Author Topic: Fog of war... too foggy ?  (Read 2136 times)

Offline kasnavada

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Fog of war... too foggy ?
« on: October 04, 2019, 01:13:05 AM »
What is the intent behind the current fog of war ?

Currently, I think it's way too foggy. The problem with that is that unless I spent ridiculous amount of hacking points, I'm flying blind in "neutered" territories. From what I can gather, fog of war only relays regular guards, and all of threat is completely invisible. I read this change was so that the AI could sneak on you, but, frankly, at this point, it's not really sneaking. The AI ain't doing anything in particular, but, I, as a player, am gambling. I move fleet A to a planet to defend a wave, and, ah... well, too bad, there was 50 threat there, the fleet I was using to reinforce that planet is wiped out, I'm short 1-2 million metal (I tend to send the fleet without loading / unloading, especially when I got 3-4 minutes of time before waves).

Sure, I could send the fleet in "load" mode, but the UI doesn't make it efficient, and if you have to move multiple fleet, you have to check for each fleet when loading is complete, then move it, check when moving is done, and unload... (I'm for adding a button or something that would enable the fleet to load, then move, then unload).

It doesn't change the core of the problem though. I'm ok about making the AI more sneaky, but... in AI WAR 1 I had scouts on every planets 3 jumps away from where I was (that was maybe a bit excessive), and currently I can't defend against a CPA until it's on my planet.

Currently, it's discouraging me from playing. Am I missing something here ?

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 01:34:59 AM »
I'm actually really enjoying the uncertainty of not knowing where the AI forces are. They launched a big attack out of nowhere at me while my fleet was engaged elsewhere and it made for a really compelling battle as I had to run away to save my base.

If I could have seen them coming it would have been really easy to deal with, and that's boring.

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 05:17:43 AM »
There was discussion about being able to Watch neighbouring planets for free. If this happens then maybe that would be a happy middle ground between necessary (expensive) Hacks and no FoW at all.

This may end up reducing the value of Watch Hacks overall, as I suspect that neighbouring planets tend to make up the lion's share of all Watches.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2019, 06:36:41 AM »
I'm actually really enjoying the uncertainty of not knowing where the AI forces are. They launched a big attack out of nowhere at me while my fleet was engaged elsewhere and it made for a really compelling battle as I had to run away to save my base.

That's one way to put it.

How I would have received it is way different. Given that an attack by threat generally is a few minutes warning before the destruction of a planet, and given that, since I don't know where threat is, I can't rely on sending ships there (because threat might be in the way)... I wouldn't have ignored threat, so I'd have patrolled my borders until I cleaned it to reasonably low levels. And then, every time threats builds up for any reason (missing an attack, ships fleeing, CPA, raids, having a planet destroyed because I misjudged an attack, "minor" factions like macrophages, darkspire)... I go back and patrol. But, as threat build-ups are relatively common...


With this FoW, as long as threat exists, you either have to clean-up manually all border planets or take a gamble everytime you're sending your 15 str fleet to another planet via the AI. It may die in a 3 seconds to a 100 threat, warden, hunter fleet. Or maybe not. Also, said planet with defenses that should be able to defend against this wave ? Can't let it defend. You have to be prepared for each because threat might be there. Those come every 7 minutes. I'm ok with having to make special defenses for CPA or whatever big thing you've done. But regular waves should have simple defense solutions.

Last, I say "threat", but really, it's "threat + hunter fleet + warden fleet + however is called the hundreds of units which ain't threat, but, that the AI is moving around for some reason". They don't show either. On difficulty 8, that's hundreds of strength of ships moving around which I can't scout or plan around.

That's not quite my definition of fun.

The situation you describe can still works if threat has to move through 1 or 2 planets before attacking your position.

I'm not asking for complete vision or anything, but enabling the player to have SOME heads-up when doing something he's supposed to do (moving in enemy territory) is necessary, as is facilitating his movement actions when doing so.

There was discussion about being able to Watch neighbouring planets for free. If this happens then maybe that would be a happy middle ground between necessary (expensive) Hacks and no FoW at all.

Well, I think I was the one that wrote this. But, I'm trying not to propose solutions because, other ideas may fit better. I'm not for no FoW at all. But I do think there is a middle ground to have between "unable to see past my front door" and "omniscience".

Offline kmunoz

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2019, 10:30:52 AM »
Sure, I could send the fleet in "load" mode, but the UI doesn't make it efficient, and if you have to move multiple fleet, you have to check for each fleet when loading is complete, then move it, check when moving is done, and unload... (I'm for adding a button or something that would enable the fleet to load, then move, then unload).

I'm the first person to whine about UI, but here I'm actually pretty happy. Using the L (load) and U (unload) hotkeys works from anywhere, even the galaxy map. I usually hit the key, wait 5 seconds, then do the move. If I'm too quick and not all of the ships are loaded in, they'll still try to load in while the flagship is traveling, and they'll still move faster than usual so they do catch up. I never bother to check to see if they're fully loaded anymore.

Offline kmunoz

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 10:35:51 AM »
To your original point - I do miss the scout mechanic. I liked having control over what I was investigating. I don't think the current method is bad as such (it does eliminate all that scouting micro), but it would be nice to have something other than Watch Hacking that I could use to keep eyes on things past my borders. I haven't encountered the situations you describe but that's because I still play on Basic difficulty 4 and get my butt kicked anyway.

Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 12:35:53 PM »
logistic stations--what if these gave the "watched" status to neighboring planets? That seems like a function they could serve and make them a more enticing choice on the frontlines


Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2019, 12:37:03 PM »
I like the logistical suggestion. Chris? Thoughts?

Or maybe if there was a structure you could build or capture that would Watch adjacent planets for you?

Offline zeusalmighty

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2019, 12:57:24 PM »
Or maybe if there was a structure you could build or capture that would Watch adjacent planets for you?

This made me think of the "parasite" power queens had in SC (you could target an enemy unit to then grant you vision.) Mobile units might be a poor candidate, but maybe you could hack a command station, for instance, on a planet you weren't intending to capture and get vision of it

Edit: this is silly since we can already hack to watch. So this idea would only be applicable if it could be used on a mobile unit
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 09:37:42 PM by zeusalmighty »

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2019, 03:12:44 PM »
I too somewhat miss the old Scouting mechanics, but I also absolutely understand how bad it was in terms of design, so I'm broadly on board with 'automating' it. Just maybe not entirely automated. I'd like to be able to direct it somehow. That's why I like the idea of Logistics stations being able to spread the reach of your Watch network be it directly or nefariously. If that notion could be expanded upon just a tad, might be on to a winner.

I'd keep a very close eye on altering/increasing Hack costs with these changes as Hacking points are the only currency in the game that directly determines if you win or lose, and to that end, any spend, any spend at all, that doesn't directly further your chances is a waste.
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Offline kmunoz

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2019, 09:55:07 PM »
So there is this ridiculously silly idea in Endless Space 2 where you do "hacking" on the galaxy map, and treat the star systems as "nodes" like in those classic hacking games from the 80s and 90s.

But it got me thinking...

What if there were a way to do scouting where you set up shop with a specialized unit on one of your own worlds, and then give it a target "destination" system somewhere else, and instead of *moving* there it remotely *scouts* there. So you'd have this "beam" of scouting, like a massive telescope. If you wanted to scout in a different direction you could, but you'd lose Watched status on the old systems as soon as you switched the route.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2019, 02:21:03 AM »
I don't really miss the old scouting mechanics either.

Automating it as much as possible so I can concentrate on the core of the game is what I'd like the most too - but maybe there is some mechanic which doesn't deviate the flow of the game and that requires some micro that can be found. I've got no idea what this could be though.

About giving vision by station, while keeping it from being on economical station sounds ok to me (after all, they're not supposed to be at the front door in any case, so, whatever), I don't see the point of not giving it to military stations, as they are on the front door. Logistical stations should have it.


Offline Asteroid

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2019, 05:20:14 PM »
I haven't had the chance to play enough with the fog of war mechanics to know whether they bother me. I'd like to give Badger's new design a shot. This said, giving you some limited alternatives to hacking sound like a good idea. I feel like hacking is a bit of a boring game mechanic anyways: spend points, get result.

Or maybe if there was a structure you could build or capture that would Watch adjacent planets for you?

There are two levels of vision, one is simply seeing the overall amount of forces each planet has without being able to actually enter and see the details, and actually Watched as is you hacked, where you  see exactly what's going on. I think Watched should remain expensive, if only because it allows a lot of performance optimizations when the player can't see the actual ships and/or combat.

I like the idea of some buildings and flagships having the ability to grant you some level of vision on adjacent planets. If they're reasonably hard to come by, it forces the player to makes choices about where to deploy them, which makes for interesting gameplay.

So let's say we have a Deep Space Radar ability that grants you knowledge of the force count on planets in a certain radius (1, perhaps more with some kind of alien building). We could add it to:
- Flagships - either ones that currently need a buff or additional functionality to make them interesting, or a completely new kind. It would be nice on a citadel since it's slow to move around, so you have to think more about where to deploy it.
- Turrets - some battlestations or citadels could have the ability to build one Deep Space Radar Turret.
- Logistical Stations - though I don't think those need a further buff, they're already the best choice in a lot of situations
- Capturable buildings

Alternatively, a perhaps more elegant solution gameplay-wise would be to have a fixed number of abstract "Watchers" you can place on planets on the galaxy map. Think almost boardgame pawns that you place on planets and redistribute at will through drag-and-drop. You'd get more in very limited numbers as you explore more of the galaxy.


Offline Pat

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2019, 05:40:00 PM »
Giving vision on neighbours to logistical/military stations sounds ok to me too. I tend to be stingy with my hacking points... I don't like to buy vision on a planet I might capture a few hours later. However, I like the current mecanic to hack vision deeper in enemy territory, preferably in chokepoints.

You could also give this ability to a cloaked scouting turret which would be built by battlestations (deep strike to acquire vision a few hops away from your territory) or granted by global command augmenters (get vision on neighbours only).

Offline Asteroid

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2019, 12:11:49 AM »
You could also give this ability to a cloaked scouting turret which would be built by battlestations (...)
This sounds cool, however we'd be back to the manual scouting mechanic, except more annoying since instead of being able to send scouts everywhere in a fire and forget manner, you have to drag your battlestations all over the map to build turrets

 

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