Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => General Discussion => Blog Posts => Topic started by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 11:11:22 AM

Title: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 11:11:22 AM
Blog post here (http://fractalsoftworks.com/2013/02/19/combat-readiness/).
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: WhiteAvatar on February 19, 2013, 11:32:49 AM
It was a very interesting read and I'll be looking forward to how "combat readiness" will impact the way Starsector unfolds. Very clever way of tackling the frigate superiority problem indeed!

P.s I'm glad I decided to give Starsector a go, the frequent updates and patches really helps keep up confidence in this project among us supporters
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Iscariot on February 19, 2013, 11:33:50 AM
Yayyyyy!
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Psiyon on February 19, 2013, 11:45:25 AM
I love the idea behind the mechanic, it definitely creates an excellent bridge between the campaign and combat. However, some of the combat-side effects concern me slightly, namely the effect this has on frigates: about how much time would it take for a frigate to go from its peak readiness to "totally absolutely useless"?

Actually, let me rephrase this and ask a more general question: how do the various levels of CR translate into combat effectiveness? Would 100% correspond to a ship being manned by completely elite crew with full supplies and HP? And how ineffective will ships with 0% CR be? Totally useless, or just significantly impaired?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: arcibalde on February 19, 2013, 11:50:47 AM
Intriguing indeed  :D

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 12:00:10 PM
It was a very interesting read and I'll be looking forward to how "combat readiness" will impact the way Starsector unfolds. Very clever way of tackling the frigate superiority problem indeed!

P.s I'm glad I decided to give Starsector a go, the frequent updates and patches really helps keep up confidence in this project among us supporters

Thanks, glad you found it interesting!

I love the idea behind the mechanic, it definitely creates an excellent bridge between the campaign and combat. However, some of the combat-side effects concern me slightly, namely the effect this has on frigates: about how much time would it take for a frigate to go from its peak readiness to "totally absolutely useless"?

Actually, let me rephrase this and ask a more general question: how do the various levels of CR translate into combat effectiveness? Would 100% correspond to a ship being manned by completely elite crew with full supplies and HP? And how ineffective will ships with 0% CR be? Totally useless, or just significantly impaired?

It's subject to playtesting etc, but at the moment (i.e. almost guaranteed to be different by release):

A 100% CR ship is roughly 10-15% more effective than baseline (speed, damage taken) and has elite-level autofire aim.
A 0% CR ship is about 10-15% worse than baseline in those stats, can't aim very well, and has serious malfunction issues. The malfunction issues (which currently kick in at 20% CR) are what has the most effect on performance.

As to the impact of malfunctions, let me put it this way: a 0% Vigilance has a tough time taking down a wing of Talons 1-1, though it can do it. So, not totally useless by a long shot, especially in larger ships where the randomness of malfunctions is mitigated by large numbers of weapons and engine nozzles, but definitely very impaired.

(More detail on malfunctions: it's a % chance, checked on average once every second a weapon is firing/cooling down or an engine is "on" (turning doesn't count). At 0%, it's something like a 10% chance for weapons and 5% for engines. Again, exact values will almost certainly change.)

Right now, it takes a bit over 10 minutes to go from "peak" to 0 if starting at 100%, which feels a bit too long. An important point is that it stays at its starting CR for a few minutes before it starts dropping, and the CR cost applied after battle is the higher of the deployment cost or the actual amount of CR used during the battle. Will have to see just how it shakes out, though.

This is all modifiable per ship, though right now I painted it with a pretty broad brush and those particular stats are the same on all frigates. I suspect the Hyperion is going to end up losing CR much faster than other frigates, for example.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Psiyon on February 19, 2013, 12:07:00 PM
Ah, okay, that's pretty much what I was hoping for. Honestly, I think it would be a bit more meaningful if the penalties and benefits were a bit more spread out, such as -+25% for peak and zero, but at the same time, make it so it's fairly difficult to be at 100% or absolute zero. But as you said, there's a ton of playtesting to do, so I'll leave you to make that decision yourself :P

Still, I love the idea, and I can't wait to mess around with it. Any chance of new skills that modify the combat readiness of ships?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 19, 2013, 12:10:36 PM
You seem to have a knack for this game design thing, Alex ;)  That's an intriguing mechanic. Especially the initiative it gives to engage an enemy with matching forces and thus avoid a boring battle.

One thing that's not quite clear to me: Is it common for (non-frigate) ships to loose CR during a battle, depending on its actions? Or is this something that happens generally after battle? Both mechanics seems to be planned, but how are they weighted?

The frigate change is interesting, but narrows down their tactical diversity a lot. Is a frigate in a defensive escort role useless now? The obvious One possible answer would be frigate combat-maintenance on carriers. They are an easy target and their destruction interrupts any lone-frigate kiting, but they allow support frigates to stay active along with a big fleet.

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 19, 2013, 12:13:35 PM
I love the tags of the post  ;D
Will low-tech units regain CR faster? Will the same apply to weapons, so that high-tech stuff gets fixed slower?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: The Soldier on February 19, 2013, 12:23:39 PM
Radiation Storms?  Perhaps I should reconsider flying into the sun to avoid enemies. xD

Overall, I like the new CR mechanic. :) I feel as if it's going to connect the battlefield to the campaign map very nicely.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: mendonca on February 19, 2013, 12:27:33 PM
Sounds jolly clever indeed! Excited to see the final implementation.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 12:45:54 PM
Ah, okay, that's pretty much what I was hoping for. Honestly, I think it would be a bit more meaningful if the penalties and benefits were a bit more spread out, such as -+25% for peak and zero, but at the same time, make it so it's fairly difficult to be at 100% or absolute zero. But as you said, there's a ton of playtesting to do, so I'll leave you to make that decision yourself :P

It really depends. If you give a few 10% bonuses to various things, all of a sudden it can get really powerful - moreso than a 25% percent bonus to any one thing. But yeah, this needs a *lot* of playtesting.

Any chance of new skills that modify the combat readiness of ships?

Most likely. Right now, combat aptitude raises the max CR of the piloted ship. So for now that only affects the flagship, but should come into play more when officers are in the game.

One thing that's not quite clear to me: Is it common for (non-frigate) ships to loose CR during a battle, depending on its actions? Or is this something that happens generally after battle? Both mechanics seems to be planned, but how are they weighted?

As of now, only frigates lose CR during the fight. But the idea of EMP weapons knocking down CR (and eventually pushing a ship into the "malfunction" zone) is interesting. Might give that a try, though it may make EMP weapons too strong.

The frigate change is interesting, but narrows down their tactical diversity a lot. Is a frigate in a defensive escort role useless now? The obvious One possible answer would be frigate combat-maintenance on carriers. They are an easy target and their destruction interrupts any lone-frigate kiting, but they allow support frigates to stay active along with a big fleet.

Hmm. I get what you're saying about carriers, it makes sense mechanics-wise, but seems a little arbitrary - after all, the specialized equipment carriers have seems unrelated to, say, letting the power junctions inside a frigate cool off. It'd be tough to sell this visually in way that made it clear what's going on. Kind of reminds me of munitions ships, actually. Neat idea, but kind of clunky-seeming in practice.

Even if a frigate only gets several minutes of peak effectiveness, that's still not "useless". Once again, though, will have to see how it plays out. I think different tactics might emerge - for example, I can see switching out frigates in escort duty as a battle goes on, vs deploying them all at once early for a stronger skirmishing force. Assuming increasing frigate speeds more or less across the board works out, I think their tactical role will change rather than shrink.

That reminds me... there are actually some combat changes I want to talk about, too. But I'll save that for the next post :)

I love the tags of the post  ;D

Ah, someone noticed!

Sounds jolly clever indeed! Excited to see the final implementation.

Hopefully not *too* clever, though. Especially not by half :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: nonomo4 on February 19, 2013, 12:59:15 PM
What effects will CR have on fighters or will CR overlook them?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 19, 2013, 12:59:56 PM
Very clever. I'm looking forward to see how this shakes things up - all these elements that add tension and opportunity cost to the game are going to make the eventual exploration part of the game even better too.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Dreyven on February 19, 2013, 01:06:48 PM
It sounds like a really good Idea.

Just make sure you get the recharge right, over time and with supply cost seems like the perfect choice.
Important is that High tech ships need a HUGE amount of "CR Points" which they loose at a significantly faster choice.
So that they are really expensive in supplies and if you do decide to just use 1 Hyperion, you will run out of supplies after 1-2 battles.
Or, maybe an even higher cost, this might give "Freighter" type ships a real Position inside fleets.

I also like the possibility to give each ship a specific "low on CR" Talent, similiar to ship systems this will make ships much more unique.
A Hyperion below 25% CR could get it's shieldwidth reduced by a certain amount, or it might get -70 speed.

Quote
Hmm. I get what you're saying about carriers, it makes sense mechanics-wise, but seems a little arbitrary - after all, the specialized equipment carriers have seems unrelated to, say, letting the power junctions inside a frigate cool off. It'd be tough to sell this visually in way that made it clear what's going on. Kind of reminds me of munitions ships, actually. Neat idea, but kind of clunky-seeming in practice

What about assigning this role to Freighters?

Maybe Firgates get worse in Combat because they run out of supplies and every repair is just jury rigged (and they can't "turn" the multi purpose supplies into what they need while they are in combat)
This means Freighters could get a new system wich allows them to drop a supply crate (3 times per battle?)
Once the Frigate picks up the Crate, it stops moving and can't do so for a certain while and after that it gets some CR points back and can head back into the battle
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: NikolaiLev on February 19, 2013, 01:12:29 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on February 19, 2013, 01:15:36 PM
personally I think most ships should lose CR over time, (maybe more self-sufficient ships can hold out longer or indefinitely, like the apogee or venture or odessey) having a living, flying logistics nightmare like the paragon fighting indefinitely doesn't feel right...

also I think the blog said something about costing supplies to field ships but isn't very clear about it. How does it work? Are FP a thing of the past? What about missions and things of that nature?

also how moddable will this system be?

EDIT: also how does this interact with the AI and AI spawned fleets?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Chancellor Meatsteak on February 19, 2013, 01:17:18 PM
I'm not sure I like how it effects frigates, either. It seems a bit arbitrary that frigates, and only frigates, just lose CR over time in combat, and also severely inhibits their ability to function as escorts, sure you could switch them out mid-combat but if you do that you might as well just use a destroyer.

Fast attack craft like the Hyperion and Tempest are overpowered not because they never get hit (which would necessitate a time limit of some sort) but because what damage they take is done to the shields and can just be vented off later, giving them effectively unlimited endurance in battle. Meanwhile fast but unshielded ships like the Hound will have to eventually retreat because they take damage to non-regenerating hull and armor, and relatively slower ships like the Brawler can be forced into a situation where they have to drop shields while under fire; so giving either of them a time based limit is unnecessary.

With that in mind, why not make it so that CR instead starts to drop after a certain amount of damage is done to the shields? Ships that are too effective at retreating can simply be given a low threshold before CR starts to drop, limiting the amount of attack runs they can do at peak efficiency without preventing them from being kept back to be used when needed. Ships made for the line-of-battle on the other hand can be given a very high threshold allowing them to brawl with the enemy without having to worry much about CR. By adding hullmods that affect the threshold then you can make so that variants can be designed that have a higher threshold for escorts or have increased speed at the cost of a lower threshold for fast attack ships.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Faiter119 on February 19, 2013, 01:24:21 PM
I love it, seems like a great way to balance the game. Keep this up Alex! Amazing as always.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Vind on February 19, 2013, 01:25:16 PM
    Frigates with a time limit on effectiveness in combat is strange, hope this will work out.  I can imagine ship needs ammo/energy cells, oxygen and repair materials for repairs after combat but simply degrading ship after time limit even then ship does not received any damage is strange to say the least. Only thing which comes close to explanation is crew fatigue after some time in combat so ships with high crew count will fight more effectively over time. AI must retreat immediately if the fleet cant catch frigates. I cant imagine player will pursue and fight 20+ battles to kill some slow cruisers or battleships because its boring and definitely not fun.
    In the hands of AI frigates will be at a disadvantage because AI cant aggressively attack within time limit.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cazakatari on February 19, 2013, 01:27:52 PM
I have to say your ideas and musings about the game always impress me Alex.  Keep up the great work :D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 19, 2013, 01:33:35 PM
Just had an idea: How about another hullmod? Some sort of Nanobots/Service Robots that either delay the CR reduction or help with replenishing CR. Maybe increase the maximum of CR that a ship can have?

Also: have you thought about letting high-tech weapons influence CR? Or will it be influenced by weapons at all?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 19, 2013, 01:56:40 PM
Hmm. I get what you're saying about carriers, it makes sense mechanics-wise, but seems a little arbitrary - after all, the specialized equipment carriers have seems unrelated to, say, letting the power junctions inside a frigate cool off. It'd be tough to sell this visually in way that made it clear what's going on.

Arbitrary? Not more so than CR degradation only affecting frigates ;)

Graphic wise I had no problem with a flow of drones, a beam or a retractable bridge between a carrier and a nearby frigate. Power junctions don't cool off then, they are replaced with fresh ones from the carrier (maybe at extra high costs). Would make a nice target, too.

Anyway, I think the frigate mechanic needs a lot of thought/trying out. Aside from the already mentioned issues it encourages some other "boring but effective" tactics, for example to stay in close defensive formation without much firing until the enemy frigates have run out of CR.


BTW, If ship-to-ship boarding is ever introduced in some form, I think it will really profit from CR. Details in the thread in suggestions.


Also: have you thought about letting high-tech weapons influence CR? Or will it be influenced by weapons at all?

Ion weapons might do just that.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Brainbread on February 19, 2013, 02:01:25 PM
I'm wondering how CR will work with Auto-complete. Will it make it unnattractive choice when its a clear win (as in, will it deploy as much as it can to get an assured victory)? In any case, i'm excited for being able to use Frigates that aren't Tempests after early-game. The rest of them feel too squishy and slow when capital ships start getting into play.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 19, 2013, 02:02:20 PM
...

Also: have you thought about letting high-tech weapons influence CR? Or will it be influenced by weapons at all?

Ion weapons might do just that.

What I meant: Will expensive weapons take longer to regenerate? I imagine a small PD to be back in action rather fast, compared to an AM Blaster or even a HIL/Tachyon Lance.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: icepick37 on February 19, 2013, 02:11:27 PM
I like it!

Frigates will be getting some buffs to compensate for this remember (if they even need it).

I'd like to see frigates get their cr back up much faster. Since they are so small. Though maybe that is easily accomplished anyway with % of crew.

Anywho, can't wait to see how it shakes out. It sounds great so far.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 19, 2013, 02:26:00 PM
What I meant: Will expensive weapons take longer to regenerate? I imagine a small PD to be back in action rather fast, compared to an AM Blaster or even a HIL/Tachyon Lance.

Ah, I see. Since the malfunction mechanic is based on the EMP/weapon fire induced offline mechanic the duration will likely only be dependent on slot size.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Sproginator on February 19, 2013, 02:27:01 PM
Please don't make us have to purchase ammo though, I hate that in ship games, "Aww sweet can't wait to finally take on this fleet!" *goes into battle**realises he has no ammo* "FUUUUUUUUU..." *gets killed in 6 seconds flat*
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 02:33:11 PM
Quote
Hmm. I get what you're saying about carriers, it makes sense mechanics-wise, but seems a little arbitrary - after all, the specialized equipment carriers have seems unrelated to, say, letting the power junctions inside a frigate cool off. It'd be tough to sell this visually in way that made it clear what's going on. Kind of reminds me of munitions ships, actually. Neat idea, but kind of clunky-seeming in practice

What about assigning this role to Freighters?

Maybe Firgates get worse in Combat because they run out of supplies and every repair is just jury rigged (and they can't "turn" the multi purpose supplies into what they need while they are in combat)
This means Freighters could get a new system wich allows them to drop a supply crate (3 times per battle?)
Once the Frigate picks up the Crate, it stops moving and can't do so for a certain while and after that it gets some CR points back and can head back into the battle

All in all, right now I'm thinking that this is all best kept in the campaign layer. It's just trying to cram stuff into combat that it's not really meant for, not on those timescales. And getting the AI to intelligently handle this is probably more than what I want to bite off.


