Author Topic: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?  (Read 1978 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2016, 02:16:19 PM »
The thing I don't like about morale is that it's timer based: if it goes down, I need to wait it out.

Reprisal gives me something to do if I get wiped out: scramble to prepare for an incoming attack instead of just waiting for the fleet rebuild timer. Given that the AI is using my own salvaged ships to do it, it's effectively "free" on their end in terms of resources, so why wouldn't they use it? It's not costing them anything from what they're doing elsewhere.

Salvage on the human end I think would have worked better if the spread between Command Station values wasn't so high. I probably want the AI attacking a military command world (to help survive the reprisal), but those give so little salvage that it's largely meaningless.

I think they accomplished what they set out to do pretty effectively.

I can agree that timers are bad, but I feel like there can be a balance. If an attack was absolutely dreadful then it would make sense that attacking it again in a very short time would be painful. The trigger would involve far more forces then a raid, but the cooldown from it would be less then a total refleet. In short, it is actually a slightly more active form of saying "this is not the best way to attack"
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2016, 02:19:38 PM »
I have a feeling that if someone really wants to take down a planet with suicide attacks, it's going to be possible using whatever exceptions exist.  In that case, I see no real reason to limit it to certain shiptypes, like railpods.  If I can spam railpods to get rid of that rudegesture ai subcommander, why can't I do it with transports of fleet ships?

Cost. It is much more expensive to build 10 shipyards pumping bombers then it would be pumping 10 shipyards of suicide units. Even railpods are tame, and even their their name implies their are automations.

Just to be clear, the idea is not that you *CAN NOT* do this, but rather *NOT THE BEST WAY*
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Offline Mad Rubicant

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2016, 02:23:44 PM »
I don't like the idea of morale. As others have said, it encourages netflixing, and I always assumed that fleetships were unmanned.

Offline Orelius

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2016, 02:24:19 PM »
Cost. It is much more expensive to build 10 shipyards pumping bombers then it would be pumping 10 shipyards of suicide units. Even railpods are tame, and even their their name implies their are automations.

Just to be clear, the idea is not that you *CAN NOT* do this, but rather *NOT THE BEST WAY*

Why should I be punished further for suiciding expensive units compared to cheaper ones?

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2016, 02:30:59 PM »
Why should I be punished further for suiciding expensive units compared to cheaper ones?

I don't like the idea of morale. As others have said, it encourages netflixing, and I always assumed that fleetships were unmanned.

These are both fair points. The natural costs of the units themselves should be enough. Suicidal units should be far cheaper then normal ones so there should not be some obscure mechanic.
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Offline Timerlane

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2016, 02:39:13 PM »
Why should I be punished further for suiciding expensive units compared to cheaper ones?
Also, Time. As said earlier, expensive/late game units usually take enough time to rebuild that this theoretical 'morale' timer shouldn't even matter for them.

Meanwhile, it's literally the Neinzuls' racial 'theme'(apart from the oddball Railpods and Scapegoats); they're fast, aggressive space mayflies with guns. Their units 'bleed' health simply for existing.

EDIT: And even for Scapegoats and Railpods, quick, 'suicidal' action is still integral to their main function as units.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 02:47:45 PM by Timerlane »

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2016, 02:57:05 PM »
I'm also against the idea of a "moral" system, but from a different perspective:

All of our units are drones. There are no living humans aboard.  This has already been established by lore.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2016, 03:13:09 PM »
In case you missed it, it was noted that the ships not being manned could be up for a change too.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
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 Draco18s

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2016, 04:03:27 PM »
In case you missed it, it was noted that the ships not being manned could be up for a change too.

I did. There's been a lot of text recently.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2016, 04:08:40 PM »
In case you missed it, it was noted that the ships not being manned could be up for a change too.

I did. There's been a lot of text recently.

It wasn't directed at you in particular.  I thought I'd mention it since it was brought up a few times now.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
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 tadrinth

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2016, 06:01:07 PM »
Disclaimer: I don't play Fallen Spire.

I am generally extremely conservative with my forces, and reload if I do something stupid that causes a fleet loss.  So, I don't mind reprisal, because I generally don't get a ton of reprisal waves. 

On the other hand, AI War Classic generally makes me feel extremely time pressured. Even without AIP auto-progress, the knowledge that exos are charging and ever-larger CPAs are coming makes me want to win as fast as possible. That's part of why I am so conservative; refleeting takes time and time is AIP.  This is especially bad in the early game when metal is still very tight. 

Reprisal significantly alleviates the time pressure around refleeting, so to the extent that it feels like a reliable way to recoup moderate losses, it might actually make me play MORE aggressively.  That would be good!

Reprisals do seem hard to balance due to their tight integration with salvage, given that salvage also interacts with other mechanics like waves.   IE, you want to balance reprisal waves to a nice level of lethality, where they never feel fully safe but only a full fleet loss risks killing you, or whatever.  But, that might make them give too little salvage to assist with refleets.  You could buff salvage rates, but then people run their whole economy off the salvage from regular waves, and other econ unlocks become less attractive.  Waiting for large reprisal waves means you don't get any help refleeting from moderate losses. 

