Author Topic: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table  (Read 1705 times)

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Offline crucis

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[COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« on: June 18, 2009, 02:05:47 AM »
Hello all,

<< As with the Anniversary message, this was meant to be posted
to the List yesterday... oh well.... crap happens... >>

As mentioned in my "Cosmic Anniversary" posting earlier, I want to
share a significant piece of Cosmic content with you today... the
draft Hull Table.


But before I present the draft Hull Table, I want to give you some
background on how it was constructed.  I did some serious analysis
of the old 3rdR sizes and not surprisingly discovered that there
is some inconsistency in those sizes.  And the more I thought about
it, the more that I realized that it was these inconsistencies that
were often at the root of why certain hull types would feel relatively
and *proportionally* weak compared to other hull types.

Oh, of course, it's a given that one hull type will always feel weaker
in raw terms than the next larger hull type.  However, certain hull
types were proportionally overly weak compared to the next type up,
or even the one below it.

The methodology used to produce the hull sizes was as follows.  Using
the standard I/MP ratings, except for changing the FG's from 2/3 to 3/4,
I then set the hull sizes based on the assumption that one "I" was able
to move 33-1/3 HS at speed one, regardless of hull type.  The result is
that certain hull sizes did not change much or at all, while others
changed more.  The hull types that changed the most were the DD, CL,
and CA, largely because their previous sizes were "only" set to sizes
rated at 30 HS per "I", rather than 33-1/3 HS per "I".  

By making all hull types proportionally sized according to their I/MP,
you end up with a set of sizes that should make all hull types feel
much more balanced vs. each other.  BTW, note that this was really
only an issue for the hull sizes from ES thru BC.  From BB and above,
the hull spaces were much more proportionally accurate.

A note on the FG size:  Without going into a long dissertation, the
increase in size was necessary to make the FG more balanced in capability
between the CT and DD, and the increase in I/MP is simply reflective
of the increase in size (or rather, the 3/4 I/MP is what set the size
to 25 HS).  Note that the I/MP=3/4 is intentionally halfway between
the CT's 1/2 I/MP and the DD's I/MP of 1.

Now, here's the Draft Hull Table for Cosmic...




Hull Type    Max Size    (I/Ic/J) I/MP
ES [1]111/3
CT [2]161/2
FG [3]253/4
DD [4]331
CL [5]501-1/2
CA [6]662
BC [7]832-1/2
BB [8]1003
DN [9]1334
SD [10]1665
MT [11]2006
MH [12]2507-1/2
SM [13]3009
LN [14]40012
JG [15]50015
Hull TypeMax Size(I/Ic/J) I/MP




Note: the number in [] is the FT number.




Fred Burton
Lead Designer for Cosmic Starfire
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 02:25:01 PM by crucis »
 

Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 07:35:46 PM »
All these "views" and no replies?  :(
 

Offline Shinanygnz

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2009, 01:51:06 PM »
'k then...
Seems pefectly reasonable to me.  Only thing is I'm not hugely keen on the "weird numbers", although (obviously) you're following a mathematical progression, so I might adjust things a smidge, so DD is 35, CA is 65 or 70, BC 85 - but it's no big deal really.

Are you planning any hull size progression tech like in Ultra?  Before I pretty much gave up on 3rdR campaign (due to the end of SA development), I was retrofitting things like that in, adding some of the cool tech (e.g. dense armour/shields) and tweaking other tech (e.g. P became 3 HS)

Stephen
 

Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 03:07:16 PM »
Quote from: "Shinanygnz"
'k then...
Seems pefectly reasonable to me.  Only thing is I'm not hugely keen on the "weird numbers", although (obviously) you're following a mathematical progression, so I might adjust things a smidge, so DD is 35, CA is 65 or 70, BC 85 - but it's no big deal really.

Are you planning any hull size progression tech like in Ultra?  Before I pretty much gave up on 3rdR campaign (due to the end of SA development), I was retrofitting things like that in, adding some of the cool tech (e.g. dense armour/shields) and tweaking other tech (e.g. P became 3 HS)

Stephen


Stephen, aka Shinanygnz,

Thank you for this first reply and comments/questions!  


A. "Wierd" hull sizes: If you increase or descrease the numbers, then you screw up the balance of the hull sizes relative to each other... which only becomes more important when you factor in other drive types (which I haven't discussed).  That is, if you decrease the CA to 65 hs, then you make it relatively smaller compared to the BC, and only moreso if you increase the BC to 85 hs.  Or if you make the DD 35 hs, then you make it out of balance vs the 25 hs FG.

The whole point here is to balance all hull types relative to each other ... particularly the types below 100 hs.  The types above 100 hs are largely already balanced relative to each other due to their relative sizes and I/MP's.  But the sub-100 hs types were grossly out of balance relative to each other.

Besides, what's so "wierd" about them?  Numbers are numbers.  It's not like I'm saying that the, for example, CA is 66.19324589 HS.   ;)


B. Hull Size Progression tech: I'm not sure what you mean by "hull size progression tech".  Could you please explain?  (Do you mean tweaking of system sizes?)


C. Dense Shields/Armor: I've looked at Sd/Ad and have considered it.  Frankly, as presented in Ultra, it really seems to be a rather bad value.  Regardless, I haven't entirely dismissed Sd/Ad.


