Author Topic: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!  (Read 1186 times)

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 01:55:35 AM »
The amount of micro this will encourage will is unbelievable. When every ship is an irreplaceable resource you're going to baby every mk 1 fighter in every engagement. Refleet time goes down. Strategy time is replaced by tactics time.
This is the very reason I'm against this. It'd be optimal to supermicro every battle in order to not lose any ships. Just no.

This would also favor greatly low cap ships rather than high cap ships. Not in favor. I like huge fleets.

Offline zharmad

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2016, 02:08:00 AM »
One of the only ways, I see, to make the pilots and crew idea work in AI War is to edge it closer to cap-ship warfare: require only starships but not fleetships to be crewed, then make them better protected so as to give players a decent chance at preserving all the crew even in a losing battle. By better protected, I mean multiple layers such as shields and sacrificial units and the such.

This at least gives players methods to not commit limiting/vulnerable resources to some engagements.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2016, 03:15:05 AM »
Just a slightly-related (not even slightly-unrelated).

I always pretended, in my games, that ships were remotely controlled by humans pilots in my home command station. The ship cap was (pretendedly) because of the limited number of remote-pilots. That personal fantasy had problems with explaining cap for Younglings or the magically newly available pilots when downloading a new design or unlocking a high mark ship, but, eh... personal fantasy.
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

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 04:02:36 AM »
Just a slightly-related (not even slightly-unrelated).

I always pretended, in my games, that ships were remotely controlled by humans pilots in my home command station. The ship cap was (pretendedly) because of the limited number of remote-pilots. That personal fantasy had problems with explaining cap for Younglings or the magically newly available pilots when downloading a new design or unlocking a high mark ship, but, eh... personal fantasy.
It's all based on a limited number of control chips and associated infrastructure, which you can no longer produce and need to recover from conquered AI planets and research stations. :P So the bottleneck isn't on the number of remote pilots but the number of ships they can safely control at once.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2016, 04:05:33 AM »
Just a slightly-related (not even slightly-unrelated).

I always pretended, in my games, that ships were remotely controlled by humans pilots in my home command station. The ship cap was (pretendedly) because of the limited number of remote-pilots. That personal fantasy had problems with explaining cap for Younglings or the magically newly available pilots when downloading a new design or unlocking a high mark ship, but, eh... personal fantasy.
It's all based on a limited number of control chips and associated infrastructure, which you can no longer produce and need to recover from conquered AI planets and research stations. :P So the bottleneck isn't on the number of remote pilots but the number of ships they can safely control at once.
Nice! Where do you took that from? I don't remember it's a cannon thing. Is it your "personal fantasy"? Or is my knowledge of the game's lore that abysmal?
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

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2016, 04:27:01 AM »
I invented it for my half an AAR years ago. I imagined it as a part of the overall safeguards against further AI takeover (e.g. humans used to have guard posts, but their design was fundamentally vulnerable to hacking like Java and Flash are today. Turrets are their safe replacement).

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2016, 05:02:30 AM »

The last thing? I don't like the idea of being a commander sending tons of my people to their deaths. That might sound weird, but it's just uncomfortable and not fun for me. I'm trying to save humanity, not wipe out a generation of it because I absolutely had to hold this objective no matter the cost. I expect that won't be a typical reaction, and that's fine. For me? This is deeply unappealing on a lot of levels, hence the kneejerk reaction. Background on that: in tabletop RPGs, I favor playing the healer or some support/protective role. My favorite ship in AI War is the one that makes other ships not die (and those are just drones!). In Space Pirates And Zombies, I always try to rescue all the guys who pop out of ships when you blow them up.

On top of all the gameplay objections, I've got a visceral dislike of potentially losing a game because I got every pilot humanity has killed. (As I said, I don't expect that to be a common objection.)

This is actually a concern of mine as well. On one hand, I play Imperial Guard in 40k, so grimdark "drown them in bodies" is not entirely repulsive to me, but AI War never seemed like that kind of grimdark. One of the things that I feel is core to its design is huge fleets smashing into each other, and, while that makes sense for 40k humanity to have these fleets be manned, it seems unrealistic to have in a game like AI War where humanity's state is closer to the Eldar than to the Imperium. If I were the commander, I'd want to keep every human life as safe as possible.

To some extent, making every lost ship valuable seems thematically appropriate. Careful use of resources and all that. But the pilots solution seems incompatible with the aforementioned massive battles, both from a gameplay standpoint - the bigger the battle, the more casualties you'll take and your permanent losses will be worse - and from a fluff standpoint, since it makes no sense to throw thousands of members of an endangered species into combat. I mean, imagine if every trash Mk. I fighter you lost was another human life gone. It would make any engagement feel extremely irresponsible and kind of leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It could be done if you just use elite, low-cap ships that you'd ordinarily play more conservatively with, or if you just ran away whenever you saw an enemy force you might not beat, but that's not AI War to me.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 05:04:07 AM by Coppermantis »
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2016, 08:22:49 AM »
I just thought that it would also make starship-only strategy immensely viable. Even with a ratio similar to the metal ratio (if there is 1 pilot in a 1,000 metal ship, there are 100 pilots in a 100,000 metal starship), abusing starships will be a huge advantage because of the retreat & repair strategy. They must have a special rule or something, and that already seems a patch over a patch.
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 skrutsch

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 08:29:11 AM »
Trying to help grab a principle from this discussion...

Are "we" realizing the need for some game element(s) that are finite (to apply pressure to drive toward the end of the game), yet not prone to micromanagement?

