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Suggestion/Idea Carrier/Fleet Automatic Reinforcing
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Is this something you would like in Foundations?
Yes!
42%
 42%  [ 21 ]
Yes, but it's a little too complicated. Maybe do without... (comment below)
12%
 12%  [ 6 ]
Yes, but more/better features would be.. (comment below)
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Maybe, if it doesn't take up too much dev time or can be added later.
28%
 28%  [ 14 ]
No (and why in comments below, please)
16%
 16%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 50

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Gazz





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PostPosted: Thu, 25. Jan 18, 09:29    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

This would be a feature for a 4X game, not an X4 game.

Player-involvement has always been part of the game and when designing a game you have to set priorities like which scope of game the UI will be built for.
A spreadsheet game like MOO3 is great for managing fleets in great detail but it's not a strong selling point. =)


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TonyEvans





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PostPosted: Thu, 25. Jan 18, 11:30    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Everyone here, thank you for your feedback!

To reply to a few guys...

@Nanook
Quote:
I voted no. The primary focus of all the X games has been to build a financial empire and protect it. That's the main purpose of having fleets. It has never been about building war fleets. While the game does allow for this kind of playstyle, I think this idea is best left to modders since most ships aren't really cookie-cutter copies of each other. This isn't an RTS, i.e., Homeworld.


I do and don't agree. Whilst yes, the focus is empire building and protecting it, it can just as much be about war as other RTS games go. XR was about building an empire, but for me (and imaginably many others) it was to gain production chain independence, so we could wipe out the other factions we didn't like. Even if you lean more empire through trade, I may lean chaos through destruction.

@mr.WHO
Quote:
The OP ideas is IMO overcomplicated.


I definitely see how this could be the case. Partially, because I typed it after going about 20hrs no sleep, and also because I'm terrible when it comes to formatting. That said, I could be wrong and it's complicated for other reasons.

The image I had in my head for this feature was, at most, a couple steps.
Creating the fleet would be the same as it was for X3 and kinda for XR (assigning ships to their superiors, designating Fleet Commander in X3, etc).
Once done, a button pops up with "Fleet Replenishment Options", with 2 drop-downs.

The first, being Where/If the fleet is automatically replenished from, and the second being fleet behavior whilst fleet replenishment is underway. The biggest, most complicated step would just be understanding the behaviors from both. Once that's down, setup is easy. Carriers would function the same way, except with a button for "Fighter Replenishment Options."

I hope that clears up my intentions for the features with others, as well.


@BlackDemon
Quote:
carrier to contain some kind of production facility and raw materials to create replacements on-the-go


I did have a thought about this, as well. A "raw scrap" collection system and capacity with onboard production ability. Create basic-level drones (not as good as factory-produced), but of some assistance if operating far from resupply lines.

@Me163
Quote:
It seems like you want to play RTS Very Happy


Wasn't there a stream a while back that either implied or even outright stated that we could, in fact, play X4 as a RTS? I'd have to do some rewatching.

@Crimsonraziel
Quote:
Too much to quote, tbh)


Love it. There is talk of "research" routes we can go down. This could very much be one of the branches of the trees. "Empire Resupply Management" or something, with better.

Also, why does your list of options seem so much better and easier than mine. I'll just draft future ideas to you for cleanup.


@Gazz
Quote:
Player-involvement has always been part of the game and when designing a game


The level of player involvement is something in constant flux. Early on, you're focusing on one Trader for a while. And then 2 or 3. Once those profit enough, they can become automated and they're no longer your focus. Instead, your new station is as you manage its supply routes. Then you have multiple stations whilst the one just runs on its own automated process. Eventually, all of Trading and Station Supply is automated.

That's all for trading, but no such system has ever existed for Combat, apart from stations being able to resupply their Drones through trade orders.

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Seanchaidh





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PostPosted: Thu, 25. Jan 18, 14:14    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

My inclination is: automatic, no, as easy as possible, yes.

