Geoff the Medio wrote:It keeps all fighters on a given ship the same.
Obviously. Although that can also be achieved by allowing just one type of hanger on a design.
Nevertheless, that's a major point why I dislike it, I find that unnecessarily restrictive. Once I have access to hulls with lots of internal slots, I'd want to be able to keep the mixture of fighters of my choice on a single carrier, than to have to build a dedicated carrier for each single fighter type I want to deploy. That actually makes things more tedious for me as a player - more different designs to maintain, having to deploy several carriers where I could do with just one. Some players might prefer it that way, but others might want to use a different approach. By forcing carriers to carry only one type of fighters, we needlessly take away choices from the player (IMO).
If different hangar parts have different weapons strengths, then the various fighters from a ship are different, and there's a bunch of extra stats to keep track of for the player and for the game (ie. which hangar did a fighter come from, instead of which ship).
I think here you've lost me. I can't see how your approach makes things any easier/simpler for the player to keep track of. On the coding side things will be a bit more complex, but that will be more than worth it for not having to sacrifice choices, flexibility, and last but not least, intuitivity. The current setup with the fighter weapon as a ship part of the carrier is very counter-intuitive.
As a player, I won't have to keep track of from which hangar a fighter comes from. I won't even keep track of from which ship it comes - why on earth should I? Fighter launch and recovery is done automatically, so only the game engine has to keep track of these things. What other extra stats do you have in mind? I can't think of any off the top of my hat.
What I actually do
have to keep track of is more different type of carriers if each carrier can only carry one type of fighter. Don't get me wrong, building carriers with only one type of fighter definitely has some advantages of its own, can and should be a viably strategy. But as a player I want the choice
From a players POV I'd actually prefer
to have the hangar part and the fighter weapon part combined, instead of split in two. More intuitive and simpler.
-Having just one stat per part means only one meter - the capacity - determines the strength or function of the part. This means the standard combination of capacity meter and max capacity meter (eg. for upgrades or replenishment by resupply) works the same.
I can see where that keeps the code simpler, but again, from a players perspective? Not at all. As the system is currently set up, players hardly keep track of meters on the ship part level. If those meters are paired is practically hidden from the player.
So what if we introduce parts that actually have two paired meters? Right now the only difference for the player is that those two meters (fighter storage capacity and fighter weapon strength) is provided by two different ship parts (which for most use cases need to be placed together on a design to work as intended, meaning, we more or less have a multi-part ship part at hand, something we'd always tried to avoid?), instead of one. Meaning, on the ships level, the player has to deal with both stats anyway, and the way these stats are presented to the player on ship and fleet level it makes absolutely no difference if those stats are provided by one or two parts "under the hood".
Actually, most of the time the player deals with combat stats on the fleet (or even system) level. That's why we have summary stats for fleets. And with fighters, we're going to need a new stat icon that displays the total number of fighters in a fleet, with a tootip breakdown detailing how many of each fighter type (=fighters with a specific weapon strength) are present in a fleet. I definitely don't
want to go counting how many of each type of carrier I have in a fleet (and, if I'm not in supply range, how much fighters each one still carries), to get an idea of the state of my fighter force.
What I'm getting at, as far as I can see now, it's almost completely irrelevant for the player if you have one type of part providing two stats or two parts each providing one stat. If anything, as already stated above, having extra parts for each stat makes things more complicated and less intuitive to use in this case, especially when designing carriers.
Besides the restriction to one fighter type per carrier the counter-intuitive aspect of the current approach bothers me most. I mean, I have to place a fighter
weapon as a ship
part on a ship
design - ugh. That's one more case where taking the "no realism" concept to the extreme actually backfired IMO. Because for me that again goes beyond the point where it breaks immersion. Even if the solution were "technically" simple and elegant (which, see above, I don't think it is), it's not "aesthetically". Sure, we can come up with fluff explanations for probably anything, but from a game design perspective it still looks kind of ugly.
I'd expect new players to be confused at first about how those parts are intended to work together. I definitely would be.
