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Author Topic: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap  (Read 4349 times)

intrinsic_parity

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2019, 11:15:22 PM »

The size of the super endgame fleets is mostly what's causing me to run into the fleet cap. Either the huge 10 capital bounties or chain battling hoards of remnants in 3 ping systems. They often require multiple retreat/redeploy cycles which means having a second round of ships available is very useful. I've had battles where I cycled through my full first round of cruisers. And bringing more ships means bringing more supplies and fuel so the ship count actually scales up quite quickly. Once you get to more optimized paragon/astral fleets, you can usually kill stuff fast enough to avoid CR issues, but I definitely feel a bit restricted in fleet composition because of it.

It would be fun to mess around with destroyer/frigate swarms, and the hard cap definitely kills any d-mod swarm strategy after the early-mid game which is too bad.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2019, 12:40:08 AM »

I definitely see why Alex is concerned about large numbers of ships being a problem for both the UI and the player's ability to manage their fleet. Further on that, we do have the option (those of us who know it exists at least) to increase the fleet cap in the config. Personally I rarely run into the fleet cap because I tend to run around with a smaller fleet anyway, but in a big, extended fight I also agree that it's incredibly nice to have multiple waves of combat ships you can cycle through.

I also have to reluctantly agree with Histidine's statement that the fleet cap hurts "frigate swarm" fleet doctrines. Not that I use that playstyle either, but just about anything that can make frigates globally more popular (since they always seem to get a lot of crap from the min-max players) is good in my books.

Regardless, I'd much prefer if the fleet cap adjustability is perhaps given as a slider in the options menu as it is for battle size? Or some other way that would make it more visible: In real terms, the fleet cap is irrelevant because it's an adjustable stat in the config, but that requires that players A) know it exists, and B) know how to adjust it. Whether that is alleviated by making it a much more obvious part of the game, or by removing it entirely, I have no problem on.

After all, it's not like there's a minimum fleet size. ;D Removing the fleet cap ain't gonna stop me using a small fleet.
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goduranus

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2019, 12:41:10 AM »

The "gameplay benefit" is, more or less, saving the player from managing the loadouts on a huge number of ships. Well, that, and the UI can't really handle huge numbers of ships well (which ties into the pain of managing that many ships, too). And, well, most players aren't going to run into it.

However, ideally the game would encourage you to have fewer ships, so that running into the fleet cap was a very rare occurrence indeed, and not something you'd do.

One of the mechanics that already does this is the officer limit. Ships with officers are just way better, right, so adding combat ships beyond your officer limit has considerable diminishing returns. I'd like to add more mechanics that encourage smaller fleets (in positive, benefit-providing ways) without being too heavy-handed about it.

What would actually really help me here - if you're running up against the fleet limit, I'd love to know why that is. What are those extra ships giving you? In my mind, 11 combat ships (flagship + 10 officers) is about the most you'd really want, plus some support ships, which would leave plenty of room to spare before coming up against the limit. You might get more if you didn't invest in officer management and need to make it up through volume, but you're still limited in how much you can deploy.

So, what is it about? I'm sure there are a variety of reasons, and I'd love to hear them.

For me, the reason to play with a massive number of ships is that large ships are too slow, and not as fun to fly, so I make my fleet out of smaller ships, but have to have a lot more of them to take on enemy fleets with several capitals.

AxleMC131

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2019, 12:42:57 AM »

For me, the reason to play with a massive number of ships is that large ships are too slow, and not as fun to fly, so I make my fleet out of smaller ships, but have to have a lot more of them to take on enemy fleets with several capitals.

I would argue that there's nothing stopping you from having a fleet of capital ships, but pilot a smaller ship yourself. I've done that plenty - it's buckets of fun ducking and diving between allied capitals in a mobile little destroyer or even a frigate.
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SCC

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2019, 12:49:28 AM »

One reason is if I'm dumb and try to play with lots of small ships, except I hit the cap fairly quickly and I can't play like that, really, partially because of how many logistic ships I need.
Second is when I'm switching bases of operations and have to transport... lots of ships, in addition to my fleet.
Salvaging creates another two reasons — recovering ships (in past versions, at least) could give me 30 possible ships and I wouldn't really believe that the game could automatically show me only the "interesting" ones. The other is that since if I use heavily d-modded ships, I should get more of them than the enemy, but I quickly hit the cap with all the trash ships I have.
I consider UI as being the soft cap for how many ships you're willing to deal with already.

