Arcen Games

Games => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => AI War II => AI War II - Resolved Ideas => Topic started by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 02:17:48 PM

Title: [Resolved, essentially] Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 13, 2016, 02:17:48 PM
Lots of changes to the techs stuff, to make them player-side only.  With certain things built in on the AI side now that are always there.  These being the notes from the graveyard section about the AI getting tech unlocks:

AI Ship Tech Upgrades On Planet Capture
- Basically, Misery and Pumpkin had a good reminder that one of the tenets of the first game was to avoid invisible upgrades so that players can look at things and know what they are.

- That is an extremely good point, and flies in the face of the new tech upgrades system in general.

- THAT said, the difficulty in remembering things is when a player is looking at the AI side, because you don’t know when they’ve upgraded things, so would feel the need to constantly check.

-- Aka, the AI ships need to be consistent between games, and during a game, in terms of “what it means to be a fighter mark II” or what have you.

- Speaking for the player’s own side, which is where the focus of the new tech upgrades were always, anyway, players tend to easily remember what they upgraded on ships, and can quickly check if they don’t.

-- Most importantly, things never change in an unfavorable way, or without them knowing, so there’s not a need to go back and see “is this different? Is this bad?” like there would be if the AI were using invisible tech upgrades as well.

- In the end, this just makes for one more type of asymmetry in the game, which is great.

So, no upgrades for the AI? Great.
But then, how will it have cloaked raptors and eye bots etc? I'm afraid the AI would become less "rich", but as long as it has guardians and dire guardians and hunter/killer-like... Okay.

They'll just have them. For example, every raptor it makes might have the tractor ability, every bomber be armored. Tie it in to the mark system (IE higher mark ships always have more abilities. Candy can't rot processors after all!)

Eh, but I thought the upgrades were common to all marks of a ship type?

However, I think I'm okay with the AI having a chance to grant a mechanic upgrade to every new ship type it unlocks (only upgrades like cloaking, tractor, FField-immune, etc, and not speed x2, armor++, life-up, etc).

For the player. The AI doesn't need to play by the same rules.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: PokerChen on September 13, 2016, 03:08:51 PM
So, to summarise how the AI can upgrade differently to the player:

Perhaps the upgrade system could reflect how the AI is technologically far ahead, and has already deployed all the upgrades it wishes on  individual ship designs. Rather, to respond to player aggression, the AI uses its superior technology/resources to deploy strategies that are impossible for the player to duplicate.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 14, 2016, 01:06:37 AM
I'm still going with what I said before, and saying "it'll just be more confusing".   And I do realize that only the player gets these things... I knew that before I made my original comment.  I'd STILL be confused, and end up spending WAY more time staring at tooltips and such because of it.   I'm autistic with some executive dysfunction; I'm capable of forgetting my own age, or what year it is. Or all sorts of other things.  AKA, I'm easily confused and very spacey.  AI War works for me partly because everything is represented visually by very simple icons, and the effects of those icons never change.  I look at, say, a Raid Starship, and I think, okay, that's the fast thing, good for raids, fires shots that go through shields.  Every time I see one, it does those same things... no difference, except with increases at different mark levels, which also are represented very simply. Don't get me wrong, I still have to check the tooltip for something like that every now and then.  Even with somewhat common ships I wont always remember what they do.   But with StarCraft-esque techs (which is pretty much what these are, spend research to give upgrades to a unit type/class), I'd get totally lost on what does what way more often, with things changing as they would... even if I'm the one that initiated the change (I already cant remember where I placed entire freaking fleets, and spend a really inordinate amount of time on the galaxy map trying to find stuff).  I'd do things like attack a specific installation, thinking "Okay, this'll work, these ships of mine have immunity to such-and-such.  I checked them when I first built some in this campaign".  One big violent pile of explosions later, and I'd realize that no, they don't always have that, and there goes 500 ships with little damage done to the AI, since I hadn't unlocked the relevant tech in that particular game.   This would happen over and over again.

And it wouldn't be just me.... plenty of people have memory issues, or just get outright overwhelmed by games like this.  I mean, one way or another, AI War 2 is still going to end up being a very complicated game (particularly as that's a huge part of it's appeal).  Something like this will just add to the "overwhelming" aspect, yet I don't see much genuine benefit over the way the current game does it.  It also just makes ships seem more generic, to be honest.  It's a mechanic that's overused by the genre, also.  Very overused.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 14, 2016, 02:56:25 AM
I second Mysery.

I try to accept this mechanism and work with it, but at it's core, I'm against the idea of upgrades. Originally, it was coined by Chris to elegantly integrate the small variations between mostly similar units (IIRC). However I don't see what's wrong with that. I'm okay with AoE-frigates (grenade launchers & ZBeam frigates) and armored bombers (tanks) or higher-impact bombers (ZElec Bombers), etc.

I was against the small upgrades and I was the one to ask for separation between the "small" upgrades (health x2, speed x2, range x2, armor++, etc) and the "twisting" upgrades (cloaking, tractor, etc). I think the "small" should be flag "unconstitutional and against core design philosophy" (even if player-reserved) and the "twisting" upgrades should be folded back into specific (alternative) ship designs.

Also, if races will have a higher impact, I think we'll really need these twisting differences. I can imagine transversal "chassis" with per-race "twist". Here is an example:
The Human fighter is as we know it (maybe a bit faster); the Zenith fighter is armored (the heir of the bulletproof fighter, more brawler than raider); the Spire fighter has the armor damage perk (heir of the Spire Armor Rotter). They could be implemented as upgrades (which could lead to a silly Fast Armored Fighter of Acid) or as different race-themed units. And I say "chassis" but that can be the other way around: each race has a same perk on different "chassis": the Spire Tractor Platform, the Human EtherJet Tractor and the Zenith Widow Something, for example.

I think that upgrade idea was interesting to inquiry, but it has several flaws for nothing truly new.
Kill it, please.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 14, 2016, 03:08:26 AM
Also, if races will have a higher impact, I think we'll really need these twisting differences. I can imagine transversal "chassis" with per-race "twist". Here is an example:
The Human fighter is as we know it (maybe a bit faster); the Zenith fighter is armored (the heir of the bulletproof fighter, more brawler than raider); the Spire fighter has the armor damage perk (heir of the Spire Armor Rotter). They could be implemented as upgrades (which could lead to a silly Fast Armored Fighter of Acid) or as different race-themed units. And I say "chassis" but that can be the other way around: each race has a same perk on different "chassis": the Spire Tractor Platform, the Human EtherJet Tractor and the Zenith Widow Something, for example.

