Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 14

Author Topic: Combat Readiness  (Read 82528 times)

LazyWizard

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1328
    • View Profile
    • GitHub Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2013, 05:01:07 PM »

One thing nobody mentioned yet is the danger that CR introduces prolonged waiting periods. At the moment you can go from battle to battle as long as you don't mess up and have to repair. Will I have to run or hide after every medium battle now, so my CR can regenerate? How is that not a bad thing?

That's a good question, and I don't think it has a simple answer. I think it will work because of a combination of the following:

  • There will be time pressure to get things done (i.e., you could wait for optimal CR or you could go and save your outpost)
  • There's a maintenance cost to simply flying around, so it's not as "appealing" (in quotes because it's never actually appealing)
  • The pacing of encounters will be different, i.e. longer natural delays between fights
  • You'll be able to fight a few battles before CR became a pressing issue
  • There may be TOP SECRET emergency means to boost CR at a cost

The first one is the most important, though. As long as time has no meaning, any kind of delay is a pain; hence the insta-repair option at the current Oribtal Stations. But when time actually causes things to happen, managing those delays will become a strategic consideration. For example, supposing CR took a really long time to regenerate, you might set things up so that you could work in a trading run while it did. Or, if there's a pressing danger, you might decide that you have to go for it with low CR, and damn the torpedoes.

Managing what ships you actually deploy vs how much CR it costs/how long it takes to recover is part of it, too. If you don't pay attention to that, you would be likely to run into CR and supply problems.

The emphasized line alleviated most of my concerns with this system. :)

However, I am wondering about players like me who like to stick with very small fleets (my current setup is an Apogee, a Wolf and a single Wasp wing). Will there be a bonus to CR regeneration if you aren't using your full fleet point potential?
Logged

BillyRueben

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1406
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #46 on: February 19, 2013, 05:08:00 PM »

Is there some direct way to set the supply consumption caused by CR? Maybe a toggle or something to bring your crew up to "High Alert" for a limited amount of time with the benefit of having extra CR and the downside being huge supply consumption?

It would be a great reason to finally bring along a few freighters (other than the upcoming trading and yata yata yata).
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 05:13:43 PM by BillyRueben »
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 17494
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2013, 05:13:23 PM »

Perhaps I phrased by my post poorly, the loss of CR is caused by taking too much shield damage, not dealing it. If anything, this would make ammo less of a problem since enough damage would eventually make keeping the shields up too prohibitive for the target.

Right, I got that from what you said. What I mean is you can avoid almost all shield damage in a frigate, so long you're exclusively concerned with baiting out and dodging shots, rather moving in to get damage done. I think it's just going about the issue in a way that can inherently be circumvented, and if you're going to add brand new mechanics to fix it, they should probably do a more reliable job of it.

Since we are talking about ammo, how about being able to reload ballistic weapons at the cost of CR, to represent the crew scrambling to grab and load ammo crates out of the cargo hold?

Oh, interesting idea! Will keep it in mind.

@XRSyst: Ah, I see. I think part of it probably has to do with kitting out frigates to help the AI survive. Tempests in particular really benefit from extended shields. But, I get what you're saying.

The emphasized line alleviated most of my concerns with this system. :)

However, I am wondering about players like me who like to stick with very small fleets (my current setup is an Apogee, a Wolf and a single Wasp wing). Will there be a bonus to CR regeneration if you aren't using your full fleet point potential?

Possibly. There are some more TOP SECRET related mechanics in the works.

Is there some direct way to set the supply consumption caused by CR? Maybe a toggle or something to bring your crew up to "High Alert" for a limited amount of time with the benefit of having extra CR and the downside being huge supply consumption?

I did say top secret, didn't I? Security must have gotten compromised somewhere, as you're not cleared for access to this information. Please turn yourself in at the nearest Hegemony Security Station immediately.
Logged

naufrago

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 511
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2013, 05:29:26 PM »

An interesting read, and I definitely like the opportunity for even more strategic play in the Campaign.  However, one thing about this worries me: how much RNG will this throw into the game?

RNG is generally not a very fun thing to deal with (think situations where you shout in frustration because one of your ships just happened to malfunction).  If the percentages are low, this can introduce instances where the few times it happens are especially frustrating, and if they're too high, it feels like you're fighting the game rather than the opponent.

So, I'd like to encourage ideas that avoid RNG gameplay rather than a percent chance for a ship to fail.  Sub-optimal performance (debuff to its stats) is fine, because it's always on and you can account for it.

On the flip side, random events can be interesting, especially if the player is made well aware they're at risk for it (much like the Accidents system).  So, at the very least, I'd like to see a CR % in the battle, to make sure that frigate you're sending into battle isn't actually CR 5% and will crap out on you in a moment's notice.

Ah, I figured someone would bring this up :) I think in this particular case randomness is not a problem. It's not something you'll have to deal with all the time, because you really shouldn't be deploying ships in this state unless you're desperate.

And, you *can* manage it somewhat - stopping engine use when it's partially flamed out, saving a weapon shot for a critical moment to make sure you can get it off, etc.

Will it be frustrating sometimes? I'm sure it will. But I think it'll also bring a degree of tension to the proceedings, which is... well, good.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about RNG. Randomness has the potential to make things interesting, but it can also be really, really frustrating. Just look at FTL- if you're properly prepared, you can handle any situation with varying degrees of difficulty. Any random event that can potentially cause loss of crew, resources, or hull can be avoided entirely. You might have to get into combat with another ship or run away, but as long as you understand the risks, you and your choices ultimately determine the outcome. It's very rare for the randomness to truly reach 'unfair' levels.

You could rightfully make the argument that random system failures are the risk of choosing to keep a low-CR ship deployed, but I feel the same effect can be gained through non-random debuffs. Think kiting will be a problem? Have a debuff that reduces top speed by 70% (or whatever seems reasonable, could vary based on ship or size). Maybe limit their effectiveness further by reducing shield efficiency, rate of fire, damage dealt (mainly for beams imo), range, weapon efficiency, flux capacity, or whatever. You already have a ton of knobs to turn without introducing randomness.

I can pretty much guarantee that if a random engine or weapon failure leads to someone's death, they'd be more likely to blame the game than themselves ("of course it chooses NOW to fail %#*!"). If the risks are clear and present, the only one to blame is themselves... or blaming the AI for not playing optimally, but that argument will happen regardless.

Don't get me wrong, so far I'm interested in seeing how Combat Readiness pans out (I'd have to see it in practice to really make a good judgement call), just a niggling little detail that I feel stands out as something that could be improved on.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 05:31:53 PM by naufrago »
Logged

harperrb

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 87
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2013, 05:34:55 PM »

I love it, Alex.

Few questions/comments, answer any or all of them at your convenience:

1. First, I for one, vote, no "healing" in combat (including CR healing).

2. Does fuel come into affect here? or is that limited to interstellar travel at this point.

3. As mentioned above its clear that with this addition there's now a definite time limit to flopping around the galaxy (which i applaud). You hinted at the slower pace of game play anticipated; in regards to that, are there some elements that are being pursuing in parallel to this post to further flesh out galaxy mechanics, outside of "fight, sell, restock"? Or is a one-step-at-a-time sorta deal.

3a. On that note, can I infer from your replies above that galaxy gameplay will take the form of more "mission" based travel for combat craft. That is,  a combat fleet, unsupported, travel may become too taxing to not have a specific destination.  I really really enjoy the cargo capacity limits on the hightech ships and the relatively large cargo for the lowtech - and I really hope this plays a faction in CR in some fashion.

4. How will players be able to interpret/predict the CR delta with travel on a galaxy map? Is this something, where knowing the amount of combat ships I want to send across the map, what they will do there, and their possible condition on return that, I will be able to accurately assign the appropriate support ships in tow?

5. Will CR be tracked and accounted for AI fleets? Or generated (instanced) based on fleet/race type at the beginning of battle/when spawned?

6. Will CR be available after pursuing any ship (friend or foe)(and Galaxy map, Battle Map, or both) - do you imagine limiting that information from the player with some revealing mechanic (espionage/forward scouting/player skills, etc)

7. The idea of deploying ships at a time in preparation for a longer battle is intriguing.  Will there/could there be additional fleet structure to pre-arrange "battle groups" for ease of selection and predicted deployment.

Thanks Alex,

Oh, and to be clear, I understand this is all under development - just curious if you are stacking your cards one way or the other
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 05:38:44 PM by harperrb »
Logged

Vinya

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 378
  • Vulgar at best...
    • View Profile
    • Mykyria Scifi/Zombie writing blog (Old site)
    • Email
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2013, 05:35:27 PM »

Having weapons jamming and engines malfunctioning seems like a good idea, but anything more than that might be a bit annoying.
Having Frigates lose CR over the course of a battle seems like too much of a nerf, if anything Frigates should be easily repaired, and maintainable. Less ship to worry about, better ability to keep it in shape. The rate a ship's CR goes back up being related to crew makes sense though, since an understaffed ship wouldn't have spare personnel to repair it.

