Author Topic: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.  (Read 2549 times)

Offline kasnavada

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Sooo...

Unlocking a new fleet gives 2-5 new "ship lines".

ARS give a new ship line, unless you're unlocking a ship that the fleet already has, unless it has 5 ship lines.

Example:
a) I got a fleet, with an "1 assault frigate" ship line (and 3 other ship lines):

I seek an ARS with an "1 assault frigate" unlock. I can do the "grant ship line" action with the fleet, which effectively adds the current number of "assault frigate" fleet line with the ones from the ARS unlock. It also work with "lesser" fleet ships, for example a 40 V-Wing + 37 V-wing unlock brings the total to 77. This action is repeatable if you've got multiple ARS with "compatible" ship lines.

b) If I got a fleet with an "1 assault frigate" ship line (and 4 other ship lines):

I seek an ARS with an "1 assault frigate" unlock. I cannot do the "grant ship line" action, because "there is 5 ship lines on this fleet".

c) I got fleet A with 4 ship lines, including an "assault frigate", and fleet B with 4 ship lines, including an "assault frigate". I cannot give the assault frigate from one to the other, because, I quote: "Can't make this swap, as it would lead to two ship lines of the same type in one of the fleets".


The result of this is that I stopped unlocking ARS if I block a 5th slot, because I think it's better to have larger fleets due to the XP mechanics, and the relative rapid construction of ships (I find myself waiting for metal to come back, rarely for ships to be created). I had a fleet where I had merged 4 ARS into existing ship lines, making it effectively "9 shipline strong". I don't think either of those is good for the game. Even given the random nature of ARS, I think I could reliably have a "11-12 shipline strong" fleet with this mechanic.

I don't care which mechanic you guys find preferable, but, personally, I don't have an issue with having 2 identical ship lines on a fleet, and I'd remove the merging behaviour, and swap restrictions on identical ship lines. I think that having multiple identical ship lines are beneficial because they effectively add to the construction rate, whereas merging slows construction (but, greatly increases the power the the fleet). Also, it's probably been suggested before, but enabling the player to give ship lines to other fleets =) would be great too.


If other modifications for fleet were planned that solved this issue, sorry, didn't know. :-X
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 09:42:42 AM by kasnavada »

Offline I-KP

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2019, 01:49:09 PM »
Agreed, and I only noticed this behaviour myself the other night. (I've not been playing AIW2 long.)

Merging should not be a thing, be it the result of an ARS hack or a Swap. Every ship line should be discrete within the same fleet even if they're the same design.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 10:31:44 AM »
Two identical ship lines in one fleet is not supported by the code, and would require extensive rewrites that we don't have time for, as well as lots of bugs.  There are huge numbers of areas that assume that the Fleet.Membership (aka the slot) is a 1:1 relationship with the type of ship.  If it was multiple possible memberships for a single type, that would get kinda nightmareish.

The ARSes were added relatively recently.  I suppose that the thing to do with them (worth throwing on mantis) would be to say that an ARS can't be hacked by a fleet that already has a ship of that type.  That way it can't merge.
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Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2019, 11:00:08 AM »
I actually made sure that ARSs could merge because I wanted that behaviour available as an option to me when I played. If Chris is firmly opposed to that being possible then he's welcome to remove the code, but I would prefer it not to be removed.

Offline AnnoyingOrange

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2019, 02:59:15 PM »
Stacking fleet capacity like this seems like a really bad idea, IMO.
With the way it amplifies the strenght of tech upgrades, there would be no easy way to balance around it: either the player has a ship line 2-3 times stronger than normal, or they don't, and because of the luck involved you can't simply tweak numbers based on the stronger fleet.
I agree with Chris here, but I'd like to hear why Badger likes the option.

Offline x4000

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2019, 04:54:50 PM »
I'm actually fine with them being mergeable like they are now.  I think it's not something that would happen enough to be a balance problem, in the grand scheme of things.  And I like the flexibility.

But if people are going to start giving me grief about having multiple ship lines of the same type in a fleet, I'm thoroughly opposed to that, and I can see the logic of why having the ability to add to a fleet member from the ARS is inconsistent with normal swapping.  Maybe this is just people being too nitpicky and I should tell them "this is how it is, enjoy the flexibility."  But experience over time has made me inclined to remove an inconsistency like that just simply because people will harass me for the next few years about it, sigh.