How about templates, like in AD&D ?

More or less, the exact ship remain for all races, but have a default template. Human does nothing, of course.
Spire could:
- /5 total cap
- *10 hp
- *5 dps.

Neinzul could:
- attrition (all)
- metal cost / 10

(and so on).

Names would evolve to "human fighter", "AI fighter", "Spire fighter" and next you could add more affix / suffixes if needed. Of not if the idea of upgrade is scrapped.

(Balance and numbers to be tuned during beta...)

Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 14, 2016, 03:32:20 AM
I prefer the visible mechanical twist (cloaking, teleportation, reclamation, etc) rather than numerical balance (hp+42.9%, speed-11.4 mph, etc). But it's an idea.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 14, 2016, 04:08:48 AM
*long ramble on autism*

Well, while this may be worse to you than others, I have to just point out that even for non-autistic persons this would be freaking frustrating to keep track of.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 14, 2016, 04:20:34 AM
I rather figured as much, yeah.

There's just already so many things to deal with in the game.... people have enough of the "WTF is even going on here, what's all this stuff, I don't even..." as it is with this game.  Adding this bit that was not only unnecessary in the first place but specifically avoided for good reasons in the first game seems kinda silly.  It'd just hurt things.

As for ships with small differences, honestly, my own solution would be to just take those and replace them with more interesting ships.  There's a zillion different possible ideas that could work in this game, for ship designs, after all.  They could get pretty creative.  That seems like it'd be a lot better than a confusing mechanic like this.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 14, 2016, 06:07:51 AM
I rather figured as much, yeah.

There's just already so many things to deal with in the game.... people have enough of the "WTF is even going on here, what's all this stuff, I don't even..." as it is with this game.  Adding this bit that was not only unnecessary in the first place but specifically avoided for good reasons in the first game seems kinda silly.  It'd just hurt things.

As for ships with small differences, honestly, my own solution would be to just take those and replace them with more interesting ships.  There's a zillion different possible ideas that could work in this game, for ship designs, after all.  They could get pretty creative.  That seems like it'd be a lot better than a confusing mechanic like this.
+1
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Tridus on September 14, 2016, 08:18:00 AM
I like the tech idea and would be happy to play with it, but not if it's going to make the game overly confusing and difficult for other people. I don't see a good way to solve it as-is, though, given how many units the game tends to have.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 14, 2016, 08:35:43 AM
I like the tech idea and would be happy to play with it, but not if it's going to make the game overly confusing and difficult for other people. I don't see a good way to solve it as-is, though, given how many units the game tends to have.

Errr. Possibly I'm dumb, but I don't understand the proposal here. Just so it's clear.

Player upgrade stay ? Yes ? No ? Changed ?
AI upgrade stay ? Yes ? No ? Changed ?
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Tridus on September 14, 2016, 08:46:41 AM
Errr. Possibly I'm dumb, but I don't understand the proposal here. Just so it's clear.

Player upgrade stay ? Yes ? No ? Changed ?
AI upgrade stay ? Yes ? No ? Changed ?

Looks like in the current version, player "candy" upgrades stayed. AI ones are gone.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 10:56:40 AM
My position on this, which I don't see any compelling reason to change:

1. AI ships are "as is."  Aka, no invisible upgrades on them, because that's freaking confusing as Misery and others point out.

2. Player ships can have invisible upgrades.  This is fun, it adds options that are less confusing in many ways, it's extremely common to the genre, and overall I've not seen a compelling argument against it.  You don't even HAVE to use these, frankly.

3. Anywhere where we need the AI to be different, it will either have techs baked in or ships split or whatever else.  The flexibility here is absolute.  Overall I'll try to avoid having fleet ships that are AI-only variants of player ships, but having some AI-only fleet ships will be an interesting twist in general.

4. The number of possible upgrades per player ship are being kept pretty low, and no you can't give repeat upgrades to a given ship type.  I think it was Pumpkin that pointed out that too many of them makes each one trend towards more generic and less interesting.


This is my current position, and I feel fairly confident in it.  I'm open to discussion of specific flaws with it, but overall I've not seen any points from anyone that haven't been addressed by the above.

1. If the player-side techs are confusing, you can ignore them until you get more used to the game in general.  But they go back to the 90s in terms of this genre, so the concept itself should not be foreign.

2. The AI-side stuff was legitimately going to confuse us all, and is thus gone.

3. Ships becoming a generic mashup of too many possibilities was a definite thing, and is gone.


Honestly I think you guys have already helped hone this to something that we can all be happy with, but it's entirely possible I'm missing something.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 14, 2016, 11:01:41 AM
The AI is still going to update its arsenal and add more shiptypes as the game progresses though, right? Or is that gone too?
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 14, 2016, 11:36:39 AM
The AI is still going to update its arsenal and add more shiptypes as the game progresses though, right? Or is that gone too?

I don't see a reason as to why this wouldn't happen.  We don't want to remove stuff from the AI's toolbox.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 11:40:26 AM
The AI is still going to update its arsenal and add more shiptypes as the game progresses though, right? Or is that gone too?

I don't see a reason as to why this wouldn't happen.  We don't want to remove stuff from the AI's toolbox.

Right, absolutely.  I'm not referring to taking anything away that was in the classic game at all here.  No worries on that!
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 14, 2016, 11:58:07 AM
Right, absolutely.  I'm not referring to taking anything away that was in the classic game at all here.  No worries on that!
Good. Was getting a bit worried there.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Steelpoint on September 14, 2016, 11:58:54 AM
My only concern with a upgrade system is more of how its portrayed to the play via the UI, as well as keeping track of upgrades for ships on the field.

I do personally think a upgrade system can help cut down on the massive excess of ships in the game.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: x4000 on September 14, 2016, 01:16:12 PM
My only concern with a upgrade system is more of how its portrayed to the play via the UI, as well as keeping track of upgrades for ships on the field.

That's fair.  We're going to be putting in a lot of GUI work in general for usability and clarity, and I have what I think is a pretty good concept for this one.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: PokerChen on September 14, 2016, 01:47:23 PM
While I understand the potential problems with tracking upgrades, I also see the 80+ bonus ship types in classic as the greater evil in comparison. The need for players to memorise new things will always exist - because they *are* new to them. The way the game divides it's design space can only affect how these new things are presented.

Which of these is easier to remember: etherjet tractors, or fast, cloaked fighter with tractor beams? The answer depends who you ask and how it is presented in the game. In classic, it's not easy to find out which ships the two AIs have upgraded when you cross particular AIP  thresholds. If we keep giving the sequel AI new ships types instead of  upgrading their existing ships, we'll still be tracking N new developments. Is this any different?

