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Author Topic: Once More, with Feeling  (Read 18451 times)

Cyan Leader

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2018, 08:50:04 PM »

And it sounds like the AI can cheat.

I take issue with this statement. I can see this applicable in games in which every "player" are supposedly on an even field, like Civilization or Stellaris, but Starsector isn't a game like that. It's a sandbox game in which the win conditions vary per player. The only person who is playing the game is, well, the player. How well you do in the game depends on only you.

I would rather reword this as fair or unfair. Just like I don't consider cheating when, say, a Goomba deals damage to Mario during contact, I also don't consider cheating when the AI in Starsector doesn't have to worry about supplies. But is it fair? Well, we have salvaging (which the AI doesn't interfere), exploration, black market deals and ships/skills to increase loot drops to recuperate supply loses and even upgrade our fleet. We also have a functional human brain which is far above anything the AI has. On that perspective, since the factors are all well explained in the game, yeah. I consider it fair.

So in the case of bombardments, if it is explained well to the player that certain actions will have consequences (something Alex already addressed above), then it is completely fair. It's up to the player now to overcome the challenge in any way they desire, since you know, sandbox. Leave the "cheating" talk to PVP games.  

Addendum: Alex addressed this while I was typing it but I still feel like sharing my thoughts as well.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 08:58:27 PM by Cyan Leader »
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TaLaR

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2018, 10:08:45 PM »

Re: Bombardments
Won't any war with present AI factions degrade into endless whack-a-mole with intercepting their attack fleets and possibly disrupting their colonies?
I mean, if I can't destroy/conquer their colonies and their resources can't be permanently damaged (if at all) - what options do I have left?
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Alex

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2018, 10:24:10 PM »

Too much of it could be bad, but a certain amount "fight stuff off to protect your colonies" is precisely the point. As long as there's some variety and the pacing is right (i.e. leaving you time to do other things as well), that's pretty much the goal.
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TaLaR

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2018, 10:46:36 PM »

Too much of it could be bad, but a certain amount "fight stuff off to protect your colonies" is precisely the point. As long as there's some variety and the pacing is right (i.e. leaving you time to do other things as well), that's pretty much the goal.

Can we get get something along lines of capitulation then? When you destroy enough fleets/ bomb enough colonies in some time window (keep something like warscore). On accepting treaty: relations with capitulated faction get reset to around 0, they can't attack for a while and pay indemnity. Something along these lines.

They are still free to attack after treaty expires, but you get clearly defined windows of no attacks from given faction and stimulus + opportunity to properly defeat them (rather than constant reactive defensive maintenance of conflict).

Basically, would be nice if diplomacy was not limited to trying to butter enemy faction up (with AI cores, bounties, etc), but included option to beat them into submission.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2018, 10:48:56 PM by TaLaR »
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errorgance

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2018, 04:54:51 AM »


hey, any chance we could set our own faction procedural ship names? not just the suffix, but the names it draws from? even if it's just a text file we can add to manually, that'd be nice.

Nothing in-game, but you could already edit the player.faction file to set where the names get drawn from.



cool, that's all I need, now how bad of puns should I use for ship names? you can give your answer on a scale from 1-10 with one being not calf bad typos and ten requiring udderly ridiculous amounts of bovine intervention.


And it sounds like the AI can cheat.

Cheating implies someone breaking rules that should apply to it. Here, we have two parties which *do not have parity* and have different rules apply to them and *it makes sense in-fiction*. You're absolutely entitled to an opinion on this, but calling it cheating is just factually incorrect.

that absolutely makes sense for new nations, but what happens when the player continues to grow and achieves parity? or is there a hard limit to prevent this? if so, then do you have a good/obvious explanation in place for why they can't?

also, shouldn't other independent worlds at risk of receiving similar poor treatment since they aren't part of the big kids club?
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SCC

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2018, 05:12:03 AM »

I think that the issue with this asymmetry stems from the fact that it is rooted in politics and realistic, but in real political situations this is just as unfair. Placing it in the game doesn't change that. Sort of how the big factions agreed to hate the pirates, so you can do anything to pirates, since nobody cares about them - and unless you make somebody care about you, prepare yourself to face the same fate. Maybe. I can imagine that, against the player flying around and making their own empire with blackjack and hookers, they would send only limited force at first, to scout the situation and to avoid giving someone else advantage over them.
It would be nice if this initial situation resolved differently, depending on what player is doing. Unimportant colony would only result in pirate raids, but a bigger one would attract skirmishes with other factions before raids, giving the player time to react. If the player has a commission, however, the commissioner could simply share intel way before the raid, or harass that force themselves, weakening it enough the player doesn't have to react. Of course, any of the factions growing in power upsets the balance, that can easily lead to some nasty things, like war...

Techhead

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2018, 06:31:50 AM »

Re: bombardments etc -

It's not a symmetrical situation, so mechanical symmetry as a default would be strange. Imagine if everyone became hostile to the Hegemony because they stamped out a slightly-bigger-than-usual nest of pirates somewhere out on the fringes.

