Author Topic: My personal issues with Fleets  (Read 1699 times)

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2019, 06:59:04 PM »
Maybe I'm just a little too cutthroat, but I kinda feel like refleeting is something that the game should be designed to discourage in the first place.  In other words, if you make a tactical choice that results in your entire offensive force being shredded, the AI should take notice and punish that in some way.

Refleeting is a lot less boring when you have to do it while under fire.  :P

I've noticed that "throw your fleet at a target you can take out with huge losses, rebuilt, do it again" is an effective tactic, but it's also a boring tactic, which makes me wish it wasn't ever the optimal tactic. Theoretically salvage waves serve this purpose, but they aren't a very direct form of feedback and my experience is that they are not super effective unless you are really, really careless.

I wonder if making the AI more resistant to attrition might help here?  Some kind of mechanic where the AI reinforces very quickly if an attack on a world fails outright could serve to discourage fleet-sacrificing strategies...  Then again, sacrificing your fleet to achieve a goal should be an option - it should just be one that you only employ out of desperation.

Maybe another way to go would be to increase the asymmetry: Make player ships notably stronger than AI ships, but cause AIP increases if the player loses significant chunks of a fleet.  Then suicide-striking can be very effective, but if you do it too much you'll get crushed under the AIP tide.  Might be too extreme of a shift, though...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 07:08:53 PM by MaxAstro »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2019, 09:28:01 PM »
I've noticed that "throw your fleet at a target you can take out with huge losses, rebuilt, do it again" is an effective tactic, but it's also a boring tactic, which makes me wish it wasn't ever the optimal tactic.

Players, if presented with an option that would let them win a game by banging their head on their desk until they fall unconscious, you're damn right they'll do it.

The hard part is figuring out how to make the effective/optimal tactic the one that is intended. And not only that, but intuitive. Not sending everything at once is not obvious.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2019, 12:44:33 AM »
Reprisal waves could be given a much shorter timeframe?

Offline x4000

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2019, 07:07:49 AM »
A am in the process of moving my office today (subleasing from Pablo, so exciting to work in thr same space as him!), so I won't be around much.

A few questions/thoughts:

1. Is there a succinct place where the current thinking of "the metal-less economy faction" has their ideas? I still suspect it's a bridge too far, but I'd be interested in reading that. I'm suspecting that aside from what was discussed in thst thread originally there was more talked about in discord, etc.

2. Regarding reflecting mode being a thing, I like the idea of there being a button I can push that is more of an "emergency rebuild" option. Or something like that. Basically that would take NO clock time, and not be equivalent to fast forward in some important ways (wave countdowns, for one). But it would just pop out your replacement fleet immediately, possibly at no metal cost. But it would cause the AI to gain some sort of amount of budget equivalent to the metal and time you would have sent. The tool tip for this button would make it clear what the impact of that would be. It can't be speeding up waves or that's kinda defeating the point many times (or is it?). It can't be increasing AIP or nobody would do it. I'm thinking that a nearby planet or three will get reinforcements immediately, of a certain strength that is calculated based on the difficulty level and amount of metal and time you would have sent. If you see in advance in the ui in a tool tip which planets would be getting how much strength thrown into them (approximately), ans/or how much strength will go to the warden or hunter, you can make the choice of if it seems worth it, partly with knowledge that you might not even care about one or two of the planets. But it should make a particular effort to include planets you lost many ships on in the last hour, maybe.

That idea is half baked but strikes me as interesting partly because it's not a fast forward mechanic. It's similar, but more localized and personal and an "equal and opposite reaction" thing. It's also a way to bypass metal without taking metal out of the game.

3. As far as "reflecting time should just be done via fast forward," I think that'd fair and the interface could actively pop up and suggest that to you. That's a very simcity-like approach, which you know I like. Simcity always had long periods that would have been incredibly dull if you had to wait in real time, so there was cheetah speed for a reason. Getting players to use the time controls more seems really relevant.

