many ships or fewer ships?

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Bastian-Bux
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#46 Post by Bastian-Bux »

by scalable I mean that you dont have hard numbers on how many large ships you can have (or a hard max number).

But to have a hard number of the shipsize summ.

So one race could go for just a few but immense ships, while another could throw literally hundreds of small ships into the battles. Of course the resolution of the small ships should be much worse then of the big ones.

Ranos
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#47 Post by Ranos »

First off, any limits should be dictated by the ammount of pp required to build the ship, the ammount of money required for maintainance per turn, some kind of command points like MOO2 had or a combination of the three. Setting hard caps on anything is, IMO, just ridiculous. It is of course a possibility but not one I want to go with.

@ Bastian

That all sounds good to me.

@ Rob

Fighters are not built individually and fly individually, they are build as part of a larger ship, whether it be a carrier with nothing but fighters or a mutt ship with multiple different weapon types on board. They get launched from the ship at the start of combat. Fighters are counted as a weapon for building purposes but are treated as a ship for combat purposes.

There should be no cap on how many of each size ship there would be either. If a player wants to build nothing but large ships, they can do that. If they want to build nothing but small ships, they can do that. Whatever somebodies preferance is, they should be able to go with it.

I want to see starbases, battlestations or whatever else you want to call them. They should be planet based, not system based and there should be starbases at the starlane exits too. There should definately be multiple allowed per planet and that number should be based on the size of the planet. Moons should also have them. So if there is a planet of size 12 with 3 moons, one size 6, one size 4 and one size 2, that planetary system would be able to have 24 battlestations or maybe make the numbers half the moon size so 12 battlestations. Starlane exits should be able to have 4. Something along those lines anyway.
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iamrobk
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#48 Post by iamrobk »

Ranos wrote:First off, any limits should be dictated by the ammount of pp required to build the ship, the ammount of money required for maintainance per turn, some kind of command points like MOO2 had or a combination of the three. Setting hard caps on anything is, IMO, just ridiculous. It is of course a possibility but not one I want to go with.

@ Rob

Fighters are not built individually and fly individually, they are build as part of a larger ship, whether it be a carrier with nothing but fighters or a mutt ship with multiple different weapon types on board. They get launched from the ship at the start of combat. Fighters are counted as a weapon for building purposes but are treated as a ship for combat purposes.

There should be no cap on how many of each size ship there would be either. If a player wants to build nothing but large ships, they can do that. If they want to build nothing but small ships, they can do that. Whatever somebodies preferance is, they should be able to go with it.

I want to see starbases, battlestations or whatever else you want to call them. They should be planet based, not system based and there should be starbases at the starlane exits too. There should definately be multiple allowed per planet and that number should be based on the size of the planet. Moons should also have them. So if there is a planet of size 12 with 3 moons, one size 6, one size 4 and one size 2, that planetary system would be able to have 24 battlestations or maybe make the numbers half the moon size so 12 battlestations. Starlane exits should be able to have 4. Something along those lines anyway.
I definately agree that hard caps just aren't the way to go. I also agree with your definition of what fighters are, but I think that instead of directing individual fighter groups, you select the carrier and assign it actions, which are taken by it's fighters. Though, I don't strongly stand by that point, and I don't really mind how we control fighters. Also, you seem to suggest I want a cap. I wasn't suggesting a cap, just ideas of how many ships a player could realistically have at the end of the game. I am not sure whether I would like them to be planet based or system based, but system based would be a lot easier to manage and all, IMO. However, I don't think the size fo the planet should dictate how many you can build.

RocketMan
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#49 Post by RocketMan »

You'll have to forgive me if I make a faux pas or two, this is my first post to this forum.

