Author Topic: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar  (Read 1479 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« on: March 05, 2016, 04:15:27 PM »
Mantis link

New unit in the SUP tab.

Space Radar

1000 Knowledge to unlock.
30 galaxy-cap.
100 Health. Armor 0. Hull: Scout.
5,000 Energy each.
1,000 Metal each.
Build time: 0:30.
Gathers scout Intel.
Requires Supply.
Cloaking.

(Is a "building": Speed 0 and immune to translocation, swallow, tractor, etc.)

The point of this unit would be to be built on AI planets adjacent to human planets, giving intel on the frontier. Loosing all adjacent planets providing supply would turn off intel gathering and cloaking.

The Knowledge price and galaxy cap must be balanced. Energy cost is slightly high but sounds fair.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 04:19:48 AM »
Pretty much any scout unit can do this job better.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 06:27:52 AM »
Pretty much any scout unit can do this job better.
I use scout for... scouting. My regular strategy is to unlock scouts up to MkII, use them as scout (for discovering distant planets) and use MkI as "radars." I realized I would happily pay some K for more yet immobile scouts.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 02:41:14 PM »
This type of unit has come up a few times in the past, primarily to counter the ship cap on scouts so you can maintain vision on planets and still have enough scout volume to reach into enemy territory. I approve of it, but that energy cost is high, which is one difference this proposal has compared to others. One issue with scout pickets it they cost a lot of energy, so most of the scout platforms have gone the route of less energy cost.

See also this thread on scout picket buildings which split off from this thread on mobile builders.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 06:44:49 AM »
This type of unit has come up a few times in the past, primarily to counter the ship cap on scouts so you can maintain vision on planets and still have enough scout volume to reach into enemy territory.
This is exactly what I wish. I think AI War would benefit from little helpers like that, whose goal is to streamline the micro and provide a smooth high-level strategy.

I approve of it, but that energy cost is high, which is one difference this proposal has compared to others. One issue with scout pickets it they cost a lot of energy, so most of the scout platforms have gone the route of less energy cost.
Well, 5,000 * 30 energy sure is an investment (one starship is 10,000, for the record). But 5,000 energy per surveyed planet... Is it? Eh, maybe. I was trying to find a balance for a low enough Knowledge cost, because the alternative is to unlock MkIII scout drones, and the goal was to allow the same "survey" power without paying the "scout" price.

Yeah, I think it's well summed up. The "survey" without the "scout".

Ah, if only AI War would be modable. I would have so much ideas to test and bring to life! (I sincerely hope Arcen will soon get out of this SBR/financial trouble and bring us a shiny AIW2.)

See also this thread on scout picket buildings which split off from this thread on mobile builders.
Thank you very much for educating the noob! :D I'm both glad someone think of it already, but at the same time sad Arcen didn't give attention to a macro-helper like that.

With mods, the community would be able to discuss and test actual balance instead of working on thoughts. I'm remembered with the Assault Transport shenanigans. So bad our hardcore moder Red.Queen went away.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 08:28:04 AM »
I read more thoroughly the old thread. Wanderer and Mánagarmr had some very interesting Q&A.

It appears there is a common ground and some balance space. The reasonable common ground is immobile, cloaked scout built by a mobile builder. The balance space concerns cap, energy cost, knowledge cost and need of supply or not.

On the question of supply, the difference is frontier-only or any neutered planet. As the main goal is to keep an eye on CPA, hybrids, threat and the like, I personally think the required supply is a good limitation that would allow a low price.

For the record:
Scout MkI: 0 Knowledge, 10 cap, 25 energy.
Scout MkII: 500 Knowledge, 20 cap, 250 energy.
Scout MkIII: 2,250 Knowledge, 30 cap, 500 energy.
(Remember the MkIII unlock allows the special MkIV if an advanced factory is captured.)

I think it's fair to say that the Knowledge cost of a stationary radar tech can't be higher than 2,250. I think 750 or 1,000 would be ok. We need to adjust the rest for something balanced with this target K-price.

