Author Topic: [Discussion] Scouting  (Read 2488 times)

Offline ptarth

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[Discussion] Scouting
« on: June 05, 2015, 12:12:54 PM »
Chris suggested we talk about scouting and what to do with them.
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=16325

One of the things Chris has trying to accomplish is to not have buildings that become useless. In this regard scouts have an odd place. Originally they could see anywhere and after a few hundred turns would be able to scout the entire map, at which point they were useless. So Chris has suggested we think about it.

Thought 1
Give all military buildings a combined Arms bonuses.
Helipad +25% attackers per wave to adjacent
Barracks +25% damage to adjacent
Scout +1 range to adjacent
Air Cargo -25% energy costs to adjacent

Same sort of bonuses to defensive buildings and interception.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2015, 12:19:13 PM »
that idea wouldn't stop scouts becoming useless it would just make it take longer personally I've just had an idea my self what the if scouting information decayed over time? other than I don't think its possible to stop scouts from never topping becoming useful unless you did weird things with their mechanics like giving the ability to produce strawberry's for you.
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Offline ptarth

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2015, 12:28:02 PM »
I really hate the decaying idea. In this case, scouts would not become useless because they have two functions. They also extend the range of your other military buildings. Right now Missiles and Helipads are the dominant attacks because of the range (and damage). This would help barracks keep up with the others.
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Offline Shrugging Khan

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2015, 12:31:50 PM »
I'm for both the adjacency boni AND the fog-of-war. Both seem like good ideas, to me.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2015, 12:32:42 PM »
I love the idea of decaying, but I'd call if fog or war, personally.

Basically scouting would reveal information, and the only "constant" information you would have would be your districts.


Ptarth, your idea would not work unless it was possible to "target" other buildings to boost them and / or to move them. It also would suggest to build as many scouts as you can have "active" military buildings. I don't personally like it, but could maybe work.

Offline ptarth

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2015, 01:18:07 PM »
Ptarth, your idea would not work unless it was possible to "target" other buildings to boost them and / or to move them. It also would suggest to build as many scouts as you can have "active" military buildings. I don't personally like it, but could maybe work.

For some reason it seems that we have enormous trouble communicating kasnavada.

The system would work the same way all other adjacency bonuses work. All buildings adjacent to the Scouting Station would have a +1 range bonus. So you would end up building your core military buildings in the center, surrounded by scouting stations to provide a range extensions. These would be similar to the barrack/guardpost/helipad building arrangements that the AI used to place. You would then use these arrangements to project power into areas. It would also reduce the number of times you'd bulldoze and replace them, because of the additional reach provided by the range adjacency bonus. Maximally you'd end up with a range +6 bonus by surrounding a building with scout stations, and that is probably too much, so having a maximum range for all military would perhaps be necessary (something like a maximum range of 12). Similar to how each race gets a military specialization that increases the range of a type of building. So even if you were the Evucks (who have pilot culture granting +2 or +3 to range) you could still get your barracks to have more range by surrounding them with scouting stations. However, in this example, because your helipads already have maximum range, surrounding them by scouting stations would not increase their range.

In regards to fog of war, this has been discussed a few times already in the forum. To summarize, Chris does not want fog of war. There are a couple of people who keep bringing it up. I really don't like the idea, because it doesn't add anything. The game isn't about troop movement, so fog of war doesn't seem to add anything but extra things to manage, without anything compelling about it. The end result would be I'd have to build X% more scouting stations to see through the fog. Or I wouldn't care and not build any.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 01:40:54 PM »
1 it seems I misinterpreted your idea I thought initially that the idea were for the buildings to receive a bonus by being next a war building but not give the bonus sorry about that now I actually understand your idea Is pretty awesome 2 It didn't occur to me that my idea was basically fog of war in till I started reading the replies makes me sad really every time I come up with terrible awesome idea it seems to get shot down (most of the time any way).
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2015, 01:46:19 PM »
Sorry about this time. I didn't explain anything of what I thought and just wrote my feelings about it. ;) My mind is dumb sometimes.


I think I understand how it would work and what you proposed. I find that an adjacency bonus of +1 range to be completely OP and therefore would not work, ever. From what I've seen in the game, it seems to allow free attacks with no possible retaliations, requires a complete rework of the spawn mechanic and of the rogue mechanic - as those IMO are heavily tied to the range of attackers and defenders. A "max" range limit would help, but I fear not enough. And, in addition to the military buildings, it would require scouting buildings everywhere, basically, because if the game is "tailored" toward having this bonus the player will be underpowered without it. So probably be on average at least 1 scout station / military building or something.

Therefore I explored the idea of targetting with a 1 target limit as an heavy nerf to your idea. I don't come out of it convinced. About that part I supposed like for a lot of buildings there was a population cap or something, but after testing in game there is not.

Is that clearer ?



Too bad about fog of war.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 01:53:12 PM by kasnavada »

Offline kasnavada

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2015, 02:48:16 PM »
Ok....

I parsed a few of the threads where Chris speaks of fog of war. I'd suggest to adapt what offworld trading company did. It seems it would somewhat match his thoughts.

