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Starsector => General Discussion => Blog Posts => Topic started by: Alex on August 16, 2018, 11:19:18 AM

Title: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 16, 2018, 11:19:18 AM
Blog post here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2018/08/16/raids-bombardments-and-planetary-defenses/).
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Mr_7 on August 16, 2018, 11:28:34 AM
Awesome work.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: NITROtbomb on August 16, 2018, 11:38:07 AM
Heyyy Nice!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Harmful Mechanic on August 16, 2018, 11:41:57 AM
Hurrah, new post. Glad to see you're feature-complete for this release, now we just have to nailbite until you actually put it out.

This is cool. How do NPC raids work? Will we be able to set raid type/effectiveness in faction files?

I could definitely see, say, the Sindrian Diktat and Pathers favoring saturation bombardments, while pirates and Tri-tach prefer targeted resource raids, while the Persean League and Hegemony launch tactical bombardments.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cyan Leader on August 16, 2018, 11:44:49 AM
Any special sounds/animation effects play out when selecting raiding/bombardment, especially the evil kind?
Something on this scale deserves something more than just a button click in my opinion.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Tartiflette on August 16, 2018, 11:54:21 AM
Sounds pretty good, I kind of wish there was some granularity involved with bombardment like there is with the raids themselves, especially on the fuel side but with vastly diminishing results. "You have 58% of the fuel necessary, bombardment efficiency reduced to 15%" kind of deal. Obviously the issue is that you have to keep some fuel in reserve for the return trip which makes me wonder why choose that resource in the first place? A dedicated one would have interesting implication too: you might not be able to acquire it if you are enemy with the factions that produce it (that might even get outraged if you use it), it takes valuable storage space while currently a Prometheus seems enough to level quite a few colonies by itself, it avoid some unfortunate situation where you find yourself stranded after a bombardment...

Quote
Given the scope of this release, that’ll probably take longer than usual, too, but still – progress!
Well, we might have time for a September Fleet Building Tournament after all.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 16, 2018, 12:02:24 PM
My first thought after reading this: "Well, I'm sure Megas will be happy to finally be able to bomb out all the pre-existing colonies.  >.<"
My second thought: "...That's -really- not an option I see myself ever using."
My third thought: "Unless maybe if we find a REDACTED manufactory/hive-world?  Okay, that might need some good saturation bombing."
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SCC on August 16, 2018, 12:13:34 PM
Quote
Establish a colony on Chicomoztoc?
No, man, no. That's too much. You can't just take the biggest world humanity has left (for all we know), grind it to a paste and NOT tell us what it did take! I assumed it's because you got your 999999 units of fuel and then kept clicking [SATURATION BOMBARDMENT] until it's all dust. How much fuel did that use?
Personally I'm not too hot for making Sindria a military powerhouse by an accident, but then again, if something allows you to go fast in space, it's most likely even better as a weapon.
Will factions recolonise their past worlds? I also thought that core systems were off limits for colonisation.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: HELMUT on August 16, 2018, 12:31:07 PM
A lot of interesting things here, so much i want to talk about but don't even know what to say.

Maybe one question. Why fuel as the ressource for those actions? Supplies would make more sense, although i guess it's a fairly "overused" ressource already.

About the penalty for repeated raids. Decreasing loot for cumulative raids for valuables makes sense, Nexerelin does it and it works well. Increased Defender Preparedness also seems like a logical step to prevent the player from disrupting the entire industry of a planet, although i guess it'll all depends on how high those bonuses are. As for the cooldown between raids... Perhaps again borrow the same thing from Nexerelin? A "loading time" where the player fleet must stay still to fully perform the action, similar to how we put sniffers on comm-relays. This adds a delay between raids, or rather before a raid, while also leaving the player vulnerable to an approaching defense fleet. Probably more interesting than a "Nah, wait a day or two to raid again" message.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Destructively Phased on August 16, 2018, 12:37:20 PM
This feels like it’s the end for the Tri-Tachyon. I can see many a player launching targeted raids at industrial centers with the aim of stealing production chips for high tech ships and the advanced nanoforges that the Tri-Tachyon are bound to have, as the sectors most technologically advanced faction.

Question, is there a limited number of chips in the sector, or will the factions keep spawning new production chips for their ships and weapons.

I ask as situation 1: could lead to a situation where the factions are attritioned to death, each raid reducing their ability to mount in space defenses and making it easier for fleets mostly carrying ground troops to make it to their targets.

Even in situation 2 that slow death as the ability for a market to produce ships to protect itself is slowly reduced as each raid takes more chips than can be replaced in the intervening time. Not to mention situation 2 guarantees everyone paragons and astrals on demand.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 16, 2018, 01:02:55 PM
Thank you all!

This is cool. How do NPC raids work? Will we be able to set raid type/effectiveness in faction files?

They don't, mostly. Pirates will raid stuff periodically, but it's unlikely for a pirate raid to be successful enough to actually raid a planet. If they did, it would achieve the same external effect as a player raid, i.e. a stability penalty based on the fleet size. As of right now, nothing is coded to bombard a colony, though I'd expect this will come up at some point.

If there's more organized faction warfare, this would have more relevance, but right now faction hostilities are at about the same level as they were - nominally hostile, but no actual task forces going between systems etc.

Any special sounds/animation effects play out when selecting raiding/bombardment, especially the evil kind?
Something on this scale deserves something more than just a button click in my opinion.

Afraid not! At least, not at the moment.

Sounds pretty good, I kind of wish there was some granularity involved with bombardment like there is with the raids themselves, especially on the fuel side but with vastly diminishing results. "You have 58% of the fuel necessary, bombardment efficiency reduced to 15%" kind of deal.

Hmm, why? If it's a feel issue, i.e. "why can't I bombard at all when I have 99% of the fuel", then let's say that in-fiction, the fuel required to bombard is just a touch over what the defenses have the capability to stop. So, if you're using 1000 fuel, only 1% of it or thereabouts is actually hitting.

Obviously the issue is that you have to keep some fuel in reserve for the return trip which makes me wonder why choose that resource in the first place? A dedicated one would have interesting implication too: you might not be able to acquire it if you are enemy with the factions that produce it (that might even get outraged if you use it), it takes valuable storage space while currently a Prometheus seems enough to level quite a few colonies by itself, it avoid some unfortunate situation where you find yourself stranded after a bombardment...

I think having a resource with multiple uses is more interesting since it creates more interesting tradeoffs - "I want to use it for X, but also need it for Y; which is more important right now?". I also don't want to add *more* resources, though I guess an existing one - such as transplutonics or volatiles - could be used instead of adding a brand new one. Fuel also has the advantage of being readily available, so while it's an expense, it's not something that has to be meticulously planned in advance, in the face of potentially unknown costs. Also, as you say, running out of Fuel is bad, and I really wanted bombardments to have a tradeoff that explained why they're not common.

And, finally, Prometheus brought fire to humanity.


My second thought: "...That's -really- not an option I see myself ever using."

Yeah, same! I'm being pretty careful here to make sure it's not actually a *useful* option. I mean, it might be a good move from a purely strategic point of view in *some* set of circumstances... but even if you're trying to decivilize a world (which is about as evil, really, just less hands-on), raiding it into oblivion would be more efficient.

My third thought: "Unless maybe if we find a REDACTED manufactory/hive-world?  Okay, that might need some good saturation bombing."

HMMM. Haven't had a chance to expand how REDACTED works, but I'd be lying if I haven't been thinking along similar-ish lines...


Quote
Establish a colony on Chicomoztoc?
No, man, no. That's too much. You can't just take the biggest world humanity has left (for all we know), grind it to a paste and NOT tell us what it did take! I assumed it's because you got your 999999 units of fuel and then kept clicking [SATURATION BOMBARDMENT] until it's all dust. How much fuel did that use?

Maybe I just found another barren-bombarded world on the fringes, decivilized, with ruins, and named it Chicomoztoc? You don't know!

Personally I'm not too hot for making Sindria a military powerhouse by an accident, but then again, if something allows you to go fast in space, it's most likely even better as a weapon.
Will factions recolonise their past worlds? I also thought that core systems were off limits for colonisation.

Sindria uniquely appreciates the monetary value of fuel, so I strongly suspect they would be against wasting it. They are, however, one of the factions that don't go insta-hostile when someone *else* uses their fuel - already paid for, naturally - for saturation bombardments.


Maybe one question. Why fuel as the ressource for those actions? Supplies would make more sense, although i guess it's a fairly "overused" ressource already.

I think I mostly covered it in the reply to Tartiflette; if not, let me know!

Perhaps again borrow the same thing from Nexerelin? A "loading time" where the player fleet must stay still to fully perform the action, similar to how we put sniffers on comm-relays. This adds a delay between raids, or rather before a raid, while also leaving the player vulnerable to an approaching defense fleet. Probably more interesting than a "Nah, wait a day or two to raid again" message.

Right, yeah. So I stepped away from that, including for installing comm sniffers, because it's just a pain to make sure all the possible "you got interrupted" cases are handled exactly right in the code. And it takes away from the immediacy of being able to do something. So, yeah, a cooldown makes a bit less sense, but it's *roughly* the same thing, with an added benefit that it doesn't bother you at all unless you're repeating the action.


This feels like it’s the end for the Tri-Tachyon. I can see many a player launching targeted raids at industrial centers with the aim of stealing production chips for high tech ships and the advanced nanoforges that the Tri-Tachyon are bound to have, as the sectors most technologically advanced faction.

Question, is there a limited number of chips in the sector, or will the factions keep spawning new production chips for their ships and weapons.

I ask as situation 1: could lead to a situation where the factions are attritioned to death, each raid reducing their ability to mount in space defenses and making it easier for fleets mostly carrying ground troops to make it to their targets.

Even in situation 2 that slow death as the ability for a market to produce ships to protect itself is slowly reduced as each raid takes more chips than can be replaced in the intervening time. Not to mention situation 2 guarantees everyone paragons and astrals on demand.

(I think maybe there's an assumption that factions engage in these sorts of raids all the time? That's not the case.)

To answer your question, though - getting a blueprint doesn't take it away from the faction, but an item like a Nanoforge or an AI core *is* taken away from the colony that was using it. That could indeed do major damage to a faction. For example, if you take the Nanoforge from Chicomoztoc, that'll have a major (and probably permanent) effect on the quality of Hegemony ships. They're getting by with a 5-1-1 officer/ship quality/ship quantity doctrine largely on the back fo a pristine Nanoforge; take away that +50% ship quality and things get quite a lot worse. But, well, I like the idea that identifying and targeting a faction's weak point can produce this sort of result.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Kwbr on August 16, 2018, 01:18:17 PM
The fuel usage makes sense to me (in terms of lore anyways), assuming that the bombardment options aren't 'true' orbital bombardment and your ships would have to maintain flight near a planetary surface / in atmosphere while they're shelling everything back to the stone age.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Jonlissla on August 16, 2018, 01:32:01 PM
Starsector blog posts are the best blog posts. Hyped as hell, and still can't believe that the version number will reach 0.9. It's like watching the development of Mount&Blade all over again.

That said, I'm curious if the Valkyrie is the only ship with that raid/invasion hullmod, or will there be other vessels? Mechanically they might not be needed, but variety is the spice of life and all that.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on August 16, 2018, 01:36:19 PM
Oh boy, all of this looks fun! Questions:
Can we GIVE factions stuff like nano forges for them to use? Or hell, other faction's planets? Or somehow boost up other factions. IE steal the nanoforge from the Heg and give it to the TT along with some people?

Also, why fuel for saturation bombardments when you could just set even a frigate on a high speed collision course with the target? Even if SS ships don't have "true" FTL, they still move at significant portions of C. And since a ship would be a much larger and more massive target that is MEANT to be shot at, it would be much harder to take down. Bonus points for a reactor that could easily act as a improvised warhead. And since this is in atmo, it would be MUCH move destructive as well.
Hell, what stops old wrecks of ships, either not salvaged or too damaged to use or just flat out missed, from becoming KKVs themselves?

Edit: Oh hey, I noticed that hull mod chips got a new boarder!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: FooF on August 16, 2018, 01:39:51 PM
Very interesting. Well-thought out, as always.

Does fleet composition affect bombardment/raid effectiveness? Ground defenses determining the cost is fine but does that mean my starting fleet of a Wolf and Kite (A), if it could acquire a few Phaetons full of fuel, could bombard a planet with the same effectiveness of my end-game fleet with multiple capitals, ground defense rating being equal? I'm not a big fan of the "realism" argument but shouldn't a Paragon bombard a planet better than a Dram? However, since bombardment effectiveness is a function of fuel capacity, any small frigate fleet with a Prometheus in tow is a WMD! Perhaps the word "bombard" insinuates big guns firing on a planet to me so naturally, more guns=better bombardment.

To the point: Capitals (and to a lesser extent, Cruisers) should work as a multiplier of the attacker's ability to bombard, reducing fuel cost, if such a thing isn't in already.

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: nathanebht on August 16, 2018, 01:43:21 PM
Last major feature of next release... Yumm.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SCC on August 16, 2018, 01:43:33 PM
(I think maybe there's an assumption that factions engage in these sorts of raids all the time? That's not the case.)
But can they with mods? I hope so, though then they'd have to know what to do with loot, including buildings.
getting a blueprint doesn't take it away from the faction
I'm going to fly around in a pirated ship in pirated Starsector, running on pirated Windows, and... Well, I hoped there could be more things to put in this joke.
The fuel usage makes sense to me (in terms of lore anyways), assuming that the bombardment options aren't 'true' orbital bombardment and your ships would have to maintain flight near a planetary surface / in atmosphere while they're shelling everything back to the stone age.
I actually forgot what fuel is this time, antimatter, inferium... Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised if it was very explosive. So far, it's true for every type of fuel and some batteries, it's to be expected hypothetical kinds are dangerous as well.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 16, 2018, 01:53:04 PM
The fuel usage makes sense to me (in terms of lore anyways), assuming that the bombardment options aren't 'true' orbital bombardment and your ships would have to maintain flight near a planetary surface / in atmosphere while they're shelling everything back to the stone age.

It's all down to what makes sense to you personally, imo.

That said, I'm curious if the Valkyrie is the only ship with that raid/invasion hullmod, or will there be other vessels? Mechanically they might not be needed, but variety is the spice of life and all that.

At the moment, it is, but I could totally see adding that mod to another ship or three; perhaps a hybrid. None of the current ships jump out to me as being a great fit for it, though.


Oh boy, all of this looks fun! Questions:
Can we GIVE factions stuff like nano forges for them to use? Or hell, other faction's planets? Or somehow boost up other factions. IE steal the nanoforge from the Heg and give it to the TT along with some people?

There's a limited case where this works, though the details are highly classified. I do have a TODO item to have a more detailed look at it.

Not sure about giving planets; that would properly belong in the same bucket as invasions, i.e. "not now".

Also, why fuel for saturation bombardments when you could just set even a frigate on a high speed collision course with the target? Even if SS ships don't have "true" FTL, they still move at significant portions of C. And since a ship would be a much larger and more massive target that is MEANT to be shot at, it would be much harder to take down. Bonus points for a reactor that could easily act as a improvised warhead. And since this is in atmo, it would be MUCH move destructive as well.
Hell, what stops old wrecks of ships, either not salvaged or too damaged to use or just flat out missed, from becoming KKVs themselves?

Hmm, I feel like "realism" is the wrong tack to take here, since even mild amounts of handwaving could take things in any direction, as required.

For example: I'd imagine ships actually don't move at a significant fraction of C. Or if they do, relative to the outside world, anyway, then there's some space-warping/inertia-dampening tech involved that means the actual kinetic energy of a moving ship is quite low.

Finally, who's to say what ground defenses are capable of? If "drive a ship at the planet" was indeed such a sure-fire way to cause massive devastation, then surely whatever ground defenses were developed would focus on neutralizing that threat first and foremost.

As it stands with fuel, there's an economic balance where the expense of a bomardment makes it mostly undesirable. I think it makes sense that the development of counter-measures would mostly stop at that point, even if they can be overwhelmed with un-economic quantities of materiel.

(The alternative is that bombardments are easy and simply can't be stopped by the available technology, but that's not what I want mechanically, and will vigorously hand-wave in the opposite direction :))

Edit: Oh hey, I noticed that hull mod chips got a new boarder!

Yep! I have to be honest, I'm pretty psyched about the new "fake 3D" style graphics for the various chips.

Very interesting. Well-thought out, as always.

Does fleet composition affect bombardment/raid effectiveness? Ground defenses determining the cost is fine but does that mean my starting fleet of a Wolf and Kite (A), if it could acquire a few Phaetons full of fuel, could bombard a planet with the same effectiveness of my end-game fleet with multiple capitals, ground defense rating being equal? I'm not a big fan of the "realism" argument but shouldn't a Paragon bombard a planet better than a Dram? However, since bombardment effectiveness is a function of fuel capacity, any small frigate fleet with a Prometheus in tow is a WMD! Perhaps the word "bombard" insinuates big guns firing on a planet to me so naturally, more guns=better bombardment.

To the point: Capitals (and to a lesser extent, Cruisers) should work as a multiplier of the attacker's ability to bombard, reducing fuel cost, if such a thing isn't in already.

Hmm, I think it is indeed a matter of perception. Bombardments are a largely industrial activity, in terms of the materiel and personnel involved. Combat ships do not contribute to them, aside from making them possible in the first place by destroying orbital defenses.


But can they with mods? I hope so, though then they'd have to know what to do with loot, including buildings.

Sure, no reason why not - it's all mod-accessible code. It's also fairly simply to write up something that would reproduce the effects of a raid, and in terms of fleet behavior, fleets can be made into "raiders" with a variable, and have a callback to execute custom code to perform the actual raid.

I'm going to fly around in a pirated ship in pirated Starsector, running on pirated Windows, and... Well, I hoped there could be more things to put in this joke.

Hah!

I actually forgot what fuel is this time, antimatter, inferium... Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised if it was very explosive. So far, it's true for every type of fuel and some batteries, it's to be expected hypothetical kinds are dangerous as well.

Description:
Quote
Standard starship fuel on which interstellar civilization relies. Composed of anti-matter trapped in fullerene shells mixed in a semi-stable foam with heavy isotopes of hydrogen. Fairly safe.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 16, 2018, 02:14:18 PM
Sounds like a fun mechanic, glad there's no mini game involved. And oh, the Prometheus suddenly appears in a completely new light ;D


Are there plans to integrate this into missions? Seems like an obvious thing that faction would pay third parties to raid their rivals. Maybe there could even be special "extraction" raids where you safe an exposed operative or something.


I could totally see adding that mod to another ship or three; perhaps a hybrid. None of the current ships jump out to me as being a great fit for it, though.

The Pirate Colossus Mk.II/III comes to mind. It could use some help anyways.


Description:
Quote
Standard starship fuel on which interstellar civilization relies. Composed of anti-matter trapped in fullerene shells mixed in a semi-stable foam with heavy isotopes of hydrogen. Fairly safe.

It would be appropriate to add a line about how it can also be used for orbital bombardment, wouldn't it? Seems a good fit after "Fairly safe." ;)

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: StarSchulz on August 16, 2018, 02:36:44 PM
That was awesome to read, and see all your reasoning behind it. I wanted to ask, If for the most part pirates likely wouldn't bombard your military facilities as the cost is too great, would they ever do it out of spite, say if they were vengeful towards you?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Eji1700 on August 16, 2018, 02:43:11 PM
Sounds great, but some small suggestions (mostly cribbed from Endless Space 2's ground combat system):

1. A max invasion cap that can be modified by ship types (troop transports/siege?), modules, skills.

This limits the amount of just "oh i'll raid today, swap out the spare guns, sell all the trash and AI cores from our last run and load up the gun totting hobos we keep in storage".  Fleet composition will actually matter more for serious raids.  No showing up with a cruiser and 4 atlas' full of marines and expecting a quick and easy victory.

2. To piggyback on this, raid stages.  Make it so that it's possible to only partially complete a raid depending on forces, you can then continue the raid (thus leaving your ship in orbit longer) for better results.  This gives the max cap more meaning as you CAN accomplish something with fewer troops, but it'll take more time, while bringing a bunch of troops and enough ships to properly deploy them means you could maybe accomplish your goal in one go.

Edit- just read about getting away from "in orbit holding position tasks" due to error handling stuff.  In that case you could still do something like multiple attempts/tiers with a cd in between.

3. Once you have time as a factor as well as defenses, tactics could be an option.  You've arguably already got 3 (raid, bomb, Bomb Harder) , but given that raid seems like the default attempt you might want something like Aggressive (faster but higher casualties, Best results, worse rep penalties and maybe even noticed even if stealth), cautious (slower, less casualties, worse results), smash and grab (very fast, extreme casualties, only very specific results).

4. Lastly you could consider troop types as an additional modifier (again this only matters if you cap troop deployment).  I'm not thinking anything major, but something simple like:

Base marine.  Good at winning fights and not dying, not great at other objectives. More likely to die than other types (they protect them).  Average rep penalties.
Saboteur- die like flies but very good at accomplishing your goal and tend to cause very high rep penalties.  Work fast.
Infiltrator- don't contribute much at all to fights but also not likely to die.  Not results are eh but very weak rep penalties.

Anyways all of it's just spitballing ideas.  As always i'm just glad the system exists in the first place.  The base game as is is so fun, I just want more reasons to do things with it.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Botaragno on August 16, 2018, 03:14:04 PM
I'm kinda miffed that this system is still mostly passive.

I get the whole game is based around Space - Space combat, but after you chew through the system patrols, the space stations and the garrisons; all space fights, your fleet just sits pretty and untouched while it dumps fuel bombing some hapless colony to dust, and that doesn't feel right.

Space - Planet invasions and other dickery I feel should be dissuaded for both fluff and mechanical reasons, fluff wise because Starsector spaceships are built in space for space by space, they can't really do much other wise. What can a fleet do to directly damage a planet? Turn it's HVDs perpendicular, aim at a city and hope for the best? And these are colonised planets, rare feats given the collapse of tech in the Star Sectortm, having Urist McPlayers rinky dink murderhobo fleet upend that so easily (yes I know but if it's all space fights and you can cheese late game then what is the point?) just feels... cheesey?

And mechanically, there's no real "resistance" to fleets from planets, adding a layer actively damaging defenses for planets makes sieging and raiding as dangerous as it should be. Have anti-ship missles from ground and low orbit bases fire off towards your fleet, they don't have to be directly impacting a ship, just strap an armed nuke, proximity fuse to the 500 or so km required and let the blast wave do the trick.

I feel like tying fuel to this for handwave woo doesn't really provide an engaging gameplay element to the whole thing
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 16, 2018, 03:15:36 PM
My first thought after reading this: "Well, I'm sure Megas will be happy to finally be able to bomb out all the pre-existing colonies.  >.<"
First thing I saw was raiding for valuables, and I thought was... "Yay! I can steal all of those blueprints and hullmods I cannot buy!"  Probably a last resort option.

Honestly, aside from stealing stuff I cannot get any other way, I probably would not attack colonies until I am ready to wipe it out and build a new colony over its atomized remains.  Yes, Wyvern, this can be fun.  This is what we do in Nexerelin (except erasing colonies), and now the normal game might feature sector conquest after all of these years.

Saturation bombing and everyone getting angry?  Everyone will get angry eventually if I plan to attack everyone.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Kanil on August 16, 2018, 05:40:22 PM
If planets can become decivilized, then invasions (or some other mechanic to transfer ownership) would be required to avoid the whole "I want this so I'm just going to nuke it until it's uninhabited" thing.

Of course, that's something to worry about later.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 16, 2018, 06:18:48 PM
If you can raid with your transponder off for reduced reputation loss, can you also fight fleets with your transponder off and lose less reputation? maybe I missed that in some old patch notes
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 16, 2018, 07:24:05 PM
Killing fleets is only -5 rep instead of auto-hostile if they do not know who you are.  (It came in handy with a Scarab start during the 0.7 era.)  Turning transponder off too late does not help, it must be off for a while.  The game will warn you if they know who you are if you try to attack them and they are not hostile.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Morgan Rue on August 16, 2018, 07:30:41 PM
Sounds great, but some small suggestions (mostly cribbed from Endless Space 2's ground combat system):

1. A max invasion cap that can be modified by ship types (troop transports/siege?), modules, skills.

This limits the amount of just "oh i'll raid today, swap out the spare guns, sell all the trash and AI cores from our last run and load up the gun totting hobos we keep in storage".  Fleet composition will actually matter more for serious raids.  No showing up with a cruiser and 4 atlas' full of marines and expecting a quick and easy victory.
Marines use crew quarters, not storage. So most ships aren't able to carry large numbers of marines. The ship that is built for raids, the Valkyrie, can carry a lot of crew.


Maybe Pirates should get some not quite Valkyrie ship for their raids? A modified Cerberus could fit nicely.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Mr. Sterling on August 16, 2018, 08:38:48 PM
Sounds like fun.  ;D

I thought we were the testers :)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 17, 2018, 12:00:00 AM
Interesting stuff, very much looking forward to the next release (at long last, it appears on the horizon...or so I believe).  Though, if I may be honest, I think you put a bit too much time into considering if a single, certain mechanic is "good enough" or not, and you only do it one at a time rather than seeing how a bunch of future, planned mechanics would fit together - or at least that's the vibes I get from the past blog posts.

I also look forward to perhaps the Colossus Mk.III getting that Ground Support Package hullmod - whatever's left of that once-roomy cargo, extra weapons bolted to to hull, and the ability to manufacture and launch it's own fighters.  Sounds like something out of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.  Even if it can't hold as many Marines as one might like, it really fits the role of ground support well.  In comparison to the naval invasions, think of them as the destroyers off-shore bombarding positions rather than the landing craft bringing the troops in.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Madao on August 17, 2018, 12:10:29 AM
As always your mad science is the best  ;D

Will we be getting any ships that can passively help with bombardment in future releases? Some sort of useless for normal work ship that is a pain to lug around. It would make it interesting if you see a fleet approaching your system with a few of these in tow you will know they mean business. Well it's an idea at least.

As for the aforementioned bombardment video and evil music I would vote in favour of this at some point in the future. Aiming down sights with a stellar converter in Master of Orion 2 was always a blast, and always left me feeling mildly conflicted after doing so.

Raiding and bombardment really adds a whole new dimension to the game, I'm excited to try it out. Now I can save up a ton of resources and wipe out another factions important planet, future goals!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Tartiflette on August 17, 2018, 12:48:43 AM
Sounds pretty good, I kind of wish there was some granularity involved with bombardment like there is with the raids themselves, especially on the fuel side but with vastly diminishing results. "You have 58% of the fuel necessary, bombardment efficiency reduced to 15%" kind of deal.