Cap and energy are, IMO, aiming at the same goal: limit the use and force choice. We can debate that if it's limited by supply to the adjacent frontier, the limit is already put. However, if unlocking this tech would just grand free vision on the frontier (which is nice), with no galaxy cap and low energy cost, it would cost around 2,000 knowledge, which is near the price of the MkIII scout that may allow the same outcome.

My proposal is then to have a lower limit, a lower K-cost and an interesting alternative to the MkIII scout. Then we can give the radar a low galaxy cap and/or a high energy cost. We can do both but, while the K-cost may drop to 500 (maybe 250 or free), it wouldn't be a viable tool.

The first possibility is high energy cost, high cap (or no cap). I believe no galaxy cap (let say a cap of 1 per planet to avoid cheese) and 5,000 energy cost would be very interesting because it scales with the galaxy size: the larger empire a player has, the more (s)he's likely to have enough energy to spare.

The second possibility is low energy cost and a galaxy cap. 500 energy matches the MkIII scout and sounds low enough; a cap of 30 sounds reasonable for a whole frontier. However it won't scale with large galaxy or large empire (or thin empire with lot of adjacent enemy worlds). A higher cap would be silly because it would be like no cap at all, considering the supply limitation.

TL;DR:
My favorite solution is:
* Requires supply (survey only the frontier)
* No galaxy cap (but 1 per planet)
* high energy cost (5,000 is my proposal)
* low knowledge cost (between 500 and 1,000 according to what you think of the energy cost)
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 06:01:02 PM »
Another suggestion on the topic of scouting pickets with respect to Spirecraft Scouts:

Another thought that would be pretty cool: what if we added a Spirecraft Scout Shard that is like a Spirecraft Scout but can't travel through worm holes.  You can't make SC Scout Shards yourself, but a Spirecraft Scout drops one automatically in each AI system it enters.  This lets you set up scouts in whatever path the Scout follows.  For an expendable resource, that actually seems interesting and fair, and the releasing of a Scout Shard could be a fluff justification for the health lose at eat hop.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 07:07:37 PM »
Another suggestion on the topic of scouting pickets with respect to Spirecraft Scouts:

Another thought that would be pretty cool: what if we added a Spirecraft Scout Shard that is like a Spirecraft Scout but can't travel through worm holes.  You can't make SC Scout Shards yourself, but a Spirecraft Scout drops one automatically in each AI system it enters.  This lets you set up scouts in whatever path the Scout follows.  For an expendable resource, that actually seems interesting and fair, and the releasing of a Scout Shard could be a fluff justification for the health lose at eat hop.
This can let you, fairly cheaply, picket systems WAY far away from your systems.  Even just Mk I Spirecraft Scouts would let you picket every single system up to 2 jumps away.

A while back, there was discussion of adding AI Guardians that actually attempted to hunt down pickets and cloaked units.  If scout pickets became too easy, you'd absolutely require something like that.  Otherwise, you might as well make Complete Visibility the normal settings.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Suggestion posted on Mantis: Space Radar
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2016, 07:38:29 AM »
Otherwise, you might as well make Complete Visibility the normal settings.
While I agree on the "spirecraft scout picket too easy" part, I disagree on the "just turn on complete visibility".

Complete visibility is a setting, not gameplay. Even the easiest task requires the player to actually do something, and from a game design standpoint, I feel it's important. The player needs to be empowered with abilities and prompted to make decisions by the environment. However, pushing this logic too far leads to tedious micromanagement. A game needs to find the right balance between "click here to win" and insane micro. My point is that complete visibility is no more fun than a tedious task.

I'm not saying "remove the complete visibility option", because it has its interest in a game as customizable as AI War, but rather don't use it as an excuse to not improve the gameplay.

In this regard, I think it would be interesting to have a space radar built by a mobile builder that can only survey neutered frontier while being very cheap. It doesn't ruin the FoW and keep it interesting, and it doesn't sound tedious to setup. It would be a tool that players would be able to use; it wouldn't be the only answer (scout picket as is currently used is one) and shouldn't be a dominant strategy.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!