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Gazz





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PostPosted: Sat, 27. Jan 18, 00:19    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

TonyEvans wrote:
That's all for trading, but no such system has ever existed for Combat, apart from stations being able to resupply their Drones through trade orders.

ST/UT are so good they essentially break the game.
You're rolling in practically infinite funds while they repair and refuel themselves.

The real question is not if combat should be improved but... what is the overall design?
What is the scope, the level of detail and micromanagement?

A modder wrote the ST/UT and greatly skewed the balance.
I'm not saying modders shouldn't mod (and it wouldn't work if I did ;) but when designing a game "wouldn't it be cool if" is a dangerous question if you're not also keeping an eye on the design goals.
Is a credits-fountain part of the design?


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gbjbaanb



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PostPosted: Sat, 27. Jan 18, 18:08    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Maybe the optimal approach is to allow carriers and docks to have their repair bays, and to automatically repair ships that dock with them - including the station's fighter wing.

you're not going full homeworld with auto replenishment of new fighters, or new capital ships, and repairs of capships still need to be manually triggered (as I suppose they'd take some time in drydock and maybe the player doesn't want his ship out of service at that time).

Capships to auto repair slowly would be nice - if only to deal with the niggle of repairing slightly damaged ships. You don't want the micromanagement of such small repairs, only the bigger damaged ones.

but fighters was always the issue around fleets. That's where the annoying micro comes from, so even if you stocked your carrier with a rag tag bunch of salvaged and 2nd hand fighters (as I used to do) then they'd continue to be repaired and in service for as long as you had stock of spare parts, and you could replenish them manually (or with a command on a shipyard to deliver x fighters to a station) that would auto-refill the fighter wing of a carrier when it docked.

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ttheobald





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PostPosted: Sun, 28. Jan 18, 01:17    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I've got two answers to this, depending on how this is set up in game:

* If carriers are "drone carriers", then the carrier should be able to be tasked with self-restock when needed. Ideally if you have a large group slaved to a flagship, it would be nice to have a "logistics role" vessel that you could task to that flagship, who would then be responsible for purchasing restock missiles, drones, etc. and delivering them (via drone?) to fleet member ships.

* If carriers are "fighter carriers", then losses would be something a player would instigate, but have a "manager" handle - CV loses some portion of its fighters, should send the player a note to the effect of its losses. At this point, player could issue a restock order to a manager (hired NPC?) who would be responsible for finding replacement goods.
- since fighters are generally armed to the player's custom choice, weapons and missiles can be limited in supply, or politically difficult to obtain. Restock may take time if the player chooses identical layout.
- taking a default layout, or "do the best you can" can speed that up
- ships themselves are sometimes limited in supply...

In both cases, missiles and railgun rounds should be something that has an automated option. Maybe assigning a shuttle of some kind to the ship (takes hangar space) and is dispatched for replacements when stocks reach threshold levels. Restock ship then becomes a valid target for pirates, enemy governments, hostile corporations, etc.

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Requiemfang





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PostPosted: Sun, 28. Jan 18, 04:54    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

ttheobald wrote:
I've got two answers to this, depending on how this is set up in game:

* If carriers are "drone carriers", then the carrier should be able to be tasked with self-restock when needed. Ideally if you have a large group slaved to a flagship, it would be nice to have a "logistics role" vessel that you could task to that flagship, who would then be responsible for purchasing restock missiles, drones, etc. and delivering them (via drone?) to fleet member ships.

* If carriers are "fighter carriers", then losses would be something a player would instigate, but have a "manager" handle - CV loses some portion of its fighters, should send the player a note to the effect of its losses. At this point, player could issue a restock order to a manager (hired NPC?) who would be responsible for finding replacement goods.
- since fighters are generally armed to the player's custom choice, weapons and missiles can be limited in supply, or politically difficult to obtain. Restock may take time if the player chooses identical layout.
- taking a default layout, or "do the best you can" can speed that up
- ships themselves are sometimes limited in supply...

