Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

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Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#1 Post by Oberlus » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:14 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:30 pm
Oberlus wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:37 pm
fractional numbers
I have the feeling that we already unnecessarily run into this problem often (especially with multi-shot weapon design). Maybe we should scale damage and structure across the board by a factor of five (or ten). We get rid of fractions and can make weapons (multi-shot, fighters) with integer damage values in a finer granularity.
From my tinkering on this, I say we should do x6, since we have a lot of divisions by 3 and by 2.

I attach a table with the minimum values we can have to allow for 2, 3, 4, 6 and 9 shots per combat (3 bouts) without incurring into fractions when numbers are too small (i.e. anywhere in tier 1, damage increments from tech refinements in tier 2). LR 1-shot corresponds to current SR_WEAPONs (1 shot per bout, shoots the 3 bouts), and damage has been raised x6 (from 3 damage of the MD-1 to 18). I've reduced damage increase per tier from aprox. x1.66 to x1.5, so the equivalent to DR does 60 damage instead of 90 (6x15), and a tier 4 weapon is 3.375x stronger than a tier 1 weapon (instead of 5x). The part costs have been updated accordingly.

Let me know what you think and if the table needs more formulas or explanations.
Attachments
MultiWeaponIntegers.xls
(9.5 KiB) Downloaded 2 times

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#2 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:06 am

Oberlus wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:14 pm
From my tinkering on this, I say we should do x6, since we have a lot of divisions by 3 and by 2.
Very valid reasoning, love it.

Will need some time to digest the table.
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#3 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:06 am
Oberlus wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:14 pm
From my tinkering on this, I say we should do x6, since we have a lot of divisions by 3 and by 2.
Very valid reasoning, love it.

Will need some time to digest the table.
I will do the damage/structure rescaling at the same time as switching to four bouts (instead of doing rescaling twice).
For weapons which fire each bout damage the switch to four bouts will does not affect reasoning (because structure gets scaled accordingly), but you are using LR: 3 bouts and SR: 2 bouts if i read this correctly. It will be LR: 4 bouts, SR: 2 bouts, and CR: 2 bouts.

A weapon like the spinal mount could be considered unusable at close range if not hidden (because you need to obviously turn the whole ship and this is easy to evade at closer range), so it could also shoot only maximum 2 bouts in standard case. If you are mega-hidden you maybe get an extra shot before decloaking. Or if your enemy decloakes by attacking at short range and you are still hidden you can attack once in the last bout.

So I need the values for four bout combat (LR,SR,CR,CR). Some question about terminology: Should a weapon like the spinal mount suggestion a LSR weapon? And should we call a normal long range weapons a LSC*R weapon (because then the prototype missile would be a CR weapon? And a general launch in LR fly-one-bout missile would be LCR+1R ).

I would keep damage increase uniform. E.g. for single-shot i think it ok if base damage stays like it is and increase is 13,13,13. For multi-shot this is a bit more tricky.


For the fighters a damage range would be helpful (e.g. considering damage minimum damage if shot down in the first bout vs not being shot down at all), maybe add extra columns for that (e.g. "Bomber MIN", "Bomber MAX", "Fighter MIN", "Fighter MAX" of +/- instead of MIN/MAX).
Less urgent would be the same for the other weapon types (cause it is quite probably that CR weapons do no damage at all).

p.s. off-topic side-note: If choosing different bouts (3, or more than 4), damage could be scaled to the number of close range bouts so the total damage per combat does not change, just the granularity (in close range bouts). So e.g. when choosing 3 bouts all weapons should do twice the damage when in close range. Or it could scale damage over all the bouts (so still double the damage for CR weapons, but +33% damage for LR weapons in each of the three bouts). Or KISS for the beginning, do not scale the damage and simply give game rule access to manually change damage multipliers for the different types of ranges (LR damage, SR damage, CR damage).
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#4 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am

Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am
I will do the damage/structure rescaling at the same time as switching to four bouts (instead of doing rescaling twice).
Let's talk again about the 4 bout combats.
You know I was all-in about the idea. I proposed that set of new weapons for the always-in-the-future themed tech tree that counted on those 4 bouts for better balance and the such. Now I'm not so convinced. What I liked the most about the idea was that thing of the hidden CR-ships hitting the enemies on bout 3 with no retaliation until bout 4.
The same mechanic for stealth is still working with just two weapon ranges (long and short) and 3 bouts: hidden LR-ships shot from bout 1 but can be shoot from bout 2 (-33% enemy LR damage, -0% enemy SR damage), hidden SR-ships shot from bout 2 and do not get retaliation until bout 3 (-66% enemy LR damage, -50% enemy SR damage).
Regarding "CR weapons might not do any damage at all (when shot down before bout 3)", that problem is less serious with only LR/SR and 3 bouts.
So I need the values for four bout combat (LR,SR,CR,CR).
I'll do it. But those might be bigger numbers for the MD-1 because of more shots-per-combat variety (we add 12-shots).
A weapon like the spinal mount could be considered unusable at close range if not hidden
We are adding some complexity to combat. What's the point of minimum range regarding tactics? Not opposed to the idea, but I don't see what does it bring into combat tactics.

