0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

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Magnate
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0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#1 Post by Magnate » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:59 pm

I'm playing a game that's reached turn 85 with two of four players building organic hulls and the other two building nothing but robotic hulls. Let's look at the comparison (I'm ignoring fuel because I don't understand the new efficiency mechanic yet):

Basic large hull: 15 structure, 1 internal, 3 external, speed 60, no regen, 2 turn build

Robotic hull: 25 structure (+60%), 1 internal, 4 external (+33%), speed 75 (+25%), +2 regen, 2 turn build - all for six turns research and no additional building

Organic hull: 5 structure (ultimately 10 but still -33%), 1 internal, 3 external, speed 90 (+50%), +2 regen, 3 turn build - eight turns research plus eight turn building
Symbiotic hull: 10 structure (ultimately 20, -20%), 2 internal (+100%), 2 external (-33%), speed 100 (+67%), +2 regen, 4 turn build - *another* eight turns research plus another eight turn building

The basic Robotic hull seems overly dominant for its place in the research timeline. It's not really superseded until either asteroid hulls or gravity hulls, both of which are a long way away.

I'd like to suggest that its structure be dropped to 20 and its build speed increased to three turns. Or drop the fourth external slot, which is its chief advantage.

Thoughts?

(Apologies if this has been argued to death before!)

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alleryn
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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#2 Post by alleryn » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:26 am

When you list the comparisons like:
Magnate wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:59 pm
Basic large hull: 15 structure, 1 internal, 3 external, speed 60, no regen, 2 turn build

Robotic hull: 25 structure (+60%), 1 internal, 4 external (+33%), speed 75 (+25%), +2 regen, 2 turn build - all for six turns research and no additional building

Organic hull: 5 structure (ultimately 10 but still -33%), 1 internal, 3 external, speed 90 (+50%), +2 regen, 3 turn build - eight turns research plus eight turn building
Symbiotic hull: 10 structure (ultimately 20, -20%), 2 internal (+100%), 2 external (-33%), speed 100 (+67%), +2 regen, 4 turn build - *another* eight turns research plus another eight turn building
You don't put in the PP cost. Robotic hull is the most expensive, so it's a little misleading (not intentionally i'm sure) the way you've listed it.
It's not really superseded until either asteroid hulls or gravity hulls, both of which are a long way away.
Static multicellular?
I'd like to suggest that its structure be dropped to 20 and its build speed increased to three turns. Or drop the fourth external slot, which is its chief advantage.
I'm not really convinced by your argument. I think even organic hull is more cost-efficient in most cases, but it takes some calculations so i'm not 100% sure. Incubator does take a long time to build; i wouldn't mind seeing the 8 turns cut in half or something. Or introduce some other early game hulls to compete with robotic.

Edit: One other thing. You mentioned for symbiotic hulls (really it's more relevant for static multicellular probably) how it's *another* eight turns research plus another eight turn building. This is a little confusing. Once you research organic hulls you can start building an Incubator and researching Contrived Symbiosis. Eight turns later you're ready to build Symbiotic hulls. It's still just an eight turn wait, so i'm not really sure what you're adding together (it makes sense to add together the eight turns to research organic hull (well 3 for Domesticated Mega Fauna plus 5 for Organic Hull) plus the eight turns to build an Orbital Incubator, but there's no real reason why it takes any longer than those turns to start building Symbiotic (or Static Multicellular) Hull along with Organic Hulls.)

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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#3 Post by Magnate » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:03 pm

Sorry, I was tired - you're right that I forgot to list the PP comparison. Robotic is 24 to Basic Large 18, so +33%, while organic is cheaper. To me the PP cost is not a big factor, since hull PP costs are so tiny compared with the costs of weapons or shields. So the +33% becomes more like +8-10% for a like-for-like build (e.g. mass drivers/lasers/flak cannon and defense grid).

