Stealth mechanics proposal

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Stealth mechanics proposal

#1 Post by Oberlus » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Stealth mechanics proposal to couple with the weapons rework proposal
Related thread: Stealth as Defense

Basic assumptions:
  • N tech tiers (currently I think of 6) for both detection and stealth.
  • Each tech level gives a +1 to detection/stealth strength (that is, linear growth).
  • Base detection is able to detect base stealth (which is zero).
  • Galaxies can have a special that provides the equivalent to +1 detection strength (upping the maximum to N+1) (*).
  • Maximum stealth a ship can gain by installing ship parts would be N.
  • Certain hulls with stealth capabilities (that will pay a toll in their research and build costs) will add up to +2 extra stealth, to a maximum of N+2 (**).
Core mechanics:
  • Detection equal(***) or greater than stealth: normal combat, all ships are targettable from start (combat round 1), and are visible in the galaxy map.
  • Stealth greater than detection (stealth-detection=H>0): +H combat round before being targettable, ships are not visible in galaxy map.

Balance observations:
  • To to get full advantage of the stealth+CR weapons combo, you need stealth>detection+3. For example, from being one tier above enemy detection tech and using +2 base stealth hulls (not easy, certainly, so does not seem OP, but we shall see). For the stealth+SR combo (which is itself less powerful than the stealth+CR combo), you'll need stealth>detection+2. And +1 for the stealth+LR combo (that is itself not very appealing).
  • Late game (i.e. all empires have maxed out stealth and detection techs) without stealth hulls means there is no stealth combat (max stealth not greater than max detection). Using stealth hulls an empire could get part of the advantages provided by the stealth combos, at the expense of not using the more powerful non-stealth hulls.

(*) If at some point we decide to introduce a species trait that modifies detection strength (current system only affects detection range), all this shall be reformulated so that late game keeps balanced.

(**) Actually, some hulls could have more than +2 base stealth, but such hulls shall not be able to mount stealth parts that could rise their stealth strength over 8. Mi plan for now is to give bio hulls max +2 base stealth and +6 part stealth from bio-exclusive stealth parts, give some asteroid hulls some stealth capabilities but forbid stealth parts for them, and provide a general stealth part line that can be mounted on most hull lines without stealth capabilities to a maximum of stealth 6. Nothing in stone yet.

(***) Current stealth mechanics nicely avoid using the equal condition (which has some ambiguity: was it detection greater or equal than stealth or was it the other way around?) by giving detection the 10, 30, 50, etc. values and stealth the 0, 20, 40, etc. values (sort of). This suggestion could do the same, but for simplicity during design I'm talking about "tiers" here, so that unlocking the next tier detection/stealth tech gets you +1 detection/stealth strength.


Thoughts?

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#2 Post by The Silent One » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:28 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Core mechanics:

Detection equal(***) or greater than stealth: normal combat, all ships are targetable from start (combat round 1), and are visible in the galaxy map.
Stealth greater than detection (stealth-detection=H>0): +H combat round before being targetable, ships are not visible in galaxy map.
Love the simplicity of this.
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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#3 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:31 am

Comparison of OP's proposal with current system:

Map visibility: equal.

General combat: with current weapons and stealth system, being hidden at the start of combat gives you one round of combat (33%) free of enemy shots, except for unarmed carriers that can stay hidden for the whole combat. With the proposed systems the number of rounds being hidden depends on the weaponry installed, so that CR weapons get 3 rounds untargettable (75%), SR gets 2 rounds (50%) and LR gets 1 round (25%), provided they have enough stealth as per the core mechanics.

Late game balance: with this proposal you can have stealth ships still have an effect in combat, while currently stealth parts are completely useless at late game (*)

So I do think this would be a great addition to FreeOrion: simple to understand, simple to implement, and enlarges the possible strategies and tactics.