4. The one downside of the time controls becoming more a part of the core game loop is that's not very friendly in multi-player games, especially with lots of players. We all have to be at a fast forward point at once, and in even just a 4 player game there's often someone doing their own thing and not excited about fast forwarding. This is specifically why I was thinking of something time-based and personal, because Desmond can be working on his planets and in the middle of small surgical strikes that he's microing, and I and my dad can do an emergency refleet many times over as we pummel the enemy in turns, thus causing our own battle to go back and forth a lot because of the AI being a boosted in our area, but that's our own decision and doesn't affect Desmond and what he's doing. Netflix time is way more real in this game when multi-player is around; sometimes teammates would be so slow in their intense micro while I had nothing else going on that my dad and I would literally bring a book eaxh to read. This was in most strategy games, and it was less of a thing in AIWC, but it's why we can't play Civ together at all anymore as a foursome with our particular gaming group. And turn timers just made the micro-heavy ones resentful. I wanted to work on my economy for ten more turns, but my uncle would have like 50 stacked weak units with animations on that he's attacking some other faction with (we stopped after Civ 4, as a group).

Anyway, so while I do agree that fast forward is awesome, particularly for solo play but also probably fine most of the time in two player, I think that something that bypasses time and completely global effects would be nice forward thinking for larger multi-player games.

5. Reprisal waves getting bigger and having no warning strikes me as dangerous in that it will be game ending with no warning. Or else it's still too weak to matter. Either way it's nonobvious and will make players scared to attack things. I think that if the reprisal wave was constructed over time as you fight on an AI planet, and you can see the strength it will be rising, and a short-ish timer being "delayed because of fighting," then that gives players some interesting messaging. I can see I'm causing a big wave to be built in response to me. I can see it will strike at planet x that I'm fighting on, and then travel through real space.

Really this is a new mechanic from traditional reprisal waves, I guess. Maybe in addition or maybe replacing it. But anyway I can see that it will arrive in 1 minute except that it's paused because of all the fighting going on, but at the same time it's getting stronger as I fight more. I can see how much of it was built because of my losses versus the AI taking lossess and getting angry. I can see that if I manage to clear the planet of all the guard posts and command station, the wave will be cut in half or canceled or maybe just decimated.

So it becomes obvious at some point to stop because I can directly see that I'm endangering myself.  And it also becomes obvious to stagger my attacks, keeping a strong enough force hitting the enemy at all times that I'm able to cancel that scary wave. It actually encourages brinkmanship, but in a controlled fashion. With an emergency reflecting function that bypasses the metal economy but maybe makes that wave even WORSE, it all becomes a very self-contained battle experience that is mp-compatible and at least clear if not always intuitive.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2019, 10:04:57 AM »
The tool tip for this button would make it clear what the impact of that would be. It can't be speeding up waves or that's kinda defeating the point many times (or is it?).

It would defeat the point to speed up waves, yes. The point at which AIWC ground to a halt for me (after the last time I won, which was before--and likely the cause of--transport attrition) was the point where my refleet time and the time between waves (exogalactic in this case, regular waves not so much) was roughly equal. Regular waves would crash agaisnt my defenses and die and occasionally I'd need my (partial) fleet to supplement those defenses, but I wasn't losing very many units.

It was always "aahh...finally have my fleet ready to go crush some--EXOGALACTIC FORCE DETECTED, INBOUND IN TWENTY MINUTES--fek. I can't go crush anything important and rebuild my fleet in 20 minutes. I could probably pester that planet and maybe winnow out some of its defenders, but I can't risk losing too much, I need everything to deal with that exo...But there's no real point in that either, as by the time I'm rebuilt, those defenders will have respawned anyway."

Repeat every 2 hours.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2019, 02:52:29 PM »
What if there was a Metal-Giving hack. It would give you lots of metal for refleeting, but the AI would charge an Exo; the longer the hack goes, the bigger the exo. The hack would have a max amount of metal per attempt (lets say 1m).

The hack could be "do anywhere" (with a cooldown, say 30 min between attempts), or maybe it only works on Distribution Nodes and destroys the nodes afterwards. That makes Distribution nodes a bit more interesting.