Autism or no, most players will only realise that an AI had unlocked, say, Eyebots, when said ships are attacking them or vice versa. This would be the same in the upgrade system if the equivalent upgrade visually changes the way the base unit looks. If people want, the game can have the UI showing the upgrade tree for both humans and AI (filled in as they encounter AI units or hack the info).  Question is how it is addressed in the design doc.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 14, 2016, 10:14:22 PM
Quote
The need for players to memorise new things will always exist - because they *are* new to them. The way the game divides it's design space can only affect how these new things are presented.

This is true, but the thing about the way things are in the first game is that each ship is only genuinely new ONCE.  When you've seen what a particular ship does, well, you've seen everything that it does and it will ALWAYS do those things, and JUST those things.  You don't have to worry about the fact that the next time you use it you might have it with an immunity it doesn't always have, or with extra armor, and then further worry about it NOT having those things the time after that.   That's part of what causes the issue, and I'm guessing that's part of why this was such a big no-no in the first game.  I hated this in every other RTS to the point of usually refusing to use it after enough time with the game (and facing off against just the CPU, it's not like that ever mattered), if it was possible to play the game in question without doing those stupid techs (some of them kinda force you to use it).  And that's with each game/match in those being like, one hour long, yet it still caused that level of frustration. Here we're talking something that could take place over 10 separate sessions... talk about confusing!    In the first one, you just looked at a ship, and it was always the same as it ever was, which made it a lot easier to deal with overall.  Yeah, you might still check the tooltips at times, but there's going to be less of a fog of confusion hanging around when the ship is incapable of being anything other than what it starts as.

Hell, the fact that this means that human VS AI units could actually thus also have DIFFERENCES in a particular game will just make this even more brain-melting.  I only just thought of that.  Suddenly you might have normal Armor Ships (on the AI side, if it's not using upgrades) VS special "Armor Ships" that aren't really the original ship anymore on the human side.  Which is also confusing.  I'd end up losing track of what one of them does because I hovered over the other.

Just.... ugh.  It's definitely one of those "I'm probably never going to touch this even once" mechanics, for me.  Pushes things of this nature a bit too far, in a game that's already tough to keep track of.  I don't suppose this is something that might be able to be turned on and off?  Or at least something that doesn't HAVE to be used in order to win.   


As for 80+ bonus ships in the first game, greater evil it may be, but that one's easily solved:  Just don't have redundant ships this time around.  Make absolutely sure that each individual one has a real purpose and role, and has enough difference between it and other ships before going into the game.  If it doesn't match those conditions, out it goes.   There's certainly no reason for that redundancy, after all, and nobody really likes finding the more boring ships at an advanced research station or whatever anyway, of course. 
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 14, 2016, 10:20:49 PM
I do plan on making a AIWC line up of ships that still have supported mechanics as a mod.  So there is that to look forward to.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 14, 2016, 10:24:16 PM
This game is moddable via XML like recent games, I assume?   I cant imagine I"d be doing much mod-making myself (don't feel like I know enough about AI War specifically) but I will say I'm quite interested to see what sorts of things people come up with for this.

Someone I know would absolutely kill for a major Star Trek mod for a game like this, as thematic stuff goes.   
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 14, 2016, 10:29:29 PM
This game is moddable via XML like recent games, I assume?   I cant imagine I"d be doing much mod-making myself (don't feel like I know enough about AI War specifically) but I will say I'm quite interested to see what sorts of things people come up with for this.

Someone I know would absolutely kill for a major Star Trek mod for a game like this, as thematic stuff goes.

I don't plan on going that far with it.  Just something that I know would enjoy having.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 01:31:19 AM
Someone I know would absolutely kill for a major Star Trek mod for a game like this, as thematic stuff goes.   

I wouldn't worry too much about that, "space game" + "mod" always attracts some hard-core fan that does that kind of stuff.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: PokerChen on September 15, 2016, 02:49:50 AM
This is true, but the thing about the way things are in the first game is that each ship is only genuinely new ONCE...
Yep, agreed - and in my mind, each upgrade mechanic in the sequel is also new only once. How about this - suppose if, whenever you complete an upgrade for e.g. Fighters,  all of your Fighters magically transform into Armored Fighters with new graphics and new names, and the non-upgraded ship-type disappear from the game. You would only ever need to keep track of one version of fighter at a time - would this be okay or confusing across different sessions?
 Basically, you will always have a fighter archetype that occupies the leftmost slot in the ship-build menu (and it kind of doesn't matter what flavour it comes in as long as it looks like a fighter), a bomber-archetype in the second slot, etc. The visual graphics and names change with any major upgrade, which semi-bypasses the problem in most-RTSes where, say, your Goliathes absolutely need that range-upgrade, but you couldn't tell it at a glance when you load a game from a month ago. It's functionally similar to the way SC2-Zerg campaign handled it. Zerglings can at one point become jumping, gliding Raptorlings (visually a recognisable descendant,) and you simply stop being able to build the old ones.

 In the same vein, if the AI at the start of the game has upgraded their Missile Frigates/Corvettes into Spire Railclusters, you'd never see the stock Corvettes from them - you'd just see the upgraded variant with the old one completely mothballed.

Star Trek mod
Needs enough audience first ;) - also, I'd probably prefer the non-canonical Starfleet Battles timeline with more differentiated factions. One of the main balance drivers in Star Trek is directionality (Klingons ships being the most forward-focussed designs with guns and shields mostly pointed in that direction), which will be a bit difficult to recreate at present.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 15, 2016, 03:51:22 AM
This is true, but the thing about the way things are in the first game is that each ship is only genuinely new ONCE...
Yep, agreed - and in my mind, each upgrade mechanic in the sequel is also new only once. How about this - suppose if, whenever you complete an upgrade for e.g. Fighters,  all of your Fighters magically transform into Armored Fighters with new graphics and new names, and the non-upgraded ship-type disappear from the game. You would only ever need to keep track of one version of fighter at a time - would this be okay or confusing across different sessions?
 Basically, you will always have a fighter archetype that occupies the leftmost slot in the ship-build menu (and it kind of doesn't matter what flavour it comes in as long as it looks like a fighter), a bomber-archetype in the second slot, etc. The visual graphics and names change with any major upgrade, which semi-bypasses the problem in most-RTSes where, say, your Goliathes absolutely need that range-upgrade, but you couldn't tell it at a glance when you load a game from a month ago. It's functionally similar to the way SC2-Zerg campaign handled it. Zerglings can at one point become jumping, gliding Raptorlings (visually a recognisable descendant,) and you simply stop being able to build the old ones.

