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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skdiw
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#121 Post by skdiw »

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.
I have thought of using some game aspect to limit the number but it still return to the same question as what the ultimate cap is. I thought about flag ships in each task force has some command points, but that doesn't solve the problem because how many flag ships are you allowed? Making flag ship as a empire wonder or system wonder may be an option. Flag ships can have powerful abilities like massive AoE black hole generators that adds extra dimension to the game; it also gives the player something to do instead of just issuing general commands to small TF he controls. In this respect, the flag ship is a "character" in your fleet and becomes another tatical option. For some of the newcomers, we planned to have special predefine ships build as empire wonders; they will have cool names with special abilites. But the question of how many allowed in the same battlefield is still unanswered; can you have 1 Devestator flag ship and 10 zillion fighters?

Another thought was using the number of star bases and shipyard a players control. That number determines how many TF you can effectively can communicate and control. In addition, this method also help with the natural defense problem in the game when ppl send one scout conquering all your backwater planets in moo1. The problem with this method is that how many star bases and shipyards are you allowed to have? one per planet or system maybe? Or can the ship cap be imbedded into the soft cap maintainece system of star bases or shipyards.

No limit seems good to me. We can use Impaler's way to deal with hardware limits.
:mrgreen:

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utilae
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#122 Post by utilae »

I think that if we were to cap ships vs cap TFs, then I'd rather cap ships. This is because if you capped Tfs, then a few half filled TFs would count torward the limit. Plus TFs are really a way to control ships easier, so all they are is part of the interface.

The problem with Flagships is the 'kill the hero' syndrome, where the enemy will just go for the hero first. The only way to avoid this problem would be to make it so that the enemy does not know which ship the flagship is. Maybe the flagship does not need to be the biggest ship. Maybe the flagship can be the smallest ship. We could determine what ship the flag ship is, by putting a fleet commander/admiral on a ship of choice. Maybe the admiral raises the cap. If the flagship is destroyed/admiral killed, the cap decreases, however this only comes into effect next turn (so all your ships don't instantly retreat or something equally devastating).

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#123 Post by iamrobk »

utilae 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.
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.
But thats the thing. We don't want our units to be expendable. We want to have that personal connection. We want to be able too, later in the game, go back and say "aaah, The Jordan, I remember that ship helped me through my campaign against the Mayen race" or whatever.

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Geoff the Medio
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#124 Post by Geoff the Medio »

skdiw wrote:I thought about flag ships in each task force has some command points, but that doesn't solve the problem because how many flag ships are you allowed?
Rather than having "flag ships" that let you group fleets (and thus requiring an arbitrary limit on the number of flag ships), I've been suggesting something a bit more involved. Assume, for illstrative purposes, that interstellar travel require some sort of engine that emits a particular flufftastic energy field that, if you have too many engines in one location (fleet), causes bad things to happen. However you also have "enabler" (need better name) ships, that have special equipment that counteract the engine field, allowing you to make bigger fleets. However, having 2 enabler ships isn't twice as good as one enabler ship; as you add more and more enabler ships, the increased fleet size they allow diminishes, until adding more enabler doesn't give you anything, and perhaps even reduces the number of fighting ships you can have. Depending how the bonus for additional ships changes, you get a sort of "natural" cap on the number of ships you're allowed to have in a fleet, which does not, to the player, seem like an arbitrary / artificial cap. It's integrated into the game mechanics. It seems to arise more naturally out of the way the game works anyway, unlike a "arbitrary" cap. It is somewhat more complicated though, with issues relating to how to figure out how big your fleets can be. I don't see "kill the hero / enabler" as a problem. IMO having something else to attack / defend is a good thing... though if they do end up being a problem, we could just now have them appear in the battle.

This has nothing to do with "hero" or "character" ships (which are fine ideas that should be considered as well, but aren't really relevant to the issue of # of ships limits).
Another thought was using the number of star bases and shipyard a players control.
Despite your saying you don't like it, I feel I should reiterate that IMO this is a bad idea, as it makes the larger empire have a higher fleet size limit, making it impossible smaller empires to compete. With "enabler" ships, the small empire can individual fleets be just as big as those of the big empire, so can actually win a battle (though still has fewer fleets to fight with).
iamrobk wrote:But thats the thing. We don't want our units to be expendable. We want to have that personal connection. We want to be able too, later in the game, go back and say "aaah, The Jordan, I remember that ship helped me through my campaign against the Mayen race" or whatever.
Are you thinking of this in terms of single player or multiplayer? In the former, if you lose a particular favourite ship, you can reload like in an RPG, and can "safely" get attached to particular ships. In MP, if you lose a ship... it's lost.

