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Messages - alex_brunius

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1
C# Aurora / Re: Research changes planned?
« on: January 15, 2018, 08:01:41 AM »
I don't believe empires should be punished for growing big, especially in a game with "Expand" in its name. (that's what one of the 4Xes stands for, remember?) Especially, especially in a solo game where balance doesn't matter.

So, do you think that transport and logistics should be simplified to a single global pool that automatically teleports everything around as well?
Or that population restrictions on planets (infrastructure or size based) should be removed?
Or that warships should be able to teleport to all controlled colonies you got?

Because if not we are already punishing larger empires big time, right?


Punishing large empires by making spreading of knowledge and know how be just as difficult as spreading of resources, supplies and warships makes sense both logically and based on history/game balance. It's not an arbitrary restriction anymore then a larger empire needing more time for warships to patrol from one end to the other is.

2
C# Aurora / Re: Research changes planned?
« on: January 15, 2018, 04:21:45 AM »
Diminishing returns and research penalties would just cause there to be a tipping point where making more labs isn't worth it. This is, admittedly, exactly the point... However, it wouldn't "increase decision making", because the decision you'd make there is a no brainer. If it's more efficient to research 10 things at once with 10 labs each, than it is to research 1 thing with 100 labs, you would research the 10 things at once instead.

I think your missing the real trade-off here though.

What your decision is all about is how quickly you can progress down a specific key field, for example engines.

Sure putting your 100 labs at 100 different things might be optimal from a making the most out of the RP standpoint, but it still means your progressing 20 times slower in the field of engines then if you put 40 labs on that ( with diminishing returns for example halving your speed ).

It also requires 100 different scientists, which you might not have available, and it also means you get less out of the higher scientist bonuses.


How important each key field will be for you ofcourse depends ( with engines most of the time being the top priority ) on a sliding scale, and that's where the diminishing returns come in. It will shift the focus so that it's a bit more worth it to spread out your labs instead of the current no brainer approach of always putting as many labs as possible and go through your list of priorities one at a time ( with a few 1 lab projects to train new scientists ). But I still have no doubt that there would be some situations where you want the max labs a scientist can handle to rush techs ( at less efficiency ), and finish them ASAP.

With diminishing returns there is a point to assign 3-5 labs to projects even if you can assign 20.

3
C# Aurora / Re: Research changes planned?
« on: January 15, 2018, 02:18:26 AM »
I don't like a global research system because first of all it is unrealistic and not fun.

To increase decision making I would instead propose that each area have dedicated labs and the more points you put into one project it will have diminishing return. You could allow labs over several planets to cooperate at some penalty.

You should then have just one page which have all your labs (with locations) so you easily could assign them, you should not do it per planet.

This could also be coupled with a system of research needing to get into society as well and not just instantly upgrade everything which just allow for the snowball effect to grow larger which is contradictory to how technology distribute through a real society.

For some things the global research makes sense, like Military technology where all the steps of distribution are pretty accurately modeled in game ( need to make racial techs + design ships + retool shipyards + build actual ships ) before the new tech is out in the field.

I also think it makes fairly decent sense in situations like Civilian liners that won't put new tech into production until it's replacing decommissioned ships ( might need a few tweaks to be perfect ).

But I do agree that it doesn't make a whole lot sense how all your mines and factories even in the fringe systems instantly upgrade overnight after completing research.


Diminishing returns I think would be a great idea to give smaller empires a better chance to be high tech too, and prevent massive empires being able to brute force research by just throwing hundreds of labs at all problems at once.

It would also be interesting to be able to pick some quality vs quantity approach to your academies ( either crank out more low quality leaders or fewer high quality leaders ) in the same spirit.

4
C# Aurora / Re: C# Ground Combat
« on: January 15, 2018, 01:16:05 AM »
Pods can also be assigned to normal box launchers, so a fighter designed for space combat can also be used for ground combat in an emergency.

So this means you will be able to assign an autocannon pod to a box launcher? That's going to feel pretty weird.

I also second what others have wrote, that it does feel off if you won't need any resupply of munitions for air bombardment. I mean I do understand that we don't want to have to keep track different calibers of autocannon shells / ground bombs, but at least having them using same generic Supply to rearm like the ground forces will would solve that.