Should a weapon like the spinal mount suggestion a LSR weapon? And should we call a normal long range weapons a LSC*R weapon (because then the prototype missile would be a CR weapon? And a general launch in LR fly-one-bout missile would be LCR+1R ).
What a storm of letters...
If we reject the least range thingy, LR, SR and CR would be enough. But I don't need to worry about that because calculations are about number of shots per combat (regardless of fancy stuff for shot distribution among bouts).
I would keep damage increase uniform
Got it.
For the fighters a damage range would be helpful (e.g. considering damage minimum damage if shot down in the first bout vs not being shot down at all), maybe add extra columns for that (e.g. "Bomber MIN", "Bomber MAX", "Fighter MIN", "Fighter MAX" of +/- instead of MIN/MAX).
Less urgent would be the same for the other weapon types (cause it is quite probably that CR weapons do no damage at all).
OK, my original spreadsheet has many more columns.
I came up with some estimations for frequencies of types of defence against weapons and survivability of the ships to get some sort of average weapon efficiency (percentage of maximum damage that will deal on average) and scalated PP cost with that (so that weapons that has greater efficiency have more cost per damage). An example (still for 3 bouts): for fighters, I said that on average 50% of them survive to shoot on bout 3, so 75% efficiency. For cannons I assumed fully refined tech and:
- 25% of the targets will be shielded (75% will not) with a same-tier shield, so -50% damage against those targets for LR weapons, -33% for SR.
- Targets would be detected from start 50% of times, from bout 2 33.3% and undetected on bout 3 16.7%.
- Gunner would die on bout 1 (one one chance to shoot) 20% of the times, 50% on bout 2, 33.3% it makes it to bout 3.
Different range and fire-rate weapons get affected differently. Combining all cases above I get an average efficiency for each weapon (above is a refined version of what I used in the OP's attached table).
Do you like this reasoning for the balancing?

p.s. off-topic side-note: If choosing different bouts (3, or more than 4), damage could be scaled to the number of close range bouts so the total damage per combat does not change, just the granularity (in close range bouts). So e.g. when choosing 3 bouts all weapons should do twice the damage when in close range. Or it could scale damage over all the bouts (so still double the damage for CR weapons, but +33% damage for LR weapons in each of the three bouts). Or KISS for the beginning, do not scale the damage and simply give game rule access to manually change damage multipliers for the different types of ranges (LR damage, SR damage, CR damage).
All this gives me the chills. Keep in mind that different number of bouts require a different minimum damage to avoid integers, and different cases that need rounding up or down and changing the regular formulas. Should we use real numbers, what you propose would be quite easy (define values based on bouts per combat). But if we want to stick to integer values and to not deviate too much from recognisable numbers (40 better than 41, etc.), we better stick to a single, fixed number of bouts, or to a subset like 3,4 and 6 (avoid 5 for the extra denominator that blows numbers up). In any case, balancing things like chaff with more bouts is not necessary: we can adjust hull costs (I'm doing numbers for the shields and I'm more and more convinced that hulls are too cheap).

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#5 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:44 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am
So I need the values for four bout combat (LR,SR,CR,CR).
I'll do it. But those might be bigger numbers for the MD-1 because of more shots-per-combat variety (we add 12-shots).
Let's have that debate about 3, 4 or variable number of bouts before I do the numbers.
To calculate the different efficiencies of the weapons depending on how long the ships survive and how long the targets are hidden (itself depending on the range of the mounted weapons) becomes much more onerous when we have 4 bouts and 3 ranges: {target undetected for 1, 2 or 3 bouts} x {target shielded / unshielded), six cases! Three was already cumbersome and brings a lot of uncertainty about what could be the average efficiency, with six it's demential.
/Edit: x {3 ranges}, so 18 cases, against 6 with 3 bouts and 2 ranges/


Pros and cons of having 4 bouts and 3 ranges (IMO):
+ Slightly increased variety of tactics.
+/- Some strategies are more all-or-nothing due to difficulty in balance.
- Integers are harder to achieve with small numbers.
-- Balancing is harder to achieve.

For variable number of bouts:
No further increase of tactical variety.
-- Integers are even harder to achieve.
--- Balancing is much harder to achieve, if possible.