Pilots are too precious not to micro, and their loss too morbid.

Ships are finite in the sense of cap limits, but they may or may not be infinitely rebuildable.

Metal seems workable... plentiful, necessary, but finite.  (However, I feel this "Warcraft model" lacks a certain elegance I expect from an Arcen game.)

Turret/defense on a planet should be finite, I know they can be insanely so in AIW Classic.  Is micro relatively low, more of a "reload last saved game" thing?

This thread has also mentioned AIP, hacking points, science points as resources that are already finite in AIW Classic.  There are several other resources and several "time" resources that could also be examined, if it helps anyone in their thinking.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2016, 08:35:25 AM »
I'm going to point out here that the original idea as presented, is effectively dead.  Reasons being a bit numerous and mostly covered. 

Well, folks have brought up a lot of really valid points, and it definitely would change things up too much.  I think it would be fun to play with from a design perspective, but it would be a "that's not AI War" scenario, you're right.

Later on before I read any responses, I realized a couple of things myself, too:

1. The deal with pilots is really a lot more thematic, and something that I like for those reasons more than anything else.

2. The limitations with metal don't have to be related to pilots at all.  A much simpler revision to the game would be simply:
a. Increase the ship construction speed.
b. Make each metal pile have a finite amount in it like you see in Warcraft II.
c. In the event that the player has next to no metal and no way to get more from their current planets, the AI goes Kill Bill on the player.

That's a lot less drastic and would be easier to play around with either as a game variant (lobby option) or whatever, without destroying the core of the game.  It still wouldn't fix the core issues, and it doesn't mess with the thematic stuff I wanted to explore, but it is something I kinda like in some ways in the same way that I like the Scorched Earth option in AI War Classic.

Let's use #2 as a new starting point.
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Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline NickAragua

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2016, 09:41:57 AM »
I'm going to point out here that the original idea as presented, is effectively dead.  Reasons being a bit numerous and mostly covered. 

Well, folks have brought up a lot of really valid points, and it definitely would change things up too much.  I think it would be fun to play with from a design perspective, but it would be a "that's not AI War" scenario, you're right.

Later on before I read any responses, I realized a couple of things myself, too:

1. The deal with pilots is really a lot more thematic, and something that I like for those reasons more than anything else.

2. The limitations with metal don't have to be related to pilots at all.  A much simpler revision to the game would be simply:
a. Increase the ship construction speed.
b. Make each metal pile have a finite amount in it like you see in Warcraft II.
c. In the event that the player has next to no metal and no way to get more from their current planets, the AI goes Kill Bill on the player.

That's a lot less drastic and would be easier to play around with either as a game variant (lobby option) or whatever, without destroying the core of the game.  It still wouldn't fix the core issues, and it doesn't mess with the thematic stuff I wanted to explore, but it is something I kinda like in some ways in the same way that I like the Scorched Earth option in AI War Classic.

Let's use #2 as a new starting point.

Well, except there's the problem that the AI has an infinite number of ships. I don't like the idea of the human players having finite resources but the AI having unlimited resources.

Of course, if you give the AI limited resources, it'll squander them (because it always does) on building the crappiest possible units and sending them at your base one at a time.

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2016, 10:15:47 AM »
Quote
2. The limitations with metal don't have to be related to pilots at all.  A much simpler revision to the game would be simply:
a. Increase the ship construction speed.
b. Make each metal pile have a finite amount in it like you see in Warcraft II.
c. In the event that the player has next to no metal and no way to get more from their current planets, the AI goes Kill Bill on the player.

I don't see the difference between the pilot idea and this, except that now you're also limiting the number of turrets & building.
Me -> possibly missing something here.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2016, 10:54:33 AM »
Quote
2. The limitations with metal don't have to be related to pilots at all.  A much simpler revision to the game would be simply:
a. Increase the ship construction speed.
b. Make each metal pile have a finite amount in it like you see in Warcraft II.
c. In the event that the player has next to no metal and no way to get more from their current planets, the AI goes Kill Bill on the player.

I don't see the difference between the pilot idea and this, except that now you're also limiting the number of turrets & building.
Me -> possibly missing something here.

Kind of my reaction. I'd almost suggested Chris's thing of "limited metal" but it brought me to roughly the same conclusion:
Highly defensive play, restrictions on being able to build/maintain turrets, plus "running out" isn't actually an end-game scenario.

That is, if your metal deposits run out just as your fleet finishes reconstruction, you're in a fairly superior position, but the AI goes apeshit on you, chewing through your last mobile possibility of claiming another planet.

And if there's any kind of orbiting scrap mechanic (dead units on your planet being harvestable for metal) then it just encourages turtling to build up your supply again.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 10:56:51 AM by Draco18s »

Offline Yavaun

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Re: Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2016, 09:49:15 PM »
Too radical!

Seriously, it's a neat idea for the theme but large scale all out wars and macromanagement of your economy / production is a core of the game for me. With limited number of ships, why not take a step further and turn it from an RTS into a RTT?

The two resources which end the game are time and AIP. Throwing away your ships is already discouraged, exactly because it takes time to rebuild them - time you spend in a weakened and vulnerable position. A finite goldmine in Warcraft only works because it's the same finite number for every player on the map. A finite computer center in Wargames (the RTS) works because combat happens on a much smaller scale and you can micro your units with such finesse that you will never lose a single one.
These are completely different concepts to what AI War is and they don't mix well imho.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 09:58:26 PM by Yavaun »