Author Topic: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?  (Read 2993 times)

Offline Nuc_Temeron

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2016, 04:37:33 PM »
Well, I mean, it's not a hassle, you just place a building. It explains Salvage at-a-glance in a sensible way. It provides a sense of life to the planet. It leaves interesting debris fields after battles.

Offline otoed1

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2016, 06:01:46 PM »
Salvage and Reprisal are exactly the same thing. You could call it Player Salvage and AI Salvage really. The player and the AI just buy ships differently, but the way they salvage is the same (isn't it? Perhaps I'm mistaken here but that's how it feels like to me).

I think you should keep it. If there's no salvage/reprisal, why wouldn't I just dump Neinzul through a warpgate all day? It gives an incentive to retreat and improves tactical richness. Black Hole Machines are useful. There's incentive to barricade warp gates to force enemies to perish in your territory. There's incentive to upgrade your command stations.

Here's a related idea I had: Mining Outposts

How about giving us a building that is immobile, somewhat like a Neinzul Regen Chamber, but it spawns mining drones which are very slow and defenseless. When ships are destroyed, have them leave actual visible debris, which those mining drones will go mine (cut useful bits off of) and take back to the Command Station. This is your salvage. The AI can also build this structure, and those drones give it their reprisal bits. I could use science to upgrade this building to improve my salvage percentage, or their speed, or their numbers, or whatever. I think this would give planets a more "alive" feeling, having these little automated drones flying about doing useful things.

Players could wait for a battle to end, then build the Mining Outpost to get the salvage.

Bonus idea: The mining drones would also be the units that mine resources from the planet (see some other thread about planets) for the player and AI. Maybe they could also be the units that load the trains (see some other thread about trains).

Why not just merge them with cleanup drones? This could be used to gather a set amount of salvage %, something like 10% and it could be upgraded via the new upgrade system. Maybe it could even have a "candy" upgrade that would allow you to use it to reduce reprisal, giving it a similar use to what it does now?

Offline Nuc_Temeron

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2016, 10:40:10 PM »
Why not just merge them with cleanup drones?

Yes, that would work nicely actually.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2016, 01:27:35 AM »
Given how this discussion is going, salvage really needs to go, apart from "possibly re-animate a golem" idea.

It's a band-aid that no one even knows how to set-up properly, whose only goal is "gimme me metal". Then give more metal !

Here is another proposal:
- metal production on a planet increases by 1% (up to 25, possibly more ?) for each minute that no hostiles were present on the system. During an attack, metal production is halved. Just after an attack, goes a recovery phase that last 1 minutes that brings the metal production from 50% to 100%.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2016, 02:10:18 AM »
- metal production on a planet increases by 1% (up to 25, possibly more ?) for each minute that no hostiles were present on the system. During an attack, metal production is halved. Just after an attack, goes a recovery phase that last 1 minutes that brings the metal production from 50% to 100%.
Similar effect can be more "organically" achieved with fighter/raider in AI Waves having a logic (similar to bombers' "rush for FField") to disperse and destroy the metal harvesters. The ratio cost/production of the harvester tells how many time is required to "refund" the loss of a harvester.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2016, 02:18:37 AM »
- metal production on a planet increases by 1% (up to 25, possibly more ?) for each minute that no hostiles were present on the system. During an attack, metal production is halved. Just after an attack, goes a recovery phase that last 1 minutes that brings the metal production from 50% to 100%.
Similar effect can be more "organically" achieved with fighter/raider in AI Waves having a logic (similar to bombers' "rush for FField") to disperse and destroy the metal harvesters. The ratio cost/production of the harvester tells how many time is required to "refund" the loss of a harvester.

This proposal has merits, but you're assuming that the metal harvester are hit. My experience in AI war points to the AI plunging into the planet, running for the command station and ignoring, most of the time, harvesters.

That said, what I propose ain't perfect. Basically, I think this current discussion is being sidetracked because, the issue to solve here isn't "how to make a good salvage mechanic", rather "how to reduce refleet time". Which, in fact, is the thing that salvage aimed, and failed, to address.

