Author Topic: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits  (Read 1382 times)

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2016, 04:40:43 AM »
Okay so I'm looking over the planet change suggestion and I like it. It adds a lot of interesting considerations to a lot of player behavior. One caveat: most systems in AI War had multiple wormholes while this seems to assume that a solar system will just have one wormhole. With just one wormhole in a system, a player can jump from system to system with impunity, meaning the AI can't intercept an army on the way to a factory except in the system where the factory is. I don't think taking the strategy out of galactic travel is in the games interest, especially when the same is true of the giant threatball that just entered my home system from the AI homeworld.

I dislike fuel though because it adds a mechanic that is similar to one that already exists (energy and metal) without representing something very different.

Boding well, minor factions work a lot like I'd hoped they would.

Hm. I had more but it's late. I'll see about having the lore record proposition to you sometime tomorrow. Anything in particular you want me to note down, and do we want to keep it to the games that are connected? Or is AVWW something we want in this? How about Exodus?

Offline zharmad

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2016, 04:54:53 AM »
On (terra)train and planning suggestions now.

Having solar systems is emphatically good for the game:
- ceates more believability and context.
- creates two distinct levels of geographical interest, planets in a system are the hill-160s on a battlefield, systems represent battlefields worth fighting over.
- allows far more interesting wormhole mechanics than the three on the design doc.

Responses to negative player feedback (since I'm explicitly biased):
- the total number of planets and systems can easily be changed at will. This is not a hindrance to MP play.
- The new unit of ownership is entire systems, so please adjust your experience to compare the old planets with the new systems, and not to every planet in the system. Chris said explicitly in the design doc that the overall push is to streamline play, and that means but increasing overall playtime.
- This means, annoying strategic roadblocks like Grav Drills will NOT be present on every planet of the system. There will still be one per system,  which in AIW2 means less overall if the classic density is kept
- how travel works can also be discussed at length, there are many variations and I'm confident we can arrive at a satisfactory solution if we agree that in principle solar systems are interesting enough to talk about it

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2016, 05:21:51 AM »
@Zharmad, if you want to be the "answer", then IMO, "I'm confident that a solution can be found" if the mindset that failed SBR. So... either you have a solution or you don't. In any case, I'm all for making the game faster. I just don't see it happening with how the idea is presented here.
(solar system that is)

(fuel & energy, overall, I'm in favor).

About the subject itself, I now see more why platforms were thought of an idea. They solve a lot of issues related to systems / planets.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 05:30:02 AM by kasnavada »

Offline Steelpoint

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2016, 06:04:59 AM »
If the concept of fuel serves to be a major issue then perhaps allow the player to toggle it off? 'Armageddon Empires' does something similar where armored units need energy as fuel but its a optional game modifier that can be turned off or on. Though I think the initial concept of fuel is sound as it encourages more tactical thinking in fleet deployments.

The Solar System concept seems great in concept. Also I really think the idea of making all incoming Wormholes to a system just go through a single wormhole is a positive change, since in the base AI War you're always trying to set your defenses up in a way that AI forces travel in one single line, making there being only a single entrance gets rid of some juggling of defenses and mines.

(I also imagine certain planets offer better advantages, like Gas Planets being better for Fuel Mining)

The implications of Human sub-factions along with the player at game start also gives a bit of a implication towards the early game and the plot. My theory seems to be that you start the game near the end of the AI's apocalyptic charge against the Human forces, whereas AI War 1 takes place three weeks later.




Offline zharmad

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2016, 06:36:20 AM »
Hang on, I'm going to upload some thought on, e.g., how gate raiding can work. Will write description when I next get internet.

Offline Tridus

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2016, 08:30:35 AM »
If the concept of fuel serves to be a major issue then perhaps allow the player to toggle it off? 'Armageddon Empires' does something similar where armored units need energy as fuel but its a optional game modifier that can be turned off or on. Though I think the initial concept of fuel is sound as it encourages more tactical thinking in fleet deployments.

Makes sense to me. That seems like an easy toggle option. I'd leave it on, personally.

