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Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:37 pm
by Ranos
@ discord

I am not even going to debate with you anymore. If you can't argue a point without being rude or insulting, then I'm not even going to acknowledge your point. If you can be civil and treat other people with respect, then I am perfectly willing to talk about your system and debate it with you. Until then, write all you want because I won't even read it.

@ Bastian

Complex games are fun. That is why many people, including myself, like 4x games. There are at least a dozen different areas that need to be kept track of and worked with to keep the game flowing smoothly and for the player to be able to win.

I don't like it when they are higly comlicated or take a great deal of detail to accomplish (micromanagement). Because of the poor Planetary governors in MOO3, the player was forced to micromanage everything that was done on the planet. That made the game tedius which got boring very quickly.

The more you give the player to do, the more complicated the game gets. Players should not be given a hundred options for one thing if all of the options are equal to eachother. That forces them to weigh far too many variables, which many people do not like to do.

The only thing we should worry about not making complicated are the player choices. The math behind how those choices work and interact with eachother is of no consequence since the people who don't understand them usually don't go looking for them and the people who go looking for them will understand them perfectly.

@ Impaler

We can give players choices, but unless those choices are balanced very well, there will be no choice. Using my armor system, the player gets at least twice as many hit points with your system. Even if you take the deflection off of mine, the choice would be clear, armor that stops all damage until it is gone giving me more time to damage other peoples stuff and/or run away vs. armor that only stops a fraction of the damage and I'm dead before I can move.

There is no way to keep the game balanced with those two systems both in it. Shields could be done in a couple of ways because armor would be there to stop the damage no matter how the shields are done. They would have to give different bonuses though to allow them to be balanced. The only way to do that is to give them resistances. If all shields are equal when it comes to the damage they recieve, then again, the choice is clear, choose the shield that stops all damage until it is depleted over the shield that only stops some of it.

As I said, the number of equations and the complexity of the equations doesn't matter, because only the people who can understand them will go looking for them and most people only care about the game working properly and being fun. The way the game works just doesn't really matter to them.

IMO, all shields should have HP that run out over time, regardless of how the shields stop damage. If the shields stop all damage, HP is a must and even with resistances and deflection, there is only one equation needed most of the time. With resistances, a second equation would be needed when the shields failed, because there would be leftover damage that needed to get converted back to its pre-resistance form to properly calculate the damage to the armor.

If the shield only stops some of the damage, there are two equations needed without resistances. If resistances are added in, then three are required. The first would determine how much damage is done to the shield. The second would detirmine how much damage passes through to the armor. If you add in resistances, then another equation is required at the beginning to modify the base damage.

Unless someone else can think of something that I haven't to change either of my opinions on the way armor and shields would work, I'm going to stick with my opinion and nothing will be able to change that.

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:09 pm
by Aquitaine
And people wonder why we don't all read brainstorming.

(discord is banned for a week.)

Keep it civil or else we will have to lock threads.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:00 am
by Ranos
This thread is not locked anymore. Come on people, lets keep working on this.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:20 am
by utilae
Impaler wrote: Basic Premiss that that their are 3-6 different types of "Energy Shields" each acthing in a differnt manor to protect the ships. Some absorb damage, some Nulify it, some reduce damage by a %.
I like the idea of different shields having a different way of doing the math.
Impaler wrote: Shields might have Resistences to some damage types but I am personaly oposed to it.
I think that this would be cool. Though it could get too complex if your weapon of type A has to get through shields of type B and armour of type C. Maybe fewer types between both armour and shields.
Impaler wrote: By letting the player pick interesting combos of Armor and Shield they can create ships that are very well defended from particular types of attacks simply by the math involved.
Yes, that's the objective. Though it should be possible for ships to have weapons that can cut through armour/shields like paper.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:45 pm
by Bastian-Bux
Actually we certainly shoudl have different kinds of shields and armors.

You know what I hated most bout many 4X games:

"Lord General, we just developed metaphasic shields."
"Great, so how are they different from our standard shields."
"Well, they can absorb 10% more damage."
"nice, so you increased the efficency of our standard shields. Whats about thos metaphasic?"
"Well, thats it, 10%."