5
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 13, 2018, 07:37:57 AM »
if only to end this ridiculously nitpicky discussion. (But only a part.)

I agree. Let's all be silent instead of trying to find some interesting and engaging topics tangential to Auroras development updates to talk about. Effective now!

6
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 13, 2018, 06:22:39 AM »
Guys, Aurora isn't real life, we can't even hope to try and figure out what the "realistic" behaviour and design of components made out of fictional materials in a fictional universe with fictional properties would be. The prime consideration here should be gameplay, whether we want a multirole pod or specfic pods or both and how they should be balanced to each other should be based on what is best for gameplay and what gives us the most viable choices without creating needless BS. Not based on whether the F-35 is an overbloated project that should have been cancelled long ago but wasn't because the US government is under the thumb of Lockheed Martin and the arms industry.

You should take a look at all the successful science fiction universes. Everything that can be ( without breaking the fiction ) is based on or inspired by real places / cultures / knowledge / behavior to make us immersed in the world and make the world feel plausible and "real".

The same thing is true for all successful games.

7
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 11, 2018, 07:12:10 PM »
Unfortunately that is not the case and thus your analogue fails. A modern jet plane is vastly more complex when compared to a WW2 plane than a modern car is compared to a 1930s car and it's not just one thing, it's literally everything, starting from materials used to build the frame and ending with the electronics.

So exactly like Cars then which use a mainly aluminium alloy light weight chassis today instead of steel, and electronics which is 1000 times more powerful today then what was used to put a man on the moon some decades after WW2.

For reference this is an example image of the wiring in a modern car:
https://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Zap-Zone-2017-Bentley-Bentayga-inline1-626x352.jpg

Furthermore, at the peak of WW2, USA spent 41% of its GDP for military production and that had everything included. So the premise of dedicating 10% of current GDP to only building airplanes is a pretty wild exaggeration despite sounding reasonable


Actually to further my example using the actual amount of money I listed you would need less then 10% of USAs current GDP to buy the amount of F-35s you claim would be impossible...

And During WW2 USA spent about 1/3:ed each on Airforce, Navy and Army, which means if they spent 41% of it on war they spent about 14% of it on the airforce, which main expense would be, you guessed it, buying airplanes.

The money and wealth available in rich world powers like USA/China is staggering, if an entire nation the size of USA could rally behind a common goal like was done in WW2... Then truly staggering things could be accomplished which may seem "impossible" for us in our consumer / narcissistic focused economy of today. ( Although colonizing the solar system would be a way better goal to rally behind then building hundreds of thousands of fighter jets ).


Even if the analogy worked, contemporary automobile design is a case study in the drawbacks of multipurpose design.

Automobile design being a case study in drawbacks of multipurpose design and being overspecced seem to support my analogy that cars of today have developed just as much as airplanes, if not more. People that argue against airplanes like the multirole F-35 use exactly the same arguments!

8
C# Aurora / Re: Cap Civilians?
« on: January 11, 2018, 05:14:16 PM »
There is one way to cap the lag civilians produce without capping their capacity.

And that is allowing them to build arbitrary massive sized transport ships, and start to increase their ship size instead of numbers once they get too many ships.

9
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 09, 2018, 03:32:39 AM »
No matter what, USA will never build 295,959 modern jet planes in 5 years, like they did from 1940 to 1945. John Buckley discusses this topic in great detail in his fine "Air Power in the Age of Total War" book.

If USA devoted 10% of GDP to the task, properly adapted the airplanes for mass production and had a few years time to convert factories ( as during WW2 ) then I have no doubt at all it could be done. Some technical solutions dependent on very rare or expensive materials (stealth for example) might need to be redesigned or use replacement material to cope, but other then that there are no problems at all what so ever.

I'm going to argue that Automobiles have seen a similar development in terms of technical complexity that military airplanes have the last 80 years.


So let's correlate Automobile production of the 1930s and today and compare the increase.
From about 4 million cars per year peak before WW2 to about 40 million cars per year today, that is roughly x10 increase in output, despite the fact that a car today is a technological and electronic marvel of twice the weight and using some cutting edge consumer electronics.

Another way to look at those numbers is how much money all those cars production is worth.