Video in French (sorry) from about 4 minutes to 10 minutes, about what is done there :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z9ozWqI4yI

So I'd propose:
- replicate the "pulse" mechanic into explorer camp (give 1 shot, then destroys itself)
- replicate the "pulse" mechanic into scout camp (give 2 shot, then destroys itself)
- have the "pulse" give a temporary boost to damage in explored area (use for end-game and reconnaissance "strikes" to increase strike accuracy makes sense). Maybe a boost to police work. Or disease control. Or you get the idea.

Otherwise sight grows by 1 tile per turn from the lander. Lore : some kind of overhead satellite getting image feed back of the planet's surface.

We could also add the "pulse" mechanic to the "lander positionning" phase at a cost of let's say 5000 crowns / pulse. Maybe less.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 03:14:29 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Cinth

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2015, 04:25:25 PM »
Just my 2 cents.  Active abilities don't really have a place here.  I don't like that idea at all.  The adjacency bonus idea would work just fine if you could have placement restrictions on how close scouts can be to each other, meaning you can't have 6 boosting one building.  The idea is to give them lasting purpose but not make them something you want to spam.  Building spam is bad, m'kay ;)

Idea: scout + barracks = a kind of air cavalry (same attack as barracks but moves like a helipad/ with helipad range).

That with placement restrictions, you get a nice bonus for the barracks and scouts stay functional. 
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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 kasnavada

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2015, 04:35:49 PM »
I think you're underestimating the balance issues that are caused by an increase in range in an otherwise mostly "symetrical" environment.
The more I think about that +range bonus the more I think of possible harmful repercussions, and the more I dislike it.


About whether "active" abilities not having a place, the explore pulse is already there in a slightly different form, an EMP bomb is being considered (from Mantis) and basically all attacks are active abilities. Still, it's not really required. There might also be in Arcen's guys head other active ability ideas somewhere. It's the purpose of the whole energy mechanic as far as I can tell.


Anyway, other idea: instead of tying scouts to the military, why not tie it to the range of civilian buildings, like police or hazmat ?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 04:39:30 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Cinth

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2015, 04:56:19 PM »
I think you're underestimating the balance issues that are caused by an increase in range in an otherwise mostly "symetrical" environment.
The more I think about that +range bonus the more I think of possible harmful repercussions, and the more I dislike it.

My military presence consists of missile silos.  That's pretty much all I build unless something comes along that requires something else.  Usually that something else is helipads.  Barracks are there for what?

Quote
About whether "active" abilities not having a place, the explore pulse is already there in a slightly different form, an EMP bomb is being considered (from Mantis) and basically all attacks are active abilities. Still, it's not really required. There might also be in Arcen's guys head other active ability ideas somewhere. It's the purpose of the whole energy mechanic as far as I can tell.

I probably have something different in mind when active abilities are brought up.
I have no idea what you mean by "explore pulse", you can tell your scouts where to scout, but that's no different than ordering your military to attack.  EMP is likely to be like the cobalt bomb, a building that has an attack that does an emp blast.

Quote
Anyway, other idea: instead of tying scouts to the military, why not tie it to the range of civilian buildings, like police or hazmat ?

I'd rather not have to take up civ space for a building that I usually place outside the district limits.  Might as well not have the bonus at all then.  Military and non-distrct buildings have ways of being built "outside the walls". 

But then again, it was just my 2 cents.
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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 crazyroosterman

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2015, 05:28:34 PM »
I have to agree since the last few patches I really haven't had much of a reason to build barracks only time I can see you wanting to build those is when your trying to wipe out a race and the last thing you need to kill of is their underground buildings.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2015, 05:38:05 PM »
My military presence consists of missile silos.  That's pretty much all I build unless something comes along that requires something else.  Usually that something else is helipads.  Barracks are there for what?

I agree about that part, but that does not contradict what I'm saying. Currently the whole game is unbalanced and whole concepts are missing. Once balanced properly, the barracks should hopefully have it's right place, as will other buildings. So... don't take it wrong, but basing the current state of the game instead of the balanced polished state at game's end is probably not the way to look at this problem right.

I'm working from the idea that the combat system is balanced. What would bonus to ranged attack do ? Also, what has this done to similar games ?

Quote
I'd rather not have to take up civ space for a building that I usually place outside the district limits.  Might as well not have the bonus at all then.  Military and non-distrct buildings have ways of being built "outside the walls".

Got a point there. How about tying boosting civilian buildings to targetting ? So you place outside of city limits at start, and then the units are reconverted to civilian use.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 05:45:25 PM by kasnavada »

Offline Cinth

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Re: [Discussion] Scouting
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2015, 05:47:44 PM »
I'm basing my suggestions around those suggestions from those whom have been in beta longer than we have.  There was a working model with combat between the AIs and players.  I'm making an assumption that it was generally ok there (but needed changes to feel better).

I honestly can't think of a way to give scouts a civilian bonus that would fit them thematically, hence the military idea.
And I don't think adding a few points of range to barracks troops would be game breaking.  And it wouldn't be in a vacuum, it would come with placement restrictions for the scouts.

I would imagine that anything like this should not make you want to place a lot more scouts than you usually would.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
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.