Author Topic: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?  (Read 3471 times)

Offline x4000

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What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« on: August 31, 2016, 09:59:12 AM »
This is the same question as I posted for hacking.  But basically, from a meta sense, what does salvage mean to you?  Honestly I think I added this right at the end of my tenure maintaining AI War, and I don't even really remember this much at all.

I could dig into my notes or the wiki to find out the WHAT, but more important is the role that this plays in the game as the game currently exists, which you guys are much better able to explain to me.  It might be shocking that I need you to explain something like that, but my brain has to offload certain things in order to make room for new data. ;)

More to the point, chemical_art already brought this up as something he felt like was a band-aid, and I remember feeling it WAS a band-aid, so here we are.

How does this fit into the game for your playstyle, and what do you like about that?  If it's not something you use, then that's fine and I don't need too many details on why.  But if it's not something you use and you have ideas for what would make you use it, then I DO want to hear that.

My current stance: I see no reason to add salvage unless people actually want it or some mechanic like it, and it makes sense to at least some of us.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 10:03:12 AM »
It was in to help with refleet time.  Cutting down on Netflix time was one of the longest and most debated things in AIWC.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 10:21:31 AM »
As pointed out it cuts down on refleet time and other sources of "down" time like rebuilding defenaes, etc.

I use it because the longer the game goes on the time needed to replenish a fleet increases,  Without salvage the "chess moves" of I engaging in attacks to cause the AI to react in a new way goes from several times an hour to once an hour to maybe twice an hour, etc. Soon enough I stop the game not because I think I have lost but because the game has no sense of progression given the time sunk.

For this reason I find early game the most enjoyable part of the game. The game is at its most fluid.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 11:22:27 AM »
I'll also speak about the reprisal, which is tightly tied. That salvage/reprisal mechanism gave more dynamism to the game: each next attack (Human with salvage, AI with reprisal) is nearer but with a turn-by-turn balance. AI and Human attacks are more frequents, but once one team "consumed" its advantage, it gives it to the other team. The new dynamic wasn't very dominant, to my experience, but I believe it subtly enhance the game's pace and rhythm.
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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 #4 on: August 31, 2016, 11:47:34 AM »
I hate that mechanic, forced me to defend everything on my homeworld, because it was the only place with decent salvage percentage. Also meant attacking was risky because it meant lost salvage, actually discouraging me from taking the fight in enemy space and finding a lot of cheese to attract things on my territory.

What's needed is shorter rebuild time and more "fluid" gaming, as chemical art said.




One possible idea would be to consider fabricators "motherships" instead of fabricators, that produces "drone ships" instead of ships.
Example: you set a fabricator to build a wave of fighter, and if fighters are destroyed, the fabricator keeps track of it and rebuilts it 60 seconds later (by default, less for neinzuls, more for spire), for free. Fabricator would take a fixed metal income, and cost a large amount of metal. Same for turrets. Auto-build linked to the home station, rebuild essentially free. Or maybe a "turret station" with the same purpose, but pertaining to turrets.

So basically it would change the focus of the game toward not losing the fabricators, would allow counter attacks much faster, BUT... losing fabricators / home stations would hurt. A lot. This would also give the AI other objectives than just clearing the home station.

Another idea could be to have the ships be exponentially more expensive depending on the quantity you're currently controlling.

Yet another idea could be to simply increase upkeep costs to "more significant" level, like half of the build cost. Which would lead to higher metal gains during construction, leading in about the same effect overall.


Offline Tridus

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 12:59:24 PM »
As everyone else said, salvage was added to speed up getting resources during the "do nothing" parts of the game. It was a band aid. I think it was a reasonably successful band aid, though.

I posted this in another thread, but it should probably be here, so I'll repost it.

Quote
Just throwing it out there, but what if resources were changed more to an "X resources per second = Y maximum ships" style thing? That is, instead of having 300/second from 10 collectors (or whatever) and having to wait 30 minutes to get enough to build your fleet, those same collectors mean that you can support 300 points of ships.

At that point, there's no particular need to wait forever to get the resources to rebuild after a fleet wipe. You already have them available, and can immediately start building again. It has to be delayed long enough that you can't just start an endless graveyard rush style thing where reinforcements are constantly joining the attack after a ship is lost, but it does solve the problem.

One of the things I really liked about Fallen Spire is that this problem was somewhat negated by the sheer number of systems you could/had to conquer to see it through. You would start gaining resources so fast that unless your Spire ships got taken out, you could rebuild everything at lightning speed. As an added bonus, it made some of the stuff from the Zenith trader actually viable, whereas it was utterly impractical to ever build it in a game where you're trying to conquer as little as possible.

The combination of "you can build anything, no matter how expensive, if you're patient enough to wait for it", and "the AI will wait for you if you don't antagonise it" really led to encouraging Netflix time.

You could probably also achieve something similar by having ships cost a resource upkeep, such that having a big fleet will lower your resource production, and eventually halt it entirely. That would let you still save for something huge (like a SuperFortress) if you wanted to, by running around with a smaller fleet for a while.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 02:42:33 PM »
Salvage is not JUST about refleeting faster, it's about making refleet periods dangerous so they're less boring.   Before, you could throw a fleet into the grinder, it would get wiped out accomplishing some objective, and then you'd sit around bored while you rebuilt your fleet to do it again.

