Weaknesses.

First off I am asuming that people find the idea of having armor 3-5 armor thickness aka (light, Medium, Heavy) a desirable idea even if the exact implementation has not been determined yet. Thicker armor offers more protection in some way, thinner less so and no armor option leaves you naked (execpt for the shield ofcorse).

It seems logical to fold the effects of Resistence in as a modification on the effective level of thickness. A weakness decreases the effect by 1, a bonus incresses it by 1. So for example if Armor X is Medium Thickness and weak against Energy damage an Energy weapon will damage the ship AS IF the armor was Thin. Conversly Armor Y which is Medium Thickness on your ship if hit with a Damage type that its resistent too it will act AS IF the armor was Heavy for that attack. By folding all the desired effects into + and - effects on a single paramiter the player gets a much better idea of how each element contributes to the whole.

This goes along with the earlier Idea I had conserning Tec Refinment of Armor being the basis of the Protection factor. Now the full equatin is

Level of Armor Tec/Refinment + Thickness Modifier (+1, 0, -1) + Resistence Modifier (+1, 0, -1) = Effective level of Defence

Once you have Effective level of Defence you pull up the aproprate number from a Table that list the numerical values you get for progressivly better armor. For example Xortium could be 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 18, 26 (Note this is a hypothetical demonstration). The expodential rise will mean that each level change is quite significant so their is a great tactical advantage to using the Resistence system and for considering the Thickness of Armor as well because when all the factors come together in your advantage your ships could be very powerfull (rougly double defence with +2 modifier), likewise if everything is against you then you will go down in flames (roughly halfing your defence with a -2 modifier).

I call this the Folding principle, always fold the desired effect into some pre-existing game statistics as a modifier rather then a new layer of information.

About Shields: Ranos I dont want to sound rude here but Ablaze, Utilae and myself are able to see the depth of strategy involved with these various shield types and many others mentioned earlier. Please give us the benefit of the doupt here, rather then constantlly saying "Theirs no point to that, its adsactly the same, I dont like it, take it out ect ect", instead ASK for elaboration. You said yourself this is Brainstorming not a desision making thread you cant "take out" or "Get rid of" an idea thats not even anyware near getting into the game yet.

Name Change Sugjustion: Rather then "Roulett" which admitedly is very sugjestive of the function dose not seem to fit will in a Sci-Fi theam. Having been inspired by the Improbability Drive used in the Hitckhickers guide to the Galaxy and David Brins Uplift trilogy I would propose "Improbability Shield" as a new name. I think it gives the same sugjestion of randomness/luck and is more Sci-Fi oriented.
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