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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Ranos
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#76 Post by Ranos »

iamrobk wrote:Well, a colony ship doesn't have weapons, fighters, heavy armor, a large crew, or much of anything that a warship would have. It wouldn't be TOO expensive. How expensive is too expensive is something that could be tested during the beta, and changed accordingly.
But a colony ship has to have the materials, equipment and supplies to get the colony going. This would be just as expensive as the weapons, fighters, etc and the crew would be huge if you count the thousands of colonists going to start a new world.
iamrobk wrote:About the C&C idea, honestly I just think it's stupid. For one thing it's not realistic at all (I know realism isn't a main point of FO, but even so.....), because unless we have instantaneous communication between all ships and planets and all, how are they going to be commanded? Does command of every ship switch from commander center to command center as they move around? Just doesn't make any sense. Also, I don't want to have to build a command center or whatever on all my planets just to be able to build more ships. Just wasted rescources, at least I think so. Also, your idea suggests that my very developed homeworld can support as many ships as my fringe colony. Of course, we can base it on population or whatever, but again, where do we draw the line? How many is too many and how many is too few?
It doesn't have to be C&C points or command centers but there can be some support system for ships which generates points which determines how many ships you can have. Call the support points. The ammount a planet generates depends on the population. There could be a structure that affects these in some way, whether it be to add to the points, multiply the points or remove some limit on the points (once a planet reaches 6 billion pop, it doesn't generate additional points unless you build structure X which eliminates the cap on this planet).

What is the difference between having to spend 10k pp on a single ship or spending 5k pp on a single ship and 5k pp on a structure? Oh, I know, after that first 5k pp spent on the structure, you can build your ships for only 5k pp still instead of 10k. Wasted resources depend on how you veiw them. If the resources need to be wasted on building extremely expensive ships, then we'll build the ships. If resources need to be wasted on building a single building that increases the number of ships allowed, then we'll build the building. Whatever we do to limit ships, there will be pp spent on doing it.

As for how many is too many, that i guess is something we need to determine later on. The reason I asked about how expensive is expensive is because of the factors affecting non-military ships that are needed to make the game run.

@ utilae

There should be no penalty. If the number allowed is X and you have X+1, you must choose a ship or TF that has to sit the battle out. If we have caps, they need to be caps not suggestions to avoid getting penalties.
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utilae
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#77 Post by utilae »

Ranos wrote: @ utilae
There should be no penalty. If the number allowed is X and you have X+1, you must choose a ship or TF that has to sit the battle out. If we have caps, they need to be caps not suggestions to avoid getting penalties.
Yeah, having a TF sit out would be my first choice.

iamrobk
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#78 Post by iamrobk »

As for how many is too many, that i guess is something we need to determine later on. The reason I asked about how expensive is expensive is because of the factors affecting non-military ships that are needed to make the game run.
No matter what method we use, we'll have to deicde the costs of ships somewhere along the line.

RocketMan
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#79 Post by RocketMan »

Ranos wrote:
It doesn't have to be C&C points or command centers but there can be some support system for ships which generates points which determines how many ships you can have. Call the support points. The ammount a planet generates depends on the population. There could be a structure that affects these in some way, whether it be to add to the points, multiply the points or remove some limit on the points (once a planet reaches 6 billion pop, it doesn't generate additional points unless you build structure X which eliminates the cap on this planet).
I'm not sure of the idea of a cap, soft or hard. If we are looking for game-immersion then any arbitrary numerical limit will harm this. I would prefer to see it cost alot to produce and maintain ships, making it very difficult to hold your empires economy on a war footing while doing other things. The most fun you can have is when you have to make hard decisions as to where your efforts must go. Most of these 4x type games I've played have you in a state of war for the better part of the game, war is an expensive proposition, there should be a natural pressure to make peace, sign treaties, take your losses or gains and move on.

solartrix
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#80 Post by solartrix »

@Ranos, Utilae, those are really creative ways to do this, but I have to say that I like the natural "cap" system, where each unit costs so much money or energy or production points to support.

I think a lot of games have done this well. Like Medieval Total War and the Civilization series. It works well for game immersion, plus it's simple and we don't have to introduce anther "thing" for the player to figure out or worry about. AND we don't have to code / debug / create graphics for one more point system.

You could still have C&C ships that improve a fleet's effectiveness or gives the other ships in the task force some sort of bonus (this could really add strategic / tactical depth to the game). But I know that if I'm facing an invasion fleet, I'm goingt to be quite annoyed if the game doesn't let me use all my ships to defend my homeworld because I don't have enough _______ to coordinate them all. Hell, if they have crews and weapons, I want them in the fight!

The question is, what does it really take to support a space fleet? Money? Energy? Mining resources?

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utilae
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#81 Post by utilae »

A system where the cost of the ship limits how many ships you can have would be the most natural and transparent to the player. The main problem is that if you are rich enough you can afford the most expensive ships. Making the costs higher only hurts the poor more than it does the rich.