I would go for 3 bouts and LR/SR weapons for now. CR weapons could be an option with 3 bouts too, but I don't like they are too much of an all-or-nothing (either OP or UP depending on target's detection).

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#6 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:15 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am
I will do the damage/structure rescaling at the same time as switching to four bouts (instead of doing rescaling twice).
Let's talk again about the 4 bout combats....What I liked the most about the idea was that thing of the hidden CR-ships hitting the enemies on bout 3 with no retaliation until bout 4.
The same mechanic for stealth is still working with just two weapon ranges (long and short) and 3 bouts
..
In any case, balancing things like chaff with more bouts is not necessary: we can adjust hull costs (I'm doing numbers for the shields and I'm more and more convinced that hulls are too cheap).
For me that retaliation-against-sneak-attack is also very intrigueing in the 3 bout LR/SR variant. I would think though that we need the design space for another range if we go for five themes. The other thing I wanted to have by increasing the number of bouts: I want to reduce shot overkill (by roughly 33%) in order to reduce general chaff effectiveness. I think we nerfed the base hull well in relation to other chaff but general chaff (e.g. small asteroids...) could be nerfed a bit more.

If hulls get much expensive chaff is probably less an issue. But of course also legit ship designs become more expensive which might restrict design space. So I still think adding a bout would be simple and sensible here. And if I do the damage scaling work I rather make that move in a single step even if we find it not strictly necessary-it will give us more options and I can see no downside. Much better than finding out later that we need to add a bout and double the work.
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
Regarding "CR weapons might not do any damage at all (when shot down before bout 3)", that problem is less serious with only LR/SR and 3 bouts.
I do not see being shot down before able to shoot as a problem. It is a sensible tradeoff (more damage for the same PP if and only if you survive to close range combat). Also interesting for monster puzzles in single game - how can I most effectively and fast get rid of that specific monster - better kill it off in the first two bouts so send a bunch of organics with three mass drivers each.
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am
So I need the values for four bout combat (LR,SR,CR,CR).
I'll do it. But those might be bigger numbers for the MD-1 because of more shots-per-combat variety (we add 12-shots).
Bigger totals are totally fine to me.
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:16 am
A weapon like the spinal mount could be considered unusable at close range if not hidden
We are adding some complexity to combat. What's the point of minimum range regarding tactics? Not opposed to the idea, but I don't see what does it bring into combat tactics.
I thought that would bring some variety to a very special weapon. But maybe it is just complexity. Difference would be: you deliver the whole damage in first half of bouts so being taken out by SR/CR weapons will not diminish the damage delivered. And also good for some tactic somebody called it alpha strategy - shoot the others down ASAP so they do less damage. It also makes it easier to shield planets from the weapon using chaff (which would be ok I guess). It is even more a concentration of damage (which might be bad) and if we go with the fluff the weapon probably should be able to (only) target planets in CR bouts (which i find too powerful with the current planetary defense system). So agreed, let us just keep the LSR spinal mount that as an option for later ;)
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
I came up with some estimations for frequencies of types of defence against weapons and survivability of the ships to get some sort of average weapon efficiency (percentage of maximum damage that will deal on average) and scaled PP cost with that (so that weapons that have greater efficiency have more cost per damage). ...
Do you like this reasoning for the balancing?
Should be good enough until we have evidence to doubt that. So: cool :D

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:46 am
we better stick to a single, fixed number of bouts, or to a subset like 3,4 and 6 (avoid 5 for the extra denominator that blows numbers up).
Interesting. The subset keeps everything integer but hard to communicate i guess. Could be solved in UI though.
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#7 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:25 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:44 pm
Pros and cons of having 4 bouts and 3 ranges (IMO):
+ Slightly increased variety of tactics.
+/- Some strategies are more all-or-nothing due to difficulty in balance.
- Integers are harder to achieve with small numbers.
-- Balancing is harder to achieve.
I do not see quite understand how you reach the three last conclusions. So on my level of understanding:

Pros and cons of having 4 bouts and 3 ranges (IMO):
++ Bigger design space
+ Slightly increased variety of tactics.
+ Slightly nerf of chaff.