In short, as a general rule on this I agree with Badger.

But AnnoyingOrange, I do agree with you in principle if there were a ton of ARSes and they were unlocking tons of lines and whatnot.  That would be a really untenable mechanic.  But even if you optimally rolled every ARS as it  stands right now, aside from the big hacking cost that would have, you'd only get but so powerful.  And I view this as having enough rogueliike blood in the game to not have a problem with that, personally.

Since the start of the first AI War, there was always a strong RNG component where sometimes you get something amazing or really terrible, and you fight your way out of it or die.  Or in the case of an unexpected buff, you have a fun easier roflstomp time for a while.  This sequel cranks those elements up, but they've always been there, and the later expansions in the first game brought those elements out increasingly, too.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2019, 05:13:37 PM »
I'm actually fine with them being mergeable like they are now.
I don't care which mechanic you guys find preferable

But: "Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent."
If you are to keep merging in, then, could you please allow the player to hack an ARS if it will merge, even if it has 5 ship lines ?
There is no reason why I can merge a an ARS into a ship when I got 4 lines, and can't when I have 5.

I wrote the part about not having an issue with having dual lines, because, mainly, it's currently explicitly blocked.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 05:15:42 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Asteroid

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 11:42:30 PM »
I think that we should at least be able to merge a ship line after the fact if you added two identical shiplines to different ships without knowing you could merge - the swap dialog would offer to merge instead of swapping when it's the same ship type. It would increase the discoverability and internal consistency of the whole system.
Being able to split them out again could also be a plus, though not as necessary.

I'm actually fine with them being mergeable like they are now.
I don't care which mechanic you guys find preferable

But: "Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent."
If you are to keep merging in, then, could you please allow the player to hack an ARS if it will merge, even if it has 5 ship lines ?
There is no reason why I can merge a an ARS into a ship when I got 4 lines, and can't when I have 5.

I wrote the part about not having an issue with having dual lines, because, mainly, it's currently explicitly blocked.

Sounds like this is a bug.

Offline x4000

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2019, 12:10:09 PM »
The latter thing does sound like a bug.

As far as the merging during swaps goes, I thought about that when I was implementing it but that's an irreversible action that could have dire consequences if overdone.  With that sort of merge ability you could make super-stacks on some fleets and have other fleets with literally no ship lines in there.  It would be hard, and require a lot of fleets, but it's definitely feasible.  So I'm 100% opposed to merging ship lines during swaps.

An ARS currently lets you get a certain number of more ships, either added to an existing slot or in a new one.  This makes sense to me.  That doesn't follow that we should immediately allow for the merging of ship lines in general, which would be a major balance problem (even aside from the need to split ship lines, yet another problem after that point).

Other than the bug mentioned there, I think that people will just have to live with this inconsistency.  Potentially the ARS description text can be updated to say something along the lines of explaining that you can merge into an existing ship line slot as a unique ability of the ARS, so people don't just discover it by accident or miss it.
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Offline Asteroid

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2019, 08:28:15 PM »
Right. I didn't take into account that you also get ship lines from fleets you find lying around, and that allowing to merge those in addition to the ones from ARSes (wonderful acronym, until the front fell off and it had to be removed from the environment) would allow even more powerful stacks.

Well, I change my vote in favor of removing the merging altogether then (or making it an option, though "options are bad"(tm)), in the name of having a game that doesn't constantly leave you scratching your head about how it works.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2019, 08:46:21 PM »
Please, we build our ARSs to a high standard. No cardboard or paper

Offline x4000

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Re: Behaviour of Fleet ship lines swap and ARS unlock should be consistent.
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2019, 12:16:16 PM »
What about paper derivatives?  Minimum crew size?

In terms of the merging, I think that if it's made clear that can happen and that's an ARS-specific one-time thing, then it's not a big deal.  It can't be exploited there (not enough ARSes), and having that as a particular way to buff fleets that is Normally Not Allowed is the sort of thing I like.

Having general rules (no merging fleet lines) is always a must, but specific structures that break those rules are also something that I enjoy and tend to be fun to find.  The problem is if it's not telling you that this can happen with the rule-breaking structure and thus it seems like an oversight.  Or is something that people miss a lot of the time.
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