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Posted by: Ranged66
« on: Yesterday at 05:45:33 AM »

A suggestion on the ground combat:

Population could contribute some troops/strength as well, depending on the loyalty and happiness of the planet.  A planet that loves its empire will have many patriotic citizens taking up arms themselves to help fend off the invaders, while a planet that already hates the ruling empire might even aid the invaders in getting captured.
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: October 12, 2018, 05:30:31 AM »

I will be revisiting every spoiler race to make them more interesting, plus I plan to add new spoiler races. Some details below for the existing spoiler changes if you want them:

1) Precursors now have 'real' ground forces rather than the pop-up robots. They are still robotic but now you will be fighting Centurions and Praetorian Combat Mechs (plus other types). You will also be able to damage abandoned installations so wiping them out from orbit will no longer be a good option. Because the AI needs to worry about fuel, Precursors may also deploy harvesters and logistics infrastructure to support their forces. Finally, they will have a more consistent approach to the composition of the forces, which will vary by game. This is all coded.

2) Swarm will be expanded to include more ship types, although still no missiles. Eventually, they may become similar to Tyranids from WH40k. They will also have ground forces, which will probably use vast numbers of low quality units on front-line attack, supported by occasional very powerful units.

3) Invaders, which were inspired by Andromedans from SFB will move more in that direction. They will have a consistent plan, rather than being a random menace, and will have bases that support their inter-galactic invasion, rather than wormholes. You will be able to defeat that invasion by destroying the bases.


Posted by: Father Tim
« on: October 12, 2018, 04:44:36 AM »

I had a few thoughts about spoilers today.

<SNIP>



I quite like your idea of Star Swarm 'Princesses' spreading to neighbouring systems, but I would hate to see the Swarm start using missiles.  They're pretty much the only faction that don't, and I want more non-missile-users, not less.

As for the Invaders, I haven't encountered them enough to form a really solid opinion.  Generally when I find a wormhole it means the death of my exploration cruiser, so that system gets marked 'off limits'.  On the extremely rare occasions when a wormhole opens in one of my inner systems, half my fleet (or more) is immediately stationed there to kill anything that comes through.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: October 11, 2018, 06:39:19 AM »

Something I have thought a about several times are the mineral report.

It is showing at the end "Projected Usage"... this is all nice and such but I really would like to have Yearly Projected Usage" this would be much better to know the rate at which minerals are consumed over one year versus the incoming minerals to that site.
Posted by: Rich.h
« on: October 11, 2018, 05:20:26 AM »

I may have missed someoe else already putting similar ideas forward, but had a few thoughts about spoilers today. For me personally I tend to find two spoilers somewhat boring and they become nothing more than a hump in the road in one case, and a micromanagement annoyance in the other. As such I will address each seperately.

So first up then is the Star Swarm, the general method by which they work with workers building more ships is great, but lacks anything else. Once you discover them and design a class of ship to take out the fighters with little to no damage the queen becomes a simple matter of long range missiles (and lots of them). If you encounter them again at any point it is a simple rinse and repeat. So a couple of ideas:

1. Have a missile type craft in the swarms arsenal, something like a bio missile that functions in the same manner as mesons (skipping shields and armour). This means you now have another tactical layer to consider, and could be quite the shock when you think you are safe using a mob of AMM against the meson fighters and suddenly a whole lot of fast blips appear.

2. Since the basic goal of all life is to procreate and spread, have the Star Swarm follow suit. So to start with a swarm will be found in a system, they will have a queen, a few constructors and the fighters. More than often first contact is the case of you  quickly loosing the craft that discovered them to the fighter onslaught. Instead of however having the Swarm being reactive make them proactive, so they could have a fleet breakdown as such:

A queen (one only ever in a system
Jump capable "princesses" that move to an ajoining system and turn into new queens with a small amount of resources
Workers that gather materials
Missile type larger drones to defend the queen
Soldiers as they are now.

With this makeup the swarm could follow a simple method. The queen lays eggs of X number of soldiers, then lays worker & drone eggs in a set ratio. Once the total number of Soldiers + Drones + Workers reaches a set amount the queen lays a special egg, this hatches and jumps to an ajoining system through an explored JP. The young new queen then grows up and using a small stockpile hatches out a minimal force of Workers and Soldiers, she then continues as a normal queen. Once a queen finds she has no explored JP's left without that do not contain a swarm, she stops hatching young queens and goes into a cycle of maintaing her swarm at peak condition.