I think there should be severall tiers of shields and armor. And the "higher" tiers would only become avaible through different research (like better computers allowing for phase shifting or such).

So a race that put lotsa emphasis on borad research would develop different tiers and could change from one to the next.

And a race that goes for in depth refinment could get real impressive standard shields, never feeling the need to put any RPs into thosennifty but prototypical metaphased shields.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:56 pm
by Ranos
utilae wrote:I like the idea of different shields having a different way of doing the math.
I agree, but there are really only two practical ways of doing it. All damage is absorbed until the shields are gone or damage is reduced until shields are gone.

Allowing both armor and shields to have resistances allows for multiple different combinations of resistances. That would of course allow for more diversity which I am a staunch advocate of. Both armor and shields should have different resistances though so you can't get the same bonuses and penalties in the same combinations. That sounds kind of confusing to me so I'm going to explain it.

If an armor is strong against energy and weak against kinetic, then there should not be a shield that is strong against energy and weak against kinetic.
utilae wrote:Yes, that's the objective. Though it should be possible for ships to have weapons that can cut through armour/shields like paper.
Only if their weaknesses are being used against them. Otherwise, both should be able to withstand many hits from weapons that are at their same tech level.

@ Bastian

That is what the resistances are for. They give you a reason to research different kinds of armor and shields. Phase shifting, cloaking and other such things should go under the 'Specials' category, not be included with shields.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:31 pm
by Bastian-Bux
I aint talking about phase shifting.

Well, lets explain it on an example.

Two races develop two totally different ways to "shield" from incoming energy.

Race A develops a way to channel incoming energy into large capacitators. This capacitators can hold a certain number of energy points, and once full, well the shield stops working.

Race B found a usefull way to emitt the incoming energy back to space. Due to energy transportation limits only a specific amount can be re-emitted during each time period. Once the enemy delivers more energy during that time period, the shields are overcome.


So two different approaches: A = absorb X energy, B = ignore Y energy per second.

Both can be valuable given certain criteria.

A race with strong abilities in energy storage (capacitors) will love the first shields. Over time they'll refine their capacitors to be able to store more and more energy.

A race with strong abilities in energy transmission will love the 2nd kind of shields. They too will refine their kind ofs shields further and further.

Both shields also have inherent weaknesses.

Shield A is weak against a better shielded enemy. This enemy just has to pump energy into that shield till it fails. Best weapon against this kind of shield: beam weapons for a continuous strema of energy.

Shield B is weak vs. anything that deals much dmg in a very short time period. Like missiles. Low energy weapons (like beam weapons) will be nearly useless vs. those shields.

I think our very creative design time will come up with at least 1 more way shields could differ on a very basic level.

Of course, very curious races might latter develop ways to combine those shields, but why not, they'll miss that RP in other research areas.

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:25 pm
by Ranos
Both of those have already been suggested but using different terms. Shields in past games have, most of the time, absorbed energy up to a point. The other way is to allow some damage through but still have the absorbtion. Your suggestion of venting the energy into space is just a complicated explanation of defelction, which could work together or separately from the other two ways.

The main problem with having shields that either deflect or allow damage through is that it's an all or nothing thing. Balancing that type of shield would be very difficult. You have to figure out how much damage should be stopped without making it too low which would be no good since most damage would get through and the shields would be pointless and without making it too high which would allow almost nothing to get through and the ship would be very nearly invincible.

I personally don't see any other types of shields being able to be balanced than the two I listed above and I think the deflection should be a part of those. I could of course be wrong and would love for somebody to come up with another way that would work.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:17 am
by Impaler
I think we can balance a much much wider variety then yor think Ranos, realy anything can be balanced when we can move it around in the tec tree to any position we want, change the overall cost and effectivness of the tecnology ect ect. If we find a shield type is unbalancing the early game we could simply bump it to the late game ware things are more predictable.

Also we can brainstorm a great variety of equations (I'm doing so as we speack) and once their in the games Engine their just OPTIONS that can be atatched to tecnologies in the game. If we find that 1 or 2 are unbalancing and cant be fixed we could simply drop them by not including them in the tec tree, most real games are full of such "abandoned features" because its impossible to get everything working the first time yet you realy must try to do some experimentation and actualy try new things here. Its very unwise to say that something would never work or couldn't be balanced and should thus not even be persued. Not only is it unwise to speculate about how the ability to balance a system that so far exists only in our heads its stifling of creativity as well.

