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Author Topic: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics  (Read 1839 times)

Tartiflette

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2020, 06:40:04 AM »

You are looking at the problem from the wrong end. The AI fleets are but a device to challenge the player. If we are talking about implementing a different limit on the player side, taking into account the current AI fleet compositions is irrelevant as it is not designed to match said new systems.

What is important is to have a power limit on the player fleet that drives choices and different playstyles. The current hard cap is not really filling that bill since it limits some playstyles, and it railroads the player into a single all caps fleet composition.

I tend to agree that a soft cap on the logistic profile is a better solution, and I'm proposing an even smoother variant on that idea. I do not believe it would be hard to implement a tooltip that just say "ships maintenance/month: XXX, Overhead from fleet logistic: XX"
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 06:47:51 AM by Tartiflette »
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SafariJohn

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2020, 08:36:36 AM »

The AI fleets are but a device to challenge the player.

They also, along with player fleet limits of whatever sort, serve to show the world to the player.

I remember when the Hegemony System Defense Fleet was the biggest bad*** on the block because it had 3 Onslaughts. The lore implied or said that nobody else could maintain huge fleets like that and — guess what — nobody else had fleets like that; not even the player could do it for long IIRC

Happily, in the next release it looks like faction fleets will return to about that size, with more officers than a player can maintain to give them teeth.

But it remains to be seen if player fleets will be constrained within reason.
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Schwartz

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2020, 08:48:48 AM »

Tartiflette: I get that, I do. But then it's not just a player-side change either, is it? Talking about one without mentioning the other assumes that the rest of the playing field remains the same.

If we're spitballing, honestly, I don't think your increased logistics scaling would drastically alter how the game is played - only make it more difficult in the way that supply management is difficult (i.e. tedious). Which would probably still be doable with the NPCs remaining as they are now.

And supply drain is one of those unfun necessities where at best, you don't notice the mechanic, and at worst you're out of supplies and are done for. In other words, we're penalizing the bad players the most.

I almost regret saying it, but a fleet size limit based on DP or ship cost or logistics - I'm not a 100% on how it used to be - would be preferable to extra supply overhead. It could simply be a number that ties into player level and goes up as the game progresses - to a point. NPCs could have leveled fleet commanders as the player's counterpart, getting better at it the longer they survive / return to HQ / spawn new fleets, and getting tossed from the pool when that fleet gets wiped out. This way, killing strong fleets would actually make subsequent attacks weaker for a while. Also giving a sense of continuity and storytelling when a notorious commander's fleet is knocking at the gates.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 08:50:27 AM by Schwartz »
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Terethall

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2020, 10:15:35 AM »

supply drain is one of those unfun necessities where at best, you don't notice the mechanic, and at worst you're out of supplies and are done for. In other words, we're penalizing the bad players the most.

I just want to chime in that some of us enjoy managing our fleet logistics -- prepping for an expedition to the fringe, and then tracking whether we're profitable or not, is fun. Crossing your fingers that you find some debris fields and derelicts to salvage because you miscalculated or ran into a fight you didn't intend to take and now are dangerously low on supplies adds tension and fun to the game. Managing whether repairs are on or not, and sometimes having to limp home at half CR, praying no pirate fleet comes along and decides you look like easy pickings, is engaging. Deciding to try to sneak into the port of a nearby market, even though the owner is hostile, because you just can't make it to the next system to get more supplies or fuel, are some of the most memorable moments in the game. Scuttling half my fleet and ejecting my crew into the void because I made a division error, or got greedy and forgot to head back to the core for a resupply, are easily the most memorable moments for me in the game -- right up there with squeaking out victories in battles I was sure I'd lose.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2020, 10:59:07 AM »

You are looking at the problem from the wrong end. The AI fleets are but a device to challenge the player. If we are talking about implementing a different limit on the player side, taking into account the current AI fleet compositions is irrelevant as it is not designed to match said new systems.

What is important is to have a power limit on the player fleet that drives choices and different playstyles. The current hard cap is not really filling that bill since it limits some playstyles, and it railroads the player into a single all caps fleet composition.