Doing this would mean that if you do not activley work on wiping out the swarm in a system you run the risk of them spreading and causing major problems for all in the galaxy, with NPR's activating spoilers this could easily result in you happening upon a massive nest spread over many systems.


Ok and the second spoiler race.

The Invaders, here is a race I no longer use in Aurora, simply for how annoying they end up becoming. Not dangerous just annoying, much like the Star Sawrm you can develop very effective designs build to wipe out the Invaders without much trouble, but the wormhole system means you end up with a lot of micromanagement of systems with wormholes. Now I understand what a huge task it would be to have a method of traversing the wormholes and taking the fight to the Invaders, so how about a method where you can at least plug the gaps as such.

So currently you get a wormhole appear and assuming you win the battle with no major problems, you now have to have something nearby to monitor and deal with any future threats. How about to begin with with have a tech line branched off the jump tech line somewhere mid way in advancment that unlocks, this allows you to develop either the means to get rid of the wormhole, or we could have some device that renders them inert but still present. We have jump gates that stabalise a JP so the opposite perhaps, a gate that destabalises the wormhole, rendering it unpassable, yet it could be taken down in future if you decided to try and farm the Invaders technology or such. Also both of these device types would mean the system in question would be unable to have a new wormhole open up inside it.

That deals with the problems inside your boarders, so outside of them then we need a change in Invader behaviour. The Wiki always descived them as bogey men who just want to wipe everything out, so they should act as such. Currently they seem to act a little random, a ship comes through the wormhole shoots at things and may decide to then fly oout of the system on another task. Let's have them build up forces and properly purge  8) So a wormhole opens, and a few smaller vessels come through, they attack anything inside a set radius of the wormhole position then return to the wormhole and wait (If they endup being destroyed then the counter for this system stays set at "bring in small ships"). A counter then moves onto the next stage and in time brings in larger vessels, these do exactly the same thing but in a wider radius (again the counter stays the same should they be destroyed). Finally the counter moves up and in time we get big nasty death machines, these proceed to wipe out everything owned by anybody in the entire system (again a counter reset).

Once this phase is complete the force then joins up leaving the initial scout force to stay at the wormhole. This force then heads out through the nearest explored JP and attacks everything it finds in this system, then moves on and so on. In this way they are laying waste to everything they can find. If they get destroyed then the original counter resets back to the second phase back at the entry wormhole, and once again we get a force build up. If we look at this from an NPR activation it could be possible they wipe out the entire NPR and find themselves with no explored JP's. In this case the force returns to the wormhole and waits until a new JP network connection is made then moves towards it and continues onward.

In this scenario it would make sense to have a set limit on the number of wormholes allowed to be active at any one time in the galaxy, for nothing else other than CPU power and the devestation multiple forces could create. But it would mean you have the chance of occasionally coming across entire worlds that have been glassed, with mountains of wrecks in system from where the Invaders swept aside an NPR in their purge. In addition there would be genuine reasons to try and find any active wormholes and develop access traties with an NPR if you happen to have the technology to close them, for both your civilizations benefit.


I think these methods could give an interesting dynamic to both these spoilers and force you to have very different ways of dealing with them, in addition I don't think either requires a massive overhaul of the code they already use, just a small expansion on them. As for the final spoiler race I don't think much needs to be done, curently they fit their role and lore well and looking at the second idea changes it makes perfect sense with how often they are encountered.
Posted by: Father Tim
« on: October 10, 2018, 03:40:42 PM »

I *love* all the new formation and ground unit options.  I can finally have the style(s) of army that I want, in all the different historically-inspired ways I desire.  The front-defense-support-rear setup seems like it will fulfill my desire to tinker with fighting doctrine.  I don't need a 'Field Marshal Simulator' with which to run 3h ground combat chunks -- if it's not too onerous, I don't mind having one.  I'll probably start looking for the AI assist after two or three battles.
Posted by: chrislocke2000
« on: October 10, 2018, 10:17:43 AM »

I'd agree that having the ground combat a bit more interactive and having options to both initiate and react to different developments would be great. As said previously its just balancing this with the micro management piece.