Edit: ok, if i get you right the way you do analysis gets to complex. So I add here:
-- Need better analysis tool
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:44 pm
For variable number of bouts:
No further increase of tactical variety.
-- Integers are even harder to achieve.
--- Balancing is much harder to achieve, if possible.
Agreed. Either we remove the combat bout setting or allow the user to set scaling of LR/SR/CR weapon damage. So the player can make the decision if one wants to change the number of bouts. Also until AI knows about combat bouts it will probably have it easier with a fixed number of bouts. vezzra, geoff, TSO, lg, opinions everybody????
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:44 pm
I would go for 3 bouts and LR/SR weapons for now. CR weapons could be an option with 3 bouts too, but I don't like they are too much of an all-or-nothing (either OP or UP depending on target's detection).
I totally oppose CR weapons in 3-bout version.
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#8 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:04 pm

I think 3-bout 2-range system gives enough design space for 5 themes:


Bio:
  • Hulls small and medium size, fragile at start and sturdy over time, fast, cheap, subline with embeded stealth.
  • Weapons have no refinements, weapon damage grows over time.
  • Until certain tech is researched, unorganic hulls cannot mount organic parts, organic hulls cannot mount unorganic parts.
  • Spores (anti-planet/anti-ship missiles)
  • SR 1/3-shot "guns":
    • Tentacles (SR 3-shot PD/anti-ship gun).
    • Spines (SR 1-shot anti-planet/anti-ship gun)
    • Claws/Jaws/Maws (SR 1-shot anti-ship gun)
Bio must rush stealth hulls to get the most of its SR weapons: no enemy retaliation until bout 1 (-66% damage from LR weapons, -50% from SR weapons). Then the weapon of choice would depend on enemy hulls: sturdier or shielded calls for 1-shot weapons, weaker and unshielded or armed with figthers/missiles calls for 3-shot.


Crystal:
  • Hulls of several sizes, very sturdy, cheap, slowest, subline with embeded stealth.
  • Dedicated line of armour plates only for crystal (asteroid) hulls.
  • LR 1-shot guns (lasers) that do more damage at closer range*.
Crystal can go SR-overgunned-stealth, LR-overgunned-stealth or LR-overarmored.
(*) +0% on bout 1, +50% on bout 2 and +100% on bout 3 (it's the same as saying -33% on bout 1, +33% on bout 3; or -50% on bout 1, -25% on bout 2).


Cyber:
  • Hulls of small and medium size, sturdy, autorepairing.
  • Stealth parts.
  • Fighters:
    • Interceptors (PD fighter)
    • Bomber (anti-ship fighter)
    • Fighter (PD/anti-ship fighter)
    • Heavy bomber (anti-planet/anti-ship fighter)
Cyber can make fleets of moderately sturdy ships full of fighters, with more or less fighters, interceptors or bombers depending on enemy choices (more PD -> more interceptors to soak damage; more weak chaff -> more fighters and less bombers, if both 1-shot or both 2-shot the chaff). It can also sacrifice some damage output (less hangars) in exchange of stealth as an extra defence against LR guns.


Energy:
  • LR 3-shot guns (railguns and particle beams).
  • Shields.
  • Hulls of several sizes, fragile, fastest.
Energy use a variety of hulls depending on how big are the weapons of its enemies (small cheap hulls to force overshooting against big guns, bigger, shielded ships against weak weapons), but must stick to LR 3-shot weapons and rush upper tiers to overcome enemy shields (or grab another weapon line from another theme).


Mech:
  • Hulls mid to huge, sturdy, slow
  • Advanced armour parts.
  • Missile weapons (suicide fighters):
    • Missiles (PD/anti-ship missile)
    • Torpedo (anti-ship/anti-planet missile)
Mech can go with increasingly bigger and sturdier ships full of missiles, with more or less missiles per torpedo depending on enemy choices (more PD or weaker hulls -> more missiles and less torpedoes).




Do you think we need 4 bouts and 3 ranges to get better distinction between the five themes than the above? Examples would be appreciated.

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#9 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:54 pm

This (from the weapons rework thread) was about ship speeds in combat:
Oberlus wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:51 pm
If a fleet is at least 2x faster that its enemies, it can stay one extra round at its most preferred range and one less at its less preferred range. If that fleet is at least 3x faster, then it can stay 2 extra rounds at preferred range.
The Silent One wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:32 am
This is definitely too complicated. What would make sense is: fast ships can't be engaged in short range by slower ships, except if the fast ships have SR weapons and want to go to SR themselves. If your enemy has powerful SR weapons, but is slow, you may build fast ships with (usually weaker?) LR weapons and defeat them that way.
Oberlus wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:17 pm
I don't know what other developers will think of this, but my impression is that a tech (in this case faster ships) that once you get it you can delete all your enemies in a few turns with no losses at all is a no-no. Older techs must be able to win by the numbers (if big enough), and so newer techs should give you an advantage but not insurmountable.
Otherwise, the only valid strategy is to go for fast ships with LR and anti LR (and maybe also, if properly balanced, stealth plus CR/SR).
Then I haven't thought of damage modifiers based on range (as I have done now for Crystal lasers). If SR weapons do damage at LR range (with a malus), then the "faster ships don't get into SR range unless they have SR weapons" mechanic is not longer a no-no.
Introducing ship speed effects into combat system would increase tactical choices more than having 4 bouts. And would certainly give extra value to energy hulls with LR weapons.
Fighters and missiles would be immune to range (once on the air, they can reach target in a single bout regardless of its speed).
LR weapons would have no range malus.
SR weapons would have a -X% malus at LR range. That is, bout 1 and any other if target is LR-only&faster. SR weapons won't shot on bout 1 if mounted on a undetected ship with CR weapons.
CR weapons won't shoot on bout 1, and have a -X% malus at bout 2&3 if target is LR-only&faster, and also at bout 3 if target is non-CR&faster. That is, against non-faster targets, they can shoot at bout 2 (SR) with no malus, but deals less damage against faster ships LR-only or non-CR.