D. Tweaking tech system sizes:  Absolutely 100% a possibility.  I'm not sure that the P is likely to be reduced in size, but I expect that at least beam will lilely be reduced in size.  Having said that, one has to be careful when tweaking weapon sizes, as even a single HS change up or down can have serious consequences in the relative "value" of the weapon.  (Precision weapons, such as the Primary, are a bit more difficult to get a firm handle on their "value", compared to "regular" beams weapons such as lasers, force beams and E-beams which can be compared reasonably well.)
 

Offline mavikfelna

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 02:11:47 PM »
As far as the hull table sizes/MP ratios, I think it's fine. Looks like you fixed one of the real problems with the 3rdR table.

What about cost per HS? I really think the increasing cost per HS is a disinclination to building larger ships, at least as much as the MP rations caused some classes to be much less useful/desirable.

What are the MP limits and turnmodes? How will that affect other engine types, if they are included. Improving engine types (ala Ultra)?

How about fast hulls (carrier hulls in 3rdR)? Freighters?

Are you dropping Express Boats (EX hulls)? So long as minimum size is 3HS I don't see a problem dropping them. It's just nice having a cheap courier hull.

Are you planning on dropping the 4HS construction bonus for ships finishing construction? Please! That's the other disincentive for large hulls in 3rdR and Ultra.

Note, I think Ultra does alot right and it handles alot of things more eloquently than in 3rdR. But I still like alot of the 3rdR environment. My biggest complaint with both is not on the tactical side or with ship design but with R&D. It's too simple in 3rdR and too complex, takes too long and is often too hard to advance in Ultra.

Oh, and hull progression tech is the d~m hull sizes in Ultra in think. So as you improve in EL you can make larger hulls in the same class (IE, DD is 30, DDb is 35, DDe is 40 etc...) so that you are pushing larger hulls without increased cost per HS. If you go to a set cost per HS or even a very shallow cost increase per HS by class this isn't needed or is handled by improved engine tech. At least I think that's what Stephen is saying.

--Mav
 

Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 03:53:10 PM »
Thank you, Mav, for another fine posting with plenty of good questions...

Quote from: "mavikfelna"
As far as the hull table sizes/MP ratios, I think it's fine. Looks like you fixed one of the real problems with the 3rdR table.

I think that it fixes problems that were carried over into 4e as well (and that's not a knock on 4e).


Quote
What about cost per HS? I really think the increasing cost per HS is a disinclination to building larger ships, at least as much as the MP ratios caused some classes to be much less useful/desirable.

I can't tell you the actual cost per HS, as I don't remember what it is... However, it is my intention to go with truly flat per-HS costs for all of the various types of hulls (i.e. warships, FT's, BS's, etc.).  Oh, each of those major types (i.e. warships, FT's, etc.) will have a different costs, but within a given major type, such as warships, the per-HS cost will be a single value for all of the sub-types (i.e. DD, CA, BB, etc.).  I agree that the increasing per-HS cost is a disinclination against building larger ships.



Quote
What are the MP limits and turnmodes? How will that affect other engine types, if they are included. Improving engine types (ala Ultra)?

The I drive speeds similar to 3rdR, except that above BB, there are some minor changes... All "BB" group hulls (i.e. BB, DN, SD) will have the same I Drive speed, and all "MT" group hulls (i.e. MT, MH, SMT) will have the same I drive speed.

I didn't include this specific info for a couple of reasons.  One, I wanted the initial focus to be on the hull SIZES, not the engines.  And Two, there is some new engine tech that I'm not ... quite ... ready to discuss.  I will give you (well, everyone reading this) a thumbnail of it though...

First of all (not counting the Ic drive), there are 3 drive types projected as initial TL drive technologies... the tried and true I Drive, the J Drive (using the 4e model, speeds, TM's, etc.; a little faster tactically, with a 1/3 cruising speed, slightly higher TM's, 120* blindspot, ability to transit WPs), and a new military drive that's a bit slower (tactically) than the I drive, but with lower TM's and a 2/3 cruising speed ratio, and a tiny blindspot.  The I and J drives use the same I/MP power ratings, and the "new" drive uses a "better" I/MP power rating.  This new drive, which I colloquially call the "P Drive", may be a little slower than the I drive, but it's better in every other way (TM, Blind spot, cruising speed, I/MP's).  It is designed to be a serious alternative to the I and J drives.


Regarding "improving engine types", it will NOT be done along the 4e model with strings of bland incremental generations.  That is not to say that there won't be "improved" versions of earlier engines... just that it's my intention that they have considerably more flavor than a mere "+1 max speed, +1 TM".  But at this point, I cannot talk about this (largely because it's still a work in progress).






Quote
How about fast hulls (carrier hulls in 3rdR)? Freighters?

Carrier hulls won't exist as a separate hull type in the 3e manner of speaking.  What they'll be is a major hull modification that allows for hanger bays to be mounted cheaply, with certain limitations.  (And without the carrier hull mod, standard warships will pay heavily to mount hanger bays, since their hulls haven't been designed both externally and internally to support fighter operations.)

Carrier hulls will not be made faster due to this modification, nor will it improve their TM.  However, you will be able to have speed 6 CVA's (for example) due to some sort of improved version of the I drive that will become available around the same time that you'd be wanting CVA's.

There's nothing new or special about freighters.



Quote
Are you dropping Express Boats (EX hulls)? So long as minimum size is 3HS I don't see a problem dropping them. It's just nice having a cheap courier hull.

EX actually stands for "Explorer".  However, I am dropping the EX.  