My preferred solution would still be to just remove the construction of fleetships and have them spawn from a constructor, 60 seconds after being destroyed. However, constructing said constructor would be a large expenditure of metal. Or, possibly, remove metal altogether. Metal is the time-gate in the game. Have the player get 5 constructors that build everything and let them be the timegate, to prevent too much from being builded at once.

I'm taking inspiration here from "Infested planet", again. That's how your marines respawn, and each of your marine can be "used" to be a constructor (during which time he can't move nor attack).

This gave me ideas, made a thread.
https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19089.0.html
« Last Edit: September 10, 2016, 02:30:37 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Affine

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2016, 03:30:34 AM »
Playing the game ultimately involves blowing stuff up, which means incurring losses. Good play results in "good" losses, where metal (ships and stuctures) is traded for either some strategically meaningful objective or at least a good kill:death ratio. Bad losses are just the player getting smacked about. As discussed, even "good" losses result in refleeting, which drags the game a bit; therefore, what is needed is a reward for "good" losses to help with refleeting, while not affecting "bad" losses.

As such, I would advocate expanding the salvage mechanic to a single global % applied to every enemy ship or structure killed, regardless of where. You can have a huge battle where most of your fleet dies and be ready to go again reasonably quickly, promoting the huge battles the game is built for. I'd want to see metal harvesters remain the bulk of income, both to keep them strategically relevent and avoid a feedback loop, but tweaking seems straightforward enough.

This wouldn't work well with various "fatal refleeting" mechanics being discussed, but I disagree with the gist of those and posters in that topic seem to lean that way.
In a similar vein, I dislike the reprisal mechanic (you're punished for large battles, even if it's a hard-fought victory) and would be happy to see it go, although I don't think it's that bad; it seems like it's just there to be symmetric rather than some deeper purpose.

Offline GeistenHaus

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2016, 01:04:32 AM »
if reprisal waves are really an issue make it so the metal value from your lost ships isnt given to the ai instantly. after all, it isnt instant for the player. then allow the player to do something about it. maybe hitting that planet with an emp missile would clear the wreckage value, or killing the command center would prevent them from harvesting there. have a "janitor" station assigned to each solar system that can be assassinated, giving you incentive to approach in a cautious way at first, and a juicy priority target for some kind of stealth raid. or is it not meant to simulate the ai recycling wreckage?
also, wouldnt it make sense that salvage could be generated from your own losses? why would you only recycle wreckage from evil ships?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:23:50 AM by GeistenHaus »

Offline NichG

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2016, 10:44:32 PM »
I guess to answer the Netflix time/refleet time issues, while keeping up an incentive for the player to not just throw ships willy nilly at something that might work, I'd consider something like the following:

- Metal stockpiles are replaced entirely by 'metal rate', which acts like an Energy but for ships or structures that produce other structures. So if you have a metal rate of 1000, you can support two engineers running full-time, or a shipyard, or ... So essentially, the time factor to refleeting is a single thing - the rate at which shipyards/etc produce - rather than being a combination of two factors.

- Superweapons, Zenith Trader stuff, etc is paid for by a separate non-self-generating pool of resources that come exclusively from salvage considerations. The idea would be, salvage isn't about scavenging metal or commoditizable resources, its about scavenging bits of non-reproducible technology, encryption codes, analyses of enemy ship performance, etc. Those things are needed to repair things that the humans can't themselves make from scratch (golems, etc). So this encourages the player to be successful at smashing enemy ships at strategic locations that are set up to efficiently gather salvage. This could be tied to low-cap structures ('salvage nets'), so manipulating the AI to send a huge wave to a collection point would be a basic strategy.

- On the AI side of things, the design consideration was to have a short-term recoverable risk to the player in response to a bad move, to avoid permanent stalemates. But this could be done in the sense that the AI understands that its cheaper to finish off a weakened enemy than to sustain a perfectly constant degree of engagement with enemy forces. So what if the advantage during an assault (something like, the change in the relative size of the player's forces to the AI's local forces) generates points of 'temporary AIP', which contributes to the reprisal, and then quickly decays (to prevent 'gotta wait for the TAIP to go down')? Basically, the AI decides 'yes, this isn't that big of a threat compared to the other thing I'm facing, but this is a more efficient moment to deal with that threat, so its worth a little extra consideration'.

