Campaign GSB Suggestions

I started this thread for people to comment on and make suggestions for the upcomming “Campaign” update for GSB. Please have at it, and here are my first suggestions/observations/comments:

  1. Selecting suitable user-generated fleets.
    I have a thought that you should separate “campaign” fleets from “challenge” fleets.

  2. I haven’t been playing long enough to know, but I presume that a spammy/speciality fleet can be defeated by a rock-paper-scissors fleet. A fleet that counters that spam/speciality. If this assumption is in error and there is a specialty fleet that beats any other fleet, then everyone would build that fleet (which would counter itself, roll of the dice who wins). Please tell me if this is not true.

  3. Production in the campaign mode should be limited, forcing more general fleets because frequent attacks would force the fleet at that planet to deal with a wide variety of strategies.

  4. Fighters cannot travel the star lanes except in the hold of a cruiser or frigate. Carriers become a real part of the battle.

  5. And the kicker - I think all the fleets should be human design, campaign fleets (there are several keys that make this work).

a) Fleets have a time index in the number of moves made, and the amount of production. So if this is the first fleet I send against an enemy planet and it wins (and maybe if it loses) it gets uploaded with time index (or move index) 1. And the number of turns of production. There would have to be a small collection of fleets with move index 2 production 1 to start the campaign launch but they would be quickly replaced by real player moves. If the computer is attacking the defending (player) fleet is uploaded as a “campaign” fleet (defending). If the player is attacking his fleet is uploaded. Win or lose always uploaded.

b) The fleets attacking me and defending other planets all have the same time index and production index as I do. The fleets come from campaign games of other players who are at least one turn ahead of me.

c) A small narrative explaining the first few moves of the campaign.

Planet A (mine) -> Planet B (enemy) -> Planet C (enemy)

Turn 1 - with X production I assign the starting starport to build a frigate with fighter hold.

Turn 2 - I build 3 squads of rocket fighters (one fits in the frigate’s hold).

Turn 3 - I make a frigate with lasers and launch my carrier frigate at planet B.

Turn 4 - Battle - The defending fleet has a production index 3 and a move index 1, and is another players fleet (whatever he made). Lets say three laser frigates, of which, I kill one, and lose my fleet. I build a laser frigate.

Turn 5 - Battle - the computer attacked with the two remaining cruisers. We win barely. I build a carrier frigate. The computer moves his 4 production from planet C to planet B. Planet B now has 5 production points (If I attack it on turn six I have 1 carrier frigate (which can hold one of my remaining two squads of fighters) and 1 laser frigate, the computer on the other hand has the equivalent of 5 laser frigates)

The same way I move fleets around the computer moves production around. And pulls matching player fleets to attack & defend. If it can’t find a big enough fleet it combines campaign fleets (best fit/biggest ship algorithm).

So the computer never has a fleet anywhere, it just has the amount of production at any given planet. It pulls from the fleets attacking, to attack, adding in multiple fleets if it needs to match a bigger production than any one players has yet moved at that move index. Same thing for defending fleets (these are pulled from player defending fleets, because they could have more fighters than carriers are capable of carrying, due to the starport being a giant hanger bay).

OK, I can see this idea is still green but I think it has some merit? What do you all think?

Edit: I updated the text to make my thoughts more clear… please respond, if you have a thought.

Another Item:

I want to be able to play several campaign games at the same time (I would start one for every race). I like having several campaign running at the same time to compare my progress.


Yup, multiple campaign games are supported already. Each one has a saved game folder with a whole bunch of data, but you can have as many as you like.

I understand from what you said in the Fedelite thread that recolors are difficult, but if you are implementing captured ships, it would be nice to see the captured ships recolored to your race’s color scheme. If you’re fighting the federation as the order with captured federation ships, it just looks weird to see them attacking each other.

If it helps I know for a fact that Cliff has posted saying that these will be in the campain.

Well not quite… the last item you’re quoting has been hinted at to be on the chopping block.

I have some ideas about how to build the computer economy (better word?) and manage “encountered” fleets and “unencountered” fleets. But my ideas are, I fear, too late to the game. Cliffski already has an AI for the fleets that algorithmically picks campaign fleets as enemy fleets.

No use in the ideas now…

Please point us at this “hint”. I just searched through all of cliffski’s forum posts and blog entries for the past several weeks and found

  1. No hint that this was on the chopping block and
  2. Several posts mentioning work and refinements being done on this feature.

Why not share your ideas anyway? You never know, they may make it into a future version.