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.

With that in mind, why not make it so that CR instead starts to drop after a certain amount of damage is done to the shields? Ships that are too effective at retreating can simply be given a low threshold before CR starts to drop, limiting the amount of attack runs they can do at peak efficiency without preventing them from being kept back to be used when needed. Ships made for the line-of-battle on the other hand can be given a very high threshold allowing them to brawl with the enemy without having to worry much about CR. By adding hullmods that affect the threshold then you can make so that variants can be designed that have a higher threshold for escorts or have increased speed at the cost of a lower threshold for fast attack ships.

Wouldn't really work across the board. The "effective but boring" strategy would then involve waiting out not only enemy LRMs, but also their ammo. So, ok, that wouldn't work vs high-tech ships, but low-tech ships would still be susceptible.

But, yeah, having hullmods play with the CR deterioration somewhat would probably be a good idea.

I can imagine ship needs ammo/energy cells, oxygen and repair materials for repairs after combat but simply degrading ship after time limit even then ship does not received any damage is strange to say the least. Only thing which comes close to explanation is crew fatigue after some time in combat so ships with high crew count will fight more effectively over time.

It's part that, and part just frigates being smaller ships that can't indefinitely stand the extra stress combat-level power and system usage puts on. Power conduits and CPU cores overheat or blow out, that sort of thing. Even the main reactor might be unable to to put out the required level of power for more than a little while. Or, perhaps radiation shielding isn't up to par.

Really, there are many possible reasons, but the crux of it is that frigates (and possibly some other ships) just have too much stuff and people crammed into a relatively small volume, and combat conditions force ALL of those things to work at the same time. And after a while, things start to give.

AI must retreat immediately if the fleet cant catch frigates. I cant imagine player will pursue and fight 20+ battles to kill some slow cruisers or battleships because its boring and definitely not fun.

I'm not sure I understand, can you clarify? Fighting 20+ battles wouldn't be an option anyway, as CR would run out on both sides after two or three. But, this is heading into "next blog post" territory.

Arbitrary? Not more so than CR degradation only affecting frigates ;)

Fair enough, though something like the Medusa *might* get hit with that, too.

Anyway, I think the frigate mechanic needs a lot of thought/trying out. Aside from the already mentioned issues it encourages some other "boring but effective" tactics, for example to stay in close defensive formation without much firing until the enemy frigates have run out of CR.

Hmm. On the whole, I'd rather have that than kiting an entire fleet. This strikes me as a valid tactic, but the end result might not be what you'd like. Unless they had backup, the frigates would just retreat after a while and disengage from your fleet. Again, "next blog post" :)

I'm wondering how CR will work with Auto-complete. Will it make it unnattractive choice when its a clear win (as in, will it deploy as much as it can to get an assured victory)? In any case, i'm excited for being able to use Frigates that aren't Tempests after early-game. The rest of them feel too squishy and slow when capital ships start getting into play.

Good question; still working it out. I'm not all that sure auto-resolve is necessary right now, if there's still incentive to fight a challenging battle even if your fleet outmatches the enemy. But, yeah, still working on that.

What I meant: Will expensive weapons take longer to regenerate? I imagine a small PD to be back in action rather fast, compared to an AM Blaster or even a HIL/Tachyon Lance.

The time it takes for CR to regenerate *may* end up being based on the OP used in the loadout. Emphasis on "may".

Please don't make us have to purchase ammo though, I hate that in ship games, "Aww sweet can't wait to finally take on this fleet!" *goes into battle**realises he has no ammo* "FUUUUUUUUU..." *gets killed in 6 seconds flat*

You'll have to purchase at least 10 separate times of autocannon rounds and painstakingly match them to the right weapons in a QTE. Each failure will auto-deduct 10% CR and will require faster responses in the next attempt.

And don't even get me started on the different types of HE ammo or the logistics involved in safeguarding antimatter rounds.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Sproginator on February 19, 2013, 02:41:20 PM
I'm going to cry now, please excuse me....
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Arcalane on February 19, 2013, 02:43:30 PM
And don't even get me started on the different types of HE ammo or the logistics involved in safeguarding antimatter rounds.

"Dammit Jones, I wanted HEAP ammo! This is HEAT!"
"Sorrysirwon'thappenagainsir!"


 ::)

This sounds like a pretty neat mechanic. This makes me wonder if CR could also be used to model crew fatigue... or more accurately, swapping a 'fresh' crew in could restore some CR. You could have reserve crew transports along to keep fresh crew in the fight; the ship would take a CR hit during the changeover, but then recover to a more acceptable level once the new crew were settled in.

By the sounds of things, CR probably won't be a big issue for fast-moving, hard-hitting raiders and pirate fleets (who ultimately don't give a rat's ass about notions of 'combat readiness', and are more concerned with raiding civilian ships than slugging it out with local security forces) but any wannabe-warlords or pirate kings will have to have their act together lest their warfleets suddenly start having issues in the middle of battle.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Nick XR on February 19, 2013, 02:45:29 PM
Interesting ideas. I really like the prior mentioned idea of "maintenance" carrier or something, perhaps we could do that with some of these freighters so there is actually some incentive to use freighters in combat?

In general though I don't think the CR degrading on frigates is a good idea, here's my rationale:
* Only a few of the frigates are "over powered" yet this change impacts all of them
* Presently, based on statistics I'm making up on the spot, I would say that advanced fighters are more effective than 90% of the frigates out there and only cost at most 2x as much while being more powerful, faster, and durable due to the fact they can resupply/repair at carriers in the middle of combat, insta reapir and the end of combat.  And the TCO for fighters is less since they die so much less in combat with a proper carrier where as frigates seemingly always get killed when AI piloted (sure it takes supplies, but supplies are dirt cheap and readily available)
So the CR change serves to only make frigates even less useful when compared to fighter craft.

Maybe what needs to happen is for fighters to be less effective?  But honestly if that happens people will just use frigates and ditch carriers & fighters.  So at some level the problem is that Frigates and Fighters compete for the same job and with these changes I'll be more clear that the optimal strategy is to use fighters, not frigates.  

I do think there are two real problems:
* A few frigates are wildly OP
* Fighters and Frigates try and do the same job, no other two ship categories really do this


To resolve the above problems I propose:
* In regards to the OP frigates, take a scalpel to the offenders, not a sledge hammer on all
* Rethink how fighters operate, the ability to self heal in combat and insta-heal at the end of combat makes me feel like they should be more like missiles and less like tiny frigates
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Sproginator on February 19, 2013, 02:55:47 PM
Can we get mining drones now then? >:)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 03:06:58 PM
* Only a few of the frigates are "over powered" yet this change impacts all of them

These are just the worst offenders. With the right skills/hullmods, you could probably do this with most of them with varying degrees of success, depending on the specific enemy fleet composition.

The worst offenders are also fun, and this provides an opportunity to nudge other frigates in that direction. To continue with your analogy, I'd look at this is taking a scalpel to all rather than a sledgehammer to the worst offenders :)

As far as fighters, that's interesting. I'm still considering what to do with them, but the general consensus on the forum seems to be that they're underpowered, rather than over.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 19, 2013, 03:41:56 PM
What skill aptitude class will CR-affecting skills, if any, wind up in?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 19, 2013, 03:44:17 PM
Again, "next blog post" :)

Alright, I will shut up and see what else you've got up your sleeve ;)


You'll have to purchase at least 10 separate times of autocannon rounds and painstakingly match them to the right weapons in a QTE. Each failure will auto-deduct 10% CR and will require faster responses in the next attempt.

And don't even get me started on the different types of HE ammo or the logistics involved in safeguarding antimatter rounds.

Imagining that kept me laughing for two minutes ;D



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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Dastryx on February 19, 2013, 03:54:59 PM
Iv been playing since .52a and just wanted say that I agree with the general consensus that these fighters are underpowered, some more than others with Gladius wings being in the first category.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MasterGlink on February 19, 2013, 03:57:17 PM
Sounds really good, and a good excuse to come back to the game for a bit and try different fleet compositions and ship loadouts. I want to test it out for myself or at least see more of it before making a judgement call whether I like it or not. It sounds good so far, but I'm not quite understanding how it works mechanically.

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Wyvern on February 19, 2013, 04:03:46 PM
I'm not so sure that fighters are underpowered... but I don't use them because they're annoying; they eat personnel and supplies, often in highly unpredictable quantities.  And, y'know, the game is immersive enough that I really don't like picking tactics that result in all-but-guaranteed crew losses.  Back when wasps were drones, I'd gleefully use several wings of them - the supply cost wasn't, on its own, that big a deal, and as long as I didn't auto-resolve fights, they were pretty durable.  Now?  I'd rather stick those crew into a nice high-tech frigate, where there's actually a chance they'll all survive a serious battle.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 04:06:08 PM
What skill aptitude class will CR-affecting skills, if any, wind up in?

Can't say just yet. Depends on how they go about it flavor-wise, could be any, really.

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:


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.

  • Does it apply both in and out of combat?
  • Is this something that would affect my performance in battle or is more related with my next engagements?
  • Short-term or long-term, maybe both?
  • Does it introduce more random events and situations (love these, but they are unpopular with a lot of folk)?
  • Does it encourage the RTS element more (To be honest, I haven't been able to use it much, piloting takes priority in current builds in my opinion)?

1. Both.
2. For non-frigates, it'll apply after the engagement. So if you start out at 50% CR and it costs 20% to deploy, you'll fight at 50% CR and then have it reduced to 30% after the fight.
3. Both :)
4. Malfunctions, as discussed earlier.
5. Probably not, except for needing to keep an eye on frigates so they don't stay out too long. Will have to add some UI support to make that easier.

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 19, 2013, 04:09:04 PM
also I think the blog said something about costing supplies to field ships but isn't very clear about it. How does it work? Are FP a thing of the past? What about missions and things of that nature?

What I meant there is it'll cost CR, and CR costs supplies to recover. So it's indirect.

also how moddable will this system be?

EDIT: also how does this interact with the AI and AI spawned fleets?

About as moddable as anything else. The effects on ships are moddable, CR-related stats are in ship_data.csv, etc. AI ships and fleets use it, so they'll have to learn to deal with it. There'll probably be a few hiccups along the way :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 19, 2013, 04:10:30 PM
How would this affect a very week ship such as my little pet hound here?

I can see why you did this but i have to agree with Cycerin having an aptitude affect this would be rather nice :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Chancellor Meatsteak on February 19, 2013, 04:34:46 PM
Wouldn't really work across the board. The "effective but boring" strategy would then involve waiting out not only enemy LRMs, but also their ammo. So, ok, that wouldn't work vs high-tech ships, but low-tech ships would still be susceptible.

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. Having a limited amount of practical shield use doesn't seem like it would be too much of a problem either, since armor and hull are already limited and not useless. If it poses a problem for a certain ship you can just set the threshold for it really high, though I expect thresholds for most ships to already be quite high to begin with, only really being a concern for fast attack ships.

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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Nick XR on February 19, 2013, 04:42:27 PM
As far as fighters, that's interesting. I'm still considering what to do with them, but the general consensus on the forum seems to be that they're underpowered, rather than over.

Really?  I don't spend much time on the forums, I just watch the updates.    My typical end-game fleet makeup is usually a carrier, ~4 advanced fighters (Xyphos is their name?  At work can't check.) then only Medusa destroyers and everything else bigger.  I find that AI piloted frigates die much more often then AI piloted advanced fighters to the point that I won't even use frigates, it's just throwing money away.  Sure a whole wing will die now and again but usually they are smart enough to run and get repairs before stuff is too bad.   At the very beginning of the game frigates are OK, but as soon as you start facing more than one destroyer the frigates become just a space wreck/save/reload waiting to happen.  Granted one could argue that all but the top tier fighters aren't any good, but I would argue that none of the frigates are any good when piloted by the AI (Glass cannons like the Hyperion are just throwing money away when piloted by the AI), and the money spent for the good frigates could buy other ships that are more durable and use fewer fleet points.

Maybe a lot of this will be solved by availability of stuff in the campaign but in general my strategy when playing Starsector so far is to not let the AI fly ships that it's probably going to get blown up on a regular basis.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: YAZF on February 19, 2013, 04:58:05 PM
I think these will be good changes and I'm looking forward to other way on how combat mechanics will combine with campaign mechanics. In particular I do hope there will be a way to interact with space stations a bit more. For instance I see enemy fleets "attacking" and "defending" stations all the time but they really just hover around them. I would LOVE for battles to actually take place at stations where there is a huge base floating in the middle of the combat field which could fight too. You could try to defend it or destroy an enemy station.  Maybe you could be trying to destroy the defending enemy fleet but not the station to take it over. Or maybe you could be just trying to destroy a specific part of the station and then run away. Aaahhhh I'm too excited to see where the campaign development will go. Keep it up alex!
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: LazyWizard 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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: BillyRueben 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).
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: naufrago 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: harperrb 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
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Vinya 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Verrius 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Chancellor Meatsteak 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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex 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 :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin 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)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FlashFrozen 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 ^.^
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Tarran 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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 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)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: nonomo4 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.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 19, 2013, 10:57:43 PM
True, that does seam like a beater idea.


sdmike1GoesToSleep(true, late.time(GoodNight(true)));
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: CopperCoyote on February 20, 2013, 12:35:09 AM
I feel that larger ships should lose CR during combat too. It feels like a strange gameplay and story segregation. Why wouldn't larger ships lose combat readiness as the fight wears on? Sure larger ships would have more space to keep the replacement bits and bobs, and they'd have more personnel to rotate through so they don't burn out. So it would make sense for them to lose CR slower, and maybe have a longer delay for CR loss.

As it stands now I balk at using frigs with any char that has points for larger fleets. The control point bonuses really add up. So if frigates are the only ones that burn out as the fight wears on there is little incentive to make them anything besides fighter popping fools that then immediately flee after the points are capped. Or just not use them.

How will fighters and CR interact? What if that was their "hat" so to speak? I love fighters for their multi-fight stamina now. If they always maintained a high level of combat-readiness in conjunction with a flight deck they'd be much better with little other changes. Presumably they'd run out of spare ships to use eventually, and their CR would begin to degrade.

I don't think it comes through clearly, but I'm really excited about combat readiness. I like balancing one aspect to another, and CR adds time as an aspect.
I guess the TL;DR is I like consistency; even if it isn't a constant. The ITU and the injector are good examples of that.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 20, 2013, 12:56:47 AM
How about making it depend on the ratio OP/Cargo Space? Crew Fatigue could be separate and depend on Current Crew/Skeleton Crew.

Supplies are (to some degree) spare parts, so a ship with high cargo can carry around more spare parts, which enable it to repair some of the damage.

Crew is usually working in shifts. Skeleton Crew is what is required to get a ship into battle, but I'm not sure if that involves several shifts (maybe minimal functionality with one shift during normal travel - 1/3 of Skeleton Crew - up to two or maybe even three shifts during full combat). Crew Fatigue sounds like something that is hard to implement though. Some ships have 100% spare crew, others only 25% or less, so will the spare crew travel to another ship to reduce the fatigue on this ship? I dunno, just an idea for later.

Something else I had in mind: Usually ships are designed for certain tasks. Some have a better threshold than others, but what if I use a ship with only 75% of its OP in use? That should give some room for additional CR. Maybe this (or something like this) should be implemented as a hull mod.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: DJ Die on February 20, 2013, 01:28:24 AM
Very interesting feature Alex...
And i think it really makes sense because small ship crews usually have A LOT to do opposed to crews of large ones
thats mainly due to designated damage control crews as small ships often just dont have large enough complements....
so big ships should have only marginal drops in their CR in the battle itself BUT large weapons usually have much less tear while firing so they could be harder to bring up to full CR, not to mention bigger armor plates/large shield generator parts would probably be harder to replace

also elite crew should be much more resistant to fatigue because they are no longer thrilled by combat as much as green newbies facing it for the first time...
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 20, 2013, 01:58:09 AM
I have to bring up frigates again.