I was always kind of disapointed by the phase of MOOII when there was a ridiculous amount of titan and death star class ships in my armada. It was so much lamer than trying to piece together a battleship or two and accompany them with some complementary smaller vessels. I prefer the idea that a capitol ship is a massive investment, and believe that it would be more fun to have a few ships that count, along with the various smaller classes that fill out the task force.
Ranos wrote: hundreds of ships are stupid to you, but maybe not to others. I'm really not sure what you mean by arcadey since arcade games aren't nearly as complex as a 4x game. Mabye you mean its cheesey, I don't know. As for your unrealistic comment, check out the number of ships the US had in the Pacific during WWII:

http://www.ww2pacific.com/shipcount.html

For those who don't want to go to the linked site, here are the numbers:

BATTLESHIPS : 24
CARRIERS : 97
CRUISERS : 78
DESTROYERS : 725
SUBMARINES : 188
These numbers look correct, however this is for the entire Pacific. If one examines specific battles (ex. Midway), you never see anything this large. The biggest battles I can think of off the top of my head involve a few carriers and their task forces.

Possibly the biggest naval battle of the modern age, in terms of industrial cost, was Jutland, when Britain's Dreadnoughts faces Germany's in World War I. This involves around 30 new battleships, the better part of each countries modern navy. Jutland never really amounted to much as Germany decided to withdrawl, they couldn't afford to lose their entire fleet. What makes Jutland so important, is the fact that these Dreadnoughts made all ships before them totally obsolete. Much like the carrier of WWII, made the battleships obsolete. Each country spent an increadible amount of their budgets to make these ships.

In a game like this, you should be forced to decide when you have the pre-requisit technologies that make a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). Once this has occured you spend a massive portion of your empire's industrial capacity to produce a new fleet, as the older fleets are obsolete. You then must use these vessels within a certain period of time before they themselves will become obsolete.

The way ships were created in MOOIII was perhaps the worst part of the game, each planet pumping out tons of destroyers or frigates. You had to go through each system individually to try and make a useful fleet.

In my view it makes the game much more engrossing if the fleet containing two capital ships you can name, captained by two officers you recognize and commanded by the admiral you promoted win the day in the battle of Vega.

I'm not saying that I disagreed with the Task Force system of MOOIII, it had potential. But it makes it more fun if the newest fanciest ship is a very costly undertaking, even for a massive star empire. Make each ship count, especially the capital ships.

Thats my two cents.

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utilae
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#50 Post by utilae »

iamrobk wrote: I also agree with your definition of what fighters are, but I think that instead of directing individual fighter groups, you select the carrier and assign it actions, which are taken by it's fighters. Though, I don't strongly stand by that point, and I don't really mind how we control fighters.
Yes, fighters should be dynamaic (as Ranos described), while larger ships are static. I also like the idea of fighters attacking based on what the carrier is told to attack (like the protoss carriers in starcraft).
iamrobk wrote: Also, you seem to suggest I want a cap. I wasn't suggesting a cap, just ideas of how many ships a player could realistically have at the end of the game. I am not sure whether I would like them to be planet based or system based, but system based would be a lot easier to manage and all, IMO. However, I don't think the size fo the planet should dictate how many you can build.
If we were to have a cap, I would prefer a cap of X points. A small ship would take up 1 point and a large ship might take up 5 points. So if only 50 points (max) worth of ships can enter a battle, then its either 50 small ships or 10 large ships or some combination of many sizes. This cap would only apply to ships in battle, and would not apply to how many total ships your empire can have.

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Geoff the Medio
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#51 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Don't know if it's been mentioned yet or not, but if there's going to be a fairly low (~50) ship limit per battle / fleet, perhaps this limit should be integrated into the battle / game mechanics in some way, rather than being an arbitrary-seeming hard limit with no in-game explanation or reason.

This could take the form of limit on fleet size / composition that always applies, or could depend on the presence of a specialized enabler ship. The enabler would be something you'd include, perhaps as part of a C&C logistics / command ship which which would permit your other ships to work as a combined fleet. Probably things would work best with a combination of the two, so that you can, for example, have a small fleet with up to 8 points of whatever without requiring an enabler ship, but any larger groups will require one or more enabler ships to function. This would be represented in the UI as requiring a fleet to have an enabler of X power to have more than Y points of ships in it. X and Y would presumably vary in cost with changing tech and time, as well. Also, you'd never be able to make a fleet larger than a certain hard limit (with fluff explanation), perhaps due to diminishing returns of adding more enabler ships.

As a quirk, there could presumably be multiple "fleets" in a single system, but which cannot operate as a single unit, as doing so would make a single fleet that's too big, which would cause bad things to happen (loss of whole fleet?). Rather than fighting in one big battle, these fleets would have to flight separate battles, in parallel or series, with other fleets of other empires. This would allow big numbers of ships, but still limit the number in a single RTS-ish battle (though with some accompanying costs).

