Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

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Ophiuchus
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Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun May 27, 2018 11:52 am

While fighters are in need of some love - with targeting preferences probably being part if it (see Suggestions for a Carrier/Fighter revision discussion), making the interceptors a little more usable would be nice.

I suggest simply to double the capacity of the launch bay for interceptors, so that a single launch bay is enough to start four interceptors in single turn.

I have an implementation PR-2128.

I dont know what AI changes would be necessary.
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#2 Post by Oberlus » Sun May 27, 2018 1:26 pm

I like this. Currently using fighters is better for both cannon fodder, defense against other fighters and battleship slaughtering, while interceptors are only better (specifically: cheaper) on defense against other fighters but way worse on the other tasks and therefore not interesting.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#3 Post by Jaumito » Sun May 27, 2018 1:27 pm

I guess it will affect the skrill swarm line?

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Vezzra
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#4 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 27, 2018 2:06 pm

That sounds like a reasonable approach. However, if we are going to tackle this issue, why not doing it thoroughly?

The basic issue is that launch bay capacity doesn't scale, while hanger capacity does. That makes balancing hangar costs wrt to hangar type almost impossible, as the additional launch bays you need add extremely high additional costs for hangar types that provide lower damage, but higher amount of fighters (because you not only have to pay more PP to have the required launch capacity, but also have to sacrifice more external slots which you can't put weapons in, which is a pretty hefty price!). The obvious solution to that is to make launch bay capacity depend on hangar type, probably balanced so that you need one or two launch bays per hangar.

Which means, you not only do that for interceptors, but fighters as well. Or, as I'd suggest, scrap the "medium fighter" type entirely, and just have bombers and interceptors. Having these three types makes them too less distinct IMO.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#5 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun May 27, 2018 2:23 pm

Vezzra wrote:That sounds like a reasonable approach. However, if we are going to tackle this issue, why not doing it thoroughly?
Because of difficulty of finding common ground. See in the other thread.

I think people expect the targeting to land and then it would make sense to have the 3 types.
I also wont mind doing launch I-F-B as 4-3-2 instead of 4-2-2, but as fighters are already the most powerful ones, they would need to be nerfed in comparison.

We could also remove fighters temporarily, but thats also meh.

So I read your post that you do not have any severe objections against my suggestion (with a strong preference for also removing fighters)
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#6 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun May 27, 2018 2:24 pm

Jaumito wrote:I guess it will affect the skrill swarm line?
No
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#7 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 27, 2018 3:05 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:So I read your post that you do not have any severe objections against my suggestion (with a strong preference for also removing fighters)
Correct. Even without my additional suggestions, it would be a vast improvement to the current situation, as interceptors are more or less useless now.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#8 Post by Dilvish » Sun May 27, 2018 4:29 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:Correct. Even without my additional suggestions, it would be a vast improvement to the current situation, as interceptors are more or less useless now.
I think they can still have a very substantial effect on a fight just by drawing fire on round 2. But that aspect is tough to take into account in a clear way when balancing.

I'll try to pay more attention to whether I see the AI using interceptors in particular, or just fighters or bombers. If the AI is using them I'd be a bit reluctant to take them out, but otherwise I'd have no objection to them coming out.
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#9 Post by Oberlus » Sun May 27, 2018 5:01 pm

Dilvish wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:Correct. Even without my additional suggestions, it would be a vast improvement to the current situation, as interceptors are more or less useless now.
I think they can still have a very substantial effect on a fight just by drawing fire on round 2.
No, because it will be always better to have fighters than interceptors. Fighter has 75% of the fodder cannon capacity of interceptors, but also many times more damage capacity, that by killing battleships will also reduce the damage you'll get on round 3.

Removing fighters an having only interceptors (best cannon fodder, best protection against bombers, not killing battleships) and bombers (great battleship killing, even better against well shielded enemies, poor at cannon fodder and defense against fighters) is a great idea IMO.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#10 Post by Dilvish » Sun May 27, 2018 5:42 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Dilvish wrote:I think they can still have a very substantial effect on a fight just by drawing fire on round 2.
No, because it will be always better to have fighters than interceptors.
Are you just saying that you don't think anyone would actually use interceptors? That is a tremendously different thing that whether they can or cannot have a substantial effect. It seems you already acknowledged that they act as cannon fodder, which is just the point I was emphasizing, so I really cannot figure out what you are disagreeing with here.

I think that the defensive (cannon fodder) aspect of this proposed change would need some real analysis and testing for balance purposes before we should consider actually merging to master.

