Aurora 4x

Aurora => Mechanics => Topic started by: Steve Walmsley on June 07, 2014, 09:29:27 AM

Title: Change for v7.00
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 07, 2014, 09:29:27 AM
All the various posts covering updates for v7.00 are in this thread. It was originally going to be called v6.50 so any references to that version are for v7.00.

Low Level Fleet Training
All combat vessels will slowly gain fleet training points even if they are not involved in training exercises. A combat vessel is defined as one with PPV > 0. During fleet training exercises the annual rate of points gained is the Crew Training Skill of the Task Force Commander plus the operations bonus of the Operations Staff Officer. So if the task force commander has crew training of 200 and the operations officer has an ops bonus of 30%, annual crew training points would be 260. This is further increased by the grade bonus of the ship being trained. A ship has to gain 500 training points to have 100% fleet training skill.

For low level training, which is assumed to be gained through general experience and perhaps simulators, the annual training rate is 30. This is also modified by crew grade. The low level training is to counter the issue of long-serving ships responding just as slowly as newly constructed ships if neither has had any fleet training. In reality, the long-serving crew should have some advantage in that situation even without formal training. Of course, fleet training still be far more effective in terms of creating crews that quickly respond to orders in combat situations.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on September 08, 2014, 01:29:20 PM
Chance of NPR Generating a New NPR

Currently you can set the chance of an NPR appearing on a potentially habitable planet during system generation.

In v6.50 when creating a new game, or editing an existing one, there is an additional parameter for the NPR generation chance when a system is generated by an NPR rather than a player race.

A second new on/off parameter sets whether spoiler races can be generated in new systems discovered by an NPR.

The two above parameters allow players to create a game where the chances of NPRs becoming involved in combat against non-player forces are significantly reduced, which in turn reduces the overall number of slowdowns where the player is uninvolved.

Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on September 10, 2014, 03:19:26 PM
Army Officer Promotions

Army officers will be promoted at the ratio of 4-1 instead of the current 5-1
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 25, 2014, 10:39:22 AM
Fleet Display on System Map

Very minor change. Fleets are now listed in alphabetical order when in the same location on the system map.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 27, 2014, 10:09:35 AM
Optional Detection Rules for Systems without Player Presence

Currently, detection takes place in any system where there are units or populations from two different races. Quite often this will be two alien races and the player race is uninvolved.

In v6.50 there will be three options for detection.

1) Existing detection rules

2) Detection will only take place in systems where the player race is present as well as at least one other race. No detection will take place when a system contains only alien races.

3) Normal detection will only take place in systems where the player race is present as well as at least one other race. In systems with two or more alien races but no player races, detection will be automatically successful.

The advantage of 2) is that it will be the quickest of the three options and there will be no combat unless the player is present - no more short turns caused by NPR vs. NPR. The downside is that this is less realistic and you will not discover wreckage from alien wars.

The advantage of 3) is that the sensor phase is quicker than 1) and is more realistic than 2), although still not as realistic as 1). The downside is that you will get more NPR vs NPR battles than you do now (although fewer interrupts as NPRs move in and out of each other's sensor range).
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 04, 2015, 09:28:24 AM
Crew Quarters for Fighters

Added a new ship component:

Crew Quarters - Fighter. Space for 2 crew, cost 0.4, size 0.04.

This is part of the normal design process and will appear if the total crew requirements are 2 or less. In other words, it won't be used as a filler in the same way as small and tiny quarters - just for small, fighter type craft.

Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 11, 2015, 08:36:43 AM
Small Boat Bay

Added Small Boat Bay as as new ship system. Holds 125 tons and costs 60% of the normal Boat Bay.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on January 29, 2015, 02:27:14 PM
No Minerals for Prefab PDC Assembly

For some reason I thought I had made this change in a previous version but it appears not :)

So for the next version, PDC assembly only requires wealth and production capacity; minerals are no longer required. Supplying the minerals was a micromanagement task that didn't real add anything to game play.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 08, 2015, 12:56:45 PM
NPR Carriers

Non-player races will be capable of using carriers in v6.50. They will design their own fighters and carriers if they have the required technology and the available shipyard space.