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#10 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:48 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:04 pm
I think 3-bout 2-range system gives enough design space for 5 themes:
...
Do you think we need 4 bouts and 3 ranges to get better distinction between the five themes than the above? Examples would be appreciated.
It looks better than I thought. Was concerned about claws, tentacles etc. Bio theme is strong. Also makes fluff-sense that fighters are in tentacle range if they are inside shields.

What could be missing out is early downing of carriers. So one weapon line could focus on alpha. This became less important as current fighters are not chaff anymore. But we could of course add specialised fighters for chaff purposes if we wanted. E.g. holographic technology to make a "spectre/fata morgana" fighter look like a ship to the sensors in a void theme. Or some kamikaze/drone Schwarzschild fighters which intersect incoming fire - the Schwarzschild shield absorbs energy on a hit and when it overloads/explodes space is locally warped so further incoming fire gets deflected.

Also with four bouts there could be early anti-fighter (SCR) and late anti-fighter weapons (CR). Downing fighters makes only real sense in bout 2. There could be a graviton wave weapon affecting killing e.g. 10 fighters untuned to the wave (i.e. enemy fighters) in the system on short-range only (so fighters launching in bout 2 would be unaffected).

Also on the role of carriers I imagined (and forgot to say) that having more combat bouts gives more sense to add extra hangars. If fighters survive primary fighters would do 50% more damage, and secondary fighters 100% more damage. If fighters are downed, tertiary fighter wave makes as much damage as first wave. E.g. combine one launch bay, two Fighter hangars or three Bomber hangars for 2-2-2 launch pattern. This would be a boon/gives sense to many internal-slot hulls (e.g. protoplasmic hull) - we could add a hull with four internal part slots and two external ones. So four bouts would give more carrier design options.

Different damage level per bout would need some backend work (and UI/AI). On/off is working using targeting.

About speed options you suggest the -X% malus is a damage malus? So normal targeting - if you are unlucky you try to shoot at the fastest enemy? Need to wrap my head around this.
I am pretty sure this would be too much for your analysis though(?!).

A related thing - if we had flexible number of bouts sorted out, it would be only a small step to "endless combat" where vessels which were in combat the turn before are considered to be in the closest range possible from the start.

So that was off the top of my head. I still cling to the four bouts though.
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#11 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:51 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:48 pm
What could be missing out is early downing of carriers. So one weapon line could focus on alpha.
I expect each theme weapon&defense system to be good against certain builds and bad against some others. The undesired thing would be that some weapon system is never bad (or can easily adapt) against anything and hence it becomes an obvious choice for everyone.

Bio is weak against Multishot LR + high detection. So well-played Energy is its nemesis (good detection + 3-shot LR weapons). Cyber is also good because of fighters (good against swarms of ships) and some detection tech.
When I say "nemesis" I mean a theme that can get quite an advantage at combat efficiency (something like +30-50% extra efficiency from invested PP). Good means that it can have some modest advantage.

Crystal can be weak against swarms of small ships if player neglects multi-shot but not if well played, can be weak against stealth ships (LR weapons; less affected if we do the range-modified damage, more if we don't) unless it uses camouflage asteroids (stealth cancels out stealth, unless enemy has detection, because Crystal doesn't). So it is somewhat a well-rounded set of hulls and weapons that are only balanced because they are rather slow and therefore less suited for navigating the map (1-hop attacks, quick response and enemy outmaneuvering are rather clippled). No clear nemesis, but Cyber, Mech and Bio should be good against them.
Iff range-modified damage is implemented along with the ship-speed modifiers comented above, Cyber, Mech and Energy would be better at fighting Crystal, not sure if nemesis, Bio just good.
I have not mentioned a PD weapon for Crystal, but it is an option to consider (an early game flak-like pulsed laser) if it becomes the only theme that is completely vulnerable against fighters and missiles. With that pulsed weapon, Cyber and Mech would not be terrible, which makes sense, so I think this theme must have that pulse laser (remove it later if OP).