But yeah, frigates don't need the nerf IMO, by choosing that smaller ship and taking the lower cargo/fuel capacity, along with lower weapon capabilities- you're taking enough of a challenge. If people do dummy a whole fleet using a Hound, good on them, that's their play style and loss of time to live.

If you're still going through with it, please at least give the option to disable CR, or certain aspects of it in the options menu.

:)

EDIT: If frigates still lose CR based on time in combat, they should at least have a major bonus to recovering out of combat. Major.
Logged
If by "good guys" you mean "elitist regime that suppresses colonial independence and thrives off of an overwhelmingly deep gap in wealth between social classes," then yes.

Verrius

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 369
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #51 on: February 19, 2013, 05:48:39 PM »

Hrm, yeah I'm not sure I'm so keen on the randomness.

What if when you reach low CR levels, the engines might visibly start to flicker, and if you push them too hard, they'll pop? Once it hits that point, perhaps the less CR is has, the less you can push them before they blow out. Once they get back online, you can use them normally for a time, then when they start flickering again, you decelerate or stop using them before they re-stabilize.

As for weapons something similar. Push them too hard while low on CR, there will be a visual indicator (sparks maybe?) and if you keep firing they might blow out for a few moments, depending on how low your CR is.

Just some thoughts.

Chancellor Meatsteak

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2013, 05:52:21 PM »

Right, I got that from what you said. What I mean is you can avoid almost all shield damage in a frigate, so long you're exclusively concerned with baiting out and dodging shots, rather moving in to get damage done. I think it's just going about the issue in a way that can inherently be circumvented, and if you're going to add brand new mechanics to fix it, they should probably do a more reliable job of it.

Ah, that makes sense. Still, losing CR just by waiting doesn't sit well with me, I feel like it should be tied to actual combat somehow, though the only foolproof way I can think of is by flux usage and that just disincentives flux heavy weaponry. Given that deployed frigates are going to spend most of their time fighting anyways I guess this will not be as big an issue as I thought it was going to be at first.

Is the loss in CR a constant effect or does it only apply after a certain amount of time has past?
Logged

Gothars

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 4267
  • Eschewing obfuscatory verbosity.
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2013, 06:00:00 PM »


That's a good question, and I don't think it has a simple answer. I think it will work because of a combination of the following

I'm convinced. Will be a hell of a balancing job, though.




Is the loss in CR a constant effect or does it only apply after a certain amount of time has past?

The latter, they keep their initial CR for a few minutes.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 06:02:19 PM by Gothars »
Logged
The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

Arranging holidays in an embrace with the Starsector is priceless.

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 17494
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #54 on: February 19, 2013, 07:47:29 PM »

I'm going to have to disagree with you about RNG. Randomness has the potential to make things interesting, but it can also be really, really frustrating. Just look at FTL- if you're properly prepared, you can handle any situation with varying degrees of difficulty. Any random event that can potentially cause loss of crew, resources, or hull can be avoided entirely. You might have to get into combat with another ship or run away, but as long as you understand the risks, you and your choices ultimately determine the outcome. It's very rare for the randomness to truly reach 'unfair' levels.

I'm not sure that's actually disagreeing :) Almost everything in FTL is random to some degree, including most combat mechanics; the point is that they're all small random things, small enough that there are many of them and you get by on playing the odds. It takes heinously bad luck and a string of risks that didn't pan out for it to finally do you in. The key thing is that you did decide to make those gambles, which increasingly forced you to take bigger gambles, until eventually you found yourself all out of chances. But since you know how you got there, it's ok. It's not like the game blew up your ship after the first jump.

Likewise, here, getting to a point where you're relying on malfunctioning ships to get the job done is going to take some conscious decisions and mistakes along the way. It's a desperate, last-ditch, near-failure state. Yes, malfunctions are harsh, but given what it takes to get to that point, I think it's warranted. If anything, the randomness actually enables success - where something like a 70% engine debuff wouldn't even allow for that possibility.

To top it off, as I mentioned above, you can actually manage it. For example, if you see some engine nozzles flare out, you can lay off the thruster controls and recover for a bit.