At a production of 40 million cars per year today if we assume the average car costs $35k that's $1400 billion worth of production capacity per year. Let's as an experiment say all that was invested into producing F-35s instead and we assume that due to economies of scale cost per plane would drop to 20% of current ( which is a conservative estimation based on what mathematical production models suggests would happen when you increase investments by that amount). This means each F-35 would cost $17 million fly-away cost and that $1400000 million can then buy you 82'000 airplanes PER YEAR.

USA could if they wanted produce even more airplanes per year using modern technology then what was done during WW2, if there was a need to do such a thing.

If there is a need for such a thing however, and how the American public would react if you told them the money they paid for a new car is going into a fighter plane instead... that is a totally separate discussion!

10
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 08, 2018, 10:47:46 AM »
But this is actually cost-effectiveness question. Because high-tech planes are so insanely expensive, they need to be able to perform multiple roles. Even so, there still are fighter/bombers and bombers.

It's not that many decades ago when planes had very strict role separation - you had fighters, (ground)attack planes, light/medium/heavy bombers, dive bombers, torpedo bombers and long-range recon planes, and more. Partially it was because of technical limitations but specialized planes were usually better in their dedicated role.

The main reason IMHO why we have such a massive focus on quality today is that a single piece of equipment ( plane or submarine ) on it's own carries enough missiles/nuke warheads to totally flatten a whole country.

Imagine if a single 500 ton fighters in Aurora 4X could fire 50 nukes each of them being almost impossible to stop, individually targeted and with 75 times more firepower then it takes to wreck a capital city...


Then you hardly would mind paying 10 or even 50 times as much for superior quality since you only need a single bomber getting through and launching to inflict certain doom for your opponent.

11
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 08, 2018, 07:56:56 AM »
There will be some form of logistic units. I've been holding off on exactly how they work because of issues around tracking supply point usage but it finally struck me how to do it. Each logistic unit (probably static base type) will use up a set amount of maintenance supply points (MSP) during creation. When combat takes place, each side will use up a certain amount of MSP (to be determined) during each combat phase, based on that type of units engaged.

Lets assume that each logistic unit includes 100 MSP. If combat consumes 230 MSP that would use up two logistic units with a 30% chance of a third unit being consumed. Over time, that will work out fine with no record-keeping needed. If no logistic units remain then combat will become far less effective (major penalty to hit, or perhaps no offensive fire at all). This will give an incentive to land a number of logistic units with the initial invasion, plus the potential for resupply runs against hostile defences.

Something I would like to see when it comes to logistics is variable rates of consumption.

Real Grounds units are not going to consume at 100% their full rate until they have 0 left and then go from 100% efficiency to X% (very low) efficiency overnight / in a single update tick.

Ideally they should see a gradual reduction since when supply go below say X% of max capacity they can carry with them and no deliveries are in sight they will start to conserve their remaining stock to last longer. This means you can start to see an upcoming supply shortage well in advance and preempt it, and at first the penalty will not be so big, units will just consume a bit less and fight a slight bit worse. But if left ignored it will grow worse and worse, similar to how dept can ruin your economy gradually if ignored or how life support failures gradually can spiral out of control.

12
C# Aurora / Re: Wiki update
« on: January 06, 2018, 08:28:02 AM »
Easiest way to update it would probably be to just go through Steves change list one post at a time and update relevant page/pages.

13
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 04, 2018, 02:35:28 PM »
The reason why mixed units are superior IRL is due to combined arms. The whole becomes greater then the sum of it's parts since they can fight together and provide mutual support.

Infantry can use some of the tanks as cover when advancing and at the same time the Tanks use the Infantry to not get ambushed.


Having some basic level of this might be a good idea as a future improvement later on ( Infantry + Direct fire Vehicles + Support/Indirect fire ).

14
C# Aurora / Re: Replacing PDCs
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:05:30 AM »
Shouldn't Construction Vehicles require mostly similar resources to build that construction factories do though?

15
C# Aurora / Re: C# Aurora Changes Discussion
« on: January 03, 2018, 06:09:19 AM »
If there should be preferential targeting it might be a good place to add in mobility. An AT gun on a vehicle will be much better at targeting intended target due to it's mobility then a static (towed) or infantry AT weapon.

( Although this does get a bit weird when we use vehicles with multiple weapons, mobility won't help them target both Heavy tanks and Infantry at the same time with 2 different weapon types ).

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