In both cases, missiles and railgun rounds should be something that has an automated option. Maybe assigning a shuttle of some kind to the ship (takes hangar space) and is dispatched for replacements when stocks reach threshold levels. Restock ship then becomes a valid target for pirates, enemy governments, hostile corporations, etc.


The CODEA mod had similar features. If the devs don't do something its obvious that modders will fill the gap.

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Nanook
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PostPosted: Tue, 30. Jan 18, 00:02    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Players need to think carefully before sending their units into battle. If everything is auto-replaced, and the player has plenty of funds (which is typically the case), then all the player has to do is keep throwing ships at a problem until it's solved. There's no 'Think' involved with that. But if the player has to do a lot of the replenishment themselves, it forces them to think before acting. Real generals/admirals have to deal with logistics so why not the player?


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Crimsonraziel



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PostPosted: Tue, 30. Jan 18, 02:09    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Nanook wrote:
But if the player has to do a lot of the replenishment themselves, it forces them to think before acting. Real generals/admirals have to deal with logistics so why not the player?

Because it's a game. It's supposed to be entertaining.
And sorry, "real generals" have adjutants that do the micromanagment.
Not everyone likes to do everything manually over and over again, when a simple script could do it. For those who do, fine.
If a ship get's destroyed it takes time and resources to replace it. This is enough "punishment" for not thinking or taking some risk. Auto-replace does not mean instant-replace.

Nanook wrote:
If everything is auto-replaced, and the player has plenty of funds (which is typically the case), then all the player has to do is keep throwing ships at a problem until it's solved. There's no 'Think' involved with that.

I can do the same thing without auto-replacement. In fact in previous games at a certain point I stopped buying smaller military ships and started using capital military ships almost exclusivly. In a way this is also throwing money at the enemy. I don't see much "think" or "tactics" in outclassing and outnumbering.
There was just no point in using smaller ships anymore, because they popped too fast. Often even before I got any message about being attacked.
You either set up a sector defense that crushes your enemies barely scratched, which isn't really fun or exciting, or with a growing empire you'll end up fixing fleets 80% of the time.

If you run a company, you don't get a note for every broken car in your car pool. You have subordinates and a budget for this. You get a note if it exceeds the budget or something extraordinary happens.

I'd rather like to see squadrons with purpose in late game than bugging the player for every single lost fighter.


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TonyEvans





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PostPosted: Tue, 30. Jan 18, 06:36    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@Gazz
Quote:
ST/UT are so good they essentially break the game.


Which was an oversight, no doubt. But, functioning as intended or not, it exists. What I propose doesn't generate income, or even make the managing of fleets autonomous, but simply takes steps to balance the playing field between AI and Player. Currently, the AI can field and replace every ship everywhere at the cost of the player's computing power, however for a player to engage it extended "Hold this sector" type gameplay, s/he must constantly move to replace and rearm ships.

Rearming already exists to an extend in XR, but replacing does not. I have a feeling X4 is going to be bigger, and more complex, than both X3 and XR, simply because it seems the Devs are going to take strides to combine the best of both worlds. If that happens, and large-scale conquest can become part of the game, automated ship replacement within fleets is a feature that will greatly take the stress of players, provided their have an account to do it.

Quote:
"wouldn't it be cool if" is a dangerous question if you're not also keeping an eye on the design goals.
Is a credits-fountain part of the design?

Wasn't sure if this was directed at my original idea, or a "ST/UT in Hindsight" statement.

@gbjbaanb
Quote:
Maybe the optimal approach is to allow carriers and docks to have their repair bays, and to automatically repair ships that dock with them - including the station's fighter wing.


I agree, definitely. I don't want to make Repairing a part of this function, since XR made a point of enabling skill-based Engineer repair levels a thing. However, the option for Carriers to auto-repair fighters would be nice, but that is likely a subject for a different forum post.