(*) Actually, right now stealth parts are broken due to a recent change and won't give any combat advantage unless you use some unhidden aggressive ship along with your hidden passive ones to trigger combat, see this thread.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#4 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:05 am

I also think this is worth to implement. It partly solves the all-or-nothing for ship combat and is quite simple.

I would like to have a more refined stealth/blockade system to allow careful sneaking behind enemy lines but seeing how much is in the design pipeline we should keep all complexity to influence-related topics i guess.

I did not understand the "Galaxies can have a special that provides the equivalent to +1 detection strength (upping the maximum to N+1)" part. You mean some kind of planetary special providing this?

Similar ideas for partly solving all-or-nothing in planetary stealth? Being able to invade but at a lower efficiency?
  • Detection equal(***) or greater than stealth (detection-stealth=H>0): planet visible in the galaxy map, and invadable with attack troop efficiency at H>=3: 100%, H=2: 50%, H=1: 25%
  • Stealth greater than detection: planet invisible
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#5 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:05 am
It partly solves the all-or-nothing for ship combat and is quite simple.

I would like to have a more refined stealth/blockade system to allow careful sneaking behind enemy lines
Yes, all this should be addressed.

I think we must aim to a system that completely solves the all-or-nothing for ship combat. Why do you think this does not solve it completely? Maybe we can improve this.

And about careful sneaking:
- If a ship has enough stealth (compared to the blockading fleet detection) and is set to passive, it can cross blockade.
- If it has enough stealth but is set to aggressive, it attacks the ships doing the blockade.

The weirdest scenarios arise when several empires with high stealth and low detection clash. You could have hidden fleets of different enemy empires blockading the same system, none of them being able to engage in combat the other until some object (ship, planet, monster) that is visible triggers a combat. But once combat is triggered, it shouldn't cause weird results: the hidden fleets with longer range weapons will attack first, revealing themselves, and any other fleet that wasn't revealed before (because have shorter range weapons) could target the recently revealed ships after that turn, etc. Unless I'm missing something, all ships still alive in round 4 would be targettable in that round.
I find such scenarios reasonable and acceptable, but if some find them unrealistic or whatever, we could tie the stealth techs to detection techs (as in current system) so that it is granted that a ship with high stealth has always high detection strength.
I did not understand the "Galaxies can have a special that provides the equivalent to +1 detection strength (upping the maximum to N+1)" part. You mean some kind of planetary special providing this?
There is one special, the Panopticon, that gives the Empire that owns it +10 detection strength (equivalent to +0.5 tech tier in current system) and +75 detection range on the planet it is.
If we keep such special, I'd make it give +1 detection tier instead of +0.5.
Similar ideas for partly solving all-or-nothing in planetary stealth? Being able to invade but at a lower efficiency?
  • Detection equal(***) or greater than stealth (detection-stealth=H>0): planet visible in the galaxy map, and invadable with attack troop efficiency at H>=3: 100%, H=2: 50%, H=1: 25%
  • Stealth greater than detection: planet invisible
Oh, right, I forgot about planets.

Assuming planets are provided with more varied weapons, they would already have different behaviour depending on theirs and their enemies's stealth and detections strengths (like ships). But the invasion thingy...

I haven't think of this enough, but at first impression I think ships should be easier to conceal than planets, and so it could be like this:
  • Detection equal or greater than stealth: planet visible in the galaxy map and invadable with attack troops as normal.
  • Stealth greater than detection but smaller than detection+4 (H = stealth - detection): planet is visible (some/most/all of its buildings are invisible) but defending troop strength is augmented, so at H=1 it is 133%, H=2: 166%, and H=3: 200%
  • Stealth greater than detection+4: planet invisible, can't be targetted for invasion (and I think it should not participate in combats, or make it lose some stealth for one round after each combat it participates in, but that's maybe another story).
I guess this would need some changes in invasion mechanics to allow that defensive troops shown as X in the planet meter is treated as c*X in the invasion.
And this could create a problem for gameplay, how I know how many troops should I send to conquer a planet that is visible but does have some stealth bonus to its troops? I guess that is solvable by showing to each enemy empire the defending troops strength that corresponds to the planet stealth and the the (attacking) empire's detection. Thus, only "problem" remaining is that the defending empire does not know immediately how many troops does the attacking empire need to conquer his colonies, but that is, IMO, a minor problem that can be accepted (otherwise, the simplest solution would be to not touch troop strengths at all and stick to the all-or-nothing planetary invasion mechanic).