- If you want to keep the sense in which the player can't be rebuilding his fleet during the reprisal itself (to encourage potentially leaving a portion of forces behind for defense, say), maybe allow the AI to have something sort of loosely equivalent to the player's ability to deploy warheads - the AI can sacrifice points of AIP (either real or temporary AIP) to briefly shut down the player's metal production in a system, thus forcing some of their shipyards/etc offline during the reprisal. The AI will obviously be much more willing to sacrifice AIP if its just temporary AIP, adding a second layer of danger to over-reaching. 

Offline Astilious

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #39 on: December 19, 2016, 07:24:41 PM »
Hope this topic reply isn't so late as to be improper. I don't really know forum conventions.

Context: I'm a somewhat experienced AI war player who usually plays on 9/9.

I don't mind the salvage mechanics as it can speed up refleeting. I actually quite like the idea above about having a constant "available construction" value, as it solves the problem without the need for anything as opaque as the salvage mechanics. The player could be allowed much higher construction speed without letting them accumulate resources unreasonably fast (which would let them burst build far too much too frequently).

I strongly dislike reprisals as I feel they remove options from the player. Since they were introduced I have basically adapted my play style so that I almost never lose ships in order to avoid reprisals, generally using assualt transports. I can no longer send in sacrificial fighters or neinzul to soften up AI planets. For that reason I feel reprisals primarily act to restrict the set of viable strategic options, and I would say that's a very bad thing.
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Offline Peter Ebbesen

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2016, 05:06:21 PM »
I strongly dislike reprisals as I feel they remove options from the player. Since they were introduced I have basically adapted my play style so that I almost never lose ships in order to avoid reprisals, generally using assualt transports. I can no longer send in sacrificial fighters or neinzul to soften up AI planets. For that reason I feel reprisals primarily act to restrict the set of viable strategic options, and I would say that's a very bad thing.
Interesting. It is the exact opposite for me. I like them.

Why, you might ask? Because they provide metal to feed my attrition tactics. If I didn't get reprisal waves, I'd become more careful about losses and engage in more conservative tactics, because I'd suffer more downtime rebuilding fleets without the delicious reprisal salvage.

Sure, it also helps keeping me on my toes, but no reward without risk and I'll take the manageable risk over the increased downtime of rebuilding on a fixed non-reprisal salvage budget anytime.

As it is I know that whenever I make a worthwhile sacrifice rather than just suffering the incidental damage that ordinary income can deal with, the AI will kindly provide me with a reprisal wave granting enough material to shorten the rebuilding considerably and allowing me to continue pushing my attack unless I truly mess up and the reprisal wipes out a significant part of the defenses.

So I'll have to disagree with you that the reprisal mechanic significantly limits the available strategic options, since my primary approach is apparently diametrically opposite to yours.

I see it primarily as a mechanic to preserve and occasionally switch momentum and secondarily as a mechanic intended to tempt the player into overreaching, and given that overconfidence probably doomed more players in AI War than any single other cause, I've a hard time seeing that as a bad thing.  :)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 02:13:08 PM by Peter Ebbesen »
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Offline carldong

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2016, 07:45:09 PM »
Currently Salvage means I almost always turn on 2X Wave Multiplier(I usually play and win on 7, sort of defensively but not efficiently, most of the time) and unlock Logistics III instead of Econ stations in any campaigns that is expected to get large waves.

Sometimes, if the strategic option is available, I will use Raid Engine as Metal Engine. Larger Waves -> More Metal -> More Matter Converter -> More Defense -> Increase AIP -> More Metal... etc.

I don't have any experience about AI War without salvage, because I started exactly at the version 8 :). However, I do think that in mid-game(when I am at about MkII/III), I use salvge to create a turn-based strategy. I throw fleetships away agains AI strongpoints, killing as many as I can, and wait for AI reprisal to help refleet. Of course this doesn't work late game, because even reprisal can't fuel the metal I need to refleet(given that I can defend them without use of warheads, of course).