While I was severely tempted to not mention this until players ran into the first NPR carriers :), I thought I would mention it up front for a couple of reasons.

1) I will be adding this to my own campaign so it would come out in the fiction anyway
2) Carrier operations are more complex than normal NPR operations so there is a decent chance of something 'weird' happening that I hadn't foreseen. In that case, it is better if players have some idea what is going on.

NPRs don't use fuel or maintenance, so I was concerned that NPR fighters would effectively become just small FACs without a true flavour of carrier ops. Therefore I have put the following rules in place for NPR carrier ops.

1) Even though NPR fighters don't use fuel, they have an operational range (just like player fighters) based on half the distance they could travel if they were using fuel.
2) NPR carriers will only launch fighter strikes if the target is within that operational range and they will remain within range to recover their fighters.
3) NPRs will only build fighters if there are available hangar bays to base them.
4) Fighters that are orphaned (due to the destruction of their mothership) will locate a different carrier with available space and use that instead (available space here means available if all fighters currently assigned to that carrier were on board)
5) NPR Carriers will be built with their fighters to avoid complexity (but this is offset by not building replacements using fighter factories until they are destroyed)
6) Fighters will reload from the magazines on their carriers and those carriers will have to return to base for resupply if their magazines run dry
7) NPR Populations now have a similar number of fighter factories to player populations.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on February 12, 2015, 12:53:57 PM
Correct Planet Order on Fleet Window

Finally fixed the annoying problem with planets from different stars being mixed up in the destinations list. Planets will now be ordered by Star and then by orbital number.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on June 11, 2015, 10:22:05 AM
Colonists from Neutral Countries

One of the issues I sometimes find when setting up an Earth-based campaign for the near future is that you have to account for the whole Earth population in the starting setup, or add some catastrophe to reduce that population. Aurora works well with smaller starting pops but you can't really have that in a near future setting unless you have a large number of starting nations. Therefore I have added the option to have races that act only as a source of colonists for other races with the same starting species.

For example, you could have China, US, Russia plus "Rest of the World". You set up the first three normally then select the Neutral Race for Rest of the World during race creation. A Neutral Race has no installations but provides colonists for other races of the same species. To avoid abuse such as transporting them to a colony on the same planet, or a nearby moon, these colonists cannot be transported to a destination in the same system. In effect, this gives relatively small powers the ability to create large populations by taking immigrants from neutral powers (similar to the early United States).

EDIT: Neutral populations will only be available to government-owned colony ships. They won't be accessible to shipping lines.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 09, 2015, 12:42:47 PM
Fewer Jump Points per System

This post is the result of the "Too Many Jump Points" thread in suggestions. There seems to be a general consensus that Aurora has too many systems with a lot of jump points. Therefore I am changing the jump point generation code to create fewer junctions and more systems with 2-3 JPs, resulting in longer chains of systems and less density of systems overall. Here is the pseudo-code for the new standard.

        Number of Jump Points  = 1
        Base Jump Point Chance = 90
        Do While True
            Jump Point Chance = Round Down to Integer (Base Jump Point Chance  + Primary Mass)
            If Jump Point Chance> 90 Then Jump Point Chance= 90
            If Random Number(1 to 100) > Jump Point Chance Then Exit Loop
            Number of Jump Points =  Number of Jump Points + 1
            If Base Jump Point Chance= 60 Then Base Jump Point Chance= 30
            If Base Jump Point Chance= 90 Then Base Jump Point Chance= 60

This will produce the following proportions of systems assuming mass of 0.99 or less