Cyber is weak against strong PD and multishot. Energy is its nemesis (it's mutual).

Energy is weak against shield-piercing damage. Mech and Cyber are its nemesis.

Mech is weak against strong PD defense, big guns (against his big hulls) and stealth. It is the theme with less serious weaknesses when playing with enough production to back up your missile hangars (build more ships than your enemy, I mean). But it is the weapon system that gets into more trouble when fully countered: if enemy has enough PD and/or stealth (coupled with SR weapons), your missiles could do nothing at all. So another Mech, Cyber, Energy and specially Bio could be dangerous enemies.


Empires would most often start focused on one theme and, as the game develops and they meet neighbours and find out what are they doing, up the priority of another theme based on what weapons/hulls/defenses they need to overcome their rivals.
The next hard part is to ensure that no pair of themes is always good at everything, because then that pair of themes would be the no-brainer. If tinkering with the weapons characteristics and combat mechanics is not enough to make many pairs of themes comparably effective (all have weaknesses, or none have them) and just a few (less than 6) stand up, we could try to get some balance by weakening the non-combat techs of the themes that appear in most of the better combat-pairs, or make sure that none of those combat pairs have in their themes some critical non-combat techs (like better troops, population/research/industry/influence boosts, etc) to force players to pick other themes. The latter is the awkward and annoying workaround.
All that is an on-going work.

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#12 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:06 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:48 pm
on the role of carriers I imagined (and forgot to say) that having more combat bouts gives more sense to add extra hangars. If fighters survive primary fighters would do 50% more damage, and secondary fighters 100% more damage. If fighters are downed, tertiary fighter wave makes as much damage as first wave. E.g. combine one launch bay, two Fighter hangars or three Bomber hangars for 2-2-2 launch pattern. This would be a boon/gives sense to many internal-slot hulls (e.g. protoplasmic hull) - we could add a hull with four internal part slots and two external ones. So four bouts would give more carrier design options.
If you do that 2-2-2- launch patterns (instead of 6-0-0), you are saving your enemy a lot of PPs on PD (enough flak to kill a third of the bombers per bout) but dealing the same damage than if you laucnhed 6-0-0, althout the damage is delayed and enemy ships have more bouts to shoot at you. Not a good idea IMO. If we make hangars that need more than 1 launch bay for single-boutr deployment, I will only mount those hangars on hulls that allow me to have those extra launch bays because it is too innefective to do partial deployment.
Different damage level per bout would need some backend work (and UI/AI).
Yes, easy one, similar to the code to consider/ignore shields.
It will also require the CombatBout ValueRef (is it how it is called?).
About speed options you suggest the -X% malus is a damage malus? So normal targeting - if you are unlucky you try to shoot at the fastest enemy? Need to wrap my head around this.
Yes, that's what I thought: if there are targets of different speeds, some with malus for you and some without, random targetting would be KISS and alike to what anything else works in combat. However, it would have space for future development of speed-conditional targetting (or just damage-resistance, to account in one function for shields, speed and maybe also overshooting).
I am pretty sure this would be too much for your analysis though(?!).
Most likely. I'll give it a try. If it gives me a headache I stop and drink a beer.
A related thing - if we had flexible number of bouts sorted out, it would be only a small step to "endless combat" where vessels which were in combat the turn before are considered to be in the closest range possible from the start.
I'm not looking forward to that. Current system of fixed length combat and restarting positions on next turn allows for interesting gameplay. The other is more related to simulating the combat in your head in a way that makes sense (I think). I imagine space combats like some sort of jousting: your fleet is going at huge speeds and will engage in a combat that will take some "human" time (not months, more like hours or days) and finish with the ships at fairly long distances, that can then turn back with a lot of effort and time (now yes, months until next showdown) or just keep going to flee.

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#13 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:32 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:06 pm
If you do that 2-2-2- launch patterns (instead of 6-0-0), you are saving your enemy a lot of PPs on PD (enough flak to kill a third of the bombers per bout) but dealing the same damage than if you laucnhed 6-0-0,
If the other one has enough PD to down all 6 it is a waste to put more than one launch bay. As launch bays are very cheap this is more a question if you need the external slots for something else (or simply if your hull has a lot more internal than external slots). Also if you launch interceptors as fighter-chaff you might want a X-X-0 pattern rather than a Y-0-0 especially as interceptor bay and launch bay are about the same price.
Oberlus wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:06 pm
Different damage level per bout would need some backend work (and UI/AI).
Yes, easy one, similar to the code to consider/ignore shields.
It will also require the CombatBout ValueRef (is it how it is called?).
Yes, but that does exist. It needs work on the parsers, the model and FOCS though to add support for valueRef in damage specification.
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: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#14 Post by Oberlus » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:23 pm

Another wrinkle for the speed options, for 4 bout combat, simpler (no -X malus from distance, just +/- 1 turn shooting depending on stealth and relative speed)


LR: shoots all bouts, immune to speed.

