Author Topic: Fog of war... too foggy ?  (Read 2135 times)

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2019, 06:29:00 AM »
Putting Intelligence capabilities, i.e., Watching, on a Flagship, particularly a Flagship that needs a buff, risks relegating an essential capability to gimmick status. You can't rely on it being available but when you do get it the game difficulty suddenly drops significantly.

Having it on a cloakable turret, as mentioned in the post above, makes it awkward and somewhat similar to the old Scouting mechanic - only more annoying.

Capturable buildings sound good, on paper, but then it'll only be useful if said capturable just happens to be in a spot that you want to Watch. Once again, this risks relegating a very handy feature to two layers of RNG (spawn chance and spawn location).

Whatever, if ever, form this Intelligence mechanic takes the Logistics station seems to be the neatest fit.

In terms of what form the mechanic takes, being able to Watch one planet per Logistics station perhaps? Limit that to a range of not more than two hops from the station and you end up with something similar to the blanket effect of being able to Watch all neighbouring planets by default, except not as good and without it being as hands-off for the player as that. Generally, Logistics aren't front line stations, hence the ability to Watch a planet up to two hops away thus still allowing for Military stations on your front door. Maybe the hop distance could be a factor of Tech.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 06:33:06 AM by I-KP »
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2019, 12:58:52 PM »
In terms of what form the mechanic takes, being able to Watch one planet per Logistics station perhaps?
Having it on a cloakable turret, as mentioned in the post above, makes it awkward and somewhat similar to the old Scouting mechanic - only more annoying.

Umm... I see 1 as more annoying than 2.
Thing is:
- if I want to see a station 2 hops away, I can spend 10 hacking point on it. That causes me no issues. To be honest, I'm fine with "I SHOULD spend" because it's 2 hops away.
- Giving a "number" of watchable planets per station means you have to track stations, track target, and code stuff and mechanics. It's not a complex mechanic but it's something that distracts from what the game is, and would need to be really intuitive. You'd have to code something to make it visible on the UI, add buttons, add icons and so on.
- I'd have to redo the mapping when I capture some planets, eventually.
- I may have to retarget when rebuilding a station.
- Also, the "BEST" way to use this vision ability would be to NOT watch 1 planet with a station, but to switch, every 20-30 seconds or so, where you're looking so you can get the "highest" value of the station. That means a lot or micro, or some game mechanics to block players from switching targets every 20 seconds.

That's a lot of potential complexity for... next to no gain at all, IMO, in term of gameplay. If you created "10 scout hack points", usable only on scouting, that were given to you in addition of the current scouting points, and if you got a refund when you build a station where you watched before... you'd have nearly the same results, just, way simpler. But, in essence, going to a planet, click on "scout", is as annoying as going to a planet, and clicking on "build scout post". It's solution 2.

I like the "command station gives neighbour visibility idea" because it's very, very simple. And I think scouting should be as simple as that, no matter what mechanic is used.

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2019, 01:25:06 PM »
I don't want to be faffing about popping in, dropping a cloaked turret, then popping out of a planet each time. If I was prepared to put up with that kind of nonsense I'd just detach a single cloaked ship and send that through and tell it to hide at the planet boundary each time instead - which is what AIW did.

The simplest solution is to grant vision on all neighbouring planets, but that feels too strong.

Maybe keep it the way it is now but scale the Hack cost based on distance from the nearest station, with the cost to Watch a neighbouring planet being nominal but not so insignificant to the point of making it a trivial, thus arguably automatic, task.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 01:39:59 PM by I-KP »
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Offline Asteroid

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2019, 04:41:45 PM »
The discussion is kind of confused right now because people don't distinguish between:
- Knowledge of current strength on planet (we used to have that for the whole galaxy)
- Watch i.e. see everything going on on that planet in real-time.

It would really help if you could precise which one you're referring to.

Maybe keep it the way it is now but scale the Hack cost based on distance from the nearest station, with the cost to Watch a neighbouring planet being nominal but not so insignificant to the point of making it a trivial, thus arguably automatic, task.
I think that's a very elegant solution, best proposed so far.