Hmm, why? If it's a feel issue, i.e. "why can't I bombard at all when I have 99% of the fuel", then let's say that in-fiction, the fuel required to bombard is just a touch over what the defenses have the capability to stop. So, if you're using 1000 fuel, only 1% of it or thereabouts is actually hitting.
Not just that but situations where you need to weather down the defenses just a notch to get a proper raid result. By using fuel and lacking granularity, there will be a common situation where it will more advantageous to just make a trip to another market to get those extra 50 marines rather than carpet bombing the resistance. Or where you have to farm the small patrols spawning from the market to get some extra leeway...

thus:
I think having a resource with multiple uses is more interesting since it creates more interesting tradeoffs - "I want to use it for X, but also need it for Y; which is more important right now?". I also don't want to add *more* resources, though I guess an existing one - such as transplutonics or volatiles - could be used instead of adding a brand new one. Fuel also has the advantage of being readily available, so while it's an expense, it's not something that has to be meticulously planned in advance, in the face of potentially unknown costs. Also, as you say, running out of Fuel is bad, and I really wanted bombardments to have a tradeoff that explained why they're not common.
Here I was more thinking about renaming the small arms ressource to something else, and make it highly illegal in high security space while you are not in very good terms. After all, they can only be used for a single purpose! Then you get all kind of interesting implications like troubles to aquire such ressource (except from cooperative factions), avoiding patrols near the system you want to raid because if they scan these, the defenses will get prepared in advance, opportunities for missions to procure that ressource to a faction lacking the proper relations (then they might launch their own raid, so you might want that to happen if you have comon enemies), or even better, it could be uses as a shortcut to bribe and join the pirates...

My issue with fuel is that it is indeed universally usefull, and having more will never be a wasted investment. So having it used for bombardment will just mean having an extra tanker with you and that's it, no gameplay change from the curent loop (especially compared to games with Nexerelin which requires marines to invade markets). Whereas having a dedicated valuable and sensitive ressource plus adding some granularity to the result means making a calculated investment both in how much you buy, and how much you use once there compared to your projected marines losses.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cyan Leader on August 17, 2018, 03:53:02 AM
To be honest, while I'm excited to try this out, I agree with Botaragno's general argument. I think the game needs more ways to make the different mechanics and events that happen through text more active and real; as in, through gameplay.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: AspirantEmperor on August 17, 2018, 04:47:55 AM
...

I can own Syndria.

...

...

I can own Syndria, and then de-civilize all other fuel-producing planets in the sector.

...

I'm going to be so gods-damned rich.

Actually, I have a few questions on that front. I'm surprised you can raid-away a nanoforge. I presume you can't raid and steal a fuel refinery? And if a planet becomes civilized, do fuel refineries and nanoforges remain on the planet for you to use if you recolonize it? And what happens to any AI cores that were in use on the now-decivilized planet?

Also, how long does the defender's readiness bonus last? Is it about as long as the industry remains damaged, or can you come back and raid again before it's back online? If you do, can you target the already-damaged industry to keep it damaged for longer? In particular, I'm wondering if we took out ship production facilities whether we'd effectively cripple a planet's future space-based defenses against our future raids.

And finally, does a faction officially end if all of their worlds become decivilized? (except for pirates and independent, of course)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 17, 2018, 05:00:40 AM
It occurred to me that with fuel required to literally fuel raids, tankers will be even more required to function.  Currently, we need tankers to explore.  Later, we need them to raid too?  Seems like we might need to decided several fleet slots to tankers alone, maybe two or four Prometheus for endgame fleet to function (not unlike one or two is needed today), not unlike lots of freighters were needed to loot fights in earlier versions.  This would be bad, because civilians would eat a big chunk of fleet slots and drag burn speed down to the worst.  Might make Navigation 2 must-have just to provide fuel relief.

It would be nice if tankers were nice, not required like freighters are now.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: errorgance on August 17, 2018, 05:13:55 AM
Alex, have you thought about minimum fleet requirements, espically ship types and hull mods to boost bombardment and raid chances, similar to salvage and planetary survey mechanics?

Seriously Doing bombardments and raids in a similar manner to salvage and surveying would be really good for gameplay continuity.


Second, have you thought of doing just a normal space battle, but swap the regular space background with the planets surface and use immobile ships/stations for buildings/districts/cityblocks. you could literally target installations yourself and watch the collateral damage live as your shots miss and hit the housing area behind it!  :o

Again, this method would be good for gameplay continuity.
 
Also, Your fuel idea could simply be fuel the fuel requirements necessary to keep your massive ships stationary within the planets gravity field.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Histidine on August 17, 2018, 06:36:50 AM
Yay, new feature!

Random thoughts:

Very interesting. Well-thought out, as always.

Does fleet composition affect bombardment/raid effectiveness? Ground defenses determining the cost is fine but does that mean my starting fleet of a Wolf and Kite (A), if it could acquire a few Phaetons full of fuel, could bombard a planet with the same effectiveness of my end-game fleet with multiple capitals, ground defense rating being equal? I'm not a big fan of the "realism" argument but shouldn't a Paragon bombard a planet better than a Dram? However, since bombardment effectiveness is a function of fuel capacity, any small frigate fleet with a Prometheus in tow is a WMD! Perhaps the word "bombard" insinuates big guns firing on a planet to me so naturally, more guns=better bombardment.

To the point: Capitals (and to a lesser extent, Cruisers) should work as a multiplier of the attacker's ability to bombard, reducing fuel cost, if such a thing isn't in already.

Hmm, I think it is indeed a matter of perception. Bombardments are a largely industrial activity, in terms of the materiel and personnel involved. Combat ships do not contribute to them, aside from making them possible in the first place by destroying orbital defenses.
FWIW I think it does look weird that 1 Vigilance + bunch of tankers is almost as good at bombardment as three Paragons + the same bunch of tankers.

Idea: Perhaps a certain minimum of combat ships (perhaps measured by fleet point count) is needed to perform a bombardment, based on the strength of the ground defenses? Like how you can't survey a planet or recover a ship without enough Heavy Machinery. It seems correct that a stronger planet requires a larger fleet to bombard effectively.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 17, 2018, 09:54:02 AM
Idea: Perhaps a certain minimum of combat ships (perhaps measured by fleet point count) is needed to perform a bombardment, based on the strength of the ground defenses? Like how you can't survey a planet or recover a ship without enough Heavy Machinery. It seems correct that a stronger planet requires a larger fleet to bombard effectively.

I think that's not really necessary, since there are (up to) two layers of defense before you can bombard anything, patrol fleets and orbital stations. For those the strengt of your combat fleet matters very much. That it stops mattering once you've overcome these defenses seems alright with me.



A specialized bombardment ship with an respective efficiency-boost hullmod and big fuel tanks would be interesting. Or a hullmod to specialize your tankers for that role.

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Thaago on August 17, 2018, 09:57:45 AM
I think its good that a single frigate + tankers could wipe a planet: planets need active defenses, active defenses make space battles, space battles are core gameplay. Any planet with an orbital station requires the fleet to be big enough to kill the station anyways, so really a colony that can't fight off a frigate is just asking to be conquered by Megas on the first day of gamplay. From a "feel" argument, ground bombardment through fuel dispersal does not rely on guns but on fuel, so why should we need cruisers or capitals? Going all WWII in space, fighting ships are the fighters/interceptors and fuel ships are the bombers.

I do think that Tartiflette's idea of having there be a specific, highly illegal (in some polities) good be used for bombardment has some merit. What if tactical bombardment used fuel, but saturation bombardment becomes "biological bombardment" and requires some good, lets say "Death Spores", to reduce population? This raises the risk of genocide as an option and increases the difference between the two options; perhaps death spores are 'super' illegal and being caught with them at all instantly tanks your rep to hostile.

[Edit] A hullmod for better fuel dispersal sounds like a great thing to be built in on some faction ships, to drive home how sinister they are.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 17, 2018, 10:29:51 AM
I do think that Tartiflette's idea of having there be a specific, highly illegal (in some polities) good be used for bombardment has some merit. What if tactical bombardment used fuel, but saturation bombardment becomes "biological bombardment" and requires some good, lets say "Death Spores", to reduce population? This raises the risk of genocide as an option and increases the difference between the two options; perhaps death spores are 'super' illegal and being caught with them at all instantly tanks your rep to hostile.
When the goal is to kill all factions, this is not a penalty.  If player does not want to wipe out planets, he will not go near it.  If he is interested, and it is the best WMD, he will stockpile and use it the moment he is ready to kill everyone.

Re: Tanker hull mods
Another one is making the tanker itself a gigantic bomb.  Apply hullmod, sacrifice your tanker at the appropriate screen, and there goes half the planet.  Maybe if destroyed in-combat, explosion range and damage could be big enough to wipe out whatever is within 1000 or so units.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 17, 2018, 12:40:50 PM
And oh, the Prometheus suddenly appears in a completely new light ;D

:D

Are there plans to integrate this into missions? Seems like an obvious thing that faction would pay third parties to raid their rivals. Maybe there could even be special "extraction" raids where you safe an exposed operative or something.

I've been thinking about that a bit, but since this is the newest feature, there hasn't been much chance to take advantage of it in content-land.

... hmm - let me add some listeners/callback type things, while I'm thinking about it. I'm sure I'll need them anyway, and might as well make sure mods can easily detect when the player raids/bombards something.

The Pirate Colossus Mk.II/III comes to mind. It could use some help anyways.

I think it already got a bit of a buff with a second fighter bay. I do like the idea, but it's also the least-atmosphere-capable-looking ship out there. On the other hand, ground support doesn't *have* to be close-in. Yeah, let's do that :)

It would be appropriate to add a line about how it can also be used for orbital bombardment, wouldn't it? Seems a good fit after "Fairly safe." ;)

Hmm, maybe? I'm also partial to just leaving the implication there without over-explaining, and then letting the player discover what "fairly" means for themselves.


That was awesome to read, and see all your reasoning behind it. I wanted to ask, If for the most part pirates likely wouldn't bombard your military facilities as the cost is too great, would they ever do it out of spite, say if they were vengeful towards you?

Just in terms of what can currently happen in the game, no. In theory, I could see it happen, but I'd also imagine that even spite would be unlikely to motivate *that* high a resource expenditure. I'd guess that most people with that degree of self-damaging spite wouldn't make it up far enough on the pirate ladder to be in position to be making those sorts of decisions. But, of course, it wouldn't be impossible.



1. A max invasion cap that can be modified by ship types (troop transports/siege?), modules, skills.

Troop transports are in already - well, the Valkyrie is, anyway. So you're able to specialize your fleet for raiding to some degree.

As far as the other stuff, my feeling is it sounds on the "too complicated" side, and I'm not quite sure what it really adds. For example, if "slower safer but worse" and "faster and more dangerous but better" are options the player can pick from, then one of those is probably just better in a given situation.

Maybe sometimes this isn't the case, but it feels like making the choices too fine-grained. I think "I want to raid for valuables" is about the right level of detail for that decision; having to decide which way of raiding for valuables is more efficient in a specific situation seems... mostly like asking the player to do a math problem to come up with the right answer. And even if it's not, it's not a super interesting choice, because the outcome of making a good choice is still "got more stuff", not something very different.

Goes back to what I'm talking about in the blog post as far as the reasons for not wanting to have tactical decisions here.


I'm kinda miffed that this system is still mostly passive.

...

I feel like tying fuel to this for handwave woo doesn't really provide an engaging gameplay element to the whole thing

To be honest, while I'm excited to try this out, I agree with Botaragno's general argument. I think the game needs more ways to make the different mechanics and events that happen through text more active and real; as in, through gameplay.

Hmm, I think you guys might be looking at it in a somewhat narrow way. Raids taken in isolation are not engaging and aren't supposed to be. But they give you reasons to do engaging things in the active parts of the game, whether it's fighting or sneaking around and so on. They're only passive when taken in isolation; looked at in the context of the larger game, they're part of the active gameplay.

I think trying to make the various text interactions more "active" would be a mistake. The idea is to use them to add more depth to the active parts. If instead you make those parts active as well, you're adding a lot of breadth, but it would ultimately be more shallow. It's also entirely impractical, so this is a bit of a theoretical discussion anyway.


I also look forward to perhaps the Colossus Mk.III getting that Ground Support Package hullmod - whatever's left of that once-roomy cargo, extra weapons bolted to to hull, and the ability to manufacture and launch it's own fighters.  Sounds like something out of Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.  Even if it can't hold as many Marines as one might like, it really fits the role of ground support well.  In comparison to the naval invasions, think of them as the destroyers off-shore bombarding positions rather than the landing craft bringing the troops in.

I figure for the Colossus Mk.III, it's strapping on a bunch of things to drop near the raiding forces to discourage resistance, but hopefully (mostly) not quite *on* them :)


Interesting stuff, very much looking forward to the next release (at long last, it appears on the horizon...or so I believe).  Though, if I may be honest, I think you put a bit too much time into considering if a single, certain mechanic is "good enough" or not, and you only do it one at a time rather than seeing how a bunch of future, planned mechanics would fit together - or at least that's the vibes I get from the past blog posts.

Hmm, I'm curious as to what gives you that impression. I feel like e.g. the raiding mechanics are all abouth how it fits in with everything else. Like, it's totally not a mechanic that works at all in isolation. If I was looking at it like that, I probably wouldn't be happy with what it looks like!


Will we be getting any ships that can passively help with bombardment in future releases? Some sort of useless for normal work ship that is a pain to lug around. It would make it interesting if you see a fleet approaching your system with a few of these in tow you will know they mean business. Well it's an idea at least.

I don't think so - in general, it seems like being able to mitigate this fuel cost could lead to a situation where bombardments are an always-best-choice non-choice, so it'd have to be handled very carefully. And just in general, it's not a direction I'd like to go in. I rather like an equilibrium where bombardments are rarely useful. Especially since it helps explain why *the player's* colonies don't get bombarded into oblivion with more frequency.


I presume you can't raid and steal a fuel refinery?

A "Fuel Production" industry requires a "Synchrotron Core" to boost fuel output beyond a fairly low level. This is a rare item that Sindria has, and it can be stolen.

And if a planet becomes civilized, do fuel refineries and nanoforges remain on the planet for you to use if you recolonize it? And what happens to any AI cores that were in use on the now-decivilized planet?

(Assuming you mean "decivilized".)

That stuff is just gone. You could, however, set up a tech-mining operation in the ruins, which could theoretically yield these kinds of items.

Also, how long does the defender's readiness bonus last? Is it about as long as the industry remains damaged, or can you come back and raid again before it's back online? If you do, can you target the already-damaged industry to keep it damaged for longer? In particular, I'm wondering if we took out ship production facilities whether we'd effectively cripple a planet's future space-based defenses against our future raids.

Currently, it's set to last for a month. If you re-raid an already-raided industry, it'll set its disruption to the higher value, so basically it'll refresh the timer.

If you take out ship production on one planet, the planet will instead import the ships from somewhere else. So if you take out the best ship production center within a faction, that would indeed have major consequences for their fleet strength.


And finally, does a faction officially end if all of their worlds become decivilized? (except for pirates and independent, of course)

Currently, no; that's not even a concept. But (if stuff is coded correctly) things like person bounties and other missions from that faction should cease. So I guess yes, in a way?


It occurred to me that with fuel required to literally fuel raids, tankers will be even more required to function.  Currently, we need tankers to explore.  Later, we need them to raid too?  Seems like we might need to decided several fleet slots to tankers alone, maybe two or four Prometheus for endgame fleet to function (not unlike one or two is needed today), not unlike lots of freighters were needed to loot fights in earlier versions.  This would be bad, because civilians would eat a big chunk of fleet slots and drag burn speed down to the worst.  Might make Navigation 2 must-have just to provide fuel relief.

It would be nice if tankers were nice, not required like freighters are now.

I wouldn't expect bombardment to be required for optimal raiding. Long-term, you'd be better off investing in more marines and troop transports.


Not just that but situations where you need to weather down the defenses just a notch to get a proper raid result. By using fuel and lacking granularity, there will be a common situation where it will more advantageous to just make a trip to another market to get those extra 50 marines rather than carpet bombing the resistance. Or where you have to farm the small patrols spawning from the market to get some extra leeway...

Ah, I see! This would only factor in for "disruption" raids, since there'a minimum required there. But if you wanted to get a long-lasting disruption raid done, you'd really want more than the minimum anyway, so it doesn't *seem* like it'd be a major concern. For non-disruption raids, a couple percent more or less effectiveness will only make a couple percent difference in the outcome.


Here I was more thinking about renaming the small arms ressource to something else, and make it highly illegal in high security space while you are not in very good terms. After all, they can only be used for a single purpose! Then you get all kind of interesting implications like troubles to aquire such ressource (except from cooperative factions), avoiding patrols near the system you want to raid because if they scan these, the defenses will get prepared in advance, opportunities for missions to procure that ressource to a faction lacking the proper relations (then they might launch their own raid, so you might want that to happen if you have comon enemies), or even better, it could be uses as a shortcut to bribe and join the pirates...

My issue with fuel is that it is indeed universally usefull, and having more will never be a wasted investment. So having it used for bombardment will just mean having an extra tanker with you and that's it, no gameplay change from the curent loop (especially compared to games with Nexerelin which requires marines to invade markets). Whereas having a dedicated valuable and sensitive ressource plus adding some granularity to the result means making a calculated investment both in how much you buy, and how much you use once there compared to your projected marines losses.

Counter-point: having a dedicated resource for bombardments, combined with bombardments not being universally useful, might mean that you don't generally bother acquiring it in the first place, and would end up making them a non-option entirely, except for a few cases where you know ahead of time you want to do it. It also makes bombardment itself a less interesting choice because the only tradeoff is cost, not "do I have enough fuel to do the other things I need to do".

The potential benefits from a dedicated resource - illegal, difficult to obtain, trouble if you're caught, and so on - are also all... how to put it - aspirational, maybe, is the word? That is, they're not things that would automatically happen. It would be, I think, quite difficult to make them happen with enough reliability to make it an actual - rather than theoretical - change in gameplay, as opposed to, say, "player just bought some on the black market somewhere and never got scanned because let's face it they don't get scanned that often in the first place".

So it really seems to be a case of adding a new resource and then adding a bunch of things specifically to give it meaning, vs utilizing an existing resource that already has some meaning.

All that said, I think a dedicated resource could work! I just strongly prefer using an existing one; I think it'll ultimately add more depth, and I'm not keen on adding more and more new resources to the game - if anything, the average usefulness of various resources should probably be increased, rather than diluted.


(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)


Alex, have you thought about minimum fleet requirements, espically ship types and hull mods to boost bombardment and raid chances, similar to salvage and planetary survey mechanics?

Seriously Doing bombardments and raids in a similar manner to salvage and surveying would be really good for gameplay continuity.

You mean having easier targets to start with, and building up to more difficult ones for higher rewards?

If so, yeah, that's how it already works. Different colonies have different levels of defenses; iirc the ground defense strength of colonies in vanilla ranges from something like 50 to over 4000.


Second, have you thought of doing just a normal space battle, but swap the regular space background with the planets surface and use immobile ships/stations for buildings/districts/cityblocks. you could literally target installations yourself and watch the collateral damage live as your shots miss and hit the housing area behind it!  :o

Again, this method would be good for gameplay continuity.

<runs away screaming>

... alright, so! I can totally see how this might seem to be something that could reasonably work. However, all of my experience tells me that while yes, having the space combat engine would make it a bit easier to do, making it good would still amount to making an entirely new game, and that a "simple" (not really) reskin would, frankly, suck.

Without getting into too many details, let's just take a look at some basic stuff that would come up. A background, right? The space background is a fixed size because it doesn't move when your ship moves. This means that the background doesn't need to be the size of the playing field. For ground combat, it *does* need to be the size of the playing field. That likely means some sort of tiling system, since we can't have a single big-enough image for various reasons; that's already a big difference.

If we have that, then all of a sudden the visuals - designed to work on top of a dark background - would have to be adjusted to work with a brighter background. You know how if there's a bright planet in the combat background, it gets annoying because it's hard to see stuff that's over it? That, but for the whole battlefield. Would also need some sort of halfway-convincing system for shadows, since that's what tells us that something is actually *on* the ground.

The feel of combat heavily depends on intertia, which would not work the same way on the ground. Also ship speeds, shot speeds, and so on - change those things drastically, and things that currently work well don't work well anymore. "Ground" also implies "terrain", and that's huge too. If we don't have terran it'd feel cheap, if we do, oh boy, that's a huge undertaking, especially considering that the AI would become near-useless.

Then if we worked out the above - and a myriad other things like these, since that's just the first few issues that popped into my head - that'd be a lot of work just to have limited player input into it, right? Would have to do up ground vehicles, probably different types of ground forces, buildings, and so on. And audio and visual assets for everything.

It really is just another whole game. Either that, or it'd be very cheapo-feeling and just, well ... bad. I can't emphasize enough how untenable it is, and how little having the space-combat engine actually helps with the job.


  • How does this stuff interact with station-only markets (e.g. Kanta's Den)?

It mostly just works. The one difference is that this type of market decivilizing becomes an abandoned station and can't be recolonized. Everything else is the same. Defeating the station in combat, for example, just removes its combat capabilities until it's repaired.

  • Should the UI present the player with an estimate of how many marines they'll lose before actually committing to the attack? I think the player would appreciate that information before making a decision.
    (unless they're expected to learn to make their own estimate from the strength figures already presented)

I did consider it, but the logical endpoint of that is "projected marine losses: 3,000 credits" and, uh, I don't want to present things that way. The casualties are also fairly random (though the maximum is limited by raid effectiveness), so there'd be a lot of variance from any estimate.

The casualties are also closely linked to raid effectiveness, so I think it's fairly reasonable for the player to just get a feel for it.


  • Hmm, the screenshot with the raid loot still has the text "Salvage operation" and an image of space debris in the top-left, and I am inordinately annoyed because I asked for a way to change it a long time ago (exactly a year ago to the day, it turns out (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=5061.msg218615#msg218615)) and it is still there :-X

<shifty eyes> I'm sure "salvage operation" is exactly how it shows up in the fleet log.

(Let me make a note; this is more of a pain to pass through than it'd seem, and it's not entirely clear what the text should say anyway. If anything, but it feels weird without it.)


  • Idea: If faction A is hostile (or maybe it needs to be vengeful) to faction B, perhaps it should look the other way if you do a saturation bombardment on a planet owned by B?
    (specific use case I'm thinking of: depopulating Al Gebbar in reprisal for Mairaath)

Hmm, I don't know - if a faction is the sort to care about atrocities, I imagine they'd generally make the distinction between "innocent civilians" and "the people we actually hate".


Idea: Perhaps a certain minimum of combat ships (perhaps measured by fleet point count) is needed to perform a bombardment, based on the strength of the ground defenses? Like how you can't survey a planet or recover a ship without enough Heavy Machinery. It seems correct that a stronger planet requires a larger fleet to bombard effectively.

I think that's not really necessary, since there are (up to) two layers of defense before you can bombard anything, patrol fleets and orbital stations. For those the strengt of your combat fleet matters very much. That it stops mattering once you've overcome these defenses seems alright with me.

Yep, that's exactly how I feel about it, too.


A specialized bombardment ship with an respective efficiency-boost hullmod and big fuel tanks would be interesting. Or a hullmod to specialize your tankers for that role.

Mmmaybe - I think that can get a bit iffy since it might trivialize the costs in some cases, making bombardments too good a choice.


I do think that Tartiflette's idea of having there be a specific, highly illegal (in some polities) good be used for bombardment has some merit. What if tactical bombardment used fuel, but saturation bombardment becomes "biological bombardment" and requires some good, lets say "Death Spores", to reduce population? This raises the risk of genocide as an option and increases the difference between the two options; perhaps death spores are 'super' illegal and being caught with them at all instantly tanks your rep to hostile.

(I do believe there are already some backstory references to planetbusters...)

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Sarissofoi on August 17, 2018, 01:46:24 PM
Nice.
Really nice.
Update soon!

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SCC on August 17, 2018, 01:52:31 PM
That stuff is just gone. You could, however, set up a tech-mining operation in the ruins, which could theoretically yield these kinds of items.
Minor: these ruins (as a planet modifier) don't actually care what tech was there before, do they? Are they even all the same (in terms of chances for tech) or are some weighted to yield more or better stuff?
(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
<runs away screaming>
I know it's not happening, for good reasons, but Starsector's mighty nice shoot em up, even when it isn't!
I did consider it, but the logical endpoint of that is "projected marine losses: 3,000 credits" and, uh, I don't want to present things that way.
That's how the things are, though. You just need enough marines for whom you just pay once and spend them where it's needed; they don't level up or affect anything else (I'm still sad by having crew veterancy gone, but I digress). They ARE numbers and the sector IS a place where people no longer care for others. You may not like it, but I really like that it sounds so casually.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 17, 2018, 02:06:08 PM
A "heist" type of raid could be a lot of fun. Say, it's a transponder-off-raid for valuables that has an extreme bonus on raid strength but can at best acquire a small number of (highly valuable) items. Additionally, the market suspicion level drastically increases after a heist.

In effect, even a small fleet (or single ship) with a dozen marines can (from time to time) pull of a heist on a medium well defended world. That gives you another early game source of income and early use for marines. It's also nice for roleplaying. And yeah, this Idea is totally inspired by Firefly, especially the Ariel (hospital) and Train Job episodes^^


Hmm, maybe? I'm also partial to just leaving the implication there without over-explaining, and then letting the player discover what "fairly" means for themselves.

"Fairly safe (in a vacuum)" ;D
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 17, 2018, 02:29:33 PM
Nice.
Really nice.
Update soon!

Thank you :)

Minor: these ruins (as a planet modifier) don't actually care what tech was there before, do they? Are they even all the same (in terms of chances for tech) or are some weighted to yield more or better stuff?

They don't care about prior tech, no, but the size of the ruins is based on the size of the market, and, same as for ruins found in the fringes, affects the amount of stuff that can be recovered.

The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.

(Yeah, I think we (me & David) went through about the same process.)

I know it's not happening, for good reasons, but Starsector's mighty nice shoot em up, even when it isn't!

:D

That's how the things are, though. You just need enough marines for whom you just pay once and spend them where it's needed; they don't level up or affect anything else (I'm still sad by having crew veterancy gone, but I digress). They ARE numbers and the sector IS a place where people no longer care for others. You may not like it, but I really like that it sounds so casually.

