General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

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

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Message
Author
User avatar
Odi
Space Floater
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:52 am
Location: Germany

#31 Post by Odi » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:14 pm

don't forget that many people love huge, epic battles, thats why many people complained about Total War games [setting troopsize to 500 men was a little approach, but it still missed an epic feeling]... and with a semi-tb/rt engine (like BotF) and a handling-system similiar to MoO3 it won't be too difficult to realize.

Not that I don't liked MoO2 battles, it was more tactical (each ship and it's design was really important)... but it missed the epic feeling... and having a huge empire and just such "tiny" battles doesn't really demonstrate your empire-power :-)
zaba zaba zud zud

User avatar
Daveybaby
Small Juggernaut
Posts: 724
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:07 am
Location: Hastings, UK

#32 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:43 pm

drek wrote:
And i hope youre not suggesting that the stack of corvettes gets magically refilled as it 'heals' (e.g. MoM units)
Er, why not? Again, that's how it works in hw2.

If the unit's still "alive" then so are the pilots, the repair crews, etc. Ships that are "destoryed" in tactical combat probably aren't utterly incinerated.
Eeeep. That just seems wrong to me on so many levels - if you see the ship blow up (in a no doubt impressive graphical firework display) then surely the pilots ARE dead, and the ships ARE utterly destroyed. And if 9 out of ten ships are destroyed the unit can be healed, but if all ten go then its all over? - its just one of those things that transcends the realism argument to destroy the sense of believability. A personal preference, i guess.

Heh, all youre convincing me of here, is to not buy HW2 :wink:
The COW Project : You have a spy in your midst.

User avatar
Prokonsul Piotrus
Space Kraken
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: Poland, Europe, Earth, Sol

Re: General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

#33 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:46 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote: A) Should space combat be abstracted to the point where you merely manourve your fleets on the galaxy map and give them some generalized battle plans, and when you actually engage another fleet, the result is simulated / calculated and displayed, without any player control of the battle?

My thoughts: I assume most people would rather not abstract combat to this degree. That said, it may be beneficial to do so, especially for multiplayer games. A natural conclusion is to have both options, much like Master of Magic. We could then allow players to pick how to resolve each individual battle in single player, resolve all inter-AI battles the quick way, and resolve all multiplayer battles the quick way.
I am all for big abstraction here. Having total control is fun at first, but with more ships it gets very tiring (MOO2, SE3/4). And for multiplayer games it is a killer. If we can, we should have two options like in SE4 (as I said many times, let's have the cake and eat it!). If not, I vote for combat abstraction (battle done WITHOUT player being able to interfere in them after they begin) as in Stars!/SE4 simultaneus movement variant.

B) Assuming a non-abstracted combat system, should fleet battles be turn based (eg. Advance Wars), real time (starcraft), or some sort of pausible or discrete time-chunk hybrid of turn based and real-time, perhaps like Baldur's Gate battles?

My thoughts: I'm not keen on purely turn based. Running the simulation for 20 seconds, then pausing for 5 to give orders, then 20 seconds more, etc. might be workable...
The ideal would be Homworld based 3d pausable system. Since it would be ATM very hard to do, I guess a 2d realtime would be best - aka MOO3 I think. Two notes here:
- there will always be turns, if we go for RTS they will be called seconds or so. After all, weapons have reload speeds, ships have 'speed per unit' factors and stuff.
- if we go with battle abstraction, I'd like to be able to view the battle progress with all details (assuming my ships have FTL coms or survived). One thing that annoyed me in early SE4 and MOO3 was that I had very little clues WHAT exactly happend in my battle. In other words, I want to be able to analyze the battle up to smallest details - as in what damages my ships, when, and how does that affect AI decisions.
C) If battles are semi, or fully real time, how much player control of ships / ship groups / task forces should be allowed / required? Should the player be able to give RTS-style orders, or would they be limited to observing the battle and giving general orders like "flank", "retreat", "protect carriers", "search for subs" and such.

My thoughts: not giving significant player control would probably be frustrating... no strong opinion though.
In all bigger multiplayers that would be impossible. Imagine an average Stars-number game (10-16 players), one turn per day - how can they observe their battles in the same time?! Once a battle begin, players are hands off. Or there is no multiplayer.