1 JP: 10%
2 JPs: 36%
3 JPs: 37.8%
4 JPs: 11.34%
5 JPs: 3.40%
6 JPs: 1.02%
7 or more: 0.44%

So now we have about 1 system in 9 (for stars with 0.99 mass or smaller) with 4 JPs and 1 in 20 with 5 or more JPs. Almost three quarters will be 2 or 3 JPs. Junction systems will actually work out a little higher than that because of the higher mass stars making a significant difference at 4+. I have generated several maps with these numbers and it seems to work out OK. I'll know better once v6.50 is released and everyone has a chance to try it :)
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 09, 2015, 03:40:34 PM
Longer Pathfinding

Because of the changes to jump point generation in v6.50, colonies will generally be further away from each other, both in terms of distance and in the number of jump points. This means the existing pathfinding code, used by shipping lines and by default & conditional orders, is more restrictive than before due to the four jump limit.

Therefore I have completely rewritten the pathfinding code and removed any restriction on distance. Civilians can now reach your colonies no matter where they are, as long as they have JG access. Your own ships can follow refuelling orders, etc. at any distance from home. The downside to this will be performance, although the new version of the code is more efficient anyway. I'm testing this in my current campaign but I suspect this is another area where wider testing will find the bugs :)
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 12, 2015, 01:12:28 PM
Forced Low Tech Races

There is a new check box on the Game Creation and Game windows that allows you to specify that all new races discovered during the normal exploration process will be non-TN. Whether they are NPRs or not will depend on the existing 'Generate Races as NPRs' check box.

This is useful should you be playing a 2300AD style campaign and want to simulate the discovery of a few low tech races before the Kafer-equivalent shows up :)
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 23, 2015, 07:59:43 PM
Boronide for Fuel Refineries

Fuel Refineries currently require 120 units of Duranium. Given the increased fuel needs due to the jump point changes, more refineries are required so the 100% Duranium requirement is unbalanced.

For v6.50 Fuel Refineries will require 30 Duranium and 90 Boronide (as fuel harvester modules already require Boronide)

(this is obviously not connected to the problem in my Colonial Wars campaign that many nations are running out of fuel and can't afford the Duranium for extra refineries) :)
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 24, 2015, 03:34:35 PM
System Discovery Dates on Galactic Map

I've added the ability to display the date each system was discovered on the Galactic Map. Helps if you are reconstructing how a race expanded into space.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 24, 2015, 04:23:15 PM
More Detail in SM Comparison Window

I have added some extra columns to the SM Comparison window (which lists high level stats for player races).

Shipyard capacity is now split into Naval and Commercial, shipping tonnage is split into Naval, Commercial and Civilian, Fuel Refineries have been split out from factories and I have added a Fuel Stockpile column.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 27, 2015, 04:55:53 PM
Shorter Period Comets

Comets other than those in the Sol system are often very long period comets, which are usually not economically exploitable due to the distances involved. They also can lure auto-surveying ships a long way out from the primary.

Therefore for v6.50 I have changed the comet generation code so comets in other systems are generally much closer to Sol style comets in terms of aphelion ranges.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on August 30, 2015, 08:56:40 AM
Increased Fuel Production

The changes to jump point generation have increased distances significantly. As almost every nation in my current campaign is out of fuel after 3.5 years :) it would seem the current fuel production is no longer sufficient. Therefore I am doubling the fuel production for v6.50.

This will also consume twice as much Sorium so Fuel Harvesters will again move up a little in importance (because your mines may not keep up with the needs of refineries)

In addition, I am changing Fuel Harvesters to use the current Fuel Production Rate rather than the Mining Rate
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on September 01, 2015, 12:44:43 PM
NPR Interrupts

There has been some debate on the forums about NPR interrupts so I thought it was worth clarifying how they work and what has changed for v6.50

There are two ways in which a turn can be shortened. If the program believes something is about to happen, like a missile or ship entering detection range, it will shorten the turn at the start. The second is through an interrupt, which is caused by a notable event and ends the turn so that the player (or an NPR) can react to it. Some interrupts are player only, such a ship being constructed or a system being surveyed, and some are interrupts for both players and NPR, such as a ship being destroyed or missiles being launched.