SR*: shoots from bout 2-1*(fasterThanTarget&&detected)+1*slowerThanTarget.

CR*: shoots from bout 3-1*(fasterThanTarget&&detected)+1*slowerThanTarget.

Fighters: launched from bout 1 (only on bout 1 if enough launch bays), attack from next bout onwards.

Missiles: launched on bout 1 (idem), attack a single time but deals more damage than fighters and requires more PD per PP (i.e. get more missiles per same PP investment).

Laser**: shoots all bouts, stronger at closer range: damage = BaseDamage*(1+2*(Bout-1)/3).
"Bout" here could be modified by speed: min(4, Bout+1*fasterThanTarget&&detected-1*slowerThanTarget)

(*) Undetected SR/CR ships refraint to reveal themselves to get one less shot but also shoots one less bout than detected ships. This makes fast SR/CR ships less vulnerable to high-detection empires.

(**) If BaseDamage (of laser) is equal to half the equivalent LR weapon base damage, we get:
Bout 1: x1 base laser damage (equal to 50% of LR, 37.5% of SR or 25% of CR)
Bout 2: x5/3 or +67% damage (equal to 83% of LR, 62.5% of SR or 41.7% of CR)
Bout 3: x7/3 or +133% (equal to 117% of LR, 87.5% of SR or 58.3% of CR)
Bout 4: x3 or +200% (equal to 150% of LR, 112.5% of SR or 75% of CR)
So at bout 4 it does twice what it does at bout 1, and the total combat damage is equal to the total damage that an LR, SR or CR weapon of same cost would do in "standard" conditions (no shields/stealth, no speed differences).

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Re: Base weapon stats for (mostly) integer values

#15 Post by Oberlus » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:42 am

Hopefully a final proposal:

Abbreviations: BpC bouts per combat, SpB shots per bout, SpC shots per combat, DpS damage per shot, DpC damage per combat.

4 bouts, 3 ranges.
Base weapon (MD1) DpS multiplied by 6. DpC multiplied by 8 (x6 DpS x1.33 extra bout).
Armour and hull base structures should be multiplied by 8ish to keep balance, TO DO, but I'm thinking x10 would be good.
LR 1-shot base DpS is also the strength of the same-tier shield (so 18 for tier 1, 27 for tier 2...).
PP cost needed adjustments: the values in the table can be divided by 2 to coincide with current balance (MD/LR 1-shot costs 20 PP) but we get ugly numbers like 37.5 and 52.5 (or 37 and 52). I prefer to double the PP cost of everything and double production to keep both the balance and the PP costs multiple of 5.

Cannons of different ranges and same fire rate do the same total combat damage and cost the same.
SR shot damage is 4/3 of LR's, and CR shot damage is 2x LR's.

Cannons of same fire rate do the same full combat damage and cost the same.
Multishot cannons do more damage (and are more expensive) to make them not-utterly-useless against shields.
3-shot weapons do 1.5x 1-shot full combat damage (shot damage is 2/3 of same-range 1-shot weapon) and costs 1.5x. 6-shot weapons do 2x and costs 2x.

With this numbers, only a few roundings were required, but didn't disrupt progression.

Flak cannon costs 20 PP, not 40 PP (needed a boost to compite with the growing numbers of interceptors and missiles).
Interceptor and fighter hangar costs 20, bomber, heavy bomber, missile and torpedo costs 30, launch bays 10.
Fighter hangar needs 1.5 launch bays for fast launching; interceptor, bomber, heavy bomber and torpedo hangars need 1 launch bay for fast launch; missiles need TIER+1 launch bays for fast launch (3 missiles per launch bay).

I forgot to add heavy fighter to the tables, but it is equal to bomber with 2xDpS and SpB/2.
I also forgot about the GBS/sandblaster multishot cannon that is supposed to upgrade like fighters and not like cannons. There is no such thing in the tables. TO DO.