However, it is possible that I have a "replacement" for the "cheap courier" role.  (another work in progress I cannot discuss)




Quote
Are you planning on dropping the 4HS construction bonus for ships finishing construction? Please! That's the other disincentive for large hulls in 3rdR and Ultra.

Gone, gonzo, see ya.  No more 4 HS construction bonus.  

Whenever I read thru the SF List archive, and this topic came up, there was almost never a decent reason given for its existance.  I think that I did read somewhere that there was some underlying deep economic reason for it... but I'm sorry, that's not good enough for me.  ;)   there are certain aspects to the basic R&D process (and I mean very basic!!!) that are actually pretty good.  I'm not talking about the tech trees and breakthru's etc.  I'm talking about the basic process of buying RP's and rolling for success against the running total of bought RP's.  It's a solid and really not particularly complex process that IMHO is an improvement over the 3e R&D process.  And note that this basic bought RP process certainly does NOT require the use of the more complex aspects of 4e's R&D rules to be functional.  Not in the least.







Quote
Oh, and hull progression tech is the d~m hull sizes in Ultra in think. So as you improve in EL you can make larger hulls in the same class (IE, DD is 30, DDb is 35, DDe is 40 etc...) so that you are pushing larger hulls without increased cost per HS. If you go to a set cost per HS or even a very shallow cost increase per HS by class this isn't needed or is handled by improved engine tech. At least I think that's what Stephen is saying.

--Mav

Oh.... you mean generational hull technology?  Ahhh.... Yes, I'm very familiar with generational hull tech.  I'm not sure if that's what Stephen means or not (and would appreciate his input either way)...  I actually SERIOUSLY considered (though have for now, rejected) using the concept of generational hull sizes as the means by which new generations of engine tech "improved".  That is, a 2nd gen I drive would have allowed a hull to move a higher number of HS for the same number of engines.  This would actually represent an engine improvement, since the engines would be more efficient on a HS moved per HS of engines basis.  (I didn't particularly like how generational hulls were implemented in 4e with the penalties on better generations.  Blah!)

However, I've decided against going this route, at least for now.  (Also, I all my work on this concept was done before I came up with my new mathematically generated hull table.  I'm not sure exactly how I could merge a generational "hull" concept into this new hull table concept ... at least yet... and I have no particular reason to work in that direction, for the time being.)




Fred Burton
Lead Designer for Cosmic Starfire
 

Offline mavikfelna

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 01:08:41 PM »
Quote from: "crucis"
Thank you, Mav, for another fine posting with plenty of good questions...

Quote from: "mavikfelna"
As far as the hull table sizes/MP ratios, I think it's fine. Looks like you fixed one of the real problems with the 3rdR table.

I think that it fixes problems that were carried over into 4e as well (and that's not a knock on 4e).

Agreed.

Quote
Quote
What about cost per HS? I really think the increasing cost per HS is a disinclination to building larger ships, at least as much as the MP ratios caused some classes to be much less useful/desirable.

I can't tell you the actual cost per HS, as I don't remember what it is... However, it is my intention to go with truly flat per-HS costs for all of the various types of hulls (i.e. warships, FT's, BS's, etc.).  Oh, each of those major types (i.e. warships, FT's, etc.) will have a different costs, but within a given major type, such as warships, the per-HS cost will be a single value for all of the sub-types (i.e. DD, CA, BB, etc.).  I agree that the increasing per-HS cost is a disinclination against building larger ships

Quote
What are the MP limits and turnmodes? How will that affect other engine types, if they are included. Improving engine types (ala Ultra)?

The I drive speeds similar to 3rdR, except that above BB, there are some minor changes... All "BB" group hulls (i.e. BB, DN, SD) will have the same I Drive speed, and all "MT" group hulls (i.e. MT, MH, SMT) will have the same I drive speed.

I didn't include this specific info for a couple of reasons.  One, I wanted the initial focus to be on the hull SIZES, not the engines.  And Two, there is some new engine tech that I'm not ... quite ... ready to discuss.  I will give you (well, everyone reading this) a thumbnail of it though...

Excellent. I think the smoothed table combined with set per-HS costing by type is the best way to make it work properly. It gives a good incentive to build bigger while still making smaller viable with there advantaged speed/TM.

Quote
First of all (not counting the Ic drive), there are 3 drive types projected as initial TL drive technologies... the tried and true I Drive, the J Drive (using the 4e model, speeds, TM's, etc.; a little faster tactically, with a 1/3 cruising speed, slightly higher TM's, 120* blindspot, ability to transit WPs), and a new military drive that's a bit slower (tactically) than the I drive, but with lower TM's and a 2/3 cruising speed ratio, and a tiny blindspot.  The I and J drives use the same I/MP power ratings, and the "new" drive uses a "better" I/MP power rating.  This new drive, which I colloquially call the "P Drive", may be a little slower than the I drive, but it's better in every other way (TM, Blind spot, cruising speed, I/MP's).  It is designed to be a serious alternative to the I and J drives.


Regarding "improving engine types", it will NOT be done along the 4e model with strings of bland incremental generations.  That is not to say that there won't be "improved" versions of earlier engines... just that it's my intention that they have considerably more flavor than a mere "+1 max speed, +1 TM".  But at this point, I cannot talk about this (largely because it's still a work in progress).

Very interesting idea for a different engine. I look forward to trying it out. And I don't mind the 4e engine version but something a bit different wouldn't be unwelcome. Again, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Quote
Quote
How about fast hulls (carrier hulls in 3rdR)? Freighters?

