Author Topic: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.  (Read 3517 times)

Offline tadrinth

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2016, 01:30:16 PM »
I want to make a general prediction that people's favorite ships are disproportionately ships that are hard to balance.   I know most of mine are.  Broken crazy ships are fun.

I think a good general rule is to say that anything the AI can't have is never a bonus ship type.  You can't have things like Protector Starships and NCCs and Lightning Torpedo Frigates competing with Laser Gatlings.  They should instead compete with each other somehow. 

I would do that either by Human Faction Leaders (which give you a CRAZY bonus, like access to protector starships), or by making them champion hulls so you have to pick one. 

That makes explicit the difference between 'crazy human OP schtick' and 'regular balanced fleet ship'. It's okay for the humans to have some crazy stuff, I think. 

The other good general rule is that everything needs a counter and most things need a triangle counter.   Once you had a protector starship, you could make it counter just about anything.  Remove its ability to stop energy bombs and it would be much less OP because bombers would wreck it. 

Offline tadrinth

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2016, 01:33:02 PM »
But what I'm not clear on is:
1. How does it prevent damage: is it basically a FIFO thing? (first in, first out)?
2. Is that something that's resetting every clock second, or every tick is that reducing the "amount I've done lately" by a fixed amount?
Original version, where they had so many counter-shots available:
https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War:Current_Post-6.000_Beta#Prerelease_6.035_Dire_Protector

Update to limit each countershot to a certain maximum damage:
https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War:Current_Post-6.000_Beta#Revising.2FPolishing_Expansion_Stuff

The second link has some examples that make it pretty clear how they work. 

Offline Tridus

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2016, 01:35:24 PM »
Keith probably knows the specific numbers bettre than I do, but you're right, since it's my favorite I do know. :D

It's a modular ship, cap of 2 per mk. Each one gets mk modules. There's five modules: a FF generator (that I never use), and four counter modules: Shell/Laser/Missile/Energy (which is a broad definition including negative energy, energy waves, implosion shots, impulse reactive shots, flame waves).

The way it works is that when an incoming shot of the appropriate type enters its area of effect, the Protector fires a counter shot that nullifies the shot in question. That takes one shot from the Protector. If the shot it's countering is over 1000 (I think) damage, then it takes more shots (a 4500 damage shot would take 5 Protector shots to counter).

The Protector modules regain 10 shots/second and have a cap of 100 shots available. So they can stop a big alpha strike salvo, but then have an effective shots per second and DPS limit on what they can stop. If you outfit them for a specific damage type, you can stop a LOT of that type, or you can use them more well rounded by having a wide variety of modules. They can be overwhelmed either by huge damage shots, or by swarms that fire so many shots they simply can't stop them all. Amusingly, Laser Gatlings are a PITA for them because they are a big swarm and rapid fire small shots, which is the worst thing for Protectors to try and stop.


A non-modular version could work where it simply stops any eligible type of shot, up to its limit. That'd make them easier to use and not let you abuse them to counter a SuperFortress, but because they have a finite amount of DPS and shots they can react to, a strong defense still beats them. That's why I like to call them "counter DPS" ships: their attack is effectively anti-damage. :D

It's a very unique mechanic that nothing else in the game has, IIRC.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2016, 01:45:48 PM »
Tridus, to very slightly nitpick, I think the protector module calculations occur when an enemy ship fires upon a friendly ship within range of a friendly protector module.  If you move the protector into range of a ship AFTER it's been fired upon, the protector won't save it.  At least, I'm pretty sure that's how that works (its definitely how counter-sniper coverage works).  I think it's animated differently, which is a bit confusing. 

How good would Protectors be if they only protected the nearest squadron, or nearest X squadrons? 

Offline Tridus

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2016, 01:52:14 PM »
Tridus, to very slightly nitpick, I think the protector module calculations occur when an enemy ship fires upon a friendly ship within range of a friendly protector module.  If you move the protector into range of a ship AFTER it's been fired upon, the protector won't save it.  At least, I'm pretty sure that's how that works (its definitely how counter-sniper coverage works).  I think it's animated differently, which is a bit confusing. 

That sounds right. Good catch. :)

Quote
How good would Protectors be if they only protected the nearest squadron, or nearest X squadrons?

Then it'd depend on what is getting shot at, since if the things in range want to shoot ships not in those squadrons, it wouldn't really do anything and you'd have to reposition it to get better coverage (kinda micro heavy). If your bombers are getting wrecked by something that hates them specifically but the Protectors are only guarding your fighters, they're not doing anything.

You ideally want it to have a large enough area of effect that you don't have to micro it between specific ships, but rather have to choose which group to send it with if you split your fleet (like if you go after multiple targets in a gravity well at the same time, you'd have to pick which group to send it with). Right now that's also compounded by knowing which module loadout it has so you know what it can actually counter, but a more generic AIW2 non-modular version could reduce that while leaving the tactical decision in place.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2016, 02:10:54 PM »
How good would Protectors be if they only protected the nearest squadron, or nearest X squadrons? 

OP ? Whatever the game, units belong to archetypes. Tank, glass cannon... and so on. Invariably, in games, some units are balanced because they are glass cannons. With this idea, the group of glass cannons + protector would become a possibly cheap lighning bruiser. A single protecting unit, that'll cause balance issues much larger than itself.

The issue here is that "protectors" and "healers", no matter what the game is, change the balance of the game completely compared to when they're not here. Is it worth it, to be including a possible balance headache into the game ?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 02:13:26 PM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2016, 03:19:26 PM »
Thanks for all the notes about protectors, guys!