The AI does have code that takes into account both offensive and defensive value of fighters, etc., I think that for substantial changes in the launch rate like discussed here and in the other related PR we'd need to review how well that AI code really worked (both currently and with the revamped numbers)
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#11 Post by Oberlus » Sun May 27, 2018 6:28 pm

Oberlus wrote:it will be always better to have fighters than interceptors.
Dilvish wrote:Are you just saying that you don't think anyone would actually use interceptors?
No, I'm saying that with current mechanics using interceptors instead of fighters is a poor choice, but a choice nonetheless that anyone can take if they want.
That is a tremendously different thing that whether they can or cannot have a substantial effect.
Indeed. Just to be clear, I'll repeat myself: interceptors do have a substantial effect as both cannon fodder and anti-figther defense. However, fighters can perform those two roles almost as good as interceptors (75%) and do at the same time a much more better job at killing enemy battleships (something like +700% better at it). And hence my statement: using interceptors instead of fighters is a poor choice.
Oh, and the same point applies to the bombers-figthers relation: bombers are not really better than fighters to kill battleships (actually are worse from mid game on), and are considerably worse than fighters as cannon fodder. Fighters eclipse the other two types. Plus I dislike that one of the specific classes (fighter) has the same name than the general class (fighters).
So removing the fighters from the equation would solve both problems at once (plus that thing of mine with the name): interceptor would be the best cannon-fodder choice and bombers the best battleship-killing choice, and different combinations of both would make sense depending on the enemies compositions, etc. (while currently best "combination" is always fighters-only).
It is also KISSer tha having three classes of fighters with overlapping roles.
I think that the defensive (cannon fodder) aspect of this proposed change would need some real analysis and testing for balance purposes before we should consider actually merging to master.
Agree. I can playtest removing fighters on my own and I think I can make the changes to make bays launch 4 interceptors per turn too.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#12 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 27, 2018 7:42 pm

Dilvish wrote:Are you just saying that you don't think anyone would actually use interceptors? That is a tremendously different thing that whether they can or cannot have a substantial effect. It seems you already acknowledged that they act as cannon fodder, which is just the point I was emphasizing, so I really cannot figure out what you are disagreeing with here.
The problem I have with the interceptors (and why I never use them in my games, although I usually use carriers/fighters a lot) is not that the hangar part itself isn't priced reasonably - IMO it's not so far off the mark, maybe a bit cheaper, but that's not the problem. The reason I never use them is the poor hangar/launch bay ratio compared to medium fighters and bombers. Bombers are optimal in that regard, only one launch bay for one hangar, perfect. For the medium fighters the ratio is still reasonable (3 launch bays for 2 hangars, while the boost to the cannon fodder factor is adequate), but for interceptors you need two launch bays for one hangar. That are 1 internal and 2 external slots, 3 ship parts for a measly 4 fighters, which don't provide that much of an increase to the cannon fodder factor to justify these costs, while suffering from a substantial loss in firepower (compared to medium fighters and bombers - the latter have a total firepower of 2x5=10 and 3x3=9, while interceptors have 4x1=4 - that's awful considering how many external slots you need to sacrifice to get them into combat).

It's really the launch bay capacity not scaling with the hangar type that throws things out of balance so badly here, IMO.

Regarding keeping or removing medium fighters: once the interceptors are adequately balanced, it's probably possible to keep all three types, but to me it's just pointless. The difference between bombers and medium fighters and medium fighters and interceptors isn't strong enough to be interesting. In my games I always found deciding between bombers and fighters tedious and un-fun, to be honest. Bombers and properly balances interceptors however, that would be a whole different story. We've always strived for game mechanics and elements to have a clear distinction, and to avoid things that are too similar or close. We should apply that principle here too.

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#13 Post by Oberlus » Sun May 27, 2018 8:14 pm

Oberlus wrote:I think I can make the changes to make bays launch 4 interceptors per turn too.
No, I can't. Or at least I'm unsure how to do it. I'm not inclined to create a dedicated hangar part for each fighter type (that would mess up with too many parts of the game), but I don't know how to change the launch capacity of the bay depending on the hangar type that accompanies it. I see how the upgrading of weapon-parts damage with new refinement techs is performed, but got no idea on how to do something similar when... creating the ship design?

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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#14 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon May 28, 2018 1:56 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Oberlus wrote:I think I can make the changes to make bays launch 4 interceptors per turn too.
No, I can't. Or at least I'm unsure how to do it. I'm not inclined to create a dedicated hangar part for each fighter type (that would mess up with too many parts of the game), but I don't know how to change the launch capacity of the bay depending on the hangar type that accompanies it. I see how the upgrading of weapon-parts damage with new refinement techs is performed, but got no idea on how to do something similar when... creating the ship design?
you can just copy n paste the change from https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/2128/files
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Re: Let 4 interceptors launch per bay (stopgap)

#15 Post by Oberlus » Mon May 28, 2018 2:05 pm

Thank you, Ophiucus. I should have known it by myself when you posted the PR...

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