Well, arguably, though I'd also argue that's not the case in the entirety of the Sector. But there's also a difference between "how things are" and that being embraced, either by the inhabitants of the Sector, by the game's UI, or by the player.


A "heist" type of raid could be a lot of fun. Say, it's a transponder-off-raid for valuables that has an extreme bonus on raid strength but can at best acquire a small number of (highly valuable) items. Additionally, the market suspicion level drastically increases after a heist.

In effect, even a small fleet (or single ship) with a dozen marines can (from time to time) pull of a heist on a medium well defended world. That gives you another early game source of income and early use for marines. It's also nice for roleplaying. And yeah, this Idea is totally inspired by Firefly, especially the Ariel (hospital) and Train Job episodes^^

Having thought about this some - and there are a few "raid for rare items" raid option leftovers - I do like the idea, but I'm not sure how it would work.

Let's say it's possible for a heist - with relatively minimal investment - to pay off big. Then either it's an explotable mechanism for getting way too much money too quickly, or it has to be rate-limited somehow. One way to do that is having a small chance of success, but that's not very fun. Another way would be through suspicion, somehow - maybe you can do it in one area, but have to wait for things to cool off - but that seems still vulnerable to being exploited. And there's always the potential for it to go from "unlimited exploit" to "something you ought to do whenever it comes up as being available", i.e. less a major exploit but just a chore disguised as an easy opportunity to get good stuff.

What I'm getting at is, as cool as the concept is, I'm not sure how this would work as a core mechanic without running into these problems. I think this sort of thing would work better as a one-off, or perhaps very rarely repeating, bar-mission type thing. (And, hey, that'd tie this into missions and raids, too.) Open to ideas, of course, as far as how it might work as a core mechanic - at the very least, that'd be interesting from a design analysis point of view.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: maximusprime1010 on August 17, 2018, 05:36:23 PM
one thought on a meaningful tactical decision that could be made. You could choose whether the raid is covert or overt. a covert raid reduces chances of success but adds a chance that it won't be realised that you conducted the raid (maybe has to pass additional skill check), an overt raid has a higher chance of success but you will always be known as the culprit. This should only be allowed for raids, it makes no sense for bombardments.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Inventor Raccoon on August 17, 2018, 05:52:02 PM
one thought on a meaningful tactical decision that could be made. You could choose whether the raid is covert or overt. a covert raid reduces chances of success but adds a chance that it won't be realised that you conducted the raid (maybe has to pass additional skill check), an overt raid has a higher chance of success but you will always be known as the culprit. This should only be allowed for raids, it makes no sense for bombardments.
That seems kind of similar to the existing distinction between transponder-on raids and transponder-off raids.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cyan Leader on August 17, 2018, 08:43:27 PM
I've read your thoughts thoroughly and I understand the massive undertaking it'd take and the potential underwhelming results implementing a combat scenario for this purpose could yield. I do, however, want to expand where I'm coming from.

One of the reasons why station battles feel very exciting is because you are putting the ships/skills you acquired in a different scenario. It's like a new toy to play with, a new problem to tackle. Currently on the game we have station battles, regular combat and retreats (both sides). Those are basically all the types of battles we can engage though with obviously with a lot of variation, I don't want to downplay that. When originally thinking about station assaults I (and others I'd wager) imagined fighting massive structures with reinforcements coming in or even having hangers spawning destroyers or such. A battle that would play out a different way and would push our skills/fleet to the limits. Implementing that is another story, but what I want to highlight is that such a scenario would be a real game changer to battles, which in turn makes it memorable and exciting. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pleased with the current station fights (and I imagine .9's are going to be great too), but it makes me wonder if more different/unique ideas/scenarios couldn't be implemented in the engine. For example, consider some different situations like:

-> Raiding transporters/cargo ships while the rest of the fleet defends it
-> Protecting mining operations from attackers
-> Escorting scenarios
-> Boss fights (unique ship encounters)

These would all have unique variation and their own quirks to consider, which I believe to be a very positive thing. So when reading about raiding I can't help but imagine what could have been done with the combat engine, since that is the crowning jewel of the game. Now, from your post I can see that implementing a lot of these isn't feasible nor desirable, but I do think some different types of battles for future updates of could add a lot to the game. If it is possible and you think it could create interesting gameplay, please consider it.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 17, 2018, 08:52:14 PM
And oh, the Prometheus suddenly appears in a completely new light ;D
A totally more sinister light. A giant tanker built to supply all the fuel you need to bombard a planet back to the stone age... it might be disturbing to see one enter your system, wouldn't it?

A "Fuel Production" industry requires a "Synchrotron Core" to boost fuel output beyond a fairly low level. This is a rare item that Sindria has, and it can be stolen.
I assume a Synchotron Core is Domain-era technology?  If it is, all the more reason to bust open the door and take it right from under their noses. :) Though that also makes me wonder if factions can be extra-aggressive for getting back such rare and precious technology, as well as search for the missing equipment after the fact.  It sure would be suspicious if your Synchrotron Core was stolen only for another one to conveniently be acquired by an economical opponent.  The Sindrian Diktat might think that some ham-fisted raiding of their own might be in order to reclaim such material, no?

Hmm, I'm curious as to what gives you that impression. I feel like e.g. the raiding mechanics are all abouth how it fits in with everything else. Like, it's totally not a mechanic that works at all in isolation. If I was looking at it like that, I probably wouldn't be happy with what it looks like!
For me at least, it's that we don't learn about connections to other mechanics until later, when the last blog post about all the mechanics in the update are done.  Of course, I don't know how much else you have planned out that you don't talk about (because you have a habit of talking only about things you're confident in releasing, give or take), so there's always that.

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 17, 2018, 09:33:18 PM
That stuff is just gone. You could, however, set up a tech-mining operation in the ruins, which could theoretically yield these kinds of items.
Minor: these ruins (as a planet modifier) don't actually care what tech was there before, do they? Are they even all the same (in terms of chances for tech) or are some weighted to yield more or better stuff?
(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
<runs away screaming>
I know it's not happening, for good reasons, but Starsector's mighty nice shoot em up, even when it isn't!
I did consider it, but the logical endpoint of that is "projected marine losses: 3,000 credits" and, uh, I don't want to present things that way.
That's how the things are, though. You just need enough marines for whom you just pay once and spend them where it's needed; they don't level up or affect anything else (I'm still sad by having crew veterancy gone, but I digress). They ARE numbers and the sector IS a place where people no longer care for others. You may not like it, but I really like that it sounds so casually.

On the renaming of Small Arms to Heavy Armaments, yeah it's rather difficult to sum up that into 1 or 2 short words since it encompasses so many things.  If it was just 'Mechs, Hovercraft & tanks you could sum that all up into Armour or AFVs, but including squad-support weaponry torpedos that idea.

Maybe "Weapon Systems"?  But then it's a bit vague as that could also describe ship-based weapons.

Then "Planetary Weapon Systems" would be more precise and leave less room for doubt, but then that's a rather wordy title for one commodity, I would guess the longest in-game.

Maybe "Defense Products"?  It's vague enough and with appropriate artwork one can represent that the products are any manner of vehicles and heavy infantry weapons, and their variants.  I dunno, it's hard to pin down.



I've been liking these blog posts.  Looks like the game is very close to a completed, or at least complete enough for public consumption.

I think there's at least two other options, either instead or in addition to using a commodity as ammunition to explain why bombardments aren't common.  (I'd have liked to see Transplutonics or Volatiles as the "ammunition" myself just to give them a use, but I digress).

One involves taking a page from Nexerelin's book: Reserve Fleets.  In Nexerelin, reserve fleets are stationed at planets or stations, hidden until the player or an AI invasion/raid fleet arrives at the planet and begins their invasion, in which case a large reserve fleet scrambles to interrupt the invaders and must be defeated to finish the invasion process.

Reserve fleets could be a way to force someone who wanted to do very significant hostile actions like bombardment to directly engage with the more active gameplay element (fleet battles) instead of sort of relying on a few unreliable faction patrols on engaging you en-route, as it's actually fairly easy to run laps around them using sustained burn with only a few skills in Navigation while they putter around trying to catch you with standard & sustained burn.  W/O a reserve fleet type mechanic I worry it'll be too easy to "bombard" extremely big and important planets with little more than Drams & Valkyries, which would only have to worry about being extremely unluckily ambushed by a conveniently spawning.  It'd also explain why a Tri-Tachyon official wouldn't even consider invading Chicomoztoc even though all their patrol fleets are off chasing one poor pirate sod in a Hound; their fleet probably couldn't get through the Hegemony's defensive garrison without massive casualties anyways.

If wanting Raids to be much more common than Bombardment, I think it wouldn't be too hard to handwave that reserve fleet away for raids.  The raiding marines are lightning fast, in & out of whatever supply depot or refinery and back to their shadowy dropship in minutes.  By the time the reserve force can scramble, the offending fleet is already pulling away with their spoils of war.  Meanwhile a fleet that's engaged in bombardment has to linger by definition, and thus the reserve fleet can maneuver to engage them and save their homeworld.

Another option is to have planetary defenses play a slightly more active roll than just increasing "ammunition consumption":Planetary Defenses causing CR drops or even hull damage to the offending fleet.  That would give another potential cost that could be controlled by, say, fleet composition: A fleet with more combat vessels like Eagles, Paragons, Etc would be better able to suppress planetary defenses and ultimately take less CR/Hull damage than a theoretical "Prometheus of Doom" fleet with mostly tankers, troop transports or even just civilian haulers filled with Marines, and the occasional Frigate.

I think it's possible to do something like that without getting hugely detailed.
Say, civilian vessels like the Starliner, Atlas and Prometheus are worth 0 on the Suppression Scale
Military vessels like Hammerheads, Eagles & Onslaughts are worth their value in recovery cost (8, 22 & 40 IIRC) before adjustment.
Optionally:Vessels get an additional modifier based on their size class.  Say, arbitarily, FFs are worth 0x(handwaved as too small & flimsy to reliably stand up to counter-battery fire), DDs are worth .5x, CLs and CAs are worth 1x, and BCs & BBs are worth 1.5x(Making the Onslaught just as terrifying to see in orbit as it is from the bridge.).  So the Hammerhead, Eagle & Onslaught of the previous example are worth 4, 22 & 60 suppression points if I recalled my recovery costs correctly originally.
Optionally:Vessels can get additional bonuses/maluses based on hullmods.  May be a modular hullmod, or could probably be added to the Valkyrie in addition to its other upcoming bonus.
Finally, the Fleet's suppression values are compared to the planet's Defense value.  Let's say the defense value is an arbitary 50 on Kanta's Den.
If the Fleet's net suppression is equal to or exceeds the defense value, little or no CR/Hull damage is taken.  So, say, a handful of Eagles would allow you to bombard the den safely.
Otherwise, the fleet takes some CR/hull damage which will require time and supplies to repair.  So, say, a few Hammerheads would not be enough to bombard the den safely.

The end result is basically a soft cap needing overcome with combat craft and a reason why barrages aren't more common: Even if one could sneak into the port past all the patrols in nothing but a Prometheus and two Valkyries with a battalion of marines, you still can't safely dump your fuel onto defenses even if you theoretically have enough to knock them all out without the dedicated combat craft doing suppressive work.  Safely suppressing the defenses would need a big fleet of big combat ships.  Big fleets are expensive, big ships are expensive.  Thus, a properly outfitted bombardment fleet, with all the ammunition and marines and battleships for suppressive fire, would be expensive to procure and maintain, and thus rare.

But that's just my ramblings.  

(Man, I spent way more time than I wanted to with that whole bit).



On a final note, how about Aerospace Fighters?  Could we see a fighter design that can operate both in an atmosphere and in space?  Mechanically there wouldn't be much of a difference in the Fleet battle part, maybe the Aerospace design is slightly weaker in space combat but grants a bonus to raid strength when raiding planets (able to provide Close Air Support to the Marines on the ground)  I don't think any current fighter is fluffed as an atmospheric-capable fighter though, so it'd require either adding that to an existing fighter or creating an entirely new one.  Maybe something armed with something that's not too useful in space but presumably more useful against soft targets, like the Thumper?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Madao on August 17, 2018, 10:02:34 PM
A "Fuel Production" industry requires a "Synchrotron Core" to boost fuel output beyond a fairly low level. This is a rare item that Sindria has, and it can be stolen.

Sindria and I have always gotten along quite well, I don't see this relationship continuing into the future..

On another note, and sorry if this was answered and I missed it;
If say there is only one of these Synchrotron Cores in Sindria and I was to successfully swipe it in a raid, does that mean that I now have the only synchrotron core in the game now and forever? Or do factions have mean to eventually restore their collection of relics or are they just permanently hamstrung?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Bribe Guntails on August 17, 2018, 11:02:41 PM
Another exciting and long-awaited blog post!


Small-scale raids a-la Firefly train heist are probably going to be relegated to the much smaller worlds like Asharu. Such worlds won't have sophisticated and heavily-embedded defense systems throughout all of their infrastructure.

Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.

I think everyone denouncing Orbital Bombardments is not seeing it as the late-game, bird-flipping, wreck-their-*** mechanic it very much looks to be.
Expensive, arguably inefficient, maybe impractical. Also devastating, expedient, and consequential.

The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.


Alex, have you added tooltips for unexplained mechanics in 0.8.1 such as Armor? I'm very sure there's no (combination of) tooltips which explain how Armor works in the game; I have had to rely on external sources for reminders.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 17, 2018, 11:39:11 PM
(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
I do agree that "Heavy Armaments" doesn't quite carry enough oompf.  If either of you are looking for a more fitting name for such a variety of weapons, "Military-Grade Weapons Systems" covers the bill fairly well, if a bit long - cutting off the last word would also leave you with a good name.  The name itself fits into the criminal underworld wanting such high-grade weapons to back their words in shady backroom deals, as I expect the Organized Crime of Chicomoztoc would still like to get their hands on such items. :)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 18, 2018, 04:40:26 AM
Having thought about this some - and there are a few "raid for rare items" raid option leftovers - I do like the idea, but I'm not sure how it would work.

Let's say it's possible for a heist - with relatively minimal investment - to pay off big. Then either it's an explotable mechanism for getting way too much money too quickly, or it has to be rate-limited somehow. One way to do that is having a small chance of success, but that's not very fun. Another way would be through suspicion, somehow - maybe you can do it in one area, but have to wait for things to cool off - but that seems still vulnerable to being exploited. And there's always the potential for it to go from "unlimited exploit" to "something you ought to do whenever it comes up as being available", i.e. less a major exploit but just a chore disguised as an easy opportunity to get good stuff.

What I'm getting at is, as cool as the concept is, I'm not sure how this would work as a core mechanic without running into these problems. I think this sort of thing would work better as a one-off, or perhaps very rarely repeating, bar-mission type thing. (And, hey, that'd tie this into missions and raids, too.) Open to ideas, of course, as far as how it might work as a core mechanic - at the very least, that'd be interesting from a design analysis point of view.

The easiest way I see is to make the reward so small that its not worth it past the early game, outside of missions. If in a self-planned heist you get like, ten luxury goods or illegal drugs, that's nice for a frigate captain, but not worth the bother for an admiral. The bother being mainly the necessity to sneak past patrols and inducing a high market suspicion (so patrols will still come to scan you later on).

Once the mechanic exists, it could be used for heist missions, were you e.g. get inside info on the time and place of an AI core transfer taking place, and thus much better rewards. 



(Oddly enough, I did already change "Hand Weapons" to something else! They're now "Heavy Armaments", covering stuff from heavy squad-level weapons to hovercraft, tanks, mechs, and so on. Currently only used to boost the effectiveness of ground defenses - that is, ground defenses have demand for those, and suffer if it's not met.)
The new name bothers me somewhat, I thought there's a better term for thing you're describing, but besides "materiel" I couldn't find anything fitting.
I do agree that "Heavy Armaments" doesn't quite carry enough oompf.  If either of you are looking for a more fitting name for such a variety of weapons, "Military-Grade Weapons Systems" covers the bill fairly well, if a bit long - cutting off the last word would also leave you with a good name.  The name itself fits into the criminal underworld wanting such high-grade weapons to back their words in shady backroom deals, as I expect the Organized Crime of Chicomoztoc would still like to get their hands on such items. :)

My issue with all of these terms is that they don't really exclude ship weapons.
Maybe just "Firearms & Vehicles". Or "Army Materiel".
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SCC on August 18, 2018, 05:07:29 AM
Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.
I was going to say the same! But sleep interrupted me... Anyhow, I think Military Hardware does cut it. It sounds well and it covers pretty much everything, from fire arms to space-ground dropships.
The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.
Oh ***, it is, and it's also the thing (particle accelerator) that is used to create antimatter on Earth, right now. I'm so used to inaccuracies in games that I can't see nuggets of truth.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Madao on August 18, 2018, 05:28:05 AM
On the "Heavy Armaments" topic, how about the plain and simple "Small Arms"? It's nice and familiar, also accurate. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: kuketski on August 18, 2018, 07:33:15 AM
Having thought about this some - and there are a few "raid for rare items" raid option leftovers - I do like the idea, but I'm not sure how it would work.

Let's say it's possible for a heist - with relatively minimal investment - to pay off big. Then either it's an explotable mechanism for getting way too much money too quickly, or it has to be rate-limited somehow. One way to do that is having a small chance of success, but that's not very fun. Another way would be through suspicion, somehow - maybe you can do it in one area, but have to wait for things to cool off - but that seems still vulnerable to being exploited. And there's always the potential for it to go from "unlimited exploit" to "something you ought to do whenever it comes up as being available", i.e. less a major exploit but just a chore disguised as an easy opportunity to get good stuff.

What I'm getting at is, as cool as the concept is, I'm not sure how this would work as a core mechanic without running into these problems. I think this sort of thing would work better as a one-off, or perhaps very rarely repeating, bar-mission type thing. (And, hey, that'd tie this into missions and raids, too.) Open to ideas, of course, as far as how it might work as a core mechanic - at the very least, that'd be interesting from a design analysis point of view.

It could be high-risk, high-reward type of mission.

Heist mission involves a limited amount of people (split in several teams, team size increases chances of success, but also increases chances of being detected) and chances are MUCH better if you use your officers as team leaders. Before mission you designate a vessels that would be used for infiltration (hullmods bonuses for stealth and speed+omni shield bonuses for getaway unde rfire), spoils transportation (cargo capacity should be considered) and teams` exfiltration (same as infiltration?).

Stronger defences would require more teams (each additional team increases chances of success) - 'power grid disable team', 'security network hacking team', 'diversion team', 'object dismantling team', 'perimeter security team' etc.

Team leader`(Officers`) personalities define how well they assert risks and situation. Their level and skills define how well they do their part. If one of the teams raises the alarm, team leaders can decide to go power-through and try to steal the item anyway. If noticed, team could manage to keep it stealthy, take casualties (including officer) in process or be wiped out. If operation is blown, vessels involved are being looked for and hunted.

So, in short - you could try to steal something of high value, but you would need to risk your fleet - officers (without officers as team leaders chances of success are miniscule) and your ships (one for each team plus at least one for loot hauling and some for space distraction) and your reputation if you are discovered.

On pro side, you could create a heist missions not only for nano-forges etc, but also for credits (casino heists?).
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 18, 2018, 08:17:30 AM
My issue with all of these terms is that they don't really exclude ship weapons.
Maybe just "Firearms & Vehicles". Or "Army Materiel".
Thing is, there's a pretty blurry line between what we see as, say the armament on a tank, and then the armament of something like an Enforcer.  Most Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) today have a 120mm (or larger) smoothbore cannon.  The Guass Cannon is 300mm in caliber, which honestly isn't even as large as the largest cannons that humanity has used - Schwerer Gustav, a German railroad gun in WWII, was a massive 800mm cannon.  The Hephaestus Assault Gun has a pair of L/89 barrels, or barrels that are 89 times the caliber in length - and accounting for the rather long and thin looking barrels, these are (relatively) small caliber.  Not to mention the usage of Light and Heavy Machineguns on ships, which I assume are the same as down here on Earth.  And I think before some description updates the Light Autocannon and Light Assault Gun used to be a 40mm cannons.  All of these are very common weapon types and calibers in ground warfare, at least in the modern sense.  If you include ground batteries, well, humanity has this penchant of just taking turrets off battleships and using them as shore batteries.  "Firearms & Vehicles", while it tells you exactly what it is, doesn't really sound appealing, and "Army Material" doesn't really imply weapons of any sort, rather supplies.  "Military Equipment" would work though.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Chaos Blade on August 18, 2018, 08:22:17 AM
a very interesting blog post.
I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

Though I think it would be intersting to see it happen, the latter, in case of a bitter faction war or as a way of plague control? In the former, standard morality has flown out of the window and people are killing each other with gusto, in the latter would be more akin to amputation (mostly I am trying to figure scenarios where either would be acceptable or have reduced penalties)

it is not the sort of thing I would use, but I really like lore limitations and exceptiosn in game, which is why I like this blog post so much, sure the in universe reason for the costs might be stretched, but I prefer having some sort of framework that could justify it, as opposed to a very plain balance/gameplay issues (like the lance limitation in the recent Battletech game... when your dropship has enough bays for a company and change of mechs or the one skyranger limitation in firaxis nucom and in the latter is even worse because you have tons of VTOL interceptors all over the world... but only one dropship and make mechancis based off that artificial limitation... which is something that pisses me off in games, I can understand game balance, but to purposely reduce your options? talk about artificial difficulty)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Midnight Kitsune on August 18, 2018, 08:35:23 AM
one thought on a meaningful tactical decision that could be made. You could choose whether the raid is covert or overt. a covert raid reduces chances of success but adds a chance that it won't be realised that you conducted the raid (maybe has to pass additional skill check), an overt raid has a higher chance of success but you will always be known as the culprit. This should only be allowed for raids, it makes no sense for bombardments.
Don't we have this already with the transponder on and off stuff?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: errorgance on August 18, 2018, 09:06:42 AM
There’s a single word term for the next thing bigger than arms.

Ordinance.

The word ordinance covers things like artillery, anti aircraft guns and missiles. It’s not as beefy sounding, but you could add military in front for greater effect. Military Ordinance.



Alex, thanks for the detailed “no” it’s nice to know “why” and I appreciate it, talk about more complex than assumed!


One more thing, could a raid also apply to persons? Say kidnap pirate Commander Bob, for interrogation, ransom, or for the bounty?  Doing a bounty raid on a civilized world would I think be a good early game option, local forces would be much more welcoming (lower consequences) to someone picking up a dangerous outlaw rather than someone stealing a nano forge. Also raiding a hostile pirate base for a bounty would be a good step up in risk before you start raiding other factions.

And another thing, what’s the point of individual relations with commanders?
Couldn’t they be helpful in a situation like this? A Station/planetary commander could delay the authorities response times, foul up investigations into who raided them, or even turn a blind eye entirely, perhaps even lend a hand if high enough.  heck could a good reputation with a commander allow you to smuggle more without suspicion?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 18, 2018, 09:54:01 AM
a very interesting blog post.
I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

Though I think it would be intersting to see it happen, the latter, in case of a bitter faction war or as a way of plague control? In the former, standard morality has flown out of the window and people are killing each other with gusto, in the latter would be more akin to amputation (mostly I am trying to figure scenarios where either would be acceptable or have reduced penalties)

it is not the sort of thing I would use, but I really like lore limitations and exceptiosn in game, which is why I like this blog post so much, sure the in universe reason for the costs might be stretched, but I prefer having some sort of framework that could justify it, as opposed to a very plain balance/gameplay issues (like the lance limitation in the recent Battletech game... when your dropship has enough bays for a company and change of mechs or the one skyranger limitation in firaxis nucom and in the latter is even worse because you have tons of VTOL interceptors all over the world... but only one dropship and make mechancis based off that artificial limitation... which is something that pisses me off in games, I can understand game balance, but to purposely reduce your options? talk about artificial difficulty)
I agree with the cost for bombardment, I just don't believe it should be fuel, which is otherwise only consumed in hyperspace.

Maybe if you have a faction commission you can accept missions to raid or bombard specific planets that your faction deems to be strategically important.  That'd give some variety to them at least, which currently only has 2 variants: "Find this object" and "Bring stuff here".

On your last paragraph I just want to add the sidenote:
Spoiler
In BATTLETECH, you have two dropships, but only the Leopard can actually land.  The Leopard canonically has 4 'Mech Bays and 2 Fighter bays, or a lance-worth of 'Mechs, hence the limitation.  Your Argo has enough space for more but you just can't land them all at once.
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Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Chaos Blade on August 18, 2018, 10:19:05 AM
to reply to your spoiler, yes,
Spoiler
that is true but the point is that as an investment, the Argo with only one leo feels like a waste. moreover the ARgo seemed to have an internal bay for shuttles that could have carried more (and another external hardpoint for another dropship)
The excuse is rather feeble because few missions in game are of the deploy and go back, you could always deploy some ways out (actually, normally, because it is less risk to the leo) and that means having time to deploy more than one lance... but again shows the idiocy of having only one leo with the argo. as an excuse it really doesn't work. I'd very much preferred having a land base and the leopard and upgrade that way, but even then the leo has six bays (converted the ASF bays into mech bays) so again, deploying only four doesn't seem to work
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As for the rest, I understand what you mean, fuel is used only for FTL, so yeah, if it had been reaction mass and used for standard movement, yeah... maybe. perhaps making it supply intensive, instead? I mean Alex seems to want to give fuel other uses, which is reasonable to me, but yeah, doesn't quite work with fuel only being used in FTL
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: arwan on August 18, 2018, 10:52:50 AM
i know a lot has already been said on using fuel for bombardment. (to be honest i did not read all of them. due to time constraints.) but i feel like fuel is already SUCH an important commodity that this may be over stretching its importance a bit. it makes me feel like some of the other commodities could use some love in the usefulness department instead.

right now it feels like in terms of usefulness and importance. the only commodities that really mater currently are supplies and fuel anyway. if one were to have a sort of bar graph of importance these 2 commodities would be i feel about 95% of the entire graph. sure there are a couple edge cases for one or 2 of the other commodities. but they really dont have a use (as of yet) that is important in a meaningful way.