I tend to agree that a soft cap on the logistic profile is a better solution, and I'm proposing an even smoother variant on that idea. I do not believe it would be hard to implement a tooltip that just say "ships maintenance/month: XXX, Overhead from fleet logistic: XX"

I completely agree that the problem here is really that there needs to be better limits on player power than 'max ships in fleet'. That's really what caused the capital bloat in the game: the player is allowed to make such absurdly strong fleets so easily that the only way to make the late game challenging was to give the enemy even more absurdly strong fleets (and mechanics like zombie pirate hoards). I made a thread a while ago where I basically suggested limiting the players power through other mechanics like ship accessibility, progress gates in the story etc (https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=18068.msg283936#msg283936). Maybe something along those lines could reign in player power so that mechanics like fleets and logistics caps are unnecessary. It doesn't have to be that suggestion necessarily, but I like the idea of limiting the player through other means that are more tied into a story or the rest of the world rather than just direct limitations of the fleet.
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SCC

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2020, 11:53:43 AM »

I have played 0.9 and 0.9.1 for some time with default ship limit, but I eventually edited it to 100. However, as far as I know, this did not make me go above the default 30 ship limit for a couple of reasons. One is that I didn't want that many ships and tried to make a balanced fleet composition. Another is that it didn't puff the running costs away, I still had to pay maintenance, salaries and for fuel. And for most ships I got and some weapons (I hoard all weapons I find in one spot). Actually, the most meaningful was that it just was too much work to outfit so many ships. I autofitted many ships (while having all the needed weapons, meaning it didn't stray from the template) because not every Wolf or Lasher is meaningful.
One upside I intentionally looked for is that no longer ships were unavailable for recovery, because recovering all ships might have put me over the limit, if I did so. I never did.
It feels as if it was a solution looking for a problem.

pairedeciseaux

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2020, 12:10:23 PM »

And supply drain is one of those unfun necessities where at best, you don't notice the mechanic, and at worst you're out of supplies and are done for. In other words, we're penalizing the bad players the most.

New players have a hard time with logistic in Starsector. This is not uncommon for sandbox-type video game to have some form of survival elements, supply/fuel/crew management is part of that. Though I agree: let's not make it worse, especially as battle are challenging enough - as long as player power creep is kept under control.

I almost regret saying it, but a fleet size limit based on DP or ship cost or logistics - I'm not a 100% on how it used to be - would be preferable to extra supply overhead. It could simply be a number that ties into player level and goes up as the game progresses - to a point.

Sound reasonable. Why would you regret saying it?  :)

Allow me to go crazy for a minute...

Let's set a smallish limit based on DP:
Spoiler
hardFleetCap = 5 * ParagonDP = 5 * 60 = 300

also

maxBattleSize = 500
hardFleetCap = maxBattleSize / 2 + maxBattleSize / 10 = 500 / 2 + 500 / 10 = 250 + 50 = 300

(rough split between military and logistic ships, 5/6 military and 1/6 logistic)
[close]

Then, largest fleet can be:
Spoiler
4 * Pagagon      = 240
60-DP of logistic and smaller ships, maybe a few figates for pursuits
(it does fit within the current 30 ships limit)

or

3 * 40-DP capitals   = 120
4 * 20-DP cruisers   = 80
4 * 10-DP destroyers   = 40
4 * 5-DP frigates   = 20
40-DP of logistic ships
(it does fit within the current 30 ships limit)

or

1 * 45-DP capital   = 45
4 * 15-DP cruisers   = 60
8 * 10-DP destroyers   = 80
15 * 5-DP frigates   = 75
40-DP of logistic ships
(it does fit within the current 30 ships limit)

or

2 * 20-DP cruisers   = 40
10 * 10-DP destroyers   = 100
24 * 5-DP frigates   = 120
40-DP of logistic ships
(it does not fit within the current 30 ships limit)
[close]

What about dynamic fleet cap based on player level?
Spoiler
maxBattleSize = 500
hardFleetCap = 300
maxPlayerLevel = 50
initialFleetCap = (2 * DestroyerReferenceDP) + (6 * FrigateReferenceDP) = (2 * 10) + (6 * 5) = 50

(this starting enveloppe of 50 DP may be too generous)

actualFleetCap = initialFleetCap + (floor(currentPlayerLevel / 2) * 10)