Serenitis

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2019, 01:46:07 AM »

if you're running up against the fleet limit, I'd love to know why that is.
Junkfleets is where it hits me.
Spoiler
First, building your fleet using salvaged ships means you cannot always 'up-scale' your ships when you like in order to face a bigger threat. The only way you can do this is by bringing more ships. Which may not be possible due to the cap.
Or forces you into a dilemma where you need to bring more fighting ships, but if you do so you won't have enough civilian ships to support them for long enough to get them there.
Not so much of a issue for colony defence, but bounties can sometimes be a problem as they can spawn quite some distance away. And 'red' systems can be literally anywhere.

Then there's the previously mentioned battle chains, which are especially rough on junk ships smaller than thier targets as they have to use things like SO to fight at anywhere close to parity. So multiple ships for replacement in-battle may be something that you have to consider in your fleet.

Frigates are useful in any fleet as fast support ships, and especially if you find yourself in the role of the pursuer.
But to be useful you'll need at least 4 (2 for each side of a pursuit) otherwise they can't really do anything other than scoot around and vaguely poke at things.
It this worth 'spending' 13% of your total fleet on? I don't want to say no, but I can't say yes.

Recovering assets as mentioned in the OP is another big hit for the industry focused player, as thier fleet is likely going to be made up of a larger number of damaged ships. And not being able to recover useful random floating ships when the opportunity arises is less than ideal.

And then there's the whole reason some players are out exploring the fringes of the sector; finding somewhere to settle.
This involves lot of travelling, so you'll need lot of fuel. And a half-decent amount of speed - burn 7 is the lowest speed that still allows you outrun 'heavy' fleets and travel around in a reasonable timeframe.
But the whole point of being out there is to find somewhere to develop, so all ships that can spare the OP will have survey gear on them. And all ships will definitely have efficiency overhaul just to make supplies/fuel go a little further. Which means you can't use speed boosters, which in turn means you can't use big transports (it's at this point I really wish there was a cruiser-scale fuel tanker).
So the only way to increase cargo/fuel capacity is to add more ships. And you'll need all the capacity you can get as you're carrying most of what you own with you so you field refit salvaged ships into useful configurations without having to backtrack into the core.
A 'typical' long range salvage fleet at this stage might be built around 5x pheaton + 5x collossus, that's a third of your fleet. And it's quite easy to need more than that.

Constant salvaging and surveying also means constant crew loss which means you'll need to bring a fairly large surplus of crew on your trip.
Efficiency overhaul plus most ships having more crew space than they need is usually enough to accomodate this, but sometimes you'll have a particularly rough spell and end up getting close to your crew 'floor' which means taking on any savalaged ships will impact the performance of your whole fleet. Bringing a crew transport would be a solution, but....

This is also a concern if you use a fighter-heavy fleet, which after a pitched battle can have quite a noticably negative impact on the fleet. I've found that crew attrition is one of the more prominent limiters for exploration, even with all the mitigation I can afford to equip. The only way to get around this entirely is to use drone fighters exclusively.
[close]

The concept of the previous logistics system was superior to a hard cap.
Spoiler
You have a number of 'points' in your fleet. Every ship is worth a different number of points, which can then be extended to cover mechanics which did not exist then.
Bigger ships are worth more than smaller ones. Military ships are worth more than civil ones. Pristine ships are worth more than damaged ones. Etc.

Just because the previous implementaion was not good doesn't mean the idea behind it was not good.
[close]
But no cap is superior to any cap.

I'm trying to not change the cap in my current game, and it's an experience.
One thing I've found I'm doing a lot is constantly counting my ships like some kind of obsessive to make sure I always have enough room for 'new' ones, because there is nothing to tell me how 'full' my fleet is.