 In the same vein, if the AI at the start of the game has upgraded their Missile Frigates/Corvettes into Spire Railclusters, you'd never see the stock Corvettes from them - you'd just see the upgraded variant with the old one completely mothballed.


That's not a bad proposal, though it does bring up another thing:  The whole system, doing that (or even without that), ends up feeling like a less effective version of ship unlocks in the previous game.  Simply because in that, you just outright get a new ship type to manufacture, no replacements.  The fleet size thus increases as well.  But with this, it'd simply stay the same, since one ship type would entirely vanish to be replaced with a new version, which sounds both less effective and less exciting (since AI War is very big on ship counts and such).  This could of course be done in such a way where the ship cap simply increases upon upgrading, but that kinda sounds a bit arbitrary.

Regardless though, that's a pretty good idea.   Though one question is, what happens if more than one upgrade is chosen for a ship?  Or is that not possible, and it's just one upgrade at a time for a ship type?
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 15, 2016, 05:14:03 AM
I support this issue. I would formulate as "Player's upgrades are confusing too (not as much as AI upgrades, but still)." I don't fully agree with your vision, Chris, when you say "AI upgrades go; Player's upgrades stay" because of different confusion level (even if I agree, there is a difference).

I also support this solution: transform ship types as they are upgraded. Like: the Missile Frigate and the Grenade Launcher are two kind of ships the AI can have; the Human players cannot have the Grenade Launcher directly but can K-buy an upgrade to transform (both technically and visually) their missile frigates into grenade launchers.

I already brought the "Heart of the Swarm" method of simply and clearly making twisting unit upgrades. (Even if SC2 also do small +1 upgrades.) And it perfectly joins my visions of things to answer that fine question of our fine fellow:
Though one question is, what happens if more than one upgrade is chosen for a ship?  Or is that not possible, and it's just one upgrade at a time for a ship type?
I wish (and I proposed that since the beginning of that "upgrade" idea) to see only few, twisting and mutually-exclusive upgrades. No commonly shared hp x2, small regen, jacketering, etc, and one ship can have only one of some upgrades (the zerglings gaining wings for a big visual and technical change is a perfect example).

Iterating on that, I can imagine a short "tree" for that: a basic unit can be transformed into another (which has identical stats but gains a twisting perk) which can then be transformed into yet another. That would form a short tree. Here is an example: the standard fighter can be transformed into a bulletproof fighter with a decent armor for a more "tanky brawler" twist or into a raider with the repulsion perk (and some speed boost). Let imagine I prefer the raider for some strategical reasons; I would be unable to get the bulletproof fighter for this game. But then I can upgrade my new raider further: I can give it cloaking and turn it into a raptor (the base stats of a fighter plus speed, repulsion and cloaking).

That kind of things would be displayed in the new technology UI as a very small tree of icons and branches (from the fighter, two branches go upward, one has a length of 1 and the other has a length of 2). I don't envision anything larger than three choices per ship and branches longer than 3. But maybe we could slightly develop things a bit (while avoiding overly complicated stuff). I can imagine branches of different trees ending on the same leaves. For example, the raider could become a teleport raider by gaining the teleport perk, and the teleport battlestation could become a teleport raider by gaining the repulsion perk. We can also imagine some sort of "diamond trees": something can become either a teleport battlestation or a parasite (reclamation), and both can become a teleporting leech by gaining the other perk. (Just one more example because I can: a basic tractor unit can gain cloaking by becoming an EtherJet or being retrofit as a bulkier unit and become a Spire Tractor Platform, or a Widow Something by gaining paralyzing tractors.)

I'll be back with some coherent small trees (I'll call that a hedge ;P) based on AIW1 fleetships.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 05:37:29 AM
I'm closer to Chris here.

About transforms:
1) If upgrades are to be kept I'd rather have a ship that has limited upgrades but does not transform, because... if the goal is to help anyone learning the game, isn't learning all upgrade paths going to be even worse ? It would be worse for me.

2) From what Chris seems to have in mind, the goal doesn't seem to make a monstruously upgraded ship that has little in common with the base one, rather to enable "base" designs to tweak, and evolve somewhat if necessary against whatever new tool the AI unlocked. I like this vision, a lot. It would not revolutionize the role. You'd have "fighter A" and "fighter B", but both would recognizable as fighters, following the idea that mk1 and mk2 are fighters despite having wildly different stats.

3) Transforming wouldn't feel like AI War to me. This is completely arbitrary. Dunno why this is more important than some other stuff I have no qualms about changing.


Back on the "upgrade" idea... I think there could be a simplifications in the upgrade path now that there are "only" 4 - 5 ship categories, to keep the categories upgrade more consistant (Ie: bombers can have "upgrade one", but blitzer can't). I think it could alleviate a lot of concerns that are proposed here. Possibly it's impossible though.
Also, if the "affix / suffix" name are to be kept, I think that the number of different affix / suffix can be kept low enough to be remembered.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 15, 2016, 06:05:05 AM
I hear this point. I still have grieves against common, non-twisting upgrades (hardening, regeneration, shielding, etc.

Below that, transformation, prefixes, etc would be only incidental.

For the learning concern, I would see an UI  similar the the current mark upgrades, less deep and with a bit of branching. I don't think that would be complicated to mouseover the icon above the missile frigate and read "grenade launcher (gains AoE)".

I also saw an issue with the player's race. My idea there would be to make some branches (or some complete unit families) only accessible to a specific alien specie. Age of Empire (1 & 2 at least, IIRC) did something like that.

Here is a list of AIW1's ships I was able to quickly gather in a technology "hedge":
EDIT: I should precise how it reads.
Same level arrows are mutually-exclusive upgrades. For instance:
A
   \-> B
   \-> C
      \-> D
... means A can transform into B or C, and C can further transform into D.