It seems to me thier is a rather strong apeal fo the differnt damage math being the main differnt between shield types, Ranos is so far the only one oposed to the idea, do people also agree with that principle when it aplies to the ships armor?

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 3:10 am
by Ranos
I am not opposed to the idea. I know that two ways could work, the two that I listed and I also said in my last post:
Ranos wrote:I could of course be wrong and would love for somebody to come up with another way that would work.
If there are other ways for it to work that would be balanced, I'm open to them. I do think that all shields should have an HP valuse so that they can be worn down. Thats just my opinion. There is of course a recharge rate and that could be set high enough so that if somebody wanted it to, they could make shields last forever.

Armor, I think, is another matter. Shields could work in multiple different ways baecause armor would be there to back them up. Armor should not work in multiple ways because there is nothing to back them up. No armor means the internals are exposed and getting hit. Amor should therefore, IMO, stop all damage until it is depleted.

These are just my opinions and I have no wish to get into another debate over them. I'm just stating what I think so other people can judge from both points of view.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:51 am
by Impaler
Armor, I think, is another matter. Shields could work in multiple different ways baecause armor would be there to back them up. Armor should not work in multiple ways because there is nothing to back them up. No armor means the internals are exposed and getting hit. Amor should therefore, IMO, stop all damage until it is depleted.
But their would certainly be the option of having no Armor on a ship, smaller ships are likly to go in this direction becuse they will relly on Evasion to avoid getting hit and on their large numbers to survice long enough to destroy their targets. Heavy Armor and Shields cost a lot and make ships slow so its a tactical trade off for in the design process.

Also the idea that shields should be limited to only having pools of HP that absorb damage is a very very limited view, it excludes many many potential mechanism which can be of use. Why should limit ourselves to such a small set of options? I dont see how it would improve game play in any way, it simply seems to be your personal preferece. If your personal taste is for this kind of shield then you could reserch only it and ignore the rest, then your only limiting yourself not everyone else. Its a poor argument to say "I would never use that when playing so it shouldnt" be an option". Why should limit ourselves to such a small set of options? If the choices are balanced others will use them and enjoy them a lot.

To recap on the Options I have outlined so far along with a few more, also I include a Fluff name for each type drawn from classic Sci- Fit liturature. All of theses sub types fall under the label "Energy Shields"

Energy Nulifiers - Flat subtract X amount of damage from each attack
Energy Walls - Absorb all Damage to a Pool of X points
Energy Screens - Reduce each attack by X%
Energy Deflectors - Completly delfects X% of all attacks randomly
Energy Barriers- Completly negate the first X number of attacks each turn (in a real time system their would be a "cool down time" after an attack is stoped afterwhich the shield is esentialy down, better shields have shorter cooldown)
Energy Absorbers - Negate the first X damage recived each turn (in real time the shield is continusly regenerating up to a total of X with regeneration being % based)
Energy Conpensators - Make a random roll from 1 to the damage amount of the attack and Nulify the attack if the shield value X is higher then or equal to the roll.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:33 am
by Bastian-Bux
I'm with Impaler on this, multiple basic shield types.

Though I dislike to work with attacks. Lets stay with damage. So no full scale deflection or absorption of one "attack", but a given amount of energy (=damage). Your %X reductions might work, though we would need good explanations for them. % boni tend to be much more powerfull then hard numbers, so I'd be carefull with them. Especially if they stack.

So looking at your suggestions I'd like to get it down to only 2-4 shield types.

Those 2 are the most obvious shield types.

Energy Nullifiers = Absorbers - Flat subtract X amount of damage from each attack
Energy Walls - Absorb all Damage to a Pool of X points


This one might work, but would tend to become extremely powerfull in late game.

Energy Screens - Reduce each attack by X%


I aint sure if such randomness is something many players will like, but heck, it makes a real good shield for a fairly chaotic race.

Energy Conpensators - Make a random roll from 1 to the damage amount of the attack and Nulify the attack if the shield value X is higher then or equal to the roll.


