Exactly. If you want a manouverable ship, then don't put armour on it... it's that simple. Early-tech shielding and point-defence (if a defence) should be less effective against most heavy weaponry, meaning if you want a real ship-of-the-line battleship, you need to put heavy armour on it, but that means it wont' be moving around much (in battle, not necessarily between systems... though probably both). Having arbitrary bonuses and penalties to ship classes (like +25% speed for small ships) is silly, imo. Ship design is one area where abstraction of this type should be avoided. Emergent properties is the whole point of designing things. If we've already decided what the results of designs will be, then the player's not really doing the designing, is s/he?noelte wrote:I like the idea of ship hull design having advantages and disadvantages. Armor +25% and Speed -25%.
On the other hand i still think we can achieve smilar things by taking ship mass into acount when calculating system speed.
This is along the lines of what I'm thinking...emrys wrote:Whilst I agree in principle, I think we should be slightly wary of attempting to add too many interconnections on the same level (i.e. many types of defences vs. many types of weapons...) Beyond a certain point, I can see it becoming too confusing and not worth the player's effort of trying to get to grips with and adapt to thier enemies properly. I'd agree that maybe webs with three or five elements layered on top of each other as new tech is developed would work (so that the player can effectively forget about the old layer once the new layer is fully researched).
Changes in the web don't always mean adding new things to it. Advances in tech can change the relative strengths and weaknesses in the web. Thus if your enemy is using tech D which is weak to tech A now, you can use tech A now and get an advantage... but in a few dozen turns, techs will advance and tech D will get some improvements, neutralizing the advantage of tech A. Instead you could use tech F now, which is neutral to D but which has a bunch of upcoming enhancements that will make it better vs D later.
New techs also add connections to the web that change things signficantly. This is best exemplifeed with shielding. I imagine energy shielding not being available for the first third of the game. It would be a cool high tech thing that's a big deal and completely changes the strategic layout of the various classes of equipment when it arrives (like ironclad ships or dreadnoughts did). Before energy shields are available, there are are other defences such as point defence and a few classes of armour (on metal box: ablative good vs. beams, composite good vs. kinetic energy, rock. on asteroid: rock only, later the mass of the rock can be reinforced with a pre-energy shield field that gives asteroids an advantage, until real shields are developed which are better on smaller metal box ships. on biohulls: carapace, which has particular weaknesses and strengths dependent on enhancements likely).
There's no need for small ships to be useful in battle for them to have a roll in the game. As long as we have supply lines and blockadable production pooling, there will be lots of roles for long range but less powerful cruisers and subs and destroyers and such. These would generally run away from any big battleships or carriers they ran into when operating alone.Also, as a side and not particularly potent point, I always worry about designs that don't explicitly try to create a combat role for smaller ships, since without doing so it's quite hard to avoid combat becoming a simple big furball of huge ships, which just seems a bit of a waste in my mind. Not that the failings of Moo3 are necessarily a killer to any idea that sounds at all like that, just something to bear in mind.
Also, the current idea everyone has of "size" of ship in a battle being the big important factor needn't necessarily be the case. Rather than having the battleship, cruiser, destroyer roles defined by size of ship, it could just as easily be determined by their equipment. As above, a battleship would have lots of armour and poweful weapons. A destroyer would have great engines and little armour or weapons but good sensors. A cruiser would have decent weapons, a good speed, but little armour. Furthermore, given the above discussed web of tech, there can be lots of variety required between ships in a fleet even without having that variety depend on size or speed or armour types. If direct fire short range weapons, indirect fire long range weapons and fighters are all well balanced, along with the various armour and PD types, then fleets will be quite varied already, even without different classes of ship like destroyer, cruiser, battleship/carrier.