I could knock that out in an hour or two if people like it.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2019, 09:45:06 PM »
If it charges an Exo, then its doing precisely the thing I don't need.

Offline BadgerBadger

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2019, 09:49:57 PM »
Well, what counter would you suggest for the AI? I'd rather know the AI was going to attack me than give it lots of bonus defensive strength, for example.

Offline ptarth

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2019, 11:03:45 PM »
I believe the key here is that the Exogalactic wave hits as soon as the refleeting is complete. Not 20 minutes later. So you rebuild your fleet, wipe out the Exo, and then can attack without worrying about an Exogalactic wave coming 20 minutes from now.
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.

Offline ptarth

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2019, 11:34:18 PM »
As self-elected member of Team Metal-less, I'm working on getting a succinct summary put together. I realized I'm a bit out of date with the current mechanics, so I'm trying to freshen up in the regard.
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.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #25 on: June 28, 2019, 12:15:03 PM »
I believe the key here is that the Exogalactic wave hits as soon as the refleeting is complete. Not 20 minutes later. So you rebuild your fleet, wipe out the Exo, and then can attack without worrying about an Exogalactic wave coming 20 minutes from now.

My point is that it would end up looking like this:

-click button to refleet now
-exo comes now
-wipe out exo
-now I need to refleet again for the exo coming "in 20 minutes," so I click the botton, goto10

If killing the ships that spawned because I got a million metal costs me more than [1,000,000 metal in repairs minus the metal I acquire over [the amount of time it takes to kill the ships that got spawned plus the time to rebuild again]] is a net loss. If those two time values exceed the [amount of time I have for the purpose I needed the metal right now] for is a net loss.

Remember, if the problem I have is that my refleet time equals the time between exos, shortening both timers by the same amount does nothing.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 12:21:59 PM by Draco18s »

Offline ptarth

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2019, 01:00:39 PM »
Okay, so I think the point of divergence centers on step 4.

  • click button to refleet now
  • exo comes after refleeting
  • wipe out exo
  • Rebuild fleet in short period of time given salvage and relatively minor losses from exo.
  • Kill more things.
  • Fleets die.
  • GOTO 1
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.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2019, 05:12:05 PM »
Okay, so I think the point of divergence centers on step 4.

  • click button to refleet now
  • exo comes after refleeting
  • wipe out exo
  • Rebuild fleet in short period of time given salvage and relatively minor losses from exo.
  • Kill more things.
  • Fleets die.
  • GOTO 1

Bolded for emphasis. What makes that part true?

Offline ptarth

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2019, 07:00:00 PM »
It was misunderstanding my part. I had understood the key issue being the inability to do anything in the 20 minutes before the attack and not a concern that the repair cost of the early Exogalactic wave would be higher than the metal gained using the Refleet button.

If the Cost of repairs from Exogalactic Wave Attack < salvage from Exogalactic Wave attack AND the Refleet Action provides sufficient metal to refleet, I think it would satisfy the concern?
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.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: My personal issues with Fleets
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2019, 12:20:14 AM »
It was misunderstanding my part. I had understood the key issue being the inability to do anything in the 20 minutes before the attack and not a concern that the repair cost of the early Exogalactic wave would be higher than the metal gained using the Refleet button.

The 20 minute interval is just the "I could go do something, but then I'd lose units and not be able to fight off the exo as well" level of "inability." Not incapable, but pointless.

Quote
If the Cost of repairs from Exogalactic Wave Attack < salvage from Exogalactic Wave attack AND the Refleet Action provides sufficient metal to refleet, I think it would satisfy the concern?

1) Salvage can't really be calculated as its based on what command station(s) are in effect
2) Salvage recovers so little metal over such a long time span that it may as well be functionally 0 for this calculation anyway

But still, you have to keep in mind that the whole point of using it is to generate enough resources to refleet. An instant refleet, plus exo to smash that fleet, plus some middling amount of metal isn't really worth it. You may as well just give me the middling amount of metal and be done with it.