OK, sure, now after a half hour of searching I can’t find the post either. Am I reading the forum in my sleep? Here is what I remember Cliffski saying:

‘I don’t want to use spammy challenges and here is my filter criteria X X X… Now I think I need more criteria X X X…’ Also something like: ‘I need to make fighting challenge fleets optional, and have a bunch of cliffy fleets ready…’

Now I have spent an hour searching and can’t find that post…

I haven’t actually done that bit yet, in that the game assumes there are challenges it can download and fight against, and there are no local ones. I had considered the problem where a player lsoes the server connection, and would need to have some offline enemies to fight, but to be honest, quite a lot of the campaign is now online-integrated so I suspect that might be a bit tricky anyway, so I’ll just be keeping it to player-designed fleets, in all likelihood.

The post you are thinking of is on his blog, here:

I didn’t understand it to be hinting at a cancellation of the user-generated-opponent-fleet idea at all; just a discussion of the work he is doing to implement it. Oh, and there’s Cliff chiming in now. :slight_smile:

Couldn’t you download and pre-cache a bunch of fleets to cover this scenario?

This reminds me that my game crashes when I try to play a challenge without internet access, even if it’s a challenge I’ve already downloaded. Kind of annoying. :stuck_out_tongue:

I wondered if I was going stark raving mad, not being able to find that post, and to think it’s on the blog.

OK, that blog post dictates some of Cliffski’s thoughts (thanks for chiming in) and I’d like to use it to bring up my point about seperating “challenge” fleets from “campaign” fleets.

Well not in the campaign (or in challenges). But there is a specific place that I want to face user designed campaign fleets that have no engines. Fleets other players have made to defend their worlds.

Thus my suggestion for fleets that move to attack saved as “campaign attacking” fleets, and fleets that get attacked saved as “campaign defence” fleets. How else would I ever get to play against a real turtler? I would only get to play against aggressive attacking fleets, which would have a paticular flavor but would be missing out on so many possible flavors. Especially mixed fleets with and without engines (oh and I can’t wait for mixed shielded fleets since once built you can’t unbuild your fleets, and by using those ships in battle I will get to encounter those mixed fleets).

This is where I got the fleets would not be ALL human made.

OK, here’s what’s really holding me back on sharing my thoughts. I could be talking into dead space. No, not the lack of people listening, the lack of knowing anything about the production engine. And this is where it stops me. The limit for a “challenge” fleet is 300 pilots and 100,000 credits (correct me if I’m wrong).

This limit will surely be done away with in the campaign? If I harvest ships from all over my planets and form one massive huge fleet, I’ll exceed those metrics. So some wimpy challenge fleet is supposed to stop that? Let’s say I have a fleet worth 500,000 and 350 pilots and I move it into an enemy planet - the best “challenge” fleet will have no chance to stop it. Thus my suggestion for maintaining a production and turn count for the computer fleets and for pulling ships from multiple challenges to create fleets worthy to fight.

I also think the “pulling ships” idea will produce generalist fleets, not spammy trick fleets, making the game more enjoyable. I guess if Cliffski wants some real suggestions that might be of value to him, he’d have to release a bit of information to us so we could actually talk about what’s so and not just our unanchored thoughts. Cliffski?

Well, it’s 1,000 pilots but otherwise you make good points. :slight_smile:

And not to take the conversation in another direction but here is another (5th way) to play the game that I would find facinating:

Small-multiplayer-turn-based-campaign GSB.

To explain, this would be a 2 to 6 (or 8 if possible) player game. Each player would get 5 or 6 planets to start. (The total number of planets would be 48).

Each player would get 1 turn per day. You can move all your fleets. You give orders at each planet, then submit the turn as a whole.

The maximium fleet on any planet would be 1000 pilots, 100000 credits. Ships take time to build, so on a turn that you design a cruiser (or use a previous design) you order it to be built at a planet. You can see the number of ships in queue (simultaneous build (space is big)) and how long (in game turns) until each ship is complete. You can have more ships in queue than the maximum possible fleet (completed ships hang in limbo until they have ‘space’ to exist).

Turn order would be as follows:
Watch resulting battles (PRNG ensures all battles play out the same, no retreat, this phase is skipped on the first turn)
Make campaign instructions/orders planet by planet
Submit turn
(repeat next day)

In this game there are only the ships the players built in each planet and shipped around. No need for “challenge” fleets. Only need connection to server to submit turn orders. I think planets should have a starbase but this game could be played without it. To keep the game intact with current ship hulls you’d have to let fighters travel the star lanes, something I would prefer not to do. But I think it would work in this game.