More broadly I think all the extra logistics and costs of invading a planet needs to be appropriately rewarded to make sure it does not become simple better sense to put all that effort into growing your own industrial base and resources and just glass the opposition rather than trying to take it from them. Not sure if that means lowering the relative costs to launch such an invasion or give some method to increase the speed by which you can get a hostile planet fully contributing again or something else.
Posted by: sloanjh
« on: October 10, 2018, 07:29:59 AM »

I would point out that not all player interaction is micromanagement. It becomes micro heavy if you have to do tasks that are not meaningful decisions. Do you attack, do you retreat are important questions, which should matter.
Firing 100 missiles from box launchers in 20 5 missile salvos at 20 swarmers is currently a micro heavy task. If you need to select each ground unit individually and change it to attack, that is micro heavy, but changing a stance every few hours, that is just paying attention to what you are actually doing.

Just to plant the agent seed again:  It would be REALLY nice if the same agent that the AI uses to run the micro (or even macro) level of a particular ground combat were available for the player to use.  That way those who don't want to consume their attention (whether through disinterest or wanting to roleplay working at a higher level of command) could just pick a "let the AI run the combat" option and let it go on auto-pilot.  Ditto for picking fire distribution for naval weapons.

John
Posted by: Whitecold
« on: October 10, 2018, 02:10:26 AM »

With all the time, work and thinking which went into the new ground combat it is much more "fleshed out" as in VB6 - which results in the point that it also deserves much more "love" from the player... it shouldn't be too micro right but should be more micro than atm...

also as I said, ground combat is something the player can avoid nearly completely if he wishes... space combat he can not...

I would point out that not all player interaction is micromanagement. It becomes micro heavy if you have to do tasks that are not meaningful decisions. Do you attack, do you retreat are important questions, which should matter.
Firing 100 missiles from box launchers in 20 5 missile salvos at 20 swarmers is currently a micro heavy task. If you need to select each ground unit individually and change it to attack, that is micro heavy, but changing a stance every few hours, that is just paying attention to what you are actually doing.
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: October 10, 2018, 02:09:21 AM »

I also forgot to mention army capitulation could be automatic when there are no more units able to hold the defensive line, or a chance for capitulation.

You could also add in the chance of an army dispersing and starting to conduct asymmetric warfare. We all know how important this has been in history from disrupting a conqueror from gaining control of an area and can enable a garrison force to hold on for a good while until reinforcement arrive against overwhelming odds.
Posted by: King-Salomon
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:52:10 AM »

Well, currently ground combat is fire & forget, unlike space combat which is very micro heavy.

Even in C#, it is largely fire & forget, because while you will spend more time designing your units and formations, the only real concern you have to worry about is ensuring supplies & replacement are delivered to the planet. You select front and rear formations, ground-support fighters (if any) and then let the game proceed. With the proposed change, a player would have to monitor ground combat, making it more like space combat in the amount of player attention it requires.

Having said that, I can totally understand that for some players, the ground combat is a tasteless side salad whereas the space combat is the fat t-bone slathered in gravy and spraying thousand islands sauce over the salad will not improve the dining experience for them.  :D

I am with you...

the main point I see, the new Ground Combat chances are really big and a lot of work to do.. so all the work would be wasted if the Ground Combat itself would stay as it is atm - with "click and forget"...

all the good ideas and work that went into the new system should result in a new way to PLAY the Ground Combat - make it more complex (and so micro heavier than atm) like the Space Combat...

It could be better to have less 'realism', but smoother game play. Although Aurora should have a lot of variety and choice, it should not have micromanagement where that detracts from game play.

Well, Space Combat has 5sec turns .. ground combat 6h turns even in C# if I am not wrong.. so I see no problem.. Aurora is played by players who are getting "distracted" from the game every time a tiny conflict in space occurs with sometimes 100s of 5s turns... shouldn't be so much a problem to get a few 6h turns in between... it COULD be a problem when your testgames shows that you need 3-6 month of 6h turns to conquer a planet and the player has to micro 500x per planet but as long as it is not too much I am in favor...

also ground combat is something that is much more rare (even with the new systems than space combat - and can be avoided by the player in let's say nearly every time if he wants (just bombard an alien planet to kingdom come/don't defend/ignore attacks at your own planets at all
only the defending spoilers are a "fight you have to do" maybe but even than the player can ignore ruins etc... so...