Bomber
   \-> Tank (armor)
   \-> Chameleon (sortof-cloaking?)
   \-> Bombard (range++) [ZENITH]
   \-> Siege Engine (power++ & deployment time) [ZENITH]

Fighter
   \-> Bulletproof Fighter (armor)
   \-> Raider (repulsion)
      \-> Raptor (cloaking)
      \-> Teleport Raider (teleport)
   \-> Tachyon microfighter (tachyon)

Missile Frigate (I still dislike "corvette")
   \-> Grenade Launcher (projected AoE)
   \-> Beam Frigate (beam AoE) [ZENITH]
   \-> Spider Bot (Engine Damage)
   \-> Sentinel Frigate (Tachyon)

Tractor (new)
   \-> EtherJet Tractor (cloaking)
   \-> Tractor Platform (refactoring) [SPIRE]
   \-> Widow Tractor (paralyzing tractors)
   
Vorticular Cutlas (not self-damaging)
   \-> Ram (self-damaging and power++) [SPIRE]
   \-> Auto Bomb (self-destruct and AoE) [ZENITH]
   \-> Viral Shredder (self-replicate) [ZENITH]
   \-> Vampire Shadow (cloaking)
      \-> Vampire Lord (+vampirism)
   \-> Vampire Claw (vampirism)
      \-> Vampire Lord (+cloaking)
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 15, 2016, 06:37:51 AM
Simple stat upgrades are pretty boring, tbh. I'd rather be without such things at all. MkI for everyone!
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 07:09:33 AM
Simple stat upgrades are pretty boring, tbh. I'd rather be without such things at all. MkI for everyone!

Hum, well. I used to think that. Well balanced they add a lot to the game. I remember a time where I played starcraft. With the right offensive upgrades (protoss), dark templar one shotted zerglings, and with the right armor (zerg player), they didn't. In fact a lot of situations were the same, in the game... I thought it added a lot to the game. Of course the balance there is going to be waaay more refined than what's possible for AI War II. Not the same money, quantity of dev, units, and players involved. But still, it removed the "simple upgrades = boring" idea from me.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 15, 2016, 07:28:06 AM
Quote
2) From what Chris seems to have in mind, the goal doesn't seem to make a monstruously upgraded ship that has little in common with the base one, rather to enable "base" designs to tweak, and evolve somewhat if necessary against whatever new tool the AI unlocked. I like this vision, a lot. It would not revolutionize the role. You'd have "fighter A" and "fighter B", but both would recognizable as fighters, following the idea that mk1 and mk2 are fighters despite having wildly different stats.

The problem with this is that there's no way to represent that visually, and uniformly.  "Fighter A" and "Fighter B" would still just look like "Fighter", basically.   The Mark system actually didn't do that:  There were 5 marks, EVERY ship that had multiple versions used the exact same 5 symbols (making it super easy to look at and grasp, and this was very, very important) and each mark ONLY represented an increase in base stats.  None of them were "Well at this mark you get 50 armor, but at THIS mark your speed increases and you don't have the armor, but this ship over here does different things at each", which is what you'd get with this new system, and is a huge part of the problem.  With the Mark system, you always always knew that II was better than I, and III was better than II, and so on, each meaning pretty much JUST increases in HP and attack power and general basics... very easy, and totally uniform across all ships. "The next level is better and there are 5 levels" is the one and only thing you need to know about the Mark system. When you unlock your next level of bombers, they're just outright better than the last, period. But there's no way this new system could do any of that, considering the absurd variety of possible upgrades.  It couldn't be uniform, and there'd be too many things to remember because each is not necessarily better than another within the same set of upgrades for a ship, and trying to represent it visually would be a bloody mess.

Having all sorts of different upgrade effects without an easy-to-instantly-spot visual effect in a game as complicated as this one is not a good idea; that's why the first game didn't do this whatsoever.   This goes for player ships and/or AI ships. 

It works in something like StarCraft because the game as a whole is completely different.  StarCraft is EXTREMELY focused on micro and small battles between unit groups, and things like build order.   AI War, on the other hand, doesn't even remotely come close to playing whatsoever like StarCraft; you've got LOTS of different maps to deal with all in one campaign all at the same time on an overall galaxy map, there's asymmetry between different groups, there's tons and tons of special structures, there's just outright TONS more things and much greater complexity from a non-micro standpoint.  There's an enormous amount of things to deal with.  Wheras in StarCraft you tend to be super-focused on A: your base, and B: a few groups of units.... and that's it.   The complexity doesn't come from the same source types as it does in AI War.    And lastly.... you don't get even remotely close to the unit scale with StarCraft as you do with AI War.  200 units in StarCraft is quite a big amount.  In AI War, it's hardly anything at all...  With so many possible things all over the place to look at and mentally grasp, it's important to keep each individual one as distinct as possible, PARTICULARLY from a visual standpoint.

Ugh, if I keep going on about this I'm going to make less and less sense... sorry if this all seems more garbled than usual.  Posting kinda close to bed time here.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 08:11:15 AM
Having all sorts of different upgrade effects without an easy-to-instantly-spot visual effect in a game as complicated as this one is not a good idea; that's why the first game didn't do this whatsoever.   This goes for player ships and/or AI ships. 

What about symbols at the side of the "mark" indicator then ?
You'd have the ship, like before, then the mark, a bit on the left, and one to multiple differentiated icons, showing upgrades ?

If no upgrade, only the mark in the middle.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 15, 2016, 08:22:35 AM
Probably would be too much.  The symbol of the mark system works because there's only one on any given ship.  But if there were the possibility for a bunch more, you'd get this hideous blob of symbols (probably of different colors, too) going all over the place, and the more ships in the area, the worse it'd get, depending on how much upgrading had been done. 
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Tridus on September 15, 2016, 08:27:07 AM
As for 80+ bonus ships in the first game, greater evil it may be, but that one's easily solved:  Just don't have redundant ships this time around.  Make absolutely sure that each individual one has a real purpose and role, and has enough difference between it and other ships before going into the game.  If it doesn't match those conditions, out it goes.   There's certainly no reason for that redundancy, after all, and nobody really likes finding the more boring ships at an advanced research station or whatever anyway, of course.

Just splitting the diffrent races off and giving them their own ships will help this. When you remove the Spire and Zenith versions of things, suddenly there's more room for a Human variant of X that is kinda like the Spire Y but a bit different, since you no longer have access to both at the same time.

For any one given race, the list of what you have should be *significantly* shorter.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 08:51:45 AM
Probably would be too much.  The symbol of the mark system works because there's only one on any given ship.  But if there were the possibility for a bunch more, you'd get this hideous blob of symbols (probably of different colors, too) going all over the place, and the more ships in the area, the worse it'd get, depending on how much upgrading had been done.