Offline zharmad

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2016, 09:34:22 AM »
    Damn image conventions, why are they rotated?
    So, the three images are illustrations of how gate raiding may be conducted in the sequel, depending on the each of the three options on the design doc. Please mix and match as needed depending on your opinions, and raise problems.

Spoiler for "Notepad A":
In A, the wormholes do not orbit, but the planets do. Here, I think it is easiest to just make the entire system one playing field (kasnavada and many 4X). This is mostly identical to classic, except you replace mineral deposits with orbiting planets, and add in-system jumps. Wormhole generators here serve only to speed up AI jump speeds.
  • The player jumps in and arrives at static entry point somewhere in the system. Turrets/defenders can be placed here.
  • As longs as shops are not near any planet, they can consume fuel to travel at a very fast speed.
  • Repositioning and retreat requires ships to leave the planet well so as to benefit from the above. Running out of fuel will be painfully slow but rarely lethal.
How this is faster than classic:
  • fuel-based in-system jumps removes most of the downtime where you are waiting for your fleet to reach the next guard post.
  • Although the average system will be larger than a classic planet in term of playing field size, each planet will be less complicated. You don't have to teach specific wormholes in-system, you just have to reach an edge..
  • Repositioning within your territory still depends on distance between wormholes, so isn't particularly reliable on the reinforcement side.

Spoiler for Hidden:
In B, the wormholes are tied to the planet. Here, we adopt Stellaris hyperlane mechanics, and complicate hate -raiding to slow it down (each wormhole connection is independent). We will keep the solar system as in the design doc, but make each planetary playing field much smaller: say smaller than a fortress's range.
  • The player jumps through one of the incoming wormholes, and immediately engages local defenders and the AI wormhole generator associated with this wormhole. This prevents the AI from using that wormhole to chase, as they don't control a generator at either side.
  • Ships can use fuel to jump from anywhere in the planetary grav well, but require a charge-up time to do so (provided that it isn't disabled). Arrival at the target planet will be at the edge.
  • Since each wormhole link will need to be individually disabled. This allows the AI more time to catch up.
  • Inter system jumps may or not require ship to be physically present at the wormhole. Not sure, but hyperlane mechanics imply that burning the bridge is the main method to secure a safe retreat.
How this is faster than classic:
  • No planetary travel when players are simply jumping from planet to planet, only charge up time, which can be set to, say, 10s without interference+ time to reach next planet. This means your never wait for those speed 44 missile frigates/golems to catch up unless assaulting the enemy.
  • This solution strongly encourages technology that traps ships so as to prevent/delay them escaping a planet. Stellaris hyperlanes are super fast in practice - in my experience, it was the most enjoyable warp type in combat across multiple grav wells, but needed more Sins-style grav traps to catch fleeing enemies.
  • We can substitute a single wormhole instead of one for each lane. In that case the generator should probably be rather difficult to destroy.
  • Lack of fuel will trap you, perhaps to die.

Spoiler for Hidden:
In C, we try to develop a way to keep some reliability while still keeping the "arrive on nearest edge" philosophy. To prevent fleets from regularly scattering themselves across the system (because they aren't in the same place or jump at exactly the same time), travel within friendly territory is generally done by centralised wormhole anchors. So if you control one such anchor in the system, everybody jumps there, and jumps faster.
  • When the attacking player first jumps into the system. They emerge at the closest grav well
  • In system jumps occur either at the edge of the grav well, OR at the anchor of you control it.
  • So the defending player always has a strong travel time advantage, instead of the location advantage of other options. In this setup, the AI will generally be able to reinforce faster from adjacent systems' anchors via galactic network than planets on the same system, shifting the gameplay towards the special forces and roaming threat fleets.
How this is faster than classic:
  • The wormhole anchoring network takes the role of old Logistic Command Stations, and will not need knowledge unlocks. It makes repositioning much faster, and consistent, as fleets simply jump in and out.
  • This means if the AI death fleet is three systems away, you know exactly how much time you have left to take out the local anchor.
  • However, the game can end up being pitched battles around one main planet per system, with mop up. In actual attacks, players should focus on the AI anchor and set up a beachhead to switch the travel time advantage.
[/list]
« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 09:59:38 AM by zharmad »

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2016, 09:36:13 AM »
A small, additional bit of thought.