We could actually have two different hacks, let's say Survey to get knowledge of overall strength, and Watch to get full real-time vision. Survey would obviously be way cheaper, but both would scale with distance from the nearest station. Watch could additionally be discounted if you already paid for Survey for that system.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 06:15:35 PM by Asteroid »

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2019, 04:57:34 PM »
How about keeping the scaling Hack cost the same for both types but Survey doesn't provoke an AI response whereas Watch will.
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Offline Asteroid

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2019, 07:45:16 PM »
How about keeping the scaling Hack cost the same for both types but Survey doesn't provoke an AI response whereas Watch will.

I put the whole idea on Mantis. https://bugtracker.arcengames.com/view.php?id=21752

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2019, 12:22:23 PM »
Maybe keep it the way it is now but scale the Hack cost based on distance from the nearest station, with the cost to Watch a neighbouring planet being nominal but not so insignificant to the point of making it a trivial, thus arguably automatic, task.
I think that's a very elegant solution, best proposed so far.

Far from it.

It means that everytime you want vision around a planet, on your borders, which, is, ALWAYS, you have to manually click all planets to be able to see them. It's basically the EXACT same as putting a scout there like in AI war I. It's also the same as the proposal that's "unliked", placing a cloaked stuff (check my post above for the explanation).

I'm not even going into the deep implications of such a move. Let's say you want to see planet "currently 4 hops away". It's going to cost a lot. If you're placing a station near it, it's cheaper. How many players, seeing this, will not watch the "currently 4 hops away" planet because they feel like they waste hacking points ?

Is it even useful to introduce a mechanic that will create such train of thoughts in the first place ? I don't think so. That also means that you can't introduce a game mechanic to which the player answer's is supposed to be "watch a planet far away". Finally, those hacking points then compete with whatever hacking points could be useful for at the moment. And, let's be honest, scouting is quite low on the list. Do we want a player losing a game, not scouting "far" objectives, or near objectives, because he thinks hackables are worth more ? I don't want that.

The reason I don't want that is...  what is the value of such a mechanic ? I can't find any behind "the player has to manually click to be see behind his door". I can't find any value behind "the player should spend precious hacking points" so he doesn't get jumped. It's not an interesting choice. It's not an interesting decision. It's micro for the sake of micro.

I proposed this thread because, I thought that people would try to find a simple & elegant solution to scouting that's simpler than what is currently in, and that helped alleviate the issue I'm whining about. Currently, none surpass "giving watch to neighbour for free", except "limiting it by type of stations that make sense".

Everything that has been proposed is basically a variation of the scouting mechanic with no upside over the scouting mechanic, and sometimes great downsides.  AI WAR II has made the move to simplify scouting for a reason.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 01:02:55 PM by kasnavada »

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2019, 01:25:42 PM »
If you don't think that giving full vision to all neighbouring planets is too strong (which it is - much too strong) then fine, go with the Station thing. It's easy. It's simple. It requires no thought or action on the part of the player. ...All entirely aside from the issue of it being way too strong, of course.

If you want to finesse how vision works, without the solution being too powerful, then you're going to have to ask the player to interact and make a choice. That means clicking on something.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2019, 04:52:04 PM »
If you don't think that giving full vision to all neighbouring planets is too strong (which it is - much too strong) then fine, go with the Station thing. It's easy. It's simple. It requires no thought or action on the part of the player. ...All entirely aside from the issue of it being way too strong, of course.

You keep saying that, but there is no argument at all about why it's "too strong", or why you call a choice. What I see in the "stations give vision" idea is a weak capacity which leaves room for AI ambushes (explained before in the thread), and how I see in most other idea is "creating chores".

Let me explain:
About the "too strong part", if neighboring stations gave vision, the average number of planets seen in my games at late game stage seems to be about 35 to 40.

At the same point in time in AI War I, I'd have COMPLETE vision on the map. Or in any "node based" (like sins of a solar empire) or grand strategy games (endless series, all moo clones...), for that matter. In a lot of them, I'd have either complete or near complete vision on the map near mid-game, with little to no actions on my part, just by playing. The only strategy games where I typically don't have that level of coverage would be starcraft-clones or or warcraft-clones. In those, however, early to mid game, I know what is on chokepoints and bases. When I don't have vision, it's because the enemy is on this particular point and the game strategy IS about hiding what the enemy does and making the player do as many actions in a minute as possible. Resending stuff in this kind of game is ok, because the game lasts for 20 minutes or so. That ain't AI War's style, so I'm going to base the first types of games as standard.

