Author Topic: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?  (Read 619 times)

Offline kasnavada

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I would have thought it would help with refleeting, since dead ships would cost less maintenance (being dead and all), therefore helping with rebuilding the fleet faster. I know there was a link between energy & metal in the earliest version of AI War (possibly, exactly to do that ?) but it kind of disappeared with the latest versions of AI War.

Any idea, why not ?

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 03:00:18 AM »
I've always liked maintenance as a gameplay mechanic, because it makes you think about what you field in battle. But from a lore standpoint it makes nada sense. How are you "maintaining" ships that are on the other side of the galaxy, far away from any docks? ^^
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 03:17:01 AM »
Invisible supply lanes / reserves on ships, not shown for the sake of not making the interface melt.

Still it's a good point on the lore standpoint.
That said... firing doesn't take ammo, and energy works without limitation of range (through wormholes) so... from a lore point of view...

Offline Tridus

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 07:40:29 AM »
It seems like it'd actually *hurt* refleeting, because as you rebuild your fleet, each subsequent ship will be a bit slower than the last one. For a large fleet, it's going to get very, very expensive.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 07:48:43 AM »
Depends where the metal costs are compared to now.

If the total metal income does not change and the maintenance is flat-out taken from it... yes, but it will cause issues. So, this would have to come with rebalancing... Example: if "current metal income" is "100%", balanced could be changed so:
- full fleet cost = 75%.
- no fleet cost = 250%.

Overall refleeting is faster with those numbers. Of course, if you go this way:
- full fleet cost = 25%.
- no fleet cost = 100%.

This last way won't work. Of course, simply adding metal could also work on its own. Maintenance costs have the "advantage" of limiting income when there is a full fleet, which I generally see as a good thing (from a balance point of view). That said I'm neutral toward having metal as maintenance in the game, or not.

Offline x4000

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 09:18:20 AM »
In general it also really complicates the math of what you can build, since your income is so dependent on what you already have.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 10:37:28 AM »
In general it also really complicates the math of what you can build, since your income is so dependent on what you already have.

It's also a cap on top of a cap.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 01:19:53 PM »
Hey I just imagined a game (not AI War II) with no cap but only an upkeep paid with the building cost. Few ships, fast rebuilds or big armies and big crashes. It could also be possible to stash a lot of resource and overbuild but the army won't be sustainable for long.

Yeah, random passing idea.
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Offline ptarth

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Re: Design question / inquiry: why isn't metal maintenance cost in the game ?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2016, 08:57:50 PM »
You could combine the two economic models, in the sense that you don't track stored resources (see below for alternative), but instead only net income (i.e., income and expenditures). So a scout doesn't have a 10 metal one time cost, but instead has a 1 metal/second cost. Furthermore, the upkeep calculations are straight forward and simple. On construction (or queuing) the cost of a thing is removed from the net income. On death it is added back to the budget. So you don't bother updating changes in income, unless something dies or you build a new economic source. So you just have a running total of: How much resources do I have left to spend on things.

  • Stored resources, if desired, can then be turned into things that provide X resources per tick for Y ticks. Construction time would then be a function of upkeep cost (with a difficulty of construction modifier).
  • Math shouldn't be a problem in this scenario. There won't be masses of regularly occurring changes, just ones from relatively major events (life and death).
  • The model could be expanded to science and other resources.
  • Budget deficits caused by resource production destruction are a bit tricky. Some options, when you drop below 0 resource income, you then have "brownouts" that reduce the effectiveness of idle outside of combat ships, emergency extra stores can supply your empire for a while to prevent the negative income. However, I can also see how this would be prone to death spirals that plagued SBR. However, since only combat ships would really be effected, and they do not have economic functions, it could work out?
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.