So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

A way to implement that would be this: Frigates above ~40% CR get a substantial speed bonus, due to their special high performance engines. Those engines loose stability, so the CR drops until they go offline at <~40%. Then it stops dropping further. The frigate is now slower, but still reliable.

That could even be easily communicated graphically: Either reduce the size of the exhaust flame gradually or (/and) deactivate some of the engines completely (many frigates have big and small engines, one type could be classified as high performance). I think it's more intuitively plausible than the whole ship falling apart, too.

/e  Maybe that concept could even be expanded to speed hullmods. That way you'd prevent players from building long-duration-kiters out of destroyers or bigger ships. Could for example be applied to a percentage based speed hullmod, but not to fixed value ones so slow ship can still be (hull-)modded reasonably fast.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 20, 2013, 02:42:17 AM
Hello Alex.  You mentioned that CR will hit frigates the hardest to a degree that CR degeneration will be noticeable in combat... does this mean starting ship will possibly be changed to destroyer, or are you planning on short hit & run type of combat with frigates (or just long drawn out fights with ship that's falling apart during latter half) to be the primary means of fighting for early phase of the campaign?

As overall feedback, I think CR is a very nice wraparound of whole bunch of potentially-headache-inducing-materials.  Also CR degeneration in mid-battle is a sound design and I hope it is to be exploited as much as possible, as crews will get tired and machines wear down (imagine endurance race cars vs formula one... certain machines are built to endure without maintenance, while some others are built for maximum performance but wears down very fast and needs lot more care to perform at its peak capacity).

Gothar, I think the reason for not just gimping frigate speed with CR is because either CR will be too speed focused (which is kinda awkward for mechanic that's suppose to represent everything about the ship) or would require whole another mechanic on top of CR.  Also I think state-of-the-art machines should require different level of care than say, workhorse level machines.  And diminishing CR in battle looks like a great way of showing that.

I just think that CR degeneration should be based on ship-by-ship basis.  It would be nice to see slow-low-tech frigate that's meant to be long lasting light support, and vice versa with fast-high-tech bigger ships of larger class hulls.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: DJ Die on February 20, 2013, 03:37:28 AM
well some kind of CR degradation coefficient could be used to differentiate low and high tech ships probably indirectly proportional to shield efficiency
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: mendonca on February 20, 2013, 03:56:41 AM
If you ask me (which you didn't) I'm not sure it's sensible to completely deconstruct and rebuild the CR mechanic prior to it even making its way in to a playable version of the game.

Nevertheless there are a lot of seemingly reasonable suggestions in here, and I retain my enthusiasm that this will be an awfully interesting mechanic - in whatever final detailed form it takes.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Modest on February 20, 2013, 04:05:26 AM
Ha! Finnaly something that will make it harder to fight a battle afther battle with no real "rest" betwen them (repairing battle damage does not count - You may avoid this completly). It is something that I was missing, so I am very glad to see it :) I am a bit "scared" about loosing CR over time during battle (I hope it will not spread from frigates to other ships), but I do believe that if it will be implemented, it will be dome afther testing and ballancing and will work very good (as most new things implemented to Starsector so far).

And I have few questions (which are also a bit like suggestions) about this new mechanic. I hope that You don't mind ;)

1. Will the size of fleet have any influence on speed at which ships are gaining CR betwen battles? (I can imagine small fleets being able to regain it faster than big ones due to much less betwen ships cargo and personel transportation, but on other hand I can imagine that every ship is a separate kingdom which is dealing with it's own problems using it's own supplies and personel so maybe it really should not have any impact at all)

2. Will it be possible for certian ships to improve speed of regaining CR betwen battles for other ships in a fleet? (having ship dedicated for cargo or personel transportation would make it easier for other ships in a fleet to deal with their problems - afther all they do not need to deal with those "good for nothing" marines which alweys get in the way of working staff, and do not need to waste time to take all suplies to cargo bay and secure it, because there are ships in a fleet that are dedicated to deal with those things. And even if they are unable to deal with all surplus of personel and suplies, they defienietly are making other ships' crew's life a lot easier)

3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: harrumph on February 20, 2013, 04:06:40 AM
I like it! Anything that makes combat more dynamic—trying to fight with the minimum number of ships, swapping ships in and out as CR changes, having a skirmishing phase with frigates give way to combat between bigger ships—sounds great to me. Plus having another way to give different types of ships (high-tech vs. low tech, pure combat vs. multipurpose) new strengths and weaknesses is cool.

I see that others disagree, but I really like the idea of limiting the role of frigates (and maybe buffing the existing frigates/adding new ones to compensate). Having fighters be a fleet's long-endurance escort and strike tool and making frigates skirmishers and scouts helps clear up the blurring of their roles (and the perception among a lot of us, though obviously not all, that there's no reason to bring fighters when you've got a couple Tempests available). If you did want to preserve some frigates as dedicated escorts, though, you could also divide the class in two: frigates would be slower vessels with heavier armament, suited to escort or assault (Lasher, Wolf, Brawler); something else—corvettes?—would be the fast attack craft (Tempest, Hyperion).

Anyway, I hear this whole CR mechanic needs a lot of playtesting! When do we get to, uh, test this stuff?

kinda off-topic aside about FTL:
Spoiler
Somebody brought up FTL as an example of randomness done right; I personally think that randomness in FTL spoils what's otherwise a great game. It's true that later in a game, a skilled player can prepare for and deal with any random event. In the early stages, though, randomness is king. Not only is the player unprepared to deal with many random events, but every bad outcome snowballs into a worse one, which is not a problem inherent to roguelikes. The fact that you have a finite number of jumps means that the first few you make are ridiculously important. If your first two jumps result in damage to the ship and nothing gained for it, you might as well quit and start over. Not good design!

The CR-related randomness, which only crops up if the player willingly pushes a ship into action when its unfit, seems much better.
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Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Vind on February 20, 2013, 04:15:59 AM
    To prevent frigate kiting AI must retreat if their fleet composition dont have fighters/frigates/fast destroyers to deal with enemy fast ships. Another point - in the hands of AI frigate ships will never be aggressively enough in combat to be useful in the time-window before they will lose their effectiveness. Player can make very fast destroyers/cruisers too so the frigate CR time-limit solution in not best at all. And if all ships will be with some sort of timer before losing CR better have some time-limit on combat time not CR of ships. To save CR of the fleet players will have to fight with smallest deployed fleet possible - at the same time frigates lose CR with time so it effectively writes them off the small engagements. It will make destroyers much more useful than frigates.
   Another possible exploit will be to wait until enemy frigates lose all CR and then deploy rest of your fleet to finish them.   
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Aratoop on February 20, 2013, 04:35:18 AM
The only thing I'm worried about is this- what'll happen at the beginning of the game? You start of with a frigate, and it takes a while before you can afford anything more than frigates. And in the early game, there're a lot of frigate vs frigate +fighter/buffalo/frigate battles. Will these battles be affected by the CR speciality of frigates, designed for larger encounters?

Also, will certain weapons decrease CR a lot more? Say, if a salamander hits the engines, I can only imagine the havoc that would cause. Or if a couple of Plasma Cannon rounds hit your weapons, you're not gonna want to use them, right?

And one last thing, will low-tech weapons like, say, a Helbore Cannon (which only has a few moving parts) or an arablast autocannon or a flak cannon be better or worse with CR? I can see arguments for both sides, and I'm wondering what you think...
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 20, 2013, 04:42:10 AM
If you ask me (which you didn't) I'm not sure it's sensible to completely deconstruct and rebuild the CR mechanic prior to it even making its way in to a playable version of the game.

Ah, but is now not the best time? Much less work is wasted if some good idea pops up now instead of after implementing and balancing a possibly sub-optimal mechanic.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Andy H.K. on February 20, 2013, 06:59:22 AM
CR degrading during combat with immediate effect is fine so long as CR degradation is directly related to activity. Think soccer game, a defender who see little action would retain more stamina as oppose to a forward who's been running back and forth. A frigate on escort duty should probably be less drained than one performing hit-and-run - before it see some action, that is.

I think a lot of people commenting here are worried that CR would just become a "timer" for frigates. This could be the case if in-combat CR degradation is too fast actually. I think the focus should be more about the long term effect - yes this frigate just kited a task force to death, but when can it do it again?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Brainbread on February 20, 2013, 07:16:36 AM
CR degrading during combat with immediate effect is fine so long as CR degradation is directly related to activity. Think soccer game, a defender who see little action would retain more stamina as oppose to a forward who's been running back and forth. A frigate on escort duty should probably be less drained than one performing hit-and-run - before it see some action, that is.

I think a lot of people commenting here are worried that CR would just become a "timer" for frigates. This could be the case if in-combat CR degradation is too fast actually. I think the focus should be more about the long term effect - yes this frigate just kited a task force to death, but when can it do it again?

So, giving Frigates a toggle for an extra say... 50 or 75 speed, that has a limited use and degrades CR? Would give them use at the start of the fight to cap points, then they can toggle off the Fuel Injectors and just use their engines within their normal limits.

Could also make them one use of Turn On and Turn Off, though I can see a player getting immensely frustrated at not being able to get their Fleet's frigates to save the engine boost for something important.

So personally, I'm more a fan of an extra frigate ability for the bonus. Sometimes Frigates can just be effective PD platforms, and we don't want to use them to cap points.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 20, 2013, 07:44:21 AM
Spoiler
I have to bring up frigates again.

So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

A way to implement that would be this: Frigates above ~40% CR get a substantial speed bonus, due to their special high performance engines. Those engines loose stability, so the CR drops until they go offline at <~40%. Then it stops dropping further. The frigate is now slower, but still reliable.

That could even be easily communicated graphically: Either reduce the size of the exhaust flame gradually or (/and) deactivate some of the engines completely (many frigates have big and small engines, one type could be classified as high performance). I think it's more intuitively plausible than the whole ship falling apart, too.

/e  Maybe that concept could even be expanded to speed hullmods. That way you'd prevent players from building long-duration-kiters out of destroyers or bigger ships. Could for example be applied to a percentage based speed hullmod, but not to fixed value ones so slow ship can still be (hull-)modded reasonably fast.
[close]
Gothars, for once i agree with you in basically every way :D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 20, 2013, 08:15:53 AM
Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

I feel that larger ships should lose CR during combat too. It feels like a strange gameplay and story segregation. Why wouldn't larger ships lose combat readiness as the fight wears on? Sure larger ships would have more space to keep the replacement bits and bobs, and they'd have more personnel to rotate through so they don't burn out. So it would make sense for them to lose CR slower, and maybe have a longer delay for CR loss.

As it stands now I balk at using frigs with any char that has points for larger fleets. The control point bonuses really add up. So if frigates are the only ones that burn out as the fight wears on there is little incentive to make them anything besides fighter popping fools that then immediately flee after the points are capped. Or just not use them.

Ah - a major part of the reason frigates don't get those objective bonuses is the kiting issue, so I'll be taking another look at that.

Anyway, I feel like I'm repeating myself a bit, but let's not jump to conclusions about the uselessness of something that's likely more useful than it is now, though for a limited duration. But not limited enough that it'd be much of a concern for those early game battles, for example.

As far as consistency, it seems reasonable to me if you consider frigates to be a qualitatively different type of ship, which would be further emphasised by the speed boost. But a few frigates may not suffer from this, and a few destroyers might, if that gives you any warm fuzzies :)

In particular, I think the Buffalo Mk.II isn't the kind of ship that could handle a prolonged deployment...


How will fighters and CR interact? What if that was their "hat" so to speak? I love fighters for their multi-fight stamina now. If they always maintained a high level of combat-readiness in conjunction with a flight deck they'd be much better with little other changes. Presumably they'd run out of spare ships to use eventually, and their CR would begin to degrade.

I don't think it comes through clearly, but I'm really excited about combat readiness. I like balancing one aspect to another, and CR adds time as an aspect.
I guess the TL;DR is I like consistency; even if it isn't a constant. The ITU and the injector are good examples of that.

Not entirely settled on fighter changes yet.


So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

The main reason to do so is to take advantage of an already-existing mechanic, rather than slapping on a brand-new one just for this purpose. I'd actually considered doing this a few releases ago, but decided against it just because it'd be too... random? Arbitrary? Ham-fisted? Using existing CR effects ties it in nicely with the rest of the game, the lore, etc. Now, tying a different set of CR effects specifically for frigates is different, since that's not so discinnected from the rest of the game anymore, but I have to ask: why? Existing CR effects do the job just fine without complicating things by having even more rules.

I see that others disagree, but I really like the idea of limiting the role of frigates (and maybe buffing the existing frigates/adding new ones to compensate). Having fighters be a fleet's long-endurance escort and strike tool and making frigates skirmishers and scouts helps clear up the blurring of their roles (and the perception among a lot of us, though obviously not all, that there's no reason to bring fighters when you've got a couple Tempests available). If you did want to preserve some frigates as dedicated escorts, though, you could also divide the class in two: frigates would be slower vessels with heavier armament, suited to escort or assault (Lasher, Wolf, Brawler); something else—corvettes?—would be the fast attack craft (Tempest, Hyperion).

Hmm, interesting idea. The Brawler, at least, seems like a good candidate for not having CR loss, and it'd give a way to stand out from most other frigates.

Anyway, I hear this whole CR mechanic needs a lot of playtesting! When do we get to, uh, test this stuff?

Not so soon(tm). There's a lot of other stuff I want to see in the next build, and even "just" the CR changes still need quite a bit of wrapping up and preliminary testing.

kinda off-topic aside about FTL:
Spoiler
Somebody brought up FTL as an example of randomness done right; I personally think that randomness in FTL spoils what's otherwise a great game. It's true that later in a game, a skilled player can prepare for and deal with any random event. In the early stages, though, randomness is king. Not only is the player unprepared to deal with many random events, but every bad outcome snowballs into a worse one, which is not a problem inherent to roguelikes. The fact that you have a finite number of jumps means that the first few you make are ridiculously important. If your first two jumps result in damage to the ship and nothing gained for it, you might as well quit and start over. Not good design!
[close]
Spoiler
That was me :) I spent quite a while with FTL, and didn't see things quite that way. I thought the bigger problem was that you could get really bad luck in terms of what weapons/drones/etc were available to you... Early hull damage, meh, that's just another 50 scrap you spend at some point, which in the grand scheme of things didn't matter all that much. I think if you didn't have this randomness, the game would lose so much of what makes it interesting. Making gambles is a huge part of the fun, for me anyway.
[close]

CR degrading during combat with immediate effect is fine so long as CR degradation is directly related to activity. Think soccer game, a defender who see little action would retain more stamina as oppose to a forward who's been running back and forth. A frigate on escort duty should probably be less drained than one performing hit-and-run - before it see some action, that is.

The way I see it is just being deployed is enough activity. Crews at the ready, power grid at full capacity, etc. It's already far beyond normal operating conditions. Still... hmm. I could see only reducing CR/peak effectiveness time while using the engines/weapons, but I'm not sure that extra nuance is actually needed to make it work right. Playtesting!

1. Will the size of fleet have any influence on speed at which ships are gaining CR betwen battles? (I can imagine small fleets being able to regain it faster than big ones due to much less betwen ships cargo and personel transportation, but on other hand I can imagine that every ship is a separate kingdom which is dealing with it's own problems using it's own supplies and personel so maybe it really should not have any impact at all)

2. Will it be possible for certian ships to improve speed of regaining CR betwen battles for other ships in a fleet? (having ship dedicated for cargo or personel transportation would make it easier for other ships in a fleet to deal with their problems - afther all they do not need to deal with those "good for nothing" marines which alweys get in the way of working staff, and do not need to waste time to take all suplies to cargo bay and secure it, because there are ships in a fleet that are dedicated to deal with those things. And even if they are unable to deal with all surplus of personel and suplies, they defienietly are making other ships' crew's life a lot easier)

Possibly & possibly.

3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?

Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.