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#6 Post by Ophiuchus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:49 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
And about careful sneaking:
- If a ship has enough stealth (compared to the blockading fleet detection) and is set to passive, it can cross blockade.
- If it has enough stealth but is set to aggressive, it attacks the ships doing the blockade.
I thought more along a the line of another fleet setting lets call it "slow&hidden" for the moment. The meaning would be: Go careful and never do anything to expose yourself. Technical meaning: you have only half starlane speed for an exchange of a boost to stealth and the fleet will not join in battle as long as the ship is undetected.

For the all-or-nothing I was thinking of different kinds of detection/stealth (e.g. electromagnetic-active (detectable by passive scanning tech), electromagnetic-passive (prone to active scanning tech), gravitonic (hard to detect but almost(?) impossible to hide)); to be undetected you would need to have better stealth than detection for each kind (or taking in your proposal: the worst stealth-detection difference counts). Different ship hulls would have different base stats (huge ships would have bad gravitonic stealth), being active would mostly affect the electromagnetic-active stealth, hiding in asteroid belts would help all hulls in gravitonic stealth, hiding as asteroid in asteroid belt would boost electromagnetic-passive stealth as well and so on. Gravitonic detectors could be expensive (core slot maybe) and hard to research. A battle-scanner could target ships with gravitonic detectors especially (destroy the enemie's detectors using long-range or hidden kamikaze in one turn, next turn advance your main fleet).
Hiding electromagnetic-active emissions on planets is the easiest, good stealth species probably have electromagnetic-passive boost. Gravitonic detection helps find the planet. For the research race the stealthy species would have mostly to research electromagnetic-active stealth tech while a normal one would need also to research electromagnetic-passive tech.

Actually originally I wanted to leave the kitchen sink out of the discussion ;)
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
The weirdest scenarios arise when several empires with high stealth and low detection clash. You could have hidden fleets of different enemy empires blockading the same system, none of them being able to engage in combat the other until some object (ship, planet, monster) that is visible triggers a combat.
I think this situation is OK if there is no conquest.
So if the supply belongs to A and A has a hidden fleet:
  1. no conquest happens if there is a hidden B fleet set passive, so A won't unhide.
  2. If B's hidden fleet is set active, "active" means domination, so B conquests the supply and B will "unhide" (by forcing transport, tanker ships away etc) and if A is "active" combat starts as usual. So in the current combat system that means that in bout 1 no ships are visible to the enemy, but both fleets shoot at each other in bouts 2 and 3. I think that effect is a bit strange but fair. Another variant: it could also mean that only B unhides before bout 1, A may shoot at B in bout 1 and gets detected, A and B shoot at each other in bouts 2 and 3. This variant is not strange but gives B a disadvantage. "Unhiding" should probably give a ghost indicator in the system for conquesting supply.
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
first impression I think ships should be easier to conceal than planets,
Maybe it should be the other way round.
For the distributed peaceful empire there must be a way to hide your presence or at least "hide your troops" (I.e. preventing invasion without better detection).

So maybe your values are off and you need to factor that in. But this is rather a balancing issue - it basically depends how easy it is to develop planetary stealth tech.

For attacker troop malus/hidden defender troop bonus I think we should stick to the invasion planet button rather than the troop info.
"Attack with 50% efficiency because of barely detectable defenders (Your empire detection: 1, Defender stealth: 4). Invade with at least 20 troops for success."
A mouse-over could show the details.