Ok, I’ve been gone (away from internet connection) for a few days. Other than a brief popin. But I finally have some time to write about the campaign.

Here is an idea about creating and storing campaign fleets, seperate from challenge fleets, to get the full flavor of what is possible in the campaign as opposed to challenges.

Some presumsions first:

  1. When you play the campaign game, the app will login or contact the campaign server as part of starting up.

The idea:
Create a rolling store of campaign fleets that represent both defending and attacking fleets (a store for each race).

How it would work:

  1. When you login, part of the success communication back to the application is the rate at which to submit fleets. Because this is set at login it is very easy for operations (Cliffski) to change it and control bandwidth and server load. The paramater is how often your application automatically submits a campaign fleet (one that you attack with or one of yours that gets attacked), every 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 20th, etc, fleet a player uses is auto submitted.

  2. The store is X fleets deep and is a FIFO stack. There are two stores for every race (attack and defend). The first fleet in is never replaced until the store is full and a new fleet is submitted. Lets say the store is 20 fleets deep (see #3).

  3. The fleets are categorized by production/credits and pilots. The pilots part makes this a little difficult but from what Cliffski has revealed about the cost and repair of ships the credit/production part of my plan would work perfectly. The credit range could be 1000 credits. So there would always be 20 fleets of less than 1000 credits waiting on the server. 20 fleets 1000 to 2000 credits. 20 fleets 2000 to 3000 credits, and so on.

  4. When you attack a sector/planet the application would look at how many credits and pilots where defending the planet. It would poll the server for the closest match (random selection from the 20 available) and trim or build the ships to match closely the credits and pilots. The same would be true when the computer attacks you. It would select a fleet based on the production/credits and pilots it has to attack (randomly from the 20 available). The fleet could be “adjusted” to make it match better.

General thoughts:
The rolling nature of these stores would mean that they “adjust” and change over time as people would be constantly submitting fleets. This “fleet load” on the server would be regulated by the login script, so it should never present an operations problem. The fleets would always be fresh and would represent what was actually being played by real people - essentially you would be playing against the GSB community in the campaign game.

Really large fleets, larger than are commonly moved or attacked (lets say a 500,000 credit fleet) would become “legendary” fleets. Remaining in the store/cache because there are no fleets to replace them, or they would be slowly replaced because fleets that big are uncommon. Some of these fleets might become famous or be named in the forums and would be a joy to encounter. That also depends on how deep the store is, at 20 fleets, maybe not, but at 100 fleets per category, large fleets could become legendary.

If you were playing several campaign games, you could encoounter one of your own fleets!!! I intent to play a campaign game for each race, I can’t wait to fight my own fleets. (And yes, I might buy the new race just to have another campaign game to play).

I would think the store of fleets needs to be about 50 to 100 to create enough variety that random selection doesn’t become old. But I don’t know how much server resources they take up so I gave my example at 20 fleets. Of course the constant rollover should prevent seeing the same fleet too often.

There are already several thousand campaign fleets, and I’m testing it live, with fleets cropping up as people submit them (unknowingly) through the normal challenge system. My own campaign testing is also populating it with my fleets, although I never face my own designed ships as enemies.
I noticed a bunch of Tirbe ‘ganja’ ships today :smiley:
There will be tons of fleets to choose from, basically. The chances of you encountering the same fleet twice are minimal. Unless you retreat from battle, or get beaten, and then return to that system for a re-match. It that case, you obviously face the same fleet. (maybe repaired slightly).

Is there anything like the current honor points in the campaign game?

Obviously if you have a bigger fleet and stomp the enemy without losing a ship, not having to repair your stuff is its own reward. One of the things that is a bit wonky about the current honor point system, though, is that it encourages you to make your victories as pyrrhic as possible in order to shave those last few points of honor off a map. I thought it would make more sense if there were an honor penalty for losing ships, to the tune of say half the point value of the ships in question.

It may be rather moot for the fixed scenarios, but in most good 4X games a savvy player will usually not go for massive blowout fleets because one is generally better advised to attack on a broader front (or on more fronts) with more numerous reasonably-sized fleets, and thereby keep the tempo and the pressure higher. Similarly, one obviously doesn’t want to be losing ships left and right either, as one has limited ability to acquire more of them. Hopefully any honor-like metrics in the campaign game will have their scoring mechanisms take these considerations into account.

I just thought I’d mention this because the current honor scoring system is a bit of a minor pet peeve. Of course if that could be re-tuned as well I certainly wouldn’t object! :slight_smile: