Arcen Games

Games => AI War II => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => Topic started by: TheDeadlyShoe on September 20, 2016, 07:41:12 PM

Title: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: TheDeadlyShoe on September 20, 2016, 07:41:12 PM
In AIWC, we manage engineers/remains rebuilders using the control screen to set a quota galaxywide/perplanet. Then we just have those units built on the planet.  After reading the 'ship bays' section of the design doc it comes to mind that there's no reason that ship bays cannot be used as a means of managing engineers and possibly similar assets for the player. 

Imagine that every command station has a hangar/ship bay for engineers.  Similar to AI units, engineers/rebuilders/other utility units return to the ship bay when there is no task needing their attention.  Utility units would cost power to maintain, and since power is per-planet it places native limits on the number of engineers available without taking resources from the strike fleet. It also creates tradeoffs and choice for the player; if they want to make a planet an effective repair facility via utility units, it would cost power that eats into the budget for turrets and the like.

Another implementation could involve different types of command stations having different numbers of 'free' utility unit slots; players could spend power to increase the # of slots at a command station.   Candy-upgrades for command stations could also affect the properties or number of utility unit slots, possibly including effects like faster/cheaper reconstruction or exotic upgrades like 'combat repairers'.

This would also make it easy to have a 'town bell' mechanic, where players could restrict utility units from leaving hte ship bays either totally or on a per-unit basis.  The ship bays also offer a natural UI venue for managing settings for drones at a planet; players could set options for that station in terms of AI behavior for utility units launched from the bay.

Since utility units would cost per-planet power, and would return to bays when not in use, they functionally would not require ship caps; there's little potential performance issue and they would be restricted via other means.

Finally, this would create a unified mechanic across the game between AI and players, even if they use ship bays in a different fashion.


OFFSHOOT IDEA:

When playing AIWC, I tend to build a glob of engineers, colony ships, mobile builders, and remains rebuilders and stick them in a transport. I then use this as a 'meta unit' for colonization or the construction of siege bases on AI planets.  This could easily (conceptually) be collapsed into a single unit - a construction/colony starship with a utility unit ship bay similar to the one described above. Although in this case both the unit and any drones in its bay would cost fuel instead of power.     This would actually be a reasonable valuable unit - at least enough that you'd actually care about it, unlike colony ships or mobile builders.  Something like 60,000-150,000 metal in AIWC terms.    It would be a lot more useable and straightforward too :^)

The mothership could also have a ship bay, and double as a colony ship.
Title: Re: Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 21, 2016, 02:01:59 AM
I love this intention, even if I don't completely agree on several points (nitpicking).

I had some similar ideas, weeks ago, oriented toward macro. My grandest desire would be to completely remove the engineers and RRebuilders and automate their role. I like your idea of making planetary upgrades (with Knowledge?) to enhance the construction or repair capability of a planet. (I remember the "air staging facility" from Supreme Commander: great macro-management and automation.)

* integrate the energy collector into the command station
* integrate the knowledge gathering into the command station (Only one version of science lab, stealth and used for gathering on neutral planets and ARS scouting, maybe even merged with the hacker. Researches are done in the UI.)
* integrate the redirector post into the command station (or maybe make it a UI-only thing, not a unit in the game)
* integrate the beginning's producers (cryopods and cities) into the Home command station (or maybe let them out as they are for lore and AIP², why not)
* make remains rebuilders automated: they would be OCStation's drones, unbuildable and uncontrollable, only and automatically dispatched when needed.
* better build rate for space docks to let them work without a swarm of engineers (I would even say "remove engineers, make a healer fleetships (between scout drone and triangle) and make self-building at better rate").
Title: Re: Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: x4000 on September 21, 2016, 11:00:53 AM
In general there is a lot to like here.  My takeaway from this, overall, would be to do something like the following:

1. On each planet, have a "utility panel" that describes a few things like how many engineers you want there, and potentially even what you want them to focus on, as well as things like how many remains rebuilders and so on.

2. These things would be automatically created and would not be something you'd have to come back on and see (hey do I have X number of engineers left?)

3. Having them go into the ship bays I'm less crazy about, because then the logic for "do I stay or do I go" gets kinda complicated in the inefficient-on-the-CPU sense.  Probably.  Maybe. ;)  I see pros and cons, but overall I think it adds more complexity than it solves.

4. Basically I think of this kind of like the screens in SimCity where you can set the tax rate, set the funding rate for different programs, and enact social policies, etc.  I don't think there needs to be a different type of command station for planets at all, but rather you configure these things at the planet the way you want (and if your command station dies, next time you come back it's the same again since this data was at the planet).

5. Various tech unlocks could get you new things that are like the social policies in SimCity (recycling as a new program, etc).  But those would cost power on a per-planet basis, so you'd need to weigh where your power goes at any given time.

6. Being able to turn up and down the amount of power being used for turrets in general versus for the other things would be pretty cool.  Aka, it's like under-funding your fire department.  You can build a certain number of turrets, period, on a planet in general.  And you can have those fully powered if you want.  Or you can turn those to 50% power for a while to then have extra power to ship creation or whatever you want.

7. Hell, having engineers and remains rebuilders actually doesn't fit super well into the current design in general.  In the past those were useful on AI planets, but that means they should cost fuel.  But that really doesn't fit with the overall goals here, I don't feel like.  Having "battlefield engineers" that are used in hostile space and are a fuel-related ship would be pretty cool, but on your own planets why even have those?  Why not control everything from this sub-screen and save any worries about things like engineer travel times and whatnot.  Cutting down on the amount of waiting time, and just letting you express yourself through the sorts of screens that have been really well-refined over the years (I'm thinking of SimCity 4, not having played the later ones).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 21, 2016, 11:13:19 AM
Nice.

Galaxy-cap for engineer stuff would go bye-bye?
Would engineer drones and remains rebuilders be merged, in the end?
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: x4000 on September 21, 2016, 11:22:39 AM
Bear in mind these ideas are super half-baked right now.

Galaxy-cap for engineer stuff would go bye-bye?

Yes, BUT.  We'd see those utility ships actually removed in general in terms of something you can control or whatever, potentially.  Instead it would be something like "invisible nanobots" that come from the command station and repair things after a certain amount of time, and you put a certain amount of funding into that from the power budget on that planet.  Same thing for acceleration the construction of ships.

It's easier for players to control in that fashion (as SimCity shows), and there's not then a bunch of micro with enemies killing your engineers and whatnot.  This whole thing ought to make refleeting easier by doing things like letting you lower your defenses on a planet in exchange for faster ship output for a bit, etc.

And on another planet lower the defenses in exchange for increased metal production or whatever.  It would have to take time for those changes to take effect so that you can't spam it, but basically have it set to a target "funding level" from your energy stores, and it moves to that at a certain rate that leads to it taking longer to adjust the larger the change is you just made.  One candy tech might be to make the change rate on that faster.

Overall my goals with games these days is to make the minimum amount of player effort between "deciding to do a thing" and "having the thing done or in progress of being done."  Babysitting engineers and remains rebuilders is kind of the antithesis of that.

Would engineer drones and remains rebuilders be merged, in the end?

I think that the "combat version" of these, which would still be a thing, would possibly be merged.  Basically these would be the fuel-using version of engineers that you DO need and want to micro, and which are not at all related to a planet, and which would have an even sharper (very VERY low) galaxy-wide cap.  These basically are for going into warzones and nothing else.


All half-baked ideas so far, but it's an interesting direction to go.  I want to set up how I want things to happen in the most direct way fashion, not involving a ton of confusing checkboxes and such.  SimCity 4 really nailed that.  I don't want to be ordering engineers around on my own planet when idle enemy ships come through.  I do want the ability to use engineers on beachheads like I always have.

That's just me, though. :)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 21, 2016, 11:31:18 AM
I am always a fan of macro vs micro. However that need wants me to push it further. I would want the "base" settings of such a process to be at least adequate the majority of stations I make. If the settings are too diverse or too poor at a base level then I will be forced to go to each command station to individually set the settings. While that isn't awful (it was the case for AIW1 using settings) I feel like we should attempt to improve upon it. Obvisouly I would need to make a few unique ones for chokepoints, etc, but I would want the majority of stations to not be tinkered with. This would greatly aid new plays and reduce micro for all.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 21, 2016, 01:55:34 PM
I like what's being discussed here and the direction it's taking, but I've got nothing to add.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: x4000 on September 21, 2016, 02:26:03 PM
Awesome, I'm glad to see chemical_art and kasnavada on board with this.  Now it's mainly a matter of Cinth and Cyborg as the two main ones that might have other insights into problems.

I agree that the base settings here should be good by default (that was the case in SimCity, after all).  To some extent that really means here that a certain amount of stuff should happen in an automated fashion in general.  Aka you don't have to go out of your way to set up things for repair or rebuilding or whatever: we'll assume that everyone wants to have that on all their planets at some sensible value, unless they tell the game otherwise.

Possibly loading and saving templates for these would be a possible thing, too.  That would be interface-only, so I could safely add that in without complicating anything for Keith in the sim and sync and whatnot.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 21, 2016, 02:56:28 PM
Possibly loading and saving templates for these would be a possible thing, too.  That would be interface-only, so I could safely add that in without complicating anything for Keith in the sim and sync and whatnot.

Many of my worries would be fixed with having dedicated templates. "Repair system" "Production system" "Defense system" are the three templates I can think of, although with AIW1 mechanics the first two are almost the same. I don't mind that overlap, but if they ever diverged I would make two separate ones.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: tadrinth on September 21, 2016, 03:09:24 PM
The combat engineers sound like... mobile space docks!

Just declare that having a command station present in the system gives you construction/repair/rebuild across the entire system.  In essence, just make the command station an engineer+rebuilder with infinite range.  Then you can tell it what to build right now by right clicking on stuff.  With queued commands and the 'remember target priority' feature, this would let you have some control over what to build.   You can even animate little engineers blipping around if you want. 

Different command centers could have different construction rates, or not if that encourages annoying micro.  Maybe just have candy techs that improve it.  Then you don't need a bunch of sliders. 

This does mean that you'd need to bring in a combat engi/mobile space dock to rebuild the command station itself, but that's probably a good thing. 

I'm not sure where this puts mobile builders; perhaps instead a 'beachhead' structure that is built by a mobile space dock/combat engi.  That one might not have infinite repair/construction range. 

Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: x4000 on September 21, 2016, 03:16:46 PM
Something along those lines!
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Nuc_Temeron on September 21, 2016, 07:23:10 PM
I like these ideas very much, with the caveat that I don't think these various drones should be invisible. I like seeing a bunch of drones flying around doing their thing, and it visually represents a game mechanic that's important for the player to be aware of.

Carrier ships are rad!
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 22, 2016, 01:11:56 AM
I like these ideas very much, with the caveat that I don't think these various drones should be invisible. I like seeing a bunch of drones flying around doing their thing, and it visually represents a game mechanic that's important for the player to be aware of.

Carrier ships are rad!

I do admit that while there are costs involved in both gpu and cpu, I feel like these assets need to be visually represented.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Yavaun on September 23, 2016, 06:00:20 AM
I like these ideas very much, with the caveat that I don't think these various drones should be invisible. I like seeing a bunch of drones flying around doing their thing, and it visually represents a game mechanic that's important for the player to be aware of.

Carrier ships are rad!

I do admit that while there are costs involved in both gpu and cpu, I feel like these assets need to be visually represented.

Yes. Yes indeed. I loved neinzul combat carriers and bomber bays for special fortresses / champion. I figure the gpu/cpu drain will be a lot less if they bundle those launched ships into squads like they plan for other ships (likely larger squads though).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 23, 2016, 06:20:39 AM
I like what's being discussed here and the direction it's taking, but I've got nothing to add.
I was just sitting here thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 23, 2016, 07:55:47 AM
Boy, I feel like the odd on out here. I have all kinds of problems with this.

6. Being able to turn up and down the amount of power being used for turrets in general versus for the other things would be pretty cool.  Aka, it's like under-funding your fire department.  You can build a certain number of turrets, period, on a planet in general.  And you can have those fully powered if you want.  Or you can turn those to 50% power for a while to then have extra power to ship creation or whatever you want.

In more recent games, under-funding the fire department both leads to more fires, AND makes people unhappy at the inferior fire coverage. That was how they solved the issue in Cities: Skylines. You can't rank a zoned building up past a certain point if it doesn't have adequate coverage, and cutting funding leads to less adequate coverage. That discourages tedious micro to only turn it on when there's a fire (plus, early versions of Skylines had like a zillion fires).

That's the problem with this idea: micro. I'm encouraged to chop the hell out of local turret power until about 5 seconds before the AI attacks, because I get a ship production bonus from doing so. It's the same problem as with engineers, only moved to a different location (in my FS games, I'm constantly destroying and rebuilding engineers on whatever planet I need to build up, except the one that produces ships, because it doesn't make sense to leave engineers where they're not doing anything).

Quote
7. Hell, having engineers and remains rebuilders actually doesn't fit super well into the current design in general.  In the past those were useful on AI planets, but that means they should cost fuel.  But that really doesn't fit with the overall goals here, I don't feel like.  Having "battlefield engineers" that are used in hostile space and are a fuel-related ship would be pretty cool, but on your own planets why even have those?  Why not control everything from this sub-screen and save any worries about things like engineer travel times and whatnot.  Cutting down on the amount of waiting time, and just letting you express yourself through the sorts of screens that have been really well-refined over the years (I'm thinking of SimCity 4, not having played the later ones).

I'm not sure why this needs to be controlled at all, honestly. It takes X time to build something. If I can make that faster and it costs no additional resources to do so, you know I want to do it. Why wouldn't I?

Battlefield engineers are a good idea, though. Always fun when you can beachhead inside an AI world. :D

Quote
Yes, BUT.  We'd see those utility ships actually removed in general in terms of something you can control or whatever, potentially.  Instead it would be something like "invisible nanobots" that come from the command station and repair things after a certain amount of time, and you put a certain amount of funding into that from the power budget on that planet.  Same thing for acceleration the construction of ships.

It's easier for players to control in that fashion (as SimCity shows), and there's not then a bunch of micro with enemies killing your engineers and whatnot.  This whole thing ought to make refleeting easier by doing things like letting you lower your defenses on a planet in exchange for faster ship output for a bit, etc.

The difference between AI War and SimCity is that in SimCity, I'm trying to keep a city running and keep people happy. Funding a school at 5% has consequences, and those are ongoing. In AI War, funding my turrets at 5% means absolutely nothing until the AI shows up.

If I can control this stuff, the very first thing I'm going to ask for is a way to automate it, because I want it to do the same thing every single time: dump as much into production as possible until the AI shows up, then shift all of it to defense. There's no case where I want to build more slowly than I possibly can (outside of "tank the economy" stuff like trader goodies), and there's no case where I want defenses powered up and slower production when those defenses aren't doing anything. The only question is if I have to micro it or not.

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And on another planet lower the defenses in exchange for increased metal production or whatever.  It would have to take time for those changes to take effect so that you can't spam it, but basically have it set to a target "funding level" from your energy stores, and it moves to that at a certain rate that leads to it taking longer to adjust the larger the change is you just made.  One candy tech might be to make the change rate on that faster.

So this would change the micro problem by rewarding me for figuring out earlier when to do it, which just makes the whole thing more fiddly and complicated. The basic choice is still the same. It's not really an interesting choice, because at any one moment in time there is a clearly correct choice and a clearly wrong one. The only question is if I can switch between the two at an opportune time.

Quote
Overall my goals with games these days is to make the minimum amount of player effort between "deciding to do a thing" and "having the thing done or in progress of being done."  Babysitting engineers and remains rebuilders is kind of the antithesis of that.

I agree with that, but I don't think this solves the problem. You've replaced one extra complexity with a different extra complexity.

IMO, the thing to do here is subtraction. Things take X time to build. Period. Construction speed boosts go away. Simple, easy to understand, no fiddly extra systems to build or micro to deal with.

 X has to be significantly smaller to compensate for not having boosters anymore, but that's fine, because frankly some of the times in AIWC seem to have been created entirely expecting them to be boosted anyway. Did anybody really wait an hour for a mk III Zenith Starship to build? And from a lore POV, if we're building defenses because we expect AI attack and we can scale up production speed without using additional resources... why are we not doing that already? What reason do the human survivors engaged in a war to the death have to build more slowly than they safely can?

Maybe the AI should have capturable nanobot factories that increase building speed in their entire solar system or something, to give faster building if you can capture those.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 24, 2016, 03:26:09 AM
I strongly support this.

Here is my take on simplifying management:
1) No more engineers and better non-boosted build times.
2) Low-cap, expensive factories for more important AI-targets and meaningful production locations.
3) No more remain rebuilders and automatic rebuild when planet is clear (and if still controlled).
4) Automatic healing on controlled, AI-free planets (or enclave-like healing drones spawned by the OCStation).
5) "Battlefield" engineers for beachheads and healing-in-hostile-territory.

(Also merge Power production and Knowledge gathering within the OCStation.)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 24, 2016, 08:03:22 AM
I'm fine with engineers. They are a resource meant to aid in projects. I would rather have one global cap to manage that rather then trying to micro resources of a different sort on a planet by planet basis. Unless it is planned to remove all of the functions entirely, that micro will exist. I prefer the status quo over some unknown new method.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 24, 2016, 08:47:21 AM
I'm fine with engineers. They are a resource meant to aid in projects. I would rather have one global cap to manage that rather then trying to micro resources of a different sort on a planet by planet basis. Unless it is planned to remove all of the functions entirely, that micro will exist. I prefer the status quo over some unknown new method.

I'm not fine with engineers. They were micro needed per planet, always had to rebuild them because they either don't do anything or FRD into danger at the first opportunity. I don't count anymore the number of times that I have to move engineers again from planet to planet, having to redo the whole distribution of engineers because I hit the cap, or the numbers of games before I figured out that the best way to automate that mechanic was to automate the rebuilding per planet, by setting each planet individually. And / or having to manually set engineers to one shipyard to accelerate production. Ugh. Oh, the other annoying one, that on the homeworld, everytime it gets attacked, the engineers don't go back to where I put them after whatever they thought was useful is done. Then my whole refleeting gets shut down because they're out of forcefields, and die, unless I go check there everytime... 50 engineers or so always felt like a limitation to me.

What's written here shows solutions to those issues and helps allieviating them, with minor impacts on the game flow. Also, a "larger" game becomes possible.

@tridus:
For me this part (Chris post):
Quote
And on another planet lower the defenses in exchange for increased metal production or whatever.  It would have to take time for those changes to take effect so that you can't spam it, but basically have it set to a target "funding level" from your energy stores, and it moves to that at a certain rate that leads to it taking longer to adjust the larger the change is you just made.  One candy tech might be to make the change rate on that faster.
That basically means that what you write in your post won't be possible. Possibly I missed something ?
The goal seems more to choose "templates" for planets like the command stations were than to switch everything every 5 minutes. Unless you changed command station every 5 minutes ?
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 24, 2016, 01:23:30 PM
@tridus:
For me this part (Chris post):
Quote
And on another planet lower the defenses in exchange for increased metal production or whatever.  It would have to take time for those changes to take effect so that you can't spam it, but basically have it set to a target "funding level" from your energy stores, and it moves to that at a certain rate that leads to it taking longer to adjust the larger the change is you just made.  One candy tech might be to make the change rate on that faster.
That basically means that what you write in your post won't be possible. Possibly I missed something ?

It's entirely possible, unless the delay is so long that having the feature at all is largely pointless. If I'm building something, I'm going to want it shifted to production to build it faster. If I see something coming, shift it back. That'll require scouting and babysitting, but it'll still be more efficient than waiting forever for stuff to finish building because the focus is on completely idle defenses instead.

It's not possible if you set a 30 minute timer on it or something, but if you're doing what, what is the point of having it at all? There's no interesting management happening whatsoever at that point. You'll always set it to one or the other and just leave it that way 99% of the time. The timer is really just a bandaid extra bit of complexity to fix the problem that this idea is creating.

Quote
The goal seems more to choose "templates" for planets like the command stations were than to switch everything every 5 minutes. Unless you changed command station every 5 minutes ?

Nope:

Basically I think of this kind of like the screens in SimCity where you can set the tax rate, set the funding rate for different programs, and enact social policies, etc.  I don't think there needs to be a different type of command station for planets at all, but rather you configure these things at the planet the way you want (and if your command station dies, next time you come back it's the same again since this data was at the planet).

Templates in this case as-proposed were a set of settings that you could save and then activate on command to change the values to whatever the template was set to. All I have to do to swap it is bring up a menu and switch from "I want to build stuff" to "I want to shoot stuff", then wait for some arbitrary delay.

I'm in no way clear on what problem this is actually trying to solve that can't be solved by something simpler.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 24, 2016, 01:33:29 PM
::)

Ah, missed the last part, thanks. Ummm. The way I understand that & the entire post is:
- there is no command stations,
- everything including bonus to turret construction / ship construction / whatever was engineers and rebuilders before can be parametrized there.
- those can be set and saved as templates to be put down. And switched, but a system has to be refined so it can't be switched at will.

Compared to setting the numbers of engineers at most planets manually having to reset them when I unlock mkII engineers, and having to target manually some of the engineers to boost ship production so they don't wander away... and also not having to "reset" the position of engineers when I have 2 different places for them to be... I'd find it simpler to use. Also it opens possibilities.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 24, 2016, 01:42:12 PM
Compared to setting the numbers of engineers at most planets manually having to reset them when I unlock mkII engineers, and having to target manually some of the engineers to boost ship production so they don't wander away... and also not having to "reset" the position of engineers when I have 2 different places for them to be... I'd find it simpler to use. Also it opens possibilities.

Compared to having sane ship build times to begin with and not having construction speed boosts at all? Not really.

What possibilities? What can I do with this that I'm not going to just want automated? If the AI is attacking me, I want all the power in the defenses. If it's not, I want all the power in production. Always. Without exception. There is nothing interesting going on for me to have to decide on there.

That's why comparisons to SimCity just don't work for this. Outside of small, early cities (where you can't reach capacity on service buildings), underfunding things in SimCity carries a consequence in one area for an opportunity somewhere else. This doesn't do that. At any point in time, there is an objectively correct and incorrect setting for it. All you're making me do is switch values around to keep it on the correct one, which I'm just going to turn around and ask for automation to do because it's tedious micro (aka: the very thing the original goal was to get rid of).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 24, 2016, 01:56:59 PM
Compared to having sane ship build times to begin with and not having construction speed boosts at all? Not really.
What possibilities? What can I do with this that I'm not going to just want automated? If the AI is attacking me, I want all the power in the defenses. If it's not, I want all the power in production. Always. Without exception. There is nothing interesting going on for me to have to decide on there.

>Sane build time.
I'm actually hesitating what I'll be modding first, between neinzuls or a new game mode that will limit the game to 3 hours long sessions.

I feel you there, but I don't think that engineers were the answers to "sane build time". IMO they were the cause of the insane times, if anything. As everything could be potentially be boosted by a crapload of engineers... (given metal resources). I suppose they'll have to be saner if that's in the game because engineers will be gone.

>There is nothing interesting going on for me to have to decide on there.
Frankly, there is NOTHING interesting at micro-managing a resource production system in a RTS game, full dot. I'm here to pew pew stuff with my space pea-shooters. Once I captured ressource points and set-up my defenses... I don't want to have to check that collector Y is misplaced and could be 10% more efficient there. I play city builders when I want that.

>All you're making me do is switch values around to keep it on the correct one, which I'm just going to turn around and ask for automation to do because it's tedious micro (aka: the very thing the original goal was to get rid of).
Well.
That could be an idea. You seem to want to propose that the settings switch automatically given a series of criterias. Could you define those criterias, and their consequences, and we'll see what Chris does from there ?

=)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 24, 2016, 02:16:11 PM
A large part of "insane build times" was not because ships were slow to build but because ships got more expensive over time. Most production facilities produce units at the same rate but as ships got more expensive they took longer to build. The use of engineers was allow flexibility in constructing those units without having to worry about the standard rate breaking the economy. Shifting more power to construction facilities leads to more cases of this problem. So the micro is shifted to turning on/off buildings otherwise economy sputters and nothing gets built.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 24, 2016, 06:08:23 PM
A large part of "insane build times" was not because ships were slow to build but because ships got more expensive over time. Most production facilities produce units at the same rate but as ships got more expensive they took longer to build. The use of engineers was allow flexibility in constructing those units without having to worry about the standard rate breaking the economy. Shifting more power to construction facilities leads to more cases of this problem. So the micro is shifted to turning on/off buildings otherwise economy sputters and nothing gets built.

When a single starship takes two hours to build at the normal rate, I'm less concerned about the economy and more concerned about just how long I'm intended to wait for a fleet *without* rampant engineer boosting. Granted that's at mk V, but still. Clearly, nobody is intended to actually wait for that build time.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 24, 2016, 07:15:00 PM
I feel you there, but I don't think that engineers were the answers to "sane build time". IMO they were the cause of the insane times, if anything. As everything could be potentially be boosted by a crapload of engineers... (given metal resources). I suppose they'll have to be saner if that's in the game because engineers will be gone.

I'm not advocating bringing engineers back. I'm advocating setting base times such that you don't need to boost everything to make it workable. Engineers weren't a great answer to the problem either, and having that go away is something I'm perfectly fine with.

Quote
Frankly, there is NOTHING interesting at micro-managing a resource production system in a RTS game, full dot. I'm here to pew pew stuff with my space pea-shooters. Once I captured ressource points and set-up my defenses... I don't want to have to check that collector Y is misplaced and could be 10% more efficient there. I play city builders when I want that.

Yep. Hence why I don't want to do that either :)

Quote
Well.
That could be an idea. You seem to want to propose that the settings switch automatically given a series of criterias. Could you define those criterias, and their consequences, and we'll see what Chris does from there ?

=)
Except that if a game system works best when fully automated, you have to ask yourself if it existing at all is adding any value. I already explained how I'd want this automated if it could be automated, which is pretty much why I think it shouldn't exist at all. We should have fast standard build times, no boosts, and no "allocating power between building and defense" aside from the obvious: building defenses uses power.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: ptarth on September 24, 2016, 08:31:18 PM
I'll admit I've had a hard time devoting any time to keeping track of what's going on in the design. I try to browse the design document a couple of times per week. I try to keep track of discussion but, in general that's chaotic due to the lack of summaries. I also think that many good points are brought up and then buried under other discussion. So rather than soapbox, I'll try my classic bulleted list approach.


What I like about planetary management.

What I don't like about planetary management.

Would empire wide sliders with priority focuses work?

Conclusion
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 25, 2016, 01:19:29 AM
That seems reasonable, but that also sounds like M003, which isn't AI Wars, nor universally loved.

Nitpicking here (I'm not contradicting your post), but MoO3's management of micro / macro was not the only issue it had. Like the AI not being able to manage its economy even with huge bonuses, the "fleet" idea no one cared about... basically it could have worked if it was not called MoO. Sadly it was. I'm not that worried about AI's War's AI throwing their economy into a bus =). A better example of everything being possibly automated is distant world (even if I hate that game, it seems to have quite the success).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 25, 2016, 01:24:43 AM
I adore distant worlds.

I will say comparing AI Wars to Distant Worlds is like trying to compare a documentary on shrimp to a documentary on whales. They are both documentaries and both feature oceans, but the comparisons end there.

From the absolute basics on up they are two entirely different games.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 25, 2016, 02:11:59 AM
Yes, but as automation there is done mostly right, we can get some inspiration from it when some (if any) automation's needed in AI War. Rather than from MoO 3 where it's mostly... not.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Nuc_Temeron on September 25, 2016, 11:37:38 AM
I will say comparing AI Wars to Distant Worlds is like trying to compare a documentary on shrimp to a documentary on whales. They are both documentaries and both feature oceans, but the comparisons end there.

Well-said.

but as automation there is done mostly right

I dunno about that. I played it automated at first, but after learning the game more thoroughly I discovered that the AI ship designs were always horrible, their suggestions almost always bad ones. When I play Distant Worlds I delete ALL starting designs and play in Expert mode (no automation) because I don't trust the game to do an adequate job of it.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 25, 2016, 02:02:13 PM
Quote from: chemical_art on Today at 01:24:43 AM
I will say comparing AI Wars to Distant Worlds is like trying to compare a documentary on shrimp to a documentary on whales. They are both documentaries and both feature oceans, but the comparisons end there.
Well-said.

Errr, I don't usually answer people that state things like those "matter of factly", it to avoid the drama... but not really well said at all. Chemical_art surprises me there.

Being different is completely relevant to being a source of inspiration. It's because it's different that it is a source of inspiration. If it was the same, or if the differences were minor, there would be no inspiration to take from.

History is filled with people taking completely different fields into consideration to make discoveries, and people have had insights (to solve issues from political to scientific, abstract or concrete) by watching something unrelated, probably for about as long as intellect existed. It's also a common plot device in stories, from the oldest myths to series like "House" (done quite heavy handedly there). That said, it doesn't happen always, but dismissing entire inspiration possibilities just because "it's different"... nope. Can't "well said" that. It's like the base of creative thinking.


Just one article I found speaking of that.
http://thinkjarcollective.com/articles/creative-thinking-leonardo-da-vinci/


As a whole, greatest advice I received would be "if you don't know, ask". In that case, if you don't see the connection, ask what the other sees. If it's nothing, then nothing lost. If there is something... do I have to explain ?
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 25, 2016, 02:16:11 PM
That doesn't mean it's necessarily a useful thing to compare from, as they're very different styles of game.

But, if we're doing comparisons and talking about automation - Civilization VI has handled automation in previous games in the series by eliminating it this time. Workers in particular can no longer be automated - because they build whatever they're assigned to do in a single turn, and after a few uses are consumed and go away. The argument being that something that gets automated en-masse is not an "interesting choice" and thus not adding anything to the game (and not being a micro focused game, the interesting choices effectively *are* the game).

Which, incidentally, is exactly how I feel about what was being discussed here.

But that's a turn based strategy game, so I'm not sure just how applicable what Firaxis is doing should be. :)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Vyndicu on September 25, 2016, 03:20:56 PM
I strongly support this.

Here is my take on simplifying management:
1) No more engineers and better non-boosted build times.
2) Low-cap, expensive factories for more important AI-targets and meaningful production locations.
3) No more remain rebuilders and automatic rebuild when planet is clear (and if still controlled).
4) Automatic healing on controlled, AI-free planets (or enclave-like healing drones spawned by the OCStation).
5) "Battlefield" engineers for beachheads and healing-in-hostile-territory.

(Also merge Power production and Knowledge gathering within the OCStation.)

I am good with most option above. Except for merging power production into orbital command station. I think it could become an interface mess if we tried to treat power production as modules within an objects (champion modules, fallen spire huge ships, and etc...) mess.

It might be better to keep power/fuel production as a separate object the same way metal mines are right now in AI Classic.

Maybe make some system have more power or more fuel collecting point. It would make take a fuel rich planet vs power/energy rich planet an interesting strategic decision.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Sestren on September 25, 2016, 04:29:41 PM
Nah, you just make the command station itself generate the power (econ stations in classic do that already). No module or anything. As it stands now there are vanishingly few situations where the fact that the energy generator is a separate unit matters. If you want it to matter (for some reason) then you should mandate that for 'reasons' it is not safe to have the reactor within some distance of the command station (large radius where it can't be built), forcing the player to defend at least two different locations in each system. I don't really think that's a terribly great idea, but its the only reason I can think of for making them separate. If you don't want to do that then just lump the two together in the name of convenience.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Vyndicu on September 25, 2016, 05:47:30 PM
Nah, you just make the command station itself generate the power (econ stations in classic do that already). No module or anything. As it stands now there are vanishingly few situations where the fact that the energy generator is a separate unit matters. If you want it to matter (for some reason) then you should mandate that for 'reasons' it is not safe to have the reactor within some distance of the command station (large radius where it can't be built), forcing the player to defend at least two different locations in each system. I don't really think that's a terribly great idea, but its the only reason I can think of for making them separate. If you don't want to do that then just lump the two together in the name of convenience.

What you do if you need more power than the command station itself alone can provide?

Don't forget that in AI Classic each command station (regardless of which one you are using) allow you to build an energy collector which gives 150k power and more power at a cost of metal for more as necessary.

How are we going to translate that into command station providing everything power-wise?
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 25, 2016, 06:01:09 PM
How are we going to translate that into command station providing everything power-wise?

Does it need to ?
Power is per-planet now anyway. I don't really see the point of the additional power generators. And, before, there was 3 levels of generators... which I think everyone automated construction of. For me, whatever little role it had is translated in the design document, section "fuel".
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Vyndicu on September 25, 2016, 06:11:26 PM
What I meant is if you need to build a full cap of mk1-mkv turret and every fort in a single planet. A tiny fixed power budge from the command station may work against a super choke that some campaign would require you to do.

What I am saying if you need extra power budge you can pay for it as needed. The basic command station can provide enough power for a distributed defensive setup.

Fuel sound like something you always want more of anyway so some kind of granular setup is required for both.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 25, 2016, 06:27:36 PM
How are we going to translate that into command station providing everything power-wise?

Does it need to ?
Power is per-planet now anyway. I don't really see the point of the additional power generators. And, before, there was 3 levels of generators... which I think everyone automated construction of. For me, whatever little role it had is translated in the design document, section "fuel".

That got replaced in later versions. In Classic right now, there's a single generator that provides the power all three used to. It builds automatically when you build a command station, and it costs no metal to operate. Additional power comes from matter converters, which DO cost metal to operate.

If you folded that base power generator into the command station itself and didn't have an extra building, it wouldn't make a diference. That's what people are talking about.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 25, 2016, 07:20:27 PM
::)
Hum, thanks, but I had figured the part where the power station & the command station merged, and that the old 3 levels were replaced by one years ago...

I asked if it posed a problem, because, the additional "eat-metal" power generator are currently here to stay, but... the fuel mechanics does takes the place of whatever role it could take, as stated in the design doc, see section :
2.d. Power for Stationary, Fuel for Mobile

Did you read that part ? It's stated there that old energy mechanics would work as before, but as energy is per planet, my guess is that Chris either didn't think it completely, or that he specifically wants matter convertors to eat metal being placed ON the very planet there's a chokepoint on as separate unit, in order to allow the possibilities of a brown-outs. Of course, as sestren stated above, there's little point if they're all clumped under one forcefield.

Now... for the proposal...
Merging the command station & the energy production (variable, or not) would mean that until the command station's dead, brownouts can't occur, but then again, whatever's defending the command stations probably will defend energy production.

Hence the question... Do you need to have, somehow, variable energy provided completely by command station ?


I'm personally fine with a raid starship / infiltrator disabling some defenses by shooting a matter convertor on a front line. Not so much if my entire defenses littelrally get shot when a single building gets shot.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 25, 2016, 07:41:02 PM
I asked if it posed a problem, because, the additional "eat-metal" power generator are currently here to stay, but... the fuel mechanics does takes the place of whatever role it could take, as stated in the design doc, see section :
2.d. Power for Stationary, Fuel for Mobile

Did you read that part ? It's stated there that old energy mechanics would work as before, but as energy is per planet, my guess is that Chris either didn't think it completely, or that he specifically wants matter convertors to eat metal being placed ON the very planet there's a chokepoint on as separate unit, in order to allow the possibilities of a brown-outs. Of course, as sestren stated above, there's little point if they're all clumped under one forcefield.

Matter converters are there in the design doc for the case where you want more defenses on a planet than the normal power generation can support. That's it. Course, they don't actually have to exist as a seperate unit either, if you just put some button on the command station that lets you tell it how much extra power to generate. Or they can be a seperate unit. I don't care either way on that. :)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: chemical_art on September 25, 2016, 11:42:50 PM
Sorry to jump in late this day. I would wait till tomorrow to give a better response, but, knowing Chris, he will give a grand response of sorts knowing his behavior (No hate Chris, just giving speculation on your behavior  ;) )

My analogy on the documentaries of ocean creatures was a shorthand. Both AI Wars and Distant worlds are strategy games set in space. However from there they diverge in greatly different ways. I adore Distant Worlds. The one thing I would not emulate from them is their automation. Their actual interface which involves an substantial in game encyclopedia and other features is good. But the automation leaves a lot to be desired. I consider it a "quirk" which is a very charitable definition of what many can reasonably say "flawed". Inspiration or not actual execution is more important. I prefer the AIW1 execution more for it is safe and acceptable. I would not want to go off on wild tangents when a strict time and resource budget is needed. The potential gains are uncertain but the cost and alienation is given.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 26, 2016, 01:08:39 AM
Wow, that thread goes on very fast, compared to the rest of the forum. I caught up rapidly and I just want to address a specific point.

About command station generating power: of course it wouldn't be modules! (I would be even more tedious than having a separated unit). My point was (as mentioned, but I confirm) to make the station itself produce the base power (in AIWC, it would be the 150K per planet). If extra power is required, a metal->power conversion could be set with a slider in a per-planet GUI. No stray unit would uselessly pile under the OCStation's FField.

Wether or not the energy variability is required is another question. (More or less debated here (https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19161.0.html).)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Vyndicu on September 26, 2016, 12:22:20 PM
The problem is do we want to have a "weak link" in the power infrastructure that AI can snipe and take advantage of or not?

Especially since we moved from galaxy-wide cap of power to per-planet power cap. So if one planet grid went offline it won't be as deadly of a blow back. But definitely keep the tension feeling around.

If you move the power generation (variable or not) into command station itself as a single unit. I am somewhat concerned that we may be giving command station too many roles (engineer are already becoming part of shipyard/command station in another thread). It may become a something that AI will always 'target' over everything else in an unhealthy obsessive way.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Sestren on September 26, 2016, 12:49:31 PM
It may become a something that AI will always 'target' over everything else in an unhealthy obsessive way.

It always does that anyway. That's all I have ever seen it do with the exception of exowaves (and some very very small early waves that occasionally go after harvesters). Not to mention bullheaded behavior makes this approach MANDATORY for the affected units.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Draco18s on September 26, 2016, 01:26:16 PM
The problem is do we want to have a "weak link" in the power infrastructure that AI can snipe and take advantage of or not?

Especially since we moved from galaxy-wide cap of power to per-planet power cap. So if one planet grid went offline it won't be as deadly of a blow back. But definitely keep the tension feeling around.

If you move the power generation (variable or not) into command station itself as a single unit. I am somewhat concerned that we may be giving command station too many roles (engineer are already becoming part of shipyard/command station in another thread). It may become a something that AI will always 'target' over everything else in an unhealthy obsessive way.

This.

If anything, I'd want to enhance this.  Make me put my power generation near my turrets in some manner.

For anyone who's played Creeper World and the power networks you create, losing a linkage can actually result in a cascading loss of power, firepower, turrets, territory, and the map if you're not careful/attentive/fast.

I don't know what to suggest without making the game "not AI War" though, or at least, not super difficult to defend planets.  It works in Creeper World because the creep isn't very fast, there's just a ton of it slowly filling up the low areas and overflowing ridges.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 26, 2016, 02:18:18 PM
::)

I'm ok with the principle of having to place the energy generator near turrets, but it creates a whole lot of issues. The generator needs to be stronger than the turrents (or at least on the same level), else it's easier to shoot the turrets. Then, there is the issue of stacking... the "safer" way to build would be to have all turrets at the same side. So the AI basically would need something in the like of AOE siege weapons as a counter and incentive to spread out defenses. It's certainly possible with a bit of tuning.

Other (not exclusive) idea:

One possibility would be to rework the metal generators energy giving bonus to achieve brownouts. What if every "safe" (few to no enemies, linked only to allies) planet you have enabled you to remotely power-up one "additional" generator ? The metal cost could stay, to pay for the transfer.

Example: the player has 5 planets, 3 of which are safe, with either command station or command station + "free" energy gen. If you want more energy in your chokepoint, you can build up to 3 "energy booster building" (names don't matter), and you can build 3 energy emitters on your safe worlds (which could be destroyed should the planet become unsafe).

That way, if the energy booster is destroyed => brownout on the defensive planet.
If the safe planet is not safe anymore, then each "energy booster building" alternatively gets down-timed, more or less randomly, on each planet that has them, causing brown-outs there. So if your backside is hurt, your chokepoint falls (which I see as an opportunity for the AI to do something else than just hit the commands station everywhere).

Important last point: to reduce micro (because possibly one would be encouraged to build / destroy the boosters to manage energy by oneself), no links from one "safe planet" to the "energy booster building" is done by the player or anything. Only total quantity counts on both side. Second point to reduce micro, links take 10 minutes to stabilize after a destruction / construction. Which means that if, in the example above, one of the safe world loses its energy emitter, brownouts occur for 10 minutes even if the total energy quantity is reduced.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 26, 2016, 02:43:42 PM
The problem is do we want to have a "weak link" in the power infrastructure that AI can snipe and take advantage of or not?

Especially since we moved from galaxy-wide cap of power to per-planet power cap. So if one planet grid went offline it won't be as deadly of a blow back. But definitely keep the tension feeling around.

If you move the power generation (variable or not) into command station itself as a single unit. I am somewhat concerned that we may be giving command station too many roles (engineer are already becoming part of shipyard/command station in another thread). It may become a something that AI will always 'target' over everything else in an unhealthy obsessive way.

This.

If anything, I'd want to enhance this.  Make me put my power generation near my turrets in some manner.

For anyone who's played Creeper World and the power networks you create, losing a linkage can actually result in a cascading loss of power, firepower, turrets, territory, and the map if you're not careful/attentive/fast.

I don't know what to suggest without making the game "not AI War" though, or at least, not super difficult to defend planets.  It works in Creeper World because the creep isn't very fast, there's just a ton of it slowly filling up the low areas and overflowing ridges.

Considering power is per-planet now, it's already closer. :) Having to put generators near the turrets themselves will lead to lots of annoyances building defenses unless the radius is large, and then who cares? The last thing I want to have to do is build five small generators in various places just to make my turrets work.

Having an actual generator unit doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. If it's going to be targeted, on any planet that needs defending it's going under a FF, because it's too important to leave undefended (like the command station). In fact, it's probably under the same one *as* the command station, so there's little difference between attacking it or the command station in the end anyway.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Draco18s on September 26, 2016, 02:46:37 PM
::)

I'm ok with the principle of having to place the energy generator near turrets, but it creates a whole lot of issues.

Agreed.  Hence not actually having a suggestion on how to accomplish it.  Just a general notion.

Point was: making the command center also the power generator doesn't actually lead to brownouts.  Either your system is Fine or it's not yours which is definitely the opposite of the desired effect.

The "problem" with AIWC's method is that if simply converted to per-planet rather than global, the AI will still beeline for the command station.  And either your system is Fine or it's not yours... (on account of the command station being a higher priority target than the power generator: the command station would go down first, even if its more durable, again, not leading to the desired effect).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 26, 2016, 03:11:48 PM
Point was: making the command center also the power generator doesn't actually lead to brownouts.  Either your system is Fine or it's not yours which is definitely the opposite of the desired effect.

With power being per-planet, brownouts are largely a thing of the past anyway. Either the defenses are fully powered, or something hits your power generator and you're effectively in *blackout* conditions where everything shuts down. Unless we're building multiple generators again, brownouts just don't happen in this system.

Brownouts could happen when power was global because you had lots of things using it and lots of places generating it, and hitting one of those generators could bring down some stuff elsewhere but wouldn't cripple absolutely everything. Now? Hit the generator and the planet is basically defenseless.

(That was one of the reasons I pitched power being solar system wide in another thread. That makes brownouts a thing that can happen if you lose some of the systems.)
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 26, 2016, 03:58:28 PM
Power is still global, well sort of. Fuel is limited by planet. The more planet you lose, the less ships you have. Could be a death spiral here.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 26, 2016, 05:05:17 PM
Power is still global, well sort of. Fuel is limited by planet. The more planet you lose, the less ships you have. Could be a death spiral here.

... what? Power is in no way global.

Quote
Make power generation and consumption happen per-planet rather than game-wide.

It doesn't actually say what happens when you run out of fuel, but I assume you can't build more ships. Having ships explode mid fight because you lost a fuel depot would be odd.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 26, 2016, 05:27:36 PM
;)
I don't believe I am the only that assumes that if you starting losing planets, you've probably sent your fleet to whatever threat there is... And that it got wrecked in the process. And that since your fuel supplies are reduced, your fleet can't be built to full size again.

I didn't assume the ships exploded own their own. But I admit you've got a cool idea there. Some kind of penalty for not having enough fuel, reducing overall fleet efficiency would be cool =). Or having some ships dissassemble themselves over a short amount of time, like 2 or 3 minutes. Or just having some of them randomly shutting down because, no fuel. I think it's a separate idea though.

Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Cinth on September 26, 2016, 05:32:33 PM
Are you guys forgetting that fuel only matters for ships that aren't in your area of control?
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Tridus on September 26, 2016, 05:37:20 PM
Are you guys forgetting that fuel only matters for ships that aren't in your area of control?

That's not what the design document says anymore. It says roughly "fuel is power, only for ships". That is, you have fuel, and making ships uses it.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Cinth on September 26, 2016, 06:42:01 PM
Are you guys forgetting that fuel only matters for ships that aren't in your area of control?

That's not what the design document says anymore. It says roughly "fuel is power, only for ships". That is, you have fuel, and making ships uses it.

Wha...? ~goes off to reread~

Well :/

Though, it's not like power was a huge limiting factor on your fleet to begin with.  I usually had enough for the fleet and some defenses (in standard play).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: TechSY730 on September 26, 2016, 07:42:01 PM
My gut reaction to this is "Muh Engineers! Don't touch my precious engineers!  :'("

That said, I wouldn't mind more convenient, more automated ways of managing per planet assets. Nor would I mind a reduction in base build time in return for less "boosting power" of engineers (the base build times did get a bit absurd for end-tech in AIWC). Hell, I wouldn't even mind some unification of "utility ship" roles (like engineers and remains rebuilders being unified, I would be OK with that). But I don't see why you need to toss the whole idea of engineers out. I like the flexibility that discrete engineers give to the table, even if most of the time it is as simple as "FRD" or "perma-boost shipyard", those times where you would like to redistribute income to other sources flexibly was nice to have.

Perhaps this is just me being stubborn to change; hard to tell.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 27, 2016, 01:28:29 AM
Though, it's not like power was a huge limiting factor on your fleet to begin with.  I usually had enough for the fleet and some defenses (in standard play).

Yes, let's hope it changes and that you have to capture planets to get a bigger fleet =).
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 27, 2016, 02:55:05 AM
Wha...? ~goes off to reread~

Well :/
Same reaction. Chris silently changed that.

So now Fuel is more like Power than like Metal. Okay. So as these two resources are directly tied to the control of a planet, I affirm my proposal: the OCStation must have zero nearby device (power generator, fuel generator, knowledge gatherer, etc). These devices would be piled up nearby the station and under the same force field, and destroyed at the same time of the station anyway.

I would go even further: instant collection of Knowledge on planet capture. Why would I wait or build ten science lab and scrap them minutes later? This is micro to be removed. However, gathering Knowledge on a dangerous neutral planet not easily capturable (war between the AI and a background faction?) would require a stealthy, hacker-like "extreme" science lab.


For anyone who's played Creeper World and the power networks you create, losing a linkage can actually result in a cascading loss of power, firepower, turrets, territory, and the map if you're not careful/attentive/fast.

I don't know what to suggest without making the game "not AI War" though, or at least, not super difficult to defend planets.  It works in Creeper World because the creep isn't very fast, there's just a ton of it slowly filling up the low areas and overflowing ridges.
While I like Creeper World, it's not the same game as AI War. As you said: "not without making the game not AI War"... The same was true for the platform-puzzle-game. AI War is already a mix of many game genres. Expanding that with a SBR/SimCity-like management layer would be... bad.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: tadrinth on September 27, 2016, 01:14:43 PM
I think combining regular science labs into command stations would be reasonable.  Then you can keep the advanced science labs (which are cloaked) for gathering from systems you've freed but don't want to actually capture. 
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: kasnavada on September 27, 2016, 02:06:50 PM
I think combining regular science labs into command stations would be reasonable.  Then you can keep the advanced science labs (which are cloaked) for gathering from systems you've freed but don't want to actually capture.

They also had the "hidden" ability of letting you check the unlocks from capturable science labs.
Title: Re: [Chris says: let's discuss!] Ship bays as a means of managing perplanet assets
Post by: Pumpkin on September 28, 2016, 01:37:56 AM
I think combining regular science labs into command stations would be reasonable.  Then you can keep the advanced science labs (which are cloaked) for gathering from systems you've freed but don't want to actually capture.

They also had the "hidden" ability of letting you check the unlocks from capturable science labs.

Very true. I'm happy to see some people responding positively to this kind of streamlining and macro-orienting.