If I want a full battle control I will go with some space battle simulator, not a 4X multiplayer game (and I think FO is supposed to be that, right?).
D) What is the general "pace" of ship combat? Is the battle a ranging chaotic melee, or a sporadic game of cat and mouse fleet manourvres where actually firing on enemy vessels is only happening for a small fraction of the time? (This mostly applies to non TBS systems)

My thoughts: I find a battle system focused on manourvers rather than details of chaotic fighting appealing. This might be problematic though, in that it would tend to make battles take quite a bit longer... If there aren't as many "special abilities" on ships as, say, Warcraft III units that need player-clickage to activate, a ranging melee might be a better way to go.
I'd ask first: how long is a turn? How big part of a turn the battle take? Would the tech we 'invent' resolve the battles in few seconds or few days?

Anyway, I think your question is should be formulated: should average battles take less then one turn or more?

And the question of details vs. manourvers will depend on tech and AI/player strategy anyway I think.
E) Should there be in-battle terrain? Asteroid belts, planets, moons, the star, spatial anomoalies etc. This applies to both RTS and TBS, but is actually more important for a TBS system, imo. This could also include gravity-wells from planets influencing ship movement, and specific locations for starlanes that your ships need to be at to retreat.

Me: I'd like to have terrain... as much of it as possible.
Sure, as long as we find a way for it to be logical. For example in SE4 planets were as big as few ships. Rather idiotic, if you ask me.

What is the scale of the battlefield? Can you fit planet or stars into it?
F) How many ships in a battle? Someone had a thread about this a while ago... Basically, are fleets composed of dozens or hundreds of ships?

Me: I'd prefer dozens at most. Makes each ship worth something, and combat more understandable.
Basically yes, but it would have to be carefuly balanced - and I don't know any 4X game where in the end you didn't have megafleets. Even Moo2 and SE4, where in the begining every ship is a very expensive commodity, due to major PP increases later in the mid-late game allow megafleets. I don't think it is possible to avoid that...
G) How "solid" do ships feel? Do ships blow up when hit by a few missiles, or do they take a beating and keep on ticking? After a ship is severely damaged, is it basically "dead in the water" (unable to move, fire, aid in the battle, capturable after the battle), or does it blow up?

Me: I'd like ships to be damaged, not destroyed, in most cases. Damage knocks out weapons, shielding, propulsion, sensors, etc, but unless you've got a really huge weapon and are attacking a really tiny ship, the ship shouldn't actually be completely destroyed in most cases. Based ship survivability on size mighit also be reasonable. Consider a star destroyer and an x-wing. The star destroyer is unlikely to be destroyed by weapons fire alone, as it's really huge. Weapons fire can knock out its shields, bridge control, weapons, propulsion, etc, but the superstructure of the ship is essentially undamaged. Conversely, an x-wing (which is a fighter, not a "ship" in the same sense, I know) blows up when shot a few times. This might also depend on whether a ship has armour or shielding / pd, what class of hull (bio, metal, energy...) and such. As well, "mean" races might blow up ships often, whereas "nice" races / empires would more likely disable ships and take prisoners.
The bigger the ship, the bigger its weapons. A star destroyer should be able to turn its mirror image into a wreck, and some critical damage should be able to vaporise it - for example when its energy generator is damaged, resulting in anti-matter breakdown and stuff.

I dont mind wrecks, ships broken in two etc. but I am pretty sure many would be simply evaporated, no mattert their size.
H) How long should combat take? Should combat from one turn roll over into the next turn if not completed on time? Is combat real-time or compressed-time, so that a minute of combat game time is "really" an hour / day of game-time.

I'd like combat to be as quick as possible for multiplayer, but as not-twitch as possible in general. I'm not keen on combat rolling over between turns... it seems a bit silly, though mainly for realism reasons (combat takes an hour, a turn is a month, why do you only fight an hour a month? No reasonable amount of time compression can avoid this issue). Perhaps combat could be resolved RTS / TBS style for up to a time limit, after which the auto-resolve takes over. This would obviously be frustrating / unfair in some cases, however...

