Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics  (Read 1486 times)

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
    • View Profile
Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« on: May 27, 2020, 09:13:43 AM »

A couple of versions ago, we had a soft-limited fleet size, based on the logistical footprint of the ships in our fleet.  This wasn't set up perfectly - there was a basically-mandatory skill to boost the cap, since at default you could just barely field one capital ship - but it did have a number of advantages over the current fixed limit by number of ships.

The big one, though, the one that prompts me to actually write this suggestion: I believe that this change was the underlying driving force for the current game's inflated fleet sizes.  When an endgame player can field a dozen Paragons, the sorts of fleets that can pose a challenge to that are, uh, kinda boring and tedious to fight.

I don't like slogging through a pirate expedition multi-fleet blob that's thirty-plus Atlas IIs and supporting chaff.  I don't like having to fill my fleet with capital ships to have even a chance at taking on some Tri-Tachyon deserter bounty that's packed full of paragons and astrals and dooms.

And the thing is... as long as the player's fleet is limited by number of ships?  Those massive battles have to stay, because otherwise the player will still end up with a fleet full of capitals and cruisers and be able to just steamroll over anything smaller.

So please, bring back fleet cap by logistics.  Don't make a skill for it - that was a mistake last time around.  Maybe have it scale up by level if you need to?  80 at level one (plenty of room for game start, but you might have to pick and choose carefully if you luck into a salvageable capital ship), up to maybe 300 at max level - enough to accommodate a handful of capital ships, but not enough that you can just give every officer their own Paragon.
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 09:27:24 AM »

Honestly, imo I'd be best if there were no caps at all. No matter which system we will end up with, there's always gonna be an optimal strat. So why not just get rid of arbitrary numbers and let actual logistics be a thing that dictates how many ships can you field before draining supplies/fuel/credits like crazy.

I agree that the last system was more interesting than the current one, but if the logistics came back that scale by level as you suggest, then you're just gonna wait a bit before adding more ships. It's not like people are flying in capitals in early game. If you make logistic increase only upgradeable by spending credits, then it's just an annoying money sink, it would feel like a f2p grind.

Besides, Alex said he's doing something to reduce the scale of end game fleets so I guess we'll be seeing less capital spam? There was a screenshot on Twitter a good while ago showing an average new fleet but that's gonna be hard to find now.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 9529
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2020, 10:10:55 AM »

Even better if fighters became ships again so carriers can spend OP on guns and warship hullmods like they used to.  I am tired of the optimal carrier being the unarmed one that runs from everything while elite fighters do everything.  Also, commanding fighters to do stuff if player wanted.

As for OP, that would maybe help in ending multi-round combat slogs.

As for the picture, it appears at least as big as old 0.6.2 HSDF, plus violation of officer cap.
Logged

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2868
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2020, 10:32:26 AM »

Honestly, imo I'd be best if there were no caps at all. No matter which system we will end up with, there's always gonna be an optimal strat. So why not just get rid of arbitrary numbers and let actual logistics be a thing that dictates how many ships can you field before draining supplies/fuel/credits like crazy.
And the optimal strat for "no caps" is the same problematic "fill your fleet with capitals" that I'd like to see the game move away from.  Plus with colony income, limiting the player by only what they can afford to support would lead inevitably to even bigger fleets.  Your suggestion doesn't fix anything - it would actually make the problem worse!
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Havoc

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 10:40:06 AM »

sound nice
last run i tried frigate run...later also destroyers...ended with...I need power, now , cheap, so I get some drover and herons
fleet size was an problem and CR (and SO^^)
Logged

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 12:46:01 PM »

I've been thinking about this a bit and I think the best thing to reduce capital spam is to increase PPT across the board, or maybe more for smaller ships and less for bigger ones. Because even if logistics come back, there's always a problem when you need to fight multiple enemy fleets, or even worse a station + defense fleets. I've been in tons of battles where even cruiser PPT goes down to 0. Because of this in late game, my fleet consists mostly of cruisers, otherwise I'd probably use more escort ships.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

Terethall

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2020, 04:40:31 PM »

I've been thinking about this a bit and I think the best thing to reduce capital spam is to increase PPT across the board, or maybe more for smaller ships and less for bigger ones. Because even if logistics come back, there's always a problem when you need to fight multiple enemy fleets, or even worse a station + defense fleets. I've been in tons of battles where even cruiser PPT goes down to 0. Because of this in late game, my fleet consists mostly of cruisers, otherwise I'd probably use more escort ships.

PPT should just be inverse to speed of the ship. The only reason it exists as a concept is to prevent fast frigates from endlessly kiting. If people choose high PPT over high speed ships, that's a sign that the tradeoff is too severe and high speed ships need to be stronger. Is there any good reason this isn't already the case?
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 9529
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2020, 05:03:23 PM »

PPT times were set mostly during 0.6.x when endgame fleets were no bigger than a modern 200k bounty, and multi-fleet battles were not possible.  In addition, skills were more (offensively) powerful and the AI was less cowardly and more willing to fight like a man.  PPT has not kept up with fleet bloat.