Carrier hulls won't exist as a separate hull type in the 3e manner of speaking.  What they'll be is a major hull modification that allows for hanger bays to be mounted cheaply, with certain limitations.  (And without the carrier hull mod, standard warships will pay heavily to mount hanger bays, since their hulls haven't been designed both externally and internally to support fighter operations.)

Carrier hulls will not be made faster due to this modification, nor will it improve their TM.  However, you will be able to have speed 6 CVA's (for example) due to some sort of improved version of the I drive that will become available around the same time that you'd be wanting CVA's.

An interesting idea. I presume the modifications will make mounting weapons more expensive? Giving the choice of inexpensive carrier or weapon ship or expensive mixed type?

Quote
Quote
Are you planning on dropping the 4HS construction bonus for ships finishing construction? Please! That's the other disincentive for large hulls in 3rdR and Ultra.

Gone, gonzo, see ya.  No more 4 HS construction bonus.  

Whenever I read thru the SF List archive, and this topic came up, there was almost never a decent reason given for its existance.  I think that I did read somewhere that there was some underlying deep economic reason for it... but I'm sorry, that's not good enough for me.  ;)   there are certain aspects to the basic R&D process (and I mean very basic!!!) that are actually pretty good.  I'm not talking about the tech trees and breakthru's etc.  I'm talking about the basic process of buying RP's and rolling for success against the running total of bought RP's.  It's a solid and really not particularly complex process that IMHO is an improvement over the 3e R&D process.  And note that this basic bought RP process certainly does NOT require the use of the more complex aspects of 4e's R&D rules to be functional.  Not in the least.

I agree here for sure. If I were to remake the Ultra model, I would remove every other tech item is just about every tree (making it more dramatic steps when you do get new tech), increase the costs for research and remove most knots. I'd also make combined research the norm so if you're researching an SL with a tech item, you're also researching the item.
  I'd also remove the rapid weapon, variable weapon and anti-matter twigs and just build those advances into the weapons, removing -r, -v and -g type weapons as separate types and just incorporating them into the normal weapons. And I'd probably pull the capital and heavy branches back into the main trees.

Quote
Fred Burton
Lead Designer for Cosmic Starfire

As for generational hulls, like I'd said, I don't think they're needed with proper improving engine tech and I'm just as glad you're not including them.

--Mav
 

Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 02:01:08 PM »
Quote from: "mavikfelna"
Quote
Quote
What are the MP limits and turnmodes? How will that affect other engine types, if they are included. Improving engine types (ala Ultra)?

The I drive speeds similar to 3rdR, except that above BB, there are some minor changes... All "BB" group hulls (i.e. BB, DN, SD) will have the same I Drive speed, and all "MT" group hulls (i.e. MT, MH, SMT) will have the same I drive speed.

I didn't include this specific info for a couple of reasons.  One, I wanted the initial focus to be on the hull SIZES, not the engines.  And Two, there is some new engine tech that I'm not ... quite ... ready to discuss.  I will give you (well, everyone reading this) a thumbnail of it though...

Excellent. I think the smoothed table combined with set per-HS costing by type is the best way to make it work properly. It gives a good incentive to build bigger while still making smaller viable with their advantaged speed/TM.

A major advantage of the mathematically produced hull table for ships up to 100 HS (it was never really a problem above 100 hs) is as follows:

With different engine technologies in the mix, the hull types will be the fastest hull in a "speed group".  (What I call a "speed group" is this ... for I drives, the BC is the fastest speed 6 hull of the CL, CA, and BC, while the DD is the fastest spd 7 hull between FG and DD.)  A key point of making different drive types interesting is to make different hull types the "fastest" ones.  For example, the DD is the largest spd 7 hull for I drives, but is the smallest spd 8 J drive hull.  Different drive types will have different sets of "best hulls".  I drive "best" hulls (i.e. largest hull for the speed) are CT, DD, BC, and SD, whereas J drive best hulls are FG, CA, and DN, and P drive best hulls are CL, BB, and MT.

Oops, I kind of got on a tangent.... the point here is that with the highly balanced table, the J drive speed 9 "best hull" FG will feel it's worth every MC of its size, whereas IMHO, at the old sizes, a 22 or 20 hs FG would still feel relatively undersized compared to the J drive speed 8 "worst hull" DD.  By using the balanced table, regardless of the drive type, the "best hull" should always feel like it has the same value compared to the next largest hull with the same drive.  

Put another way, think of these old sizes: 22 hs FG, 30 hs DD, and 45 hs CL.  if you compared a J drive spd 8 FG vs a J drive spd 7 DD, the FG would feel relatively weak for a fastest hull type.  OTOH, if you compared a I drive spd 7 DD vs a I drive spd 6 CL, the DD probably didn't feel undersized... at the old sizes.  But with the new table, regardless of drive type, all hulls should never really feel particularly undersized compared to the next larger or smaller hull type, whether the hull is the largest or smallest in its speed group.


I'm sorry if I'm rather verbose on this topic....  I put a lot of effort into this table...  I'm particularly fond of the 25 hs FG.  The FG has always been the so-called "orphan" of Starfire.  It's my hope that with 16 hs CT, 25 hs FG, and 33 hs DD, the FG will no longer be an orphan.  And if you're using I drives and you are looking at the choice between a speed 8 CT or a speed 7 FG, you'll have to really think about the choice, because the 25 HS FG will have enough extra size that you'll have a hard decision about whether then CT's extra speed is better than the FG's extra size.