That's where I think that Chris wants to, by design, to keep the upgrades, and therefore the icons, to about 2 or 3 max.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 09:08:26 AM
Quickie question:  If hardening means "double health", then what does "The equivalent of 3x hardening built in" mean?  Is that 3 doublings, so 8 times the original HP?

p.s. I think the term "hardening" is a useless complication and would like to just say "6 times HP" or whatever we mean.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 09:17:18 AM
The upgrades can't be taken twice, AFAIK.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Misery on September 15, 2016, 09:24:22 AM
As for 80+ bonus ships in the first game, greater evil it may be, but that one's easily solved:  Just don't have redundant ships this time around.  Make absolutely sure that each individual one has a real purpose and role, and has enough difference between it and other ships before going into the game.  If it doesn't match those conditions, out it goes.   There's certainly no reason for that redundancy, after all, and nobody really likes finding the more boring ships at an advanced research station or whatever anyway, of course.

Just splitting the diffrent races off and giving them their own ships will help this. When you remove the Spire and Zenith versions of things, suddenly there's more room for a Human variant of X that is kinda like the Spire Y but a bit different, since you no longer have access to both at the same time.

For any one given race, the list of what you have should be *significantly* shorter.


Wait, are there going to be different races to play as?  Something like that?

I seriously cant keep up with all this stuff, so I apologize if that's been answered like 10 times elsewhere already.  That design document is always changing, and I've never actually had to work with a design document myself, even during Starward Rogue's development, so I'm a little lost in it to start with.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Tridus on September 15, 2016, 09:35:17 AM
As for 80+ bonus ships in the first game, greater evil it may be, but that one's easily solved:  Just don't have redundant ships this time around.  Make absolutely sure that each individual one has a real purpose and role, and has enough difference between it and other ships before going into the game.  If it doesn't match those conditions, out it goes.   There's certainly no reason for that redundancy, after all, and nobody really likes finding the more boring ships at an advanced research station or whatever anyway, of course.

Just splitting the diffrent races off and giving them their own ships will help this. When you remove the Spire and Zenith versions of things, suddenly there's more room for a Human variant of X that is kinda like the Spire Y but a bit different, since you no longer have access to both at the same time.

For any one given race, the list of what you have should be *significantly* shorter.


Wait, are there going to be different races to play as?  Something like that?

I seriously cant keep up with all this stuff, so I apologize if that's been answered like 10 times elsewhere already.  That design document is always changing, and I've never actually had to work with a design document myself, even during Starward Rogue's development, so I'm a little lost in it to start with.

Yes. Short version: You can play as Human, Spire, or some kind of Neo-Zenith (original Zenith being pretty much extinct, right?). Sounds like play styles will differ between them, such that the Spire may get their huge ships and draw a disproportionately large AI response because of it. Also suggested that there will be a thinning out of all the ships on the Human side to spread them out more amongst the factions, so the Human side won't have a zillion Spire/Zenith ships (but someone could mod them back in pretty easily to the Human faction if they wanted to).

Long version: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19129.0.html
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 10:37:25 AM
The upgrades can't be taken twice, AFAIK.

Oops, my fault for not being more clear.  (It seems I'm incapable of asking a "quickie question", sigh.)

In section 8.a Player-And-AI Ship Designs, the Spire flavor of the Fighter, the Bomber, and several other ships reads  "The equivalent of 3x hardening built in."  This should be reworded to clarify if Spire is a 6x or 8x health increase, or whatever else was intended.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 15, 2016, 10:52:30 AM
The upgrades can't be taken twice, AFAIK.

Oops, my fault for not being more clear.  (It seems I'm incapable of asking a "quickie question", sigh.)

In section 8.a Player-And-AI Ship Designs, the Spire flavor of the Fighter, the Bomber, and several other ships reads  "The equivalent of 3x hardening built in."  This should be reworded to clarify if Spire is a 6x or 8x health increase, or whatever else was intended.

It's an unnamed tech that has the effect of 3x hardening.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 11:00:41 AM
Quote from: skrutsch on Today at 10:37:25 AM
Quote from: kasnavada on Today at 09:17:18 AM
The upgrades can't be taken twice, AFAIK.

Oops, my fault for not being more clear.  (It seems I'm incapable of asking a "quickie question", sigh.)

In section 8.a Player-And-AI Ship Designs, the Spire flavor of the Fighter, the Bomber, and several other ships reads  "The equivalent of 3x hardening built in."  This should be reworded to clarify if Spire is a 6x or 8x health increase, or whatever else was intended.

It's an unnamed tech that has the effect of 3x hardening.

Um, and what does "3x hardening" mean?  If a Human ship has 1000 health, does that mean that the Spire version with "3x hardening" has 8000 health (i.e. doubled thrice) or 6000 health (i.e 2000 x 3), or what?

Evidently "hardening" is hard, for me at least :)
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 11:03:54 AM
In section 7.b Tech Upgrades there are 14 listed, so far.   Pumpkin's "hedge" mentioned some other things that might be good to consider as tech upgrades.  I'm not arguing merits of any of these either way, just making a list:
- deployment time
- teleport
- tachyon
- projected AoE
- beam AoE
- refactoring (tractors)
- paralyzing (tractors)
- self-damage
- self-destruct
- self-replicate
- AoE
- vampirism

My opinion here at the moment is "the more the merrier", using tech costs and Pumpkin's "tech bush per ship type" to keep things organized and prevent/discourage OP combinations.  But if the modders wanna create a self-replicating beam AoE vampiric teleporter I'm all for it.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 11:12:23 AM
1)
In section 7.b Tech Upgrades there are 14 listed, so far.   Pumpkin's "hedge" mentioned some other things that might be good to consider as tech upgrades.  I'm not arguing merits of any of these either way, just making a list:
- deployment time
- teleport
- tachyon
- projected AoE
- beam AoE
- refactoring (tractors)
- paralyzing (tractors)
- self-damage
- self-destruct
- self-replicate
- AoE
- vampirism

My opinion here at the moment is "the more the merrier", using tech costs and Pumpkin's "tech bush per ship type" to keep things organized and prevent/discourage OP combinations.  But if the modders wanna create a self-replicating beam AoE vampiric teleporter I'm all for it.

If you look at the ship list, there is a list of possible upgrades per ship, not everything applies everywhere.

Example: bomber:

Code: [Select]
Bomber   BOMBING CLASS
Basics: lower health and damage, medium speed, vitally important bonuses vs heavy/structural/artillery
This is actually going to be a combination of the following ships from AI War Classic:
Bomber: at core, these are functionally the same.
Space Tank: this can more or less be recreated with Armor tech (kinda, anyway), minus the speed penalty.
Humans:
Available techs (basic): Hardening, Regeneration, Shielding
Available techs (specialized): Armor, Piercing
AI:
The equivalent of hardening and armor built in.
Zenith:
The equivalent of hardening and regeneration built in.
Available techs (specialized): Armor, Piercing
Spire:
The equivalent of 3x hardening built in.
Available techs (specialized): Armor, Piercing

So as I stated earlier... 2-3 techs max, limited tech, no ultra 10000 times upgradable ships.