@ttheobald

I'd totally support logistics-style fleet ship assignments, but it's not quite on-topic for this forum apart from resupplying Drones, which through the mechanics I proposed would be done through a Station-owned Hauler.

In X3 fighters were/could be very tedious to replace because they were, as you stated, armed to the player's custom choice. With XR, fighters were produced as-is and came pre-equipped with their weapons shields and missiles (which were unlimited in ammo).

As for where the ships are resupplied from, the fleet AI would automatically determine that based on availability, faction, and cost/distance/etc/etc. If there's a problem then the message is relayed to the player and it's up to him/her to figure out how to get supply lines flowing.

@Requiemfang
Quote:
Requiemfang
I wish that were the case, and more, for XR. CODEA was my all-time favorite mod for X3 almost strictly because it had automatic patrols, fighter squadron detachments, and automated firing orders based on enemy ship type. If we're lucky X4 will incorporate that in base game, or at the very least will be like X3 enough that modders somehow port it over.

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PostPosted: Tue, 30. Jan 18, 08:00    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think that there should be functionality like this, but it should be handled by NPC subordinates that the player needs to hire/manage/check on, and NPC's should get better (or even worse) as they develop.
Players makes a 'fleet' containing at least one capital, and assign one of the ships captains as 'admiral' or something, and then new options appear when talking to that NPC and you can give them different orders, they handle giving orders to the rest of the fleet (can be many other capitals in said fleet). I think this should be handled in a similar way to Dragon Age Origins 'tactics' screen, where you get a lot of IF 'X' happens do 'Z', just like in DA:O, setting up your squad well and seeing them perform well because of it was quite rewarding. Also, npc's shouldnt just get better untill they are maxed out with stars etc, I'de like to see a system thats a little bit more complex, because an npc just being subpar until they are 5 stars in everything is very boring.

This way the player needs to pick the right npc's, watch as they improve (or get worse) and check that they are doing everything right, hiring/firing/replacing as they see fit.

Rebirth does things this way, kind of, but its not implimented very well imho and it's not rewarding. I really hope they double down on the hiring and management of npc's in X4 and make it better. Lets be honest, all our ships in X3 being pilotless drones (when we have drones too) and everyone elses ships having pilots was WEIRD, but we just let it slide... the obvious solution is to fix this by adding npcs.

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Requiemfang





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PostPosted: Tue, 30. Jan 18, 19:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Yeah micromanaging a dozen ships or even 2 or 3 dozen isn't so bad but after that it becomes tedious and boring. micromanaging isn't great when you have dozes upon dozens of ships. NO THANK YOU.

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BigBANGtheory





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PostPosted: Wed, 31. Jan 18, 13:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think some level of automated or assisted reinforcement is welcome, tbh its hard to say how much in advance of seeing the gameplay in action. X3 just abandoned you with any type of fleet management so clearly X4 has evolved far beyond that with what we know plus I think blueprints are in if I recall which should help the player with ship production. Going the full Homeworld solution of eating rocks (resources) and having auto production queues from your flagship or carrier is not a great solution for X4 imho it just doesn't fit with the whole concept of factory based production.

For me the happy medium is factory loop and or PHQ producing parts and assembling ships slowly, with you the player setting up the facility and sourcing the materials as a late game reward i.e. it should be something that requires a ton of planning, building and thinking before you can achieve automated ship production. Such a facility should be vulnerable to any enemies and require your attention to defend. In this example your fleet(s) would have to return to base to refit and restock.

I also agree with Nanook's point about not making ships disposible as it risk devaluing the strategic and thinking part of the gameplay experience.

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Killjaeden





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PostPosted: Wed, 31. Jan 18, 18:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Nanook wrote:
Players need to think carefully before sending their units into battle. If everything is auto-replaced, and the player has plenty of funds (which is typically the case), then all the player has to do is keep throwing ships at a problem until it's solved. There's no 'Think' involved with that. But if the player has to do a lot of the replenishment themselves, it forces them to think before acting. Real generals/admirals have to deal with logistics so why not the player?

