many ships or fewer ships?

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

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noelte
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#106 Post by noelte »

Bastian-Bux wrote:- Each modul build into a ship has a point cost -> allows for finetuning, like making colony moduls expensive in credits but woth nothing in fleet points.
Hmm, imo the best suggestion you made.

But i would calculate a ships "combat" power. I know that's difficult. Combat power depends on :
- damage a ship can deliver
- damage a ship can take.
- combat speed
- ...
Press any key to continue or any other key to cancel.
Can COWs fly?

iamrobk
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#107 Post by iamrobk »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
iamrobk wrote:Geoff the Medio brings up an interesting point. A cap would effectively mean that a small empire could bring the same amount of ships to battle as a large one, which really unbalances the game.
To me, this would make the game more balanced, not less. It gives the small empire a chance to fight back. If the big empire can have all its fleet be bigger, then the small empire has no way to fight back. With caps, the big empire has to fight smart (tactically or strategically), and not just rely on overwhemling numbers in battle to win.

Note that the bigger empire still has an advantage, in that it can have full strength fleets at more locations, with more backup fleets, and has more reinforcements for any lots ships in a fleet.
If the small empire has great tactics, they can easily destroy all the fleets of the larger empire, one at a time. Eh, that just doesn't work.
If a small empire has good enough tactics that one or three of their fleets are able to destroy dozens or hundreds of enemy fleets, then they deserve to win. I somewhat doubt "great tactics" alone would be sufficient to "destroy all the fleets" of any empire, however.
Well see, if a small empire finds itself in this position, I WANT the larger one to destroy it. If the smaller empire eds up winning, thats just stupid, unless they have like all battleships. Splitting the battle up over several turns because of a cap just delays the inevitable, really. I think a cap would be good if it was really high, just to prevent rediculous battles, but I would hardly consider a large empires invasion fleet rediculous (unless it was like 20+ battleships....)

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skdiw
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#108 Post by skdiw »

There is gonna be a cap either by software or hardware. Most all the game including good popular strategy games have some sort of a cap like Homeworld, AoE, civ.... but it doesn't prevent the strategy of the game because the cap is very large and never reached in competitive games. Most competitive games are decided relatively early in the game. It is only those players who likes to sit and develop everything then mow across the galaxy who will worry caps, but even then I think the cap will be high enough anyway that they know they completely dominated. A software cap just makes it easier to prevent computer crashes and balancing.


A smaller empire doesn't mean it's less powerful than a large. Likewise, a smaller fleet doesn't mean it will lose to a bigger fleet. What you want to compare is the power of the empire or fleets and not the number size. A more powerful empire should have some sort of advantage or else there is no way to win the game. And a large empire do have advantages even with a small cap. But we are thinking in the extreme case. I don't think the cap will be reached in most games.
:mrgreen:

PowerCrazy
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#109 Post by PowerCrazy »

Any kind of arbitrary caps should be avoided.

Yes there will be a practical cap but that should have to do with hardware/software restrictions solely, not to balance the game. Game balance can be achieved in other ways besides just telling the player "no."
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Geoff the Medio
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#110 Post by Geoff the Medio »

PowerCrazy wrote:Any kind of arbitrary caps should be avoided.

Yes there will be a practical cap but that should have to do with hardware/software restrictions solely, not to balance the game. Game balance can be achieved in other ways besides just telling the player "no."
Rather than just saying "no", I was suggesting that the limits be integrated into the design of the game, from tactical and strategic perspectives. Rather than having a single hard limit, various factors that the player could control to some degree would determine how many ships can be in a battle. For example, a certain class of ship that is required to allow your ships to be together as a fleet could be required. Having such ships might make for various interesting situations, like the possibility of dealing with the loss of one of those ships and the resulting reduction in allowed fleet size, making them very important to protect / attack, and the increased importance of working with allies, since each allied race working together in a battle might get their own independent fleet point limit.

The whole thing would probably need to be based around diminishing returns... so that no matter how many fleet-allowing ships you add, there's eventually a hard limit to fleet sizes, in order to prevent hardware limits from being reached. But this wouldn't be perceived as an arbitrary / hard limit, as it would seem to arise out of the limiting system to the player.

Impaler
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#111 Post by Impaler »

If we want a Hardware based limit then the game will need to perform some kind of querry of the users hardware and basicaly "ask for everything you can give me" so each player on their unique system get the limits their hardware sets. This happens all the time in FPS games but it only effects the players personal graphic not the mechanics of the game (a high frame rate is advantage only to the extent that the players brain can react fastor which we all agree should be unimportant for FO). Strategy games typicaly take only a flat quantity to perform their game play mechanics and simple graphics, we have a delema here when the 2 conflicting elements clash.

Personaly I favor use of Task Forces and Stacks to keep graphical requirments far below the average system, the players entire space fleet can take part in a battle without restrictions. The player controls and sees their ships at the Task Force level with only a portion of the ships in the TF apearing as full 3D models, the scaling is exponential a task force twice as large probly only has 1 extra ship rendered in it. The scaling and quality could also be adjusted by a sliders (this is falling under Graphical options like adjusting your Gama not the normal game UI so I see no reason sliders should be baned from this portion of the game). As your system improves you can move the slider into higher and higher ship count and ship quality areas. Task Force number is limited in some manor though, the player can bring as many Task Forces/Fleets as they wish into battle but they will be automaticaly and temporarily merged together for the duration of the battle to give the nessary granularity to battel control and graphics requirements. LIttle numbers and health bars in the corners of Task Forces give details as to the number and health of ships in it but are optional.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

iamrobk
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#112 Post by iamrobk »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
PowerCrazy wrote:Any kind of arbitrary caps should be avoided.

