Author Topic: [AIW2] Size Revamp  (Read 691 times)

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
[AIW2] Size Revamp
« on: August 17, 2016, 02:31:11 AM »
In order to streamline several abilities and remove many confusing formulations, each unit must have a "size" data, displayed in their ID card.
There is only 3 sizes:
* Small
* Big
* Giant

All fleetships built at space dock are small. (Some with cap<10 and several SShip-like immunities might be moved as proper starships, but that's another story.)
All starships built at SShip Constructor are big.
All guardians are big.
All golems and dire guardians are giant.
All turrets are small.
All guard posts are big.

The Hunter/Killer is big (it is treated like a starship or a guardian).
The AI Mothership, Avenger and the like are giant.
The Spirecrafts are giant.
The Transport, Assault Transport and AI Carrier are big.
The tachyon drone, decloaker and tachyon sentinel are small.

The Fortress, Super Fortress and Modular Fortress are giant; the Mini Fortress is big. They are considered immobile even if they have a slow reposition ability.
All the Force Fields are big. They are considered immobile even if they have a slow reposition ability.
The Mobile Space Dock, Space Dock, Starship Constructor and their Advanced versions are big.
The Core Turret Controllers and Core Fabricators are big.
The science station, advanced research station, hacker and signal survey ship are small.
All the logistical and economical units are small. (advanced warp sensor, rally post, space time manipulator, engineers, remains rebuilder, energy collector, matter converter, metal harvester, etc)
All Orbital Command Stations are big; all Warp Gates are small.

The size is used to restrict some units' targeting abilities:

Arachnid things (GPost, etc) and OMD are unable to target small units.
Ion Cannons can target only small things.
Reclamation damages can target only mobile small things.
Tractor beams can target only mobile small things.
EMP and nuclear radiations can target only small things.
Swallowers must precise what they can swallow: Spire Maw and Powerslavers can only swallow mobile small things. Disassemblers (guardian, guard post, etc) can only swallow mobile big things (not giants).
Only mobile small and mobile big things can be transported. (Immobile and giants cannot.)

By precising that kind of things, we are spared all cluttering immunities like swallow, reclamation, instakill, tractor, etc on all starships, guardians, structures, etc.

Comment on Size of Immobile Units:
More than the size, what defines an immobile unit is its immobility.
All size distinctions within the immobile units (and can't-cross-wormhole "structures") sounds pointless: none can be reclaimed, transported, tractor'ed, instakilled, etc.
So in order to even more streamline the game, all immobile units may have the special "structure" size.
Or maybe another name because it would be confusing, with the hull-type "Structural".
"Building"? "Station"?
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Draco18s

  • Resident Velociraptor
  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,879
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 11:15:20 AM »
"Station" works for me.

Offline tadrinth

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 01:14:20 PM »
I definitely support making size-based targeting much more clear.  Arachnids and OMDs have surprised me a lot more often than I would like.  I think the issue is that Arachnids can shoot at fleet ships that have fixed caps. Especially awkward when you pop a Zenith reserve, since you get a mix of ships, some of which may be vulnerable to arachnids. 

This is petty, but if Zenith Siege Engines, Arachnid Guard Posts, and Rude Gesture subcommanders all return, then I really want Zenith Siege Engines to be a good solution to the problem of "here is a pile of arachnid guard posts and spire forcefield guard posts". 

I don't know how to have a tooltip on a tooltip, but it would be nice to have a 'this is a starship' label that you could hover over to see the list of immunities that implies.  Same for other size categories. 

I'm pretty ambivalent about the exact size categories we wind up with, these classifications seem pretty reasonable. 


Offline tadrinth

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 07:33:25 PM »
Since it might be useful, here are the size categories that AI War Classic seems to have:

* Tiny. Drones. Ex: Enclave Drone, Spire Blade. I'm not 100% sure this even exists, but I think there's logic to make ships prefer not to go after these (since they're going to die soon anyway).
* Small. Regular fleetships. Ex: fighter.  nothing special.
* Medium: Fixed-cap fleetships (5-19) Ex: Zenith Siege Engine, Spire Maw.  Arachnids shoot at these and anything larger. They usually have a bunch of immunities, especially the 5-cap types: Instakill, translocation, tractors, paralysis, reclamation, etc. 
* Starship: Cap 1-2. Ex: Flagship.  OMDs shoot at these and anything larger. Can be swallowed by 'disassemblers'. Lots of immunities.
* Superweapon: Ex: Armored Golem.  Can't be swallowed by disassembler, lots of immunities, implosion resistance. 

Added to the AI War 1 Unit/Mechanic doc:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1E78-KtgIKyAExd9VpIKe2aXEKFO14A8b9zRLwRENkRk/edit#heading=h.1ubkfcz50kxb

If drone spawners don't return, then we don't need a Tiny category any more. 

The medium category *as a category* is very confusing.  I definite it as 'ships whose caps do not vary with Unit Scale'.  In practice, that's ships with a cap of 19 or lower.  Those ships tend to have a lot of extra immunities, and the lower the cap, the more they tend to have. These immunities lend 'invisible strength' to ships, that aren't tied to their identity.  Things like Ion and Tractors either need to take into account ship size so immunity isn't required, or not exist, or we should just not have low-cap fleet ships.

However, the ships IN the medium category are often extremely popular! So, I am somewhat in favor of keeping the spirit of the category while fixing the problems. 


Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 02:31:03 AM »
I hope the AIW2's list will be smaller. I would merge Tiny with Small and Medium with Big.

I don't see a true need for the Tiny size in AI War II. Most drones already have the ion (instakill) immunity to avoid distracting Ion Cannons. Also, they are meant to be shot attractors.

I voted for Medium units to become true starships (with ""high"" cap). My cutoff was cap<10, but the idea is there. That would streamline immunities and arachnid-targeting. There would be nothing between fleetships and starships because there is no middle-ground, mechanically. And as the Size wouldn't be tied to a family, we could have Big fleetships (and even Small starships, but that would be... strange).

Also, you name the higher "Starship" and "Superweapon". For AIW2 at least, I would avoid naming a size after a ship family. The Big size would be used for guardians, guard posts (if immobile units haven't a specific category) and stuff like the Hunter/Killer. And "superweapon" imply a huge firepower (or military ability) but the Zenith Trader, for example, is a golem. "Giant" sounded good to me.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline zharmad

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,066
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2016, 02:28:04 PM »
My OCD indicates that "Big" should be "Large" to keep everything at 5-letters in length. Otherwise the proposal make sense, I find it simplistic (I see them between 5~6 size categories, roughly one for each order of magnitude), but that's me.

Offline tadrinth

  • Sr. Member Mark II
  • ****
  • Posts: 415
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2016, 04:00:11 PM »
Just to clarify, Tiny isn't so much there to prevent ships from shooting at drones, but to prevent ships from trying to chase them.  Normally ships prefer to shoot at low-health targets (within whatever they have bonuses against).  This would cause ships in FRD mode to prefer drones as targets and chase them, because their health is so low. Trying to chase a spire blade around the system is not very effective, though.  If that has a better solution, then Tiny can go away.

I'm not really sure how ion, swallow, and tractors are going to interact with squadrons; all those immunities might not be necessary if those mechanics take into account ship caps a bit better or are otherwise reworked.

Otherwise, agree with your suggested changes; I'm not that attached to much of what's there mechanic-wise, I just wanted it documented for people to compare to. 

Offline Orelius

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2016, 04:13:25 PM »
I agree with this.  With the possible exception that the hunter/killer should probably be giant, given how powerful it is.  I would propose that small ship-cap fleet ships should just be made into starships instead.  It feels weird having so many bonus fleet ships yet only the default starships for most games.


Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 30,619
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2016, 09:08:38 PM »
My plan is to remove the ship sizes as being a thing, because very little relies on it, it is cluttered and confusing, and most of the things that do rely on it I would like to remove anyway.  I am all about having a variety of cool mechanics, and I've even added in jacketing, and we've got way more combinations of units already just with the first 9 units than the original AI War 1.0 had.  The size stuff seems like it needs to be removed even more than the hull types, and that one I'm still noodling for now.

This thread really reinforces all that. ;) :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 03:39:27 PM »
Hmmmkay... I'm trying to apply the "kill your darlings" mantra here, but things keep flying through my mind.

Let's imagine a world without mechanical size distinctions.

* The "starship immunity cocktail" get replaced with one "handle" immunity covering them all in one word. Coherency and clarity. Okay.
* No more targeting restrictions based on size. (Bye Ion, OMD, Arachnid and stuff.) Fine.

Unanswered questions and suggestions.

How to distinguish fleet ships and starships (where is it told "this one is built at a space dock, this one at a starship constructor"?)
* If it has "starship" in its name, it's a starship; else it's a fleetship. (Not convinced.)
* If it has a cap < X, it's a starship, else it's a fleetship. (Not convinced neither.)
* No more distinction. Only one kind of factory (with a long list of on/off "built that") and Advanced Factory (one less capture target for MkIV; sad!)
(Let's kill all the darlings!! None shall survive!! >D)

That last suggestion oddly seduces me. The "starship" status would just be a design rule that would basically say "if cap < X, has cocktail immunity". The MkIV Advanced capture/hack target would need some new flesh, but I'm sure we can come up with something fun.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline kasnavada

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 05:26:58 PM »
(crazy idea)
What if... there was no distinctions ?

Fleetships & starships don't need to be different. They could be built at the same place, share the same "place" in the research tree and so on.
Just have the "starship" immunities because, well, they're too "big".

Offline Orelius

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 05:32:34 PM »
I'm fine with there being no mechanics for ship sizes as long as obviously more powerful ships are larger in size compared to smaller ones.  Generally speaking, big = strong, so it's easier to tell at a glance how strong the enemy fleet is.

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2016, 05:39:36 PM »
I'm fine with there being no mechanics for ship sizes as long as obviously more powerful ships are larger in size compared to smaller ones.  Generally speaking, big = strong, so it's easier to tell at a glance how strong the enemy fleet is.
Side note: I love how the Hunter/Killer take that feeling and reverse it for a big psychological impact.
Starship size, able to one-one a golem. Terrifying.
:D
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Pumpkin

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Neinzul Gardener Enclave
Re: [AIW2] Size Revamp
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2016, 05:41:11 PM »
(crazy idea)
What if... there was no distinctions ?

Fleetships & starships don't need to be different. They could be built at the same place, share the same "place" in the research tree and so on.
Just have the "starship" immunities because, well, they're too "big".
* No more distinction. Only one kind of factory (with a long list of on/off "built that") and Advanced Factory (one less capture target for MkIV; sad!)
(...)
That last suggestion oddly seduces me.
::)    ;)
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!