Simple. If a turn is a month, then the combat should be played with no turn limit. The end is when one side is destroyed, surrenders or finds a way to retreat (reasonably, please no 'retread 5 hexes to the battlefield edge and is gone forever' stupidity).
I) How much detail should be involved? Should ships have ammo, numbers of crew, damage to specific systems or general damage, fuel, etc.? Should this information be persistant between battles?

Me: Selected detail is probably a good idea. I like between turn retained ammo numbers (meaning supply routes), and sustained damage to ships.
The more details the merrier. Of course, if I don't want to see them I shouldn't have. There should be several layers of information, from short note on battle result to the very detailed view with all those detailed and reports available.
Image

drek
Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#34 Post by drek » Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:03 pm

its just one of those things that transcends the realism argument to destroy the sense of believability. A personal preference, i guess.
*shrug*

The entire premise of moo (and hw for that matter) is cartoonishly unrealistic.

Most games (esp. the really fun ones) are utterly and unapologetically unrealistic. Super Mario bros., pac-man, MoM, and moo2 spring to mind.
For example in SE4 planets were as big as few ships. Rather idiotic, if you ask me.
Using a even a semi-realistic scale will result in an incredibly unwieldy UI. Planet/star sprites probably will be around the same size as ships (or perhaps somewhat larger)...not nothing resembling a realistic scale.

User avatar
Prokonsul Piotrus
Space Kraken
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: Poland, Europe, Earth, Sol

#35 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:19 pm

1. On the horror of self-refilling stacks.

There is a simple solution. Stacks that 'look' same don't have same power.

As in Stars! or SE4, beside the 'stack' pic there is a number of units in it. So units inside it get damage and cannot be 'repaired' after a unit is totally destroyed. The purpose of such stack is thus to reduce clutter on 2d maps.

I can't imagine a 3d stacks. And I hope never to see a 'corvette-thingy' rise appear from nowhere. Please, I understand that ships can auto-repair, but unless the fleet is equipped with mobile space yard, it cannot create new ships/fighters/stuff from thin air!

2. On some rules and Honorverse

SapphireWyvern, while I totally agree that Honorverse is very informative, it is in fact possible to make a game based on those 'hard physic' rules. Aside from Full Throtle boardgame mods, there r ppl working on a comp game using 'real physics rules' here, but I couldn't Google it today - will have to ask on the Baen's forums (bar.baen.com) if you need the link. I did find a FT Java client page with some nice pics though. Perhaps we can use some of those ideas? I have to admit that I'd love to be able to recreate Honorverse battles in FO :)

Btw, just a while ago I found a SE4 graphic shipset and AI files for Manticore. Perhaps some of you find it useful (or just plain fun :D). Ummm. I guess I am getting too OT, so I will stop now :)
Image

User avatar
Prokonsul Piotrus
Space Kraken
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: Poland, Europe, Earth, Sol

#36 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:30 pm

drek wrote: Using a even a semi-realistic scale will result in an incredibly unwieldy UI. Planet/star sprites probably will be around the same size as ships (or perhaps somewhat larger)...not nothing resembling a realistic scale.
You should be able to chose if you want to fight near a planet (which assumes its planetary and orbital weapns can target/support you, and you can target it), or not. Such choice should be easy to make (like a question in MOO2, or a fleet position in hex star system as in SE4).

If a battle takes place near a big object like planet or a star, why not have the 'star background' be the 'planet/star' background? If the fight is in 3d engine, the planet/star can take one of the dimentions/walls of the battlefield as well.

Setting aside realism arguments, the problem with Moos/SEs was that there was a limited number of ships that could approach the planet and exchange fire - due to the number of ships per battlefield hex limits. THAT is what I call stupid and hope to avoid in FO.
Image

User avatar
utilae
Cosmic Dragon
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:37 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

#37 Post by utilae » Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:33 pm

Realism aside and game balance issues aside, what do people think of the idea of phased real time combat that combines both 2d and 3d.

Phased real time being where all players give orders while combat is paused. Then when all players are done, space combat plays out in real time for X seconds. Then back to giving orders.

I would include the feature that if space combat hit the X second mark then combat continues next turn. So space combat would last X seconds per turn and would always last a consistant amount of time.