It might make sense in some cases - say if it were possible for you to take over a core planet, and then *that* got bombarded - or if you became really well established, with a huge colony - but those seem like a good fit for special cases and not the base mechanics.
Would scaling the rep penalty to planet population make sense? A few thousand dead is some ruffled feathers (and TBH, numerically equivalent to blowing up a large fleet), a million dead is a major diplomatic incident, hundreds of millions dead becomes casus belli. It means that if you do build up the population of your pet colony to the 10^8 level, then when it gets bombarded you may console yourself in the fact that Diktat fleets are getting ganked by Hegemony and Luddic patrols across the sector.
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Megas

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2018, 06:44:17 AM »

Technically, it would not be cheating if the rules say AI is immune, but player is not.  But as was said, it seems too unfair.  This is like AI Guile ignoring charge restrictions in Street Fighter 2 (you must hold joystick back to charge, but AI does not, so it can out-fireball your Guile if you try to trade fireballs with AI Guile, and it can flash kick you instantly unlike you can), or every fighter in some Mortal Kombat games counter-throw you even if they are incapacitated.  Or some games where they do far more damage with a similar character than your character can do.  My typical response is to ruthlessly exploit AI faults (more so than otherwise), especially if it is the only way to win.  But even if I win, I feel robbed of a fair fight.

I have no problem with touch-of-death with Goomba or similar mooks from other classic '80s games.  They are clearly not Mario.  I would be slightly miffed when enemy soldiers that are evil counterparts of your guy can run over and kill your character without dying (for mutual kill), but that would be moot because you only have three lives while the enemy has endless stream of mooks.

Starsector seems like a sandbox, but like Star Control 2, it should have conditions that end the game, which it does not have yet but I expect the game to have them after it leaves alpha stage.  For example, if I destroy all factions, I would expect the game to say something like "you are winner! you destroyed all enemies! all their bases are belong to you! have a nice day! game over!"
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Megas

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2018, 07:22:04 AM »

Would scaling the rep penalty to planet population make sense? A few thousand dead is some ruffled feathers (and TBH, numerically equivalent to blowing up a large fleet), a million dead is a major diplomatic incident, hundreds of millions dead becomes casus belli. It means that if you do build up the population of your pet colony to the 10^8 level, then when it gets bombarded you may console yourself in the fact that Diktat fleets are getting ganked by Hegemony and Luddic patrols across the sector.
That got me thinking.  Huge endgame fleets have a few thousand crew.  You can smash few such fleets in a huge extended battle, and those not involved in the fighting do not care.  You bombard a puny colony with no more people than all personnel in a large fleet and everyone who is not their enemy will blacklist you, but not if the AI factions do it?  (What hypocrites!)  In particular, why would all of the Independents care enough to blacklist if I bomb someone who is not them?  (I guess you could be considered Independent, and they do not want to be lumped in, but you cease to be Independent after you establish a colony.)
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Alex

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2018, 09:54:38 AM »

All this stuff is entirely outside the scope for what I'm looking at for 0.9a. There are also a lot of assumptions that don't hold up - which, fair enough, I haven't really talked about the details here because I haven't really talked about this much to begin with. But I also don't really want to, since it's 1) still something I'm working on and 2) content I don't want to entirely spoil.

Like, I'm just adding a "factions may occasionally get mad at you and it may possibly escalate to a bombardment" event, because this seems like it'll be fun. In that context, it's "fair" if the player can deal with it well, not if some minor element of it is entirely symmetrical to what the player can do, you know? The whole thing is already so asymmetrical.
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Arkiuz

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #55 on: October 07, 2018, 10:50:57 AM »

So it's essentially a prelude mechanic to a grander scale of mechanic.  If I read and comprehend things correctly this early.
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Cik

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #56 on: October 07, 2018, 11:11:55 AM »

the people on the planet are presumably civilians megas. though this line is not respected in every war, people usually give at least the pretense of caring about it.

also, you're destroying theoretically critical infrastructure that everyone relies on to survive.

personally i think the implications of it all work out.

that assumes the players will always be an upstart, which may not always be true in the far future. but for the state of the mechanics now, where the player will be limited to the level below a minor empire, it makes sense that they can attack you without a huge reprisal necessarily taking place.

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Megas

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #57 on: October 07, 2018, 12:00:01 PM »

the people on the planet are presumably civilians megas. though this line is not respected in every war, people usually give at least the pretense of caring about it.
If they only care when I do it, but not when the AI does it, then that falls apart and exposes them as hypocrites, warmongers, and/or devious politicians we see all too often in real life.  That or a cheap game balance patch between human and AI.  I just hope that AI does not abuse their immunity like their other grief moves, or it would give off the "The computer is a cheater" trope, despite AI immunity permitted by game rules.

I get that such fine details of faction diplomacy will be incomplete in 0.9 and might need further work.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #58 on: October 07, 2018, 12:36:16 PM »

One thing that would make me less worried about bombardments is if the AI could not do total/ wipe out bombardments. IE They can hurt select industries but they can't just "glass the upstart's world because he had the balls to muscle in on our industry"
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errorgance

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Re: Once More, with Feeling
« Reply #59 on: October 07, 2018, 01:18:35 PM »

All this stuff is entirely outside the scope for what I'm looking at for 0.9a. There are also a lot of assumptions that don't hold up - which, fair enough, I haven't really talked about the details here because I haven't really talked about this much to begin with. But I also don't really want to, since it's 1) still something I'm working on and 2) content I don't want to entirely spoil.

Like, I'm just adding a "factions may occasionally get mad at you and it may possibly escalate to a bombardment" event, because this seems like it'll be fun. In that context, it's "fair" if the player can deal with it well, not if some minor element of it is entirely symmetrical to what the player can do, you know? The whole thing is already so asymmetrical.


lol, got it, sorry about the badgering, I guess we'll see for real if its really an issue when you drop the next version, exactly when was that again? :P
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