Arcen Games

Games => AI War II => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => Topic started by: x4000 on August 31, 2016, 09:59:12 AM

Title: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Cinth 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: chemical_art 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Pumpkin 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada 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.

Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Tridus 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: tadrinth 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Draco18s 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada 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).
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Draco18s 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Kahuna 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.

If it's not something you use
There's no way not to use it.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Pumpkin 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: PokerChen 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Pumpkin 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
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada on September 01, 2016, 05:51:04 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.

Yay for both !
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Kahuna on September 01, 2016, 06:03:06 AM
it sees a threat, and sends back-up from another dimension.
Except it doesn't, because all of the player's attacking ships were destroyed so the AI is actually winning in that case. So why would it shift even more resources against the player when it's already winning? (The AI is "winning" because the AI only sends reprisals when a massive amounts of player's ships get destroyed on an AI planet) Originally the lore/idea/whatever behind this was that the AI would take the wreckage left behind your ships and "throw it back at you". Just like how salvage allows the player to refleet.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada on September 01, 2016, 06:07:16 AM
It's petty and does not like intrusions ?  ;)

To be a warning against future invations ?

It thinks that since you lost ships, it's a good opportunity to strike back ?

(The AI negotiated a counter attack with the clean-up crew, to prevent the clean-up crew from rebelling ?)
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Kahuna on September 01, 2016, 06:28:08 AM
Then the AI could as well just send everything (including the kitchen sink) at the player as soon as the game starts.

Reprisal waves could be changed to trigger when a large enough player fleet stays on AI's territory long enough.
EDIT: Perhaps this could be integrated into the deep strike response.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: PokerChen on September 01, 2016, 09:03:31 AM
If I may interrupt, I don't think it's worth the time right now to look at current mechanics from a lore or internal logic perspective.

We're going to have a new engine! So I want reprisals in it in some form, but not the one right now. Deep strike response is an option, especially if the AI tried to warp in getting a different angle, or cut off your retreat.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Kahuna on September 01, 2016, 10:08:45 AM
If the game's illogical it decreases it's enjoyability.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: PokerChen on September 01, 2016, 11:31:45 AM
Yes and no. :P Sometimes illogic is bad design, other times it's the players being too inflexible about perceived AI decisions.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Draco18s on September 01, 2016, 12:34:32 PM
Don't forget that the AI has blue-orange morality (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality), as well.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Elestan on September 02, 2016, 02:28:48 AM
I'm okay with Salvage, but I don't like the varying collection levels; as others have noted, this creates a really odd incentive to have fights on your homeworld.

Collecting Salvage could be a new raison d'ĂȘtre for the Cleanup Drone.  Maybe having cleanup drones in the area when ships (of any sort) are being destroyed generates some amount of extra metal (and prevents reprisal from it, if reprisal is used).

I'm not fond of Reprisal.  For one thing, it kicks the player when they're down, and I don't find that fun (though some others here seem to be more masochistic).  For another, it doesn't make sense in the game world; the AI's production facilities are off in another galaxy, and they're already effectively limitless, so some destroyed human ships in this galaxy shouldn't make a difference. 

At a minimum, I would make these mechanics optional and separable.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Sestren on September 02, 2016, 08:47:25 PM
Frankly, I don't like reprisal. I feel it *strongly* pushes me towards using starships that I can pull out of danger right before they die and generate reprisal over a fleetball that's going to be generating a retaliatory wave no matter what I do with it. (Though I also do that because repairing a starship is much faster than refleeting, possibly cheaper too since I think repairing is discounted?)

Honestly what does metal even do in this game? It just time gates things. Energy is the hard cap resource that you always want more of because more energy means more turrets + ships (well that and ship caps).

(To give you a reference for where I'm coming from, I've only won 3 or 4 games, hardest difficulty 8/8, and I lean pretty heavily on golems when I play. I feel like a lot of decisions in this game inadvertently make playing with a focus on fleetships frustrating.)
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Draco18s on September 02, 2016, 09:41:18 PM
(To give you a reference for where I'm coming from, I've only won 3 or 4 games, hardest difficulty 8/8, and I lean pretty heavily on golems when I play. I feel like a lot of decisions in this game inadvertently make playing with a focus on fleetships frustrating.)

This is a terrifyingly true point....
I mean, I still fleetball and throw wave after wave of my own men at the problem until the killbots reach max_kills and shut down...
But still....
You've got a valid point there.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Timerlane on September 02, 2016, 11:36:06 PM
Plus Eyes and Ion Cannons. For that matter, basic(non-Assault) transports technically favor Starships, as they simply unload 10ships/sec in hostile territory with no regard for 'size'.

Yeah, I have to admit I'm a Starship-heavy player who mostly breaks out the fleetships for their bonus dps against particular heavy/difficult targets, and it pretty much works.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Pumpkin on September 03, 2016, 02:14:00 AM
Honestly what does metal even do in this game? It just time gates things.
You gave the answer. More than metal, it's time, the central resource of AI War. Because the AI consumes only time to pay for its units. If Humans pay no metal, they pay no time, and can get much more ships than the AI.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Nuc_Temeron on September 06, 2016, 02:58:56 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).

Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Orelius on September 06, 2016, 03:37:08 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).

Sounds like a bit of a roundabout way of doing it.  Why not just make mining/salvage drones a buildable unit?  Though to be honest,  I'm not really sure how much needing to build drones to collect salvage actually adds to the game instead of just making more work for the player.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Nuc_Temeron 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: otoed1 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?
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Nuc_Temeron on September 09, 2016, 10:40:10 PM
Why not just merge them with cleanup drones?

Yes, that would work nicely actually.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada 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%.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Pumpkin 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: kasnavada 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
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Affine 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: GeistenHaus 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?
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: NichG 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. 
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Astilious 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Peter Ebbesen 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.  :)
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: carldong 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Astilious 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: Chthon 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.
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: bladeravinger 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,
Title: Re: What is "salvage?" Or more aptly, what do you want out of it?
Post by: BadgerBadger on January 09, 2017, 12:04:16 PM
One of the things I really like about salvage is it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I beat a giant attack; "Wow, there's 4 million salvage on Murdoch! That was an epic fight; last time I repelled the AI assault it was only 2 million". This is especially true on Fallen Spire, since it gives me a sense of how much bigger each Exo wave was.