Giving orders would be a 2D or Isometric view, or a 3D isometric view (camera locked but rotatable).

The bit where the battle plays out in real time would be 3D. So the real time part would be like watching a movie (since you wouldn't be giving orders or doing anything during this time), the 3D movie feel would definately make it feel eipc.

Plus it would be easy to play, no annoying 3D controls, because the bit where the controls are used is in 2D, Isomtric or 3D Isometric. This kinda of space combat would have a relaxed pace and be fun to play.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12564
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

#38 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:22 am

Daveybaby wrote:The point is, IF you are going to design a combat engine which is geared towards a certain scale of combat (i.e. above a certain number of ships it becomes unwieldy), then you can guarantee that someone will want to exceed that number (probably by an order of magnitude in some cases).
Is this really a problem? The idea would be to make a smaller number of ships the most cost effective battle force you're able to produce. This doesn't mean we have to prohibit the player from making larger fleets... just that they wouldn't have any reason to do so intentionally most of the time (and varioius reasons not to).
Players are going to have FAR more ships around in their empire than you want want to limit them to for the scale of combat which is being discussed.

... unless you are going to try to restrict an empires total fleets to the maximum allowed per combat (which would be ridiculous)

So you HAVE to plan for that eventuality, and pick a way of dealing with it when it happens.
I'm not saying we shouldn't plan for the eventuality... I'm saying that we could set up the system to favour one situation or the other (lots of ships or few ships). If the other situation happens to occur, then there's no problems... unless we run into memory / processor speed limits, which I don't think are really an issue at this point.
So if you have 1 carrier, 12 frigates, 6 destroyers and 4 battleships, the game has a think and decides something like:
1 group of 1 carrier
4 groups of 3 frigates
3 groups of 2 destroyers
2 groups of 2 battleships
= 10 groups
This strikes me as somewhat odd... it appears that the only type of battle-group recognized by the combat system would be ones with all of the same ship in them. Some types of ships work like this (battlecruisers maybe), but most ships work better in mixed groups with a few ships designed for each role. IMO the in-battle UI groupings should (at least be able to) reflect this.
drek wrote:If a unit of small ships costs the same to produce as a single capital ship, then we can balance things so that a fully built up industial planet is only able to produce a single unit (or two) at a time of the present tech level.
We could also balance things so that a fully built up planet would be used to make your battleships, carriers etc, while your smaller planets (systems?) would produce the lower-cost destroyers, subs, scanners etc.

I don't see what the real purpose of these groups is... we already have fleets of ships... and could easily categorize the contents of the fleet by ship roles for display on the galaxy map / fleets window.

In battle, I don't expect that multiple smaller ships will always work as a tight team... they'd likely spread out around the big ships / search for enemy fleets as many semiautonomous ships, not as a clumped group of ships. Small ships generally wouldn't be used to fight big ships, unless that's all you had to fight with, in which case an RTS-like control group could be easily made by drag-selecting a bunch of ships and giving them an order all at once.
Above limit X, units are sent to the reserves and do not pop out until some of your other unit have died.
Please no "reserves". Ships are built at a specific location, so should appear at that location. If you want to limit how many ships are in play to be tracked and such, then just limit how many ships can be built. This has the same effect with respect to hardware limitations, but doesn't have the various issues to deal with regarding reserves and problems with them.
Since small ships are grouped into units, it's still a viable strategy to use small ships. Otherwise, (as with most games with ships caps) big ships rule the roost.
Making using small ships a viable strategy is not dependent on using groups. The cap on number of ships you have just shouldn't be based on number of ships (or groups thereof). Instead, it should be based on ship cost or something similar, so you'd still want to build a few smaller ships even when limited by the cap.