---

With all the time, work and thinking which went into the new ground combat it is much more "fleshed out" as in VB6 - which results in the point that it also deserves much more "love" from the player... it shouldn't be too micro right but should be more micro than atm...

also as I said, ground combat is something the player can avoid nearly completely if he wishes... space combat he can not...
Posted by: Jorgen_CAB
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:50:29 AM »

Do we really need both hp and cohesion? I know they're different things, but it seems like the actual strategic impact would be minimal outside increasing micromanagement.

In the end, this is ground combat in Aurora, not a new game entirely, so I'm kind of wary of over-complicating an addition that will already be much more complicated then what it's replacing.

This is a valid view too. If I change Morale to Quality and add Cohesion, the actual game-play change would be moving formations in and out of the front-line to manage cohesion. While more realistic, that might get tedious fast. It could be better to have less 'realism', but smoother game play. Although Aurora should have a lot of variety and choice, it should not have micromanagement where that detracts from game play.

That depends on how you do it I believe... If you set a formation to defensive front line duty it would fall back to support when cohesion fall too much and automatically back in front formation when it regained a certain amount of cohesion. Say it will fall back to support when cohesion get below 50 but can not get on the front line if cohesion is less than 75... once cohesion is 75 it will automatically go to the front lines again.

The same could go for support and attacking units.

Say you need 100 cohesion to begin attacking and fall back to defensive front lines at 75 cohesion. You need 75 cohesion to go to the defensive front line and fall back to support at 50. You need 50 cohesion to move to support lines and fall back to rear echelon at 25 cohesion... etc...

You only set what place you prefer that formation to be at and the game handle the rest for you... this way you get a dynamic combat model that is both realistic and relatively micro free. I think this will make combat last much longer... I feel that combat in general seem to conclude way too fast, especially if one side is more powerful than the other since there are no mechanic to mitigate numbers.

You could micro this if you want to but you would not need to and there would be rules for when a unit is able to take up possition in Attack, Defense, Support & Rear.

Perhaps also add something such as allowing a max of certain number of formation to engage another formation too so uneven combats will take some time and produce at least some losses to the aggressor.
Posted by: Person012345
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:44:59 PM »

Well, currently ground combat is fire & forget, unlike space combat which is very micro heavy.

Even in C#, it is largely fire & forget, because while you will spend more time designing your units and formations, the only real concern you have to worry about is ensuring supplies & replacement are delivered to the planet. You select front and rear formations, ground-support fighters (if any) and then let the game proceed. With the proposed change, a player would have to monitor ground combat, making it more like space combat in the amount of player attention it requires.

Having said that, I can totally understand that for some players, the ground combat is a tasteless side salad whereas the space combat is the fat t-bone slathered in gravy and spraying thousand islands sauce over the salad will not improve the dining experience for them.  :D
It's more that simply moving formation in and out of the front line when they get low cohesion is tedious and pointless, without much in the way of actual decision-making in the vast majority of cases, rather than people not wanting deeper ground play. Just busy work. Unlike most aspects of space combat where actual decisions need to be made. And whilst it could be automated, that begs the question of why even implement the mechanic in the first place if you're just going to automate it.
Posted by: Garfunkel
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:00:57 PM »

Well, currently ground combat is fire & forget, unlike space combat which is very micro heavy.

Even in C#, it is largely fire & forget, because while you will spend more time designing your units and formations, the only real concern you have to worry about is ensuring supplies & replacement are delivered to the planet. You select front and rear formations, ground-support fighters (if any) and then let the game proceed. With the proposed change, a player would have to monitor ground combat, making it more like space combat in the amount of player attention it requires.

Having said that, I can totally understand that for some players, the ground combat is a tasteless side salad whereas the space combat is the fat t-bone slathered in gravy and spraying thousand islands sauce over the salad will not improve the dining experience for them.  :D
Posted by: Steve Walmsley
« on: October 09, 2018, 05:31:55 PM »

Do we really need both hp and cohesion? I know they're different things, but it seems like the actual strategic impact would be minimal outside increasing micromanagement.

In the end, this is ground combat in Aurora, not a new game entirely, so I'm kind of wary of over-complicating an addition that will already be much more complicated then what it's replacing.

This is a valid view too. If I change Morale to Quality and add Cohesion, the actual game-play change would be moving formations in and out of the front-line to manage cohesion. While more realistic, that might get tedious fast. It could be better to have less 'realism', but smoother game play. Although Aurora should have a lot of variety and choice, it should not have micromanagement where that detracts from game play.
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