2) Hence a proposal from last page:
Quote
Back on the "upgrade" idea... I think there could be a simplifications in the upgrade path now that there are "only" 4 - 5 ship categories, to keep the categories upgrade more consistant (Ie: bombers can have "upgrade one", but blitzer can't). I think it could alleviate a lot of concerns that are proposed here. Possibly it's impossible though.
Also, if the "affix / suffix" name are to be kept, I think that the number of different affix / suffix can be kept low enough to be remembered.



3) By the way, I think that the "invisible" "Spire", "Zenith", "Human" (last one does nothing but still) and so on should be shown in the ship name: human fighter, spire bomber...
And it would bring much rejoicing from my part if zenith cache or a similar mechanic are still in the game.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 15, 2016, 11:35:55 AM
Just remember everything in the design doc is subject to change.  Nuts and bolts about some stuff, like how upgrades are going to work, hasn't been worked out.  It's a balance thing that will probably get finalized in testing.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 11:52:50 AM
Granted, Cinth, some of these are lower-level design questions, and I am fine with having none of them being satisfactorily answered right now!  Just more food for thought.

I keep falling into the mental trap of seeing these proposed upgrades like they are in series, like knowing how to build Laser Turret Mk1 allows me to spend science points to unlock how to build Laser Turret Mk2 in AIW Classic, then repeat for Mk2-->Mk3.

Section 7b of the design document reads "...thanks to the combinatorial nature of these tech upgrades."  So these tech upgrades aren't in series, but in parallel, right?

First of all, I believe the 14 ship upgrades we have so far are independent of one another; for instance you don't need to get Forcefield Evasion before getting Engine Bore.  (I don't see a big need for all tech upgrades to be mutually (pairwise!) independent, but it might make things easier.)

Whenever I see "combinatorial" I start asking "does order matter"?    Somebody in this thread mentioned the diamonds you might see in a "tech bush" depending on the order you applied two upgrades to a particular ship. (See Pumpkin's transformation from Vorticular Cutlass to Vampire Lord for an example.)   Should order matter in terms of the final result you get?  (My view, probably not, I like diamonds.)

Should order matter regarding the sum of the costs of the individual upgrades?  (I dunno.)

If a ship can get two or three upgrades, should the cost of each successive upgrade remain unchanged or increase depending on the number of upgrades that that ship type has so far?  Should that cost also depend on the number of upgrades that all your ship types together have so far?   (So do we want to encourage upgrades spread around multiple ship types or concentrated in a few?  Both should be possible choices for the player, but I have no idea which should be "better".)
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 11:55:42 AM
If a ship can get two or three upgrades, should the cost of each successive upgrade remain unchanged or increase depending on the number of upgrades that that ship type has so far?  Should that cost also depend on the number of upgrades that all your ship types together have so far?   (So do we want to encourage upgrades spread around multiple ship types or concentrated in a few?  Both should be possible choices for the player, but I have no idea which should be "better".)

I think exponential cost of upgradesper ship, myself (so no unit gets left behind !), but Cinth got a point in the "it's going to be refined when balancing the game" here.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 12:09:38 PM
So as I stated earlier... 2-3 techs max, limited tech, no ultra 10000 times upgradable ships.

Oh no, I totally agree with all of that, including the different restrictions for different ship types. I'm just seeking completeness, to make sure that teleport, etc. are considered for the master list of all possible upgrades (for appropriate ships and factions, of course).
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 15, 2016, 12:26:29 PM
So as I stated earlier... 2-3 techs max, limited tech, no ultra 10000 times upgradable ships.

Oh no, I totally agree with all of that, including the different restrictions for different ship types. I'm just seeking completeness, to make sure that teleport, etc. are considered for the master list of all possible upgrades (for appropriate ships and factions, of course).

Ah, ok, sorry then, I misunderstood =).
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 15, 2016, 12:32:50 PM
As far as some of the structure for how upgrades are going to look;

You'll have a base set of upgrades that's pretty much good for all the faction ships.  Stuff like Hardening.  Each ship then has "candy tech" that changes how the ship works in different ways.  Those candy techs are likely to be limited to 2 or 3 per ship. 

Overall, I don't see an issue with a ship having 5 upgrades.  In the end, it's going to be something to balance around. 


Don't let the above color the discussion to much as it's subject to change (if something better comes up).
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: PokerChen on September 15, 2016, 03:20:21 PM
That's not a bad proposal, though it does bring up another thing:  The whole system, doing that (or even without that), ends up feeling like a less effective version of ship unlocks in the previous game.  Simply because in that, you just outright get a new ship type to manufacture, no replacements.  The fleet size thus increases as well.  But with this, it'd simply stay the same, since one ship type would entirely vanish to be replaced with a new version, which sounds both less effective and less exciting (since AI War is very big on ship counts and such).  This could of course be done in such a way where the ship cap simply increases upon upgrading, but that kinda sounds a bit arbitrary.

Decoupling total fleet cap from ship design unlocks is a net benefit,  I think. The Classic system nowadays gives only mark-I from an ARS, which is 1/10th the total potential fleet strength, and essentially nothing by mid-game. The full line costs 6,500 knowledge in Classic, which can be split into smaller chunks in the upgrade->transformation system (upgrades being cheaper as they're not adding to total fleet size, with the fleet size increase shunted to a separate mechanic/purchase).

Quote
An Upgrade/Transform tree
I imagine that the radical upgrades are rarely compatible with each other, which simplifies the design burden if we're going to assign these new graphics. Also, the order shouldn't matter. So a fighter "bush" might look like (mostly using Classic ship-types as thing on your foot-ins):
Fighter:
= = = =
Well, if we don't end up deciding to design graphics for each radical upgrade, then it's okay to stack them as much as we want. It's a design decision over game mechanics issue to me, one that I prefer would present radical upgrades as justifying radical new ships, rather than being a stat that's not so easy to find.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: x4000 on September 15, 2016, 04:13:03 PM
Good lord guys, you really are complicating this in my opinion.  Nothing here is swaying me in the slightest at the moment, I have to be honest.

1. If it's too complicated, don't use it.

2. Not using something doesn't mean it shouldn't exist.

3. There are a ton of things that will be in this game that _I_ have no intention of ever using, but I can see why other people would.

4. Insofar as the core goal of "make more memorable few numbers of ships goes," we are indeed doing that, so we're on the same page.