About armor:

if we can come up with 2-4 really different types of armors, then we should maybe use them.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:53 am
by PowerCrazy
I think shields and armor should work something like this.


Certain armors are good against certain types of damage.
Bad against other types of damage.
Act as the hit points of a ship.
Nullifys an amount of damage depending on the tech level of the armor. More if the armor is "good" against the weapon, less if it is "bad" against the weapon.
The rest of the damage is applied to the armor/structure of a ship.

Shields: an X% of damage is ignored/reflected/absorbed up to Y damage. The rest of the damage is applied to the armor.
Not good or bad against any type of weapon, special case shield piercing weapons exempt.

So you can have a Hightech shield that nullifys 90% of an attack. So say a laser does 1 damage through the shield which is then nullified by the armor. Whereas you can have a steller converter that does 1000 damage to a shield get 90% nullified and then do 100 damage to the armor, modified by its own process.

The 900 Damage that the shield nullified is applied to the shield Hit Points that are regenerated every turn as the shield recharges. Armor doesn't recharge usually.

That provides a significant difference between armor and shields.

Shields: X% Damage reduced Regenerates based on recharge rate of the shield.

Armor: Nullifies N+/-n total damage depending on armor type and weapon type.
Acts as hitpoints.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:20 am
by Impaler
Its my philosopy that each Armor or Shield equation should only have one numericlal Variable that when combined with the type of shield would determines its effectivness. Most of the sollution people have sugjested conatin more then one factor so I think they should be split into 2 seperate things possibly with one being a shield and the other an armor. For example
Shields: X% Damage reduced Regenerates based on recharge rate of the shield
Their are 2 factors here the X% and a Regeneration rate (and possibly a number describing the Shields total HP). If the player has several options with many differnt values say Shields that absorb 15% of damage into a shield that contains up to 500 points and regenerates 20 Points per time tick vs a Shield absorbing 40% into a shield of 150 points regenerating at 30 points per tick. Add on top of that an Armor calculation and I think we will have a complexity problem. The solution should be to either break up the equation into several differnt types of shields or to make some of these values Constants that the player can essentialy ignore for example we simply state that all shields of a particluar type regenerate 10% of its value per tick. That fuses together 2 seperate values and we can describe the shield simply as a "500 HP Regenating Shield".

This gives me the idea of spinning off regenerating shields from "Energy Wall". Plain old Energy Wall just starts out with X HP at the start of combat and deplets untill down with out any regeneration. "Engery Capacitors" Start with X HP (generaly much lower then a coresponding Energy Wall) and they will regenerate at a fixed % over a unit of time.

Also keep in mind that many of these equations were throwing around for shields could be used as Armor instead and visa versa. We can simply generate a bunch of differnt equations and in the Balance stages of the game deside what kinds are the Shields and what kinds are the Armor, if designed well its just realy the attachment of an Enum type onto the Tec files.

By combining Shields and Armor of differnt types you could esentialy duplicate many of the proposals so far. The shielding and the Armor would work together to protect the ship, depending on the combinations I could produce shields that are good against light weapons and Armor that better against large attacks thus alowing the 2 to cover each others weaknesses. With differnt combinations a highly focused ship could be created. Damage types act as an additional modifier for extra dimentions.

Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:32 pm
by utilae
Impaler wrote: Energy Nulifiers - Flat subtract X amount of damage from each attack
Energy Walls - Absorb all Damage to a Pool of X points
Energy Screens - Reduce each attack by X%
Energy Deflectors - Completly delfects X% of all attacks randomly
Energy Barriers- Completly negate the first X number of attacks each turn (in a real time system their would be a "cool down time" after an attack is stoped afterwhich the shield is esentialy down, better shields have shorter cooldown)
Energy Absorbers - Negate the first X damage recived each turn (in real time the shield is continusly regenerating up to a total of X with regeneration being % based)
Energy Conpensators - Make a random roll from 1 to the damage amount of the attack and Nulify the attack if the shield value X is higher then or equal to the roll.
I like these alot. They will play differently in game and would make the game so much more interesting. Energy Compensators/Chaos Shields sound cool.