Today, even capitals can run out of PPT if the player is not powerful enough and/or map size is too small, and may need to resort to multi-round combat to reset PPT periodically.
Logged

Terethall

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2020, 05:12:32 PM »

multi-round combat to reset PPT

Bleh. I still hate that this exists.
Logged

Schwartz

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1276
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2020, 05:14:25 PM »

Even better if fighters became ships again so carriers can spend OP on guns and warship hullmods like they used to.  I am tired of the optimal carrier being the unarmed one that runs from everything while elite fighters do everything.  Also, commanding fighters to do stuff if player wanted.
Yep. That's one popular community suggestion that I have not seen bring any improvement to the game. May be pointless to argue against it now, but the game is worse off than it was before the change was introduced both concerning balance and combat depth.

No real opinion on fleet size. I never played frigate swarms. PPT seems at a good balance and you always have the option of extending it with Subsystems if ordering ships off the map is not to your liking. Capital spam is only a problem when NPCs spam capitals and the player has to counter with the same.
Logged

Terethall

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 151
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2020, 05:39:00 PM »

NPCs spam capitals

Yes, they do, quite a lot, largely because they are not limited by logistics statistics the way the player is. Meaning the game is balanced on the NPC side by developer intuition regarding what a fleet should look like, and on the other side by players interacting with complex systems like mission/bounty rewards, colony income, market commodity supply, etc. Subjecting both to the same constraints would require a fleet-building AI which could never match a competent player, unless it exploited the meta, so it's a reasonable, if sub-optimal, equilibrium. Lowering the power of capitals relative to frigates, something Alex is already doing, does a lot to solve the problem. But I suspect frigate fleets are punished so much by the current design that adjustments to fleet size and especially PPT are necessary in order to make them a really competitive alternative to capital-heavy fleets.

But a design that includes a progression toward capitals isn't strictly bad either... it depends on your goals and philosophy of game design.
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 9529
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2020, 06:18:11 PM »

No real opinion on fleet size. I never played frigate swarms. PPT seems at a good balance and you always have the option of extending it with Subsystems if ordering ships off the map is not to your liking. Capital spam is only a problem when NPCs spam capitals and the player has to counter with the same.
Capital spam is the entirety of endgame.  Ordos with two or three Radiants, 250k+ named bounties, max strength expedition fleets, or the zombie pirate raider fleets.  Anything less will probably run away and can probably be auto-resolved away with armed civilians.

Probably better if player got more combat stuff and multi-round combat if necessary.  For some ships, namely Doom and Drover, I already use Subsystems and Combat Endurance 1, and they are still the first ships that run out of PPT.  Other ships, I cannot squeeze it in (especially on Heron, or anything that relies on missiles and missile racks), or if I do, I must give up Efficiency Overhaul which I put on everything, or other campaign mod.

Frigate swarms were at their best during 0.6.5a.  Back then, everything was viable in combat, but frigates were faster and cheaper in the campaign.
Logged

Tartiflette

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3316
  • Toss a coin to your Modder, O' valley of plenty
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2020, 10:31:56 PM »

Personally, I could see a "maintenance overhead" that starts from the second ship and that scales exponentially with the logistic monthly cost, instead of an arbitrary soft cap threshold. That way you don't have an optimal logistic profile, it is all fluid. Civilian ships would only count for half their cost toward the overhead, and D-mods would reduce it by 20% even without the skill that affects their monthly cost.

Something like (maintenance + (maintenance^3)/500.000) would give a sweet spot between 200 et 300 supplies per month, with 500 being the upper hand of what is reasonable to run:
Logged
 

Grievous69

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1264
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2020, 10:47:49 PM »

Soo basically logistics like before but it has a curve instead of being binary? I mean at that point you might as well take the old logistics, then give exponential penalties for each point above the max logistics cap. Don't get me wrong, your system seems more elegant but I think it might be hard to understand for most players, it'll just be more tooltips and explanations for something so trivial.
Logged
Please don't take me too seriously.

Schwartz

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1276
    • View Profile
Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2020, 04:54:07 AM »

And logistics is enough of a pain as it is. If we discourage use of bigger fleets via supply or fuel penalties, that only means the player has to do more supply runs and has even less time going about their business. As long as end game requires more and more time fielding heavy fleets, the player is in a bind. Meaning an extra penalty, less fun, no upside.

Remember that NPC fleets getting killed results in zero economic penalty for the faction. This is a big thing as far as NPC cap spam is concerned. This is at the core of this issue. This, and the crazy pirate death fleet generation currently in the game.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2