Limited numbers of certain items?

One thing I was thinking about… if it’s possible to limit the number of an item that can be fielded.

For example, armor or shields or engines may be unlimited but you can only have, 20 plasma launchers of any type or 20 missile launchers of any type, etc. Ideally it would show the limits on the fleet screen and you can see it tick down as you add ships, to make it intuitive.

One of the things that I see limiting the fun of the game is that Challenge fleets are almost always one type of spam or another, and the counter is to spam it with the particular counter to that spam. But posting that fleet is fairly useless, since it’s so specific.

For example,
There’s one highly rated challenge that has basically a fleet of fast frigates/cruisers with short range weapons that basically drive up into you and blast you to bits from under your guns. The solution I found was to build a fleet of ships with high armor – he used so many of the same weapon type that his ability to beat high armor ships was pretty limited.

But I don’t see much point in posting the fleet I used to win, since the first missile spammer or laser spammer would easily beat it. It’s feeling a bit too rock-paper-scissors. Like a game of “what’s your one weakness, okay, I’ll build nothing but that”.

Perhaps a little forced diversity is called for.

Alternatively, what about an “Adaptive Shield”? A mediocre shield, but one which is completely immune to any attack that is identical to it’s previous attack. e.g., you get hit by [size=110]missile[/size]-missile-missile-missile-[size=110]laser[/size]-[size=110]missile[/size]-missile-missile-missile-[size=110]laser[/size]-missile-missile…

Only the bold ones don’t match the previous hit, so only they do damage. Could even say that if the next hit is completely identical (same weapon model) then the damage is ignored. If the hit is similar (a different type of missile, but still a missile) then it counts but at greatly reduced damage.

Just a thought.

I can echo those sentiments, but only to a point.

Usually I bring out the siegebreaker team whenever I find the enemy has deployed 0.05 speed floating space pigs and my normal fleets can’t take it. After maybe 4-5 attempts total, I get my victory and move on.

In part, that’s where the rating should come in. Was it hard? Well maybe, but only until I countered it and beat it by 65%+. Was it a fun fleet? Probably not.

If the counter is obvious to players, the attempt/victory ratio should suffer, even if an initial loss is likely. The harder fleets are the ones that are more multifaceted… ones that take steps to counter your expected counter. I remember fighting a rushdown frigate team backed up with a mass of torpedo bombers. Simple, yes, but he also had strapped AA missiles to each frigate and employed diversionary fighters - to the point where I couldn’t effectively down his bombers (or his frigates) with fighters (a normal frig/bomber counter) before they got to my fleet. It’s still a fleet of a very few craft types, but it immediately and repeatedly put me on the defensive and I rather enjoyed it.

Weapon limitations might not be a bad idea (although I’m more fond of an escalating cost) but you would have to be careful about it. Fighter centric strategies, for instance, often revolve around a critical mass type effect, so weapon limitations run the risk of killing them off entirely.

I’m not so sure about your shield idea partly because of the difference in fire rate of a lot of the weapons. Fighter lasers fire really fast compared to beams. It could also lead to silly scenarios like a shield becoming immune to disruptor bombs.

At this point, you have the basis for making a fun fleet to counter-post. You won against a 1-trick fleet with 65%. In this situation, I try to figure out what the obvious counter is to my fleet, add some counter-measures to THOSE counter measures and try again. When I win with +30% or so, I have a fleet that might be interesting for people to play against, since the most obvious counter will likely not work, at least not without some thought.

It’s VERY rock-paper-scissors and that is entirely the point. If it were less so, then fleet victories would be more random and it would actually be more difficult to post a balanced fleet! The idea is that if it takes 4 papers to beat 5 rocks, then I don’t have a lot of room left to field rocks of my own to balance against scissors. But if it takes 2 paper to beat 5 rocks, now things get interesting!

I agree with the intended purpose of this; I was disappointed by many challenge fleets that amount to Weapon X spam, and I greatly enjoy making complex fleets with carriers, tanks, gunboats, dedicated anti-fighter, PD and torp frigs etc etc.
Thing is though, ideally this shouldn’t be solved by limiting weapons in such a manner. It could work, certainly, especially if the limit was a formula complex enough to take into account the alloted honor for a battle.

But wouldn’t it be better if another solution was employed? What if you didn’t WANT to field tons of the same weapon? Hell if I know how to achieve this - diminishing returns don’t make a whole lot of sense in this case.

I sympathise strongly with the view in the original post. And as the developer, my sympathies have teeth :smiley:
I am considering what to add next to the game (post-expansion) whether that be free improvements or a larger scale change. I am very tempted to set up a system where maps could have a wide ranmge of restrictions. It would be pretty easy to code from a singleplayer point of view, I would LOVE to have it as part of challenges, although that may take some time and work.
I think almost every game suffers from weapons or choices that unbalance it, hence all the COD servers with a ‘no grenades’ or ‘no sniper’ rule enforced. It’s just about giving the player options on how they want to play.
Anyway I’m rambling, but I’m just posting to say that I am hoping to address this at some stage :smiley:

Oooo! Oo. I got it.