Back to your original suggestion: I think this is easy to implement
  • either remove the loose-stealth-per-bout-value from each ship's stealth meter after each bout
  • or simply factor the loose-stealth-per-bout-value in in the calculation of visible ships
The loose-stealth-per-bout-value should be defined as a game rule. Probably the second implementation is the better one.
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: Stealth mechanics proposal

#7 Post by LienRag » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:48 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:19 pm
Stealth mechanics proposal to couple with the weapons rework proposal
(...)
Core mechanics:
  • Detection equal(***) or greater than stealth: normal combat, all ships are targettable from start (combat round 1), and are visible in the galaxy map.
  • Stealth greater than detection (stealth-detection=H>0): +H combat round before being targettable, ships are not visible in galaxy map.
(...)
Thoughts?
To my dismay I must admit that it's much simpler that what I could propose...

I still think that location-based stealth (being able to hide in an Asteroid Belt, a Gas Giant, behind a Resonant Moon, or whatever) is an important mechanism and should work even at late game.

Apparently you don't include Species' bonuses for Stealth?

With your mechanism I understand why you'd be wary of giving possible 4-points differences between stealth and detection (which would mean indestructible ships as they would never be revealed) but it's still limiting.
Consider too that it means that having 2 points more than your enemy is double the effect of having one more point (two rounds instead of one to destroy the entirety of the enemy fleet before it can fight back) - that's huge for a one-tech difference.

Maybe having wider steps? I.e. with +1 you're not seen in the Galaxy Map, with +2 you have one round of stealthed combat, +4 to have two rounds of stealthed combat, +8 to have three and +16 to have four?

Since FreeOrion is a game with multiple adversaries, intermediate levels (like +3, +5 and so on) which aren't very interesting against one adversary will be +4 and so on against weaker detection enemies...
Note too that ships that get high levels of stealth will do so only in certain locations, so they will be seen while they move and can be forced to combat outside of their high-stealth environment.
There's also the possibility of ship parts adding local detection (this could be prone to micromanagement but not if they detect weapons usage, not ship engines: they'll be useful in combat but not for patrolling regions - and they'll still allow the opponent one turn of stealth).

Another way of achieving a similar but more nuanced result than the "wide steps" may be integrating Geoff's noisiness idea: most weapons will have a exponential noisiness (first shot gives away the general direction where the ship might be, each subsequent shot allows the enemy to narrow its possible origin point up until the firing ship is detected), but a different base value for the exponentiation. Exotic weapons may have different noisiness curves (arithmetic rather than geometric, for example).

With that a ship stays undetected until its stealth has been lowered enough for enemies to detect it (no specific turn where it is detected, it depends on the noisiness and the stealth-detection difference).
In addition to "hide" and "aggressive" stance there would be a "snipe" stance that would make ship fire only their stealthier weapons as long as they are not detected.

To counter those pesky four-turn stealthy ships there could be a new ship part, search-and-destroy missiles : they would be launched in turn 2 and hit in turn 4 (whatever the enemy stealth is) if not destroyed in turn 3.
It's even possible to have missiles that just have detection boni on top of Empire detection, rather than always being to find a target... This way it's possible to have lower-tier techs allowing missiles with a small detection bonus (+1 in your system), leaving better detection-boni-missiles to higher tiers.

Oh, and I really dislike the idea of having asteroid hulls deprived of all stealth parts, by the way.
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:49 pm
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
And about careful sneaking:
- If a ship has enough stealth (compared to the blockading fleet detection) and is set to passive, it can cross blockade.
- If it has enough stealth but is set to aggressive, it attacks the ships doing the blockade.
I thought more along a the line of another fleet setting lets call it "slow&hidden" for the moment. The meaning would be: Go careful and never do anything to expose yourself. Technical meaning: you have only half starlane speed for an exchange of a boost to stealth and the fleet will not join in battle as long as the ship is undetected.

