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Author Topic: Two Battle-Related Suggestions  (Read 3859 times)

MidnightSun

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Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« on: May 17, 2012, 06:53:18 PM »

Two suggestions I've thought of after playing Starfarer for the last couple months, both related to battle mechanics.

1.- A "Hardcore" Mode without Pausing Function in Battle: In reality, a fleet admiral doesn't get to pause the battle midway and "instantly" redirect all his forces. It would be interesting if there was an option (either standalone or incorporated into a combined "Hardcore/Realism" mode) to allow for only the time freeze during initial ship deployment. This would model being able to set the strategy for the battle, and then having to adjust on-the-fly during the battle.

This could be coupled with other "hardcore" features such as auto-saving upon ending any battle, so you can't just reload if a battle ends unfavorably--but that's not the subject of this post.

I'll admit, I thought of that when hypothesizing a possible multiplayer variant of Starfarer revolving only around battles (no campaign): this would neatly resolve the problem that pausing would create in a face-to-face battle with another human ;)

2.- Accruing Command Points (CP) Over Time: In certain large battles (especially with the Hegemony Defense Fleet), it's more likely than not for the player to run out of CPs by the end of the battle, and having to watch as fighters dive helplessly into an Onslaught's Flak Cannons.

This feels frustrating and a bit unrealistic, and often I resort to letting the AI momentarily take back a buoy so I can recapture it.

Instead, I propose the idea of granting, say, 3/4 of the CPs that are given per buoy in 0.52.1, but then having each buoy contribute a CP every minute or so (or an appropriately balanced number, depending on type of buoy) as long as you retain control over it.

Likewise, a commander's character skill in commanding fleets can contribute to a higher initial starting CP value and a higher base (as in, not aided by buoys) CP regeneration rate.


Constructive criticism very welcome ;)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 07:47:06 PM by MidnightSun »
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NikolaiLev

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 07:09:59 PM »

I like it.  I think we could rebalance it by reducing the amount of initial command points.  But, honestly, I'm not sure I approve of the CP system at all.  Still, it's a mechanic that exists, so I'd rather try to improve it instead of trashing it.

Comm Relays giving the most bonuses would make sense, but they're already extremely valuable as is.
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Catra

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 07:15:04 PM »

maybe if you have a carrier ( condor / venture / odyssey / astral ) then ordering fighters around becomes free?
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Vandala

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 07:25:05 PM »

Without pausing could be problematic or useless.

Will this include no pause even if you are using the menus to load/save, change key bindings, alter other settings or use the codex? That will certainly prove fatal unless there are areas in the game where you have no hostiles, and even then supplies are being used as the time ticks on.

And if there is no pause in the menus then not having a pause option is meaningless since people will just open the menu if they want to pause the game.

You do have to keep in mind that this is just a game and pausing it should always be an option, people have things to do in real life, bathroom breaks, answering a doorbell, etc.
Pause is not a luxury, its an necessity.

Though I do see the use for a no pause game variant, it adds even more stress on top of (or apart from) a hardcore game, but it would have to be a separate option you can add to it if you wanted to.

MidnightSun

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 07:43:15 PM »

I guess I should've rephrased. Of course you can pause the game to access the menu, or when you're in the star system view, I see no problem with that. I'm referring to the auto-pause when you open up the tactical map when you're in a battle.

maybe if you have a carrier ( condor / venture / odyssey / astral ) then ordering fighters around becomes free?

I think that's a bit too extreme, and would result in an Astral commander literally just sitting there in the Tactical Map and micromanaging everything like in a RTS. That detracts from the Starfarer feel, I think.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 07:46:28 PM by MidnightSun »
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BillyRueben

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 08:58:19 PM »

I like the Accruing Command Points idea. I'm not so sure about the "No Pause" game mode. It sounds cool, but the big thing I use the pause for is to "test" my orders. I find myself cancelling a lot of the orders I just made because of ships obeying the order that I didn't expect. Maybe after the current command system has improved a little bit more.
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MidnightSun

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 09:05:17 PM »

I like the Accruing Command Points idea. I'm not so sure about the "No Pause" game mode. It sounds cool, but the big thing I use the pause for is to "test" my orders. I find myself cancelling a lot of the orders I just made because of ships obeying the order that I didn't expect. Maybe after the current command system has improved a little bit more.

Yeah, I agree. Being able to test out orders is very, very useful.

After playing Starfarer enough though, I feel that I can usually predict what will happen if I assign a ship to do something. With the accruing command point implementation, I'd imagine "botching" one order would have slightly less consequence as well. Further optimizations to what ships respond to commands will also make things easier.

In any case, it would be an option--I definitely wouldn't want it as the "default."
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MidnightSun

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 09:13:52 PM »

Just thought of another facet to add to the Accruing Command Points Over Time idea: also to reflect the capability of your captain, the maximum number of "collected" CPs should also be capped at a certain value (that can increase with leveling up, skills, etc).
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NikolaiLev

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 10:04:10 PM »

I don't doubt max CP and CP regen would both be modifiable by Commander traits.