Please tell me what "think" there is involved in manually re-buying, reequipping and re-setting up every lost fighter. Its just button mashing. X3 had it, it was atrocious. Is that what you want?

Carriers without some sort of automation that makes it easier for players to replace losses, will lead to them beeing barely used by players. Players will instead buy and use just destroyers and similar vessels in numbers, because they require less replacing are only as much work to equip as 2 fighters at best.
I can't recall anyone mentioning how they used a carrier or something to that effect for doing run of the mill fight missions in X3TC or AP. It was pretty much always "jump in the destroyer(s)".

The argument that it "doesnt fit" X is because its not an RTS or 4X is ludicrous quite frankly, given the fact they are going for much improved map with RTS-like controlls for X4. Since X2 (maybe earlier, haven't played stuff before that), the games are a blend of genres. X3 could have never been counted as RTS - but only because of how tedious everything was to controll. The very late game gameplay totally justifies comparison with RTS and empire-building 4X games. When an empire becomes so large it is worth calling an empire, controlls must grow in efficiency. What works for 3 ships doesnt work for 30 and certainly not for 300. If you don't like fleets - good for you. But many people (including me) like it a lot because it gives purpose to having lots of money.


Gazz wrote:
TonyEvans wrote:
That's all for trading, but no such system has ever existed for Combat, apart from stations being able to resupply their Drones through trade orders.

ST/UT are so good they essentially break the game.
You're rolling in practically infinite funds while they repair and refuel themselves.
Again with the "infinite funds" argument? The time it takes for a ST or UT to return it's investment is multiple hours. By the time this thing makes its money back i can plunder god knows how many freighters, sell their cargo (and bailed ships) and make countless millions. In a game without limit to growth there will always be time X where the player has so much money he doesnt know what to do with it. If a player is so rich that buying and outfitting fleets of M3 and carriers means nothing to him, he already has spent more than 100h (in X3R) on a single game. Why deny players the means of spending money effectively at that point? Unless he has the ability to spend the money on "pointless" things that do not progress his power in any way((like trying to wipe out faction X or erasing Xenon temporarily), he will get bored. If money is of little perceived value anymore and there is nothing to do with it -> boredom. Carriers and fleets are perfect money sinks. If they are easy to replace and controll, they are used more instead of just serving as space dust collecting 'prestige objects'.
Thats the nature of open end, unlimited sandbox games. Give players reasons and things to spend ressources on instead of trying to reduce power and ressource growth.

In minecraft you can automate farming. Is it making survival aspect obsolete? Absolutely. But it's fun to accomplish it. The game only lacks reasons and sinks to make building bigger and better farms reasonable and usefull.
BigBANGtheory wrote:
I also agree with Nanook's point about not making ships disposible as it risk devaluing the strategic and thinking part of the gameplay experience.

Strategy and thinking means considering losses vs. the gain and trying to reduce it. If you sent many fighters some will die. That's the nature of it. If they are low efford to replace (not to be confused with beeing cheap...) that's acceptable. If they aren't they won't get used and people will use the big capitals for everything. Where is the *THINK* or strategy in that?


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TonyEvans





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PostPosted: Wed, 31. Jan 18, 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Axeface wrote:
I think that there should be functionality like this, but it should be handled by NPC subordinates that the player needs to hire/manage/check on, and NPC's should get better (or even worse) as they develop.
--
--
This way the player needs to pick the right npc's, watch as they improve (or get worse) and check that they are doing everything right, hiring/firing/replacing as they see fit.

--
--

I can get behind this, however I'm not sure about the "better or worse" aspect. Preferably, they should just get better. Perhaps a Research/NPC hybrid system requiring greater player progression before large-scale empire efficiency is helped?

@Killjaeden Thank you for the backup here! And some great points I hadn't thought about. You covered everything I would have said and more.

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