(not ideal formula because this would not increase fleet cap with each player level,
but good enough to obtain the following result for demonstration purpose)

with player level 1
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(1 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (0 * 10) = 50

with player level 5
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(5 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (2 * 10) = 70

with player level 10
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(10 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (5 * 10) = 100

with player level 20
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(20 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (10 * 10) = 150

with player level 40
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(40 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (20 * 10) = 250

with player level 50
actualFleetCap = 50 + (floor(50 / 2) * 10) = 50 + (25 * 10) = 300
[close]

Summary:
  • Drop the 30 ships limit
  • Set a fleet cap based on ship DP, player level and battle size
  • If there is a hard fleet cap, allow player to change it in the game option or settings.json ... but better infer the max fleet cap from max player level and max battle size
  • Soft cap anyone?

What do you think?
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Alex

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2020, 01:31:56 PM »

... Actually, the most meaningful was that it just was too much work to outfit so many ships. ...

It feels as if it was a solution looking for a problem.

That's basically what it's there for, to more or less gently tell the player not to do that. That's *all* it's there for; it's not meant to be a limit on player power. And it's really not. I mean, if the limit was 5 ships or some such, then it would be, but it's set high enough that it's not a meaningful limitation in terms of power. And in the next release, you'll be able to recover ships without issue when at or near the limit (and go over the limit, for a large supply cost increase), so that's the main point of friction removed.


An important thing to note is that with the skill revamp, a lot of the fleetwide skill effects drop off when you have more than a certain number of deployment points for a certain type of ship (that's affected by the effect). The number and the type of ship that matters varies for different skills.

The question is, will this be enough to mimic a deployment points-based fleet size limit, without the added complication of actually having one?

The main point of conflict with that, imo, is if you needed to bring a bunch of combat ships just for "weight" to get more deployment points onto the battlefield. In which case, losing the fleetwide skill bonuses might be worth getting 50% more deployment; that'd be a problem. On the other hand, enemy fleets now have more quality and less quantity, so you both don't need as much paper "strength" to get a decent deployment, and would be at more of a disadvantage facing a higher-quality enemy fleet if you did get that strength at the expense of quality.

Hmm. If needed, one solution might be to, say, only count ships with officers for "fleet strength" as far as deployment points go. That'd remove the incentive to stack a bunch of ships you don't intend to use. I kind of want to see where it ends up first, though. In any case, adding a more mechanically complex fleet size limit seems premature, when there are mechanics that could very well produce the same results anyway.
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SCC

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2020, 02:06:38 PM »

That's still redundant. It just means that instead of people settling for the amount of micromanagement they want, there's a limit to it. And it's a decent limit. Running cost also are still present. Players just not finding it fun is also a factor, though it's a subjective one. Spending more time to acquire more of those ships is another limit (though not really important without a time limit, so how's that endgame going?). I want to say, though, that a hard cap for fleet size is the opposite of gentle. It's slamming into a brick wall. You can't work with it, around it in any way. All other measures work incrementally, come from pre-existing mechanics and allow for player preference, as to how big a fleet you can handle. This is gently telling the player not to do that.

Tartiflette

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2020, 02:07:01 PM »

New players have a hard time with logistic in Starsector. This is not uncommon for sandbox-type video game to have some form of survival elements, supply/fuel/crew management is part of that. Though I agree: let's not make it worse, especially as battle are challenging enough - as long as player power creep is kept under control.
And supply drain is one of those unfun necessities where at best, you don't notice the mechanic, and at worst you're out of supplies and are done for. In other words, we're penalizing the bad players the most.
I'd like to point out that a supplies overhead mechanic could actually make the early game VASTLY more relaxed on the logistic requirements since then you could have a much smaller base maintenance footprint per ship. Having ships able to carry months worth of supplies for themselves would be reasonable since the overhead would pick up pace and become a constraint for mid to late game large fleets.
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Alex

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Re: Bring back fleet size capped by logistics
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2020, 03:12:09 PM »

That's still redundant. It just means that instead of people settling for the amount of micromanagement they want, there's a limit to it. And it's a decent limit.

Ah, what you're saying it "just means" is precisely the point! But I don't think it's a big deal either way; as you say, it's a decent limit. Regardless, in the next release, it won't be a hard limit but will rather up supply consumption a lot. Not so much that you might not go a ship or two over, but probably not much more than that. So, as I was saying, the main pain point of the current implementation will be gone.
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