Also, will certain weapons decrease CR a lot more? Say, if a salamander hits the engines, I can only imagine the havoc that would cause. Or if a couple of Plasma Cannon rounds hit your weapons, you're not gonna want to use them, right?

And one last thing, will low-tech weapons like, say, a Helbore Cannon (which only has a few moving parts) or an arablast autocannon or a flak cannon be better or worse with CR? I can see arguments for both sides, and I'm wondering what you think...

Maybe :) There's a possibility that EMP weapons might have some interaction with CR, though I'm far from being decided on that. As for specific weapons... there's a point where adding more detail only makes things complicated and not "better", and that point actually comes up pretty quick.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 20, 2013, 09:23:11 AM
Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

Also, will certain weapons decrease CR a lot more? Say, if a salamander hits the engines, I can only imagine the havoc that would cause. Or if a couple of Plasma Cannon rounds hit your weapons, you're not gonna want to use them, right?

And one last thing, will low-tech weapons like, say, a Helbore Cannon (which only has a few moving parts) or an arablast autocannon or a flak cannon be better or worse with CR? I can see arguments for both sides, and I'm wondering what you think...

Maybe :) There's a possibility that EMP weapons might have some interaction with CR, though I'm far from being decided on that. As for specific weapons... there's a point where adding more detail only makes things complicated and not "better", and that point actually comes up pretty quick.

How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 20, 2013, 09:36:37 AM
I'm just happy this will let me keep some outrageous things from my mod fun, like the ultra-maneuverable destroyer, and get more tools to balance them with. You know, modding this game is a really great experience - after getting to a certain point, it feels like the mods can grow along with the core game in a very natural manner. When you want to add to the core game rather than replace it, that is a very pleasant way to go about it.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 20, 2013, 09:40:44 AM
3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?


Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.


I am sdmike1 and I approve this idea.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Wyvern on February 20, 2013, 10:38:01 AM
I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: nonomo4 on February 20, 2013, 10:45:33 AM
I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.

It be a better idea that the players personal flag ship(frigate to capital) is always CR, ego. will always be able to enter a engagement. At least be able to enter the battle with little drop compared to other ships in the fleet.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: DelicateTask on February 20, 2013, 11:13:20 AM
I could read 6 pages of comments to see if this has been suggested, but I'm lazy (and short on time). ;)

Since frigates run low on CR in a sustained battle, do they regain it more quickly outside of battle? Smaller ships should be easier to set up and require less preparation going into a battle than a large ship with many crew members, stations, and logistics concerns. This way they maintain a high degree of usefulness and have a special dynamic that gives them an even more distinct flavor.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gabrybbo on February 20, 2013, 11:33:50 AM
How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.

I think this is a good idea. After all there's even a skill perk in combat that makes your weapons inflict double damage to enemy weapons and engines.
It would introduce a neat mechanic where a fast fleet can move in, strike at the enemy systems and retreat. Slowly the bigger fleet will lose ships due to accidents during battles if the admiral doesn't want to retreat.
Tri-tachyon hit and run tactics against the Hegemony huge armadas.  :D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Tarran on February 20, 2013, 11:51:19 AM
Alex, you missed my post.

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?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Harabeck on February 20, 2013, 12:05:39 PM
I love this mechanic. After burning myself out with the game as-is, mechanics that tie a larger campaign into the battles sound awesome.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 20, 2013, 01:51:45 PM
Oh man, this is going to be a lot of typing. Here we go.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our many questions :)



Since frigates run low on CR in a sustained battle, do they regain it more quickly outside of battle?

Yes, they have a faster regeneration rate (at the moment).
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Xareh on February 20, 2013, 02:23:10 PM
It's pretty unfortunate to see what I can really only call a nerf to frigates with no way of really counteracting them, aside from the obvious and silly method of allowing them to dock in Astrals.
I was always the kind of guy who used my frigates in fleets in pairs, trios, or quintets making great use of the command system to carefully distract or predate loose ships and now they seem entirely pointless. The favour of an aggressive play-style? With ships that can be swatted like mere flies? Where's the thought for the beginning of the game, or players that prefer like me to be slippery and defensive wherever possible? How can you slowly craft a fleet if your beginning ships just give up halfway through any given battle? What's even the point of expensive ships like the Hyperion or Tempest if they become useless halfway through?
Think about it - the Hyperion's journey of balance could almost be charted, going from weakness, extreme weakness, extreme strength, slightly less extreme strength and now pretty much just a reaper missile in ship form. These aren't fighters and you can't just say with them that they lose steam after a while - they're fully fledged ships with cargo bays, crew housing, fuel bays, weapon systems, AI PD systems, and they were (mostly) all designed to be able to survive on their own, they're just smaller destroyers and bigger fighters.  Why just nerf them like that without, say, doing the same to destroyers or fighters? I mean, uh, the Medusa! It's like a Tempest but bigger, and quite a bit slower. That's a very, VERY good kiting ship - should this mean destroyers get the problem too? Well then, what about the Falcon? Or the Conquest/Odyssey? Or ANY fighter? Should they have to return to their carrier every few minutes? That I can kinda understand, but then again, I'm always used to having it that a fighter was designed to fly around for ages (some being designed to scout alone far ahead of their fleets) and it'd return to base when it hit bingo fuel or alternatively ran out of ammo, but that was really often not for like half an hour.

Methinks a better idea with relation to this is that frigates are dangerous to have on the field because damage to them causes CR to go down VERY quickly - IE, they're so small the systems aren't properly defended against explosions 'n'stuff, instead of them running down slowly for no apparent reason other than 'balance'. That way, you make it so that players have to be careful with their frigates and mistakes will really hurt them, accommodating defensive and aggressive players in equal measure.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Modest on February 20, 2013, 02:24:07 PM
3. And how about fighters/bombers and carriers? Will fighters and bombers be affected by this at all? Or maybe they will be affected, but not directly - each time they are landing on a carrier they are reducing carrier's CR?


Hah! Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.


I am sdmike1 and I approve this idea.

I am Modest and I am also dislexis (so consider us united ;)) Also I am glad that somebody approve.

And the way I see this is that - pilot in fighter does not have to deal with cargo and munition boxes. He does not have to even move through corridors from one damaged turret to other. He simply sits in his chair and can do every necessery action from this place (if he needs to do something that would involved going out of his "plesand" chair (or cabin) that simply means that he was very unlucky, or made really big error and will pay for it in his life (very expensive currency if You'd ask me). But if he will not have to pay of his big error (whenever he had good luck that enemy didn't decidet to finish him or he was able to run away) than he just returns to carrier and wait for crew to repair and rearm his fighter. He might be psychologically cripled afther such stressfull event, but I am sure that on carriers are stationing many other pilotes who are more than willing to (not) take his place.

But for crew of carrier this is havoc - imagine just! Half destroyed wing of Talon fighters is docking. And suddenly all repairing staff is occupied to put them together again. Supply staff is trying to get to them to replenish it's ammunition. Medic is checking on pilot if he is capable to fly again if he had some kind of injury. While fighters are coming back from vacum of space to filled with oxygen hangars sudden outburst of fire are starting to show up here and there. Maybe some of dock workers had bed luck to be to close, and are in need of medical attention... And Phirania Bomber squadron is already waiting for docking place for rearming. Did I mentioned that admiral wants those fighters up and ready right now, or faster because somebody need to escort frighter on it's way to saftey? But do not worry - no pressure ;)

So somethink like that would have impact on carrier crew and supplies - it would decrease it's CR.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 20, 2013, 03:10:50 PM
How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.

Interesting idea, and falls in line nicely with other things like missile weapon use reducing CR. Wrote it down as something to try out.


I'm just happy this will let me keep some outrageous things from my mod fun, like the ultra-maneuverable destroyer, and get more tools to balance them with. You know, modding this game is a really great experience - after getting to a certain point, it feels like the mods can grow along with the core game in a very natural manner. When you want to add to the core game rather than replace it, that is a very pleasant way to go about it.

:)


I'd just like to make one related suggestion: These CR changes should come with the ability to declare your flagship at deployment time, or greatly reduced CR cost for deploying your flagship.  These could be functions of skill perks - maybe something in command aptitude offers the former ability, while something in combat offers the latter.  But what I'd like to avoid is things like "I've fought a couple of battles with Apogee1, so now I need to quickly swap flagship to Apogee2 before the next fight starts", or "This fight isn't worth deploying my personal battleship, therefore I get to sit out some of it until my shuttle can catch up to one of the frigates I deployed", or the like.  The current transfer command mechanism is great for during combat, but really clunky right at combat start.

I also like the idea that an "inactive" frigate doesn't degrade CR (or does so much more slowly) - and I'd define "inactive" as: zero flux, shields down, and not moving at greater than (some percentage of?) its non-zero-flux-boosted top speed.  So, a frigate stuck sitting and guarding a node, or escorting a carrier, isn't going to degrade that quickly, while one racing to capture a node will degrade at full rate, even if it's clever enough to turn off its engines and coast.

On the one hand, yeah, it'd be a pain to swap to another ship. On the other hand, having your flagship be in bad shape is a tactical consideration that may not warrant having a free pass out of. Hmm. I'll give it some thought. Might just make the first transfer command (if the flagship isn't on the field) instant and see how that feels.

Spoiler
It's pretty unfortunate to see what I can really only call a nerf to frigates with no way of really counteracting them, aside from the obvious and silly method of allowing them to dock in Astrals.
I was always the kind of guy who used my frigates in fleets in pairs, trios, or quintets making great use of the command system to carefully distract or predate loose ships and now they seem entirely pointless. The favour of an aggressive play-style? With ships that can be swatted like mere flies? Where's the thought for the beginning of the game, or players that prefer like me to be slippery and defensive wherever possible? How can you slowly craft a fleet if your beginning ships just give up halfway through any given battle? What's even the point of expensive ships like the Hyperion or Tempest if they become useless halfway through?
Think about it - the Hyperion's journey of balance could almost be charted, going from weakness, extreme weakness, extreme strength, slightly less extreme strength and now pretty much just a reaper missile in ship form. These aren't fighters and you can't just say with them that they lose steam after a while - they're fully fledged ships with cargo bays, crew housing, fuel bays, weapon systems, AI PD systems, and they were (mostly) all designed to be able to survive on their own, they're just smaller destroyers and bigger fighters.  Why just nerf them like that without, say, doing the same to destroyers or fighters? I mean, uh, the Medusa! It's like a Tempest but bigger, and quite a bit slower. That's a very, VERY good kiting ship - should this mean destroyers get the problem too? Well then, what about the Falcon? Or the Conquest/Odyssey? Or ANY fighter? Should they have to return to their carrier every few minutes? That I can kinda understand, but then again, I'm always used to having it that a fighter was designed to fly around for ages (some being designed to scout alone far ahead of their fleets) and it'd return to base when it hit bingo fuel or alternatively ran out of ammo, but that was really often not for like half an hour.

Methinks a better idea with relation to this is that frigates are dangerous to have on the field because damage to them causes CR to go down VERY quickly - IE, they're so small the systems aren't properly defended against explosions 'n'stuff, instead of them running down slowly for no apparent reason other than 'balance'. That way, you make it so that players have to be careful with their frigates and mistakes will really hurt them, accommodating defensive and aggressive players in equal measure.
[close]

Honestly, if I hear someone else say frigates "useless" or "pointless", I'm going to... well, I probably won't do anything, but seriously? That much gloom and doom seems rather premature :)


Mostly everything you've said has already been addressed in one way or another, but to reiterate some quick points:

1) The beginning of the game is almost entirely unaffected by this mechanic.

2) Destroyers & larger aren't that much of a kiting danger because there's an entire two classes of ships - frigates and fighters - that can chase them down and force a fight. Even so, the Medusa might end up getting this treatment, or it might just end up with a high CR deployment cost. Pointing out fighters as potentially being used for kiting is just silly, since they aren't player-controllable.

3) Frigates recover more quickly than other ships, which opens some new doors for them. Depending on how the details pan out, and combined with the possible across-the-board speed buff, I wouldn't be surprised to see them getting more use.


Alex, you missed my post.

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?

Ah, that I did. I think because I already answered the first question earlier, so it just didn't register as something that needed attention.

So: yes, more management of frigates, may need some specific UI support for it.

As for command points, I think the base number you start with will just have to go up a bit.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Brainbread on February 20, 2013, 03:37:16 PM
You could always make retreating Frigates free?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: BillyRueben on February 20, 2013, 03:50:54 PM
possible across-the-board speed buff

Oh please let it happen.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 20, 2013, 04:03:16 PM
possible across-the-board speed buff

Oh please let it happen.

Just to clarify, that's being considered for frigates only. Not sure if that came across in the last post.

You could always make retreating Frigates free?

Yeah, that's definitely a possibility if it becomes an issue. Would just rather avoid extra rules as much as possible, you know? If there's a workable solution within the existing ruleset, the bar for anything outside of that goes way up...
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 20, 2013, 04:40:47 PM


So, the problem with them is that they are too fast, their speed allows them to kite indefinitely. True, that's problematic. The planned solution is to degrade their overall performance to the point where they should be retreated.

So I have to ask, why not specifically degrade the one stat that is the problem, IE degrade speed? That way the would loose the ability to kite, but stay useful in other roles such as escort or Objective protection.

The main reason to do so is to take advantage of an already-existing mechanic, rather than slapping on a brand-new one just for this purpose. I'd actually considered doing this a few releases ago, but decided against it just because it'd be too... random? Arbitrary? Ham-fisted? Using existing CR effects ties it in nicely with the rest of the game, the lore, etc. Now, tying a different set of CR effects specifically for frigates is different, since that's not so disconnected from the rest of the game anymore, but I have to ask: why? Existing CR effects do the job just fine without complicating things by having even more rules.

Right, keeping it simple. Hope it works out. Did you try kiting in a 0% CR frigate already, is it (more or less) impossible? I could imagine that a frigate with 15% worse stats and occasional engine problems is still capable of kiting with the right tactic (gliding a lot), especially if the fastest enemies and missiles have been taken care of at the beginning. And, you know, the last thing we'd want is to have kiting as a still effective, but now even more tedious tactic.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 20, 2013, 05:44:58 PM
You could always make retreating Frigates free?

Yeah, that's definitely a possibility if it becomes an issue. Would just rather avoid extra rules as much as possible, you know? If there's a workable solution within the existing ruleset, the bar for anything outside of that goes way up...

What about free retreat for any ship under certain CR?  That wouldn't stick out as an extra rule as much as just free retreat for frigates, although clearly it would benefit the frigates the most.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 20, 2013, 06:15:39 PM
Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: DelicateTask on February 20, 2013, 06:22:10 PM
Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat
I like that. It sounds elegant. I've always been unhappy with retreat orders costing CPs.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Histidine on February 20, 2013, 08:53:35 PM
Add me to the "ooh shiny" crowd  ;D

Various disjointed thoughts
Some ideas involving freighters/tankers have already been bounced around. Mine: how about "tender" functionality for these ships (perhaps with hullmods)? Such ships would keep the CR level of a fleet up, by (for instance) reducing CR losses during long voyages, and speeding up its recovery following combat.

On frigates: These fellas are already at the bottom of the firepower/FP curve (c.f. the capital ship discussions); their role in battles is largely limited to point capping, harassment and running down retreating ships. If we're going to nerf their endurance on top of that, could we have an increase to their combat capabilities as well?

I'd propose a leadership skill involving CR, but I suspect that one's so obvious you already thought of it long ago :P

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 21, 2013, 12:03:11 AM
Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat

Yes, that looks more elegant/refined.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: miro on February 21, 2013, 01:42:10 AM
I am extremely excited for this.

I was a "Kiter" and I have always found it weird that you don't really need to progress beyond a Hyperion or Tempest. I like the idea of them becoming a sort of hit and run craft, because while you would no longer be able to dismiss all battles as risk free, the ships would still remain an effective "hunter killer."

Also, I love the idea of there being a risk to staying in combat too long, rather than a predictable debuff. I look forward to the moment when I begin to speed through the middle of a fleet, only to have my engines blow out, smashing me into the shields of the Onslaught I was trying to avoid.