There are also things that small ships can do other than just directly fighting the big ships. Cutting of supply lines or hit-and-run attacks could be employed.
...the actual number of ships is fluff as far as the strategic side of the game is concerned.
The fluff is the whole point of the question with regard to rough typical # of ships in battles.
I'm saying one Unit of corvettes ought to be about as useful as one Unit of frigates, which ought to be as useful as one Unit of Capital ships.
Again, "useful" doesn't always mean just blowing stuff up. You don't need a battleship to carry a sensor array or to catch a supply ship.
emrys wrote:I'd personally say 20+ ships is more than the player is going to be reasonably able to cope with, no matter how well designed the game interface, since twenty separate objects is just too many to mentally track. The vast majority of players would just lump those together in some way (e.g. battle line=4Battleships, screen = 3 destroyers + 2 sensors, rear= 5 carriers+ C&C, flank attack = 1battleship+2 destroyers, pickets = 3 sensors,others= 2 special ships, ie. 6 groups. I think it's not a bad idea to design the combat system such that it supports and encourages this kind of thing.
No objection. Task forces as subdivisions of control within a fleet are fine. It's being forced to build in groups that bothers me.

And 20 things is too much to keep track of?! We're talking effectively turn based (phased time) combat here. 20 units in easy to keep track of.
drek wrote:In FO, the homeworld is dramtically better than other colonies, at least at the start of the game. This is intentional, so that the player can afford our big buildings at the start of the game. Incidently, it also means that empires will be able to afford to build a big ship at the start of the game.
Not necessarily. The cost of building a tiny ship could be more than even a homeworld can do several times over simultaneously at the start of a game. Industry tech could later change this. Alternatively, the starting shipyard's capacity might be very very small, so you can't spend the whole production of the homeworld on ships. We probably shouldn't have the homeworld able to build more than one ship at a time at the start, as this would mean that you could explore everywhere at once.
Daveybaby wrote:
drek wrote:If the unit's still "alive" then so are the pilots, the repair crews, etc. Ships that are "destoryed" in tactical combat probably aren't utterly incinerated.
Eeeep. That just seems wrong to me on so many levels - if you see the ship blow up (in a no doubt impressive graphical firework display) then surely the pilots ARE dead, and the ships ARE utterly destroyed. And if 9 out of ten ships are destroyed the unit can be healed, but if all ten go then its all over? - its just one of those things that transcends the realism argument to destroy the sense of believability. A personal preference, i guess.
Agree with Davebaby.

As far as I can see, there's no benefit to making groups of ships work as a single unit. I have no problem with getting a discount for orders multiple copies of the same ship at the same time, but anything involving magically repairing ships that were destroyed seems silly. Similarly, not being able to split up a group of ships to do separate things is annoying. Maybe I want to explore two places this turn, and use half of the 10 ships I built to explore to each... but I can't? Maybe I have two fleets that need some scanner ships, but all I have is a group of 10, so I can't split them up? That sucks!

Obviously this type of argument can be declared to be based on realism, and ignored, but it seems to be the most relevant point to me, since I don't see any benefits on the other side to outweight it.
drek wrote:*shrug*

The entire premise of moo (and hw for that matter) is cartoonishly unrealistic.
Internally self consistent is different from "unrealistic". In this case, you have to build ships at shipyards... you can't make a ship in the middle of nowhere by "repairing" empty space. As such, you shouldn't be able to regenerate lost ships of a group by repairing. (yeah they could be only out of commision, not destroyed, etc. that's not the point)
utilae wrote:...what do people think of the idea of phased real time combat that combines both 2d and 3d.
Geoff the Medio wrote:It looks like "pulsed" or "phased" or pausible (or forced-interval pausing) real time combat is popular. Perhaps we should focus on other issues with that in mind...?
Was at end of page 1, at end of long post... maybe it was missed. Certainly not official in any sense, but that's the impression I got from the replies on page 1.

drek
Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#39 Post by drek » Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:53 am

Please no "reserves". Ships are built at a specific location, so should appear at that location. If you want to limit how many ships are in play to be tracked and such, then just limit how many ships can be built. This has the same effect with respect to hardware limitations, but doesn't have the various issues to deal with regarding reserves and problems with them.
Battlefield reserves, like in Total War.

There's no way the graphics engine can have infinite ships on the tactical field, so there will have to be a cap on the number of units in combat.
don't see what the real purpose of these groups is... we already have fleets of ships... and could easily categorize the contents of the fleet by ship roles for display on the galaxy map / fleets window.
Both you and davey are failing to understand the premise. Probably my fault for explaining in terms of ship numbers.