I think randomness gets an undeservedly bad reputation. What you want to avoid is a situation where a player that's aware of the random elements and is consciously maximizing their odds still wins or loses largely on the outcome of the random rolls. Generally, this means that many small rolls work better than a few large ones. For example, Warcraft 2 had random ranges for damage. In practice, that hardly mattered at all since enough attacks were made where it evened out. Managing randomness is actually fun - while you're constantly dealing with something unexpected, but if you know the range of possibilities and prepare for the (perhaps several) most likely, you can still succeed in the long run.


If you're still going through with it, please at least give the option to disable CR, or certain aspects of it in the options menu.

I'm pretty much just not going to make a core mechanic disableable from the options menu :)


EDIT: If frigates still lose CR based on time in combat, they should at least have a major bonus to recovering out of combat. Major.

Well, at this point they do have the fastest repair rates. I think you'll find that in many battles, they don't actually use up more CR than the standard deployment cost, though. It only starts to matter in large engagements.


What if when you reach low CR levels, the engines might visibly start to flicker, and if you push them too hard, they'll pop? Once it hits that point, perhaps the less CR is has, the less you can push them before they blow out. Once they get back online, you can use them normally for a time, then when they start flickering again, you decelerate or stop using them before they re-stabilize.

As for weapons something similar. Push them too hard while low on CR, there will be a visual indicator (sparks maybe?) and if you keep firing they might blow out for a few moments, depending on how low your CR is.

That makes sense. As I mentioned above, there are already effective "tells" for engines flaming out, but some additional feedback might work well. On the other hand, being able to avoid all malfunctions wouldn't necessarily be a good thing, as it might result in even more drawn-out kiting tactics.


Will be a hell of a balancing job, though.

Yeah, no kidding :)
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 08:14:56 PM by Alex »
Logged

Cycerin

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1650
  • beyond the infinite void
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #55 on: February 19, 2013, 08:07:28 PM »

I think it will be very nice to have an environment in which frigates aren't simply fodder to cap points for your biggest and best ships to get on the field. After all, if you have some huge ships in your fleet, I take it that getting your frigates to max CR will also make it harder to get your cap ships and big cruisers to max CR, forcing you to gamble a bit or wait a really long time to have everything at max readiness - OR if you have a fleet with a mix of frigates, fighters and destroyers, it will be easier to deploy frigates that are stronger over time than the enemy frigs that are simply there to enable deployment of the larger ships down the line.

I'm sort of delirious right now so I hope this makes sense.. like, at all.

Not to mention that fielding large ships will have their own setbacks in the campaign I imagine (like having to bring tankers and freighters to lug logistics for em)
Logged

FlashFrozen

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 988
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #56 on: February 19, 2013, 08:11:25 PM »

Just as a modding question, is it possible for a ship to have 0 or a negative combat readiness in the .csv where the more it fights the stronger it gets? Just brainstorming a bit ^.^
Logged

Tarran

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 308
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2013, 09:23:33 PM »

Interesting mechanic.

A few worries about frigates losing CR though:

Won't you suddenly have a huge incentive for the player to micromanage their frigates even closer? Or will you add an auto-retreat or similar function for frigates?

Won't it be somewhat nasty to players with low-Command Point builds since ordering retreats cost CPs?
Logged

sdmike1

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 820
  • Dyslexics of the world, untie!
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #58 on: February 19, 2013, 10:38:16 PM »

Interesting mechanic.

A few worries about frigates losing CR though:

Won't you suddenly have a huge incentive for the player to micromanage their frigates even closer? Or will you add an auto-retreat or similar function for frigates?

Won't it be somewhat nasty to players with low-Command Point builds since ordering retreats cost CPs?

An interesting idea would be a hull mod that you could only put on frigates which allows you to have them retreat at no CP cost (call it emergency Chanel or some such thing)

nonomo4

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 55
  • The Light!!!
    • View Profile
Re: Combat Readiness
« Reply #59 on: February 19, 2013, 10:43:03 PM »

Interesting mechanic.

A few worries about frigates losing CR though:

Won't you suddenly have a huge incentive for the player to micromanage their frigates even closer? Or will you add an auto-retreat or similar function for frigates?

Won't it be somewhat nasty to players with low-Command Point builds since ordering retreats cost CPs?

An interesting idea would be a hull mod that you could only put on frigates which allows you to have them retreat at no CP cost (call it emergency Chanel or some such thing)

Sounds more like something that would go on a CR skill than a mod itself.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 14