A possibility could be linking fleet limits into colony industry, so as your industrial capacity expands so does your capability to field ships.
Even if nothing else changes, a big coloured number on the fleet screen to say [current # of ships]/[maximum allowed # of ships] would be helpful.
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2019, 06:29:13 AM »

@ Alex:  What really hurts is I need to leave about ten slots empty just to have optimal selection of clunkers if I want to recover enemy ships.  Early in the game, I reach about twenty ships very soon after game start, and I need more to take on pirate bases or bounties that often scale slightly faster than I can keep up.  Midgame, I slowly upgrade from Shrike (P), Enforcers, and Mules to bigger ships.  By endgame, multi-capital slugfests means I need about twenty ships minimum, unless I have optimized Paragon/Astral/Doom ships to slaughter things left and right AND I have maximum map size, because of peak performance.  Even with Paragon/Astral, I need to retreat Doom and carriers frequently, sometimes Eagles and Falcons too in a long battle, then all I have left to deploy are either Apogees brought primarily for surveying and cargo hauling, smaller phase ships effective only under player control, or frigates too small and fragile to fight normal battles (but good for picking off ships in pursuit).  If I use default size of 300, more cruisers and capitals will run out of peak performance.

With Reaper Harbinger gone, I like to bring and chain up to five Afflictors to do one-shot cheese Harbinger used to do.  (I would bring more, but lack of CP makes filling fleet with too many Afflictors inconvenient.  I often bring just three or four.)  Many of the big targets do not need Quantum Disruptor to bypass their shields.  Many of the tough capitals only have frontal shields, and battlestations have walls to aim at to kill via splash damage.  I also have four or five logistics ships.

I often bring two tugs to keep my burn high.

As for Officers, I do not have any skill points to spare for officers.  I would like one point for six officers, but I cannot spare that point.  I make do with four officers.

Bottom line, I run into fleet cap early, or would if I did not care to recover clunkers, and will always stay at about 20 to 25 ships.  If I did not care about recovering enemy ships, my fleet would constantly be at thirty for nearly the entire game.  Early game would be frigates and destroyers.  Endgame is mostly bigger ships for me.  Others might want destroyers like beam Sunders or Spark Drovers.

@ Goumindong:  I do not want the change to Reinforced Bulkhead if that means losing guaranteed recovery.  I throw it on all of my ships without officers to prevent hull and loot loss.

P.S.  Throwing Reinforced Bulkheads on most ships is annoying because ships have a tight OP budget that I would rather spend other combat stuff, but I do not want to permanently lose ships, weapons, and loot.  (Sometimes, I scuttle the ship, but at least I recover all of the loot it had instead of losing it.)  I guess I could eschew Reinforced Bulkheads and reload the game immediately every time I take a casualty.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:46:45 AM by Megas »
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vorpal+5

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2019, 06:45:22 AM »

Serenitis really made some good arguments, as others. Hard ship cap forces a given style, as the only viable one. Less choice? Rarely good in a (strategy) game.
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2019, 06:47:24 AM »

Serenitis really made some good arguments, as others. Hard ship cap forces a given style, as the only viable one. Less choice? Rarely good in a (strategy) game.
It also forces it for the AI, as they use capital spam instead of the hundred frigates and destroyers they did last release.

AI fleets and fights against them overall have grown too big since 0.9a.  Peak performance and fleet cap have not kept up.

That said, Logistics as done in 0.6.x forced even fewer ships, unless all of the ships were frigates, due to low limit even with max Leadership.  No Leadership required overpowered combat skills just for solo ship to be viable.

@ Serenitis:  Agreed on cruiser-sized tanker.  There were times when Phaeton was too small but Prometheus is too big (or eats too much fuel).
« Last Edit: June 02, 2019, 06:57:45 AM by Megas »
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Schwartz

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2019, 06:56:41 AM »

I almost never run into fleet cap issues. I did once trying to raid Hegemony, which required about fifteen Valkyries to support 3,5k Marines.

Since mothballed ships get reduced to 0% CR, I don't see the harm in allowing some ships beyond the fleet cap.
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2019, 07:21:19 AM »

I almost never run into fleet cap issues. I did once trying to raid Hegemony, which required about fifteen Valkyries to support 3,5k Marines.
Did you raid for blueprints or disrupt some industry?  Player does not need to reach 40% to raid for blueprints.  Of course, if you wanted to raid for other stuff and big money, higher percent helps (but there are easier targets to raid for cash).
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Alex

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2019, 12:58:41 PM »

Thank you all for the feedback so far!

Junkfleets is where it hits me.

Yep, this makes sense.

The main problem is that it makes stacking small logistics ships optimal. But this could be fixed by making big logistcs ships more efficient.