Quote
Quote
First of all (not counting the Ic drive), there are 3 drive types projected as initial TL drive technologies... the tried and true I Drive, the J Drive (using the 4e model, speeds, TM's, etc.; a little faster tactically, with a 1/3 cruising speed, slightly higher TM's, 120* blindspot, ability to transit WPs), and a new military drive that's a bit slower (tactically) than the I drive, but with lower TM's and a 2/3 cruising speed ratio, and a tiny blindspot.  The I and J drives use the same I/MP power ratings, and the "new" drive uses a "better" I/MP power rating.  This new drive, which I colloquially call the "P Drive", may be a little slower than the I drive, but it's better in every other way (TM, Blind spot, cruising speed, I/MP's).  It is designed to be a serious alternative to the I and J drives.


Regarding "improving engine types", it will NOT be done along the 4e model with strings of bland incremental generations.  That is not to say that there won't be "improved" versions of earlier engines... just that it's my intention that they have considerably more flavor than a mere "+1 max speed, +1 TM".  But at this point, I cannot talk about this (largely because it's still a work in progress).

Very interesting idea for a different engine. I look forward to trying it out. And I don't mind the 4e engine version but something a bit different wouldn't be unwelcome. Again, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


I came up with the game mechanics idea for the P drive on my own, but interestingly I discovered that a fairly similar drive was suggested in the SF List archive back in the late 90's.  I wish that I'd had this idea for the P Drive back before DW and I started working on ISW4, cuz the P Drive would have been the perfect drive for the Bugs.



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How about fast hulls (carrier hulls in 3rdR)? Freighters?

Carrier hulls won't exist as a separate hull type in the 3e manner of speaking.  What they'll be is a major hull modification that allows for hanger bays to be mounted cheaply, with certain limitations.  (And without the carrier hull mod, standard warships will pay heavily to mount hanger bays, since their hulls haven't been designed both externally and internally to support fighter operations.)

Carrier hulls will not be made faster due to this modification, nor will it improve their TM.  However, you will be able to have speed 6 CVA's (for example) due to some sort of improved version of the I drive that will become available around the same time that you'd be wanting CVA's.

An interesting idea. I presume the modifications will make mounting weapons more expensive? Giving the choice of inexpensive carrier or weapon ship or expensive mixed type?

Mounting weapons more expensive:  most likely.

As for an "expensive mixed type", I haven't done any numbers yet, but you would probably end up with an expensive mixed type whether you mounted hanger bays on warships or weapons on carriers.



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Note, I think Ultra does alot right and it handles alot of things more eloquently than in 3rdR. But I still like alot of the 3rdR environment. My biggest complaint with both is not on the tactical side or with ship design but with R&D. It's too simple in 3rdR and too complex, takes too long and is often too hard to advance in Ultra.


I don't disagree.  Ultra does do some things well.  It's certainly better written and edited than SM#2.

Regarding R&D, I agree on all counts.  I haven't looked at R&D for a couple of months, but I have a number of ideas on R&D.

I don't like the complexity of the Ultra R&D system.  I sort of agree with those who say that it may more accurately represent a realistic R&D process.  But having said that, I still think that it's too complex and not particularly fun looking.  .... BUT having said that  ;)  I want to retain most of the simplicity of 3e while gaining certain benefits of the basic purchased RP system.

I do not want 4e tech trees as such or "SL's", or a number of other things.  There may be some prerequisites or some other things, but whatever they are, they'll need to be simple.  They may not be as "simple" as having no such limitations as in 3e, but I tend to think that some limitations are not a bad thing.  They just need to function simply and not prevent (at least seriously so) the player from having fun.
 

Offline procyon

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2010, 04:04:28 AM »
Kind of a late hit on this topic.  But it is a slow night and I got the next installment of my N.C done early, so I had some free reading time.

Don't know where you are on the hull table, but the ES sort of looks like the odd ball on the list.  The table has a really clean progession until you hit the 1/3 ratio for the ES.  What would you think of changing it to 8 HS with a 1/4 to continue the table's feel.  All the ship HS counts seem to give each one balance, and a clear role, but it looks like the ES and CT will kind of suffer the overlap that they have now.  Too close to each other, with the CT being the heavier hitter.  I've seen tons of CT swarms.  Almost no ES swarms.  A flat per HS cost is great but I think it will just accentuate the CT's dominance.

If you were to drop it back to 8 HS, it would definitely fill another role that wouldn't be in competition with the CT, at least no more than the CT is now in competion with the FG in your table.  8 HS would be on the small side I admit, but so was the EX.  After the first couple TL's ES just kind of disappeared in most of the games I played, while CT's hang on forever.

I think it would also go well with the advancing engine tech.  If you increase the HS ratios by engine generation it will give a nicely proportioned advance if they are all based on some factor of 1/4th.  The 1/3 is going to have lags and jumps against the others in I:MP ratios,....perhaps.  A lack of info makes that hard to state accurately.  But here is what I could see.

Give each generation of engine an increase of 4 HS in I:MP.  A 'beta' engine gives a +1 HS to an ES/EX (at 8 HS), +2 HS to a CT, +3 HS to a FG, +4 HS to a DD, +6 to a CL, etc, etc.  The next step up would double those numbers.  The 1/3 is going to kind of have jumps and lags if this was the case though.