I don't know if we can make it so that the cost of a ship is more for a player that earns more less for the player that earns less. I don't know the 'in game' explanation for this, but it would seem to be a way of avoiding the main problem with this cost system.

iamrobk
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#82 Post by iamrobk »

Maybe the more of a kind of ship you buy, the more it costs? They could go up by Y amount every time you buy that kind of ship (Y would be different per ship type, and would be larger for larger ships), and would automatically go down X at the end of each turn.

solartrix
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#83 Post by solartrix »

Not sure there's a good way around this, and well, it sort of makes sense that a richer economy can support more ships.

If you're smaller than your opponent, well, then you're going to need better ships or bigger allies or hope that your opponent has to fight on multiple fronts.

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#84 Post by iamrobk »

solartrix wrote:Not sure there's a good way around this, and well, it sort of makes sense that a richer economy can support more ships.

If you're smaller than your opponent, well, then you're going to need better ships or bigger allies or hope that your opponent has to fight on multiple fronts.
Yeah I agree. Besides my other idea, I only have one other. Maybe make it so, as your empire gets larger, you'll have to spend more to fight unrest, to support structures, etc. Also, there would be more rebellions and whatever you'd have to think about.

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#85 Post by Ranos »

I agree the economic capping system is the best to use for the max number of allowed ships per empire but the other thing that is being suggested is a cap on the max ships allowed per combat. While I would love to see hundreds of ships in a single combat, it might be better to put a cap on it to prevent overkill in battles. I don't know if processor power will be a factor in this, but that could be one reason to have a cap. The other is of course to help level the plaing field between small and larger empires. I would be fine with a cap like that or without one.
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#86 Post by iamrobk »

Someone (sorry, I forget who) proposed an idea where each ship was assigned a numerical value. In battle, the total numerical value of your ships could not excede X. That would be a good way to limit it, IMO.

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utilae
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#87 Post by utilae »

Ranos wrote:I agree the economic capping system is the best to use for the max number of allowed ships per empire but the other thing that is being suggested is a cap on the max ships allowed per combat. While I would love to see hundreds of ships in a single combat, it might be better to put a cap on it to prevent overkill in battles. I don't know if processor power will be a factor in this, but that could be one reason to have a cap. The other is of course to help level the plaing field between small and larger empires. I would be fine with a cap like that or without one.
Another reason for a cap of how many ships are in a battle is to keep the number of ships down so that you can manage them. Moo3 did this by limiting the number of taskforces in a battle. I don't think we should cap the number of ships in the entire empire (like Moo2 did).
iamrobk wrote:Someone (sorry, I forget who) proposed an idea where each ship was assigned a numerical value. In battle, the total numerical value of your ships could not excede X. That would be a good way to limit it, IMO.
That was me. Basically each ship would have a number based on size, eg large=5 points, small=1 points. If the max ships allowed in a battle is 30 points worth, then you could have for example one large ship and 25 small ships or six large ships.

noelte
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#88 Post by noelte »

hmm, in the end, why do we have to limit ships per battle. Everything i have read on this thread is rather artifical or simply don't do the job.

Anyway, i guess the main idea behind a limit is, that smaller empires get a chance stand larger ones!? If so, how do you balance the scientific advancment?? I do remember sakkra comming for me with their large battle ships fleet getting no chance to hurt me. So even if they migth had a change if they outnumber me 1:100, they won't get this chance if there is a ship limit per battle.
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#89 Post by Bastian-Bux »

utilae, dont keep all the honor for you :). I suggested two similar systems in this thread :). One with number orientized towards game-mechanical needs, the other organized along the cost (=size/power) of the ships.

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Geoff the Medio
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#90 Post by Geoff the Medio »

noelte wrote:Anyway, i guess the main idea behind a limit is, that smaller empires get a chance stand larger ones!? If so, how do you balance the scientific advancment?? I do remember sakkra comming for me with their large battle ships fleet getting no chance to hurt me. So even if they migth had a change if they outnumber me 1:100, they won't get this chance if there is a ship limit per battle.
My interpretation of this idea is that the bigger empire would be the one with 100 times as many ships, not the small empire. If battles are limited for both empires to the same number, then the numerical odds end up being 1:1, giving the small empire a chance to win.

However, I think the best justifications for having a limit are:

1) Limited system resources. No matter how simple / complicated the simulation / player control is, there will be some practical limits on system memory and procesing speed and display resolution.

2) Design focus. No matter how many ships can be practially displayed, the game will probably play better if the battle system and user interface are designed around a certain range (hard max, and expected / typical minimum and average) of numbers of ships in a significant battle. This could be 10s, 100s or 1000s of ships, but not 10s or 1000s depending on the game turn, or even worse, 10s for one side, 1000s for the other during the same game turn.

Note that I'm talking about "significant" battles of "big" or "powerful fleets", not loner scout ships being mauled by an armada.

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