5. Insofar as the "invisible options are hard to remember issue and let's add more graphical clutter," there's no way in heck I'm touching that with a ten-foot pole.  That gets so insanely ugly and even harder to understand very fast.  Loads of games have these sorts of mechanics, from Age of Empires to most every 4X game, and so on.

6. I'm not trying to be inflexible on this, but I think that the core of what people-against-this want is already here: the ability to not use it and still be fine, and for the ships themselves to be more memorable without these things.

7. Overall I think we all need to be accepting of the fact that there will be various ancillary options that we don't value but that other people do, and if those things are already in their simplest possible form (seriously this is an industry staple, not some wild hair I made up), then I'd leave it be.

8. On top of that, if we find problems with having too much clutter of extra stats-only-techs on ships, that's really a during-prototyping sort of issue to deal with.  Right now it's just a theoretical thing on paper, given you haven't even seen the interface, etc.  Let that lie for now, and we'll see how it is.  If it's too cluttered, I won't like that either and will want to cut it down.

9. And lastly, if you wind up diverging in your desires so much from the core thing, then it's not that you-personally need to do a mod, but the group of people who would rather have a different style of tech upgrades can make their own version and use that instead.  And if that seems more popular, heck, perhaps that becomes the new default and my version becomes the mod.  Or both get folded into the main game and are toggle-able via lobby options.  It really doesn't matter.

10. Ultimately you have plenty of time to prove me wrong during the project on this one if you still feel strongly about it once you see it in practice, but I think this one is getting beaten to death with little reason right now.  Unless someone has a wildly new argument, I'm sticking a pin in this one for the design document.  There are much more important issues that need legitimate discussion and revisions, in my opinion (and possibly yours also?).

Cheers. :)
Chris
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: skrutsch on September 15, 2016, 04:29:06 PM
Darn it, Chris, there goes my doctoral thesis!   :) :)

For those like me who just can't get enough of this, I'm going to put my thoughts in the Ideas for Maybe Later subforum here:
https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19143.0.html (https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19143.0.html)
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 16, 2016, 03:20:23 AM
*reiterates that pure numbers upgrades (ie +Armor or +Health) are pretty useless, unimaginative and boring*
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 16, 2016, 03:56:43 AM
Quote from: x4000
[calm down guys]
Okay.
Indeed, my "hedge" thing can be implemented with that system, the mutually-exclusiveness can be a player-enforced-conduct and peoples out there may want tons of small, numerical upgrades and I don't have the right to deny that.
I'm just afraid about prefixes being unclear/cluttering but => We'll see that later. Fine.

I think this whole affair was a syndrome of "I can't wait". At least on my part. The feeling lead to not seeing that (1) different approaches can all be accepted by the game (henge-style, mutually-exclusive-techs, even accumulative-small-numerical-upgrades can be a matter of player choices or mods) and (2) the prototype isn't available yet and we'll all have the time to test and refine that soon (visual clarity included). Fine.

As I said: "can't wait" syndrome.
Thanks for reminding me (us?) that, Chris.
But, honestly, I can't wait!
 :D :D :D

*reiterates that pure numbers upgrades (ie +Armor or +Health) are pretty useless, unimaginative and boring*
I 100% agree with that, but now I remember that I won't be forced to use them. (And the AI won't use them, so it's fine.)
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: x4000 on September 16, 2016, 09:26:10 AM
*reiterates that pure numbers upgrades (ie +Armor or +Health) are pretty useless, unimaginative and boring*

There are a variety of situations where it's a relief to have "super whatevers."  It's not something you'd want to do on all your units, but maybe you've got some killer strategy centering around vampire claws in this game.  Extra health buff on those in that game?  Yes please!

I used to play French in AOE3 and I loved the various numeric upgrades for the economy and the musketeers.  I could just wreck things with the musketeer-spewing powerhouse I would become, and I loved that.  Need unit variety? Pfff.  I'll wreck the whole triangle with those dudes, and hit the later ages first because of it.

In other words, things like that allow for niche playstyles and are opportunities for crazy kinds of player cleverness.  Most of the time you wouldn't want to take those sort of things, which is exactly what a candy tech is.  But when you find that killer combo, it can be sooooo sweet.  For me, part of AI War has always been about providing opportunities for players to express their own cleverness, and these sorts of "boring and mostly ignored" options are one of the key things that allow that.  Similar to how the various glitches and minutiae of mechanics in Mario Maker are what make for the top-level play there.

As I said: "can't wait" syndrome.
Thanks for reminding me (us?) that, Chris.
But, honestly, I can't wait!
 :D :D :D

All good, and makes sense. :D

It's the best sort of "problem" to have, from my end, haha.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Draco18s on September 16, 2016, 11:22:36 AM
*reiterates that pure numbers upgrades (ie +Armor or +Health) are pretty useless, unimaginative and boring*

There are a variety of situations where it's a relief to have "super whatevers."  It's not something you'd want to do on all your units, but maybe you've got some killer strategy centering around vampire claws in this game.  Extra health buff on those in that game?  Yes please!

In other words:
There's nothing wrong with +numbers, but that the options shouldn't be only +numbers.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 16, 2016, 11:34:30 AM
n other words:
There's nothing wrong with +numbers, but that the options shouldn't be only +numbers.

Some of those + numbers aren't even relevant.  The one for tractor beams for example.  The number there is just a balance thing, the upgrade is getting the tractor beam.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Draco18s on September 16, 2016, 11:40:23 AM
Well. Yes.
What I meant by +numbers is the "MOAR HEALTH, MOAR DAMAGE" upgrades.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 16, 2016, 11:56:10 AM
In other words:
There's nothing wrong with +numbers, but that the options shouldn't be only +numbers.
I would even say that the VAST majority of upgrades should not be pure numbers.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Cinth on September 16, 2016, 12:08:02 PM
Well. Yes.
What I meant by +numbers is the "MOAR HEALTH, MOAR DAMAGE" upgrades.
I would even say that the VAST majority of upgrades should not be pure numbers.

One thing to note is that all the upgrades aren't on the design doc yet ;)

Quote
Here’s the list so far

Hardening, Armor, Range Increase, and Speed Increase are numbers boosts.  The rest are mechanical in nature. 

Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: kasnavada on September 16, 2016, 12:09:46 PM
Well. Yes.
What I meant by +numbers is the "MOAR HEALTH, MOAR DAMAGE" upgrades.

Those are kind of taken by the mark mechanism anyway.
Title: Re: Upgrades again
Post by: Pumpkin on September 16, 2016, 01:31:43 PM
Okay for numerical upgrades. You sold me at "Super Vampire Claws". ;D