We use generational hull in our games, and they are popular, but we use an old EC rule on the engines instead of the 5e rules.  With it a beta engine will move a beta hull at the same speed as the earlier engine/hull combo, and has the same turn mode as before. (There is more to the rule concerning new engines in old hulls and visa versa, but it wouldn't be necessary with your model)  I would think this type of rule would fit well with what I think you are trying to do.  The better engine will move a bigger ship as well as the older engine used to, turn mode and all.  If you base the TM on the I:MP levels, it would make a nice steady progression for the new engines (and get rid of trying to keep track of which ship has a better/worse turn mode because you changed the hull/engine generation).

Just a thought.
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Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2010, 11:24:54 AM »
Quote from: "procyon"
Kind of a late hit on this topic.  But it is a slow night and I got the next installment of my N.C done early, so I had some free reading time.

Nah, don't worry about it.  I'm glad to discuss this topic!

Quote
Don't know where you are on the hull table, but the ES sort of looks like the odd ball on the list.  The table has a really clean progression until you hit the 1/3 ratio for the ES.  What would you think of changing it to 8 HS with a 1/4 to continue the table's feel.  All the ship HS counts seem to give each one balance, and a clear role, but it looks like the ES and CT will kind of suffer the overlap that they have now.  Too close to each other, with the CT being the heavier hitter.  I've seen tons of CT swarms.  Almost no ES swarms.  A flat per HS cost is great but I think it will just accentuate the CT's dominance.

Procyon, the thing to remember about hull tables is (this may seem like a bit of hyperbole) that they're only as good as the engines associated with them.  If you've seen lots of CT swarms but few ES swarms, then it's almost certainly because everyone's using I drives, because I drives always have the CT as the largest hull for a given speed.  In 3e terms, the CT would have been the largest spd 8 hull, while the DD was the largest spd 7 hull, and the BC was the largest spd 6 hull.  

I've used the same strategy as was used on the Ultra hull table in this regard... different engine types have different "largest" hull types at each speed.  Thus, with my J drives, the FG, CA, and DN's are the largest hull types for for their speeds, while the CL and BB are the largest hull types for the P drive.

The point of this is that races that use a different drive type will quite likely end up preferring different hull types ... hull types that are the largest for a given speed.


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If you were to drop it back to 8 HS, it would definitely fill another role that wouldn't be in competition with the CT, at least no more than the CT is now in competition with the FG in your table.  8 HS would be on the small side I admit, but so was the EX.  After the first couple TL's ES just kind of disappeared in most of the games I played, while CT's hang on forever.

There are a couple of things that tend to hurt the ES.  

First of all, when the EX is around, the ES isn't the smallest, least expensive hull type, and given the nature of the current non-Cosmic surveying rules, surveying is more cost efficiently done on the smallest possible hull because only 1 X is allowed per ship.  This will no longer be the case in Cosmic.  There will be certain limitations on the mounting of multiple instances of X type systems per hull, but multiples will be allowed to be mounted and function at the same time.  This has been done because the Canon History made it clear that empires had a preference for larger surveyors, so it became necessary to ditch the 1 X per ship limitation because that limitation all but forced players to use the smallest ship possible to make surveying as cheap as possible, in terms of maintenance costs of the survey fleets.

Secondly, in 3rdR, you really only had I drives (for the most part, though some people may have used AD's J drives).  And because of that, and the nature of the 3rdR hull table, the ES was not the largest speed 8 hull type.  The CT was.   But with multiple drive types available right from the start*, some people may find ES's more favorable to use. ... actually, I take that back... there may not be much reason to use ES's, as there appears to be no drive type that makes it the largest for its speed group.  It sort of suffers due to its being the smallest hull type.  Not much that can be done about that.

* You actually won't have access to all of the new drive types at the start.  You will get the commercial drive (Ic) and one military drive type, either the I, J, or P drive.  Also, your selection of the drive type will dictate the type of LRW your race uses, because each type of drive technology is linked to a type of LRW technology.  I drives to missiles (and sprint missiles), J drives to kinetics, and P drives to plasma torpedoes (and plasma guns).  This happens because those drive technologies are directly linked to what makes those LRW tech's function.  Missiles uses I drive tech to function.... J drives use "inertial spread" technology to do kinetic weapons.  And (P)lasma drives use their plasma technology to do plasma torpedoes and plasma guns.  It does eventually become possible to develop the systems outside of your own drive type, but not at the start.  The idea was to create some historical flavor and some consequences to the choice of a drive type.  (Note that the J drives didn't add an SRW to kinetics as was the case with I and P drives, because Kinetics function quite adequately as SRWs at short range.)









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I think it would also go well with the advancing engine tech.  If you increase the HS ratios by engine generation it will give a nicely proportioned advance if they are all based on some factor of 1/4th.  The 1/3 is going to have lags and jumps against the others in I:MP ratios,....perhaps.  A lack of info makes that hard to state accurately.  But here is what I could see.

Actually, the hull size ratios were based on the following formula: 1 HS of engine would move 33.33 HS of hull at a speed of 1.    Thus, if your I/MP is 3, then you're a 3 x 33.33 = 100 HS ship ... a BB.  or if your I/MP is 1/3, then you're a 1/3 x 33.33 = 11 HS ship ... an ES.