I realized why I'm rather... "timorous" with these ideas: they slightly shift the game toward the 4X genre, and I mainly appreciate it for its RTS and TowerDef aspects. I hope the game will stay "simple" and even become more coherent and easy to grasp. I'm afraid of seeing more "management" in its core gameplay. And fuel feels like management, at least as far as I understand it.
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Offline Tridus

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2016, 09:57:04 AM »
I'm not sure about no fuel in neutral systems. It seems like a weird distinction. What is the AI doing that makes you burn fuel that doesn't exist anywhere else?

I'm thinking it may work like a modified extension of supply.  Logistically speaking, fuel usage at your planets could happen but it makes it fiddly in that you're able to refuel in those systems.  You can extend that supply line to neutral systems because the threat to the lines are low.  You can't extend into AI territory this way because those fuelers can't, or rather won't, travel through hostile space.

But that doesn't make any sense, logically, because the fuel is stored in tanks on planets. If I have supply lines and can resupply fuel, why is it not costing fuel?

It makes more sense to me only on your/allied worlds, because maybe the command station does something to stabalize the transit lanes and make them free to navigate. That wouldn't exist on neutral or AI worlds, so on those you need to expend your fuel.

Also creates a potential tech upgrade to reduce fuel costs for a ship/class of ships/ships being escorted by a transport, which would give those ships an effective range increase for deep strikes and neutral territory traversal.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2016, 10:00:10 AM »
@pumpkin
Fuel as written there would only impact the player when striking / moving through enemy planets. Anything in neutral / allied / own territory = no fuel.
It's a mechanic that would limit the "island hopping" style of play to more reasonable level, "forcing" the player to have a more contiguous empire if possible, and deep strikes.
That's it.

Maybe it should be called supply, it would make a LOT more sense.

@planets:
I think the "best" mechanic there is to exploit them following how it's done in sins. Claim then build on it, via a "simple" upgrade menu, if upgrades are necessary (I don't think they would be, but why not). Setting buildings to "exploit" planets is the same thing but with more micro and clutter.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 10:03:03 AM by kasnavada »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2016, 10:12:40 AM »
@Zharmad: A has my vote, and not because my name's in it.

I think it ties with some possibilities I placed in this thread:
https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19075.0.html

Offline chemical_art

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2016, 10:12:48 AM »
I prefer supply myself  over fuel. Would fit terminology of other games me.

I view supply has any sort being delivered to ships via npc (invisible) civilians that happily resupply safe world's but ai world's also have invisible ships that act as raiders.

Taking a step back I do wonder if the work needed to develop this resource, both in making it and learning it, is worth the payout. It hurts the player in making deep strikes and can hurt the AI through astroglide trains. The former will trip up new players and the latter can use other existing resources (reinforcement points).
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Offline Tridus

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2016, 10:19:27 AM »
Having read through it again, I like both of these. Solar systems will make the map look a lot more interesting and provide some neat things to try and do.

Making power local makes a ton of sense. Fuel/supply/whatever is something that could provide its own limitation on deep strikes, which might make it less necessary to have a special AI response just for that (which was always kinda weird).

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2016, 10:45:38 AM »
I'm reading the design document as Chris edits it. I will love the new definition of solar systems.
 ;)
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Offline x4000

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Re: AI War II: Design Document Updates 5: Fuel and Solar Systems and Orbits
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2016, 11:02:32 AM »
Awesome!  Glad the new one is sounding more positive.  Thanks for all the discussion in this thread, folks -- lots of good thoughts in here, and they helped steer revised designs.  Since that's a breaking point in the discussion, I've created a new thread here: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19077.0.html

Once again I'm locking a thread just to redirect the discussion, not to censor anything.  Thank you so much for all your help!
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