In general, I like the mechanism until late game, where suddenly I need to change my strategy because Reprisal 6 is something too terrifying to take. Lore wise, I think salvage should work either like "Mime" AI-type(because the local AI command stations fixes your wrecks to turn against you), or somewhat like "Shark"(where it thinks you are weak at the moment and throw some more ships at you). You know, because the AI doesn't really care about humans in this galaxy, so some "meh, just throw in an extra 1000 ships" is acceptable.

Offline Astilious

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2016, 07:40:41 AM »
So I'll have to disagree with you that the reprisal mechanic significantly limits the available strategic options, since my primary approach is apparently diametrically opposite to yours.
AI war definitely allows a wide range of strategies, so it is possible some can be restricted even if multiple work. There are certainly ways to play that don't involve avoiding losses as much as I tend to. However I remember when the mechanic was introduced I had to abandon the way I was playing at the time, as that style was resulting in excessively dangerous reprisal waves. Perhaps I'll experiment with some less cautious strategies and see how they work out now, to get a better feel for things.
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Offline Chthon

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #43 on: December 27, 2016, 07:17:07 PM »
Salvage and Reprisal are exactly the same thing. You could call it Player Salvage and AI Salvage really. The player and the AI just buy ships differently, but the way they salvage is the same (isn't it? Perhaps I'm mistaken here but that's how it feels like to me).

I think you should keep it. If there's no salvage/reprisal, why wouldn't I just dump Neinzul through a warpgate all day? It gives an incentive to retreat and improves tactical richness. Black Hole Machines are useful. There's incentive to barricade warp gates to force enemies to perish in your territory. There's incentive to upgrade your command stations.

Here's a related idea I had: Mining Outposts

How about giving us a building that is immobile, somewhat like a Neinzul Regen Chamber, but it spawns mining drones which are very slow and defenseless. When ships are destroyed, have them leave actual visible debris, which those mining drones will go mine (cut useful bits off of) and take back to the Command Station. This is your salvage. The AI can also build this structure, and those drones give it their reprisal bits. I could use science to upgrade this building to improve my salvage percentage, or their speed, or their numbers, or whatever. I think this would give planets a more "alive" feeling, having these little automated drones flying about doing useful things.

Players could wait for a battle to end, then build the Mining Outpost to get the salvage.

Bonus idea: The mining drones would also be the units that mine resources from the planet (see some other thread about planets) for the player and AI. Maybe they could also be the units that load the trains (see some other thread about trains).

Why not just merge them with cleanup drones? This could be used to gather a set amount of salvage %, something like 10% and it could be upgraded via the new upgrade system. Maybe it could even have a "candy" upgrade that would allow you to use it to reduce reprisal, giving it a similar use to what it does now?
I wouldn't go so far as to say brings back metal. Instead have it bring back "build points" for the factory that produces that kind of ship. There's no point in fully reprocessing the material if it's already machined. Instead you're bringing back still usable components, weapons that weren't damaged, engines that can still work, etc. They can go in similar ship of the same size.

The AI is more efficient at this task however, make the reprisals primarily composed of similar ship types as what you lost. If you lost a ton of bombers, you will see more bombers in that reprisal. In order to make it interesting, the AI can also send a reinforcement wave with the reprisal to round it out. Finally, why do the reprisals have to come right at you? I feel that doing that universally is a bad idea. Sometimes they should reinforce planets in the area, sometimes they should join the special forces, and sometimes they should join the threat fleet in addition to the waves.

Offline bladeravinger

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2017, 02:20:03 PM »
Salvage to me,

Salvage is a way of recouping SOME of the losses from battle, or when salvaging other ships be it enemy or allu, the renote chance of learning something about them, .... such as ways to weaken them, strengthen my own forces through tech previously un discovered to me, unlocking new vessels,

Also being able to rapid rebuild my forces after a battle, at a cost obviously, and.. if I have unlocked the enemy's ships. The ability to rebuild there ships to fight against them.

The function in fleet command was good, but lacked alot, I found it only usefull to rebuild my orbital stations.

Though my progress is lacking in the game, I'm currently playing with 2 buddys and were have achived the best progress I have seen, we plan a win before the AI war 2 alpha hits the shelves,
When things go right, Dont call me.
When things go wrong, Dont call me.
When things go sideways, I'm your man, i probably caused it anyway.