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Messages - alex_brunius

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1
C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: September 22, 2017, 01:46:26 AM »
They also require time "offline" as they are being maintained.
Until and unless PDC also require TN minerals AND offline time to be maintained, PDCs are NOT balanced and in fact they can be exploited to create a defense / hangar system for free.

No, a ship that spends it's entire lifecyckle on a planet does not require offline time to be maintained. So a PDC is not really breaking this particular rule at all.

I agree about the other rules though, but I don't mind them that much since you get to choose yourself to what extent you want to exploit the game and I simply choose to not use them in that manner. I never used PDC Hangars for anything other then basing some obsolete fighters ( Which don't think anyone considers an issue to be honest ).

If creating these special rules for them is alot of coding effort, and Steve prefers to put that effort into a better ground combat model instead then I am all for it.

2
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:49:14 AM »
Give them a deployment time. Sure you can just increase crew quarters to raise deployment but that would also increase maintenance costs.

How would that work? Normal ships deployment time only ticks up when they are not at a population, but you can't move a PDC so it will always be either at a population ( meaning the feature is useless ), or not at a population ( meaning the PDC is useless since it can't be moved ).

3
C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: September 21, 2017, 08:41:38 AM »

There are no 100,000 ton warships.  The biggest (US carriers) top out around 90,000 tons.

Not anymore...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_R._Ford-class_aircraft_carrier

( Nimitz class actually also is closer to 100kt nowadays ).

4
C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: September 19, 2017, 04:06:18 AM »
My main concern here is that this will greatly change the timespans involved and troop needs for ground invasions. Most beam weapons fire every 5-30 seconds and have infinite ammo, while ground combat updates on the 5 day cycle, so after around 86400 such 5 second pulses.

No matter how much the orbital bombardment hitchance is reduced by ground unit concealment any sufficiently large beam fleet will be able to precision wipe out 100% of the defending ground units in very short order, meaning all ground units any attacker needs will be for garrisoning purposes.


Real campaigns like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq have taught us that no matter how much superior firepower you have, that is not how reality works. Boots on the ground are always a must.


What I propose to resolve this is the following balance:

  • New beam FC component added "Orbital bombardment Firecontrol", which enables aiming and firing beams on ground units
  • New techline added "Orbital bombardment sensors & firecontrol" that gradually increase Orbital bombardment precision stat
  • Mechanics: Only ground units with heavy weapons for firing on space ships can be 100% destroyed by orbital bombardment, but when destroyed by bombardment their cadre survives ( making them faster to rebuild )
  • Mechanics: Maximum damage possible to inflict on all other ground units is based on a comparison between orbital bombardment and concealment stats. High bombardment vs low concealment might result in being able to reduce unit morale and readiness by 80% while the reverse situation could reduce them by just say 20%. Equal tech level results in for example 50% damage cap


This should ensure that bombardment can neutralize ground-space weapons, as well as support ground assaults, but not remove the need of ground assaults entirely.

If you want to make a more accurate and detailed model then the land surface area as well as vegetation & animal life (biosphere) and tectonics could influence how easy it is to conceal units. Hit chance reductions could also help ground-space weapons inflict disproportional damage on bombarding warships before they can be destroyed/knocked out.

5
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:17:11 AM »
My intention wouldn't be to remove ground defences entirely, just replace PDCs with ground units that have non-ground capabilities and move to more detailed ground combat. For example, some form of air defence unit that functions as a CIWS for the planet. Perhaps a 'ground to orbit meson battery' unit, etc..

In this case, ground units should probably be more directly affected by racial tech. it may mean I have to move to some form of simple ground unit design where you create your own unit types. This would include CIWS techs, ground to orbit techs based on ship-weapons, ground-based attack/defence split into armour and infantry-based techs (based on weapon & armour techs), maybe the bombardment ability of Titans so as an alternative to Titans you could develop different forms of artillery. Concealment tech to make units harder to strike from orbit. 'Movement' tech could be personal armour, tracked vehicles, combat walkers, etc.