Note that the NPR AI code for movement and combat takes place at the start of a turn, so if anything significant happens relating to an NPR, the NPR needs a new turn in order to evaluate the event and react to it. Once a player interrupt occurs, it ends automated turns so the player can react. However, the AI doesn't need a break to react - it just needs to start a new turn - so interrupts are flagged as Player Events or Non-Player Events. A Player event is either something directly affecting a player, or an NPR event that involves a player, such as the NPR detecting the player. For NPR events that do not involve players, Automated Turns are not switched off. This is how it works in 6.40 btw - not a change for v6.50.

It's also worth noting that Automatic Turns only work if you are using the Tactical Map - the time buttons on the Population Window or the Galactic Map don't use Automated Turns.

In v6.40 there are 264 different events in Aurora, 60 of which don't cause interrupts for players and 184 of which don't cause interrupts for NPRs. For v6.50 I revisited the event list to see if I can reduce the number of interrupts for NPRs and now there are only 27 events that will trigger NPRs interrupts. The list is shown below. These are all events that the AI will need to evaluate and potentially issue a change in orders.

In addition for v6.50, I am going to change Player Events to only events that directly involve the player, so an NPR detecting a player will no longer stop automated turns.

NPR Interrupt Events
Target Hit
Missile Launch
Ship Destroyed
Damage Taken
Ship Slowed
Alien Fleet
Alien Population
New Thermal Contact
Population Surrender
Hostile Transit Detected
Jump Point Detected
New Alien Race
Missile Intercepted
New Hostile Contact
Missile Contact
Shipyard Contact
New System Discovered
Active Sensor Detected
Population Detected
Shields Detected
Jump Point Found
Ramming Attempt
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 04, 2015, 07:45:09 AM
List of Systems with Wrecks

On the Display2 tab on the tactical map, there is a list of known ruins. There is now an option to toggle the list to display known systems with wrecks.

This is slightly unrealistic as it will reveal wrecks that appear when you have no ships in the system. However, I thought the usefulness of this in large games would outweigh the realism concern.

Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 26, 2015, 04:11:42 PM
Gravity on Mineral Survey Window

A minor change. I've added a gravity a column to the mineral survey summary window, mainly so you can see if creating a lower gravity species (through genetic modification) would allow you to place manned mines on currently inaccessible system bodies.

Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on October 26, 2015, 07:11:59 PM
Larger Compressed Fuel Storage Systems

If you discover a Compressed Fuel Storage System in a ruin, you can now research Large and Very Large versions as well.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 10, 2015, 12:29:16 PM
Filter Contacts by Race

On the system map you can currently filter contacts by their neutrality status or by civilian status.

In v6.50, you can also filter by Race, so you can restrict the view to only the contacts from a particular race. This can be combined with the existing filters. This is particularly useful if you have fourteen players races and a lot of civilian traffic :)

I also fixed the bug that displayed the active sensor signatures of ships that were excluded by neutrality status.
Title: Re: Change for v6.50
Post by: Steve Walmsley on November 29, 2015, 01:57:30 PM
Generating Specific Known Stars

In v6.50, when you select Generate System in a known stars game, you can now choose which system to generate. This allows you to start in Alpha Centauri, or Rigel, or Antares, or setup NPRs in those systems.

The list of systems from which you can choose shows the name, the types of stars, the distance from Sol and the coordinates in 3D space relative to Sol.

By default, the generic system names (Gliese xx, HIP xx, NN xx, etc.) are excluded. You can display them though if you wish.

You can also show systems already in the game, if you want to see how they compare in terms of distance to non-generated systems. These are shown with a grey background.

EDIT: Although not shown below, I have also added a function that allows you to select a system, then re-sort everything based on ascending order of distance from that selected system.
EDIT #2: Any existing systems that have been renamed by the race looking at the list will appear with their correct racial name, rather than the generally used name for the system.