Also, keep in mind that most RPGs have characters that grow in power as the game progresses, meaning that the same character can be used at the start and end of the game. In FO, depending on your race, ships will likely get obsolete with time, and retired / scrapped. Having the same ship stay usable for the whole game might require a refit / upgrade system with far fewer restrictions that would otherwise be wanted... so might not happen.

If, considering both those, you still want a few good ships for the whole game, and are sure you don't really want Baldur's Gate in space (as opposed to a Civ / MoO - like strategy game), then OK, carry on. (Am just mentioning the points...)
Last edited by Geoff the Medio on Sat Nov 20, 2004 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Master of Orion III
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some think beven both

#125 Post by Master of Orion III »

to many ships can only cost money,to less to strong enuf to defed enemy fleet,there must be a balance in a fleet
Antaren x ovnership

Bastian-Bux
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#126 Post by Bastian-Bux »

Ouch, Geoff and utilae seem to think games like Diablo, Everquest or Dungeon Siege are RPG :).

Geoff, "real" RPGs have no reload possibility, cause they are either P&P, or even better LARP.

utilae, in such a RPG you play ONE role, not 6. Well, except if you are the game master, then you gotta play all others :).

I have some characters lying around which I created and played in 1990. so they are older then some of our forum members ;). And believe me, quite a number of them is very dear to me.

If you have experienced such an immersion, you don't want to miss it, even not in a strategy game. Cause strategy isn't just about bigger numbers. Frodo and Samweis haven't been expendable, and if you read good Fantasy or SciFi books you'll find out that neither heroes nor enemies are expendable. Expendables are just unimportant, and unimportant things are just boring.

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Geoff the Medio
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#127 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Bastian-Bux wrote:Ouch, Geoff and utilae seem to think games like Diablo, Everquest or Dungeon Siege are RPG :).

Geoff, "real" RPGs have no reload possibility, cause they are either P&P, or even better LARP.
I considered putting a C before RPG, but felt that the context was sufficient to be clear.

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utilae
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#128 Post by utilae »

Bastian-Bux wrote: Ouch, Geoff and utilae seem to think games like Diablo, Everquest or Dungeon Siege are RPG :).

Geoff, "real" RPGs have no reload possibility, cause they are either P&P, or even better LARP.
I like RPG games like Buldars Gate/Icewind Dale and Morrowind over games like Dungeon Siege (sucks) and everquest(which wouldn't really suffer from the load/save problem since it is online). I think that all games suffer from the load/save problems.
Bastian-Bux wrote: If you have experienced such an immersion, you don't want to miss it, even not in a strategy game. Cause strategy isn't just about bigger numbers. Frodo and Samweis haven't been expendable, and if you read good Fantasy or SciFi books you'll find out that neither heroes nor enemies are expendable. Expendables are just unimportant, and unimportant things are just boring.
I'm not saying the game should be about expendable characters, but that the nature of the game may be one where characters are expendable simply because the game is a strategy game rather than a role playing game. Don't get me wrong though, even in strategy games you can't always afford to have your units be expendable.


I think we should use the admiral idea, where we put an admiral on a ship of choice (the ship become a flagship). The enemy won't know what ship the admiral is on, so that avoids the 'kill the hero' issue. but if they did kill the hero, then its a big plus to the enemy and big negative to you. I also think that we should combine too systems. THe admirals could increase your fleet points more efficiently, while your starbases/or whatever increase your fleet points less efficiently.

Maybe all ships have a class name (not carrier or fighter) like "Viper", like a M1 Ambrams is named Ambrams. Only the flagship gets a proper name, so a ship with the class name "Viper" could be a flagship and be named "White Star".

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#129 Post by iamrobk »

I just don't get the point of having the admiral......I mean, it's like we'll have it just to increase fleet points. I just....don't get the point. If we have an economic cap (like we probably will, since most everyone supports it), then an empire would probably not have "too many" ships in one location that would "overload" a battle.

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