TIER 1 BpC
(range)
SpB SpC Base
DpS
DpS
ref.
inc.
#Refs DpS
upped
DpC
upped
PP DpC / PP
(upped)
LR 1-shot 4 1 4 18 6 3 36 144 40 3.60
LR 3-shot 4 3 12 9 3 3 18 216 60 3.60
LR 6-shot 4 6 24 6 2 3 12 288 80 3.60
SR 1-shot 3 1 3 24 8 3 48 144 40 3.60
SR 3-shot 3 3 9 12 4 3 24 216 60 3.60
SR 6-shot 3 6 18 7 3 3 16 288 80 3.60
CR 1-shot 2 1 2 36 12 3 72 144 40 3.60
CR 3-shot 2 3 6 18 6 3 36 216 60 3.60
CR 6-shot 2 6 12 12 4 3 24 288 80 3.60
Bombers 3 2 6 36 0 0 36 216 50 4.32
Fighters 3 3 9 24 0 0 24 216 50 4.32
Intercep. 3 3 9 1 0 0 1 9 40 0.23
Torpedoes 1 2 2 160 0 0 160 320 50 6.40
Missiles 1 6 6 40 0 0 40 240 50 4.80

TIER 2 BpC
(range)
SpB SpC Base
DpS
DpS
ref.
inc.
#Refs DpS
upped
DpC
upped
PP DpC / PP
(upped)
LR 1-shot 4 1 4 27 9 3 54 216 50 4.32
LR 3-shot 4 3 12 12 5 3 27 324 75 4.32
LR 6-shot 4 6 24 9 3 3 18 432 100 4.32
SR 1-shot 3 1 3 36 12 3 72 216 50 4.32
SR 3-shot 3 3 9 18 6 3 36 324 75 4.32
SR 6-shot 3 6 18 12 4 3 24 432 100 4.32
CR 1-shot 2 1 2 54 18 3 108 216 50 4.32
CR 3-shot 2 3 6 27 9 3 54 324 75 4.32
CR 6-shot 2 6 12 18 6 3 36 432 100 4.32
Bombers 3 2 6 42 0 0 42 252 50 5.04
Fighters 3 3 9 28 0 0 28 252 50 5.04
Intercep. 3 4 12 1 0 0 1 12 40 0.30
Torpedoes 1 2 2 190 0 0 190 380 50 7.60
Missiles 1 9 9 40 0 0 40 360 60 6.00

TIER 3 BpC
(range)
SpB SpC Base
DpS
DpS
ref.
inc.
#Refs DpS
upped
DpC
upped
PP DpC / PP
(upped)
LR 1-shot 4 1 4 41 13 3 80 320 60 5.33
LR 3-shot 4 3 12 19 7 3 40 480 90 5.33
LR 6-shot 4 6 24 12 5 3 27 648 120 5.40
SR 1-shot 3 1 3 54 18 3 108 324 60 5.40
SR 3-shot 3 3 9 27 9 3 54 486 90 5.40
SR 6-shot 3 6 18 18 6 3 36 648 120 5.40
CR 1-shot 2 1 2 80 27 3 161 322 60 5.37
CR 3-shot 2 3 6 41 13 3 80 480 90 5.33
CR 6-shot 2 6 12 27 9 3 54 648 120 5.40
Bombers 3 2 6 50 0 0 50 300 50 6.00
Fighters 3 3 9 33 0 0 33 297 50 5.94
Intercep. 3 5 15 1 0 0 1 15 40 0.38
Torpedoes 1 2 2 220 0 0 220 440 50 8.80
Missiles 1 12 12 40 0 0 40 480 70 6.86

TIER 4 BpC
(range)
SpB SpC Base
DpS
DpS
ref.
inc.
#Refs DpS
upped
DpC
upped
PP DpC / PP
(upped)
LR 1-shot 4 1 4 60 20 3 120 480 70 6.86
LR 3-shot 4 3 12 30 10 3 60 720 105 6.86
LR 6-shot 4 6 24 19 7 3 40 960 140 6.86
SR 1-shot 3 1 3 81 27 3 162 486 70 6.94
SR 3-shot 3 3 9 41 13 3 80 720 105 6.86
SR 6-shot 3 6 18 27 9 3 54 972 140 6.94
CR 1-shot 2 1 2 120 40 3 240 480 70 6.86
CR 3-shot 2 3 6 60 20 3 120 720 105 6.86
CR 6-shot 2 6 12 41 13 3 80 960 140 6.86
Bombers 3 2 6 60 0 0 60 360 50 7.20
Fighters 3 3 9 40 0 0 40 360 50 7.20
Intercep. 3 6 18 1 0 0 1 18 40 0.45
Torpedoes 1 2 2 260 0 0 260 520 50 10.40
Missiles 1 15 15 40 0 0 40 600 80 7.50

On demand, I'll find time to fix the mess that is the spreadsheet, add efficiency columns and attach it here.

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