What we need is a “Fleet Diversity Ranking System”. It tells you how diverse your fleet is and ranks it. This rank is displayed in the Challenges download screen and you can also see it when you’re creating your fleet.

Diversity Rank 1:

  • No single ship design constitutes over 75% of your fleet
  • No single weapon grouping constitutes over 75% of your weapons

(Weapon grouping is like… all anti-ship missiles, including frigate, cruiser and fighters = “missiles”. If your fleet consists of more than 75% of this type of weapon then your fleet fails the check for Diversity Rank 1. We would group all cruiser and frigate plasma weapons together for “plasma”, ditto for beam, etc. So a fleet consisting of 74% cruiser missiles and 26% frigate missiles would fail this check because it’s 100% “missiles”. Ideally the fleet design screen could actually show you the groupings and list how many weapons you currently have deployed for each grouping.)

Diversity Rank 2:

  • No single ship design constitutes over 50% of your fleet
  • No single weapon grouping constitutes over 50% of your weapons

Diversity Rank 3:

  • Ditto above, 25%

I’m not sure if it should really be 75-50-25. Maybe 80-60-40-20? At some point it would become impossible to meet diversity requirements for the next rank but if weapons and ships keep getting added then eventually anything is possible.

The catch is that when battling a Challenge fleet, you must use the same diversity or greater to fight it. You cannot use a Diversity Rank 1 fleet to fight a Diversity Rank 3 fleet.

Diversity Rank 0 will be officially labeled “Cheese”.

Thus, if we really enjoy creating a diverse fleet and battling diverse fleets, it will be easy to do it. And by enforcing it we save a lot of forum posts about how someone’s awesome fleet beats everyone, only to find out they have a cheese fleet.

@ cliffski

Yeah simply adding some more available restrictions for scenarios would make for some more interesting scenarios. You could have maps where the beam lasers are less effective to the gas and debris in the system, and others where missiles don’t work and all weapons experience accuracy issues due to gravity fluctuations in the system. There really are a ton of possibilities, and when done right it could lead to some very challenging scenarios by forcing people to think outside the norm.

I think an Adapter Shield would be fun, tough not the way you made it. Perhaps the Adapter Shield would see what you’re getting hit by the most and what’s the most dangerous to you, and start to increase defense against that kind of attack until it was invinsible to THAT kind of attack.

I like that idea too.

Call it, say, a “defense calibration unit”. It adds up damage taken and when one type of damage reaches a threshold value, your ship gains, say, 90% resistance to that attack. In Treknology terms, it adapts your shield and armor harmonics to be extra resistant to that one attack type.

So if someone is throwing almost nothing but plasma at you, then after a few hits your ship becomes highly resistant to plasma. If someone is throwing a mix of weaponry, then it’s still useful but not to a devastating degree.

Or, similarly, we could make it into new items…
Adaptive Shielding
Adaptive Armor

These grant your ship an “adaptive resistance rating” which works like above but stacks with diminishing returns like other devices. e.g., 1 Adaptive Shield gives you 50% resistance to the first attack to pass that threshold value. 2 Adaptive Shields gives you 70%. 3 gives you 80%, etc.

Another idea.

“Targeted EMP”

This EMP weapon has greater range, duration and reliability than the regular EMP weapon but instead of effecting the entire ship, it disables one battery of same-type weapons.

Target ship has 4 missile launchers and 1 beam laser.

If hit by a Targeted EMP there is a 1/5 chance of disabling the single beam (but not the missile launchers) and a 4/5 chance of disabling all 4 missile launchers (but not the single beam). You can only have one such effect per ship (multiple Targeted EMP hits might refresh the timer or re-roll the dice to see what system is being effected but you would never have more than one battery disabled at a time).

Another way of encouraging diversity might be to incorporate some sort of tournament system where you select a limited number of ship designs and for the duration of the tournament (against one player or multiple players) and can’t select any more. That would force people to include some balanced ships or risk being destroyed by whoever brings a ship they’re weak against.

Having challenges with objectives like ‘defend this object or you automatically lose’ or ‘destroy this object to automatically win’ would add some variety too.

A cool idea. Might also allow for some high honor priced “ancient” tech.

I would love to see a tournament.

Maybe that could be a part of the Challenges section someday. The developer could do a bit of work and probably set up a “tournament host” option which only he runs.

Everyone uploads a challenge fleet into some “tournament” section.

When submissions are over, the developer (or whoever) downloads all of the fleets and executes a “tournament host”. The game automatically sets up a double elimination tournament and runs battles until the winner is determined. The top ___ winning fleets get posted into a special “Tournament Hall of Fame” section.

We could do something like that weekly.

Technically we could do it NOW by just setting it all up manually.

I’ve finally started proper coding work on what will eventually be referred to as ‘supply limits’…

How are you thinking of doing limits?