Hey, come on, cut me some slack.  I was thinking about those from All You Need Is Kill (I can't recall if they also called them that in Edge of Tomorrow, which is based on that).  But also the sheaths around bullets themselves (shell casings for large shells... isn't that right, or am I remembering wrong?).  Anyway, I thought it was neat.  Either way, it's changing.

Errr. Sorry if my tone or remarks offended you, I was more "puzzled" at finding out what it was than trying to be mean.

Sorry, humor really doesn't come across well at all in writing.  I was actually amused, and kind of teasing back with the "cut me some slack" bit.  But that completely doesn't come across, I realize on a re-read.

No harm, no foul!

IIRC Protector modules worked fifo and are salvo based, so many intercepted shots per time period.

Salvo-based would be pretty strange, because normally that would be perfect protection except for certain really big ships like MLRS or what have you.

I want to make a general prediction that people's favorite ships are disproportionately ships that are hard to balance.   I know most of mine are.  Broken crazy ships are fun.

I think a good general rule is to say that anything the AI can't have is never a bonus ship type.  You can't have things like Protector Starships and NCCs and Lightning Torpedo Frigates competing with Laser Gatlings.  They should instead compete with each other somehow.

This is a brilliant point, actually.  I don't want these things to be something that you start the game with, though.  I'd like for them to be something along the lines of "quest rewards" (that's really misleading) for protecting background factions.  We actually could use quite a few ships for that, since there could be a lot of background factions in the game.

You'd have access to build this ship type (fleet style or starship style) so long as you protect that background faction, and if they die then bye-bye for your ability to build that sort of thing for the rest of that campaign.  That would be the perfect thing for background factions actually, and anyone who wants to start a thread about ships that maybe should go there would be more than welcome to. ;)
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Offline Cinth

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2016, 03:39:49 PM »
IIRC Protector modules worked fifo and are salvo based, so many intercepted shots per time period.

Salvo-based would be pretty strange, because normally that would be perfect protection except for certain really big ships like MLRS or what have you.

Not really.  You would have a saturation point at which the Protector can't absorb any more incoming shots of a certain type.
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Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2016, 03:47:23 PM »
I want to make a general prediction that people's favorite ships are disproportionately ships that are hard to balance.   I know most of mine are.  Broken crazy ships are fun.

I think a good general rule is to say that anything the AI can't have is never a bonus ship type.  You can't have things like Protector Starships and NCCs and Lightning Torpedo Frigates competing with Laser Gatlings.  They should instead compete with each other somehow.

This is a brilliant point, actually.  I don't want these things to be something that you start the game with, though.  I'd like for them to be something along the lines of "quest rewards" (that's really misleading) for protecting background factions.  We actually could use quite a few ships for that, since there could be a lot of background factions in the game.

You'd have access to build this ship type (fleet style or starship style) so long as you protect that background faction, and if they die then bye-bye for your ability to build that sort of thing for the rest of that campaign.  That would be the perfect thing for background factions actually, and anyone who wants to start a thread about ships that maybe should go there would be more than welcome to. ;)
That would be a sort of "rebelling colonies" all over the place. Why not. The early game will be stressful and frustrating, I guess. I don't know...

May I rise a concern about the ship families? (Yeah, OCD.) If they are human-reserved, I would like to give them a specific family name. For example, guardians are not starships, because starships are shared and guardians are AI-only. However, I don't have a name right now. Maybe "resistance something" or simply "human something"...
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
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Offline Orelius

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2016, 04:18:00 PM »
So are snipers completely dead?  While they're troublesome as a shiptype, but they would still be cool to have as turrets or guardposts, in my opinion.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2016, 08:36:00 PM »
Hrm, in Classic all guard posts have radar dampening... I guess without snipers around they no longer need it?

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2016, 02:04:51 AM »
Hrm, in Classic all guard posts have radar dampening... I guess without snipers around they no longer need it?
Indeed, that will change a lot of things. Long range units (missile frigates) will be able to sink short-ranged guard posts (MLRS) from afar. Is that terrible? I don't know.
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?
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2016, 02:11:43 AM »
Hrm, in Classic all guard posts have radar dampening... I guess without snipers around they no longer need it?
Indeed, that will change a lot of things. Long range units (missile frigates) will be able to sink short-ranged guard posts (MLRS) from afar. Is that terrible? I don't know.

Or, range could be relanced so this kind of situation does not occur anymore.
My proposal would be that turrets & guard posts should outrange all standard units.

Offline zharmad

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #43 on: September 11, 2016, 10:48:20 AM »
Hrm, in Classic all guard posts have radar dampening... I guess without snipers around they no longer need it?
Indeed, that will change a lot of things. Long range units (missile frigates) will be able to sink short-ranged guard posts (MLRS) from afar. Is that terrible? I don't know.
Or, range could be relanced so this kind of situation does not occur anymore.
My proposal would be that turrets & guard posts should outrange all standard units.
It would go hand in hand with the armour/hull rebalance, I'd say. Human turrets currently out-range their same-shot counterparts, and the same goes for guardposts. I don't think this needs to change per see, given that we do have artillery archetypes.

Hopefully infinite-range advantage will have less of an attraction in the sequel due to the much smaller grav-wells. Classic has it such that median speed ships take their sweet time to cross the system.

Offline zharmad

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Re: I'm going through all the ship mechanics and ships today.
« Reply #44 on: September 11, 2016, 12:22:59 PM »
I added the Dire Guardians - if anyone has a particular opinion of the relationship between guardians and dire guardians, please note this somewhere. (I wrote in the doc that Guardians and Dire Guardians could be merged, so that Guardians are a bit bigger than starships and a bit more special, to distinguish themselves. Although maybe this blurs the line between guardians and mobile guardposts.)