The concept of Combat Readiness is in my opinion a good one too. I feel it is an elegant solution to the problem of a ship being able to effectively fight indefinitely.

I also look forward to managing my ships in a way that maximizes their combat effectiveness, while increasing the role non combat ships play in the game. (Troop transports, or Freighters)

I love randomness to an extent, and as far as I can tell, this is the perfect amount. Obviously the day after the patch, I'll be right back here, complaining my a** off about how unfair the changes were, and how I didn't see them coming.  :P  But until then, keep up the good work! :D

This concept was so awesome it made me de-lurk, and go through the account process. I'm a bit worried I got the "average number of ears" question wrong though.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Aratoop on February 21, 2013, 04:36:45 AM
At 0% CR, will auto-firing guns still fire as much? Or will there be a reduction in the amount. Right now, plasma cannons like to aim at fighters from time to time, even when there's enough pd to kill 'em.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 21, 2013, 07:37:41 AM
I just had a hilarious image of a Hyperion smugly blinking away to vent flux, only for the flux vents to jam and have the ship inflate like a balloon until it explodes.

Speaking of which, when do we get our psuedoscience flux fluff blogpost?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 21, 2013, 07:41:17 AM
Vent jamming would be a very bad thing indeed in addition to being rather annoying :P  my guess is that it won't be implemented like that...  :)

The conclave of top-level flux theorists is still debating the finer points of the physics involved. As such, we're not prepared to issue an official statement at this time. Rest assured, citizen - the Hegemony Administratum will issue a Sector-wide priority bulletin if the situation changes.

 ;)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Luftwaffle on February 21, 2013, 02:29:04 PM
With this blog post goes my occasional lurking on the comments sections ( goodbye blog comments and hello forums! )

But anyways, will CR regeneration be affected by overall crew level or by the amount of crew (with the higher crew levels being more effective at maintaining the ship )? And will crew from other ships be able to help out?

If crew from other ships could help out with CR, it might give potential use to ships like the Valkyrie which I might've not used otherwise (except for as a giant marine transport for boarding).
Maintenance ships could also be great, increasing the rate at which CR comes back.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Dimuyen on February 21, 2013, 02:34:45 PM
Just caught up reading the 7 pages. Interesting stuff this CR, and it brought up several thoughts, some of which have already been stated so I'll just skip those ;).

As I think Alex already alluded to, if you're going to make this into something important during combat the player will definitely need to know about it, particularly if your flagship is not a frigate. Maybe an audio queue would be good and wouldn't clutter up the UI. "Commander, some frigates are having critical malfunctions!" or something.

My guess is someone has mentioned this at some point and so there's probably been a discussion about it, but what about allowing non-combat ships onto your fleet that do not count against your fleet limit. That would let players add tankers or maybe repair ships or other non-combat ships to a fleet that would never be put into combat (no weapons). If this was possible it makes sense to me that ships that are in a low CR state would actually become non-combat ships until such a time as their CR increases enough to allow them to be deployed. Non-combat ships in a losing fleet are either boarded or scuttled at the end of combat.

Lastly, I have to agree with many of the other guys that have been posting about frigate usefulness once you have amassed enough for a cruiser and a cap ship. I do like having 2 frigates around for capturing nodes early in combat so I can field more ships, but beyond that I mostly use them to kill fighters. If on top of that their CR degrades to the point where they can't be fielded...I dunno that I'd bother fielding any and instead go with a fast destroyer.

Edit: Oh and one other point. Crew level affects CR loss/recovery rate right? faster/slower for green crew, and slower/faster for elites?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 21, 2013, 03:44:54 PM
My guess is someone has mentioned this at some point and so there's probably been a discussion about it, but what about allowing non-combat ships onto your fleet that do not count against your fleet limit. That would let players add tankers or maybe repair ships or other non-combat ships to a fleet that would never be put into combat (no weapons). If this was possible it makes sense to me that ships that are in a low CR state would actually become non-combat ships until such a time as their CR increases enough to allow them to be deployed. Non-combat ships in a losing fleet are either boarded or scuttled at the end of combat.

The way I see it it is exactly the interesting thing about non-combat ships is that they compete with combat ships about FP. That way you have to decide if you want a high-power low-endurance fleet without support or the opposite.


Lastly, I have to agree with many of the other guys that have been posting about frigate usefulness once you have amassed enough for a cruiser and a cap ship. I do like having 2 frigates around for capturing nodes early in combat so I can field more ships, but beyond that I mostly use them to kill fighters.

Specifically for those jobs frigates should be even better with the speed boost they'll get.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on February 21, 2013, 05:35:20 PM
I like the idea of it but I dislike the fact that frigs will be the only ones who are affected during combat.I think all ships should have the same treatment even if it is at a slower rate.Also I like the idea of combat affecting cr more then just time itself.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Dimuyen on February 21, 2013, 07:54:28 PM
The way I see it it is exactly the interesting thing about non-combat ships is that they compete with combat ships about FP. That way you have to decide if you want a high-power low-endurance fleet without support or the opposite.

I get what you're saying, but the reality is that it's a combat based game, so unless there's something really cool about them (which there isn't right now), I for one would never put them on my fleets..especially if I have to rotate some of the combat ships every other fight.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on February 21, 2013, 08:00:36 PM
well, it IS combat based right now, but I feel that's because combat is worked on first rather than anything else.

Economy and logistics, as alex said, will be a major part of the game as well
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Talkie Toaster on February 22, 2013, 09:18:20 AM
IMO the most 'elegant' way to implement the frigate fix would be to add an extra stat like 'Peak Readiness Time' (endurance?) to ships. That way there's a unified way to have ships like the Medusa or Aurora be less able to tank out battles, and also allows for slower 'escort' frigates and destroyers to exist, without saying things like "X suffers from readiness degredation" on some ships that suffer it and not others (if the default is frigates do, bigger ships don't). Then cruisers and above can have 5-10 minute times, making them more clearly the best choice for long fights. It also gives a clear mechanical stat to differentiate the high & low-tech ship types. Conveniently it'd also prevent things like taking on entire system defence fleets with tricked-out ships of any type- as long as there's a steady supply of reinforcements, you get worn down. Perhaps only cap-ships could be exempted, if anything?

That said symmetry for symmetry's sake is not always great, if it's only really frigates the mechanic is needed for expanding it to ships where it'll be largely irrelevant might not help.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 22, 2013, 11:29:13 AM
Right, keeping it simple. Hope it works out. Did you try kiting in a 0% CR frigate already, is it (more or less) impossible? I could imagine that a frigate with 15% worse stats and occasional engine problems is still capable of kiting with the right tactic (gliding a lot), especially if the fastest enemies and missiles have been taken care of at the beginning. And, you know, the last thing we'd want is to have kiting as a still effective, but now even more tedious tactic.

Just tried it some more. The degree of difficulty is much, much higher, but the Hyperion could still probably pull it off if it uses the teleporter as the primary means of movement. The Tempest might be able to do it, too, if it relies solely on the drone rather than risking direct attacks. The obvious thing here seems to disable system use at very low CR levels (say, 0%), so I'll try that.

Pure gliding and shooting might work to some degree, but I think one's luck would run out before the armor and hitpoints of an Onslaught, and you'd be hard pressed to flank anything or sustain enough damage to get through shields.


Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat

Yes, that looks more elegant/refined.

If retreat stops costing a command point, all of a sudden that really ups the burden on the player to watch every single ship for the optimal time to order a retreat. If it still costs a point, the optimal thing to do is likely to be batching those orders up, so it demands less attention and less constant status-checking.


Add me to the "ooh shiny" crowd  ;D

Various disjointed thoughts
Some ideas involving freighters/tankers have already been bounced around. Mine: how about "tender" functionality for these ships (perhaps with hullmods)? Such ships would keep the CR level of a fleet up, by (for instance) reducing CR losses during long voyages, and speeding up its recovery following combat.
If crew from other ships could help out with CR, it might give potential use to ships like the Valkyrie which I might've not used otherwise (except for as a giant marine transport for boarding).
Maintenance ships could also be great, increasing the rate at which CR comes back.

Right, definitely thinking along these lines here. Freighters would automatically do that to an extent by simply allowing the fleet to carry enough supplies...


This concept was so awesome it made me de-lurk, and go through the account process. I'm a bit worried I got the "average number of ears" question wrong though.

Welcome :)

With this blog post goes my occasional lurking on the comments sections ( goodbye blog comments and hello forums! )

But anyways, will CR regeneration be affected by overall crew level or by the amount of crew (with the higher crew levels being more effective at maintaining the ship )? And will crew from other ships be able to help out?

Welcome to you as well!

It might be. Since the crew level already affects the maximum, I'm not sure it's necessary. It may be too much balance-wise to have it also affect the recovery rate, and it might be making things too complex. Will have to see, but initially, likely no.


IMO the most 'elegant' way to implement the frigate fix would be to add an extra stat like 'Peak Readiness Time' (endurance?) to ships. That way there's a unified way to have ships like the Medusa or Aurora be less able to tank out battles, and also allows for slower 'escort' frigates and destroyers to exist, without saying things like "X suffers from readiness degredation" on some ships that suffer it and not others (if the default is frigates do, bigger ships don't). Then cruisers and above can have 5-10 minute times, making them more clearly the best choice for long fights. It also gives a clear mechanical stat to differentiate the high & low-tech ship types. Conveniently it'd also prevent things like taking on entire system defence fleets with tricked-out ships of any type- as long as there's a steady supply of reinforcements, you get worn down. Perhaps only cap-ships could be exempted, if anything?

That said symmetry for symmetry's sake is not always great, if it's only really frigates the mechanic is needed for expanding it to ships where it'll be largely irrelevant might not help.

Pretty much agree with everything. Especially the part about "symmetry for symmetry's sake" :)

There *is* a stat exctly like that, btw. As a nod to symmetry, not ALL frigates degrade during combat (the Brawler doesn't), and not all destroyers don't (the Buffalo Mk. II does). But, only having capital ships be exempt from this is a really interesting idea. Definitely something I'll keep in mind while seeing how this plays out.


well, it IS combat based right now, but I feel that's because combat is worked on first rather than anything else.

Economy and logistics, as alex said, will be a major part of the game as well

Right, yes. Right now there are quite a few ships that are less than useful. Tankers and crew transports don't have much of a role. Freighters do have one but it's still not quite enough to really justify their existence quite yet.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Upgradecap on February 22, 2013, 11:51:23 AM


Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat

Yes, that looks more elegant/refined.

If retreat stops costing a command point, all of a sudden that really ups the burden on the player to watch every single ship for the optimal time to order a retreat. If it still costs a point, the optimal thing to do is likely to be batching those orders up, so it demands less attention and less constant status-checking.



I feel that this wouldn't apply to me at all, since i never retreat. Ever. I rather let my ships die instead of retreat (Because retreating is seen as a failure), and if you need to retreat major portions of your fleet, you've already failed.

Other than that, CR seems like a nice feature, although i'm slightly worried if it'll bring about an unneeded level of micro.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Harabeck on February 22, 2013, 12:46:48 PM
Do you have any plans to force support ships into the line of fire? As I understand the way things stand, there is never any reason to deploy them into a battle. Their downside purely comes from the FP they use up and the amount they slow the fleet down. Just thinking about the general setting, it seems like targeting support ships would be a pretty logical way to weaken a force over the long run. I'm imagining being able to set or fall into ambushes somehow and one side having to deal with the vulnerability of their tankers.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: naufrago on February 22, 2013, 02:33:26 PM
Something I just thought of, how does CR interact with armor repair after battle? Will armor be fully repaired at the cost of a proportional amount of CR, will armor repair progress at the rate it does now, or will it be something in between?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Jeff on February 22, 2013, 02:54:20 PM
I'd like to see small fleets able to choose not to field freighters (and ships you just capped and want to sell or repair + refit) by way of the deploy menu rather than the annoying but effective method of maintaining crew just short of their minimum reqs, but give them a mechanic that makes deploying freighters something players would possibly want to do. Like people have suggested, give them a mechanic that is similar to the carrier, only for frigates (and maybe destroyers) that would restore some portion of their readiness. Maybe refreshing some of their CR, reloading a portion of ammo. Never enough to return them to 100%, but enough keep them fighting a little longer assuming they're not heavily damaged.

Also, as for the kiting thing, since what has a player stepping on the thrusters is all the starting/stopping that kiting requires, what about something that would act like fuel, but for combat, such that they could only kite for so long? Maybe before having to stop at a freighter. Or just tell people that if they really want to spend hours making the Hegemony SDF retreat one ship at a time then that's their loss. I mean, it really is more of a gimmick than the optimal way to play, since by just bringing larger ships you could actually destroy/capture that fleet, and also be able to bring home the loot.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Dreyven on February 22, 2013, 03:28:01 PM

There *is* a stat exctly like that, btw. As a nod to symmetry, not ALL frigates degrade during combat (the Brawler doesn't), and not all destroyers don't (the Buffalo Mk. II does). But, only having capital ships be exempt from this is a really interesting idea. Definitely something I'll keep in mind while seeing how this plays out.


But what about the beatiful, the magnificent Omen?
It would break my heart to loose my missile/fighter shield in long battles
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 22, 2013, 06:04:12 PM
Or retreating costs CR and if you are at 0 CR then you can still retreat

Yes, that looks more elegant/refined.

If retreat stops costing a command point, all of a sudden that really ups the burden on the player to watch every single ship for the optimal time to order a retreat. If it still costs a point, the optimal thing to do is likely to be batching those orders up, so it demands less attention and less constant status-checking.

Why not just put easy to read sign, like a life bar for CR for all of your ships on tactical map?  It's not like tactical map is anywhere near crowded.

Besides, bigger problem would be command point shortage anyways.  Command points are already so scarce yet so negligible in their positive effects (outside of most generic order of 'capture nav point A') that I am already encouraged to ignore command point system and to simply outfit AI ships to be more defensive so that they can just brute force their way out of the idiocy they sometime dwell in.

If frigates were to become this liability that require a command point per single frigate or else put my elite pilots in jeopardy, I imagine I for one would simply stop using frigates because it's already hard enough to justify frigates once cruisers come into play (outside of hyperion flagship).

Or take this approach... if players are suppose to order retreat to frigates/ships with low CR... shouldn't us players already be keeping an eye out for CR on all of our ships?  So where would this extra burden come from if retreat were to cost CR instead of command point?  You mentioned something about optimal order but I don't see how the optimal timing for retreat change because of the resource change since the cause/trigger for retreat remains identical (low CR).

Anyway thanks for feedback!
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Degraine on February 22, 2013, 07:34:35 PM
I assume this means there's going to be a new Leadership skill for improving CR regeneration. Or reducing the hit you take when deploying ships. Perhaps both!
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 22, 2013, 08:03:08 PM
Do you have any plans to force support ships into the line of fire? As I understand the way things stand, there is never any reason to deploy them into a battle. Their downside purely comes from the FP they use up and the amount they slow the fleet down. Just thinking about the general setting, it seems like targeting support ships would be a pretty logical way to weaken a force over the long run. I'm imagining being able to set or fall into ambushes somehow and one side having to deal with the vulnerability of their tankers.

Yes. I'd like to see these ships in battle more, though not because of some in-combat benefit they might provide. I'm more or less settled on support ships having their benefits apply outside combat. The campaign needs more interesting mechanics, while combat is already chock-full of stuff.

Something I just thought of, how does CR interact with armor repair after battle? Will armor be fully repaired at the cost of a proportional amount of CR, will armor repair progress at the rate it does now, or will it be something in between?

It doesn't, those are separate.

Also, as for the kiting thing, since what has a player stepping on the thrusters is all the starting/stopping that kiting requires, what about something that would act like fuel, but for combat, such that they could only kite for so long?

Erm, you've basically just described CR, but called it fuel :) Yeah, not 100% identical, but...


Why not just put easy to read sign, like a life bar for CR for all of your ships on tactical map?  It's not like tactical map is anywhere near crowded.

