Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

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em3
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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#16 Post by em3 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:11 am

The exception for basic hull is so that home world could build ships and still do other things.

Maybe indicate, that basic hull is the only hull the can be assembled on planet surface, as opposed to an orbital installation?
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#17 Post by Oberlus » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:27 pm

em3 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:11 am
The exception for basic hull is so that home world could build ships and still do other things.

Maybe indicate, that basic hull is the only hull the can be assembled on planet surface, as opposed to an orbital installation?
Ouch, that's true...
So your proposed mechanics (focus restriction for advanced shipyards) wouldn't punish spamming basic shipyards but, since it doesn't have the repairing functionality and is not good for any interesting hull, we could expect no one will spam them just because.

Even with the basic hull distinction, I feel it's not right to make the homeworld chose between being a powerhouse of production/research or build advanced ships. But appart from that, I think it's a very good idea, and the best so far.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#18 Post by em3 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:31 pm

I suppose I assumed the basic shipyard should be implicit, but also extremely basic. Only able to produce light craft.
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#19 Post by Oberlus » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:01 pm

Another solution: impose a maximum number of shipyards that you can have for free, and introduce a high influence upkeep (exponentially increasing cost for each extra shipyard over the limit), starting at 1 and increasing with certain techs, the last one giving you access to a number of extra shipyards depending on the number of planets you own. Or something like that.
A policy could reduce the higher influence upkeep or increase the number of free shipyards.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#20 Post by EricF » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:05 am

Sorry, but I get the feeling you are all trying to fix something that is not broken.
Personally, I only build shipyards where I want to build ships.
I never send ships back to be repaired. I always push forward regardless.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#21 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:30 am

EricF wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:05 am
Sorry, but I get the feeling you are all trying to fix something that is not broken.
Personally, I only build shipyards where I want to build ships.
I never send ships back to be repaired. I always push forward regardless.
We both have a very different playstyle :lol:

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#22 Post by EricF » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:45 am

OK, I was not completely honest. In the first hundred turns or so when I have
only a limited number of ships yes I do wait for them to be repaired.
But mid to late game ships are so easily replaced I find it a waste of time
to wait around for repairs. Extra shipyards are just micromanagement
and a waste of my time. At this point yea I would agree make shipyards
implicit but all this talk of planet focus and such crap is over complication.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#23 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:19 pm

EricF wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:45 am
Extra shipyards are just micromanagement
I think you miss an important point - we are also discussing how to make shipyards a valuable resource.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#24 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:09 pm

I think using the shipyard building for the restrictions of focus would work in the sense of preventing spamming of shipyards.
It would give a big incentive to destroy your own shipyards.
So to stabilize micromanagement, probably the shipyards cost needs to be high enough to balance against that incentive.

Having just a few shipyard planets makes the planet definitly more strategic.
From strategic point of view the question how fast rebuilding shipyards is. I think it should be at least four/five turns.

The only thing which i really miss in that proposal is some extra benefit for the conquerer.
The defender probably should destroy all buildings if one is sure it will loose the shipyard without hope of fast reconquest.
Which reminds me AI should probably use scorched earth tactics.
em3 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:31 pm
I suppose I assumed the basic shipyard should be implicit, but also extremely basic. Only able to produce light craft.
Basic hull line should be OK i think .. same functionality like the current shipyard building has. Or maybe only small and medium hull.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#25 Post by Vezzra » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:35 am

o01eg wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:27 pm
I agreed it better to add maintenance cost. What about to return Food resource but made it maintenance production cost of population?
The influence resource is supposed to serve that purpose. Basically the idea is to pay "influence" to keep your empire running smoothly (those "influence" costs representing/abstracting the admistrative, logistical, etc. efforts required to keep an empire together). The bigger your empire, the more assets you have, the more influence you need to keep things from falling apart.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#26 Post by Vezzra » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:44 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:32 pm
o01eg wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:27 pm
I think it is a irrational idea. Nothing should rise it cost just because you already some ones.
No realism please. This is a space opera game.
I can't tell if o01eg had "realism" in mind when using that argument, but for me that has nothing to do with "realism", but everything with interesting gameplay. I think cost increase mechanics are pointless, because the solution they offer is in every way inferior to the direct, simple and straightforward approach to just flatten the resource output increase curve (I'll expand on that in another post below).
I agreed it better to add maintenance cost. What about to return Food resource but made it maintenance production cost of population? It will add guns-vs-butter choice to player and restrict exponential growth of empire.
How does juggling with another meter restrict exponential growth?
If your empire expands your capacity for food production will expand as well.
Sure, but the snowball effect will be significantly slowed down. Combine that with a much more reasonable resource output increase curve, and IMO the current insurmountable issues with excessive growth will mostly evaporate.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#27 Post by Vezzra » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:49 am