Static multicellular is indeed competitive but requires more techs and of course the incubator. You're right that you can probably research this tech while building the incubator, so turn 17 earliest start for building them (cf. turn 7 for Robotic hulls). But you can't start building Symbiotics until turn 25 at the earliest because you need the second building (which you can research while building the first building). So there is a huge gap.

I would love to see the incubator (and the other two - cellular growth chamber and xeno-coordination facility) with shorter build times. Preferably shorter research times too, say 6 turns.

I don't think we need more early game hulls, rather we need more mid-game hulls to supersede the robo hull, because it dominates for so long. I can't see why the non-regenerating static multicellular would supersede it - just speed? I think if it was slightly nerfed it would fade out more quickly. In the current MP dedicated server test game we're all still building them at turn 91 which feels a bit silly.

That said, I now understand the fuel mechanics a bit better, and 1.5 fuel is pretty crippling. I'm happy with that, but it gives rise to another question: why does the symbiotic have such good fuel (4.0) but the protoplasmic immediately drops to 1.5 (or 2.0, I forget which). That feels like a weird discontinuity, since protoplasmic is such a small upgrade (no more speed, no more structure, no more external slots - just one more internal slot in return for an additional turn to build).

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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#4 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:50 pm

Magnate wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:03 pm
That said, I now understand the fuel mechanics a bit better, and 1.5 fuel is pretty crippling. I'm happy with that, but it gives rise to another question: why does the symbiotic have such good fuel (4.0) but the protoplasmic immediately drops to 1.5 (or 2.0, I forget which). That feels like a weird discontinuity, since protoplasmic is such a small upgrade (no more speed, no more structure, no more external slots - just one more internal slot in return for an additional turn to build).
The fuel efficiency is pretty new and may be imbalanced. So feedback very welcome.

That said both symbiotic and also protoplasmic hulls have two fuel as they "always" had. Robohulls got nerfed and have only average fuel efficiency while most of the organic line hulls are mostly good fuel efficiency (that means that robo hull fuel tank only give half the fuel).

Robo hull will be buffed to 2.0 fuel soon probably. And if you look into Measuring efficiency of ship designs you will see that robo hull is actually not so good. For the same PP you can get more at least 33% more combat strength (damage*structure) out of multicell ships or symbiotic ships (even organics with mass drivers are better than robohulls if the opponent does not use shields; expecting Laser and Zortrium tech). Robo hull is fast to build and only needs the cheap and fast to build drydock which you will build anyway because you want to repair your fleet.

Also you can build symbiotic hulls without "the second building" - you just need the incubator; protoplasmic hulls need the second building.

Also we are talking about upcoming 0.4.9 robotic hull. 0.4.8 robotic hull had 3 fuel.
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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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alleryn
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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#5 Post by alleryn » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:16 am

Magnate wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:03 pm
Sorry, I was tired - you're right that I forgot to list the PP comparison. Robotic is 24 to Basic Large 18, so +33%, while organic is cheaper. To me the PP cost is not a big factor, since hull PP costs are so tiny compared with the costs of weapons or shields. So the +33% becomes more like +8-10% for a like-for-like build (e.g. mass drivers/lasers/flak cannon and defense grid).
It depends on what you put on your ship. If you are building with one weapon, rest of the external slots filled with armor, and no shield (which i find is usually the most cost-efficient design on early game hulls in terms of dmg*structure/cost^2 with the exception of robo hulls), then the hull is a pretty big contributor to overall cost.
Static multicellular is indeed competitive but requires more techs and of course the incubator. You're right that you can probably research this tech while building the incubator, so turn 17 earliest start for building them (cf. turn 7 for Robotic hulls). But you can't start building Symbiotics until turn 25 at the earliest because you need the second building (which you can research while building the first building). So there is a huge gap.
Maybe you have Symbiotics confused with some other hull? Researching the symbiotic tech does unlock one of the additional structures, but it's not needed to produce Symbiotics (only Incubator is needed (and a Basic Shipyard)), at least in Master (as you can see the lines requiring the ORG_CELL_GROW_CHAMBER are commented out in the current version (and have been since at least 2016))