Troop transport bays and combat drop modules would be for infantry (personal armour) types - a different module would be needed for heavy armour or ground to orbit capable units.

Perhaps the type of planet could affect which units are most effective - specialist units for extreme temperature, or mountainous terrain, or mostly water planets, etc. Terrain would also determine the effectiveness of different movement types.

Another option to be considered is removing the restriction on energy weapons in atmosphere. Ground units armed with ship-type weapons would become a serious deterrent, especially given they are more dispersed than ships and harder to eliminate. I would need to add rules on destroying installations from orbit, but not sure how much of a problem that is given that most powers want to capture installations rather than destroy them.

In fact, this could lead to a paradigm where it is very hard to bombard a well-defended planet from orbit so you (still) have to nuke from a distance and risk environmental and industrial damage, or develop very fast drop pods to get troops to the surface (through defensive fire) to take out the ground-based defences (Hoth).

Anyway, just thinking out loud at the moment.

I fully support making ground combat more involved with more depth and techs!

Would you consider adding water ships which combat efficiency / coverage depending on surface water coverage and atmospheric fighters as well at some point, giving some progression to conventional starts?

Water ships could work like "early tech" titans ( big AoE guns/missiles ), and it would be really cool to have another layer of defense if atmospheric fighters could intercept dropships, requiring atmospheric capable space fighters to escort them ( X-com scenario ).

Another brainstorming idea is to require logistics and supplies to be delivered to be able to sustain ground offensives/combat.

6
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: September 18, 2017, 02:08:08 AM »
With regard to the PDC, I am seriously considering removing PDCs from the game. They create exceptions for a number of rules, confuse new players, add complexity to ground combat without necessarily adding a commensurate improvement in game play, and their maintenance-free status can be an exploit. I may replace them with some additional types of ground forces to improve defences planetary defences and keep all 'ships' in space. One of their major advantages is to allow maintenance-free bases on new colonies, but even that is no longer as great an advantage given the new maintenance system (you can build orbital bases that can provide their own maintenance facilities and just ship in supplies).

I think the main reason they confuse new players is that their name doesn't clarify if they are orbital or ground based. At least I remember that being the main thing confusing me when starting off ( and the bugs with starting PDCs that plagued the game for quite some time ).

While I don't see much use of their ground combat or "boarding" properties, I do think there is alot of value in still having some way to respond with missiles ( and for no atmosphere also guns/lasers ) from the planet surface and force the enemy to strike the planet if they want to return fire.

That doesn't necessarily have to be through PDCs in their current form though...



It would be terribly boring IMO if fleets could just move in and sweep away all defenses around a planet with zero collateral damage to the surface, and for RP I do love the idea of surface based defense centers & missile silos as well.

7
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: September 05, 2017, 08:20:52 AM »
With all the new commander positions I was wondering if it would be possible to add a functional n tat allows you to prioritise training at your academies so as to tilt the skill sets of new commanders. Ie you set an academy to a surveying course to increase output of commanders with the required skills in sureveying at expense of non survey skills. If you added a lag or a course duration for this it may give you a trade off between fewer commanders coming through but more of the ones you need.

I was about to suggest something similar. Like a dropdown selection of focus for Academies which after X years make Y % more of one skill an Z % less of everything else. Or maybe you could put a Commander in charge of the Education and have their skill influence what comes out the other end.

8
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: July 30, 2017, 09:14:09 AM »
I don't think comparing a possible 'MP Aurora' to any of the Paradox games is really the right approach - even if they are more complex than a lot of MP games, they're still 'mainstream' enough to need public matchmaking. I think a more appropriate comparison would be War in the Pacific or War in the East/West, where multiplayer games are measured in months or years.

I have played a HoI Multiplayer match that took 6 months to finish... Just like you can play a casual game of Aurora in an Afternoon if you spam the advance 30 day button until you get the stuff you want.