I actually looked at other ratios ... 30-1, 25-1, 35-1, etc.  33.33 was the best and was the closest to the existing hull sizes.  As I said earlier, I tweaked some of the sizes from the old sizes to the sizes strictly dictated by the 33.33-1 ratio because IMO a reason why certain hull types were less than favorable was that even with a drive type that favored the hull type (such as a J drive favoring FG's rather than CT's), a 20 hs or a 22 hs FG is simply undersized compared to other hull types that were closest to their "optimal" size according to the 33.33-1 ratio.  By tweaking all hull sizes to the sizes dictated by the 33.33-1 ratio, hopefully all hull types will be favorable for their size, regardless of what drive they happen to use.  (Oh some hull types will be more favorable than others depending on the drive type.  But all hull types should be very well balanced for size, regardless of drive type.)





Quote
Give each generation of engine an increase of 4 HS in I:MP.  A 'beta' engine gives a +1 HS to an ES/EX (at 8 HS), +2 HS to a CT, +3 HS to a FG, +4 HS to a DD, +6 to a CL, etc, etc.  The next step up would double those numbers.  The 1/3 is going to kind of have jumps and lags if this was the case though.

We use generational hull in our games, and they are popular, but we use an old EC rule on the engines instead of the 5e rules.  With it a beta engine will move a beta hull at the same speed as the earlier engine/hull combo, and has the same turn mode as before. (There is more to the rule concerning new engines in old hulls and visa versa, but it wouldn't be necessary with your model)  I would think this type of rule would fit well with what I think you are trying to do.  The better engine will move a bigger ship as well as the older engine used to, turn mode and all.  If you base the TM on the I:MP levels, it would make a nice steady progression for the new engines (and get rid of trying to keep track of which ship has a better/worse turn mode because you changed the hull/engine generation).

Just a thought.


Big sigh.  You're just about the first person who has shown much of any support for the generational hull concept.  I liked the concept myself (though not the 5e version).  And I actually had worked on some generational hull rules.  I liked the concept because it seems to me that as engines advance, the number of HS's per 1 HS of engine they can "push" should go up.  I also liked the idea because it seems to be very well represented in sci-fi, with hulls of a given "type" gaining in size as technology advances.  Think of the Honorverse, where BC's started out somewhere around 500,000 tons and by the most recent books are now up around 2.5M tons.  (Same with other hull types as well.)  

Another reason that I liked it conceptually, is that as TL's increase in Starfire, smaller ships become less and less capable because of an increasing need for secondary systems that the smaller hull types just don't have room for when hull sizes remain static.  For example, in the ISW1/2 era, DD's were very capable hull types.  But by the time of ISW4 (against the Bugs), true (30 hs) DD's were simply too small to keep up.  If you mounted an installation of cloaking ECM on a DD, you effectively turned it into a FG or CT, in terms of the remaining space for weapons.  This is why the CL sort of became the de facto "DD" of ISW4... a CL, even at 40 hs, which was the CL size when ISW4 was written, when mounting cloaking ECM tends to have about the same remaining space as a non-cloaking ECM Destroyer.  

Thus, the increasing need for secondary systems created a sort of bracket creep in hull types.  But if you use a gen hulls concept, the additional hull spaces can offset this bracket creep and make the smaller types remain viable for a considerably longer time.



Looking at the EC56 article, I see that an embedded editor's note states that one of the "drawbacks" of generational hulls is "that you use less engine HS to move a bigger hull.  This means that your weapons to engine ratio is improved."  I have to utterly disagree with this statement.  I see this as the primary benefit of generational hulls.  It's what makes them worth using.  I look at the 5e version of gen hulls and I think BLAH!  What's so "good" about having a larger DD that is slower and less maneuverable?  This is supposed to be advanced technology!!!  Gen hulls that slow the hulls don't seem very "advanced" to me.

My general view of gen hulls was that speeds and TM's would remain the same as hull generations increased.  Actually, I should state that my version of "gen hulls" wasn't really "generational hulls", so much as I moved the concept into advanced engines.  That is, a 2nd gen engine would have had the same speed as the first generation of the engine, but with a larger, 2nd gen hull size.  This would have been the primary advancement mode for advanced engines ... larger hulls for the same speed/TM.  However, the griping about this idea was deafening.  So I just said "(bleep) it" and did engine advancements in the way that I'm currently using.  (I suppose that I could change my mind and go back to it, but it seems unlikely.  Pity.)

I really sort of wish that I could have kept the "gen hull" engine advancement model because it would have been a GREAT way of explaining why TFN/KON, etc. ships never got any faster all the way up to the Terran Civil War (aka Insurrection).


There's another reason that I liked the "gen hull" style of engine advancement over other models... Some people suggested reducing I/MP ratings as a way of doing engine advancement.  The problem with doing this is that the improvement in terms of HS's gained is very, VERY small unless the hulls are very, very large.  If you reduce a BB's I/MP from 3 to 2.5, you gain a grand total of 2.5 HS (which would round to only 2).  Big freaking deal.  2 stinkin' HS on a 100 HS ship.  You might gain 1 HS on a DD.  Again, big freaking deal.  With the "gen hulls" advancement model, you actually gain useful numbers of hull spaces when you advance, not these chump change amounts of freed up HS.  A DD might gain something like 4 or 5 HS per generation, or a BB might gain 8 or 9 HS per generation.  Those are useful numbers... those are #'s of HS that can add a weapon or 2  or other useful things.  Plus, another problem with reducing I/MP's is that it gets increasingly difficult to reduce those values for smaller ships that already have small I/MP's to begin with.  Using the hull gen style of advancement, you are working with numbers that don't have "diminishing returns", because you're not using fractions that are getting increasingly closer to zero.

Sigh.  That's all I have for now...