em3 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:23 am
How about introducing handicaps to planets with a shipyard? Maybe prohibiting foci other than ship building? Reducing supply meter?
Why not trying the obvious approach first, and flatten the resource output increase curve? If that solves the problem, there would be no need for such (less elegant) solutions.

If in some cases there still needs to be done more to prevent a build-everywhere thing, we can still introduce additional measures afterwards.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#28 Post by Vezzra » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:54 am

Oberlus wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:36 pm
However, it won't be easy, if possible. If you flatten the curve enough for a fixed cost to be balanced until late game, you end up with a game where it doesn't matter to get the techs and boni and even colonies, you can just go Egassem-like, hell bent for invading other homeworlds with just your starting world.
Not necessarily, we just need to strike the right balance. Actually, practically all (sufficiently well designed and balanced) 4X games work that way. The problem with FO is, you start with resource output in the single digit range, and can end up with a resource output in the 5 digit range - this is an increase by a factor of 10,000. Which is completely and utterly insane, and makes it absolutely impossible to balance the costs for things.

There is no problem if some things which are very hard or alomst impossible to afford at the start of the game to become something much easier to afford later on, the difference just must not become so pronounced that the costs become completely negligible. To apply this principle to shipyards: At the start of the game building up an additional shipyard should be a monumental effort. In late/end game a large empire will be able to build up several shipyards without too much trouble, I don't see a problem with that. But it should not be able to spam shipyards practically everywhere, because the costs just don't matter anymore at all.

Besides that, I've said it (repeatedly IIRC) before in discussions about cost-increase mechanics: I think those mechanics are comletely pointless anyway. They are just a more convoluted, confusing, counter-intuitve and un-fun way to effectively do nothing but kind of flatten the resource output increase curve. The difference is just instead of flatten the curve itself by reducing the boni you get by various means (techs, specials etc.), you increase the costs to cancel out the excessive growth. If you set off these factors against each other, the cost increase mechanics effectively just reduce the "purchasing power" of your primary resources.

It just becomes a silly numbers game in the end. Sure, you get to see impressive numbers for your resource output, but as costs for stuff increases accordingly, instead of earning 10 and have to pay 5 for a ship you later earn 10000 and pay 5000 for the same ship (exaggerated example to better illutrate what I mean, I know that actually the resource output increase is still larger than the cost increase).

You can achieve effectively the same by reducing the excessive growth of resource output.

That also means the issue you raise about techs, boni, extra colonies not mattering if the curve is too flat exists anyway and needs to be dealt with either way. If you flatten the curve itself or introduce mechanics the counter the curve by increasing costs, you need to take care that the bottom line effective gain in "purchasing power" remains strong enough to justify researching techs, gaining specials, building up new colonies etc.
So this should be coupled with some kind of upkeep (maintenance) mechanism to make sure that game can "grow" at different rates without building everywhere anything.
Yes, a proper maintenance mechanic certainly is the way to go. The influence resource is supposed to serve that purpose.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#29 Post by Oberlus » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:03 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:54 am
That also means the issue you raise about techs, boni, extra colonies not mattering if the curve is too flat exists anyway and needs to be dealt with either way. If you flatten the curve itself or introduce mechanics the counter the curve by increasing costs, you need to take care that the bottom line effective gain in "purchasing power" remains strong enough to justify researching techs, gaining specials, building up new colonies etc.
Just to be clear, here you are not talking about the increasing costs of ships with their numbers, but only about increasing cost of techs (from "tier" to "tier"), right?

