Shield parts and Robotic Interface

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Shield parts and Robotic Interface

#1 Post by dbenage-cx » Thu May 04, 2017 1:41 am

Similar to other adjustments, I was looking at moving shields to a NoDefaultCapacity where some adjustment is needed for the Robotic Interface: Shields(RI:S) part.

For that, I'd like to change the concept from a single part to allow a ship with a Robotic Interface but not necessarily a shield bonus.
The RI:S part would been seen as combining a Robotic Interface with the shield capability.

This would allow easier changes / creation of the following:
  • A separate Robotic Interface part.
  • A hull with an integrated Robotic Interface (thus not needing the above part).
  • Robotic Interface modules/compatible parts with potentially different max capacities (e.g. a shield module that is cheaper than RI:S)
  • Gating shield module to research of Force Field Harmonics.
  • Increase the max capacity of a module from some effect (e.g. tech upgrade).
Not included in that branch, I'd propose giving Logistics Facilitator and Nanorobotic Hull an integrated Robotic Interface, allowing them to contribute towards any RI bonus.

Currently the AI is noted as not supporting RI:S, so still needs some support as they use it with asteroid hulls as well (when robotic species).
Guessing that supporting the variable nature robustly might be better suited to address in a character/behavior, where an AI would focus on larger stacks. (same with the Solar Concentrator)

Since it was noted elsewhere, I've lowered the part costs in this branch (needs stringtable updates, costs would not be in scope of a PR).
If other Robotic Interface parts are added later, RI:S might be too cheap, for now I placed it at same cost as Deflector Shield(the +5 shield).
Prior to fighters, RI:S allowed some near invulnerable stacks, shields overall are less effective now.
  • Defense Grid: 20/2 (was 30/2)
  • Deflector Shield: 35/4 (was 50/4)
  • Plasma Shield 60/5 (was 90/5)
  • Multi-Spectral Shield: 80/8 (was 100/8)
  • Blackshield: 120/6 (was 150/6)
I do not think the change to RI:S increases micro-management, instead it allows more flexible ship designs down the road.
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Re: Shield parts and Robotic Interface

#2 Post by Vezzra » Thu May 04, 2017 1:24 pm

FWIW, I've always thought the Robotic Interface Shield to be somewhat counter-intuitive. The idea is that the robotic crews of a fleet of robotic ships is able to link their processing powers using that "interface", and thus being able to operate tactically much more efficiently. IMO that should translate into being able to coordinate their weapon fire more effectively, thus a bonus to damage makes more sense considering the fluff explanation.

OTOH, this Solar Concentrator/Web thing which is supposed to harness the energy radiating from a star would make much more sense improving shield power. At least to me that would be more intuitive.

Not a big deal of course, your proposal just reminded me of this.

Your idea (which, if I understand correctly, is to make the Robotic Interface a potential boost for other stats, not just shields) will change that anyway of course. Still, if we're going to revise this, I suggest to rethink where a "Robotic Interface" that is supposed to create a network of robotic brains for increased processing power makes the most sense. Of course, we can come up with fluff explanantions for everything, but the more intuitive/closer to natural expectation a game mechanic can be "fluff explained", the better. ;)

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Re: Shield parts and Robotic Interface

#3 Post by dbenage-cx » Sun May 07, 2017 1:31 am

make the Robotic Interface a potential boost for other stats, not just shields
Yes, though some comparable mechanic or offset should probably be in place for other metabolisms.
Solar Concentrator might be revamped to a similar phototrophic specific mechanic.
Nothing comes to mind specifically for others, some might be offset with a more individual approach or ability to disrupt such networks.
I suggest to rethink where a "Robotic Interface" ... makes the most sense.
I am guessing this is suggesting colonies? I had thought about utilizing a special, so an object could have a variable effect on the increase it gave.
Besides the issue of specials on ships, I took the approach that the raw computational power alone did not increase the capabilities.
Instead it relies more on distributed nodes (e.g. catch a ball with one eye closed).
Supporting interfaces with a variable capacity might have some performance cost as well, even if still limited to ships.

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