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Offline mavikfelna

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2010, 01:00:22 AM »
I like generational hulls, and I agree with you, Crucis, that they should advance the tech rather than slower and less maneuverable.

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2010, 01:11:39 AM »
I agree on the generational hulls benefits though in ultra so long as you have the appropriate engines to compensate they are just as beneficial as the model you suggest.
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Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2010, 02:09:55 AM »
Quote from: "drakar"
I agree on the generational hulls benefits though in ultra so long as you have the appropriate engines to compensate they are just as beneficial as the model you suggest.

Well, yes, that is true, drakar.  I'd overlooked that minor fact.

Still, I see the gen hulls concept as one that really should be an engine advancement, not anything to do with hulls themselves.  But perhaps that's just semantics.




Seriously though, I spend a fair amount of time on my own version of  engine advancement being represented using the gen hulls concept (i.e. more advanced engines being able to push more HS of ship for the same number of engines).  You would (well, maybe you wouldn't) be surprised at the vehemence to the idea that I encountered.   I don't know if this vehemence is because of some feeling that the hull tables should be static, or if it's because of a feeling that engine advancement absolutely must equal more speed.

Frankly, I still think that it's a good idea.    An engine that can push 35 HS for 1 HS of engine is better than an engine that can push only 30 HS for 1 HS of engine.  I also like how it would make hull types and ships less cookie cuttered in design, since hull sizes wouldn't be utterly unchanging.   (Of course, I'm not sure how well, a gen hulls concept would work with my new hull table.  I put a lot of work into balancing it ... and the gen hull scheme of simply adding 1+FT# in HS per generation might throw this new hull table's balances off.)
 

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2010, 11:03:18 AM »
Personally I am not a fan of cookie cutter designs on ships but I disagree that all engine advancements should increase speed.  If I'm interpreting what your version would consist of correctly a new gen of engine would push more hull spaces at the same speed as the last gen of engine that could push a lesser amount of hull spaces.  Though with this am inclined that with the larger capacity of the new gen engine would it be able to push a lower gen hull at a faster rate as now it no longer is pushing the larger hull that it is designed for or will they just maintain the speed in the now smaller outdated hulls.  This question comes with my current strategy with ships in Ultra with the gen engines and hulls and my using this system to make specialized high speed though slightly larger turn mode ships.
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Offline crucis

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Re: [COSMIC] Draft Hull Table
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2010, 02:01:09 PM »
Quote from: "drakar"
Personally I am not a fan of cookie cutter designs on ships but I disagree that all engine advancements should increase speed.  

Glad that you're not one of those that seems to think that engine advancements absolutely positively 100% must be increases in speed.  Some people do seem to have that feeling. I suppose that size increases aren't particularly "sexy" compared to speed increases.  But there is more than one way to provide improvements to engine technology.


Cookie-cutterism is a somewhat different issue, and arguably 2e/3e somewhat brings this on itself with a somewhat limited array of weapons, drives, etc..  Add static hull sizes on the hull table (which is also true in 4e) to that.  In 2e/3e, many players would closely analyze the weapons options at the various TL's (not that it was all that difficult to do, mind you), and come to similar conclusions as to what the "best" designs tended to be... hence, cookie-cutterism.  4e/5e seems to combat this to some degree, though (IMHO) in a rather boring way (flavorless weapons, etc., etc., etc.).  I hope (fingers crossed) to do better.


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If I'm interpreting what your version would consist of correctly a new gen of engine would push more hull spaces at the same speed as the last gen of engine that could push a lesser amount of hull spaces.  Though with this am inclined that with the larger capacity of the new gen engine would it be able to push a lower gen hull at a faster rate as now it no longer is pushing the larger hull that it is designed for or will they just maintain the speed in the now smaller outdated hulls.  This question comes with my current strategy with ships in Ultra with the gen engines and hulls and my using this system to make specialized high speed though slightly larger turn mode ships.


I'll try to explain the idea as I envisioned it to make myself more clear.  Please note that this is not my currently envisioned model for engine advancement, but I'm open to changing my mind.

In this idea, there would be no generational hulls.... key word "hulls".  In 4e/5e, the "generational hull" concept is a hull improvement.  In my idea, it would be the advancement to the engines would be that they are more powerful per HS and would be capable of pushing more HS of ship per HS of engines.  The actual details of how this would happen would probably be similar to in the 4e/5e gen hull rule, i.e. you'd get a number of HS equal to the FT# (or FT#+1) per generation.  No decrease in speed or TM, as with generational hulls.  

However, I should note that there is a subtle increase in speed, if you think about it a second.  For example, an 83 HS BC (the max size BC in the above hull table) which was using second gen I engines might gain 7 or 8 HS, thus making it a 90 or 91 HS BC... and with its speed of 6, it would be faster by 1 MP than an older BB using older I engines.  Thus, you end up with a BC that ends up looking a bit like a somewhat undersized BB but with BC speed...   Of course, this "subtle speed increase" really comes into play between hull types where there's a speed drop from one hull type to the next larger hull type.  It wouldn't matter as much if one went from a 50 HS CL to a 55 or 56 HS CL (with I drives), since with I drives have the same max speed for CL's and CA's, though you would gain the 5 or 6 HS from the larger hull (with the same 9 HS dedicated to spd 6 engines).  Or to put it another way, you'd gain 3 HS in terms of smaller engines vs a CA of that same 55 or 56 HS size.

Anyways, that's all I have for now...
 

 

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