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... xt#L17-L31
I would love to see the incubator (and the other two - cellular growth chamber and xeno-coordination facility) with shorter build times. Preferably shorter research times too, say 6 turns.
Just to be clear: the two "higher" organic shipyards are needed only for six hulls:
Cellular Growth for Protoplasmic and Bioadaptive
Xenocoordination for Endomorphic and Ravenous
both for Endosymbiotic and Sentient

It's somewhat unclear whether those hulls are relevant to this discussion at this point. Shortening the time frame for research/construction of some of these techs/shipyards does sound reasonable to me balance-wise even if it's a bit opposed to their fluff.
I don't think we need more early game hulls, rather we need more mid-game hulls to supersede the robo hull, because it dominates for so long. I can't see why the non-regenerating static multicellular would supersede it - just speed?
Well it's hard to do a proper efficiency analysis without knowing exactly what you are building, but here's say efficiency of robo + 2 laser + 2 zort vs static + laser + 2 zort:

robo: cost = 40 (hull) + 2 * 30 (lasers) + 2*6 (zort) = 112 [multiply by 0.6 for game rules on muliplayer slow server --> 112*.6 = 67.2 PP]
SMC: cost = 18 (hull) + 30 *laser) + 2*6 (zort) = 60 [multiply by 0.6 for game rules on muliplayer slow server --> 60*.6 = 36 PP]

efficiency of robo = 22 (damage) * 47 (structure) / 67.2 ^ 2 (cost^2) = .229
efficiency of SMC = 11 (dmg) * 38 (sturucture) / 36 ^ 2 (cost^2) = .322

Like 40% more efficient. In short it's almost 2 SMC ships built for every robo, which would give you equal numbers of lasers and 76 structure to 47. Basically your answer is because you seem to not consider production cost.
That said, I now understand the fuel mechanics a bit better, and 1.5 fuel is pretty crippling. I'm happy with that, but it gives rise to another question: why does the symbiotic have such good fuel (4.0) but the protoplasmic immediately drops to 1.5 (or 2.0, I forget which). That feels like a weird discontinuity, since protoplasmic is such a small upgrade (no more speed, no more structure, no more external slots - just one more internal slot in return for an additional turn to build).
This would probably be better discussed in the fuel rework thread: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=11321&sid=61f2f341 ... e2b693ab0f

Magnate
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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#6 Post by Magnate » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:13 pm

Ah!!! My goodness, thank you. I have rather stupidly been waiting to building my cellular thingies before building symbiotic hulls, simply because it's unlocked by the tech. Doh. That does make a difference.

The other issue is that I put a lot of weapons on my ships and very little armour (the "alpha" approach if you play Stellaris), so that's why I don't consider the hull cost a big deal.

But thank you for the discussion - perhaps the robo hull is ok, but we just need something non-organic in between robo and the energy or gravity hulls, as they feel like a long way away.

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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#7 Post by The Silent One » Mon Sep 23, 2019 5:41 am

Magnate wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:13 pm
But thank you for the discussion - perhaps the robo hull is ok, but we just need something non-organic in between robo and the energy or gravity hulls, as they feel like a long way away.
Agreed, just what I think.
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Re: 0.4.8 Robotic hull overpowered

#8 Post by Oberlus » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:27 pm

My impression is that for most hulls, the bigger is more cost efficient than the smaller.
So Robos are relatively OP against most tiny ships, but it is in trouble against Heavy Asteroids.
Self-Grav are OP compared to Robos, Heavy Asteroids, etc. but relatively UP against Titanic Hulls.

And I think that comes from the fact that for two fleets with the same total structure, the one composed of more ships will lose more ships and be unable to repair them, while the fleet with less ships is able to recover better from the combat.
Pleasepleaseplease, join fifth multiplayer slow game!

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