Slowing down enemy retreat

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Yeeha
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Slowing down enemy retreat

#1 Post by Yeeha » Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:27 pm

Hi i have watched freeorion forums for some time now and i belive its gone be great game.And here is one thing that i think would be needed:
in moo2 and moo3 there was very good tactic to do hit & run with missile ships and there was nothing to counter that except in moo2 there was some tech that could stop enemy from retreating but that was very hard to get so my idea is every engine has its own charging time(before it can retreat to hyperspace or starlane) and there should be engine jammer that interrupt retreating and making charging time longer so if there is a ship filled with such jamming devices it could take a minute or more to escape.

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noelte
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#2 Post by noelte » Sun Jun 20, 2004 7:42 pm

i think we will find a solution to that issue. I remember it very well, it was very annoying.

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Geoff the Medio
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#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jun 20, 2004 10:19 pm

A simple solution would be to not regenerate missile ammo between battles.

Sure, you could fly a single ship to an enemy colony to attack it, but you'd only get to fire as many missiles as you brought before having to fly all the way back to one of your planets / shipyards to reload...

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PowerCrazy
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#4 Post by PowerCrazy » Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:23 am

That is a "simple" solution. But not a simple implementation. Keeping track of the number of missiles on each ship would be absurd. Think about an 8 player game with huge fleets full of missile boats, battleships, dreadnaughts etc, all with varying forms of missiles. I don't even want to think about the ocmplexities of keeping up with all those ships, let alone their missile count.

A better way would be a minimum number of combat rounds before retreating. If MoO2 had 5 combat rounds before allowing retreating the missile ship tactic would still be viable just much more costly.

Of course this is an issue that will need to be addressed when we start trying to balance the combat system, and when we come up with weapons/techs.
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Geoff the Medio
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#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:23 am

I don't think this would really be that difficult...

There's two separate scopes in which the ammo data would need to be recorded: in battle, and between battles.

In battle, the ship data structure could have an ammo associated with each weapon, or with each weapon that uses ammo (if you wanted to get funky with class inheritance). Fighter bays would use the ammo number to record how many fighters they have, missile racks how many missiles. Beam weapons wouldn't use the number, or would find some other use for it.

If the max ammo for an individual weapon is 65536, that's 2 bytes per weapon. If a ship has up to 128 weapons, that's 256 bytes per ship. If there's 1024 ships in the battle, that's 256kB ... not so horrible.

At the end of the battle, the remaining ammo of each category could be added up and stored for the fleet as a whole (not each ship). When another battle starts, the ammo in each category is dolled out evenly to each weapon that uses it on a ship in the fleet. (It probably makes strategic sense to do it that way anyway.)

Between turns, you only need to store the ammo that each fleet has for each kind of weapon that any ship in the fleet has (easier to manage for player to deal with a single number per ammo category for the fleet as well). This will probably require an array or list of ammo types in the fleet data structure. Using a list, say on average a fleet has 32 types of ammo, a 4-byte pointer and a 4-byte integer for each type of ammo is 256 bytes for the fleet. If there's 1024 fleets, that's 256 kB.

If there's 1024 fleets, with on average 32 ships, and each ship requires 8 bytes of non-ammo data, that's 256 kB + some constant that doesn't depend on fleet size.

This of course all assumes that every revision within a category of weapon uses unique ammo. There's no reason we couldn't group all missiles together, and all fighters together, or some level of abstraction between these and the above, where certain categories of fighter and missile are shared.

Point is, I don't think 256kB extra is a huge problem to send in a turn update or store in a save game. Coding shouldn't be too difficult either... nothing terribly complicated. (of course I haven't tried yet, have I?)

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noelte
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#6 Post by noelte » Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:52 am

PowerCrazy wrote:That is a "simple" solution. But not a simple implementation. Keeping track of the number of missiles on each ship would be absurd...
You are wrong, it's simple to implement, but rather hard for human player to keep track ;-)

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#7 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:33 am

Exactly, its micromanagement hell to expect players to keep track of reloads remaining in a fleet. How annoying would it be to lose a battle because you forgot to perform the *chore* of resupplying fleet number 76, twenty-odd turns ago. It doesnt even solve the problem, anyway - players will just design missile boats with plenty of reloads. Okay, those ships wont be as efficient as one-shot missile boats, but they can still shoot & scoot just as well.

Potential solutions to 'shoot & scoot'

(1) Have all missiles lose tracking & self destruct once the ship that launched them leaves the battlefield. It has to be tracked ship by ship so that players cant use an exploit like launching missiles from 500 ships, then retreating them all except for one tiny scout, hanging around as a sacrificial lamb until the missiles hit.