Yeah, that's already there, right next to the life bar.

Besides, bigger problem would be command point shortage anyways.  Command points are already so scarce yet so negligible in their positive effects (outside of most generic order of 'capture nav point A') that I am already encouraged to ignore command point system and to simply outfit AI ships to be more defensive so that they can just brute force their way out of the idiocy they sometime dwell in.

If frigates were to become this liability that require a command point per single frigate or else put my elite pilots in jeopardy, I imagine I for one would simply stop using frigates because it's already hard enough to justify frigates once cruisers come into play (outside of hyperion flagship).

Or take this approach... if players are suppose to order retreat to frigates/ships with low CR... shouldn't us players already be keeping an eye out for CR on all of our ships?  So where would this extra burden come from if retreat were to cost CR instead of command point?  You mentioned something about optimal order but I don't see how the optimal timing for retreat change because of the resource change since the cause/trigger for retreat remains identical (low CR).

What I mean by "optimal" is "optimal play". If retreat orders are unlimited, then "optimal play" requires you to order retreats for damaged ships at precisely the right moments, and to do that, you'd have to constantly watch the map. If it requries a command point, though, you're going to batch up orders anyway, so when you decide to give some orders, you'll also look around for whatever makes sense to retreat, and do it then. So it's a mode of interaction that doesn't intrude on the piloting portion of the game as much.

I hope that makes sense. In the early versions of the game, you had completely unlimited orders... which made microing everything as much as possible "optimal". That just doesn't let you focus on the piloting nearly enough. Given how that worked out (or, rather, didn't), I'm extremely wary of allowing unlimited orders for anything.


As to whether frigates are "worth it", honestly, that's a side issue to this discussion. Making sure that they are would be a balance issue, whether it's from something they do in combat, or a way they behave in the campaign, or a combination of the two. There's nothing inherent to this mechanic that's going to make them worth it or not, and it's not like everything else about frigates is being held static - they're actually getting a speed buff to go along with this.

I could easily see frigates being stronger on the whole just because they regain CR out of combat faster.

I assume this means there's going to be a new Leadership skill for improving CR regeneration. Or reducing the hit you take when deploying ships. Perhaps both!

Probably at some point, but not initially. I'd like to get a good feel for how the basic mechanics of it work before mucking with skills that muck with it. Muck.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Harabeck on February 22, 2013, 08:08:45 PM
Yes. I'd like to see these ships in battle more, though not because of some in-combat benefit they might provide. I'm more or less settled on support ships having their benefits apply outside combat. The campaign needs more interesting mechanics, while combat is already chock-full of stuff.

Yeah, I didn't mean make them useful in combat; just that they need to be vulnerable to attack at times.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 23, 2013, 05:15:42 AM
Besides, bigger problem would be command point shortage anyways.  Command points are already so scarce yet so negligible in their positive effects (outside of most generic order of 'capture nav point A') that I am already encouraged to ignore command point system and to simply outfit AI ships to be more defensive so that they can just brute force their way out of the idiocy they sometime dwell in.

If frigates were to become this liability that require a command point per single frigate or else put my elite pilots in jeopardy, I imagine I for one would simply stop using frigates because it's already hard enough to justify frigates once cruisers come into play (outside of hyperion flagship).

Or take this approach... if players are suppose to order retreat to frigates/ships with low CR... shouldn't us players already be keeping an eye out for CR on all of our ships?  So where would this extra burden come from if retreat were to cost CR instead of command point?  You mentioned something about optimal order but I don't see how the optimal timing for retreat change because of the resource change since the cause/trigger for retreat remains identical (low CR).

What I mean by "optimal" is "optimal play". If retreat orders are unlimited, then "optimal play" requires you to order retreats for damaged ships at precisely the right moments, and to do that, you'd have to constantly watch the map. If it requries a command point, though, you're going to batch up orders anyway, so when you decide to give some orders, you'll also look around for whatever makes sense to retreat, and do it then. So it's a mode of interaction that doesn't intrude on the piloting portion of the game as much.

I hope that makes sense. In the early versions of the game, you had completely unlimited orders... which made microing everything as much as possible "optimal". That just doesn't let you focus on the piloting nearly enough. Given how that worked out (or, rather, didn't), I'm extremely wary of allowing unlimited orders for anything.


As to whether frigates are "worth it", honestly, that's a side issue to this discussion. Making sure that they are would be a balance issue, whether it's from something they do in combat, or a way they behave in the campaign, or a combination of the two. There's nothing inherent to this mechanic that's going to make them worth it or not, and it's not like everything else about frigates is being held static - they're actually getting a speed buff to go along with this.

I could easily see frigates being stronger on the whole just because they regain CR out of combat faster.

Ok that clears things up a lot more, thanks again.  I still do have worries that this will further paint the command points not as a positive-"these are cool orders I can give!" but as negative-"I can only give this many orders so I better make sure my ships don't rely on them".  That may be just a huge lack of understanding on my part thus far, but really the only ship that feels like it warrants special care enough to invest a whole command point into is carrier for me.  I tried whole wings of bombers in rally point based flanking but it was awkward and not that useful as AI was just too scattered to make non-nav point based play much relevance.  How strong would frigates have to be a command point hog when even a whole fleet of flanking bomber wings is questionable?  It would take a whole lot of functionality for me to be convinced of bringing along ships that require dedicated command point babysitting (carrier being example as it's core part of carrier-fleet play)... am I just missing something here or is that how it should be and I"m getting wrong vibe ("reliance on command point for functionality is a penalty" vibe) on this for no reason?

This may be too off topic though so I understand if you don't want to focus on this too much on this thread.  And again thanks for such great feedback!  It's rare and awesome to see such 'ground level' reasoning behind lot of design choices.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on February 23, 2013, 05:55:35 AM
Would not the problem of kiting be solved by lowering weapon range? Frigs with high speed have less targeting computers as well as less power for engines?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 23, 2013, 06:12:52 AM
Would not the problem of kiting be solved by lowering weapon range? Frigs with high speed have less targeting computers as well as less power for engines?

No, kiting is a bit of a generalization. We also mean tactics where you dash in, deal damage, retreat, recover, repeat. Nothing to do with range. (Is there an English term for Nadelstichtaktik (needle-stick tactic)?)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: BillyRueben on February 23, 2013, 07:31:43 AM
Would not the problem of kiting be solved by lowering weapon range? Frigs with high speed have less targeting computers as well as less power for engines?

That's already there (indirectly). Frigates (usually) can't mount the larger weapons, which (generally) have longer ranges. Then you also have to consider the Targeting Computer buff which increases weapon range based on hull category.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: harrumph on February 23, 2013, 07:48:04 AM
(Is there an English term for Nadelstichtaktik (needle-stick tactic)?)
I think "sting" or "prick" is a better translation of "Stich." You can say "pinprick attacks" or "pinprick tactics" in English. People also say "death by a thousand cuts."
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: friday on February 23, 2013, 08:07:30 AM
(Is there an English term for Nadelstichtaktik (needle-stick tactic)?)
I think "sting" or "prick" is a better translation of "Stich." You can say "pinprick attacks" or "pinprick tactics" in English. People also say "death by a thousand cuts."

Guerilla Warfare or hit-and-run tactics come to my mind then.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Wyvern on February 23, 2013, 10:12:59 AM
Besides, bigger problem would be command point shortage anyways.  Command points are already so scarce yet so negligible in their positive effects (outside of most generic order of 'capture nav point A') that I am already encouraged to ignore command point system and to simply outfit AI ships to be more defensive so that they can just brute force their way out of the idiocy they sometime dwell in.

If frigates were to become this liability that require a command point per single frigate or else put my elite pilots in jeopardy, I imagine I for one would simply stop using frigates because it's already hard enough to justify frigates once cruisers come into play (outside of hyperion flagship).

Or take this approach... if players are suppose to order retreat to frigates/ships with low CR... shouldn't us players already be keeping an eye out for CR on all of our ships?  So where would this extra burden come from if retreat were to cost CR instead of command point?  You mentioned something about optimal order but I don't see how the optimal timing for retreat change because of the resource change since the cause/trigger for retreat remains identical (low CR).

What I mean by "optimal" is "optimal play". If retreat orders are unlimited, then "optimal play" requires you to order retreats for damaged ships at precisely the right moments, and to do that, you'd have to constantly watch the map. If it requries a command point, though, you're going to batch up orders anyway, so when you decide to give some orders, you'll also look around for whatever makes sense to retreat, and do it then. So it's a mode of interaction that doesn't intrude on the piloting portion of the game as much.

I hope that makes sense. In the early versions of the game, you had completely unlimited orders... which made microing everything as much as possible "optimal". That just doesn't let you focus on the piloting nearly enough. Given how that worked out (or, rather, didn't), I'm extremely wary of allowing unlimited orders for anything.
Could we get, instead, some generic fleet-level orders?  Here are some examples of things I'd like to be able to do:
1: Have fighter squadrons automatically retreat if I have no carrier in play and they're damaged to the point where they'd normally automatically go repair.
2: Be able to adjust when fighter squadrons go to repair - in particular, I want two-fighter squadrons to be much more paranoid, heading for cover at around 60-75% total wing health+armor, instead of staying in combat when one fighter is down but the other is still untouched.
3: Have frigates automatically retreat at some specific CR level.
4: Have some special-purpose ships, like Buffalo IIs and Vigilances, retreat when they're out of LRMs.

This would give the player the ability to deal with things like ships needing to retreat at particular times, without having to micromanage the exact details.  Add a combat status message when a ship decides it's time to retreat, and the player could go cancel the order (at the cost of a command point) if the situation really called for it.  Or, y'know, they could just turn automatic retreat off if they didn't want it.

The above list just dealt with retreating, but there are some other things I'd like - for example, the ability to tell fighter squadrons to avoid capital ships, period, unless explicitly ordered to engage.  I'd rather my wasp wings didn't get anywhere near an enemy onslaught, thanks.

...You may notice a theme to some of my suggestions, here.  In general, I'd like to be able to fine-tune AI behaviors to better match what I want out of them; the same theme is behind my repeated suggestion of being able to adjust autofire targetting priorities.  An ideal battle, for me, would be one where I come in, set a couple of capture commands, maybe deploy a few more ships once I have some nodes under my control, and otherwise spend the time flying my flagship and trusting that the rest of my fleet will do useful things on their own.  I don't want to have to pay attention to CR levels of my frigates and give them even batch retreat commands.  I don't want to have to pause, set my target to an individual enemy fighter, unpause, repeat, just so my phase beam turrets will actually kill off fighters instead of the destroyer I'm busily firing my plasma cannon at.  Etc.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Harabeck on February 23, 2013, 12:24:29 PM
I also like the idea of being able to tweak certain AI parameters outside of battle. I always found that to be a neat aspect of Dragon Age, and it would be even more useful here.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on February 23, 2013, 12:58:45 PM
for the retreat thing, I think it could be made free, or even free for all ships

then, when ships reach a certain health dependent on their stats and perhaps officer personality when it comes in, they can request permission to disengage (maybe a message comes up on your sidebar and their radar symbol on the edge of your screen starts flashing) at which point you can go to tactical and order them for free

maybe then they can auto retreat, again depending on health and officer personality. At another health threshold the ship will rout, retreating regardless of order, and you get another message saying ISS Example (Lasher-Class) has routed

maybe this should be a whole new topic, just thought I'd post it here for now
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 23, 2013, 01:06:33 PM
Yeah, this is getting entirely off-topic, so let's keep anything no directly CR-related out of this thread.

(As far as allowing AI parameters to be tweaked ("retreat at X% hull/CR", etc), it's not a road I want to go down. It sounds simple, but would imo introduce more problems than it would solve, and would ultimately need to be pretty intricate to work well, assuming it could actually be beaten into shape. Tweaking ship AI also isn't something I'm keen on having as part of the gameplay, as it's one of those things where if you have it at all, players have to use it to play optimally.

As far as fighter targeting, that could just be resolved by auto-targeting the nearest fighter when a targeted fighter is destroyed...)

@Gaizokubanou: Well, I did mention possibly having more command points to start with. Again, a balancing issue :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: CopperCoyote on February 23, 2013, 02:05:53 PM
Will there be a marker or notification that your ships are losing CR during a fight?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 23, 2013, 02:43:36 PM
Will there be a marker or notification that your ships are losing CR during a fight?

Yes, on the Command UI there will be a CR bar next to the hull bar of each ship.


Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.

Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50? 
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 23, 2013, 04:15:05 PM
Funny, one of the ideas I'm considering actually is having fighter refit use up carrier CR instead of supplies directly. This is good, probably means that it's a natural way to handle it.

Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50? 

Whoa, nice catch.  That would be superb way to further balance the carriers beside the hangar slot and some minor weapon loadout difference.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Degraine on February 23, 2013, 05:00:21 PM
(As far as allowing AI parameters to be tweaked ("retreat at X% hull/CR", etc), it's not a road I want to go down. It sounds simple, but would imo introduce more problems than it would solve, and would ultimately need to be pretty intricate to work well, assuming it could actually be beaten into shape. Tweaking ship AI also isn't something I'm keen on having as part of the gameplay, as it's one of those things where if you have it at all, players have to use it to play optimally.

If I wanted that kind of gameplay, I'd play Gratuitous Space Battles.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on February 23, 2013, 05:32:45 PM
I think one of the problems is if you add human intelligence to your entire fleet it would be a massacre.It would require (prob) alot of rework to the enemy ai to adapt to your tactics. You can already wtf slaughter the ai by controlling 1 ship yourself so imagine if you did all ships.Anyway thats my guess.I am on your side tho.I really wish to be able to set parameters for my wings and ships.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Sonlirain on February 23, 2013, 06:55:16 PM
Good - All those freighters and tankers will now have a real use!
Bad - Playing with one ship will likely become impossible (My dreams of being a solo mercentary Minotaur captain just got shattered since i will have to keep at least 2 support frigates in tow now).
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Degraine on February 23, 2013, 09:12:34 PM
We still haven't seen the full picture yet, don't forget that crew rating does affect readiness, so it should be (ideally) entirely possible to maintain a single ship. It might even be easier if there's some kind of logistics penalty for larger fleets.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Histidine on February 23, 2013, 10:35:51 PM
Cargo bay/fuel tank hullmods so solo ships can go on adventures without a supply bus in tow?
(Obviously needs to not be better for "normal" (multi-ship) fleets than bringing actual supply ships)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: FloW on February 24, 2013, 01:23:21 AM
I've started a "Only-Frig" playthrough to check how long most of my battles take and realized one thing:
If I take on a hostile fleet that is too large to be destroyed within about 3-5 minutes and I decide to retreat, my fleet gets either destroyed or heavily damaged. Will I just have to attack smaller fleets or will frigates be immune to "damage by retreating", thus allowing more of a hit-and-run style?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: zakastra on February 24, 2013, 02:11:41 AM
I know that adding skills is something to wait on until after the initial implementation, and the feedback from the howling masses, but I think it would be good if it were touched on in more than one skill tree, Leadership could have a strong effect through Drills, high crew morale and discipline, But technology could also achieve the same or better results through more robust components and systems, Multiple redundancy, and system reconfiguration, Combat through a near perfect understanding of just how far and when you can push your beloved baby and Industry from a steady supply of superior grade, high quality parts and materials, and small luxuries for the crew
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Hypilein on February 24, 2013, 04:25:10 AM
Cargo bay/fuel tank hullmods so solo ships can go on adventures without a supply bus in tow?
(Obviously needs to not be better for "normal" (multi-ship) fleets than bringing actual supply ships)

I think this is something for mods to do. (I think it's possible already?). Generally a lot of things that are for very specific playstyles can be done by utility mods and I expect to see more of them to deal with those issues rather than screwing with overall game balance.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Degraine on February 24, 2013, 05:38:48 PM
So how is CR going to work with auto-resolve? Do we have to pick what ships to send in before hitting the 'let your 2IC handle the engagement' button, or will it just sort of figure that out itself?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 24, 2013, 06:18:07 PM
So how is CR going to work with auto-resolve? Do we have to pick what ships to send in before hitting the 'let your 2IC handle the engagement' button, or will it just sort of figure that out itself?