I can certainly get behind not making another type of commodity for just the sake of bombardment as well though. instead I in my honest opinion. (there is that word shudder) would like to possibly see a different resource or even a combination of lesser resources be required for bombardments. if a combination were used i could certainly then see fuel being in the mix as a minor resource for that. as you said volatiles are I believe a good primary required resource. maybe a little bit of fuel and maybe a high end metal of some sort. where the metal and volatiles are the primary requirement.

after all if your going to war anyway via bombardment wouldn't a smart commander (i imagine) plan for that. instead of in a sense going well. i have all this extra fuel on board i was going to use to get back home... buuuut. whats the worst that could happen. drop it all in low planetary orbit and let it rain fuel.. they will thank me later when fuel prices drop.

then end up in a huge war with no way to run away. or a very possible desperate state. because someone could not either figure out just how much fuel they needed for the return journey and they guessed wrong. (whoops) or it never crossed their mind before they dropped the bombs and are now lambs to the slaughter with no way to escape. (do you smell bacon.... i smell bacon)

i dont know i just get this impending feeling that this is something that sounds decent to do at limited times. but possibly all the ramifications of said action, due to the use of fuel, maybe something a bit to daunting for a lot of people to consider, especially the un-initiated new players. in just how important not running out of fuel is.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 18, 2018, 12:31:39 PM
Spoiler
I've read your thoughts thoroughly and I understand the massive undertaking it'd take and the potential underwhelming results implementing a combat scenario for this purpose could yield. I do, however, want to expand where I'm coming from.

One of the reasons why station battles feel very exciting is because you are putting the ships/skills you acquired in a different scenario. It's like a new toy to play with, a new problem to tackle. Currently on the game we have station battles, regular combat and retreats (both sides). Those are basically all the types of battles we can engage though with obviously with a lot of variation, I don't want to downplay that. When originally thinking about station assaults I (and others I'd wager) imagined fighting massive structures with reinforcements coming in or even having hangers spawning destroyers or such. A battle that would play out a different way and would push our skills/fleet to the limits. Implementing that is another story, but what I want to highlight is that such a scenario would be a real game changer to battles, which in turn makes it memorable and exciting. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pleased with the current station fights (and I imagine .9's are going to be great too), but it makes me wonder if more different/unique ideas/scenarios couldn't be implemented in the engine. For example, consider some different situations like:

-> Raiding transporters/cargo ships while the rest of the fleet defends it
-> Protecting mining operations from attackers
-> Escorting scenarios
-> Boss fights (unique ship encounters)

These would all have unique variation and their own quirks to consider, which I believe to be a very positive thing. So when reading about raiding I can't help but imagine what could have been done with the combat engine, since that is the crowning jewel of the game. Now, from your post I can see that implementing a lot of these isn't feasible nor desirable, but I do think some different types of battles for future updates of could add a lot to the game. If it is possible and you think it could create interesting gameplay, please consider it.
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Thank you for taking another look and elaborating! I think we're more or less on the same page here. Some of these ideas for combat scenarios, while they sound cool, the trouble is getting them to actually play out well. For example, the "escape" scenario is one case where it ... could probably work better, but for various reasons, it's difficult to fine-tune. It's mostly there because something *has* to be; that is, it fills a necessary role.

On the other hand, with the new release, we'll have:

Battles where you're attacking stations - which, alright, REDACTED does this already, but I think the new stations are considerably different, both in terms of power, and by being designed so that each station type creates a different feeling battle.

Battles where you're defending on the same side as a station.

And a early-midgame-to-midgame "boss" fight that you might encounter.

(As far as the station battles, 0.9a doesn't quite make *full* use of them - that is, there's a lot of room for having both more reasons to fight those types of battles, and more kinds of opponents - but it's a start in that direction, anyway.)


I assume a Synchotron Core is Domain-era technology?  If it is, all the more reason to bust open the door and take it right from under their noses. :) Though that also makes me wonder if factions can be extra-aggressive for getting back such rare and precious technology, as well as search for the missing equipment after the fact.  It sure would be suspicious if your Synchrotron Core was stolen only for another one to conveniently be acquired by an economical opponent.  The Sindrian Diktat might think that some ham-fisted raiding of their own might be in order to reclaim such material, no?

On another note, and sorry if this was answered and I missed it;
If say there is only one of these Synchrotron Cores in Sindria and I was to successfully swipe it in a raid, does that mean that I now have the only synchrotron core in the game now and forever? Or do factions have mean to eventually restore their collection of relics or are they just permanently hamstrung?

It is, but you can find more on the fringes. At the moment, taking one from Sindria would be a permanent blow. (I do want to look at how the player selling an item like that to a colony might factor in, though.) And, yeah, there's room for these kinds of responses, or simply negative reactions to successful competition. I've actually got a TODO item to look at that, but I don't think it'll make it into 0.9.

For me at least, it's that we don't learn about connections to other mechanics until later, when the last blog post about all the mechanics in the update are done.  Of course, I don't know how much else you have planned out that you don't talk about (because you have a habit of talking only about things you're confident in releasing, give or take), so there's always that.

Ah, thank you for clarifying!


On the renaming of Small Arms to Heavy Armaments, yeah it's rather difficult to sum up that into 1 or 2 short words since it encompasses so many things.  If it was just 'Mechs, Hovercraft & tanks you could sum that all up into Armour or AFVs, but including squad-support weaponry torpedos that idea.

Maybe "Weapon Systems"?  But then it's a bit vague as that could also describe ship-based weapons.

Then "Planetary Weapon Systems" would be more precise and leave less room for doubt, but then that's a rather wordy title for one commodity, I would guess the longest in-game.

Maybe "Defense Products"?  It's vague enough and with appropriate artwork one can represent that the products are any manner of vehicles and heavy infantry weapons, and their variants.  I dunno, it's hard to pin down.

Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.

(... and others...)

Thank you for the suggestions! I'm not unhappy with Heavy Armaments, so I think I'll stick with it, as nothing else jumps out as being /amazing/.


One involves taking a page from Nexerelin's book: Reserve Fleets.  In Nexerelin, reserve fleets are stationed at planets or stations, hidden until the player or an AI invasion/raid fleet arrives at the planet and begins their invasion, in which case a large reserve fleet scrambles to interrupt the invaders and must be defeated to finish the invasion process.

...

I think stations more or less fill that role, and they already prevent bombardments but not raids, so it's basically exactly that.


Spoiler
Say, civilian vessels like the Starliner, Atlas and Prometheus are worth 0 on the Suppression Scale
Military vessels like Hammerheads, Eagles & Onslaughts are worth their value in recovery cost (8, 22 & 40 IIRC) before adjustment.
Optionally:Vessels get an additional modifier based on their size class.  Say, arbitarily, FFs are worth 0x(handwaved as too small & flimsy to reliably stand up to counter-battery fire), DDs are worth .5x, CLs and CAs are worth 1x, and BCs & BBs are worth 1.5x(Making the Onslaught just as terrifying to see in orbit as it is from the bridge.).  So the Hammerhead, Eagle & Onslaught of the previous example are worth 4, 22 & 60 suppression points if I recalled my recovery costs correctly originally.
Optionally:Vessels can get additional bonuses/maluses based on hullmods.  May be a modular hullmod, or could probably be added to the Valkyrie in addition to its other upcoming bonus.
Finally, the Fleet's suppression values are compared to the planet's Defense value.  Let's say the defense value is an arbitary 50 on Kanta's Den.
If the Fleet's net suppression is equal to or exceeds the defense value, little or no CR/Hull damage is taken.  So, say, a handful of Eagles would allow you to bombard the den safely.
Otherwise, the fleet takes some CR/hull damage which will require time and supplies to repair.  So, say, a few Hammerheads would not be enough to bombard the den safely.

The end result is basically a soft cap needing overcome with combat craft and a reason why barrages aren't more common: Even if one could sneak into the port past all the patrols in nothing but a Prometheus and two Valkyries with a battalion of marines, you still can't safely dump your fuel onto defenses even if you theoretically have enough to knock them all out without the dedicated combat craft doing suppressive work.  Safely suppressing the defenses would need a big fleet of big combat ships.  Big fleets are expensive, big ships are expensive.  Thus, a properly outfitted bombardment fleet, with all the ammunition and marines and battleships for suppressive fire, would be expensive to procure and maintain, and thus rare.

On a final note, how about Aerospace Fighters?  Could we see a fighter design that can operate both in an atmosphere and in space?  Mechanically there wouldn't be much of a difference in the Fleet battle part, maybe the Aerospace design is slightly weaker in space combat but grants a bonus to raid strength when raiding planets (able to provide Close Air Support to the Marines on the ground)  I don't think any current fighter is fluffed as an atmospheric-capable fighter though, so it'd require either adding that to an existing fighter or creating an entirely new one.  Maybe something armed with something that's not too useful in space but presumably more useful against soft targets, like the Thumper?
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My feeling here is that it's smoother to just abstract all this away instead of adding another number. That is, we've already got raid strength and ground defense strength, so we already *did* add one more number to build up and manage and so on. Why add more when this is a fairly passive interaction? I mean, there could be reasons! But to me this feels like making it more detailed just for the sake of doing that, if that makes sense.


Alex, have you added tooltips for unexplained mechanics in 0.8.1 such as Armor? I'm very sure there's no (combination of) tooltips which explain how Armor works in the game; I have had to rely on external sources for reminders.

Nope! Might make sense to, say, add some tooltips to the refit screen, but I haven't been in the neighborhood, so to speak.


The easiest way I see is to make the reward so small that its not worth it past the early game, outside of missions. If in a self-planned heist you get like, ten luxury goods or illegal drugs, that's nice for a frigate captain, but not worth the bother for an admiral. The bother being mainly the necessity to sneak past patrols and inducing a high market suspicion (so patrols will still come to scan you later on).

Once the mechanic exists, it could be used for heist missions, were you e.g. get inside info on the time and place of an AI core transfer taking place, and thus much better rewards.

Ahh, gotcha - yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think implementation-wise it'd be easier to handle it as a bar-mission rather than a generic mechanic, though, both because it's set up to easily handle that and because I don't think that something with such a relatively narrow window of usefulness really needs top-level UI feature billing.


The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.
Oh ***, it is, and it's also the thing (particle accelerator) that is used to create antimatter on Earth, right now. I'm so used to inaccuracies in games that I can't see nuggets of truth.

:D The time I spend on wikipedia...


I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

In-fiction, the way I see it is pretty much jury-rigged fuel cells being dropped from orbit, whether for a high-orbit dispersal or for a concentrated high-damage strike.

This is... not super important, right, but the important point is that it completelty decouples it from military ships. Otherwise, it's tempting to start, say, calculating bombardment strengths of various ships and so on, and it just ends up being a lot of stats and number crunching without a particular benefit.


Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

It's already got higher reputation penalties, yeah. I'm not sure there's really any reason for lowering the fuel cost.


Alex, thanks for the detailed “no” it’s nice to know “why” and I appreciate it, talk about more complex than assumed!

Thank you for not taking it adversely :)


One more thing, could a raid also apply to persons? Say kidnap pirate Commander Bob, for interrogation, ransom, or for the bounty?  Doing a bounty raid on a civilized world would I think be a good early game option, local forces would be much more welcoming (lower consequences) to someone picking up a dangerous outlaw rather than someone stealing a nano forge. Also raiding a hostile pirate base for a bounty would be a good step up in risk before you start raiding other factions.

Hmm - I think that sort of thing might be better handled as specific missions. That is, I don't think a general-purpose "kidnap a person" mechanic really belongs in a game about fleets and colonies and so on.

And another thing, what’s the point of individual relations with commanders?
Couldn’t they be helpful in a situation like this? A Station/planetary commander could delay the authorities response times, foul up investigations into who raided them, or even turn a blind eye entirely, perhaps even lend a hand if high enough.  heck could a good reputation with a commander allow you to smuggle more without suspicion?

There really isn't one they're starting to feel like a solution in search of a problem. Definitely a case of me adding something because it seemed potentially useful/cool (and not too difficult) at the time, and then just everything not going in a direction to take advantage of it. So for example this sort of thing, right, it would make sense if it was a core mechanic that we were tying more things into. But right now it's kind of an island - your relationship with a station commander etc doesn't matter 99% of the time - so tying one individual thing to it I don't think would be a good idea.


Spoiler
i know a lot has already been said on using fuel for bombardment. (to be honest i did not read all of them. due to time constraints.) but i feel like fuel is already SUCH an important commodity that this may be over stretching its importance a bit. it makes me feel like some of the other commodities could use some love in the usefulness department instead.

right now it feels like in terms of usefulness and importance. the only commodities that really mater currently are supplies and fuel anyway. if one were to have a sort of bar graph of importance these 2 commodities would be i feel about 95% of the entire graph. sure there are a couple edge cases for one or 2 of the other commodities. but they really dont have a use (as of yet) that is important in a meaningful way.

I can certainly get behind not making another type of commodity for just the sake of bombardment as well though. instead I in my honest opinion. (there is that word shudder) would like to possibly see a different resource or even a combination of lesser resources be required for bombardments. if a combination were used i could certainly then see fuel being in the mix as a minor resource for that. as you said volatiles are I believe a good primary required resource. maybe a little bit of fuel and maybe a high end metal of some sort. where the metal and volatiles are the primary requirement.

after all if your going to war anyway via bombardment wouldn't a smart commander (i imagine) plan for that. instead of in a sense going well. i have all this extra fuel on board i was going to use to get back home... buuuut. whats the worst that could happen. drop it all in low planetary orbit and let it rain fuel.. they will thank me later when fuel prices drop.

then end up in a huge war with no way to run away. or a very possible desperate state. because someone could not either figure out just how much fuel they needed for the return journey and they guessed wrong. (whoops) or it never crossed their mind before they dropped the bombs and are now lambs to the slaughter with no way to escape. (do you smell bacon.... i smell bacon)

i dont know i just get this impending feeling that this is something that sounds decent to do at limited times. but possibly all the ramifications of said action, due to the use of fuel, maybe something a bit to daunting for a lot of people to consider, especially the un-initiated new players. in just how important not running out of fuel is.
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Hmm - in part, it being a daunting prospect is kind of the point. I do see what you're saying, though. I'll just say that I'd like to see how it works out in practice before making it more complicated. I also like the idea of it not being something you have to stock up on specifically for bombardments, which would be the case for most other resources.

(Side note, we've got uses for Heavy Machinery, a fringe use for Volatiles, and with 0.9a, a use for marines, more uses for Heavy Machinery and Metals (constructing objectives). So I think it's moving in the right direction! Some resources will be leaned on more heavily than others, and they also have more direct UI support - i.e. the fuel bar, the supplies indicator, and so on. The goal isn't to make it all evenly important, since then you'd probably have to stockpile and track too many things. But just enough so that a bunch of things are at least situationally useful.)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: errorgance on August 18, 2018, 03:36:44 PM
Alex, I don’t see reputations with commanders as looking for a problem, there are plenty of problems they could help with. I could list a bunch here but that I think that deserves its own thread in the suggestions forum.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 18, 2018, 04:48:37 PM
Alex, I don’t see reputations with commanders as looking for a problem, there are plenty of problems they could help with. I could list a bunch here but that I think that deserves its own thread in the suggestions forum.

There's lots of stuff where they could factor in, yeah; I guess what I mean is the game in general is moving a bit more macro-scale as far as what feels important and that drives what new mechanics feel right to add. So even if there are problems (and of course there are, right) it might make more sense to solve them differently.

That said: if you've got specific thoughts here, I'd love to hear them!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: intrinsic_parity on August 18, 2018, 05:40:05 PM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: FooF on August 18, 2018, 06:23:36 PM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Jonlissla on August 19, 2018, 03:47:21 AM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cyan Leader on August 19, 2018, 07:29:55 AM
On the other hand, with the new release, we'll have:

Battles where you're attacking stations - which, alright, REDACTED does this already, but I think the new stations are considerably different, both in terms of power, and by being designed so that each station type creates a different feeling battle.

Battles where you're defending on the same side as a station.

And a early-midgame-to-midgame "boss" fight that you might encounter.

(As far as the station battles, 0.9a doesn't quite make *full* use of them - that is, there's a lot of room for having both more reasons to fight those types of battles, and more kinds of opponents - but it's a start in that direction, anyway.)

I look forward to these, thanks for letting me know. Best of luck with the playtesting!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 19, 2018, 09:58:40 AM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 19, 2018, 10:04:43 AM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)

I think all that makes more sense in M&B, since lords are a primary gameplay element - armies are centered around them, you can't help but interact with them, you can see what lord is in charge of an army, and so on. Tying the same sort of thing to a commander tucked away at a station or a planet isn't equivalent. It also makes more in-fiction sense there, as far as lords having more local power (though IIRC you couldn't be, say, hostile to one city of a faction but not another, so it wasn't really regional, just lord-based, but I digress.)

As far as patrol commanders, they're not persistent. That's not to say that they *couldn't* be.

I do see what you guys are saying, and have thought along very similar lines. I just don't think that it's a good fit, and trying to make it work would involve a lot of shoehorning. Plus, as far as what I'd want to work on, say more exciting macro-things to do with REDACTED seem like a much better use of time than adding nuance to the reputation system, which in the end functions just so you've got things to fight against and things to fight on the same side as. I think that expanding on large scale events is a more interesting direction to take the game in.

The payoff for having more nuance there... well, it exists, but it would come at the cost of a lot of restructuring and UI changes to properly support it, and a lot of complications to other mechanics. For example, if you can't assume that if faction X is hostile, then patrol Y of that faction will be hostile, that could mean all sorts of bugs or exploits to guard against. There's definitely a hidden ongoing cost to this.

And, finally - maybe rehashing my initial point - I really do think that lord in M&B work because the game is in large part about your relationships with lords. In some sense, it's what the game - or at least its overworld aspect - is *about*. All these potential interactions sound like fun, but I don't think they'd actually come to fruition often enough to be a worthwhile addition unless the game was focused on them. I think that degree of primacy is required to pull this off, and I don't see Starsector as being fundamentally a game about your relationships with local commanders.


Best of luck with the playtesting!

Thank you!


I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, that was just a bit of future-proofing on my part that didn't really connect up to anything very well. Sorry :)

(But hey, on the bright side, you'd be right to say that for that case, I didn't think it all the way through!)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: xenoargh on August 19, 2018, 01:46:59 PM
Overall, looks great!  Couple of thoughts:

1.  Not sure about the cooldown as opposed to having to sit there waiting for the Raid to finish.  One of the nail-biters in Mount and Blade was finishing a raid before a Lord showed up.  So... IDK, maybe do a bit of dice-rolling and <if enemy fleet or station is near enough> allow it to engage during the Raid, so that there's some risk to doing a stealth-raid with nothing but a Prometheus and a few Valkyries?

2.  So... right now, we can Decivilize everything, then plant colonies?  Hmm.  Why not just throw in a simplistic invasion feature where you need a pretty overwhelming number of Marines, for now?

3.  One mini-game option that sounds distinctly Fun, at least to me, is to have Raids take place as a battle, with the Planetary Defenses as actual objects covering the targets, the Marines advancing slowly and the player fleet having to run interference. 

The mechanics, as proposed, basically mean players will stack Marines and Fuel in giant piles somewhere until it's time to go on the offensive, and then deploy their giant resource pools through clicking on a UI, hitting planet after planet of the Faction they want to decimate; this sounds pretty anticlimactic. 

4.  Obviously, some Factions should be happy you've Raided their enemies.  Shouldn't there be some upside diplomatically?  I can see that nobody would be particularly thrilled with you if you decimate populations, but if you've crippled their economies or defenses with targeted strikes, some parties will be cheering you on.  For example, the Pirates might appreciate it if you bomb Planetary Defenses and make the planet easier to Raid in the future.

5.  Does this mean Pirate Raids can now be expected to be loot-pinatas of Fuel?

6.  I think there might be a fleet role for not just the combat side of raiding, but the pick-up-stuff part.  Maybe that's a role for the Venture or Hound?

7.  How about raiding for people?  Pirates surely buy slaves; your colonies could use experts (and slaves, if you're evil); this seems like a neo-cyberpunkish thing to include.

8.  How about assassinating the Governor or other important leaders?

9.  Shouldn't some Factions offer Missions where the Mission is, "go Raid X for us"?

10.  Shouldn't being a notorious Raider without a major Faction to back you up get some really huge fleets chasing you down?  I mean, this is the sort of thing that you'd think would put a huge Bounty on your head.

11.  Speaking of which... can't players start accruing a Bounty for their various deeds (i.e., killing pretty much anybody, even Pirates)?  Wouldn't that be cool, if it eventually got large enough that huge fleets came after the player, or they had to pay off the Factions they annoyed so much? 
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 19, 2018, 01:54:25 PM
this seems really.. simple?

it doesn't necessarily need a minigame, but imo bare minimum it should at least have a few components:

1. bigger fleets with heavier guns bombard better (really, any sort of actual heavy bombardment shouldn't even be possible unless you have very heavy weapons or weapons exclusively designed for the task)

2. takes time (obviously, should be pretty risky)

3. enemy capable of sortieing fleets to stop you (risk) station defenses get a shot at you / the ordnance (fair is fair)

also i feel like there should be some system for standoff bombing and the resulting knock-on effects of that. i don't know if any of these ships would even be capable of flying around in-atmo and even if they could why would you?

seems like planetary bombardment is something that would be rare and a large operation (both militarily and logistically) making it "click a dialogue option" and then resolved instantaneously just seems really weird. ideally it should be it's own campaign where there are a few steps with plenty of opportunity for the defenders to interfere with your attack (or for you to interfere with theirs)

invasions likewise.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: errorgance on August 19, 2018, 05:25:55 PM
Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)

I think all that makes more sense in M&B, since lords are a primary gameplay element - armies are centered around them, you can't help but interact with them, you can see what lord is in charge of an army, and so on. Tying the same sort of thing to a commander tucked away at a station or a planet isn't equivalent. It also makes more in-fiction sense there, as far as lords having more local power (though IIRC you couldn't be, say, hostile to one city of a faction but not another, so it wasn't really regional, just lord-based, but I digress.)

As far as patrol commanders, they're not persistent. That's not to say that they *couldn't* be.

I do see what you guys are saying, and have thought along very similar lines. I just don't think that it's a good fit, and trying to make it work would involve a lot of shoehorning. Plus, as far as what I'd want to work on, say more exciting macro-things to do with REDACTED seem like a much better use of time than adding nuance to the reputation system, which in the end functions just so you've got things to fight against and things to fight on the same side as. I think that expanding on large scale events is a more interesting direction to take the game in.

The payoff for having more nuance there... well, it exists, but it would come at the cost of a lot of restructuring and UI changes to properly support it, and a lot of complications to other mechanics. For example, if you can't assume that if faction X is hostile, then patrol Y of that faction will be hostile, that could mean all sorts of bugs or exploits to guard against. There's definitely a hidden ongoing cost to this.

And, finally - maybe rehashing my initial point - I really do think that lord in M&B work because the game is in large part about your relationships with lords. In some sense, it's what the game - or at least its overworld aspect - is *about*. All these potential interactions sound like fun, but I don't think they'd actually come to fruition often enough to be a worthwhile addition unless the game was focused on them. I think that degree of primacy is required to pull this off, and I don't see Starsector as being fundamentally a game about your relationships with local commanders.


Best of luck with the playtesting!

Thank you!


I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, that was just a bit of future-proofing on my part that didn't really connect up to anything very well. Sorry :)

(But hey, on the bright side, you'd be right to say that for that case, I didn't think it all the way through!)

Posted my thoughts in the suggestion area, spoilers, it’s not too far off from what the others suggested, with just a bit more to it, It’s like you said though, in the current game it’d be mostly adding nuance and alternatives, so I agree with you that other features are of higher priority, (just what exactly would you rather work on next?  ;D)

I do hope you find time to implement something like this in the future though, I think this could be one of those features that doesn’t so much as add to the game, as multiply everything else.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Shrugger on August 20, 2018, 01:11:37 AM
Just chiming in to say that thematically, fuel does make some sense as the bombardment-specific resource.

If you're using lasers, you need to generate lots of energy, which comes from fuel.
If you're using missiles, you need to deorbit them, which costs fuel.
If you're using ballistics, you need to get into the right orbit to start from, which takes fuel.

...then again, that's normal fuel. But Starsector only has magical hyperspace fuel.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: errorgance on August 20, 2018, 04:23:13 AM
Shrugger, it’s not magical hyperspace fuel, it’s antimatter, which you use to travel through a magical place  ;D

And now that I think of it that way, Antimatter make a lot more sense for weapons, especially if you call it “antimatter bombardment” ;)

Second thought on using fuel for bombs, if you can make an antimatter bomb out of fuel, why not something else, like mines? it’d bring more continuity for fuel use as weapon since a singular use is an oddity, while two uses is the start of a pattern.

Besides, aren’t minefields are already planned?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Chaos Blade on August 20, 2018, 08:54:41 AM

I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

In-fiction, the way I see it is pretty much jury-rigged fuel cells being dropped from orbit, whether for a high-orbit dispersal or for a concentrated high-damage strike.

This is... not super important, right, but the important point is that it completelty decouples it from military ships. Otherwise, it's tempting to start, say, calculating bombardment strengths of various ships and so on, and it just ends up being a lot of stats and number crunching without a particular benefit.


Not sure if this one flies wth me, Military ships should be better at bombardment, or there should be at least some ortillery capable weapons that should, at the very least, help with raids. But the Jury rig part is the one that I dislike. if it is a jury-rig, there should be better ways of doing it. Hell, there are transuranics in game so, why not just build some fision-fusion* devices and call it a day? specially if the targets are in planets with atmo?, or grab a few hulks from the last battle and send them down the planet.

So, I am not sure if I understand what is the pro of completely uncoupling bombardment from ships. I can see a few pirates making Jury-rig devices and droping off an airlock, but a ship with bombardment tubes and proper ordnance should be able to do things better (admittedly, both things should be things held zealously by factions, and would need acquiring them though difficult ops and missions for the player) or how the jury rigged method could serve for other than terror strikes or saturation attacks

*which from what I understand is the best way of getting the most bag for your buck if you want to erase a few places in a planet

Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

It's already got higher reputation penalties, yeah. I'm not sure there's really any reason for lowering the fuel cost.
[/quote]

Yeah, the fuel cost, if we go by the jury rig justification makes sense, but the way I saw it a limited bombardment needs some degree of finesse, so it is actually a skill if you want to hit something in particular as opposed to carped bomb the place, thus I felt that it having a higher material cost made sense, but this was me interpreting the fuel cost was based off maneuvers or some bombardment mode to weapons.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Shrugger on August 20, 2018, 09:45:52 AM
Re: Military ships should be good at planetary bombardment.

I don't think so. Weapons designed for use against spaceships in a near-perfect vacuum differ greatly from orbit-tosurface weapons used against industrial zones or even population centers situated on planets with an atmosphere. It makes no sense for anti-ship ships to reduce their combat efficiency by bringing extra weapons that are useful only in special situations they'll hardly ever be in, as opposed to just keeping a few specialized planetary bombardment tools stored in a shed somewhere, to break out when needed.

Whether those tools are special weapons, hullmods or entirely specialized ships doesn't really matter; the main point is that you wouldn't outfit every military ship with them regardless of its intended role.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Trylobot on August 20, 2018, 10:42:20 AM
Mmmm, planetary raids. 0.9 is gonna be great.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 20, 2018, 11:12:13 AM
fuel makes sense, one would assume planetary defenses would be the kind of stuff you do NOT want to get hit with. Screening fire makes it unsafe to go down to X altitude, but e-burns that expend fuel would artificially lower the safe altitude. terrestrial defense's fire control would paint a target, figure out its maximum vectors, fire salvos at the maximum intercept points of those vectors and then fill in the blanks. The higher up a ship is, or the more maneuverable it is, the wider the space between its maximum vectors and the more blank space between there is for the guns to fill in, so if a planet's defenses are big, you gotta put more into your engines to artificially lower the kill zone until you're able to get to the prime point to de-orbit ordinance without getting your she'll shucked.

Also, I'm glad Alex is finally introducing these mechanics bc they're super important to the plot of a post-contemporary pike-and-shot minus-the-shot game that I've been making and basing on the de-civilizing of Maxios as an excuse not to just have a dude with an AK kill your whole army and not to contrive a reason why
(don't worry Alex I never publish, everything I make gets to live in my recycling bin lol)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 20, 2018, 11:36:56 AM
Overall, looks great!

Thank you!

1.  Not sure about the cooldown as opposed to having to sit there waiting for the Raid to finish.  One of the nail-biters in Mount and Blade was finishing a raid before a Lord showed up.  So... IDK, maybe do a bit of dice-rolling and <if enemy fleet or station is near enough> allow it to engage during the Raid, so that there's some risk to doing a stealth-raid with nothing but a Prometheus and a few Valkyries?

The M&B part was tense, yeah. It still feels like just another way of adding RNG to the process, though. And nearby fleets will already prevent a raid, so that part is already there, just front-loaded and not random.

2.  So... right now, we can Decivilize everything, then plant colonies?  Hmm.  Why not just throw in a simplistic invasion feature where you need a pretty overwhelming number of Marines, for now?

I'd just as soon not add in a placeholder I'll need to replace for this. Devicilizing to recolonize doesn't seem very appealing anyway since the main attraction of most established colonies is their population level, which would go away.

3.  One mini-game option that sounds distinctly Fun, at least to me, is to have Raids take place as a battle, with the Planetary Defenses as actual objects covering the targets, the Marines advancing slowly and the player fleet having to run interference. 

Hah, no :) A more detailed response earlier in the thread; basically it's just insanity in terms of time and effort and not desirable anyway.

The mechanics, as proposed, basically mean players will stack Marines and Fuel in giant piles somewhere until it's time to go on the offensive, and then deploy their giant resource pools through clicking on a UI, hitting planet after planet of the Faction they want to decimate; this sounds pretty anticlimactic. 

Fighting the faction's fleets and stations - which you'd have to do to achieve this - is the interesting part. So, yeah, stripped of the context that gives the mechanic meaning, it's not very ... meaningful. Like, half the point of its existence is to give you reasons to fight or otherwise overcome the defenses!


4.  Obviously, some Factions should be happy you've Raided their enemies.  Shouldn't there be some upside diplomatically?  I can see that nobody would be particularly thrilled with you if you decimate populations, but if you've crippled their economies or defenses with targeted strikes, some parties will be cheering you on.  For example, the Pirates might appreciate it if you bomb Planetary Defenses and make the planet easier to Raid in the future.

Hmm. Probably not, since fleet-to-fleet combat doesn't, either. And it just gets messy, difficult to convey ahead of time, and so on - imagine fighting a patrol or doing a raid and then that changing reputation with 5+ factions, some good, some bad. And that's before mods are involved.


5.  Does this mean Pirate Raids can now be expected to be loot-pinatas of Fuel?

Bombarding is not generally cost-efficient. That said, raiders do tend to have some more tankers along, due to the nature of their job, but that's not tied to these mechanics.


6.  I think there might be a fleet role for not just the combat side of raiding, but the pick-up-stuff part.  Maybe that's a role for the Venture or Hound?

Interesting, hmm. Yeah, "increased value of raided stuff" could be a niche.


7.  How about raiding for people?  Pirates surely buy slaves; your colonies could use experts (and slaves, if you're evil); this seems like a neo-cyberpunkish thing to include.

No.

8.  How about assassinating the Governor or other important leaders?

Hmm - might work better as one-off missions or some such, but it's an interesting idea!

9.  Shouldn't some Factions offer Missions where the Mission is, "go Raid X for us"?

10.  Shouldn't being a notorious Raider without a major Faction to back you up get some really huge fleets chasing you down?  I mean, this is the sort of thing that you'd think would put a huge Bounty on your head.

11.  Speaking of which... can't players start accruing a Bounty for their various deeds (i.e., killing pretty much anybody, even Pirates)?  Wouldn't that be cool, if it eventually got large enough that huge fleets came after the player, or they had to pay off the Factions they annoyed so much? 

Well, all of this is potential content that could be added in at some point, but it doesn't seem particularly tied to this set of features.

(I will add that there's now potential for a limited form of #11 happening in some specific circumstances - but I've already said too much :-X)




this seems really.. simple?

Thank you! I know you didn't mean that as a positive, but that was rather the point of the design, so I'll take it :)

To elaborate a bit, I think you get more depth when you have multiple simple mechanics interacting with each other, than you do with specific mechanics having more individual complexity.

For example:
3. enemy capable of sortieing fleets to stop you (risk) station defenses get a shot at you / the ordnance (fair is fair)

This sounds like you're suggesting fleet and station interactions that are specific to raiding and built into the raiding mechanic directly.

On the other hand, we've got these mechanics that are not tied to raiding directly:

-> Stations in orbit
-> Colonies spawning patrol fleets
-> Nearby stations and/or fleets have to be defeated before taking certain hostile actions

And so the end result is more or less the same - you have to face down some active defenses to be able to raid or bombard - but it's not tied into raiding directly, and so is much more flexible. This both means that they can factor into other mechanics as well, where something raid-specific couldn't, and that it can be affected in other ways that add to the depth of raiding.

For a quick example of that, you could draw off the defending fleets - say, by doing an Active Sensor Burst, and then jumping away to quickly approach the colony from another angle. You couldn't do this sort of thing if the anti-raid fleets were a direct part of a raid mechanic.

So, right - the raid mechanics themselves are simple, but they tie into lots of other campaign mechanics, and the interactions that are added by having them have more depth.


seems like planetary bombardment is something that would be rare and a large operation (both militarily and logistically) making it "click a dialogue option" and then resolved instantaneously just seems really weird. ideally it should be it's own campaign where there are a few steps with plenty of opportunity for the defenders to interfere with your attack (or for you to interfere with theirs)

Well, that's how just about everything in the game works. Stripping a research station for salvage? A few clicks in a dialog. Establishing a colony? Same. And so on. But, as mentioned, the "do the raid" action is really only part of the raid. Preparing for it and overcoming the defenses are where the real meat of it is, gameplay-wise.


1. bigger fleets with heavier guns bombard better (really, any sort of actual heavy bombardment shouldn't even be possible unless you have very heavy weapons or weapons exclusively designed for the task)

Did talk about this earlier; not tying it to a fleet's combat capability has some benefits. Mainly avoiding adding otherwise-useless one-off stats for how good a combat ship is at it, or deriving that stat from something. And it'd have to cost a resource - probably fuel - anyway - so it just seems extremely unnecessary. I think the in-fiction justification for it is solid, too, though of course you're welcome to disagree :)


Posted my thoughts in the suggestion area, spoilers, it’s not too far off from what the others suggested, with just a bit more to it, It’s like you said though, in the current game it’d be mostly adding nuance and alternatives, so I agree with you that other features are of higher priority, (just what exactly would you rather work on next?  ;D)

I do hope you find time to implement something like this in the future though, I think this could be one of those features that doesn’t so much as add to the game, as multiply everything else.

Thank you, I'll check it out when I have a chance!


Second thought on using fuel for bombs, if you can make an antimatter bomb out of fuel, why not something else, like mines? it’d bring more continuity for fuel use as weapon since a singular use is an oddity, while two uses is the start of a pattern.

Besides, aren’t minefields are already planned?

Minefields are in 0.9a, yeah, as part of the layered defenses of a star fortress. Mechanically, it wouldn't make much sense to tie them to fuel, since they're not something directly tied to player decisions and the logistics of managing a station are fairly abstracted behind an upkeep cost anyway.



Not sure if this one flies wth me, Military ships should be better at bombardment, or there should be at least some ortillery capable weapons that should, at the very least, help with raids. But the Jury rig part is the one that I dislike. if it is a jury-rig, there should be better ways of doing it. Hell, there are transuranics in game so, why not just build some fision-fusion* devices and call it a day? specially if the targets are in planets with atmo?, or grab a few hulks from the last battle and send them down the planet.

So, I am not sure if I understand what is the pro of completely uncoupling bombardment from ships. I can see a few pirates making Jury-rig devices and droping off an airlock, but a ship with bombardment tubes and proper ordnance should be able to do things better (admittedly, both things should be things held zealously by factions, and would need acquiring them though difficult ops and missions for the player) or how the jury rigged method could serve for other than terror strikes or saturation attacks

The benefit of uncoupling military capacity from bombardments is this:
Quote
... Otherwise, it's tempting to start, say, calculating bombardment strengths of various ships and so on, and it just ends up being a lot of stats and number crunching without a particular benefit.

As soon as that concept exists, you've got to measure it somehow. Say a cruiser is capable of ... 3 points of bombardment. Or something. But what if it has no weapons mounted? What if half its weapons are mounted? What if it's a carrier? What if it's civilian? Say we get past all that and figure out the bombardment capability of a fleet. What does it actually mean? It probably shouldn't influence the effect of a bombardment, because 1) you could just repeat it and 2) bombardments are pretty binary anyway, in terms of their effect.

So it would probably have to influence the cost, or it might mean that a certain amount of capability is *required* to be able to bombard at all, in the presence of a certain level of defenses. In either case, this bombardment capability would have to be scaled to and compared against the ground defenses of a planet.

And after we work all of that out, we still have a new stat for the player to worry about, and probably one that needs to be displayed on the ship tooltip, and the total in the fleet UI somewhere. Both of these places are prime UI real estate and *certainly* don't need more cluttering up, especially for something that's not super common.

"Bombardment just requires a resource" is a way to sidestep all that. You still need a combat fleet to overcome the fleets and orbital defenses, and the cost is still influenced by the ground defenses. So it's functionally about the same, and it avoids all these complications.


*which from what I understand is the best way of getting the most bag for your buck if you want to erase a few places in a planet

Well, if we've got anti-matter as a power source, it's going to be a lot more bang for buck in terms of converting mass to energy than fission or fusion. But this is straying too much into "realism argument" territory, which I'd say needs a mountain of salt when applied to a game with basically battleship guns mounted on spaceships.

Yeah, the fuel cost, if we go by the jury rig justification makes sense, but the way I saw it a limited bombardment needs some degree of finesse, so it is actually a skill if you want to hit something in particular as opposed to carped bomb the place, thus I felt that it having a higher material cost made sense, but this was me interpreting the fuel cost was based off maneuvers or some bombardment mode to weapons.

Yep, gotcha.


Mmmm, planetary raids. 0.9 is gonna be great.

:D


fuel makes sense, one would assume planetary defenses would be the kind of stuff you do NOT want to get hit with.

Yep! In theory, undefended colonies on no-atmosphere planets probably could get bombarded by ships directly, but yeah, I'd imagine ground batteries can easily outmatch any ship-borne weapons or defenses just due to not being so space-constrained.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 20, 2018, 11:57:17 AM
also, since we're decoupling fleet strength from bombardment, it'd make sense to use fuel bc the only way for a civilian kite to bombard would be to drop antimatter out its cargo bay lol which would be shockingly effective IRL

tell ya what tho: I wouldn't wanna be the guy operating THAT forklift
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Chaos Blade on August 20, 2018, 12:18:32 PM
Not sure if this one flies wth me, Military ships should be better at bombardment, or there should be at least some ortillery capable weapons that should, at the very least, help with raids. But the Jury rig part is the one that I dislike. if it is a jury-rig, there should be better ways of doing it. Hell, there are transuranics in game so, why not just build some fision-fusion* devices and call it a day? specially if the targets are in planets with atmo?, or grab a few hulks from the last battle and send them down the planet.

So, I am not sure if I understand what is the pro of completely uncoupling bombardment from ships. I can see a few pirates making Jury-rig devices and droping off an airlock, but a ship with bombardment tubes and proper ordnance should be able to do things better (admittedly, both things should be things held zealously by factions, and would need acquiring them though difficult ops and missions for the player) or how the jury rigged method could serve for other than terror strikes or saturation attacks

The benefit of uncoupling military capacity from bombardments is this:
Quote
... Otherwise, it's tempting to start, say, calculating bombardment strengths of various ships and so on, and it just ends up being a lot of stats and number crunching without a particular benefit.

As soon as that concept exists, you've got to measure it somehow. Say a cruiser is capable of ... 3 points of bombardment. Or something. But what if it has no weapons mounted? What if half its weapons are mounted? What if it's a carrier? What if it's civilian? Say we get past all that and figure out the bombardment capability of a fleet. What does it actually mean? It probably shouldn't influence the effect of a bombardment, because 1) you could just repeat it and 2) bombardments are pretty binary anyway, in terms of their effect.

So it would probably have to influence the cost, or it might mean that a certain amount of capability is *required* to be able to bombard at all, in the presence of a certain level of defenses. In either case, this bombardment capability would have to be scaled to and compared against the ground defenses of a planet.

And after we work all of that out, we still have a new stat for the player to worry about, and probably one that needs to be displayed on the ship tooltip, and the total in the fleet UI somewhere. Both of these places are prime UI real estate and *certainly* don't need more cluttering up, especially for something that's not super common.

"Bombardment just requires a resource" is a way to sidestep all that. You still need a combat fleet to overcome the fleets and orbital defenses, and the cost is still influenced by the ground defenses. So it's functionally about the same, and it avoids all these complications.

I understand now, yeah, that would be a distraction the players won't need, specially with something that is meant to be relatively rare. I still feel a bit meh about the jury rig nature, perhaps having a hullmod called launch tubes that might reduce the costs (or make the targeted bombardment more precise?) 
Don't want to sound obsessive about the topic, but it sorta feels a bit off if it is only a resource.

Suppose a player has a very Pyrrhic victory against a planet, he has three frigates left and a lot of ships, friend or foe, turned to slag in upper orbit. upset at the loss, the player decides to bombard the world to slag, with a force of three frigates.

and compare it to another player bombing that same planet with a full intact fleet.

I mean, with the circumstances being different the end results should be different, not that I'd be able to say how, but that is my take on it.

It is not something super important, but it is the sorta thing that might help with immersion.

*which from what I understand is the best way of getting the most bag for your buck if you want to erase a few places in a planet

Well, if we've got anti-matter as a power source, it's going to be a lot more bang for buck in terms of converting mass to energy than fission or fusion. But this is straying too much into "realism argument" territory, which I'd say needs a mountain of salt when applied to a game with basically battleship guns mounted on spaceships.

Well, from what I've read it is not quite like that due to the nature of matter-antimatter annihilation, but that is irl physics aad, yeah, this heads into "Realism Arguments" so I'll be happy to drop this


Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 20, 2018, 02:04:23 PM
I understand now, yeah, that would be a distraction the players won't need, specially with something that is meant to be relatively rare. I still feel a bit meh about the jury rig nature, perhaps having a hullmod called launch tubes that might reduce the costs (or make the targeted bombardment more precise?) 
Don't want to sound obsessive about the topic, but it sorta feels a bit off if it is only a resource.

Suppose a player has a very Pyrrhic victory against a planet, he has three frigates left and a lot of ships, friend or foe, turned to slag in upper orbit. upset at the loss, the player decides to bombard the world to slag, with a force of three frigates.

and compare it to another player bombing that same planet with a full intact fleet.

I mean, with the circumstances being different the end results should be different, not that I'd be able to say how, but that is my take on it.

It is not something super important, but it is the sorta thing that might help with immersion.

I hear what you're saying - I guess it depends on how you see the operation, really. In my mind, it's - as I think I may have said - an industrial task. So if anything, it'd be limited by not having enough crew to carry it out properly, say.

But I think either that, or some sort of warship-based limitation - it might make sense, right - but as soon as there's *any* material benefit from having more warships (or crew), it's back to having that be a stat that needs tracking and displaying and so on, since you know players would want to take advantage of it.

Well, from what I've read it is not quite like that due to the nature of matter-antimatter annihilation ...

Oh, interesting! I'd assummed it was near-enough to 100% conversion, but looking into it, it appears that's not the case. Huh, good to know.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Keth Sparks on August 20, 2018, 03:42:51 PM
Hi, I am new (to the forum, not the game) so I apologize if these suggestions seem naive.

I would argue that adding more depth to raids is a good idea for those looking to play as "Space Vikings" using their colonies as mother ports for launching raids. To that end, I would suggest that raids could be made to be simple for the common player (e.g. just raid based on the already presented statistics) and be allowed to become more complex for players that take new raid related skills. Perhaps ones that allow for more choices that present different cost-benefit scenarios.

Working off of that concept you could also rename "Heavy armaments" to "Combat equipment" and make it a useful resource required for raids (and to a much greater extent invasion later on) much as heavy equipment is required for salvaging. This is me assuming that these are not just bigger squad level guns but also various pieces of ordinance, armored vehicles, transports, etc. and being lumped together much in the way that Hearts of Iron lumps together infantry equipment.

Another thing I might change about raids is requiring hangers be present in the fleet in order to perform them and perhaps even involving strike craft in said raids (unless it happens to be that they are incapable of in atmo flight which would make some sense). This would largely prevent small fleet with one or two frigates (as a previous user mentioned) left over from the preceding space battle to assault the planet effectively. Alternatively, you could just require a specific hull mod (perhaps added to the Valkyrie?) such as landing craft or somesuch which would further limit you. Of course, this would also necessitate a smaller lighter transport ship to allow for the "Space Viking" archetype.

Finally on a side note: I feel sort of uneasy about fuel being the only resource used in bombardment but as they aren't meant to be a common option I'm content to let it be. That said I would say there is room to make the distinction between using fuel as a weapon (which feels like it would be largely haphazard and brutal no matter how it's done) that cannot be targeted and just causes random damage to the planet and using a more specialized bombardment resource (Heavy ordinance or orbital bombs or something) allowing for more targeted options such as picking specific planetary targets to destroy. This would be a resource that the player could produce, buy, steal, and sell and one that requires a specific Domain era tech present on a planet to make (one that could be stolen via raids perhaps?) This would be something I would wait until faction wars are actually a concern for before messing with though.

All said, I have been following this game since there was only one system to play in and fighters were a separate fleet element and I am very pleased with the progress you have made. Keep up the great work!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 20, 2018, 06:26:38 PM
it's just weird.

one wolf, same bombardment power as several onslaughts

i just don't see it. the system is very, very weird. we assume that fuel is being used to "dodge" surface-to-orbit fire, but how could a single wolf do any damage to anything of significance anyway, and why would a battleship care about that sort of fire when it probably outranges it anyway?

simplicity is a virtue, but not at the cost of any sort of verisimilitude or tactical depth. it feels like bare minimum it should take into account firepower brought to bear and some sort of abstraction of planetary "armoring" (bunkers, redundancies) along with some basic handling of surface-orbit fires. seems weird to have every planet be defended, let alone equally. many of these places could barely be called civilized, and the sector is hardly a fortress. i expect maybe a small handful of planets to have any defenses whatever, and of them who knows how many are in good shape?

it's weird, it has strange consequences for gameplay, and it's not that interesting i guess. personally i'd rather it be put off rather than be given this implementation. we're already getting enough, and it seems like this implementation is hardly consequential anyway (IE, rare for player to do and rarer for NPCs to do against players) why even implement it in this state?

no offense intended, i don't want to criticize the design harshly but it feels like this sort of activity should be a cornerstone of the finished game, not an afterthought resolved in a single buttonpress in dialogue. (though i mean obviously dialogue has to be involved somewhere)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 20, 2018, 06:52:10 PM
it's just weird.

one wolf, same bombardment power as several onslaughts

They run on anti-matter fuel. No guns they use are gonna be more powerful than just kicking a pod of fuel out the cargo bay door, so size isn't gonna be a limiting factor.
Also, it takes fuel to dodge incoming fire from the planet. So, a Wolf has vastly less firepower than an onslaught and has to get into firing position to de-orbit ordinance a bunch of times, but, it takes a lot less fuel for the Wolf to get into firing position to shell a facility, whereas the Onslaught takes a lot more fuel to get into position (bc its vastly easier to hit), but doesn't have to get into position more than once. The power-curve ratio is just assumed to be 1:1 here.

OR, to put it another way; what's gonna take more fuel? Holding seven onslaughts in a firing position, using fuel to e-burn out of the way of planetary batteries that can one-shot even an onslaught, while they shell the planet with guns that can destroy buildings but aren't even accurate enough to score precision hits even at close ship-to-ship range, or dive-bombing a single tiny Kite that's impossible to hit from the ground thru the atmo to kick an antimatter pod out of the cargo bay that will wipe out an entire city and the targeted facility within it?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: xenoargh on August 20, 2018, 07:20:30 PM
I'm in agreement with the, "a Prometheus should not be the ideal cheap bomber" argument.

Overall, I like that the systems that are proposed start to make piracy seem less like suicidal lunacy and that there will be some form of open warfare to consider.  I'm just not sure this is the flavor that will sell it, in terms of bombardment.

So, what'd be a better solution?

Inefficient space weapons whose primary purpose is bombardment of ground targets.  

We already have bombers and bomb racks in the game... in fact, we have three types already built that could have differing effects.  So... why not just calculate the fleet's DPS?  Use bombs at full DPS, everything else is at 1/100th, and voila, we have a number, or at least a starting-place for a sensible system.

Now it'd feel right- you'd need a big bad fleet, but one that has traded some space-fighting power for planetary attack capability, just like you'd need to trade space-fighting power for Marines if raiding.

It'd be really hard (and therefore, interesting) to build a fleet that could both fight a major space engagement and also bombard a major planetary target (and carry the Fuel and Supplies to do it all, too).  This would go a long way towards explaining why the Sector isn't lifeless and make it very difficult to become Space Emperor, without being unfair or involving numbers that aren't apropos.

I get that the final effects of a bombardment are binary; you either bombed the things you wanted to bomb, or not.  And I agree that keeping that side simple is good; this isn't a bombing simulator, after all.  I just think that if the Ultimate Bomber Force is me and 24 Drams... maybe the system needs a re-think and a little nod to Realism here would actually result in more interesting gameplay.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 20, 2018, 07:48:37 PM
Hi, I am new (to the forum, not the game) so I apologize if these suggestions seem naive.

Hi, and welcome to the forum!


I would argue that adding more depth to raids is a good idea for those looking to play as "Space Vikings" using their colonies as mother ports for launching raids. To that end, I would suggest that raids could be made to be simple for the common player (e.g. just raid based on the already presented statistics) and be allowed to become more complex for players that take new raid related skills. Perhaps ones that allow for more choices that present different cost-benefit scenarios.

Working off of that concept you could also rename "Heavy armaments" to "Combat equipment" and make it a useful resource required for raids (and to a much greater extent invasion later on) much as heavy equipment is required for salvaging. This is me assuming that these are not just bigger squad level guns but also various pieces of ordinance, armored vehicles, transports, etc. and being lumped together much in the way that Hearts of Iron lumps together infantry equipment.

Another thing I might change about raids is requiring hangers be present in the fleet in order to perform them and perhaps even involving strike craft in said raids (unless it happens to be that they are incapable of in atmo flight which would make some sense). This would largely prevent small fleet with one or two frigates (as a previous user mentioned) left over from the preceding space battle to assault the planet effectively. Alternatively, you could just require a specific hull mod (perhaps added to the Valkyrie?) such as landing craft or somesuch which would further limit you. Of course, this would also necessitate a smaller lighter transport ship to allow for the "Space Viking" archetype.

So what you're suggesting, more or less, is a couple more ways to boost the raid strength of a fleet. I could definitely see expanding on that, yeah - right now it's limited to 1) a skill and 2) the Valkyrie (and now Colossus Mk.III) hullmod, but being able to specialize further could be good, yeah.

One reason I didn't use Heavy Armaments for this already is that if you run the risk of losing some, then how many you want to us (and risk) should be offered as a choice, and that's... not a great choice, as it would often boil down to doing a math problem with one right answer. Another option is to not have any risk of losing Heavy Armaments - then you could stock them in your fleet, and it'd always be strictly better (or at least not worse) to have more; it could say be capped by the number of marines divided by 10 or something. But not being able to lose Heavy Armaments would probably feel weird. Maybe.

So, not 100% here, but definitely worth thinking through some more, and as far as the general point of having more ways to specialize in this, I think we're on the same page.

Finally on a side note: I feel sort of uneasy about fuel being the only resource used in bombardment but as they aren't meant to be a common option I'm content to let it be. That said I would say there is room to make the distinction between using fuel as a weapon (which feels like it would be largely haphazard and brutal no matter how it's done) that cannot be targeted and just causes random damage to the planet and using a more specialized bombardment resource (Heavy ordinance or orbital bombs or something) allowing for more targeted options such as picking specific planetary targets to destroy. This would be a resource that the player could produce, buy, steal, and sell and one that requires a specific Domain era tech present on a planet to make (one that could be stolen via raids perhaps?) This would be something I would wait until faction wars are actually a concern for before messing with though.

I see what you're saying, but it's a bit of a "realism" argument, so you can really make up just about anything to make it fit. For example, a tactical bombardment might make use of whole fuel cells, for concentrated strikes at specific targets (with a few misses, sure), while a saturation bombardment could have the cells rigged to explode at altitude, scattering antimatter-containing fullerenes over a wide area.

So, ultimately it comes down to gameplay, and I don't think the distinction is worth making.

All said, I have been following this game since there was only one system to play in and fighters were a separate fleet element and I am very pleased with the progress you have made. Keep up the great work!

Thank you :)


it's just weird.

one wolf, same bombardment power as several onslaughts

i just don't see it. the system is very, very weird. we assume that fuel is being used to "dodge" surface-to-orbit fire, but how could a single wolf do any damage to anything of significance anyway, and why would a battleship care about that sort of fire when it probably outranges it anyway?