It's more about the player and the level of detail you want to take it to, to be honest ( for either game ).

I agree with your point that public matchmaking would add little to Aurora though.

9
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: July 30, 2017, 05:27:47 AM »
Stellaris and Hoi4 are high up complex strategy games? Please.

Compared to the entire spectrum of games starting at candy crush or angry birds and with aurora at the other end... Yes they most certainly are.

In many cases they have a more complex mechanics or unfriendly interface then even aurora does ( even if the UI have improved alot since their older games ).


But seriously, look at screenshots & tooltips like this and tell me this isn't a complex game again, PLEASE:

https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/254839288186262725/DBB1ADDEA0FD054128ECD77EBB919F2292978B1F/


Edit: This is entirely besides the point though, since my point was that the complexity of the game doesn't affect the amount of trolls.

10
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: July 30, 2017, 04:27:41 AM »
And why are you playing games with idiot trolls? Mentioning idiot trolls is an absurdly hypothetical scenario because Dominions 4 is very rarely played with idiot troll randoms off of the internet, rather than people you know and trust not to do stupid things. I'm not even sure if current A4x """multiplayer""" is played with a high concentration of idiot trolls.

You should try to play some Paradox games like Stellaris or Hoi4 MP ( which are pretty high up on the scale of complex strategy/4x games capable of multiplayer )...

No game which features anonymity + internet MP audience is immune to idiot trolls as explained by this highly scientific theory:




When it comes to Aurora supporting MP I see it as two levels:

  • Allow asynchronous economy phase orders from players
  • Allow asynchronous combat/movement phase orders from players

Where the former is vastly easier to support for Steve with functions to share orders/gamestates and allows fairly decent Multiplayer sessions still if you let a GM handle only combat and movement orders.



11
C# Aurora / Re: Box Launcher Reloads
« on: July 19, 2017, 03:09:28 AM »
Are not Box launchers supposed to be harder to reload?

If cargo loading can be used what prevents me from just building a separate magazine ship and reload from it in deep space without any need for hangars?

13
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: July 10, 2017, 02:10:59 AM »
Quote from:    Steve Walmsley
As missiles (for now anyway), don't have thermal reduction or an option to travel below maximum speed, their thermal signature is equal to the power of their engines. Combined with the changes to passive detection, this means that missiles in C# Aurora will probably be detected by thermal sensors at much greater distances than in VB6 Aurora.

Hmm. I wonder if you could make an effective passively guided AMM after this change?

With all the changes to Thermal and EM emissions as well as these being serious ways to guide missiles now it really feels like we need some way for Missile Fire Controls to fire on calculated interception points of target and relying on missiles picking up their emissions once close enough.

Doing that math and geometry by hand every time while possible is going to be pretty frustrating.

This way of playing could also could support making missile design even more interesting and deep. Maybe a 0.1 MSP component to enable a search pattern or loitering if missiles find nothing at their destination as well (continuing until out of fuel), or Friendly Fire risk for passively guided missiles unless you equip a 0.1 MSP IFF component to missiles.

14
C# Aurora / Re: Aurora C# Screenshots
« on: July 06, 2017, 04:49:38 AM »
It's not that counter intuitive. Turret armour is extra hardening of the turret, armour in Aurora is all ablative anyway.

It's counter intuitive that the turrets which are external and outside of any armor belt, citadel or protection on all real warships is put underneath it in Aurora.

It's counter intuitive that the same identical turret design when I put it on my battleship with 15+ armor layers is super hard to knock out while if I put it on my unarmored scout it is super easy to knock out.


I realize that it's a simplification, but I still would love to see some more detail with separate ablative armor boxes for turrets, for outer hull and for inner thicker armored citadel ( I don't care about my crew quarters or fuel storage, but might want the engine, powerplants and ammunition under extra layers of ablative armor ).

15
One can probably use SM to make new commanders, then rename them and maybe even give them the same attributes, but this would be a lot simpler.

AFAIK you sadly can't SM commander attributes :(

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