Regarding the issue of flattening the curve to avoid fast exponential growth:
We have techs that increase production per population or per planet, techs that increase population of planets, and increasing numbers of planets (and population) with production.
With increasing influence upkeep per colony we can get the desired growth of production (without having to mess with the production itself of each colony) but only if we do a good job with influence production. The point is that having more colonies must not allow you to have even more colonies. If every colony is able to produce influence for itself and not more, and the capital is able to provide influence for itself and a few more, when your last batch of colonies is growing full influence production you will have space influence to expand to a few more planets, but it will always be "a few more planets", in a linear instead of exponential way. If the same consideration is applied to the influence we expect to be consumed by ships, buildings and influence projects of any kind (say, each grown-up colony can provide influence to maintain itself an a certain number of PPs_in_ships and PPs_in_buildings, as well as to contribute to influence projects), I guess we should be able to come up with some solid equations for influence upkeeps.

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Re: Make shipyards & drydock implicit (not a building)

#30 Post by Vezzra » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:09 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:03 pm
Just to be clear, here you are not talking about the increasing costs of ships with their numbers, but only about increasing cost of techs (from "tier" to "tier"), right?
Actually, here I'm talking about resource production and consumption in general, not specifically PP/RP/IP or whatever (primary) resources we decide to come up with. That said, with RP and techs a cost increase mechanic might actually make sense (see my post in the other thread), but for everything PP related it doesn't.

And I'm not only talking about ships (although these are currently the only assets that work with a cost increase mechanic IIRC), but about all the instances where such cost increase mechanics have been suggested (stargates, shipyards). Basically whenever we stumble upon that issue (that there is a thing we can't really prevent from becoming build-everywhere by raising its costs sufficiently) someone suggests a cost increase mechanic, and IMO that's a flawed approach (for all the reasons cited).

Basically, instead of countering an exponentially increasing income with correspondingly exponentially increasing costs (which cancel each other out), just bring the exponentially increasing income down. Much less complicated.
We have techs that increase production per population or per planet, techs that increase population of planets, and increasing numbers of planets (and population) with production.
That in itself already is a challenge to keep from snowballing. Now look at the actual numbers: We start with a production capacity in the one digit range, but have a lot of boni granted by techs, specials, etc. that start with something like 0.1PP/pop, up to 1PP/pop. Much, much too high! With numbers like that, and no maintenance mechanic in place, you skyrocket like there is no tomorrow. Completely insane.

Reasonable numbers would be e.g. when the basic production granted by the focus setting is 1PP/pop, and the bonus granted by a tech 0.1/PP, or even less. Then you need ten kind of boni (granted by techs, specials etc.) to double your production. IIRC,right now, the base production granted by the focus is 0.1PP/pop, which means researching only one tech that gives you the same bonus (0.1PP/pop) doubles your income. Ridiculous.
With increasing influence upkeep per colony we can get the desired growth of production (without having to mess with the production itself of each colony) but only if we do a good job with influence production.
Yes, exactly. Striking the right balance here is paramount.
The point is that having more colonies must not allow you to have even more colonies. If every colony is able to produce influence for itself and not more, and the capital is able to provide influence for itself and a few more, when your last batch of colonies is growing full influence production you will have space influence to expand to a few more planets, but it will always be "a few more planets", in a linear instead of exponential way.
I think the plan is to go even farther: unless a colony is set to be an influence producer (basically by setting it to the influence focus), then each colony actually consumes influence. Meaning, you need an influence focused colony for every n non-influence focused colonies. With the influence costs basically going up exponentially, so if you grow too large too fast, you might end up needing several influence focused colonies to support one more non-influence focused one, thereby effectively curbing exponential growth.

Of course you need to be able to bring your influence costs down, by researching techs, getting specials, etc., so that constant growth is possible, but exponential growth becomes very difficult to maintain.
If the same consideration is applied to the influence we expect to be consumed by ships, buildings and influence projects of any kind (say, each grown-up colony can provide influence to maintain itself an a certain number of PPs_in_ships and PPs_in_buildings, as well as to contribute to influence projects), I guess we should be able to come up with some solid equations for influence upkeeps.
Something along these lines is the general idea, yes.

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