Hmm, I feel like you're maybe not reading what I'm saying. Bombardment just involves dropping destabilized fuel cells on the targets, and a conveyor belt is a more suited tool for the task than a battleship's armaments.

The "use for maneuvering" point is something someone else brought up; one is free to imagine that as being a contributing factor, but at least in my mind, that's not a required part of the explanation (and, indeed, doesn't consider that fuel is only be used in hyperspace, so it doesn't quite fit too well.)



It'd be really hard (and therefore, interesting) to build a fleet that could both fight a major space engagement and also bombard a major planetary target (and carry the Fuel and Supplies to do it all, too).  This would go a long way towards explaining why the Sector isn't lifeless and make it very difficult to become Space Emperor, without being unfair or involving numbers that aren't apropos.

I suspect the more likely outcome would be making the player carry around some bombs and - after defeating the colony's defenses - having to laboriously slot them into a bunch of ships until whatever required threshold is met. Sure that carries a CR/supplies cost, but it'd be less than the cost of fighting with subpar ships.


We already have bombers and bomb racks in the game... in fact, we have three types already built that could have differing effects.  So... why not just calculate the fleet's DPS?  Use bombs at full DPS, everything else is at 1/100th, and voila, we have a number, or at least a starting-place for a sensible system.

Using weapon dps just strikes me as an extremely troublesome idea. The number generated may as well be random (since it's using combat-balance-driven values), and tying a fleet's in-campaign bombardment effectiveness to a number dependent on combat balance seems less than ideal. Imagine if, say, Piranhas are adjusted by tweaking "standard bomb bay" stats and this leads to a huge, unintented change in bombardment difficulty. That sort of stuff is just not the way to go.

I also completely disagree as far as fuel and tankers and so on - I think it makes damn near *perfect* sense. Heck, pouring fuel on enemies below you is a time-honored tradition since the middle ages, and that didn't require particularly much in the way of soldiery experience, either.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Histidine on August 20, 2018, 08:05:51 PM
Meta-comment: IMO we've picked apart the bombardment mechanics enough that at this point it's probably best that we just wait for 0.9 to come out and play it, and decide if it needs changing then.
I am currently persuaded enough to make this prediction: the various things-that-don't-make-sense from edge cases we've described in this thread, won't come up often enough to actually matter.

(c.f. removal of ballistic ammunition: there was a lot of discussion, we tried a substitute mechanic that didn't work out, eventually we just axed it outright and in the end it was never missed)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 20, 2018, 11:02:33 PM
(c.f. removal of ballistic ammunition: ...[snip]... and in the end it was never missed)
False!  I still think regenerating ammo could have been done in a way that was interesting and balanced.  And the only reason I haven't gone and tried to mod that up is because the engine doesn't actually allow hull mods to adjust ammo regeneration rates.  (I mean, you could probably do something with checking ammo counts every frame and manually adjusting them, but that would be a pain and a half to implement relative to a simple "+20% ammo regen rate" built into the engine.)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 20, 2018, 11:06:04 PM
Just to chime in that I think using matter-antimatter fuel for planetary bombardment is an elegant idea.

From a realism standpoint, the "1x Wolf has the same bombardment power as 12x Onslaughts" is, to begin with, not true at all given 12x Onslaughts can carry a lot more matter-antimatter (I feel the need to bold this part constantly: it's not just fuel, it's the most efficient form of matter-to-energy conversion possible in the universe) fuel than a lone Wolf.

The Prometheus being the best planetary bombardment vessel again fits perfectly in my mind: it makes me think of WWI Zeppelin-bombers floating ominously over enemy planets cities. Real life has evidence aplenty that a good bomber doesn't necessarily make a good space air superiority vessel. Plus it already exists in lore: ask the Mayasurans what they think of weaponised Prometheuses.

Also remember the Kzinti lession: "a reaction drive's efficiency as a weapon is in direct proportion to its efficiency as a drive." FTL fuel as WMDs? Makes perfect sense to my mind.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cyan Leader on August 20, 2018, 11:41:58 PM
Well, that's how just about everything in the game works. Stripping a research station for salvage? A few clicks in a dialog. Establishing a colony? Same. And so on. But, as mentioned, the "do the raid" action is really only part of the raid. Preparing for it and overcoming the defenses are where the real meat of it is, gameplay-wise.

I asked a question about this early in the thread but I'm going to reword that as a suggestion. For bigger, "clickable" events like bombarding and establishing colonies, I really do think the game could provide more oomph. Here is an example for establishing a colony: in the final button press that will establish the colony, have the next screen display "Your ____ colony has been established over ____ .", with a splash art covering the screen showing the depiction of the event and an unique (industrial/city like?) sound playing. To proceed, just press the "Understood" button or something like that.

It's the little things, as it's usually said. I also like that this would allow the amazing art of the game to take the front stage, at least for a bit. Maybe for after .9?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: erikem on August 21, 2018, 03:49:33 AM
Regarding "cooldown VS time spent raiding" I think that actually spending time "raiding" would be a better soultuion. Reason is simple - raid is not an instant action and the whole operation shoudl actually take time. During this period one of teh combat fleets may come back home and interfere with the raid.

And yeah I remember the point about stripping the planet of defenses (not every planet has station, right?) but really you can just *** defense fleets off, make them chase you and then use speed advantage to to reach the planet faster than they do. This way you kind of lure them away and use the short window of time to raid. Should be quite easy to do with fast fleets with proposed mechanics but should be totally impossible IRL simply because "raiding takes time":
1. Land on the planet
2. Find storages and break into them
3. Pack the stuff
4. Transport stuff to ships
5. Take off and fly away

Also making raids actually "take time" you can introduce hullmods that would make the raids happen faster.

One more suggestion here assuming that raids take time and that some returning fleet can interrupt you - you can allow player selecting ships from the fleet that would actually do the raid (each ship would allow only so many marines to participate in the raid) while the rest of the ships can stay "active" and protect raiding party from all incoming fleets. This way you can make sure that some small interceptor fleet does not stop your 100-ship fleet from raiding. At the same time the ships you have selected for raiding will not be able to participate in combat in case enemy fleet interferes
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Chaos Blade on August 21, 2018, 04:44:31 AM
I understand now, yeah, that would be a distraction the players won't need, specially with something that is meant to be relatively rare. I still feel a bit meh about the jury rig nature, perhaps having a hullmod called launch tubes that might reduce the costs (or make the targeted bombardment more precise?) 
Don't want to sound obsessive about the topic, but it sorta feels a bit off if it is only a resource.

Suppose a player has a very Pyrrhic victory against a planet, he has three frigates left and a lot of ships, friend or foe, turned to slag in upper orbit. upset at the loss, the player decides to bombard the world to slag, with a force of three frigates.

and compare it to another player bombing that same planet with a full intact fleet.

I mean, with the circumstances being different the end results should be different, not that I'd be able to say how, but that is my take on it.

It is not something super important, but it is the sorta thing that might help with immersion.

I hear what you're saying - I guess it depends on how you see the operation, really. In my mind, it's - as I think I may have said - an industrial task. So if anything, it'd be limited by not having enough crew to carry it out properly, say.

But I think either that, or some sort of warship-based limitation - it might make sense, right - but as soon as there's *any* material benefit from having more warships (or crew), it's back to having that be a stat that needs tracking and displaying and so on, since you know players would want to take advantage of it.

Well, from what I've read it is not quite like that due to the nature of matter-antimatter annihilation ...

Oh, interesting! I'd assummed it was near-enough to 100% conversion, but looking into it, it appears that's not the case. Huh, good to know.

Well, maybe there could be a military/militarized hull/tonnage requirement to attempt a bombardment (to discriminate civilian hulls) or there could be a bombardment efficiency stat, but hidden, that could be justified as a moral taboo of the sector against such practices, alternatively the idea of a hullmod (cruisers and up?) that could add some efficiency, maybe not stacking or capped at some point or even diminishing returns but the latter two would mean having the stat somewhere in display, still that hypothetical hullmod would let us believe there are less jury rigged options for bombardment.

I mean if we see it as an industrial process, I feel it taking time would be the most plausible options and the time git would take depending the fleet size and status (calculated when going for the option) so you could try bombarding with three wolf frigates and a plethora of tankers, but it would take ages and left you exposed at some very *** off defense fleets rushing at you. but you have given reasons why making it take time could be problematic (which is a shame as it would let us play the mission from the other side, to interdict a bombardment fleet or even wipe it out)

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 21, 2018, 04:52:24 AM
pouring AM into an atmosphere is probably not an effective weapon though.

i mean, unless you want to destroy the whole planet. it would probably be effective then.

and how are you going to get in position to pour it anyway? just trundle your prometheus over the planet and "bombs away"? if this is such an effective weapon, why are we not just throwing cans of AM at each other in orbit?

from orbit you're not going to aim it (well..) in-atmo you're going to have other problems.

it's a bizarre system man, sorry. i have a design i'll elucidate later on maybe, but i'd guess your mind's made up already which is a shame. any sort of planetary raiding deserves a more interesting system than "spend fuel to raid"

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 21, 2018, 05:09:58 AM
Quote
and how are you going to get in position to pour it anyway? just trundle your prometheus over the planet and "bombs away"? if this is such an effective weapon, why are we not just throwing cans of AM at each other in orbit?
If there are no fleets nearby (because you killed them), it seems like you can spray the planet like a bug with your AM Raid can.

Still, there is enough Alex magic to hurt your head if you try to think too much.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 21, 2018, 06:00:09 AM
pouring AM into an atmosphere is probably not an effective weapon though.

i mean, unless you want to destroy the whole planet. it would probably be effective then.

If you pour weapons-grade uranium from orbit that probably isn't going to do very much either, but if you drop a fission bomb then y'know...

and how are you going to get in position to pour it anyway? just trundle your prometheus over the planet and "bombs away"? if this is such an effective weapon, why are we not just throwing cans of AM at each other in orbit?

Same reason fighters don't drop bombs on each other. Also the Reaper carries a matter-antimatter warhead.

from orbit you're not going to aim it (well..) in-atmo you're going to have other problems.

Why wouldn't you aim it from orbit? Computers were initially invented to calculate ballistic trajectories.

it's a bizarre system man, sorry. i have a design i'll elucidate later on maybe, but i'd guess your mind's made up already which is a shame. any sort of planetary raiding deserves a more interesting system than "spend fuel to raid"

You only spend fuel for bombardment, not raiding though?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: erikem on August 21, 2018, 06:39:30 AM
any sort of planetary raiding deserves a more interesting system than "spend fuel to raid"
On this one I totally agree with Alex because "in context" this simple raiding feature gives you the very reason to actually fight planetary defenses.

Previously we had to find our own reason for fighiting (for fun, out of revenge, maybe bountines?) but now these defenses like fleets will actually be the things that stand between us and our precious raiding loot
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Algro on August 21, 2018, 07:51:29 AM
Is it possible to link bombardments with destroying the battle station, like a dialoge box after the station fight that gives you the bombing options (salvaging after defeating enemy fleets)? It would then make sense that a fleet capable of destroying a station to also have the ability to bomb the planet. The time it took to take down the station could also represent the bombing effort as a bonus.

PS. Happy with the post content as usual.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: xenoargh on August 21, 2018, 10:13:15 AM
Quote
Using weapon dps just strikes me as an extremely troublesome idea. The number generated may as well be random (since it's using combat-balance-driven values), and tying a fleet's in-campaign bombardment effectiveness to a number dependent on combat balance seems less than ideal. Imagine if, say, Piranhas are adjusted by tweaking "standard bomb bay" stats and this leads to a huge, unintented change in bombardment difficulty. That sort of stuff is just not the way to go.
Well, there are other ways, like Hull Mods or dedicated bombardment ships, that might work out better. 

I just think that using Fuel as the sole resource is going to lead to bizarre / unintuitive results, like stacking 10K Fuel and 1K Supplies onto a single cheap Frigate to bombard planets without risking a fleet action (and, if the right Frigate is used, being hard to detect or catch). 

This system also means that the player's optimal path at the strategic level is figuring out the cheapest sources of Fuel, hoarding Fuel, and concentrating on taking over any Factions that generate Fuel or destroying their production capabilities, once they have their own sources of supply.  The problem with using a resource like this is that the unintended consequences might be pretty dire. 

I'm totally willing to see it before judging; I just think that we're going to see a lot of unexpected knock-on effects, whereas other systems might result in more predictable gameplay outcomes :)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 21, 2018, 10:21:42 AM
it's a bizarre system man, sorry. i have a design i'll elucidate later on maybe, but i'd guess your mind's made up already which is a shame. any sort of planetary raiding deserves a more interesting system than "spend fuel to raid"
IMO it's in a "good enough for now" state, remember the game isn't even at version 1.0 yet (though it's closing in).  I think it's good that Raiding and Bombardment is going to be a concept in .9, even if the current configuration isn't what I'd prefer.  I'd rather Alex work on whatever his next SS project is now than go back and potentially delay the next release for even a slight change.  He can get more input on the feature's good stuff, bad stuff, and its immersion impact and whatever when .9 is actually released, and decide if he wants to change it for 1.0.

That said, there'll probably be a mod for that one month into .9.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2018, 10:25:59 AM
And the only reason I haven't gone and tried to mod that up is because the engine doesn't actually allow hull mods to adjust ammo regeneration rates.  (I mean, you could probably do something with checking ammo counts every frame and manually adjusting them, but that would be a pain and a half to implement relative to a simple "+20% ammo regen rate" built into the engine.)

Ahh, I'm not sure how you'd do that per-ship. It makes sense as a per-weapon stat, but weapons don't have mutable stats in the same way.


I asked a question about this early in the thread but I'm going to reword that as a suggestion. For bigger, "clickable" events like bombarding and establishing colonies, I really do think the game could provide more oomph. Here is an example for establishing a colony: in the final button press that will establish the colony, have the next screen display "Your ____ colony has been established over ____ .", with a splash art covering the screen showing the depiction of the event and an unique (industrial/city like?) sound playing. To proceed, just press the "Understood" button or something like that.

It's the little things, as it's usually said. I also like that this would allow the amazing art of the game to take the front stage, at least for a bit. Maybe for after .9?

Yep! There's actually a special "established a colony" sound, *and* another one for establishing your first colony, which also opens up the faction creation dialog.


Regarding "cooldown VS time spent raiding" I think that actually spending time "raiding" would be a better soultuion. Reason is simple - raid is not an instant action and the whole operation shoudl actually take time. During this period one of teh combat fleets may come back home and interfere with the raid.

This reason is coming from a "realism" point of view, but (as I think came up earlier?) lots of other not-theoretically-instant actions are instant, to avoid making the player wait around for things all the time.

And yeah I remember the point about stripping the planet of defenses (not every planet has station, right?) but really you can just *** defense fleets off, make them chase you and then use speed advantage to to reach the planet faster than they do. This way you kind of lure them away and use the short window of time to raid. Should be quite easy to do with fast fleets with proposed mechanics but should be totally impossible IRL simply because "raiding takes time"

Right, not every planet has a station, and a station can't stop raids anyway.

However, whether raiding takes time or is instant is not a qualitative difference, unless it really takes forever, right? All that would change is how far off you'd have to draw off the defenders before having a window to pull off a raid. If it's instant, that window is "get to planet without any fleets being within support range of it". If it takes time, that window just has a different distance attached to it. So theoretically, we could tune that support range to be whatever we wanted and have the same practical effect as "raiding taking time".


Also making raids actually "take time" you can introduce hullmods that would make the raids happen faster.

I don't know that we can count this as a benefit, that seems a bit circular to me :)

One more suggestion here assuming that raids take time and that some returning fleet can interrupt you - you can allow player selecting ships from the fleet that would actually do the raid (each ship would allow only so many marines to participate in the raid) while the rest of the ships can stay "active" and protect raiding party from all incoming fleets. This way you can make sure that some small interceptor fleet does not stop your 100-ship fleet from raiding. At the same time the ships you have selected for raiding will not be able to participate in combat in case enemy fleet interferes

Hmm - the way raiding works, the ships that are useful for it aren't combat ships anyway, so this wouldn't serve much purpose without additional changes to how raiding works. It just gets increasingly complicated in a troubling way - the mechanic needs more complexity to make the added complexity of the mechanic be worthwhile. That seems like a red flag, design-wise.

(And, for example, a small interceptor fleet wouldn't stop you from raiding, I believe - it wouldn't want to engage. A station plus a small interceptor fleet *would* stop raiding, though, presumably since the small fleet can disrupt any landing operations while being covered by the station.)

All that said, I think "having things take time" could work. It does add a nice element of tension, but it has some downsides as well. In any case, that's not the direction I want to go; the choice for "upfront action, with cooldown as necessary" is a common element throughout many mechanics, rather than being a one-off choice for raiding.


(which is a shame as it would let us play the mission from the other side, to interdict a bombardment fleet or even wipe it out)

Oh, we could totally still do that! It doesn't have to be symmetrical. For example, in-progress combat between AI fleets already isn't, and you can join in.


Is it possible to link bombardments with destroying the battle station, like a dialoge box after the station fight that gives you the bombing options (salvaging after defeating enemy fleets)? It would then make sense that a fleet capable of destroying a station to also have the ability to bomb the planet. The time it took to take down the station could also represent the bombing effort as a bonus.

PS. Happy with the post content as usual.

Well, it's linked to defeating a station because until you do that, you can't bombard. And the choice to bombard is in the same dialog as the choice to engage the station. So I think yes? But to me this is not required for an in-fiction justification, and (as noted earlier) not all colonies have orbital stations.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 21, 2018, 10:27:49 AM
matter-antimatter (I feel the need to bold this part constantly: it's not just fuel, it's the most efficient form of matter-to-energy conversion possible in the universe)

Maybe it should just be called "Antimatter", or "Antimatter-fuel" in-game.



I also completely disagree as far as fuel and tankers and so on - I think it makes damn near *perfect* sense.

For what it's worth, it makes a lot of sense to me, too. Although, having a ship/hullmod that improves bombing stats would help sell it. While I can believe that a simple tanker would be capable of bombing things from orbit, it's hard to believe that it (or just any ship with a fuel tank, really) could do so in the most optimal way. Mh, maybe a hullmod could reduce fuel capacity to balance things out.

Mmmaybe - I think that can get a bit iffy since it might trivialize the costs in some cases, making bombardments too good a choice.

Instead of efficiency, a special ship/hullmod could influence how long the target is disrupted by the bombardment.




For bigger, "clickable" events like bombarding and establishing colonies, I really do think the game could provide more oomph. Here is an example for establishing a colony: in the final button press that will establish the colony, have the next screen display "Your ____ colony has been established over ____ .", with a splash art covering the screen showing the depiction of the event and an unique (industrial/city like?) sound playing. To proceed, just press the "Understood" button or something like that.

It's the little things, as it's usually said. I also like that this would allow the amazing art of the game to take the front stage, at least for a bit. Maybe for after .9?

I fully agree with this. There is a very flat hierarchy of how involved the presentation of things is, while the import hierarchy of these things is far less flat. Just a single big (screen filling?) picture would help a lot to differentiate special events from common ones and make them stand out. Or, even simpler, a big dialog box with really big font.

This:
Quote
Your colony on Durak V has been successfully established.

just doesn't feel like this:

Quote



     This is a grand day! Your Colony on Durak V has been Successfully Established!





Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: erikem on August 21, 2018, 10:46:01 AM
All that said, I think "having things take time" could work. It does add a nice element of tension, but it has some downsides as well. In any case, that's not the direction I want to go; the choice for "upfront action, with cooldown as necessary" is a common element throughout many mechanics, rather than being a one-off choice for raiding.
But not all actions are instant? "Transverse Jump" takes time to be used as far as I remember.

However, whether raiding takes time or is instant is not a qualitative difference, unless it really takes forever, right? All that would change is how far off you'd have to draw off the defenders before having a window to pull off a raid. If it's instant, that window is "get to planet without any fleets being within support range of it". If it takes time, that window just has a different distance attached to it. So theoretically, we could tune that support range to be whatever we wanted and have the same practical effect as "raiding taking time".
But it's not the same way with comm sniffers, right? While in reality two cases are very similar: you are doing something illegal with some object and nearby fleets can stop you. So why raids come as instant action with cooldown and installing sniffers is a "having things take time" action?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2018, 10:58:18 AM
Mmmaybe - I think that can get a bit iffy since it might trivialize the costs in some cases, making bombardments too good a choice.

Instead of efficiency, a special ship/hullmod could influence how long the target is disrupted by the bombardment.

Yeah, I'd thought about that, too. Hmm - it might be interesting for a tactical bombardment, actually - I was thinking that it's fairly useless for a saturation one, since that colony is most likely (fuel) hosed anyway, but knocking out military infrastructure for longer could be useful.


I fully agree with this. There is a very flat hierarchy of how involved the presentation of things is, while the import hierarchy of these things is far less flat. Just a single big (screen filling?) picture would help a lot to differentiate special events from common ones and make them stand out. Or, even simpler, a big dialog box with really big font.

Establishing a colony takes place on a different screen than the standard "text + picture with choices below" dialog - it happens from the survey screen, and once a colony is established, it takes you to the colony screen, which is visually more interesting, rather than kicking you out to the interaction dialog. I'm definitely cognizant of the need to make it feel more special!


But not all actions are instant? "Transverse Jump" takes time to be used as far as I remember.

That's a bit different, it's a "gameplay action" in the campaign, so whatever chargeup time it takes and so on is driven by what makes that work out right. Dialog interactions are *not* "gameplay actions" in the same sense, that is, the reasons for doing them are not action-y. You're also not in the same UI context when you initiate dialog actions, i.e. you can't even clearly see what's around you. That's not an ideal situation to make a decision about whether you have just enough time to do <thing> or not.

I mean, there is gray area here, and it's not all cut and dry, but I hope this distinction makes sense.

But it's not the same way with comm sniffers, right? While in reality two cases are very similar: you are doing something illegal with some object and nearby fleets can stop you. So why raids come as instant action with cooldown and installing sniffers is a "having things take time" action?

Ah - yeah, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, comm sniffer installation is also instant now. The trouble with doing it that way is part of the reason I've switched to doing it the other way across the board.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 21, 2018, 11:04:42 AM
And the only reason I haven't gone and tried to mod that up is because the engine doesn't actually allow hull mods to adjust ammo regeneration rates.  (I mean, you could probably do something with checking ammo counts every frame and manually adjusting them, but that would be a pain and a half to implement relative to a simple "+20% ammo regen rate" built into the engine.)

Ahh, I'm not sure how you'd do that per-ship. It makes sense as a per-weapon stat, but weapons don't have mutable stats in the same way.
I don't see how it makes any less sense than a per-ship modifier that adjusts weapon ammunition counts?  I mean, being able to do per-weapon adjustments would be -neat-, but it's, 1, not how anything else works so I don't really expect it, and 2, wouldn't really be modding-friendly.

What I mean by "not modding friendly" is - suppose you have a hull mod "automated belt feed" that increases reload rate of chainfire-type weapons, i.e., machine guns, assault chaingun, maybe HAG and storm needler.  Well that's fine and all, until some mod adds a new machine gun variant that your hull mod doesn't know about.  Technically you could fix that by adding identifying tags to all of the game's weapons, but that starts to get into 'solution looking for a problem' territory.  Much easier to just use the same 'mutable stat on ship' approach that everything else goes with.

...Even if you'd need a lot of mutable stats; minimum of three, for missile/energy/ballistic ammo regen rate, but then I start thinking about how I might want to use such stats, and maybe I'd want to be able to change ammo regen chunk size (now we're at six mutable stats), and maybe I'd want to be able to differentiate off beam weapons the same way damage modifiers work (eight mutable stats), and maybe I'd want my capital ship ammo-regen hull mod to boost small weapons much more than large ones, and suddenly I'm looking at twenty-four mutable stats which seems silly and error-prone.

...Okay, so I've kinda talked myself around to "I can see why Alex hasn't just done this, given that the base game doesn't use it and it'd just be for modding support".  Oh well.  Carry on, then.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2018, 11:09:14 AM
...Even if you'd need a lot of mutable stats; minimum of three, for missile/energy/ballistic ammo regen rate, but then I start thinking about how I might want to use such stats, and maybe I'd want to be able to change ammo regen chunk size (now we're at six mutable stats), and maybe I'd want to be able to differentiate off beam weapons the same way damage modifiers work (eight mutable stats), and maybe I'd want my capital ship ammo-regen hull mod to boost small weapons much more than large ones, and suddenly I'm looking at twenty-four mutable stats which seems silly and error-prone.

...Okay, so I've kinda talked myself around to "I can see why Alex hasn't just done this, given that the base game doesn't use it and it'd just be for modding support".  Oh well.  Carry on, then.

:D
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 21, 2018, 11:37:37 AM
Honestly, that just makes a per-weapon solution sound better.  Being able to have a hull mod just look over the available weapons, make choices based on whatever traits it cares about, and then modify the weapon directly...  Might be a theoretically-cleaner solution than the current pile of per-ship mutable stats.  On the other hand, the pile of per-ship mutable stats is here, and working, and that counts for a lot more than some hypothetical 'how clean is this design'.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 21, 2018, 01:01:56 PM
so i guess fluff questions:

1. how do you get the fuel down to the target(s)
 1a: wouldn't canisters of AM just burn up?
 2a: wouldn't free AM particles just annihilate in the upper atmosphere producing either negligible or genocidal effects?
 1c: if you put them in some sort of canister, how would you hit the target instead of another city half a continent away (assuming drop from orbit)
 1d: if you put some sort of PGM kit on them, isn't that now an "antimatter bomb"? and not actually fuel at all?
 1e: if you want to scrape the ground and deliver them in the vietnam fashion, aren't you kind of vulnerable to getting shot, and sandwiched between 20 different threat vectors?
 1f: isn't this pretty indiscriminate and murderous? where is the space geneva convention?
 1g: if this isn't indiscriminate and murderous, how are you going to actually destroy anything of note?
 1h: in fact what are we even attacking? the colony? the defenses?