And finally, having to place three
different types of parts on a design for fighters to work, besides the counter-intuitivity, will make things even harder to balance. I expect having to deal with separate hangars and fighter bay parts will already prove enough of a challenge in that regard, adding another part will complicate things even more.
Bottom line, I see no real benefits (beside less code complexity) with the current extra fighter weapon ship part approach, but a lot of complications and restrictions.
Morlics suggestion above how to balance fighter weapon strength against shields in a way that actually works is an excellent example for what I'm talking about. That suggestion, if it works (and it looks promising so far IMO), would be simple, elegant and flexible. It would even make things simpler on the C++ side of things (no need to have different hardcoded basic types of fighters like interceptors and bombers, no need to make fighter weapons shield-piercing). But it won't be possible with your approach.
Meaning, while making things less complex on the C++ side as far as part meters are concerned, it makes things much more complicated regarding other parts, even on the C++ side. So what do you gain in the end?
I do not want to add in extra point-defense specific weapon part (mechanics) with multiple shots per round.
-Already fighters are killed by any shot, even from a damage=1 weapon, which makes for an (hopefully / in my opinion) interesting mechanic where there's no benefit to using upgraded weapons on a ship to defend against fighters. Instead, you'd need lots of external parts with the cheapest weapon available to defend against fighters. As such, countering fighters with the max damage weapons available should already not be cost-efficient (after suitable cost balancing).
As I already stated in an earlier post, I definitely see the potential here, and I like it. The reason I began to contemplate the ROF thing is because I expect all those fighter techs to have various refinments - improved fighter bays that can launch more fighters per combat turn, improved hangar capacity, improved fighter weapons. The first two will mean that each carrier will be able to field more fighters more quickly in combat. On the other hand we have the basic mass driver as the only other effective (because cheap) defensive weapon against fighters (beside your own fighters), which can't be upgraded at all, at least not in a way that makes it more effective against fighters. So my idea was, how about being able to fit more
MDs on a ship for the same costs, like the fighter part upgrades let you field larger fighter forces for the same costs?. As it's not possible to put multiple parts in one slot, the idea was to have a stat that effectively multiplies a weapon. Which naturally lead to the ROF idea.
Unless you want to be fighters the only viable counter-strategy to fighters, we'll have to come up with something that allows us to improve non-fighter defensive means against fighters. Otherwise the only option a player has is to build more and more MD equipped PD ships, which will get increasingly cost-inefficient the more advanced the fighter techs get. Resulting in fighters as the clearly optimal and therefore only viable strategy to defend against fighters - and I guess that's not what you want, do you?
If you've other/better ideas how to counter fighters, I'm all ears. A solution that works without introducing an additional stat will be certainly preferable.
As above, I don't want to add more stats to any individual part, besides the capacity.
Honestly, I don't get your reluctance against introducing more stats. If you want adding something like fighters, and want them to work in an intuitive and fun way, you'll have to accept that this comes with added complexity, e.g. in the form of additional meters/stats. I do understand that you want to keep things as simple as possible for the player (KISS is one of the fundamental believes of the FreeOrion project after all
), but the way you try to achieve it strikes me as counter-productive now and then.
What I mean is, more stats don't necessarily equal more complicated, or maybe better, avoiding additional stats at all costs doesn't necessarily mean things will be less complicated that way. Especially if you have to provide workarounds to achieve a working game mechanic that in the end will make things more complicated than if you just added another stat.
Making fighter weapons pierce ship shields seems reasonable to me. I suppose they could also bypass planet shields as well, and target the defense meter first.
would make fighters extremely
overpowered against planetary defences. Keep in mind that planetary defences only have one (albeit very powerful) shot each combat round, which already makes them ineffective against a fleet of many small ships. With fighters, this is going to get a lot
worse. I mean, even the most powerful planetary defences can shoot down only three fighters per combat. If fighters can bypass planetary shields on top of that, that means colonies are almost defenseless against fighters. Anyone who doesn't go fighters will play a very suboptimal game... and that's a bad thing I guess?