Yes there will be a practical cap but that should have to do with hardware/software restrictions solely, not to balance the game. Game balance can be achieved in other ways besides just telling the player "no."
Rather than just saying "no", I was suggesting that the limits be integrated into the design of the game, from tactical and strategic perspectives. Rather than having a single hard limit, various factors that the player could control to some degree would determine how many ships can be in a battle. For example, a certain class of ship that is required to allow your ships to be together as a fleet could be required. Having such ships might make for various interesting situations, like the possibility of dealing with the loss of one of those ships and the resulting reduction in allowed fleet size, making them very important to protect / attack, and the increased importance of working with allies, since each allied race working together in a battle might get their own independent fleet point limit.

The whole thing would probably need to be based around diminishing returns... so that no matter how many fleet-allowing ships you add, there's eventually a hard limit to fleet sizes, in order to prevent hardware limits from being reached. But this wouldn't be perceived as an arbitrary / hard limit, as it would seem to arise out of the limiting system to the player.
Seems to me liek that could get really confusing, though.

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#113 Post by Bastian-Bux »

Why?

Its easy for a squire to go ard in his village, selecting all strong men and forming a band of peasant fighters. Heck, he'll know them all by name.

Its much harder to support the army of a medium sized city state, having a few officers doing all this, and human errors will increase the price (and effectivness).

Its very hard to controll the army of a country like China, with generals that have powers beyond belief, having to do logistics for severall million soldiers.

And now bring this to an space empire level. You think its easy to manage tens of thousands of ships? There always is a dimishing return if you grow quantity.

And we have the problem on the game mechanical side as well.

To be honest, having hundreds or thousands of ships on the screen is boring. They are faceless, without value. You don't fever with your ships: will they survive?. Its just: How many will I have to rebuild after the battle?

Immersion doesn't come from large numbers. It comes from familiarity and importance.

iamrobk
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#114 Post by iamrobk »

Uhh......huh? I mean, I get your point, I just don't get who it's directed at and whatever.

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utilae
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#115 Post by utilae »

Bastian-Bux wrote: To be honest, having hundreds or thousands of ships on the screen is boring. They are faceless, without value. You don't fever with your ships: will they survive?. Its just: How many will I have to rebuild after the battle?

Immersion doesn't come from large numbers. It comes from familiarity and importance.
I felt pretty immersed in Moo2 and they had 100s of ships. I think that if someone hacked Moo2 they could make an interface nice enough to gloss over all the micromanagement.

I actually think that zooming out on your 100s of ships and controlling them in groups is what makes them faceless. It is necesary to avoid micromanagement, but at the cost of immersion.

iamrobk
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#116 Post by iamrobk »

utilae wrote:
Bastian-Bux wrote: To be honest, having hundreds or thousands of ships on the screen is boring. They are faceless, without value. You don't fever with your ships: will they survive?. Its just: How many will I have to rebuild after the battle?

Immersion doesn't come from large numbers. It comes from familiarity and importance.
I felt pretty immersed in Moo2 and they had 100s of ships. I think that if someone hacked Moo2 they could make an interface nice enough to gloss over all the micromanagement.

I actually think that zooming out on your 100s of ships and controlling them in groups is what makes them faceless. It is necesary to avoid micromanagement, but at the cost of immersion.
I think that Baustian is talking about a more personal level of relations with your ships. Not just how easy you can control them, or home immersed you are in the game. But how if you even lose one ship, you'll be sad for the loss of that ship, and who was commanding it and whatever.

Bastian-Bux
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#117 Post by Bastian-Bux »

Yep, I'm an old roleplayer. I'm used to immerse into my roles, trying to save the chars I play, and each and everyone of them is important to me. Thats why I dislike games where units are "expendable". And once the number of ships gets to big, they become expendable. Thats ok for fighters, but IMHO thats not ok for larger ships.

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Prokonsul Piotrus
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#118 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus »

Bastian-Bux wrote:Yep, I'm an old roleplayer. I'm used to immerse into my roles, trying to save the chars I play, and each and everyone of them is important to me. Thats why I dislike games where units are "expendable". And once the number of ships gets to big, they become expendable. Thats ok for fighters, but IMHO thats not ok for larger ships.
Yes, that's exactly where I stand. You have my full support on that :)
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iamrobk
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#119 Post by iamrobk »

Prokonsul Piotrus wrote:
Bastian-Bux wrote:Yep, I'm an old roleplayer. I'm used to immerse into my roles, trying to save the chars I play, and each and everyone of them is important to me. Thats why I dislike games where units are "expendable". And once the number of ships gets to big, they become expendable. Thats ok for fighters, but IMHO thats not ok for larger ships.
Yes, that's exactly where I stand. You have my full support on that :)
Same here. I mean, I want to be able to know the names of the captains of my larger ships.

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utilae
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#120 Post by utilae »

Bastian-Bux wrote:Yep, I'm an old roleplayer. I'm used to immerse into my roles, trying to save the chars I play, and each and everyone of them is important to me. Thats why I dislike games where units are "expendable". And once the number of ships gets to big, they become expendable. Thats ok for fighters, but IMHO thats not ok for larger ships.
It is good to be attached to your characters in an RPG game where there are only 6 characters, but in a strategy game, especially a real time strategy game, there can be no attachment as all your units are expendable.

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