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Author Topic: Unify fleet points and deployment points?  (Read 1292 times)

Histidine

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Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« on: February 14, 2020, 06:03:10 PM »

As in, make the 'fleet pts' column in ship data have the same value as DP/supplies-to-deploy, unless a particular ship needs them to be different for whatever reason.

The issue here is that cruisers and capitals have inflated DP costs relative to their FP costs. e.g.
Wolf: 5 FP, 5 DP
Hammerhead: 10 FP, 10 DP
Eagle: 14 FP, 22 DP
Paragon: 30 FP, 60 DP

This has certain effects on the gameplay of generated fleets.

Good effects
A fleet can have more cruisers and capitals to challenge the player, without needing a disproportionate FP value on fleet generation.

Bad effects
Basically every complaint involving capital bloat in things like expedition fleets and similar mod content. In particular, I believe the FP/DP mismatch is partly responsible for that annoying difficulty spike where e.g. a 150k named bounty can have one capital, but a 300k bounty has like six.

It also leads to strange autoresolve results, as in "it only takes three Hammerheads to match a Paragon?" I think this includes pursuit autoresolve, which would be an area where the discrepancy has direct (albeit minor) effects on the player.

Lastly it just seems to complicate stuff needlessly for modders and in discussions where backend values are relevant.


That said, I'm assuming the separate values weren't just introduced on a whim. Alex, I'd be interested in hearing what the original rationale was? Then we can talk about whether the good outweighs the bad.
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TaLaR

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 10:44:10 PM »

Yeah... With values like these I don't see how fleet creation can end in anything but capital/cruiser spam.
And goes further to devalue small ships in player fleet - pretty much no 30 DP combination of AI ships is going to defeat an officer-ed Paragon in actual combat.
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Lucky33

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 11:44:10 PM »

Supply costs were seemed as a balancing parameter tied to FP. You can see it in the 0.65 ship_data, "c/fp" column. Thats credits (for the supplies needed to deploy) per fp. However at that point "supply per deployment" depended on the running costs (supply per day) and those were prohibitively high (15 supply per day for the Onslaught). So the things were reverted. Recovery cost became main parameter which defined running costs (supplies/rec = supplies/month, "Removed "deployment points" as an explicit ship stat, battle size now based on supply recovery costs").

FP is the Ship's Strength. DP is the Operating Cost.

Considering that last major change to FPs happened in 0.65, my guess is that FPs are defined by the basic stats of the ship (flux, hitpoints, armor).
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Plantissue

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 06:04:11 AM »

In another thread I did say that DP should be the determinant of the fleet composition, not FP. I am wary of suggesting to make them exactly the same simply because I don't know what all of Fleet Points do. For instance I have no idea how d-mods factor into fleet generation.

It does make sense for autosolving pursuits that frigates and destroyers are more effective than cruiser and capitals, but not so much for autoresolving other battles, but that doesn't matter if FP generates those same fleets in the first place unless you join into the fight.

If FP generation determines the bounty fleets it does explain some odd results, like for instance independent deserter fleets can be hilariously easy compared to other deserter fleets with their fleets of cruisers that total up to a low relative amount of DP. And that tri-tachyon deserter fleets seem somewhat stronger than other fleets, though that may just be due to the more volatile nature of carriers.

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Alex

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 10:51:39 AM »

That said, I'm assuming the separate values weren't just introduced on a whim. Alex, I'd be interested in hearing what the original rationale was? Then we can talk about whether the good outweighs the bad.

Yeah, from what I recall, I didn't particularly want to do this, but it seemed necessary, or at least the simplest course of action. Couple of assorted points:

It's useful to decouple supply/deployment point cost from autoresolve strength. One key example where this comes in handy is stations; star fortresses top out at 400 fleet points.

A less prominent example is that self-same Paragon. Of course the FP value is abstracted, and 3 Hammerheads generally lose to a Paragon, but in terms of overall strength in various scenarios and not head-to-head, this isn't as unreasonable. Plus, more importantly - this strength is used for fleet engagement decisions. Should a fleet with 3 Hammerheads want to engage a player fleet with a Paragon? I'd say definitely yes; while a fight with those odds is player-tilted, it's also in the "likely interesting" category. And, well, one could always bump up the FP value of the Paragon, if 30 felt like it was too low. So the way fleet points are tuned, the AI is a little more aggressive. That could be handled separately, though.

Basically every complaint involving capital bloat in things like expedition fleets and similar mod content. In particular, I believe the FP/DP mismatch is partly responsible for that annoying difficulty spike where e.g. a 150k named bounty can have one capital, but a 300k bounty has like six.

This is really more of a fleet creation issue, imo. The logic there is intended to get certain results and while fleet points can affect the outcome, so can changing the code. To wit: high-end fleets look significantly different in dev already.


Basically, these just don't quite do the same things. Deployment points are a bit higher for large ships since they feel like they ought to be more expensive to deploy given just how much the player can get out of them. Fleet points are a bit lower. Except when they're sky-high, as for stations.

Honestly, I could see generally making FP the same as deployment points, with some exceptions - but this would be a pain in terms of changing stuff that works off the current FP values (such as bounties, salvage, fleet AI, fleet creation, etc). And it doesn't seem like an improvement, but more of a lateral change in terms of where the special cases go.