In conclusion, what you call "too strong" (free vision on stations) would still requires 300 to 700 hacking point to reach what I see being the "standard". Complete or near complete vision on the map is strong. Less than half of that ? Nope. And, I'm ok with having bigger FoW in AI War. Just not to the point of gambling when moving to neighbour planets.


Another point is, you're competing with "going back to your fleets to send one ship on a neighbour planet" or "sending your transport back and forth, again and again", for vision. That is in the game, and ain't going to move. So, let's compare the propositions with what you call "with choices" with that.


Basically there is 2 main criterias in what is proposed. Either you can switch where you're looking or not, and they can have hacking point, or not.

If they enable switching, the BEST use of the system consist in going back to whatever causes the vision to be active every X amount of time (with X as small as possible) and switch it again, and again, and again. That's whether it has a hack cost or not. That's a chore when you have to do it for dozen of hours (typical length of a game)

If you don't enable the player to switch, first, it's going to piss some players of because of misclicks and specific situations like "but what if I conquer planets where I had vision, shouldn't I be refunded ?". Which ain't that awesome in the first place, but then you have to consider something else. Its costs.

If, for example, you make the hacking cost low enough, like 1 for neighbouring stations, that's giving the player a choice between wasting hacking points (the NOOB way) OR sending a ship from his fleet every 30 seconds to die for vision (the "PRO", but insanely repetitive, way). Or sending a transport back and forth. You're back to the chore part.

If you don't add an hacking cost, but limit the number of places you can look at, then, you're basically forcing the player to send ships from their fleets every X time for vision where you "chose" not to look. And back to the chore part.

In a game like AI War... There is absolutely no "finesse" in any of this. To me, those ain't choices, they're chores. Because it's brute-force and repetitive. Currently, my late games have all past 8-10 hours. Doing repetitive actions for that long is making me dislike the game. The worst thing is that proposed actions mechanics often LOSE to "sending ships from your troops to die" in term of how interesting they are. And this mechanic makes sense in a game that lasts for 20 minutes like starcraft. Not in long games.


Last point, the number of things that a player can keep track of is limited. Scouting for regular stuff is BORING. I've got nothing against adding new mechanics into the game, but, at least make them interesting ones. If you add this to the game, you reduce the "brain space" available for a new mechanic, for something more interesting.


The reason I like "neighboring vision on stations" is because it's "brain dead" level of complexity. And, as far as I know, most similar games to AI War have this built-in - it's like the standard FoW in all games with nodes, at least 1 node of vision, and usually 3-4 at end-game. I don't remember people calling it OP. What I do remember, however, are threads about people making the scout mechanic from AI War less grindy (and similar threads about similar mechanics in other games, like scouting in the dominions series...).
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 05:01:46 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Asteroid

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2019, 02:11:09 AM »
It means that everytime you want vision around a planet, on your borders, which, is, ALWAYS, you have to manually click all planets to be able to see them. It's basically the EXACT same as putting a scout there like in AI war I. It's also the same as the proposal that's "unliked", placing a cloaked stuff (check my post above for the explanation).

C'mon, it's not the same at all. In AI War 1 you had to find your scouts first of all, either through the unweildly specialty ships selection bar at the lower-left, or using a filter on the galaxy map, or trying to remember where your new builds currently ended up, open planet, hunt in sidebar for tiny icon (or zoom/scroll), double-click scouts, hit key to split selection until you get the right amount, tab out to galaxy map, right-click target planet. Optionally, micro scouts around so they can dodge some decloaking stuff and survive longer.

What's proposed here is 1. Open Hack tab. 2. Click planet + click button, for each planet you wanna watch.

Are you sure it's the exact (in capital letters no less) same?

Offline I-KP

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2019, 05:34:31 AM »
What Asteroid said.

Plus...