2. why not just systematize this a little more and develop a raiding system that takes into account the primary factors in consideration such as:

attack method
defenses
enemy orbital stations/fleets
eavy gunz

this doesn't even sound that complicated to me, personally. all you need is:

a relatively abstract "defense level" of the planet
a way to gather all the enemy fleets together
a deployment dialogue

phase A: you choose to raid planet. it asks you two things:
what ships do you want to deploy and:
do you want to deploy them to the battle, or to attack the defenses.

battle begins, is resolved- your fleet takes CR "damage" and spends fuel relative to the defense level of the planet. (in addition to the CR / damage sustained in the fight itself)

phase B: planet's defenses are degraded in proportion to to the occupied medium/large mounts deployed to attack the defenses directly

repeat until either:

you are destroyed
you withdraw
the defending fleet(s) are destroyed and
the planet's defenses are reduced to some fraction (totally? who knows) of their operating state.

then loot is calculated, looted, raid over.

for bonus points implement several raid types with escalating "bubbles" (IE, how much crap the enemy gets to throw at you) and rewards, with optionally some sort of exterminatus bombing type. could also be hooked in many ways into the market effects and statuses but that's mostly optional.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 21, 2018, 01:21:53 PM
But not all actions are instant? "Transverse Jump" takes time to be used as far as I remember.
It used to be instant but was changed when it was shown to be an easy escape button.  Killer fleet ready to catch you in a system?  Transverse Jump to escape immediately.  Now with windup, it cannot be used as an immediate escape against something you do not want to fight.

Personally, I had no problem with it being instant because spending three skill points on a non-combat skill (in a game that is all about combat) is a very high price.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 21, 2018, 02:39:09 PM


I'm definitely cognizant of the need to make it feel more special!

*thumbsup.gif*

so i guess fluff questions:

1. how do you get the fuel down to the target(s)
 1a: wouldn't canisters of AM just burn up?
 2a: wouldn't free AM particles just annihilate in the upper atmosphere producing either negligible or genocidal effects?
 1c: if you put them in some sort of canister, how would you hit the target instead of another city half a continent away (assuming drop from orbit)
 1d: if you put some sort of PGM kit on them, isn't that now an "antimatter bomb"? and not actually fuel at all?
 1e: if you want to scrape the ground and deliver them in the vietnam fashion, aren't you kind of vulnerable to getting shot, and sandwiched between 20 different threat vectors?
 1f: isn't this pretty indiscriminate and murderous? where is the space geneva convention?
 1g: if this isn't indiscriminate and murderous, how are you going to actually destroy anything of note?
 1h: in fact what are we even attacking? the colony? the defenses?

I'd say:

a) no, they are designed not to
b) no, they are designed not to 
c) by calculating a trajectory
d) that is not necessary
e) that is not necessary
f) yeah, factions hate you for it
g) n/a
h) either the whole colony or an industry of your choice




why not just systematize this a little more

The idea is to not make this into a big, enclosed game-system but to keep it small, so it can easily interact with other small game-systems. That way there's a much better chance of interesting interactions between these systems. For example, I just entered a trinary systems with a pulsar, which immediately blew me into not one, but consecutively into two red giants. I love moments like these.

Spoiler
(https://i.imgur.com/rzz1dwz.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/T5t3QVG.jpg)
[close]



Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 21, 2018, 03:46:43 PM
it doesn't need to be big, and it doesn't need to be enclosed either. making it slightly more complicated is fine if it actually makes the system make any sense.

FYI i don't think you can drop something from orbit and expect a hit unless we are talking MT+ yield in which case this is more of a genocide weapon than a raiding weapon.

but i don't think alex will change it anyway unfortunately. if it shows up in a design document it's probably beyond recall. i just offer alternatives because i like the game and want to see it be made better.

maybe in like a patch or two it will be better.  :-\



Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2018, 04:11:09 PM
so i guess fluff questions:

I think in general, when one is thinking about how things work in-universe, whether it's for a game or for any other work of fiction, one can think of ways it works that make the goings-on make sense, or not make sense. Whichever one you pick, you'll certainly be successful, since there's an almost unlimited number of ways in which you could fill in details that aren't explicitly specified by the work in question.

Personally, I find that my experience of games, books, etc, is better if I try to make things make sense, instead of the opposite. You're of course free to do what makes you happy :)

Either way, this isn't a productive argument to have. I could obviously come up with reasons why all of these things work, you could obviously come up with counter-reasons based on some other details, and this could be repeated infinitely.


Honestly, that just makes a per-weapon solution sound better.  Being able to have a hull mod just look over the available weapons, make choices based on whatever traits it cares about, and then modify the weapon directly...  Might be a theoretically-cleaner solution than the current pile of per-ship mutable stats.  On the other hand, the pile of per-ship mutable stats is here, and working, and that counts for a lot more than some hypothetical 'how clean is this design'.

Hmm - I think if you're doing that, then a bit of code to track the time and set the ammo to whatever is necessary would probably be relatively minor compared to the rest of the work...
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 21, 2018, 04:28:57 PM
Honestly, that just makes a per-weapon solution sound better.  Being able to have a hull mod just look over the available weapons, make choices based on whatever traits it cares about, and then modify the weapon directly...  Might be a theoretically-cleaner solution than the current pile of per-ship mutable stats.  On the other hand, the pile of per-ship mutable stats is here, and working, and that counts for a lot more than some hypothetical 'how clean is this design'.

Hmm - I think if you're doing that, then a bit of code to track the time and set the ammo to whatever is necessary would probably be relatively minor compared to the rest of the work...
The difference is where the work is.  From the perspective of a modder, setting per-weapon modifiers (assuming such a thing was supported) would be trivial; loop over weapons, add an "if beam weapon, then" or "if small non-missile, then", or whatever, and then adjust weapon damage, or range, or add PD tags, or whatever else.  From the perspective of you, the game developer?  Oh, yes, getting to the point where that could be done would be way more work than tracking time and setting ammunition counts, no question.  My above-quoted comment was more of a wishful what-if than any suggestion that such a thing should actually be done; as noted, the current pile of per-ship mutable stats is in, and it works, and if it doesn't necessarily scale well when trying to add new traits that could be adjusted, well, that's not really a vanilla problem.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 21, 2018, 08:24:40 PM
I have an argument for making an action take time that doesn't hinge on realism; the first time you decide you're powerful enough to take on the whole sector at once, you pull up to a planet, order a general bombardment, the dialogue screen drops away and as the cool-up timer ticks and your fleet slowly orbits the planet, the planet is visibly raked from one side to the other with explosions, then a half-second of nothing -- just long enough to make the player feel disappointed ("that was it?") -- and then suddenly explosions scattered everywhere, like rain drops, and after another half second it begins to build -- hard -- spiking in intensity until the soundtrack cuts away to gentle screeching woodwinds (i cant remember what game does this, im sure it was either Plague Inc or Defcom but I cant find the track) that leave the player certain that, if they just listen hard enough, they can hear screams, and then another split second of reprieve from the explosions (as the planet's terrestrial defenses are completely defeated), and then, the crescendo; the planet is blanketed with a brief conflagration of explosions; devestation so thorough that from your vantage point in space, a single portion of the planet cannot be seen that isn't being blasted, and then nothing for a few seconds to let the (first time) player sink in what they just did, and why, once the dialogue screen pops back up to give a feedback report, nearly every major faction in the sector is now at war with you and how much you deserve it.

you can't do that with a dialogue screen. If general bombardment is going to function as a hard-mode button where most of the known universe declares war on you at the same time and there's no going back, I want it to be haunting. I want everyone to know why they deserve to be destroyed for what they did
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Gothars on August 22, 2018, 12:50:25 AM
Oh my, I'd love to see the bobardment on the actual planet. That brings up fond memorys of Homeworld. If it's explosions on the surface, that could also be done after the dialog, though.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 22, 2018, 01:55:15 AM
While we're on the subject of Homeworld, while I don't expect StarSector bombardment to come in the form of spilling raw antimatter into the atmosphere as some here seem to imagine (for one that could completely rule out tactical bombardments), the idea does seem reminiscent of Homeworld's Atmospheric Deprivation Weapons, no?

And seriously, matter-antimatter is probably the easiest material to make a bomb in sci-fi, I don't understand why people struggle with this concept. See: photon torpedoes, or just StarSector's very own Reaper... it's the primary constituent of the most powerful weapon in the Sector, how hard is it to imagine making bombs out of it? Theoretically it would seem a lot easier than fission or fusion-based bombs (that have to achieve some sort of criticality) as you just need to make sure whatever keeps the antimatter from reacting with normal matter is destabilised on a trigger.

And look at this:

(http://germanculture.com.ua/beta/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/zeppelin-bomber.jpg)

Not hard to imagine a Prometheus-class in its place, no?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 22, 2018, 04:43:55 AM
in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance, at which point it's not fuel it's a guided weapon and should probably be it's own item.

it's an effective weapon 1. if you can hit the target and 2. if you can hit the target without vaporizing large swathes of the civilian infrastructure you theoretically want to preserve (at least if you aren't using it as a genocide weapon)

the question is not "would dumping the fuel from a prometheus not be a nice weapon"? it is "how would the prometheus avoid getting shot?" (and also a bunch of other questions like how would you get your CEP down from half a continent to something useful)

there are a lot of planets in the sector that are probably defended. ye olde zeppeline strategies probably aren't going to work unless you can throw your munitions from halfway around ye olde sune.

but i mean that's another flaw of the raiding system, it doesn't handle defenses at all (save fleets)

imho it fails as a system that could represent something plausible in terms of verisimilitude and it also fails as a generator of interesting fleet vs fleet scenarios (something the game has desperately needed since .50 imo) as it will just be the same ol same ol "smash two fleets together until one wins" thing without any additional considerations, except you might have to bring a dram to win (which is something you probably do already anyway)

but anyway alex has made up his mind. it's not worth my hashing out a replacement system that won't be used.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 22, 2018, 05:10:55 AM
It seems tankers will become the Umgah drone.  All tankers need now is a ship system that zips it backwards.

Quote
imho it fails as a system that could represent something plausible in terms of verisimilitude and it also fails as a generator of interesting fleet vs fleet scenarios (something the game has desperately needed since .50 imo) as it will just be the same ol same ol "smash two fleets together until one wins" thing without any additional considerations, except you might have to bring a dram to win (which is something you probably do already anyway)
I always bring multiple tankers with my fleet because there is no way to reach fringe systems and back without them.  Fuel capacities of everything that is not a tanker are way too low.  I dislike this forced tanker dependence to do anything useful.  Even freighters are merely a good idea, not required.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: erikem on August 22, 2018, 08:20:31 AM
in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance
You are bombing static targets at the surface of the planet. The only thing you need is to calculate a proper trajectory.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 22, 2018, 08:57:56 AM
Bombardment visuals could be cool, yeah. But it'd probably take like two weeks just to nail that down, minus any audio accompaniment - visuals can be slippery like that :)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 22, 2018, 09:20:57 AM
in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance
You are bombing static targets at the surface of the planet. The only thing you need is to calculate a proper trajectory.

yes, obviously it's trivial to hit a target that isn't moving, from about 24,000 feet. how ridiculous of me to think that you would need either guidance or a giant formation of bombers carpet bombing entire cities.

i mean obviously look at these morons. just drop your unguided bomb. the target is stationary. shifting wind bands? uncertainty about your and targets' real positions, and efforts of defenders to kill you? obviously these are trivialities. target is stationary, therefore easy  ::)
Spoiler
(https://i.imgur.com/osQ9AkL.jpg)
[close]

but anyway that's a secondary concern, the real concern is that it isn't interesting tactically and doesn't add anything new or interesting to the flow of combat when it probably should considering raiding is kind of important mechanically, both as a means to an end and as an end in itself.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 22, 2018, 09:27:34 AM
Bombardment visuals could be cool, yeah. But it'd probably take like two weeks just to nail that down, minus any audio accompaniment - visuals can be slippery like that :)

this reminds me of the 3 months I spent working on the sprite to a game I made for my finals, back when 800 x 600 was the standard resolution and the sprite came out to be less than the size of my pinky fingernail xD



in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance
You are bombing static targets at the surface of the planet. The only thing you need is to calculate a proper trajectory.


Thank you! I've dropped i don't know how many fuel pods from orbit in Kerbals, it'd only make sense that it'd be easy for the remnants of the galaxy-faring Human Dominion to be able to do it. I mean, there's scripts for it in the Kerbals modding community so you don't even need to do the work yourself. I'd imagine every cockpit in The Sector is programmed, from long long ago in a sub-routine nobody in a position to do anything about it is even aware is still there, to have a little Clippy pop up and go "It appears you are dive-bombing civilian infrastructure on a under-defended planet with poor redundancies to inflict mass casualties. Would you like some assistance? :-)" and then opens up a little payload guidance window on their screen with a ticker in the corner tracking the estimated body count, short-term and long-term, in the corner letting even an untrained pilot know how heinous an act it would be to drop a bomb right there.
(can you tell I've been re-reading starship troopers?)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SapphireSage on August 22, 2018, 10:25:19 AM
I'm not sure if this has been answered but I am curious about one thing.

Now that bombardments are going to be a thing, will it be possible for NPCs to perform bombardments themselves and if so, what would be the purpose of player ground defenses in helping to hinder them since AFAIK AI don't care about resources at all?

I do understand though that orbital stations and fleets will also be there to deter them and that ground defenses will still be helpful against raids, but the major factor in limiting player bombardment(fuel cost) would not exist for the AI so if AI were able to perform them at some point fuel wouldn't necessarily stop them from doing it willy nilly like they do with E-burn currently which is almost a 5 speed buff to AI burn speed/acceleration right now.

Also also, about the campaign objectives such as the nav bouy aiding burn speed. Right now the burn speed differences between the average capital and average frigate is only 4 (7-11) speed. I have a bit of concern about an enemy faction owning a domain nav beacon in a mixed ownership system like Valhalla/Ragnar(Heg/Tri) since that would allow a cruiser fleet to keep pace with a frigate fleet burn wise on top of the AIs penchant for spamming E-burn which can really hurt a newer player's ability to avoid larger destructive fleets.

Thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions. I really enjoy the game and appreciate the effort you put into it!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 22, 2018, 10:54:00 AM
Now that bombardments are going to be a thing, will it be possible for NPCs to perform bombardments themselves and if so, what would be the purpose of player ground defenses in helping to hinder them since AFAIK AI don't care about resources at all?

I do understand though that orbital stations and fleets will also be there to deter them and that ground defenses will still be helpful against raids, but the major factor in limiting player bombardment(fuel cost) would not exist for the AI so if AI were able to perform them at some point fuel wouldn't necessarily stop them from doing it willy nilly like they do with E-burn currently which is almost a 5 speed buff to AI burn speed/acceleration right now.

In theory yes, they could bombard, but they currently don't, mostly due to a lack of scenarios/events where that'd make sense.

I think looking at whether the AI fleets track resource use behind the scenes or not is missing the larger point - that how they behave is much more important. So in the case of E-burn, they're a bit too liberal with it (iirc that's toned down for .9a? not 100% sure), but ideally they'd use it in a similar pattern to how they would if they were indeed resource-limited, so the thought "they don't use fuel, do they?" wouldn't really come into the player's awareness.

It still makes sense they'd use it more than the player, in many cases - especially patrols that have access to faction resources and usually stay in-system anyway.

Back to bombardments, if the AI were to start using them, defenses would factor into its evaluation of whether it's cost-effective, or even possible, to do so. For example, a very basic calculation might be "if fuel cost is greater than 25% of fuel capacity, don't bombard". Whether there's an *actual* fuel cost is pretty much irrelevant here, you know? It's an implementation detail.

Also also, about the campaign objectives such as the nav bouy aiding burn speed. Right now the burn speed differences between the average capital and average frigate is only 4 (7-11) speed. I have a bit of concern about an enemy faction owning a domain nav beacon in a mixed ownership system like Valhalla/Ragnar(Heg/Tri) since that would allow a cruiser fleet to keep pace with a frigate fleet burn wise on top of the AIs penchant for spamming E-burn which can really hurt a newer player's ability to avoid larger destructive fleets.

Hmm - we'll see, I guess! I think the player's more intelligent use of Sustained Burn gives them enough of an edge to deal with just about anything, and a new player generally shouldn't be hostile with a faction that owns a Domain buoy. But that it's a consideration/concern is arguably good, since it means the effect is enough to be strategically meaningful, and will affect the player's decision making, which is ultimately the goal.

Thank you for taking the time out to answer these questions. I really enjoy the game and appreciate the effort you put into it!

Thank you!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 22, 2018, 11:30:07 AM
in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance
You are bombing static targets at the surface of the planet. The only thing you need is to calculate a proper trajectory.

yes, obviously it's trivial to hit a target that isn't moving, from about 24,000 feet. how ridiculous of me to think that you would need either guidance or a giant formation of bombers carpet bombing entire cities.

i mean obviously look at these morons. just drop your unguided bomb. the target is stationary. shifting wind bands? uncertainty about your and targets' real positions, and efforts of defenders to kill you? obviously these are trivialities. target is stationary, therefore easy  ::)

Hypothetical; which is easier? Going from orbit to land, or going from the ground to orbit?
Which presents a follow-up question; which is easier; shooting a ship in orbit from the ground, or shooting a building on the ground from orbit?

In fact, you bring up an interesting example in WW2; they had the means to bomb with about as much accuracy as we do today. Malcom Gladwell did a thing on it. They spent millions on a device and then installed the device in every bomber. They trained every pilot in the fleet to use this device, and then noticed... nothing. People still couldn't hit crap, so they tested and re-tested and re-tested this device and confirmed that, no, the device works perfectly in calculating fall trajectory so well that you can hit a watermelon from the upper atmosphere, even usually without accounting for wind. So what was the problem?
People weren't using it.

The reason that bomber accuracy has increased since then isn't because the aiming techniques have gotten better, we've just removed people from the equation more and more.
I mean, today you could knock a person's hat off with a (unarmed) bomb from a passing jet in the upper atmosphere without hurting the person, consistently. Probably today it'd not even be that hard to de-orbit a bomb from outside the atmosphere (we already de-orbit stuff way more than you'd think (we've already de-orbited a space station, fun fact) and the reason you don't hear about all the satellites we drop is bc we're good at not hitting stuff with them by accident), and we're not even a space-faring civilization.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 22, 2018, 02:02:12 PM
in order to do a tactical bombardment you'd need guidance
You are bombing static targets at the surface of the planet. The only thing you need is to calculate a proper trajectory.

yes, obviously it's trivial to hit a target that isn't moving, from about 24,000 feet. how ridiculous of me to think that you would need either guidance or a giant formation of bombers carpet bombing entire cities.

i mean obviously look at these morons. just drop your unguided bomb. the target is stationary. shifting wind bands? uncertainty about your and targets' real positions, and efforts of defenders to kill you? obviously these are trivialities. target is stationary, therefore easy  ::)

Hypothetical; which is easier? Going from orbit to land, or going from the ground to orbit?
Which presents a follow-up question; which is easier; shooting a ship in orbit from the ground, or shooting a building on the ground from orbit?

In fact, you bring up an interesting example in WW2; they had the means to bomb with about as much accuracy as we do today. Malcom Gladwell did a thing on it. They spent millions on a device and then installed the device in every bomber. They trained every pilot in the fleet to use this device, and then noticed... nothing. People still couldn't hit crap, so they tested and re-tested and re-tested this device and confirmed that, no, the device works perfectly in calculating fall trajectory so well that you can hit a watermelon from the upper atmosphere, even usually without accounting for wind. So what was the problem?
People weren't using it.

The reason that bomber accuracy has increased since then isn't because the aiming techniques have gotten better, we've just removed people from the equation more and more.
I mean, today you could knock a person's hat off with a (unarmed) bomb from a passing jet in the upper atmosphere without hurting the person, consistently. Probably today it'd not even be that hard to de-orbit a bomb from outside the atmosphere (we already de-orbit stuff way more than you'd think (we've already de-orbited a space station, fun fact) and the reason you don't hear about all the satellites we drop is bc we're good at not hitting stuff with them by accident), and we're not even a space-faring civilization.

ground to orbit assuming your termination criteria is "hit the ground" if we are talking about precision guidance, IE you want to hit a target smaller than a city with a craft that doesn't have an infinite survivability against heat and G, it's the opposite.
shooting a craft from the ground is much easier, because:
1. orbital motion is predictable, and confounding factors can be accounted for. the chief issue is accelerating the projectile and/or missile to such a speed that it is impossible to dodge considering the range of the target, and the target's potential for changing it's plane and degree of motion.
2. hitting a target on the ground from orbit has a number of very difficult confounding factors. your position and the target's position mandate the specific path it will take to get to the ground, many of these paths will not be survivable by the munition(s), in addition to this, wind bands are unpredictable and multilayered which means a guidance kit is going to be mandatory to put in corrections on the way down. a freefall projectile is simply never going to get to the target and destroy it, assuming the projectile requires hit-to-kill. if you had a 15 megaton projectile you could maybe do it assuming the projectile is moving very, very quickly and can somehow survive re-entry at speeds where wind and atmospheric disturbances are not a factor.

if you are talking about norden, it was a very effective tool but ultimately it was oft defeated by unknowable information. the squadron meteo says that winds are going to flow at 12kn 180 24,000 8 kn 140 12,000 and 0 kn groundspeed. by the time you get to hamburg, what are the winds like? who knows? you don't have anything to measure it with (well, maybe at exactly where you are) also, you are getting shot at the whole time. often the bombardier was killed or the formation was broken up or approaching the drop point there's 109s everywhere and you are focused on other things like the armor piercing incendiary rounds going through the midsection of your airplane and not on doing math to calculate the bomb release point. the reason bombers have gotten better is

1. better, more computerized gunsights
2. better visibility, enhanced ability to see and comprehend battlespace
3. the vast majority of bombs are guided now.

if you leveldrop an unguided ironbomb from 20k even with a "perfect" release solution, you still aren't going to get anywhere near the target. you might do slightly better than a B-17, but it is only because the computer is doing more math, better. ultimately the bomb is still subject to a large amount of unaccountable factors. without correcting on the way down most munitions are basically still a carpet bombing tool, at best.

but while i relish chitchatting about the history of strategic bombing, this is all mostly beside the point. the game is at it's heart world war II in space so it's tangentially related i suppose but for me the worst part is the lack of interesting tactical options and the missed opportunity of more interesting battles with more interesting objectives than "deploy as much as necessary, massacre them" I always considered how battles work out now as a placeholder but maybe that's not actually true? it seems odd to me to miss the opportunity to change combat into something more ~nuanced~

opinions though
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Linnis on August 22, 2018, 08:42:42 PM
I feel like all this possibility around bombing and stuff could really use a system for fleets to partially engage.

The whole thing that limits so many cool interactions between fleets is that the powerful always win. There is little to no reason for a smaller fleet to attack an larger fleet.

A simple fleet cohesion level could be added. Staying in orbit increases it over time, boosting or moving fast could lower it etcetc . A lower cohesion could have the opposing fleets to pick certain ships to be forced and only part of thr fleet fight. Instead of reinforcement low cohesion fights could be multi staged with the higher cohesion player picking out what ships to send against what.

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Inventor Raccoon on August 22, 2018, 09:01:01 PM
I think your proposed system for fleet cohesion could end up encouraging some pretty unfun tactics in the name of minmaxing, like trying to purposely get fleets to search for your fleet to lower cohesion before fighting them or having to deliberately stop and wait for cohesion to refill once you travel to somewhere you’re going to fight at.

Why should small fleets be able to take on large fleets and win? Fleet size feels like something that should mean they’re more powerful, rather than being abled to get harassed by small fleets.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Igncom1 on August 22, 2018, 10:40:28 PM
Small hightech fleets can already beat larger lowtech fleets.

Tempests/Wolfs/Shades stomp on Lashers/Brawlers/Hound and even Enforcers once their own frigate escorts are dead. Unescorted Eagles are vulnerable with Dominators being dead meat without their escorting ships to protect their flanks.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 23, 2018, 12:59:42 AM
I feel like all this possibility around bombing and stuff could really use a system for fleets to partially engage.

The whole thing that limits so many cool interactions between fleets is that the powerful always win. There is little to no reason for a smaller fleet to attack an larger fleet.

A simple fleet cohesion level could be added. Staying in orbit increases it over time, boosting or moving fast could lower it etcetc . A lower cohesion could have the opposing fleets to pick certain ships to be forced and only part of thr fleet fight. Instead of reinforcement low cohesion fights could be multi staged with the higher cohesion player picking out what ships to send against what.



Ultimate General; Civil War does that and it's excellent. It does the Homeworld thing where you bring your army from mission to mission. Most missions have a maximum brigades you can bring, and at that usually only one army can be the first to arrive, and then another is a reinforcements army that shows up after half of the battle is already done.
And, because the game (which is linear, not open world) doesn't require you to win missions to continue the story but merely to draw the mission at least (most missions have at least 3 objectives; one you must prevent the enemy from achieving, two that the player needs to beat at least one of to draw, one of them usually easier, and winning both scores a win), it allows the game to hammer a player in some missions, and design the missions to be mostly unwinnable and require the player to not engage in some missions, sending in a slim profile of troops to contest the map, do enough not to lose or give an easy loss and then accepting losses and moving on, losing in the lightly contested loss less troops than you can replace after it.
It's... a really good way to make a game, it turns out. It gives you the freedom to not be required to go 100% in every map, so if sometimes you're feeling fatigued with long, drawn out punching matches you can just... not. Show up, let your AI allies take a hammering and then go "lol sorry" and basically just leave to fight another battle, and in doing so you are allowed to leave yourself enough breathing room to gather your troops into full strength for a big battle so that, instead of scraping by you can show up, beefy and bronze and punch them into the dirt in a way you couldn't do if the game mandated that you win every mission.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: frogbones on August 23, 2018, 03:25:08 PM
SO awesome Alex, yeah I'm longing for a release, but this read makes the wait soo worth it. Very excited I am.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Linnis on August 23, 2018, 10:50:07 PM
I think your proposed system for fleet cohesion could end up encouraging some pretty unfun tactics in the name of minmaxing, like trying to purposely get fleets to search for your fleet to lower cohesion before fighting them or having to deliberately stop and wait for cohesion to refill once you travel to somewhere you’re going to fight at.

Why should small fleets be able to take on large fleets and win? Fleet size feels like something that should mean they’re more powerful, rather than being abled to get harassed by small fleets.

Certainly better then having 90% of the fleets running around either being impossible to fight or easy faceroll. Also I cant say pressing a button and waiting for 1 second is un-fun min-maxing.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Morgan Rue on August 23, 2018, 11:08:03 PM
Friendly reminder that Reaper Torpedoes have Antimatter warheads and look rather similar to fuel cells.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: MesoTroniK on August 23, 2018, 11:56:35 PM
Actually the codex says it is an antimatter catalyzed nuclear warhead, and yes that is a real theoretical (but should be workable) concept.