Another quirk might be the rather large significance of the enabler / C&C ship to the fleet as a whole. Being able to bypass an enemy's combat ships and destroy his/her enabler ship would perhaps cause similar bad things to happen as above... (eg. loss of fleet). This might be an interesting mechanic to make battles more interesting than an all-out until the last ship's dead slugfest.

As for the fluff... something to do with bringing starship engines too close together in too great numbers might work... Perhaps making reference to the "energy fields" the produce, or the way they bend spacetime.

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skdiw
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#52 Post by skdiw »

How about we just cap battle fleet size by technical specs of a average joe's processing and graphics card power?

As for capping # of ships per empire, I prefer soft cap by cost or maintainence, or by # of planets or shipyards controlled by the player.

In any case, I think we should cap by size of the ships and not by number. So a small ship count as 1 to your total, while a big ship counts as 5.
:mrgreen:

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utilae
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#53 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: Don't know if it's been mentioned yet or not, but if there's going to be a fairly low (~50) ship limit per battle / fleet, perhaps this limit should be integrated into the battle / game mechanics in some way, rather than being an arbitrary-seeming hard limit with no in-game explanation or reason.
I was thinking like Moo2. Though the only difference is that the cap would not apply to ships in your empire, but ships entering a battle. So, like Moo2 maybe starbases produce these points. Of course planets could produce them, whatever suits. Also as you would have guessed the cap would be increasable if you got more starbases (like moo2). 50 was a example number. I would like to see a few hundred ships late game, of course there would be more smaller ships than larger ships, although if someone was able to have only big ships, then good on them.

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Geoff the Medio
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#54 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote:...the cap would not apply to ships in your empire, but ships entering a battle. So, like Moo2 maybe starbases produce these points. Of course planets could produce them
This would be problematic, as the empire with more planets would always have bigger fleet sizes, so would probably always win battles, assuming equilvalent tech levels. The suggestion of enabler ships somewhat reduces this problem. If an enabler ship to get you to your max possible limit is significantly less expensive than the cost of that many ships, two empires with drastically different production capacities (due to significant differences in # of planets or similar reasons) will still have the same strength maximum fleet size, so individual battles between individual fleets will be roughly evenly matched.

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skdiw
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#55 Post by skdiw »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
utilae wrote:...the cap would not apply to ships in your empire, but ships entering a battle. So, like Moo2 maybe starbases produce these points. Of course planets could produce them
This would be problematic, as the empire with more planets would always have bigger fleet sizes, so would probably always win battles, assuming equilvalent tech levels. The suggestion of enabler ships somewhat reduces this problem. If an enabler ship to get you to your max possible limit is significantly less expensive than the cost of that many ships, two empires with drastically different production capacities (due to significant differences in # of planets or similar reasons) will still have the same strength maximum fleet size, so individual battles between individual fleets will be roughly evenly matched.
Yeah, I kinda like some sort of max cap so the fate of the entire game isn't just dependent on one final showdown. The larger empire still have the upperhand by splitting the fleet and attack on multiple fronts, while the defending player isn't totally wiped-out so he can comeback with counters.
:mrgreen:

Ranos
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#56 Post by Ranos »

The thing I hated most about the MOO3 combat system was it's caps on how many TFs could be in one battle. I understand the need for it but don't like it. It was made worse be the fact that any TFs that weren't involved in the battle were just able to waltz right past the system and wreak havock on your undefended systems.

If we have some kind of a cap on the number of ships/TFs allowed in a single battle, then one of two things need to be done. One, any ships/TFs not involved in the battle can stay in the system or return to the planet they came from, but they may not use a different starlane to get to another planet. Two, have multiple battles, until there is only one side left standing. Say there are 50 TFs invading a system defended by 50 TFs. The first battle involves 10 TFs from each side. The battle ends with the attackers TFs being destroyed and the defender is down to 4 TFs that are at 60% strength. Battle two brings in 10 new attacker TFs and 6 new defender TFs and uses the four remaining TFs from the first battle. This would go on until all ships were lost.