I don't think the downsides are really downsides of fleet points being separate, aside from "more complicated for modders". But even there, it's useful to have these as a level for producing desired fleet compositions without also affecting the player-facing supply costs.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 11:00:20 AM by Alex »
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Plantissue

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2020, 07:54:11 AM »

I don't think it make sense of a fleet to regard a Paragon as the same as three hammerheads. Fleet engagement decisions should be made by regarding the strength of the fleet, not with deciding that fleets with capitals are weaker than they really are. For how would it make sense the other way round? That a fleet of a Paragon will regard 4 hammerheads to be stronger than itself? A "likely interesting" category is better placed by placing their worth as their DP and giving a range of comparison to fight like say 0.5 to 2 of DP.

As it is now Deployment Points are roughly pointed out as the strength of ships, as deployment points are the limiter to what you can deploy in a battle. Though you may regard them as more expensive, they are and do seem to be currently balanced towards DP as roughly the strength of the ship, whilst fleet points seem kind of random. We expect the same DP value ships to be the same "strength". For larger ships they aren't more expensive to deploy; they are more deployment cost efficient, which is why capital ships are favoured as a ship choice.

It make sense for a fleet point and deployment point disparity for stations, as a kind of effective boss challenge, but it doesn't make much sense for the ships in a fleet that multiple can be had of.
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Alex

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 09:38:39 AM »

I think what you're saying makes sense. But! The suggestion is about getting rid of FP entirely as a (non-player-facing to begin with, mind) stat. To distill my points:

1) That would be a significant pain, for various reasons, and
2) You'd need something else to handle a few special cases anyway, so why not just use fleet points, and
3) Beyond that, they're also a useful tool for tuning AI fleet comps w/o having to affect deployment costs

As far as FP values for certain ships being inaccurate for autoresolve strength, that's certainly true. It can't really be that accurate to begin with - e.g. consider that a single Paragon will get swarmed and killed by some number of frigates, but in a fleet context it's worth a lot more. Trying to figure that out accurately, however, is not really practical. As long as fleet comps, engagement decisions, autoresolve results, and a few other things look ok, then they're basically doing their job. That said, they could very much be adjusted on a per-ship basis, but to me that's a separate issue from removing them, if you know what I mean.
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Plantissue

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 06:08:34 AM »

I interpreted the suggestion as copying and pasting the already existing the DP/supplies-to-deploy column to the FP column. FP still exists, just that the values used are now the same as the DP for most ships. As DP is already the value used to balanced around the strength of a ship in different contexts, it makes sense to use their more reasonable values and insert them into the FP column.

If a ship DP has changed like when Hammerhead changed from 8 to 10, then it becomes a matter of changing the FP to match that change in DP by hand as well. Exceptions can still be made for specific ships as the OP wrote, such as for stations.

So FP isn't removed, just that the numbers are normalised by hand to their DP values.

So the values now become:

Wolf: 5 FP, 5 DP
Hammerhead: 10 FP, 10 DP
Eagle: 22 FP, 22 DP
Paragon: 60 FP, 60 DP

Star Fortress: 400 FP, 100DP remains as original value

I'm no modder and I can't read code, so I think the only significant gameplay change would be that large fleets will become weaker when fighting the player, but I suppose multiplying the scaling by 1.4 or some other number should counteract that if desired to retain the strength of end game fleets. But I could be completely wrong as I have no real idea what all of FP actually do.

Btw, you wrote that high-end fleets look significantly different in dev already, and I'm really interested in that, (maybe fleets can split up?), but I suppose I can wait till the next release to find out what that is :)
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Alex

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 04:33:26 PM »

Right, gotcha. This goes back to point #1 about it being a pain, a bunch of random things depend on the FP values and are roughly calibrated for the current range of them, so a lot of little things would subtly break and need to be fixed or at least evaluated. Just one example is system bounty payouts, which are based on FP. I'm not super opposed to doing this, btw; I just don't see a real incentive to do it - since I don't think this is causing any of the problems it's assumed to be - and it'd be a bunch of time spent.

Btw, you wrote that high-end fleets look significantly different in dev already, and I'm really interested in that, (maybe fleets can split up?), but I suppose I can wait till the next release to find out what that is :)

With the caveat that things will likely change between now and release, this is how a very top-end Hegemony fleet looks:

https://imgur.com/a/qwmYpNs

It's got a bunch more officers than the standard limit, but the player also has means to temporarily exceed the limit at a cost. And, again, this probably isn't final; need to see how everything pans out and other tweaks might be necessary. I'd say that as far as composition, though, this is pretty close to what I'd like to see, especially given the Hegemony's slant towards bigger ships.

(Yikes, how'd it end up with a Wolf for a flagship? Ah, that's a bug, I need to fix that up.)
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Plantissue

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 09:33:36 AM »

Dev fleet looks much weaker than currently, but then again it's hard to gauge the effectiveness of officers.
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Alex

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 09:40:46 AM »

Yeah, for sure - I mean, less Onslaughts is less Onslaughts. I'd also expect player fleets to be toned down a bit due to how skills work, but this is definitely a "have to see how it plays out" situation.

(There's also some other stuff I can do to buff the very very high end fleets, but that's REDACTED.)
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TaLaR

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 09:48:39 AM »

With the caveat that things will likely change between now and release, this is how a very top-end Hegemony fleet looks:

https://imgur.com/a/qwmYpNs

Will player also get 20 officers?
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Alex

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 09:49:32 AM »

It's got a bunch more officers than the standard limit, but the player also has means to temporarily exceed the limit at a cost.

(Edit: the actual answer is: in theory, yes, in practice, it's probably not going to be worth it aside from occasionally. There's a whole set of mechanics around it, with "mercenary" officers and story points.)
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SCC

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2020, 12:12:53 PM »

My God, it's full of officers.

Thaago

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Re: Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2020, 04:14:59 PM »

A quick note on officers: We'll have to see what the power of the new combat skills are to get a good feel for how impactful they'll end up being.
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