This involves lot of travelling, so you'll need lot of fuel. And a half-decent amount of speed - burn 7 is the lowest speed that still allows you outrun 'heavy' fleets and travel around in a reasonable timeframe.
But the whole point of being out there is to find somewhere to develop, so all ships that can spare the OP will have survey gear on them. And all ships will definitely have efficiency overhaul just to make supplies/fuel go a little further. Which means you can't use speed boosters, which in turn means you can't use big transports (it's at this point I really wish there was a cruiser-scale fuel tanker).
So the only way to increase cargo/fuel capacity is to add more ships. And you'll need all the capacity you can get as you're carrying most of what you own with you so you field refit salvaged ships into useful configurations without having to backtrack into the core.
A 'typical' long range salvage fleet at this stage might be built around 5x pheaton + 5x collossus, that's a third of your fleet. And it's quite easy to need more than that.

Hmm, let me just look at the math here.

5x Phaeton is 3000 fuel, 10 fuel / ly, and 15 supplies / month. Those are reduced to 8 fuel/ly and 12 supplies/month with EO.

1x Prometheus is 2500 fuel, 10 fuel / ly, and 10 supplies / month. Without EO, that's about the same in terms of supplies and a decent bit more fuel/ly.

So, yeah, what you're saying here checks out as well. It would make sense to ramp up the efficiency of larger haulers more so that 1x Prometheus was more efficient than 5x Phaeton or w/e assuming the Phaetons have EO and the Prometheus does not. Likewise for the Atlas vs Colossus; the Atlas seems to be considerably worse off than the Prometheus in this type of comparison.

Let me make a note about this - there's really no good reason to make the player lug around larger numbers stat-booster ships when the same effect could be concentrated in far fewer ships.

This is really good, I think - a fairly minor change that should make a solid impact.


The other aspect looks like the high-end battles last too long; will take a look at this as well.



Some of the other changes I'd like to make:

1) Increase the base number of officers, while keeping the max either the same or maybe reducing it to 8... probably keeping it at 10, though. So Leadership might give you an extra 2 instead of drastically changing the number you get. This should help non-Leadership characters field smaller fleets.

2) In general, make fleet-affecting skill effects provide more of a bonus for smaller fleets. For example, a carrier-boosting skill might increase the fighter replacement rate based on the total number of fighter bays in the fleet, or a +maximum CR skill might have a higher impact when the total number of ordnance points in the fleet is lower. Basically the same idea as the old logistics point system, but distributed over a large number of skills. So you *could* have a larger fleet, but would end up with ships that are slightly weaker individually.
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Goumindong

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2019, 01:08:06 PM »

I like that idea but i am wary that communicating how that works to players might be a bit difficult.

Moreover inam not too worried about having huge fleets because deployment point limits naturally push big fleets into “clearly less efficient” territory. If you lug around 2x the deployment points as you might routinely use then youve doubled your upkeep for no good reason.

Though that might be a better option. The more (non-mothballed) ships you have the more upkeep/fuel everything costs. Junk fleets mitigate this due to the junk maintenance skill (as all their ships are cheaper) or even explicitly in that d-mods could reduce the upkeep increase. This also solves the fuel/maintenance issue for larger ships. As they have less of an impact on overall maintenance.

@megas i was figuring it would not. That it would stack rather than replace
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Alex

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2019, 01:38:45 PM »

I like that idea but i am wary that communicating how that works to players might be a bit difficult.

I was thinking that the skill tooltip would be a good place for it. E.G.:

+50% fighter replacement rate when the fleet has 6 or less fighter bays
   Bonus is reduced when there are more fighter bays
   Your fleet has 12 fighter bays and receives +25% to fighter replacement rate

Seems that something like this, with more polished phrasing and strategic highlighting of the relevant values, would do the job.


(I did think about the "more upkeep" approach, btw... I don't think it'd be enough by itself, but sprinkled in among the other skills - such as, say, "supply use reduced by 50 per month or 50%, whichever is less" - it might have a good place.)
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2019, 02:29:25 PM »

If I did not have peak performance to worry about, I can probably kill fleets with 200-300 DP worth of ships.  Once several cruisers start whining about CR decay, I retreat several ships and bring replacements in.  Lately, I have ended up deploying over half of my entire fleet against multi-capital fleets (which become common at endgame), though not all at once due to map size, due to peak performance running out.  With killer overpowered ships in my fleet, peak performance is greatest enemy.

I guess I can try to use more Paragons and Astrals to reduce the ships I need to bring, but that is not desirable with all the fuel it burns if I need to travel half the sector or longer.
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