So, you might want to decouple the 'make refleets faster' and 'make refleets less boring' parts of reprisal+salvage.  Or, add knobs so that you can tune reprisal => salvage metal conversion differently from regular waves => salvage, but that's gonna get messy. 

If people are having to throw fleets into grinders to make progress, then that may indicate more of a problem on the tactical side of the game.  That's why Sabotage Hacks were added, to avoid horrible gordian knot defenses on the AI side.  Fallen Spire seems especially prone to fleet => wipe => refleet, from what I've heard, as well as not feeling very tactical.  Maybe those problems are related? 

Morale seems like a worse kick in the pants than reprisals.  Reprisals mean you get your teeth kicked in *somewhere else* where you aren't getting wrecked.  If you're doing badly on a planet, because that planet is a brutal nut to crack, then you don't need a mechanic that makes it HARDER to crack the longer you fail.  I mean, unless the intent is to encourage players to give up and use Warheads. 

Offline Tridus

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2016, 06:16:05 PM »
If people are having to throw fleets into grinders to make progress, then that may indicate more of a problem on the tactical side of the game.  That's why Sabotage Hacks were added, to avoid horrible gordian knot defenses on the AI side.  Fallen Spire seems especially prone to fleet => wipe => refleet, from what I've heard, as well as not feeling very tactical.  Maybe those problems are related? 

Depends on which fleet you're talking about. Fallen Spire starts giving you Spire ships, depending on how far you take it. If you lose a fleet of those, it gets painful. Of course, that also means you're fighting something absolutely huge, because the bigger Spire ships are massively powerful.

Losing a normal fleet ball should be less painful in FS, because carrying it very far requires capturing a lot of territory (and gives you the defenses to hold it with Spire Cities), which means you have enough metal income to refleet faster than normal.

Offline Sestren

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2016, 06:34:13 PM »
This might be more of a strategy question than a game balance one, but I genuinely don't know how to squeeze anything useful out of reprisals without resorting to excessive gate raiding and stacking all my defenses on a choke. I tried playing a low AIP game without gate raiding recently, and while I won, the need to put defenses strong enough to handle any arbitrary planet being hit with a wave meant my energy was always dangerously low and a planet going down resulted in both two minutes of no power and a bunch of threat wandering around until I dragged some ships away to purge it. If you can't consistently funnel waves onto a Logistics or home command system, you get salvage rates of 4 or 5 percent (MK 1 econ and mil) which is nigh worthless, and killing threatballs on your border is *actually* worthless. And I know you guys have hashed out the fact that chokepoints are optimal for far longer than I've been playing this game, but it feels like reprisals only work to the player's favor when playing a chokepoint heavy game. They're not crippling or anything otherwise, but they provide little to no benefit, and as a result don't help with the stated goal of refleeting faster.

What, in the current AI War Classic balance, makes it so that the player can't just... refleet faster (make base metal income higher or something)? I get that there is a point where it would turn into an insane perpetual death march of almost free fleetships, but is the current balance really close to that point? Is the intended experience for the average player supposed to be min-maxing all of the non-threat AI aggression onto a couple of key worlds and aggressively farming it for resources? Is the problem that it affects something in difficulty 9 and 10 games that I just don't see down in 7 and 8?

Slight side note, is a zpg meant to be absolutely crucial for mounting proper distributed defenses? It seems there simply is not enough energy available otherwise to take and hold the systems you have to capture if you don't create a clump of systems that can go without defences. (An uncaptured neutral system is a complete waste in my mind. If I've paid the AIP cost, then its in my interest to at least use it.)

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2016, 06:49:24 PM »
If you can't consistently funnel waves onto a Logistics or home command system, you get salvage rates of 4 or 5 percent

Home command station's 40% salvage rate is ludicrously OP.  My only Diff10 victory, I soaked waves on my homeworld *the entire game*.  That's insane.  And that was before warp counterattack guard posts got moved out! So I was soaking THOSE on my homeworld.  Every wave was 20% of a golem or something.  Totally worth it.  Did the same thing on my last Diff 9 game; yeah, I had to bring my fleet home for waves toward the end, but by that point I had too many Trader goodies on my HW to change my mind. 

Zenith Trader is a BIG culprit here.  Needs to die. 

Mines need to be per-planet capped.  Only global defense caps should be forts and HBCs. 

is a zpg meant to be absolutely crucial for mounting proper distributed defenses?
No, they vastly predate the turret changes.  They're rather OP in the current setup in low AIP games. In theory you solve energy problems with Econ command stations, but that's not helpful if you don't have enough backline planets to put them on, or vs a warp jumper.  You just have to build a lot of metal converters.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Tell my your thoughts on reprisal! ....morale?
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2016, 06:53:16 PM »
Trader is an optional.  Balance shouldn't be determined by the presence of something you know will vastly change the game (Trader goods do that!).
Quote from: keith.lamothe
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.