For the all-or-nothing I was thinking of different kinds of detection/stealth (e.g. electromagnetic-active (detectable by passive scanning tech), electromagnetic-passive (prone to active scanning tech), gravitonic (hard to detect but almost(?) impossible to hide)); to be undetected you would need to have better stealth than detection for each kind (or taking in your proposal: the worst stealth-detection difference counts). Different ship hulls would have different base stats (huge ships would have bad gravitonic stealth), being active would mostly affect the electromagnetic-active stealth, hiding in asteroid belts would help all hulls in gravitonic stealth, hiding as asteroid in asteroid belt would boost electromagnetic-passive stealth as well and so on. Gravitonic detectors could be expensive (core slot maybe) and hard to research. A battle-scanner could target ships with gravitonic detectors especially (destroy the enemie's detectors using long-range or hidden kamikaze in one turn, next turn advance your main fleet).
Hiding electromagnetic-active emissions on planets is the easiest, good stealth species probably have electromagnetic-passive boost. Gravitonic detection helps find the planet. For the research race the stealthy species would have mostly to research electromagnetic-active stealth tech while a normal one would need also to research electromagnetic-passive tech.
All very interesting ideas (crossing through blockade, slow&hidden setting, multiple kinds of detection stealth - you forgot Psi by the way) but for the later, though having active detection being very efficient at detection but hindering tremendously one's stealth is a very interesting game mechanism, I don't think that multiple kinds of detection would work in a smooth manner the way ships and combat are functioning right now...
It would need a whole redesign from scratch to be enjoyable imho.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#8 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:42 am

LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:48 pm
All very interesting ideas (crossing through blockade, slow&hidden setting, multiple kinds of detection stealth - you forgot Psi by the way) but for the later, though having active detection being very efficient at detection but hindering tremendously one's stealth is a very interesting game mechanism, I don't think that multiple kinds of detection would work in a smooth manner the way ships and combat are functioning right now...
I think there is a trivial mapping to the current state. Instead of checking for one detection > stealth, you check for every kind (and detection succeeds if any of detection checks succeed).

Balance-wise the idea was to split the single stealth/detection in order to change the boring research race. Gravitonic detection should still work as it would be comparably expensive/hard to get. Adding Psi detection should be rare to get as well so it should work. Psi detection would be interesting because would interact mostly with species traits (besides the sentient hulls). Having empires with special detection means for a stealthy empire it has to solve those (rarely occuring) neighbors in a different way. But again I this is OT here.

Oberlus proposal is brilliant. If nobody from the team objects the I will do an implementation ASAP.
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: Stealth mechanics proposal

#9 Post by The Silent One » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:10 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:19 pm
[*] Each tech level gives a +1 to detection/stealth strength (that is, linear growth).
Let's not have a tech per tier, though. Some categories could have stealth or detection techs on the first, other categories on a later tier, with refinements (that can be researched right away or only when a later tech has been researched). E. g. bio may have a stealth tech on the first, but a detection tech only on the second tier, so if they're confronted with a stealthy enemy they would need to get to tier 2 fast. But once they're there they can, at a price, research up to detection lvl 3 with just that tech (and up to lvl 6 on tier 4?).
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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#10 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:28 am

LienRag wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:48 pm
To my dismay I must admit that it's much simpler that what I could propose...
I could propose something much more complex. But this is FreeOrion, you know, KISS. But you can propose whatever you want.
I still think that location-based stealth (being able to hide in an Asteroid Belt, a Gas Giant, behind a Resonant Moon, or whatever) is an important mechanism and should work even at late game.
Nobody thinks otherwise.
Apparently you don't include Species' bonuses for Stealth?
I do (read again).
With your mechanism I understand why you'd be wary of giving possible 4-points differences between stealth and detection (which would mean indestructible ships as they would never be revealed) but it's still limiting.
What do you mean? That you'd like system for which stealth=detection+4 would have more effect than detection+3 and less than detection+5, and so on?
Consider too that it means that having 2 points more than your enemy is double the effect of having one more point (two rounds instead of one to destroy the entirety of the enemy fleet before it can fight back) - that's huge for a one-tech difference.
I've made numbers, it's not like that. Plus it does not work as you understood it: you can only shoot hidden once. Please, go read the combat proposal again if you are still interested on this.
Maybe having wider steps? I.e. with +1 you're not seen in the Galaxy Map, with +2 you have one round of stealthed combat, +4 to have two rounds of stealthed combat, +8 to have three and +16 to have four?
That's utterly broken. Next tier techs are always much more costly than previous tech tiers.

