Stealth Fundamentals

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LienRag
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Re: Stealth Fundamentals

#46 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:59 am (i guess the previous discussion was my "three shades of stealth", which was more 2.5 different types;
Yep, it seems you're the giant whose shoulders I'm standing upon...
(hope that I'm not too heavy !)

What I did add :
- The fact that all three are situational, so as to make none of them a no-brainer. Your initial proposal may be better on that point, if balanced right.
- The fact that techs are multiplicand, not additional bonus. That part seems extremely crucial to me, being at the core of the balance (one player is never so in advance in the race that nothing he does can be countered, and on the other hand being just on par with the enemy - or even a little behind in some situations - still allow some stealthy maneuvering if done particularly well).
- The Policies needed to activate the stealth. That part also is crucial, avoiding the "lost investment" effect of current stealth mechanism (if you invest in the right stealth path, you will always be able to use it against those of your enemies that did not choose to defend against it; if you invest in the wrong one, then it's your responsibility to have wasted all this Research).
Note that I did make the Stealth/Detection Policies for the same Path incompatible for fluff reasons, but I don't believe it's entirely necessary for balance; it's already difficult enough to get enough Military slots to defend (or attack) against all paths. Maybe Oberlus' proposition of having interactions between paths is better.
- The fact that both Detection and Stealth would rise in a slowly progressive manner. It actually stems from the fact that Policies are public, so my proposal was without any gameplay worth if switching Policies to match the enemy's choices was a viable way of dealing with his stealthy threat (since obviously such switching would be a no-brainer). But it has added interests : first it means priority on strategy over brute force (the one able to take a path early will have an advantage over the one who only reacts to it), and second it means than races are more subtle, the one ahead being both always in danger of being outpaced, and able to keep a temporary advance even when technologically obsolete (since any stealth has to be obsolete at some point at the end of the endgame).

My proposal works well with the different "non-binary" stealth systems, I think.
But it won't work anymore if these core points are removed.

Note also that it's not exactly a "rock-paper-scissor" mechanism, more a way to force strategic choices which have consequences that need to be thought out well and ahead of time, and to avoid that a temporary advantage spirals out of control (as whatever one does, he still would have weaknesses that he needs to defend against).

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LienRag
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Re: Stealth Fundamentals

#47 Post by LienRag »

After watching The Expanse (no spoilers please, I'm still at the beginning of Season Six) I think that having one of these Stealth paths working with "ship mode" would be very great.

I mean, having the ship move very slowly (probably only through solar sails and slingshots, so depending on the environment), in the trail of other ships (friend or foes), and (for balance reason) some of their weapons temporarily disarmed (fluff : magnetic emissions for a railgun are detectable from afar), and their shields too, and their vision (except psionic/organic hull I guess) diminished ("passive sensors only").
Some hulls may even have their structure diminished (movable panels exposing the inside but allowing for deflecting emissions).

For balance reasons, it should take many turns to go back to normal (like 10% per turn progress for speed, shields, structure and guns) so it's a strategic decision : go stealth and risk destruction if identified, or keep your army ready to fight.

I said "one of" because initially I wanted to have all of them, but that would allow only strategic stealth, not tactical one, and keeping the possibility of tactical stealth is very good for the game.


On another topic, is there a way to make the "fleet unstealthiness" hinder the stealth of the heavier ships but also augment the stealth of the smaller ones ? I mean in each fleet, not in general (so to hide your small ships you need to put big ones with them).

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