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Author Topic: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses  (Read 28718 times)

Histidine

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #90 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)
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Wyvern

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #91 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.)
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Embolism

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #92 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.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #93 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?
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erikem

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #94 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
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Chaos Blade

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #95 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)

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Cik

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #96 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"

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Megas

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #97 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.
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Embolism

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #98 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?
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 06:11:43 AM by Embolism »
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erikem

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #99 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
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Algro

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #100 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.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 07:53:03 AM by Algro »
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xenoargh

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #101 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 :)
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Retry

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #102 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.
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Alex

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #103 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.
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Gothars

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #104 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!





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