It doesn't matter if there's 1 ship, 5 ships, 20 ships, or 200 ships in a single unit. It doesn't matter if the squadron breaks when it attacks on a tactical level.

The important thing is that it cost nearly the same to build a scout unit, a corvette unit, a frigate unit, and a capital ships unit. Or rather, that the build and maintaince costs are in the same ballpark. Meaning if a scout ship costs 200, a battleship might cost 1000. If a scout ship costs 5 and a battleship costs 1000, the results are: an incredibly screwed up build queue, more clutter on the galaxy map, the typical 4x game problems in balancing small ships vs. large, and a confusing counterintuitive "point system" for dragging ships in and out of the battlefield reserves.
In battle, I don't expect that multiple smaller ships will always work as a tight team... they'd likely spread out around the big ships / search for enemy fleets as many semiautonomous ships, not as a clumped group of ships. Small ships generally wouldn't be used to fight big ships, unless that's all you had to fight with, in which case an RTS-like control group could be easily made by drag-selecting a bunch of ships and giving them an order all at once.
Try out hw2 to see how it plays out in practice. There are also movies and screenshots of hw2 gameplay.

Of course smaller ships need to be able to fight larger ships. Building small ships exclusively ought to be a viable strategy.

I'll shut up about it for now. This stuff doesn't need to be decided until v.4.

User avatar
Ellestar
Space Squid
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:39 am
Location: Russian Federation, Moscow

#40 Post by Ellestar » Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:15 pm

emrys wrote:I.e. It's a lot easier to keep a game balanced that has a small ship built in fives costing 5 and taking 5 turns and a large ship costing 6 and taking 6 turns, but having about 6/5th the firepower etc. The balance of the game is unlikely to be utterly critical on exactly how the various aspects of large vs small ships (e.g. survivability, maneuverability, ability to be in multiple places, player's willingness to wait longer for better value) work out.
Don't forget about fragmentation adjustment.

Group Power=HP*DPS*N^2 (no focus fire)
Group Power=HP*DPS*(N*(N+1)/2) (focus fire)
(highest power wins)

HP - hitpoints of one unit
DPS - damage per second of one unit
N - number of units

So if 1 corvette has a power of 1, then 5 corvettes have a power of 1*1*(5*6/2)=15 (focus fire, battleship kills 1st corvette then second etc.)
Battleship with 4x HP and 4x DPS compared to a corvette will have a power of 4*4*(1*2/2)=16

Now with 15 corvettes and 3 battleships.
15 corvettes have a power of 1*1*(15*16/2)=120
3 battleships have a power of 4*4*(3*4/2)=96

So no matter what bigger units are more powerful in small numbers (perhaps then they're just researched and empires don't have a good production power to make big fleets). Also, they don't suffer from attrition that much (say, in the first battle you'll get almost destroyed battleship that will be repaired and 5 corvettes will be lost, even if corvettes will be slightly stronger, then say 4 corvettes will be lost so economically it's more like a draw than a victory).

So i think that it's critical.
emrys wrote:I think the solution to this is to intelligently 'compress the dynamic range' of ship sizes. As we open up larger ship sizes, and hence increase the range of the balancing act, we should introduce techs that give the player fairly no-brain* options to build smaller ships in squadrons that act and are built as a single unit, thus narrowing the range a bit (and also allowing us to concentrate more on ensuring similar era otions are balanced, rather than trying to balance across the whole span of the game).

*No-brain in the sense that e.g. a squadron of five has the same combat ability as five singles, but costs only 4 times as much and takes 4 times as long, so essentially nobody will build singles anymore.
It's a good idea (i thought about it myself too), but then you must balance a game as if a player always researchs this technology. So it becomes a "denying" tech - if you don't have it, then you can't effectively use small ships. That reduces strategic options of a player so IMHO it's bad.
Maybe it's better to make some kind of Doctrine like in HoI that gives an ability to build bigger hull size and squadrons of smaller ships. That way, a player will have more flexibility.

User avatar
Ellestar
Space Squid
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:39 am
Location: Russian Federation, Moscow

Re: General Issues / "Feel" of Space Battles

#41 Post by Ellestar » Sat Aug 14, 2004 12:37 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote: Specific Issues:
A) No.