(2) Ships can retreat immediately at the beginning of combat, but whenever a ship fires a weapon, there is a delay before it can retreat. This delay should be long enough to neuter shoot & scoot tactics (i.e. it should be long enough for the missiles to reach their target - and for enemy missiles to reach you).

This can be explained as : Ships have jump engines which must be charged up before use. They start combat with engines fully charged, but firing any weapon system diverts energy away from the engines , and requires that they be recharged from scratch.

It might be interesting if only defending ships could start with engines full charged, after all they have been sitting around waiting, while the attackers have just jumped into the system. This means that defenders can retreat more quickly than attackers, which means attackers are in more danger if they jump into a system which has an overwhelming number of defenders, and they cant immediately retreat.

(3) W.r.t. fighters, force all fighters to dock before you can retreat.
Last edited by Daveybaby on Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#8 Post by vishnou00 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:34 am

Is it a computer game or a board game? When a computer can do all the number crunching, you can just check the result. You can also let the number cruncher predict results. If you don't want any number crunching, I wonder what you space battles will look like. A Pokemon trading card game?

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#9 Post by noelte » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:41 am

vishnou00 wrote:Is it a computer game or a board game? When a computer can do all the number crunching, you can just check the result. You can also let the number cruncher predict results. If you don't want any number crunching, I wonder what you space battles will look like. A Pokemon trading card game?
I think you missed the point. Of cause you would be able to look at the results and see how many missles are gone. The point is, you have to remember to refill those ships. And that wouldn't be fun, would it? IMO, refilling ship should be cut out.

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#10 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:46 am

vishnou00 wrote:Is it a computer game or a board game? When a computer can do all the number crunching, you can just check the result. You can also let the number cruncher predict results. If you don't want any number crunching, I wonder what you space battles will look like. A Pokemon trading card game?
Not entirely sure what your point is here, but if youre referring to keeping track of ship reloads, then, as has been pointed out, its not about the number crunching - its about inflicting micromanagement tedium on the player. After every turn they will have to check all of their fleets to see which ones need to reload, and send them off to be reloaded. Then they will have to remember to send them back to the frontlines again. Imagine doing this with 50 fleets, every turn. Then imagine losing the game because you forgot to check one turn.

And it doesnt even solve the problem of shoot&scoot anyway.

Edit : hehe noelte beat me to it - that'll teach me to go get a coffee halfway through typing a reply :P
Last edited by Daveybaby on Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#11 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:57 am

Hmmm... even though keeping track of reloads wont solve shoot & scoot, it does present some interesting strategic options....

Gonna start another thread i think...
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#12 Post by vishnou00 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:09 am

My point is that, imho, sensible number crunching isn't a problem of implementation (as it as been pointed out by many) nor gameplay, because even if there are a lot of number crunching going on under the hood, you shouldn't have to micromanage every number: you could just have a quick report of important numbers and automate trivial decisions. The point isn't to have the game play by itself, but to have a rich backdrop (lots of numbers and ships running around) to a grandiose strategy game, instead of a bland, abstracted, over simplified one (backdrop-game amiguity intended).

Then again, in this case it doesn't apply as I don't believe ships running out of ammo being either fun or a solution to hit'n'run tactics (hence not sensible number crunching).

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Yeeha
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#13 Post by Yeeha » Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:05 am

Daveybaby wrote:Potential solutions to 'shoot & scoot'
Heres my solution rethought:

I was thinking that every engine tech has own charging time and ship hull size adds to charging time because big thing is hard to transport.This would add also reason why to build small ships as well to big ones:

Small ones: scout,stealth attack,support(because fast charge time they can remain longer in to battle while big ships retreat and would be good as support).

Big ones: Big firepower,suitable for carriers,heavy armor but very slow charging time.

and charging time would go bigger thanx to hyperspace,starlane disruptors,jammer or something like that .That would give new strategies to battle: getting your jammer,disruptor vessel near retreating ships so it would delay them and attacker would have to try to destroy it.

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#14 Post by haravikk » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:17 pm

noelte wrote:I think you missed the point. Of cause you would be able to look at the results and see how many missles are gone. The point is, you have to remember to refill those ships. And that wouldn't be fun, would it? IMO, refilling ship should be cut out.
You might want to check this thread for an idea of keeping track of ammo but without having to fly forwards and backwards.

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#15 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:30 pm

haravikk wrote:You might want to check this thread for an idea of keeping track of ammo but without having to fly forwards and backwards.
Ooops. I just created another thread with the same subject, pretty much: viewtopic.php?t=754. Any chance of a thread merge, mr moderator? (hmmm or does phpBB not support that...)
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