Good question; still working it out. I'm not all that sure auto-resolve is necessary right now, if there's still incentive to fight a challenging battle even if your fleet outmatches the enemy. But, yeah, still working on that.

I'd hope that it will stay in some quick and rough form that allows you to autoresolve if you don't care too much about CR inefficiency. Maybe auto-use a fleet strength of enemy FP+50% or something. Selecting the ships to participate from hand is just too tedious for a quick resolve feature.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 24, 2013, 06:20:47 PM
Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50? 

Not quite certain how the details will pan out, but that seems likely.

Good - All those freighters and tankers will now have a real use!
Bad - Playing with one ship will likely become impossible (My dreams of being a solo mercentary Minotaur captain just got shattered since i will have to keep at least 2 support frigates in tow now).

I wouldn't go quite that far with conclusions quite yet :)

I've started a "Only-Frig" playthrough to check how long most of my battles take and realized one thing:
If I take on a hostile fleet that is too large to be destroyed within about 3-5 minutes and I decide to retreat, my fleet gets either destroyed or heavily damaged. Will I just have to attack smaller fleets or will frigates be immune to "damage by retreating", thus allowing more of a hit-and-run style?

This touches on what's likely to be the subject of the next blog post, so I'll just talk about it then. Not ready to discuss it yet.


I know that adding skills is something to wait on until after the initial implementation, and the feedback from the howling masses, but I think it would be good if it were touched on in more than one skill tree, Leadership could have a strong effect through Drills, high crew morale and discipline, But technology could also achieve the same or better results through more robust components and systems, Multiple redundancy, and system reconfiguration, Combat through a near perfect understanding of just how far and when you can push your beloved baby and Industry from a steady supply of superior grade, high quality parts and materials, and small luxuries for the crew

Good points all, I think.


So how is CR going to work with auto-resolve? Do we have to pick what ships to send in before hitting the 'let your 2IC handle the engagement' button, or will it just sort of figure that out itself?

There's a good chance that the autoresolve option won't be available in the next release. It might not, though, or it could come back later.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 24, 2013, 06:51:16 PM
The upcoming campaign changes, do you think they will work well within the scope of a single system? Or will we need.. more? Cough.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 24, 2013, 07:17:11 PM
The upcoming campaign changes, do you think they will work well within the scope of a single system? Or will we need.. more? Cough.

Good question :) I suspect they might not. In fact, regardless of how much coughing-induced-inference actually pans out for the next version, I wouldn't be surprised if the next release is less... stand-alone, I guess you could say. Corvus is just full of stuff right now - all the ships, weapons, factions, a ton of fleets.

Until the "real" campaign mechanics and content reach a critical mass, though, things might get a little awkward. I'll definitely have to pare down from the overflowing state Corvus is in right now, but I'm also not planning on spending a whole lot of time building temporary scaffolding around these "real" mechanics. So, you might see a build where a lot of ships or weapons simply aren't available in whatever corner of the Sector it features, that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on February 24, 2013, 07:23:30 PM
Quote
So, you might see a build where a lot of ships or weapons simply aren't available in whatever corner of the Sector it features, that sort of thing.

not sure if I'm reading this right....

So some features aren't gonna be available in campaign, despite being in the game? wha?

is this like the omen and the trident in older releases? Or is this something else?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 24, 2013, 07:35:22 PM
Quote
So, you might see a build where a lot of ships or weapons simply aren't available in whatever corner of the Sector it features, that sort of thing.

not sure if I'm reading this right....

So some features aren't gonna be available in campaign, despite being in the game? wha?

is this like the omen and the trident in older releases? Or is this something else?

Yeah, pretty much. Like I said before, Corvus has everything and the kitchen sink in it, and that's not sustainable going forward, not until that critical mass is reached. I mean, you're probably not going to be facing the Hegemony SDF until the Hegemony actually "works" and the mechanics/economy support it, and on the flip side, you might not have access to Onslaughts, either, because no-one has the wherewithal so sell/manufacture them.

Could do something like a station with all the ships/weapons, ofc, but that might not be desirable for other reasons. So, will have to see. I'll do my best to make each release as playable as possible, for some value of "my best" that doesn't involve an undue amount of effort that's wasted long-term.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 24, 2013, 08:52:55 PM
The upcoming campaign changes, do you think they will work well within the scope of a single system? Or will we need.. more? Cough.

Good question :) I suspect they might not. In fact, regardless of how much coughing-induced-inference actually pans out for the next version, I wouldn't be surprised if the next release is less... stand-alone, I guess you could say. Corvus is just full of stuff right now - all the ships, weapons, factions, a ton of fleets.

Until the "real" campaign mechanics and content reach a critical mass, though, things might get a little awkward. I'll definitely have to pare down from the overflowing state Corvus is in right now, but I'm also not planning on spending a whole lot of time building temporary scaffolding around these "real" mechanics. So, you might see a build where a lot of ships or weapons simply aren't available in whatever corner of the Sector it features, that sort of thing.
Quote from: Patch Notes

Added to SectorAPI:
List<StarSystemAPI> getStarSystems() // returns just the one atm
Called it, don't get me wrong combat is fun and all but when sectors (or is it systems) are added that is when the real fun begins <Devil/EvilGrinEmoticonThatTheForumInexplicablyLacks>

what are the chances that one could it so that certain ships lose CR at a faster rate than others?

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: naufrago on February 24, 2013, 09:17:02 PM
I know that adding skills is something to wait on until after the initial implementation, and the feedback from the howling masses, but I think it would be good if it were touched on in more than one skill tree, Leadership could have a strong effect through Drills, high crew morale and discipline, But technology could also achieve the same or better results through more robust components and systems, Multiple redundancy, and system reconfiguration, Combat through a near perfect understanding of just how far and when you can push your beloved baby and Industry from a steady supply of superior grade, high quality parts and materials, and small luxuries for the crew

Good points all, I think.

In that case, you could also make the argument that you can improve the various stats associated with CR just by leveling up. Being more experienced and wiser for it, a captain would understand the importance of efficiency, being prepared, and how to achieve that.

It's hard to say what aptitude in particular CR would fall under. I mean, Leadership is probably the most obvious one since it's currently the most lacking in choices, but for any other aptitude I feel that any CR bonus should be consigned to lv5 or lv10 perks rather than being the main focus of a skill. Just my 2¢.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on February 25, 2013, 08:32:02 AM
Until the "real" campaign mechanics and content reach a critical mass, though, things might get a little awkward. I'll definitely have to pare down from the overflowing state Corvus is in right now, but I'm also not planning on spending a whole lot of time building temporary scaffolding around these "real" mechanics. So, you might see a build where a lot of ships or weapons simply aren't available in whatever corner of the Sector it features, that sort of thing.

Will currently completed ships/weapons still be in the installation for those who just want to mess around (as in, could we just edit some campaign/save files to access those ships)?  Either way it's alpha so there is no logical qualm to be had with your decision but it would be a small but nice bonus :)

I concur with you naufrago.  We can always find some justification to fit CR bonus into any of the aptitude.  So might as well as go for balance/fun reason.  And since leadership is most barren, it would fit in there nicely as some sort of 'administrative skill' deal.  If it spills over into other aptitudes, since they are mostly crowded (minus industry), same deal, should be some bonus but probably not a major skill.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 25, 2013, 10:01:50 AM
Maybe it would be good idea to make minimal crew requirements less of a hard cut with the help of CR. It always felt quite strange that, in effect, one single crewmen is all that divides 100% efficiency from total incapacity. Even now the state of under-crewed ships is "not combat ready", since that is a real parameter in the next release, why not use it? Maybe lower the base CR a under-crewed ship can archive, so it drops continuously from the normal ~50% at minimal crew requirements to 0% at ~75% of minimal crew requirements. I would not even mint if you had to increase those min requirements  to balance that out, it would just feel more natural.

But maybe something like this is already planned anyway, you did not go into detail about the relationship of crew number and CR...

..maybe I should have started this with a question, ha



Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50?  
Not quite certain how the details will pan out, but that seems likely.
Yay :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on February 25, 2013, 05:47:14 PM
Will currently completed ships/weapons still be in the installation for those who just want to mess around (as in, could we just edit some campaign/save files to access those ships)?  Either way it's alpha so there is no logical qualm to be had with your decision but it would be a small but nice bonus :)

Oh, I wouldn't go through the trouble of actually taking stuff out. That would 1) take time and 2) be far too mean.

Maybe it would be good idea to make minimal crew requirements less of a hard cut with the help of CR. It always felt quite strange that, in effect, one single crewmen is all that divides 100% efficiency from total incapacity. Even now the state of under-crewed ships is "not combat ready", since that is a real parameter in the next release, why not use it? Maybe lower the base CR a under-crewed ship can archive, so it drops continuously from the normal ~50% at minimal crew requirements to 0% at ~75% of minimal crew requirements. I would not even mint if you had to increase those min requirements  to balance that out, it would just feel more natural.

But maybe something like this is already planned anyway, you did not go into detail about the relationship of crew number and CR...

..maybe I should have started this with a question, ha

Right :) The way I have it set up now is the crew fraction modifies both the maximum CR and the current CR. So, if you have an Onslaught at 80% CR out of 100% maximum, and you jettison half the crew, your CR instantly goes to 40%, while the maximum drops down to 50%. The CR will then recover up to 50%, and go back up above that once you get more crew.

The crew fraction is not taking crew level into account at the moment (i.e., if you have 10 green crew or 10 elites, doesn't matter for that specific calculation) because the crew level is already reflected in both the maximum and the current CR values.

Since <10% CR means you can't deploy the ship, in the absolute best case scenario (meaning, elite crew and a really good captain) a ship can deploy with 10% crew. Most ships would probably need about in the 20% range, assuming their CR is at its maximum, and more if it's lower.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Cycerin on February 25, 2013, 05:51:43 PM
So hyped about this and the combat/campaign layer transition changes. ;D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: factotum on February 26, 2013, 06:41:32 AM
It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning for introducing it, which basically seems to be "We want to stop people doing boring but effective things". Surely it should be up to the player if they choose to take an hour to destroy a fleet?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on February 26, 2013, 07:11:59 AM
It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure I agree with the reasoning for introducing it, which basically seems to be "We want to stop people doing boring but effective things". Surely it should be up to the player if they choose to take an hour to destroy a fleet?

In most cases where I found myself in that situation it was not much of a choice, though. I messed up, cot caught by a bigger fleet and could not retreat for some reason or another (EG under-crewed ships in tow). So the choice was between spending half an hour circling around bigger ships to tire them out, or give up on the progress I made in the hour before.

To say it more general, a player could feel forced to make a choice towards a boring play-stile because it gives him advantages in the game's reward system. It is better game design to make inherently interesting activities beneficial for the player.


Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50?  
Not quite certain how the details will pan out, but that seems likely.

I'm sure you're aware of it, there will have to be some way to limit the CR drain fighter repair would impose on carriers. Especially multi-purpose ships like the Odyssey or Venture would seriously suffer without it. I would hate a situation where suddenly my capital's engines begin to flicker because some Talon wing comes back for repairs every 15 seconds. Maybe  just a lower limit specific for every class (like 5% on a Condor, 25% on an Odyssey). Or a manual toggle. Mh...That could even be combined with a launch toggle button *cough (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=5018.0)*
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on February 26, 2013, 07:17:02 AM
***snip***
***snip***
in other words cuz balance 8) :D


*cough (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=5018.0)*
I really love this idea
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Lanvrik on February 27, 2013, 12:19:02 AM
Wondering if hull modifications have been considered as factors for combat readiness?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Thana on March 01, 2013, 12:44:59 AM
I only now saw this blog post. Gotta say, I really like this idea. I'm in general a fan of things being on a sliding scale rather than discrete or especially binary, and both the in-character reasoning and the gameplay aspects of this make a whole lotta sense to me.

In other words, Alex, you've done it again. You've seen a problem where most people wouldn't even notice one, and developed an effective, elegant solution for it that makes the game even better than it was before. Kudos to you, man! You rock!

I keep saying this, but most developers should take a look at Fractal Softworks for a model of how to do things. You may be a small house, but damned if your professionality isn't leaps and bounds above industry standards. (And I'm not even saying this because I agree with every single design decision made, but the ones where I disagree are few and far between as well as genuine differences of opinion.)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Flare on March 01, 2013, 02:26:06 AM
Would there be a way to tell a crew of a ship which functions they need to put at high priority when supplies are low? For example, I'm running low on supplies, and I tell my freighter to forget about maintaining the guns and just spend all your time on the engines when I'm plowing through pirate territory.

Heck, this could be done even without being low on supplies, it would at least be a way of mitigating some of that risk through preparation of some sort beforehand.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on March 01, 2013, 07:14:44 AM
Would there be a way to tell a crew of a ship which functions they need to put at high priority when supplies are low? For example, I'm running low on supplies, and I tell my freighter to forget about maintaining the guns and just spend all your time on the engines when I'm plowing through pirate territory.

Heck, this could be done even without being low on supplies, it would at least be a way of mitigating some of that risk through preparation of some sort beforehand.
Or even being able to say "Hey make sure that ship X Y and Z are on combat alert" giving them a boost in CR at the cost of supplies or CR from other ships in the fleet?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on March 02, 2013, 09:04:00 AM
Wondering if hull modifications have been considered as factors for combat readiness?

It's a distinct possibility.


Would that (finally) introduce a major performance difference to carriers? Like the Gemini being able to refit 5 wings and the Astral 50? 
Not quite certain how the details will pan out, but that seems likely.

I'm sure you're aware of it, there will have to be some way to limit the CR drain fighter repair would impose on carriers. Especially multi-purpose ships like the Odyssey or Venture would seriously suffer without it. I would hate a situation where suddenly my capital's engines begin to flicker because some Talon wing comes back for repairs every 15 seconds. Maybe  just a lower limit specific for every class (like 5% on a Condor, 25% on an Odyssey). Or a manual toggle. Mh...That could even be combined with a launch toggle button *cough (http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=5018.0)*

Right... yeah. Could just say that carrier CR doesn't dip into malfunction range due to refits (i.e. they stop 'em at that point), but too early to really talk about. Still not sure what form this is going to take.

I only now saw this blog post. Gotta say, I really like this idea. I'm in general a fan of things being on a sliding scale rather than discrete or especially binary, and both the in-character reasoning and the gameplay aspects of this make a whole lotta sense to me.

In other words, Alex, you've done it again. You've seen a problem where most people wouldn't even notice one, and developed an effective, elegant solution for it that makes the game even better than it was before. Kudos to you, man! You rock!

Not sure I'd consider finding a problem where others don't see one a compliment, necessarily, but I'll take it :) Glad you like the idea!

Would there be a way to tell a crew of a ship which functions they need to put at high priority when supplies are low? For example, I'm running low on supplies, and I tell my freighter to forget about maintaining the guns and just spend all your time on the engines when I'm plowing through pirate territory.

Heck, this could be done even without being low on supplies, it would at least be a way of mitigating some of that risk through preparation of some sort beforehand.

I'd say no. To my mind, that's going a bit too deep into managing things that aren't necessarily all that much fun to manage, and that you'd then have to manage since you can.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Thana on March 02, 2013, 11:02:42 AM
Not sure I'd consider finding a problem where others don't see one a compliment, necessarily, but I'll take it :) Glad you like the idea!

'course it is. I mean, refining things that have been done before is nothing to be sneezed at, but looking at stuff and going "hey, maybe this doesn't have to be the way everyone expects it to be..." is definitely a talent as well.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Uomoz on March 02, 2013, 11:52:24 AM
Not sure I'd consider finding a problem where others don't see one a compliment, necessarily, but I'll take it :) Glad you like the idea!

Increasing the complexity and deepness of the game is not what I define "finding problems".
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on March 02, 2013, 12:06:53 PM
Increasing the complexity and deepness of the game is not what I define "finding problems".

I'd say increasing the deepness without increasing the complexity (much) is they key. And that's what the CR mechanic promises to archive.