intermediate levels (like +3, +5 and so on) which aren't very interesting against one adversary will be +4 and so on against weaker detection enemies...
Note too that ships that get high levels of stealth will do so only in certain locations, so they will be seen while they move and can be forced to combat outside of their high-stealth environment.
Obviously.
There's also the possibility of ship parts adding local detection
No. Unless we change that, detection strength is an Empire wide meter. And I don't see the need to change that.
Another way of achieving a similar but more nuanced result than the "wide steps" may be integrating Geoff's noisiness idea: most weapons will have a exponential noisiness
Yes, that's compatible with proposed system. In the proposed system, shooting gives away all stealth, as if each weapon causes -10 stealth (or whatever that is bigger than maximum stealth). Backend could be changed to give noisiness different noisiness to each weapon, so that the less noisy weapons mounted on relatively high stealth could shoot twice before revealing the ship.
Current proposal is simpler than that but could be expanded later easily.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#11 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:29 am

The Silent One wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:10 pm
Let's not have a tech per tier, though.
Agree.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#12 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:34 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:49 pm
For the all-or-nothing I was thinking of different kinds of detection/stealth
I like that, the same I like different kinds of shield, but I would stick to one single stealth and detection meters until FO 1.0.
The loose-stealth-per-bout-value should be defined as a game rule. Probably the second implementation is the better one.
Not sure I understand.
But just in case: for the proposed weapons rework, with LR, SR and CR weapons, each bout that the ship is not shooting because it is not on range yet (from bout 2 for SR, bout 3 for CR) there should be no stealth loss.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#13 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:21 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:49 pm
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
The weirdest scenarios arise when several empires with high stealth and low detection clash. You could have hidden fleets of different enemy empires blockading the same system, none of them being able to engage in combat the other until some object (ship, planet, monster) that is visible triggers a combat.
I think this situation is OK if there is no conquest.
So if the supply belongs to A and A has a hidden fleet:
  1. no conquest happens if there is a hidden B fleet set passive, so A won't unhide.
  2. If B's hidden fleet is set active, "active" means domination, so B conquests the supply and B will "unhide" (by forcing transport, tanker ships away etc) and if A is "active" combat starts as usual. So in the current combat system that means that in bout 1 no ships are visible to the enemy, but both fleets shoot at each other in bouts 2 and 3. I think that effect is a bit strange but fair. Another variant: it could also mean that only B unhides before bout 1, A may shoot at B in bout 1 and gets detected, A and B shoot at each other in bouts 2 and 3. This variant is not strange but gives B a disadvantage. "Unhiding" should probably give a ghost indicator in the system for conquesting supply.
After some thought, I also think we could need that third toggle for fleet behaviour.