The point of such a thing is two fold mostly:
- Allows making the physical dimensions of the warhead smaller.
- Allows making a clean nuke, since can have a fusion reaction without using fission to get it going. So all the dakka of a nuke, with a lot less downsides! Strategic yield without most of the radiation.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 25, 2018, 09:18:46 AM
if you are raiding with nuclear/antimatter weapons you have an interesting definition of raiding imo

generally you don't do SEAD with nukes.. unless you are in 1960/70 then you do heh
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 25, 2018, 04:43:56 PM
im pretty sure radar doesn't work thru nuclear shockwaves

they cant shoot down orbital landers if looking up blinds them
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 25, 2018, 08:34:31 PM
if you are raiding with nuclear/antimatter weapons you have an interesting definition of raiding imo

generally you don't do SEAD with nukes.. unless you are in 1960/70 then you do heh

You keep saying "raiding". Fuel is only used in bombardment, you don't use any for raiding only.

Bomb guidance from orbit is absolutely not an issue when you consider 1. it's the future, you at least have modern level of computing 2. you have a better-than-birdseye view of your target for however long you like and 3. (this is a presumption, but a safe one given StarSector bombardment poses no threat to your fleet) you are relatively safe from retaliation, so you have no need to maneuver against incoming fire.

As for ground weaponry shooting down falling bombs... that's literally the justification for why ground defences increase fuel required: you need to oversaturate them or your bombs simply won't get through.

.....

And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective? Many inhabited planets have atmospheres, which means 1. energy weapons will bloom and dissipate and 2. physical projectiles that aren't large enough/heat shielded will burn up. The most effective weapons then would be missiles so you can ensure each heatshielded ordnance packs maximum punch. Which means you need to improvise a heatshield since space-to-space missiles designed to work in a vaccuum probably aren't be heatshielded. And what missile has the biggest punch? What kind of warhead does it carry?

Hmm!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 26, 2018, 08:23:40 AM
Quote
And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective?
None of the them given how short-ranged combat is in StarSector.  Attack range for weapons extends to about a ship length or three, nowhere near long enough to bomb the planet unless the ship is close enough to land.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 26, 2018, 11:30:32 AM
Quote
And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective?
None of the them given how short-ranged combat is in StarSector.  Attack range for weapons extends to about a ship length or three, nowhere near long enough to bomb the planet unless the ship is close enough to land.
Well, yes, the ranges in space are as they are to make gameplay mechanically interesting, rather than realistic (Beams instantly shredding the other side's armada from literally across the map is probably not the epitome of gameplay).  I'm certain one could handwave the range for ship-mounted weaponry in a similar fashion that this blog did with fuel-ammunition, or retroactively gave some ships a "hidden" bombardment weapon that's distinctly separate from the rest of its arsenal (sort of like how Sins of a Solar Empire handled their bombardment mechanics) (could be as simple as a nanoforge & torpedo tube that uses Transplutonics to spit out kinetic rods for bombardment), if one wanted to go that route.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: crawlers on August 26, 2018, 12:00:53 PM
Seems like the genocide run has arrived to starsector, with just the (player-set) goal of decivilizing everything.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 26, 2018, 03:22:24 PM
if you are raiding with nuclear/antimatter weapons you have an interesting definition of raiding imo

generally you don't do SEAD with nukes.. unless you are in 1960/70 then you do heh

You keep saying "raiding". Fuel is only used in bombardment, you don't use any for raiding only.

Bomb guidance from orbit is absolutely not an issue when you consider 1. it's the future, you at least have modern level of computing 2. you have a better-than-birdseye view of your target for however long you like and 3. (this is a presumption, but a safe one given StarSector bombardment poses no threat to your fleet) you are relatively safe from retaliation, so you have no need to maneuver against incoming fire.

As for ground weaponry shooting down falling bombs... that's literally the justification for why ground defences increase fuel required: you need to oversaturate them or your bombs simply won't get through.

.....

And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective? Many inhabited planets have atmospheres, which means 1. energy weapons will bloom and dissipate and 2. physical projectiles that aren't large enough/heat shielded will burn up. The most effective weapons then would be missiles so you can ensure each heatshielded ordnance packs maximum punch. Which means you need to improvise a heatshield since space-to-space missiles designed to work in a vaccuum probably aren't be heatshielded. And what missile has the biggest punch? What kind of warhead does it carry?

Hmm!

so you're arguing that we should be using reaper missiles(?) OK, i agree..

are we arguing or are you agreeing with me?

also, i'd expect at least large weapons would be pretty effective, assuming some baseline level of atmospheric density. but that's pretty in the weeds generally. if i was going to make up a system for it i'd probably just say large/medium weapons mounts that have at least something mounted are good enough.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: MesoTroniK on August 26, 2018, 05:54:21 PM
Quote
And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective?
None of the them given how short-ranged combat is in StarSector.  Attack range for weapons extends to about a ship length or three, nowhere near long enough to bomb the planet unless the ship is close enough to land.

Megas, you do realize Starsector's gameplay is *heavily* abstracted from the tech lore right? Turning it into something that is fun and a solid blend of arcade action and more complex mechanics. If you convert the gameplay, as observed in combat, the campaign, and codex descriptions into a fictional universe rule-set? Large fleet battles take days, ships can move at a low fraction of C, shooting weapons at up to light second ranges, and every projectile and non beam energy weapon is at the min hypervelocity and up to mid relativistic velocities.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Voyager I on August 26, 2018, 06:56:26 PM

also, i'd expect at least large weapons would be pretty effective, assuming some baseline level of atmospheric density. but that's pretty in the weeds generally. if i was going to make up a system for it i'd probably just say large/medium weapons mounts that have at least something mounted are good enough.

I know you aren't a dummy and presumably you read the blog post before posting feedback to it, so it's really confusing to me that your starting point for these arguments seems to be disregarding everything that was stated about what bombardment represents and how it was intended to fit within the overall framework of the game.

EDIT:  sorry I guess a lot of this was actually in Alex's first few replies in the thread, so go read those.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 27, 2018, 02:40:03 AM
so you're arguing that we should be using reaper missiles(?) OK, i agree..

are we arguing or are you agreeing with me?

also, i'd expect at least large weapons would be pretty effective, assuming some baseline level of atmospheric density. but that's pretty in the weeds generally. if i was going to make up a system for it i'd probably just say large/medium weapons mounts that have at least something mounted are good enough.

Reapers use antimatter. Fuel is antimatter. Reapers can't simply be shot through an atmosphere because they'll burn up. Jury-rig antimatter fuel as an explosive and add a heatshield, use post-modern computing to caculate the trajectory while your ships orbit serenely a safe distance from ground weapon emplacements, drop en masse and overwhelm point defences.

Thinking more about non-missile large weapons, only a handful could potentially make sense in bombardment lore-wise... Hellbore, Mjolnir and Tachyon Lance. But even large ballistic weapons are way too small calibre to survive atmospheric entry (Hellbore and Mjolnir may have the destructive power to be effective but again... likely to burn up in an atmosphere), and conventional directed (and worse, plasma) weapons will suffer from blooming which restricts range and power. All of them still pale before the ubiquity and compact destructive efficiency of matter-antimatter explosives. Only the Tachyon Lance could potentially hold an argument for being uninterceptible (assuming it's not subject to blooming).
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: TaLaR on August 27, 2018, 05:47:32 AM
Is there in-game difference between planets with and without atmosphere?

Logically atmosphere-less planets should be WAY more vulnerable to bombardment: Just drop/shoot anything from orbit with correct trajectory... Or if it is a really small moon, just park your Onslaught overhead and shoot pointblank (Starsector ships clearly have ridiculous enough deltaV and acceleration to afford this).

As for atmo-planets, I suspect dropping suitably large asteroids with jury-rigged engines (or in tug-like manner) is likely a better way to spend Antimatter fuel than directly using it as pd-vulnerable bombs. With an asteroid, unless defenders manage to totally annihilate it, it's still going to cause a lot of damage even if shattered.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 27, 2018, 07:47:45 AM
Quote
And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective?
None of the them given how short-ranged combat is in StarSector.  Attack range for weapons extends to about a ship length or three, nowhere near long enough to bomb the planet unless the ship is close enough to land.

Megas, you do realize Starsector's gameplay is *heavily* abstracted from the tech lore right? Turning it into something that is fun and a solid blend of arcade action and more complex mechanics. If you convert the gameplay, as observed in combat, the campaign, and codex descriptions into a fictional universe rule-set? Large fleet battles take days, ships can move at a low fraction of C, shooting weapons at up to light second ranges, and every projectile and non beam energy weapon is at the min hypervelocity and up to mid relativistic velocities.
Nitpick:  Large battles only take days between NPCs.  If your fleet is involved, battle is instant.

As for game, I tend to think game mechanics as the rules of the universe of that game, and if there is a mismatch between crunch and fluff, I defer to crunch, not fluff, because only game mechanics matter.  I also think NPCs should be aware of game rules and exploit them as if they are natural laws of the world.

It is like some role-playing game saying some magic-users are natural born elementalists and their build advice is pick fire and more fire, but if they need to chant, wiggle their fingers, and wave a focus like a bookworm wizard, and blasting is weak compared to OHKO from a control spell, you do not follow their advice.  You pick the best stuff, whatever it is, not pump hp-inflated monsters full of fire if they can tank several blasts.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 27, 2018, 08:45:44 AM
Quote
And really, for people that want ship weaponry to be used for bombardment, which ones do you expect would be effective?
None of the them given how short-ranged combat is in StarSector.  Attack range for weapons extends to about a ship length or three, nowhere near long enough to bomb the planet unless the ship is close enough to land.

Megas, you do realize Starsector's gameplay is *heavily* abstracted from the tech lore right? Turning it into something that is fun and a solid blend of arcade action and more complex mechanics. If you convert the gameplay, as observed in combat, the campaign, and codex descriptions into a fictional universe rule-set? Large fleet battles take days, ships can move at a low fraction of C, shooting weapons at up to light second ranges, and every projectile and non beam energy weapon is at the min hypervelocity and up to mid relativistic velocities.
Nitpick:  Large battles only take days between NPCs.  If your fleet is involved, battle is instant.
Yes, because it is abstracted that way, because actually taking days to play out a small frigate patrol clash like the AI does doesn't seem particularly practical or fun (to people that aren't me, anyways).  That's Meso's point.

Reapers use antimatter. Fuel is antimatter.

As stated earlier in this thread, Reapers have a Nuclear warhead according to its codex entry, the AM component is just a catalyst.


also, i'd expect at least large weapons would be pretty effective, assuming some baseline level of atmospheric density. but that's pretty in the weeds generally. if i was going to make up a system for it i'd probably just say large/medium weapons mounts that have at least something mounted are good enough.

I know you aren't a dummy and presumably you read the blog post before posting feedback to it, so it's really confusing to me that your starting point for these arguments seems to be disregarding everything that was stated about what bombardment represents and how it was intended to fit within the overall framework of the game.

EDIT:  sorry I guess a lot of this was actually in Alex's first few replies in the thread, so go read those.

It's possible to read them, and disagree either with his intended direction or w/ how it was implemented.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 27, 2018, 09:28:38 AM
Is there in-game difference between planets with and without atmosphere?

Logically atmosphere-less planets should be WAY more vulnerable to bombardment: Just drop/shoot anything from orbit with correct trajectory... Or if it is a really small moon, just park your Onslaught overhead and shoot pointblank (Starsector ships clearly have ridiculous enough deltaV and acceleration to afford this).

As for atmo-planets, I suspect dropping suitably large asteroids with jury-rigged engines (or in tug-like manner) is likely a better way to spend Antimatter fuel than directly using it as pd-vulnerable bombs. With an asteroid, unless defenders manage to totally annihilate it, it's still going to cause a lot of damage even if shattered.

Oh definitely. If we're going for maximum realism then a plain old pure kinetic colony drop would be the best way to bombard a planet, none of this explosives or designed-to-work-in-a-vaccuum-not-in-an-atmosphere weaponry nonsense.

(If we're talking about tactical bombardment then dropping an asteroid on it might not be the best way to go about it, but large kinetic slugs would still be superior to explosives.)

I'm only bringing up the realism angle because "dumping fuel into the atmosphere", "you can't aim unguided projectiles from orbit with space-age technology", "you have to enter the atmosphere to bombard a planet" etc. etc. is being thrown around.

Honestly, at the end of the day Alex has justified why things work they do for the sake of game mechanics. Making it plausible enough to suspend disbelief is just a bonus.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 27, 2018, 09:52:26 AM
@ Retry:  For stuff like resolving things quickly instead of spending an hour to travel, sure I buy that.  But for things like why nearly every weapon is effectively a punching glove or melee weapon and not a gun, not so much.  I like having a few weapons that can snipe and kill things across the map.  So far, the only weapons that do this are fighters (and beams and Gauss used by battlestation).
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Unreal_One on August 27, 2018, 10:18:03 PM
Is there in-game difference between planets with and without atmosphere?

Logically atmosphere-less planets should be WAY more vulnerable to bombardment: Just drop/shoot anything from orbit with correct trajectory... Or if it is a really small moon, just park your Onslaught overhead and shoot pointblank (Starsector ships clearly have ridiculous enough deltaV and acceleration to afford this).

As for atmo-planets, I suspect dropping suitably large asteroids with jury-rigged engines (or in tug-like manner) is likely a better way to spend Antimatter fuel than directly using it as pd-vulnerable bombs. With an asteroid, unless defenders manage to totally annihilate it, it's still going to cause a lot of damage even if shattered.

Oh definitely. If we're going for maximum realism then a plain old pure kinetic colony drop would be the best way to bombard a planet, none of this explosives or designed-to-work-in-a-vaccuum-not-in-an-atmosphere weaponry nonsense.

(If we're talking about tactical bombardment then dropping an asteroid on it might not be the best way to go about it, but large kinetic slugs would still be superior to explosives.)

I'm only bringing up the realism angle because "dumping fuel into the atmosphere", "you can't aim unguided projectiles from orbit with space-age technology", "you have to enter the atmosphere to bombard a planet" etc. etc. is being thrown around.

Honestly, at the end of the day Alex has justified why things work they do for the sake of game mechanics. Making it plausible enough to suspend disbelief is just a bonus.

I don't think deorbiting is nearly as dominant as a lot of y'all do; a 10 gram payload antimatter bomb is comparable to a 30,000 ton "rod from god" from high orbit of an earth mass planet (or a 500kt nuke). Sure, it may be more energy efficient to put an asteroid on a collision course, but that can be detected and stopped in the months it would take, unless the orbits are a lot closer than they are in the solar system. If the 10g antimatter bomb uses a 10 kg delivery missile, you'd have to get the delivery missile going about .06c to get the same effect on target. This gets mooted if you are using ship's power to accelerate it (say, using a railgun), since you're getting the power to accelerate it to those speeds from your antimatter reactor anyway.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 28, 2018, 12:35:58 AM
I bet alex is glad his blog post about raids and planetary defenses has produced ten consecutive pages of people arguing about de-orbiting mechanisms lmfao
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Histidine on August 28, 2018, 01:58:44 AM
Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.

(Random aside: if the idea behind the fuel-based bombardment is reusing the AM in warheads, I'd expect it to consume supplies as well for the bomb casings, guidance kits and such. I understand if this is abstracted away for reasons of gameplay simplicity though.)
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 28, 2018, 10:33:47 AM
I bet alex is glad his blog post about raids and planetary defenses has produced ten consecutive pages of people arguing about de-orbiting mechanisms lmfao

It's the only way to be sure.


Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.

(Hah, yeah, that'd be a fun nod to the concept.)

(Random aside: if the idea behind the fuel-based bombardment is reusing the AM in warheads, I'd expect it to consume supplies as well for the bomb casings, guidance kits and such. I understand if this is abstracted away for reasons of gameplay simplicity though.)

Yep!
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Retry on August 28, 2018, 03:17:28 PM
Non-serious idea I had: make metals rather than fuel the bombardment resource.
This gives a use to a commodity that is currently abundant vendor trash, rather than something already essential for other gameplay elements, and provides a tie-in to the popular kinetic bombardment trope.


I had a similar, slightly more serious idea of using Transplutonics and making the refined product illegal or restricted to certain military markets & the black market instead of out in the open (similar to drugs & guns).  Now we'd have an existing resource that now has a role for the player, set the foundation for a role of Kinetic Bombardment ship that'd presumably also be heavily restricted in markets (even if that role is in-name-only for a while like the Valkyrie used to be), and the setting's WMDs and their best distributors are no longer sold cheaply nearly everywhere on the open market.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 28, 2018, 07:24:49 PM
well, high energy stuff is a WMD but also a nice fuel. i'm not against the idea of using AM as a weapon. it would be fun to sneak it on-world and then just kind of erase 30% of the planet's mass in a giant superexplosion.

another thought: how many tons of AM is 1000 "units"? is every planetary settlement essentially a huge planetkiller that could go off at any time?

no wonder people join spaceships where they are de-facto slaves with a 10 minute life expectancy!



Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: The Soldier on August 28, 2018, 10:09:16 PM
well, high energy stuff is a WMD but also a nice fuel. i'm not against the idea of using AM as a weapon. it would be fun to sneak it on-world and then just kind of erase 30% of the planet's mass in a giant superexplosion.

another thought: how many tons of AM is 1000 "units"? is every planetary settlement essentially a huge planetkiller that could go off at any time?

no wonder people join spaceships where they are de-facto slaves with a 10 minute life expectancy!
From the looks of the icon, it has the rough shape of an oxygen tank used for diving.  Makes sense - easily man-portable at an individual level yet easy to move in bulk on pallets (during WWII pretty much every army moved their fuel around using 5-gallon "Jerry" cans and nearly nothing else, not even dedicated tanker trucks).  However, I suspect that the antimatter foam (or is it antimatter pellets as described in Sindria's planet description?  Which would kind of make the fullerene shells described in Fuel's description feel a bit off as they're pellets and not a gas, liquid, or foam, suggesting that a shell would be unnecessary, not like Fluorine anyhow) is pumped out of these tanks and move into the ship's dedicated fuel tank (or in the case of tankers, giant fuel cells).  David would have to clarify that as loremaster. :)

As to every planet being a giant bomb - well, both Sindria's planet description and the Fuel item description describe AM fuel as, and I quote,  "relatively stable fuel pellets" and "Fairly safe".  So I think it's a bit like C4 explosive, where it's difficult to set off unless a specific set of circumstances are met; in the case of C4, it can only be set off by the shock wave from another explosion (like det cord), and shooting it with fire arms won't even set it off.  Not sure how you might weaponize this relatively stable composition, it's not exactly your everyday explosive.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Troll on August 29, 2018, 04:43:44 AM
As usual, a meaty and very interesting update.
More not-complex-for-complexity's-sake interactions between the various mechanics is always greatly welcome.

Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.
It also fits extremely well with Starsector's lore. An (very) ambitious modder could make a Space Viking campaign and it would not look out of place at all.

Can't wait to get my hands on the hopefully near 0.9 release.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: David on August 29, 2018, 08:56:01 AM
However, I suspect that the antimatter foam (or is it antimatter pellets as described in Sindria's planet description?  Which would kind of make the fullerene shells described in Fuel's description feel a bit off as they're pellets and not a gas, liquid, or foam, suggesting that a shell would be unnecessary, not like Fluorine anyhow) is pumped out of these tanks and move into the ship's dedicated fuel tank (or in the case of tankers, giant fuel cells).  David would have to clarify that as loremaster. :)

Fullerene shells are pretty small, so their low-scale physical properties are probably based on whatever that acts like, though they can (it seems) be suspended in various solvents. (Sidenote: and apparently fullerene suspended in oil is purple! Neat.) The pellet talk is (probably) about AM-packed fullerenes mixed at some optimal ratio with whatever fuel is being used for the nuclear reactions proper, whether in solution or larger nanotech-created packages that are still small enough to be treated as a fluid on a macro scale.

Producing antimatter at scale requires ridiculous amounts of energy, of course, so even if the AM itself is safely stored, the production facility is going to have very large scale power generation/transmission/handling going on.

So a few points:

Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Megas on August 29, 2018, 09:15:29 AM
One supposes that fuel can be persuaded to ignite in a larger-scale and presumably less ultimately efficient manner via some jury-rigged process. Only a monster, of course, would unleash such a process on an inhabited world.
My character might end up being said "monster" with glee.  He already nonchalantly spaced crew on a whim during the Starfarer days, plus opened fire on his own ships and destroyed them to accelerate xp/level gain.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 29, 2018, 12:04:28 PM
Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.

Cool!

It's part of a bunch of books set in the same world; if you enjoyed that, you might like the other stuff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._Beam_Piper#Published_works), too. Most of it is on gutenberg as well.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Troll on August 29, 2018, 12:36:29 PM
Big thanks to you Alex for the recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Space Viking.

Cool!

It's part of a bunch of books set in the same world; if you enjoyed that, you might like the other stuff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._Beam_Piper#Published_works), too. Most of it is on gutenberg as well.

I know what I'm reading for the next weeks / months.
Big bear hugs for you  :D.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on August 29, 2018, 12:37:35 PM
  • Starship reactors/engines presumably have some process of making the magic happen by deconstructing and mixing everything in a controlled, efficient manner.
  • One supposes that fuel can be persuaded to ignite in a larger-scale and presumably less ultimately efficient manner via some jury-rigged process. Only a monster, of course, would unleash such a process on an inhabited world.
  • Fuel: It's Fairly Safe™

I actually like this. Volatile fuel is an affectation of the early 1900's; IRL fuel, even nowadays, is pretty stable and can't burn without being pressurized in a system that is... very hard to recreate accidentally. It's weird to imagine a pan-galactic star-faring civilization that never figured out to have all their trillion dollar ships have fuel that is carried in a chemically stable state and then catalyze it apart from its stabilizing elements -in the reactor- upon use
it'd be like imagining the current world except all the cars are running on a tank full of nitro glycerin that'll det if you so much as hit a speed bump
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Wyvern on August 29, 2018, 12:47:25 PM
it'd be like imagining the current world except all the cars are running on a tank full of nitro glycerin that'll det if you so much as hit a speed bump
So... movie physics?
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: SafariJohn on August 29, 2018, 03:05:18 PM
Just read Space Vikings; good book.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Alex on August 29, 2018, 03:06:19 PM
Just read Space Vikings; good book.

Excellent :D
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on August 30, 2018, 05:08:08 PM
it's antimatter chief, i don't know if you could even make it stable (as it's instability is a fundamental physical property) anything that makes it stable would probably result in it being useless.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Voyager I on August 30, 2018, 08:55:22 PM
What is your motivation for being this much of a contrarian?  Why are you acting this way?

The entire design process of the game has always been "identify desired player experience > design mechanics to promote that experience > come up with just enough lore to give a veneer of plausibility to those mechanics".  Starting an argument about how 'actually, this vaguely-defined futuristic space magic should work like this' is never going to result in meaningful changes to the game design because the design always takes priority over the technobabble and nobody is trying to get specific enough about how this stuff works to tell you how many Midichlorians a Hound has or whatever.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on August 31, 2018, 01:22:44 AM
It's not even valid realism arguments either.

"Antimatter is fundamentally unstable" is meaningless technobabble. An unstable particle decays, antimatter is not more prone to decay than the equivalent normal matter is. To greatly, greatly simply things, antimatter and matter annihilate each other, but other than that antimatter behaves the same as normal matter; just with the opposite charge. It is already possible to contain antimatter by ensuring it doesn't get in contact with normal matter, e.g. with electromagnetic fields. Not a huge jump to containment through esoteric quantum fullerene physics (now that is technobabble).
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: imperialus on September 01, 2018, 08:37:23 AM
Just read Space Vikings; good book.

Excellent :D

Just wanted to pop in and say the Space Vikings reference caught my eye too.  I've got a dogeared copy that I've probably read more than a dozen times.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on September 01, 2018, 09:10:58 AM
it's antimatter chief, i don't know if you could even make it stable (as it's instability is a fundamental physical property) anything that makes it stable would probably result in it being useless.

a vacuum. You suspend the antimatter in a vacuum vessel that makes it not touch the sides of the vessel -- this is actually already not that hard to do. It was in a dan brown book
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deeplurker on September 01, 2018, 08:05:50 PM
Looking nice.

If nobody's said it: PLEASE add an "are you sure" confirmation for bombardments.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Cik on September 01, 2018, 09:41:06 PM
it's antimatter chief, i don't know if you could even make it stable (as it's instability is a fundamental physical property) anything that makes it stable would probably result in it being useless.

a vacuum. You suspend the antimatter in a vacuum vessel that makes it not touch the sides of the vessel -- this is actually already not that hard to do. It was in a dan brown book

that's not stable, that's just "not exploding at this very moment"

it makes it usable, but not exactly safe. strong jolt hits the canister? kaboom. power failure? kaboom. you get the picture.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on September 01, 2018, 11:12:41 PM
esoteric quantum fullerene physics

*Waves hand* You can stop now. If you're starting to argue about the validity of antimatter containment, which is actually possible and theoretically scalable in real life, why aren't you arguing about hyperdrives and "drive fields" which have completely no basis in real world physics? You're just tunnelling into an ox's horn at this point.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Deshara on September 02, 2018, 01:46:20 AM
it's antimatter chief, i don't know if you could even make it stable (as it's instability is a fundamental physical property) anything that makes it stable would probably result in it being useless.

a vacuum. You suspend the antimatter in a vacuum vessel that makes it not touch the sides of the vessel -- this is actually already not that hard to do. It was in a dan brown book

that's not stable, that's just "not exploding at this very moment"

it makes it usable, but not exactly safe. strong jolt hits the canister?

not an issue, the suspended antimatter is repulsed by the walls of the canister, magnetically. Now, power failure is an interesting one but it wouldn't be hard to place the storage in the spine of the ship with the plant on a contained power circuit with a backup power source, self-feeding power source that will run the antimatter containment off of the antimatter until it runs out and then... has no more to blow up.
And that's assuming powered magnets are used, they don't need to be powered, all placed in the reactor so any shot that makes it that deep into the heart of the ship is probably a killshot anyway.
Also the containers could just be made of passive magnets, and the antimatter made out of a magnetically reactive element
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on September 02, 2018, 02:40:41 AM
Since antimatter in StarSector is kept in fullerene shells it could simply be a proton shell caging antiprotons. Electrostatic forces keep them apart and it doesn't need an external power source.

As to how to get antiprotons into (and out of) their proton cages, well that's where eldritch Domain tech comes in, no? Some sort of quantum/phase tech that works on the same principles as the Phase Skimmer/Teleporter, for instance.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: intrinsic_parity on September 02, 2018, 08:39:26 AM
Antiprotons are negatively charged, so they would not be repelled by protons.
Title: Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
Post by: Embolism on September 03, 2018, 01:24:32 AM
Antiprotons are negatively charged, so they would not be repelled by protons.

You're right. An anion shell is what I should've said.