Otherwise you end up with very deep but also far too complex games like Dwarf Fortress.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on March 02, 2013, 12:15:30 PM
Not sure I'd consider finding a problem where others don't see one a compliment, necessarily, but I'll take it :) Glad you like the idea!

Increasing the complexity and deepness of the game is not what I define "finding problems".

Right; if anything, that's "creating problems" :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Harabeck on March 02, 2013, 07:10:01 PM
Well, I think depth is always a good thing, but complexity is often bad. Complexity can create depth, but you have to balance the two.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Uomoz on March 02, 2013, 11:29:25 PM
How can complexity in the game engine be bad? It's up to Alex to transform this complexity in an enjoyable form, but the problem of modern games is not "excessive complexity" for sure.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on March 03, 2013, 04:53:00 AM
The new engagement system may already prevent this, but since I don't know here's my concern anyway. It's potentially one of those "Boring but effective" tactics. If you have a fleet of many small vessels, you can potentially wear down a far superior fleet of few big ships. Engage, deploy one frigate (forcing the enemy to deploy his cruiser or so) and retreat. If you repeat this your enemy might run out of CR long before you do. Just something to consider and make unappealing.


How can complexity in the game engine be bad? It's up to Alex to transform this complexity in an enjoyable form, but the problem of modern games is not "excessive complexity" for sure.

Complexity is basically how much stuff is in a game, how many different mechanics there are and how many rules to learn. An example for a  very complex game would be a fully accurate flight simulator where all keys on the keyboard have a function. Here you'll have to spend hours with the manual to even get your plane of the ground.

Depth is what arises from complexity, it is how the mechanics mesh with each other and create opportunities for the player to make important decisions and have new experiences. You need some complexity to create depth, but the art is to get as much depth as possible with as little complexity as possible. An example would be Chess, or even better the Japanese Go. You can pick up the rules within minutes, they are not complex, but nobody would say those games lack depth.

So, complexity, or rather the justified fear of complexity, is still the culprit for the blandness of many modern games. To optimally use complexity to create depth is a difficult art, something you can't easily buy with money. So a publisher has little control over this. I think from their point of view the only way to make sure a game doesn't end up too complex is to limit it so much that there's no room for depth either. (This is overly simplified of course, there are many more aspects to consider.)

If anyone wants to continue this discussion please open a new thread.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on March 03, 2013, 11:48:40 AM
The new engagement system may already prevent this, but since I don't know here's my concern anyway. It's potentially one of those "Boring but effective" tactics. If you have a fleet of many small vessels, you can potentially wear down a far superior fleet of few big ships. Engage, deploy one frigate (forcing the enemy to deploy his cruiser or so) and retreat. If you repeat this your enemy might run out of CR long before you do. Just something to consider and make unappealing.

Actually, I think this could be a blessing in disguise.  This will mean that there will be a reason to balance your fleet out, instead of just massing the latest and the biggest ships available.

It is very 'gamey' though.  If every ships in a fleet took small CR loss regardless of their participation in the battle (consider it a cost of preparation), it would solve more extreme versions of this tactic.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Talkie Toaster on March 03, 2013, 12:36:01 PM
Actually, I think this could be a blessing in disguise.  This will mean that there will be a reason to balance your fleet out, instead of just massing the latest and the biggest ships available.
Ah, yes- it gives you a more strategic reason to have escorts. Harassed by frigates? Deploy your escort to counter them. No escort? You get gradually worn down.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on March 03, 2013, 01:01:29 PM
Forcing you to have a diverse fleet, that's a rather nice thought, actually. Even if the AI does not actively try to wear you down (which is unlikely), it prevents you from consecutively attacking many small fleets with superior ships to grind.

However, my concern was about the reversed scenario where you have the small ships. I guess it could be easily avoided by penalizing all retreating ships with a CR loss.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on March 03, 2013, 03:02:11 PM
Right, definitely something I'm aware of and working through the details of.

However, my concern was about the reversed scenario where you have the small ships. I guess it could be easily avoided by penalizing all retreating ships with a CR loss.

That's likely going to be part of it, but I don't think it's quite enough. Losing all the CR on a Hound could still be far less important than losing 20% CR on an Onslaught, after all.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Uomoz on March 03, 2013, 05:35:45 PM
Right, definitely something I'm aware of and working through the details of.

However, my concern was about the reversed scenario where you have the small ships. I guess it could be easily avoided by penalizing all retreating ships with a CR loss.

That's likely going to be part of it, but I don't think it's quite enough. Losing all the CR on a Hound could still be far less important than losing 20% CR on an Onslaught, after all.

Reducing the CR deploy cost for ships if a fight results in an enemy retreat?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gaizokubanou on March 03, 2013, 07:44:24 PM
Reducing the CR deploy cost for ships if a fight results in an enemy retreat?

That could encourage players into letting few ships retreat just so that they take lower CR hit.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on March 03, 2013, 07:49:14 PM
maybe you choose whether or not to give chase and only take more cr hit if you do but deal more after battle damage
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: zakastra on March 05, 2013, 03:06:21 AM
This makes sense, if the retreating fleet are frantically pushing their engines to escape, it only follows suit that its going to take a lot out of the pursuing fleet to hunt them down (Assuming there isn't a huge disparity in relative fleet speeds)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Reapy on March 05, 2013, 03:55:29 PM
One thought that jumped out as I was reading the blog post was what you mentioned about making certain ships the 'cheap workhorse' of galaxy, not really the most effective, but easy and cheap to repair and get its CR stat up quickly. It is a really nice mechanic to bridge the gap.

It is funny in ways I can liken a lot of the balance and gameplay here like an MMO, you sort are dealing with DPS burst vs slow burn, effects of movement, taking/armor stats, healing incoming (flux regen), kiting, etc.  The CR on frigates fits in neatly with enrage timers, which are used on a lot of boss fights, the idea being that you can now have avoidable mechanics that you can dance around forever if you are good enough, but have a 'soft' time limit to do so. Very nice I think.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Jazwana on March 05, 2013, 04:12:35 PM
Maybe have an option to deploy your ship(s) at a severely reduced CR level in-fight but then take less of a CR loss penalty after the fight?  That way if you're being nipped by a pack of hounds in your onslaught maybe you don't bring everyone to battle stations but just man a few guns here, few guns there, and keep the shield generator at 50% while you continue your merry way.

Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on March 05, 2013, 07:46:11 PM
Im sure you guys have thought of conecting thrust/speed with flux right? Could be another alternative way of balancing out frigs. If they use high speeds to pick at larger ships their flux takes a hit and consequently their firepower/defense. Larger ships would not take as much of a hit because they dont reach critical speeds.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: zakastra on March 06, 2013, 01:16:57 AM
Come now, the Enterprise is a pretty big ship, and they are breaking their engines going too fast practically every other episode, its not the actual speed that is critical, its how far you push that vessel past its intended cruising speed that causes the problems. An onslaught may need to go 5 SU faster for the same reasons that a frigate might push an extra 50, but the engine damage is going to be just as serious in each case.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on March 06, 2013, 03:48:07 AM
Ya thats kinda my point. Onslaught goes what 20? A frig can go 200? See the difference.it doesnt seem realistic to me that they both cant go the same speed unless they have different types of engines. Large ship engines are more suited for moving mass and smaller ones for speed. Large ships mostly try to get somewhere and frigs are constantly dodging missiles and working their hardest to get in and out of range without dieing. Also the enterprise could only hold their top speed for so long and thier engines would break down. There are alot of things that arent totally logical about the game like a top speed or that when you hit the thrusters you slow down or if gothar sug is added that when you coast you slow down. I also dont think adding a cr penalty only to frigs during battle is very realistic either. Itis a game and it seems logical that using engines would create heat or use power(flux)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on March 06, 2013, 07:00:31 AM
Cuz balance :)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on March 06, 2013, 09:47:21 AM
Ya or cuz balance
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Uomoz on March 06, 2013, 10:17:48 AM
Balance, in all things.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on March 06, 2013, 10:19:56 AM
Also sprinkle techno babble
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Aratoop on March 06, 2013, 10:33:31 AM
Not just balance. Go ahead and raise all speeds up to 1000000 (max combat speed is 666 I think). Do you know what happens?

It all goes to (a funny and amusing) hell.
Say I drive an Onslaught towards a ship. I happen to hold the w key too long and all a sudden my speed is 200. Now I wait as I fly by my target, barely firing a couple of shots at it.

It gets even worse with burn drive- Engage it once, and you're going 600 su/s. Do you know how hard it is to slow down in a huge ship? :p
Also, talons become op. Any ship with the ability to control these available speeds is essential to combat and can literaly run rings around the ships struggling to catch up/slow down.

And worst of all, the combat barrier. Hit it, and you're going 626 su/s in the opposite direction, facing wherever. In fact, you find yourself trying to keep speed down to control it. If only there was a barrier to stop me from going out of control...

Full circle.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Alex on March 06, 2013, 11:13:10 AM
Just FYI, the limit isn't 666 :) It's 600 + whatever acceleration a ship's engines can manage within a single frame, give or take.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: MindsEye on March 06, 2013, 03:26:22 PM
Just to clarify I am not advocating for unlimited speeds. It was merely an illustration to show that not everything can make perfect sense when it comes to a game.Mostly I am for making things make reasonable sense while keeping or raising the fun factor  ;)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Flare on March 07, 2013, 04:22:27 AM
Not just balance. Go ahead and raise all speeds up to 1000000 (max combat speed is 666 I think). Do you know what happens?

Aren't you just implementing reality in a very bad way?
There are lots of argument against a gameplay feature based in reality like this. It starts off by taking some aspect of reality, and then bashing it into the game in the worst possible way imaginable, and finally concluding that reality would never equal good gameplay if it's given precedent based on this example that was made to fail.

There are other means to make it such that reality and good gameplay go hand in hand. Drawing up an argument where you play out the opposing side with the worst possible argument imaginable (IE. where there is no attempt at integrating reality and gameplay at all) doesn't make it a very convincing one. In fact, it is a strawman.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Aratoop on March 07, 2013, 01:39:34 PM
Sorry about that. Never was very good at arguments :p

But still, the speeds you get now are good
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: CopperCoyote on March 07, 2013, 01:43:57 PM
Will we have more control over which ships join small scale engagements?
I've never paid close attention to what the FP totals have to be before you select which ships enter the fray. It would be useful to limit which ships fight even at small scale.

I know it probably won't be implemented right away (if ever) , but will there be some sort of sprite based display of low CR? Kind of like the awesome sparks when all the armor has been blown off in one area.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: naufrago on March 07, 2013, 05:15:58 PM
I was just thinking about the Tempest and something occurred to me. Instead of having Terminator drones slowly being regenerated for free, could you instead have the regeneration of Terminator drones be tied to CR? This could be applied to any drone, really.

You could have a pool of replacement drones that, once exhausted, could be replaced at the cost of CR. Recalling your drones could halt the process, so you don't have to waste CR replacing the drones if you don't want to.

So that brings up the question, are there any plans to make any ship system use tied to CR at all?
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Uomoz on March 07, 2013, 05:49:48 PM
I was just thinking about the Tempest and something occurred to me. Instead of having Terminator drones slowly being regenerated for free, could you instead have the regeneration of Terminator drones be tied to CR? This could be applied to any drone, really.

You could have a pool of replacement drones that, once exhausted, could be replaced at the cost of CR. Recalling your drones could halt the process, so you don't have to waste CR replacing the drones if you don't want to.

So that brings up the question, are there any plans to make any ship system use tied to CR at all?

All drone replacement could cost CR.

Awesome idea. That would make the recall function even more valuable and add more interesting choices in combat.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on March 08, 2013, 07:25:05 AM
I was just thinking about the Tempest and something occurred to me. Instead of having Terminator drones slowly being regenerated for free, could you instead have the regeneration of Terminator drones be tied to CR? This could be applied to any drone, really.

You could have a pool of replacement drones that, once exhausted, could be replaced at the cost of CR. Recalling your drones could halt the process, so you don't have to waste CR replacing the drones if you don't want to.

So that brings up the question, are there any plans to make any ship system use tied to CR at all?

All drone replacement could cost CR.

Awesome idea. That would make the recall function even more valuable and add more interesting choices in combat.
And it would make the terminator drone ever so slightly less OP :D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: cp252 on March 08, 2013, 04:01:49 PM
I've not been on these forums in a long time, but I'm here to say that this is the most genius game mechanic I've seen in a while. The amount of depth it adds, the number of events it could represent...
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: RawCode on March 09, 2013, 07:03:21 AM
Drones and fighters regeneration shoud be limited.

Like max 3 drones or 5 wings without additional cost to CR, it will be stupid when on drone deployment engine suddently gone offline...

deacceleration, shields, weapons shoud cost some CR, everything else shoud be included into deployment cost.

emp and hull\armor damage also shoud drain CR
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Talkie Toaster on March 10, 2013, 03:59:15 PM
Quote from: RawCode link=topic=5643.msg90958#msg90958

deacceleration, shields, weapons shoud cost some CR, everything else shoud be included into deployment cost.

emp and hull\armor damage also shoud drain CR
This, to me, seems like a really bad idea. It forces you to second-guess everything you do- the optimal behaviour is then to move as little as possible, shoot rarely, not use shields... Essentially not 'play' the game. Those actions are fun, they shouldn't be penalised. Reducing CR on hull damage is also a bit iffy as you already suffer a supply cost to repair- reducing CR in-battle from damage will lead to death-spirals. The most memorable fights are those where it comes down to the wire. With death spiral mechanics, they're rarer.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: PCCL on March 10, 2013, 05:31:34 PM
I don't think shooting, moving, and shielding should cost CR, but armor/hull damage that's likely to break something in the interior should.

I'm kinda bothered by the idea that a ship can function just fine right up until the moment everything breaks down and it's destroyed
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: BillyRueben on March 10, 2013, 05:34:04 PM
deacceleration, shields, weapons shoud cost some CR, everything else shoud be included into deployment cost.
I'm going to agree with Talkie Toaster. Making those actions cost CR wouldn't be fun, nor would it add that much depth to the game. It would just be annoying.

emp and hull\armor damage also shoud drain CR
These two however, I agree with, provided that hull/armor damage drains CR INDIRECTLY, as in the ship's CR drains as you repair the damage.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Gothars on March 11, 2013, 04:33:41 AM
I think CR cost for re-activating damaged subsystems would make hull/armor CR-degeneration superfluous, since the two things usually occur together.
What hull damage already influences is your long-term ability to regain CR, since it draws upon the same resource (supplies).

How about removing that ability away from EMP weapons and instead make it so that a damaged gun/engine decreases CR more? Maybe even let it decrease CR during a battle for all ship sizes? Repairing a module during a battle is something that might even involve a crew member going into space - you don't have to go into that much detail. I'm pretty sure that it's rather taxing on the crew, and if you fight a larger enemy you can decrease his effectiveness in battle by targeting his weapons/engines.

Interesting idea, and falls in line nicely with other things like missile weapon use reducing CR. Wrote it down as something to try out.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Histidine on March 14, 2013, 05:36:10 AM
From patch notes:
Quote
Extra CR cost for using missile weapons in combat, based on ammo remaining
Reduced missile ammo at below 30%, missile weapons at 0 ammo at 10%
Waaaaaaaaaai? Did missiles really need a nerf? (Also, why aren't ballistics affected?)
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: Thana on March 14, 2013, 12:04:44 PM
Waaaaaaaaaai? Did missiles really need a nerf? (Also, why aren't ballistics affected?)

This is actually a criticism I agree with - I rarely use missiles because they just don't seem very effective compared to ballistics and energy weapons, so making them costlier to use to boot seems like a bad call.
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: L33tGuilty on March 21, 2013, 09:09:20 AM
Ok, sounds good :) 

now ....



when does patch comes ?? :D
Title: Re: Combat Readiness
Post by: sdmike1 on March 21, 2013, 09:17:02 AM
Soon(TM) or Shortly(C) depending on your preference
(basically when it is ready)