Retreating from the battle could work one of two ways. When you tell your forces to retreat from the battle, all of your TFs, including the ones not in the battle, retreat back to the system they came from. The other way is to have your forces retreat from the battle and then you have the option of entering combat again with reinforcements or retreating from the system entirely. This would add the reinforcement depth that some people, including myself, desire and give the cap to the number of ships/TFs allowed per battle.

If there is a cap on the number of ships allowed per battle, I think it should be a hard cap with no explaination other than to say that a cap is needed to prevent people's video cards from exploding. Or something to that effect.

If there is a cap on the number of ships allowed per empire, it should be similar to MOO2's with the command structure with ship building costs as a factor as well.
Rocketman wrote:Possibly the biggest naval battle of the modern age, in terms of industrial cost, was Jutland, when Britain's Dreadnoughts faces Germany's in World War I. This involves around 30 new battleships, the better part of each countries modern navy. Jutland never really amounted to much as Germany decided to withdrawl, they couldn't afford to lose their entire fleet. What makes Jutland so important, is the fact that these Dreadnoughts made all ships before them totally obsolete. Much like the carrier of WWII, made the battleships obsolete. Each country spent an increadible amount of their budgets to make these ships.
Yes, but this is a battle taking place on a single planet in a relatively small area of one of the vast oceans on the planet. Space is a much larger scale and more than likely, battles will be much larger scale too.
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iamrobk
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#57 Post by iamrobk »

Well, again, that is a debatable opinion, Ranos, and is all up to personal preferance.

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utilae
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#58 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: The suggestion of enabler ships somewhat reduces this problem. If an enabler ship to get you to your max possible limit is significantly less expensive than the cost of that many ships, two empires with drastically different production capacities (due to significant differences in # of planets or similar reasons) will still have the same strength maximum fleet size, so individual battles between individual fleets will be roughly evenly matched.
I do like the idea of a ship that raises the cap for max ships in a battle. Maybe you could build a command center in a ship to raise the cap. So you would decide whether you want to get rid of some weapons and use that space for the command center, which will allow more ships.

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#59 Post by iamrobk »

utilae wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote: The suggestion of enabler ships somewhat reduces this problem. If an enabler ship to get you to your max possible limit is significantly less expensive than the cost of that many ships, two empires with drastically different production capacities (due to significant differences in # of planets or similar reasons) will still have the same strength maximum fleet size, so individual battles between individual fleets will be roughly evenly matched.
I do like the idea of a ship that raises the cap for max ships in a battle. Maybe you could build a command center in a ship to raise the cap. So you would decide whether you want to get rid of some weapons and use that space for the command center, which will allow more ships.
I think if we do have caps, building/upgrading command centers or whatever would be cool, but I think that they should be on planets, not on the ships....

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#60 Post by RocketMan »

In reference to my earlier discussion on some battle sizes in WW I & II,
Ranos wrote: Yes, but this is a battle taking place on a single planet in a relatively small area of one of the vast oceans on the planet. Space is a much larger scale and more than likely, battles will be much larger scale too.
The concept that I'm shooting for is that no matter what, a large capitol ship of the most modern kind is terribly expensive. Why should this change for a star-empire? It would just mean that the ship requires a large portion of a planets resources as opposed to say a citys. As the game progresses, so should the cost of a state of the art vessel.

The reason I would shoot for this is that IMHO the game would be more rewarding if you had a personal stake in each vessel. You designed it, you waited for it to be built, you assigned captain so-and-so to command it (a feature I loved in MOOII, but that was almost forgotten as the game went on towards end-game), you launced it to protect Vega from the evil Zarlons, and you directed it in battle.

The basic way battle was presented in MOOIII wasn't bad. It was rough, unfinished and not worthy of sale, but the concept was ok. Ships do operate in TFs, MOOII had a simplistic version of combat that became unsatisfying after time. Perhaps the way to look at combat isn't a hard cap, that would feel arbitrary. Consider though the task of an admiral in charge of a ton of vessels, the job would be overly complex. What I would like to see is more of a natural economic limiter on number of vessels. Perhaps it also might be usefull to filter out ships that are so technologically inferior that their effects on the battle are minuscule.

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