The reprisal component of the salvage mechanics means that a fleet loss is immediately followed by a period of heightened danger that merits your attention because you might die.

Giving way more salvage on your homeworld was intended to be a sort of 'well, if the exo made it to your homeworld, you probably need a lot of extra help' mechanic.  In practice, you just run your entire economy off turning your home system into a whipping boy and salvaging waves.  I think this is especially true on higher difficulties where the incoming waves are so large. 

Keep salvage but just make it 10% flat regardless of command station type.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 05:04:08 PM »
I'm ok with some command stations having a higher rate of salvage collection (e.g. Economic 10%, Logistics 15%, Military 8%) just not the home station which had an astounding 40%! (Econ was 5%, Log 10%, Mil 8% (all times mark)).

Even a Mk3 Logistics wasn't as good as a Mk1 Home command station.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 05:21:46 PM »
Salvage is not JUST about refleeting faster, it's about making refleet periods dangerous so they're less boring.   Before, you could throw a fleet into the grinder, it would get wiped out accomplishing some objective, and then you'd sit around bored while you rebuilt your fleet to do it again.

Even they were put in the game to complement each other somewhat, I think they're 2 different subjects.

Reprisal's fine - keeps you on your toes, make the game more dangerous, avoids "stupid" waste of ressources. Actually, I'd vouch for this part to be somehow kept. Reprisal makes the refleet more interesting. Makes the AI responsive, in the: "I see what you did there, FACE MY WRATH (of khan)".

Salvage ? All it gives is more ressources. Doesn't make the game more interesting, just makes the refleet faster if you plan on farming the salvage waves / regular waves. It means that to play effectively, you need to know about how to exploit it. Which is yet another part of the game where AI war does not shine, the amount of stuff that's required to be known even before a game starts. I sincerely believe it's possible to accelerate the refleet phase without that mechanic in it - thrown a few ideas above, and other did before me, and probably others will after and later.

Maybe, however, the flow of resources in the game is one subject that should be discussed in depth (probably another thread).

Offline Draco18s

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 05:35:23 PM »
One of the other things that might help with things is raising the resource cap somehow.  It's always been fixed at 999,999 and that's more than enough for the early game (refleeting consumes resources at about the same rate as resource income) and the midgame (you deplete your resources down to 0 refleeting, but it pops back up to max while you're doing the fighting stuff).  But at the end-game it is just ungodly painful: your fleetsize and cost have grown faster than your income + resource cap by an order of magnitude.

Offline Kahuna

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 01:44:54 AM »
Salvage feel like a very artificial and forced system. It doesn't make sense to me how the resources just magically appear on the player's bank account as AI's ships get destroyed.

Destroyed ships must leave wreck behind which then must be collected to get the resources from them. Otherwise this thing should be removed.

Same goes for the AI. It makes absolutely no sense how player's ships getting destroyed allows the AI to send a counter attack. Let's say I lose 2000 fighters and then the AI sends 7000 fighters at me. Where did the 7000 fighters come from? Why wasn't the AI able to send those 7k fighters at me before the 2k fighters were destroyed? Why didn't the AI attack me with those 7k fighters anyway? I guess the point is that the AI takes the wrecks left behind my fleet and uses those resources to build a fleet for counter attack. But realistically the AI would probably be able to recycle only a small portion of those 2k fighters.

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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 #11 on: September 01, 2016, 02:08:27 AM »
Same goes for the AI. It makes absolutely no sense how player's ships getting destroyed allows the AI to send a counter attack. Let's say I lose 2000 fighters and then the AI sends 7000 fighters at me. Where did the 7000 fighters come from? Why wasn't the AI able to send those 7k fighters at me before the 2k fighters were destroyed? Why didn't the AI attack me with those 7k fighters anyway? I guess the point is that the AI takes the wrecks left behind my fleet and uses those resources to build a fleet for counter attack. But realistically the AI would probably be able to recycle only a small portion of those 2k fighters.

That part makes sense to me though.
The AI's distracted and not sending forces to me, it sees a threat, and sends back-up from another dimension.

The part the doesn't make sense is why it does not care when the back-up gets annihilated though.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 02:51:22 AM »
I see AIP as "credits from the Core to the two AI servants". The Core gives resources to them if they think the Human problem needs to be addressed, but what the servants do with it isn't its problem. I feel like the two servants are well aware (at least past mid-game) that Humans are a threat, but they can't justify that to the Core (unless Humans conquered half the galaxy).

But that's only theme and lore and have few to do with salvage. Sorry.
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Offline zharmad

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 04:06:49 AM »
Opinion: don't keep salvage. Maybe keep reprisal.

A better salvage-like game mechanics would be the ability to rebuild something out of the Armor Golem wreck that the AI has sent to your home.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 05:20:07 AM »
Opinion: don't keep salvage. Maybe keep reprisal.
I support that.

A better salvage-like game mechanics would be the ability to rebuild something out of the Armor Golem wreck that the AI has sent to your home.
That's an idea! I can already imagine a Minor Faction of big stuff coming at you that you can either rebuilt and send back or dismantle and make something else with it. Like a GPost-sized turret with a Golem weapon!
Yay! :D
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Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!