By the way, I'm all for Hardcore options.  It's pretty obvious, especially by the name it would be a separate mode, perhaps a tickbox.  Given the nature of battles I think it's safe to disallow pausing at all.  But if we do allow pausing, make it black out the screen so you can't study the map; the point of the mode is to force you to think on your feet, and I like that.

People get along fine with no pauses in MP games, no?  You can take your bathroom break when you pause on the System map, can't you?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 10:15:44 AM by NikolaiLev »
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Zapier

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2012, 01:10:23 AM »

Having no pause in the tactical screen during battle would make things very difficult for a couple reasons I can think of... the first being that it would be a little bit harder to select ships moving on the map and such. It'd be a relatively minor thing, but it would be something. The second, and more obvious one, would be that when the tactical map is paused, you are able to assign orders and rescind those orders for a refund of your CP if you don't like what it appears it may do... or if you accidentally chose the wrong order/location/ship, etc. It would make it have to either revert back to no refunding of CPs or have to give you 'x' amount of time to take back your order which could abused in a number of ways.

It would certainly make for a good 'hard-mode' option, but I just don't see it being implemented as part of the overall playstyle and its options. If the CP system changes in the future in such a way to not make that refund bit an issue, then I could see it being used.

As for accruing command points, I think I'm still in the camp of not having it. There are a lot of older threads with such suggestions and many ways to try to handle it, but it just seems like it would favor stretching battles out longer... doing more running around the map and using orders more haphazardly. It feels like a system that would only favor the Human player and could limit the effectiveness of AI strategy.

I like the Accruing Command Points idea. I'm not so sure about the "No Pause" game mode. It sounds cool, but the big thing I use the pause for is to "test" my orders. I find myself cancelling a lot of the orders I just made because of ships obeying the order that I didn't expect. Maybe after the current command system has improved a little bit more.

Yeah, I agree. Being able to test out orders is very, very useful.

After playing Starfarer enough though, I feel that I can usually predict what will happen if I assign a ship to do something. With the accruing command point implementation, I'd imagine "botching" one order would have slightly less consequence as well. Further optimizations to what ships respond to commands will also make things easier.

In any case, it would be an option--I definitely wouldn't want it as the "default."

I'd be curious to know how much more 'testing' you'd need for your orders. When you give an order it displays what ships are assigned to the task, where they will go, etc. If you dislike what it's assigning you're able to cancel the order and get your CP refunded before you unpause. If you unpause, the order is then given and you don't get the refund... so, I'm not really following you guys about having to predict orders or being upset about having to cancel an order if it won't work the way you want, since it tells you exactly how the order will start and allow you to refund an order before its given. It's been this way for awhile, perhaps you weren't aware or playing an older version?

- - -

In summary, no pausing in combat seems like a fun, keep you on your toes style of play, but I don't see it being implemented due to how it might affect some other gameplay features.

Getting CP over time, I also don't see being used in the current command scheme. It's been discussed in the past with no real resolution. Also, given the first suggestion being given as a more 'hardcore' option, I would think the OP would appreciate the subtle difficulty of limited CPs. I find it a good feature that rewards good planning, flexibility and most importantly experience. Like most games, I see it as a learning curve. The more you rely on fixing botched (or even countered orders... hey, no shame in being outplayed by an AI) orders, seconds after you realize it isn't working, due to a seemingless unending amount of CP (regening CP is just that) the less you will learn from mistakes. Part of learning strategy is being able to accept defeat and learn from your mistakes... which is why there is no 'game over' and that retreat is an option that shouldn't be ignored.
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BillyRueben

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2012, 07:28:19 AM »

I like the Accruing Command Points idea. I'm not so sure about the "No Pause" game mode. It sounds cool, but the big thing I use the pause for is to "test" my orders. I find myself cancelling a lot of the orders I just made because of ships obeying the order that I didn't expect. Maybe after the current command system has improved a little bit more.

Yeah, I agree. Being able to test out orders is very, very useful.

After playing Starfarer enough though, I feel that I can usually predict what will happen if I assign a ship to do something. With the accruing command point implementation, I'd imagine "botching" one order would have slightly less consequence as well. Further optimizations to what ships respond to commands will also make things easier.

In any case, it would be an option--I definitely wouldn't want it as the "default."

I'd be curious to know how much more 'testing' you'd need for your orders. When you give an order it displays what ships are assigned to the task, where they will go, etc. If you dislike what it's assigning you're able to cancel the order and get your CP refunded before you unpause. If you unpause, the order is then given and you don't get the refund... so, I'm not really following you guys about having to predict orders or being upset about having to cancel an order if it won't work the way you want, since it tells you exactly how the order will start and allow you to refund an order before its given. It's been this way for awhile, perhaps you weren't aware or playing an older version?
Without the ability to pause, testing your orders wouldn't be possible. That was my point.
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NikolaiLev

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Re: Two Battle-Related Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2012, 10:17:19 AM »

A simple 5 or 10 second refund time to see what the orders do seems like it'd be sufficient, and I don't see how it'd be abusable.

Remember, we're suggesting this as an option, not a change to current gameplay.
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