...I kinda like the way FoW works in AIW2. It makes me feel squeezed into a tiny pocket of space at the sufferance of a cruel Landlord. The reason I say that giving vision on all neighbouring worlds is 'too strong' is because it completely removes that sense of constriction - for nothing. Granting vision like that is brain dead, you're right, and it would be a shame if that part, the most important part, of the FoW were to be lifted in such a blunt fashion.

When you say "And, as far as I know, most similar games to AI War have this built-in - it's like the standard FoW in all games with nodes, at least 1 node of vision, and usually 3-4 at end-game", you're likely thinking of Stellaris as one such example, yes? And you'd be right, the Stellaris map does do that. But here's the rub: there's no such thing as a surprise attack in Stellaris; you can _always_ see whatever's heading your way. To my mind, this isn't a characteristic that AIW2 should be seeking to emulate.

I like surprise attacks being a thing in AIW2. I like having monsters jump out from the darkness. I also like being able to shine a torch in a direction of my choice.

The only issue I do have with FoW in the game as it stands now is the cost to lift a portion of it is too high. Or at least, it's too high for a neighbouring world (which are the locations of greatest immediate importance).
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 05:50:15 AM by I-KP »
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2019, 01:14:54 PM »
C'mon, it's not the same at all. In AI War 1 you had to find your scouts first of all, either through the unweildly specialty ships selection bar at the lower-left, or using a filter on the galaxy map, or trying to remember where your new builds currently ended up, open planet, hunt in sidebar for tiny icon (or zoom/scroll), double-click scouts, hit key to split selection until you get the right amount, tab out to galaxy map, right-click target planet. Optionally, micro scouts around so they can dodge some decloaking stuff and survive longer.
What's proposed here is 1. Open Hack tab. 2. Click planet + click button, for each planet you wanna watch.
Are you sure it's the exact (in capital letters no less) same?

Yes... You'd know if you had read my post. Especially the section where I speak of what players would do if there was an hacking cost. :-[


When you say "And, as far as I know, most similar games to AI War have this built-in - it's like the standard FoW in all games with nodes, at least 1 node of vision, and usually 3-4 at end-game", you're likely thinking of Stellaris as one such example, yes? And you'd be right, the Stellaris map does do that. But here's the rub: there's no such thing as a surprise attack in Stellaris; you can _always_ see whatever's heading your way. To my mind, this isn't a characteristic that AIW2 should be seeking to emulate.

This is an issue IMO. I'm trying to have a constructive discussion here, not having you tell me your opinion over and over again while not reading what I write. While stellaris is another example of it, the games I spoke of were, I quote: "(like sins of a solar empire) or grand strategy games (endless series, all moo clones...),". So I got no clue why you think I'm thinking of Stellaris here. No clue why you look down on Stellaris though.


Quote
I like surprise attacks being a thing in AIW2. I like having monsters jump out from the darkness. I also like being able to shine a torch in a direction of my choice.
And, if you'd read my post, monsters can still that still works if you got vision of your neighbours. And I actually advocate FOR being able to shine light on directions of your choices. So no clue why you seem to think I don't want that. What exactly you think I'm telling, I have no clue, but it seems to be, correct me if I'm wrong, that you understand that I want to completely remove FoW. If so, please, read my posts. I don't advocate this at all. I measured the impact of the change. Have you ?

Even if I did, which I don't, cloaking, waves, CPA, and other mechanics are a thing. You can still be jumped on, surprised, and your fleets can't be everywhere at once. ::)

Last, and again, if you had read my post, you've have seen that, with the current FoW, if you actually had done your "chores" properly as a player, you'd have vision where I propose "free vision". The way you can do so is just mind-bogglingly boring that it has, in my humble opinion, no place in a game. This is quite an important point - which I'd like to be adressed, not ignored, as is being able to go out of your doors without being wiped out. Especially in a game like AI WAR 2 where losing fleet can mean minutes of netflix time.


If you don't do an effort to actually read and answer what I'm writing, I'm out. :-\

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2019, 11:06:42 AM »
I've set Logistical Command Stations to Watch adjacent planets. Lets see what people think.

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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2019, 11:47:09 AM »
Logistics stations on the front line?
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Re: Fog of war... too foggy ?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2019, 12:33:22 PM »
The ability applies to all Logistical Stations everywhere. If the station is next to planets that are all already Watched then it just won't do anything.


 

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