B) Semi-Real Time. It's more realistic and IMHO it's easier to write a good AI.

C) Full control

D) 50% of the time Maneuvers 50% Battle+Maneuvers

E) Yes

F) No more than 12 groups of ships (not including non-combat ships or support ships with warp intredictors, ECM/ECCM etc. that doesn't need direct control)

H) I think that ships should destroy equal opposition in 20-30 seconds of attacking (real time) on average.

I) I like detailed and persistent information within a turn. But ships should be replenished automatically unless blockaded (perhaps it should increase fleet maintenance accordingly to damage and range from a resupply base).
Geoff the Medio wrote:As well, "mean" races might blow up ships often, whereas "nice" races / empires would more likely disable ships and take prisoners.
Of course not! Evil races will take prisoners and tortue them to get technologies and useful information about enemy planets, fleets etc.

User avatar
Ellestar
Space Squid
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 7:39 am
Location: Russian Federation, Moscow

#42 Post by Ellestar » Sat Aug 14, 2004 1:30 pm

drek wrote:
And i hope youre not suggesting that the stack of corvettes gets magically refilled as it 'heals' (e.g. MoM units)
Er, why not? Again, that's how it works in hw2.

If the unit's still "alive" then so are the pilots, the repair crews, etc. Ships that are "destoryed" in tactical combat probably aren't utterly incinerated.
So then the last ship is "destroyed" in tactical combat, then all damaged ships in this squad immediately blow up in frustation? Either squad (or a single ship for that matter) must be fully repaired after a victory or it shouldn't be repaired at all.

I think that auto grouping is much better.

drek
Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#43 Post by drek » Sat Aug 14, 2004 1:51 pm

So then the last ship is "destroyed" in tactical combat, then all damaged ships in this squad immediately blow up in frustation? Either squad (or a single ship for that matter) must be fully repaired after a victory or it shouldn't be repaired at all.
When/if ground combat gets into game, will each individual soldier be a game object? Each tank? Each jeep? How about tanks that are the size of a corvette? When these units "heal", where's the extra manpower/tanks/whatever coming from?

If Petty Officer Jones on Battleship X dies, should we model finding his replacement? If a battleship loses most of it's hitpoints in combat, do we really care where the material is coming from to repair it?

For carriers with fighters, if a fighter or three is lost do we really want to bother the player with the details involved in replacing those fighters? How about ships that carry giant, fighter sized missles?

Treating a group of indivdual military entities as a single cohesive unit is par for course in wargames.

If damage types that can't be repaired in the field are desired, then include critical damage. If a ship in a squadron (or a fighter on a carrier) is destroyed the damage would be "critical" and must be repaired at a shipyard.

Tobi-Bo
Space Krill
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:09 am

#44 Post by Tobi-Bo » Sat Aug 14, 2004 2:28 pm

Who-ho, this is getting too far, I guess. Ground combat is not comparable to space combat. On a corvette there are at least 50 men (and women) on board. A marine unit has maybe 50 men, too.

But why don't we take Total War as a good example again : after a combat, where some squadrons were partially destroyed the remaining ships of one squadron are refilled by the remaining ships of the second squad. On the other hand you can make a battleship slowly repairing itself f.i. the time it would take to build a new corvette it repairs itself 1/20. Hope you understand what I mean :?

By the way, another topic: on a different poll the refill of archer ships has been discussed and it seemed to me a quite good idea. But the same should be with carriers, in my opinion. For refilling carriers with bombers and fighters you could use the distance to the next fighter base. (I hates it the way MoO3 did it, where there were unlimited fighters on a carrier!!)

drek
Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#45 Post by drek » Sat Aug 14, 2004 3:00 pm

A marine unit has maybe 50 men, too.
I doubt we'll ever explictly state how many troops are in each ground unit. But 50 is probably off by a factor of 10,000 to 100,000.
(I hates it the way MoO3 did it, where there were unlimited fighters on a carrier!!)
I dislike hassleing the player with no-brain decisions in the name of realism. Fighters (and missles and ammo) should more or less automatically replenish.

Post Reply