First, give any ship moving through starlanes a temporal -2 (or something) stealth. Then the toggles could be:
  • Aggressive: Blocks supply, gets -2 (or something) stealth, that affects both visibility in galaxy map and in combat, and that's the toll to pay for blocking supply.
  • Passive: Does not block supply and does not trigger combat.
  • Silent: Does not block supply (no stealth malus from that), triggers combat with enemies in system (if this is an armed ship), and travels with half speed on starlanes in exchange for countering the -2 stealth from moving.
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:43 am
first impression I think ships should be easier to conceal than planets,
Maybe it should be the other way round.
For the distributed peaceful empire there must be a way to hide your presence or at least "hide your troops" (I.e. preventing invasion without better detection).
So maybe your values are off and you need to factor that in.
But this is rather a balancing issue - it basically depends how easy it is to develop planetary stealth tech.
Let's see.
If we keep current planetary stealth species traits, that would be from -1 to +3 planetary stealth, and assuming planetary stealth techs have the same maximum value than ships stealth techs (+6), we get, late game, that an ultimate planetary stealth species has 2 or 3 more stealth than maximum detection strength (6, or 7 if having the Panopticon), great gets +1/+2, good +0/+1 (so little to no defence troop advantage from stealth), and regular species gets no advantage at all. That seems right to me.
Early game, for distributed empires, I think we want colonies to be impossible to invade (stealth > detection+3), and that would be impossible with just a +1 planetary stealth from good species, and quite difficult for great species, and that seems off, certainly.
So yes, you're right. Numbers must be something like letting ultimate stealth species to be conquerable but keep the maximum defence troop advantage from planetary stealth without specials while we still allow great planetary stealth species to have unconquerable colonies early/mid game with moderate commitment to stealth research. I indeed need to crunch some numbers, but my brains are on vacation right now.

A mouse-over could show the details.
Since the defence troop bonus would come from the relation between the invading empire's detection and the colony's stealth, which won't change regardless of what the invading empire has selected on the galaxy map (colony/ship, species on them). So, if the number that the invading empire is interested on seeing (the amount of forces it needs to conquer that colony) is going to be the same (until one or the other gets a new tech), then I think it's better to show that number in the defence troop meter of the colony and not force the player of the invading empire to check it with hovering the mouse.

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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#14 Post by The Silent One » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:03 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:21 pm
First, give any ship moving through starlanes a temporal -2 (or something) stealth. Then the toggles could be:
  • Aggressive: Blocks supply, gets -2 (or something) stealth, that affects both visibility in galaxy map and in combat, and that's the toll to pay for blocking supply.
  • Passive: Does not block supply and does not trigger combat.
  • Silent: Does not block supply (no stealth malus from that), triggers combat with enemies in system (if this is an armed ship), and travels with half speed on starlanes in exchange for countering the -2 stealth from moving.
Again, love this.
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Ophiuchus
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Re: Stealth mechanics proposal

#15 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:27 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:34 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:49 pm
The loose-stealth-per-bout-value should be defined as a game rule. Probably the second implementation is the better one.
Not sure I understand.
But just in case: for the proposed weapons rework, with LR, SR and CR weapons, each bout that the ship is not shooting because it is not on range yet (from bout 2 for SR, bout 3 for CR) there should be no stealth loss.
About the loose-stealth-per-bout-value in game setup: right next to the number of combat bout you should be able to define how much stealth you loose per bout. Default with the current content would be 20 (i.e. one level diff of detection/stealth).

I am confused now about 'if not shooting no stealth loss'. As I understood your proposal, shooting should automatically unhide the ship and the ships which are armed but not attacking should loose one level of stealth per bout.
Oberlus wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:21 pm
First, give any ship moving through starlanes a temporal -2 (or something) stealth. Then the toggles could be:
  • Aggressive: Blocks supply, gets -2 (or something) stealth, that affects both visibility in galaxy map and in combat, and that's the toll to pay for blocking supply.
  • Passive: Does not block supply and does not trigger combat.
  • Silent: Does not block supply (no stealth malus from that), triggers combat with enemies in system (if this is an armed ship), and travels with half speed on starlanes in exchange for countering the -2 stealth from moving.
So for maximum effectiveness after arriving in a system one has to put one ship on aggressive (to enforce supply) and the rest silent? Are you sure you like that?

The best thing about that aggressive-passive-silent (if i read it correctly) is that you are able to blockade military ships without giving yourself away by blocking supply (you can do that currently as well by switching focus in the right turn, but not as a mission kind). A good thing is that in many cases supply-blocking means an unhidden ship so it is clear who gets shot at. A strange(?) thing is if stealth is high enough you can block supply without being seen. So as a corner-case we have again the low-detection/high-stealth problem.
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Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

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