I can think of all sorts of ways but I’m not sure which would be best/easiest/most intuitive…

A) You may spend no more than 20% of the max $ value of a map on any individual weapon system. (50k map limit, so 10k max per weapon type)
B) You are limited to a hardcoded per-map value of any individual weapon system. (“0/30 Light Plasma Launcher”)
C & D) Ditto above but by “weapon grouping” rather than individual systems. (“Missile Weapons”, “Plasma Weapons”)

I’m also not sure we need to limit anything other than weapons. There could be limits on, say, armor, but I don’t think anyone has ever won with an “armor spam” fleet…

I’m doing B. I think it helps to limit more than weapons. Limiting fighter engines could restrict the number of uber-fast fighetrs, for example, and limiting shields or repair moduels might also be interesting.
Once the tech is in to make anything limitable, there will be a natural period where people experiment with what limits produce the most interesting fleets.

i posted this on the blog but i feel strongly about this … i hate games that limit what im able to do … i want more not less from my games .

I feel this is a mistake already the game is limited by unlocks .
and now there is more limitations placed on the player.
hopefully this will be optional .

there is more elegant and creative ways to solve this problem .

im going to refer to master of Orion 2 .

in a game i was playing one time the Antares attacked me mid game so i really didnt have uber ships that i usually had .
but i had a plethora of weaponry available to me.
One being stasis beams so instead of building a bunch of ships to try and defeat the Antares i built several ships around the ideology of quickly moving in and placing the Antares ships into stasis so that way i could fight the fleet more easily and also capture a Antares ship.

my points are that i was limited in my response to the threat due to not having the resources necessary to create a uber fleet. but i was able to over come this because i was able to use clever design to defeat the threat because i had options available to me .

this is what GSB needs . it needs more player options which means greater diversity in modules and hulls . to create your desired effects you could create hulls and modules that are exclusive to one another .

for example we lay out several hulls

assault class hulls these hulls are designed to fit the heavy weaponry in the game . these ships have power bonuses and maybe even range bonuses
they will have a drawback for they will be slow and easy to hit . i dont expect any plasma torpedoes to miss these ships less they are packing the requisite defenses. or better yet have the following.

logistics class hulls these ships are able to equip technology that enable accompanying ships easier target acquisition maybe damage bonuses and of course defense bonuses .

Traige class these hulls are able to equip remote shield extenders and repair systems these keep the fleet alive they provide shield bonuses as well equipping technology that remote repairs ships.

that would at least give you fleets that should have at least 2 types of hulls in them .

to get more frigates into battle there should also be hulls and modules designed in the same spirit . they would be designed to exploit weakness of the larger hull classes .

specialized ecm frigates would be a major pain as well as logistics disruption
also frigates that interfere with triage efforts and of course lethal anti-frigate systems .

that way people who use these in battles will be giving an advantage over people who dont

so now you have very potent reasons to use at least three or four hull classes in your fleet.

and the final which i feel is good enough is fighters and bombers these all ready seem pretty potent as is so i see no need to radically change them .

so that should give you all the diversity in fleets you are looking for.

of course its not easy :frowning: but at least it gives the players more options in creating fleets instead of limiting them even more.

diversifying the modules and making them exclusive to certain hulls would give you the diversification in fleets that you are seeking .

I should point out that these limitations are on a per-scenario basis. So its not like the existing game will lose anything as such. It’s just that there will be the option to add scenarios that enforce such limits. Ideally, this will be available for player challenges. People who prefer to play without module limits will be free to do so, but what this will do is give options for players who hate playing against fleets that are too ‘samey’ in terms of spamming single weapon strategies.
I haven’t yet decided whether to retro-fit some supply limits into existing scenarios.

I think that supply limits are an important strategic limitation in all combat. Imagine WW2 with Germany able to build as many King Tigers as it liked. It would have been a very different result :D.

yay im all for choice :slight_smile:

as for the german army im not sure who was responsible for the large assortment in weaponry that they created
but it could be argued that they pushed and exploited their resources to the max to provide their millitary with a
large variety of tools that would have turned the tide in their favor … thankfully most of the designs were a bit too over the top
and proved a bit difficult logistically to provide them a decisive edge.

I’m not sure how many people play like I play, but I sort of imagine most do.

When I pick up a challenge, I’m really looking to challenge my own fleet, to see if it can beat this challenge, and the next, and the next. When I find a challenge I can’t beat I try to make some minor adjustments so that my fleet can beat this challenge and still beat the previous ones, too. If I simply played to beat the current challenge, that would be too easy. I would have a special missile fleet, a special plasma fleet, a special fighter fleet and a special fast fleet and that should allow me to win every challenge on the second attempt, because no general purpose fleet can cover all of those possibilities.

So my type of gameplay is rendered impossible by “spam fleets”. If I encounter a fleet that spams fighters, I can beat that, but now I’m so anti-fighter that I’ll lose to the first non-fighter fleet I encounter. The fact that people aren’t limited in what they can create actually turns the game into rock-paper-scissors where we can all beat each other on the second attempt, because there is always a specialty fleet solution to any situation.

Plus I just see it as “unrealistic” in the sense that if this was a persistent world game, you wouldn’t build a military industry based entirely on, say, fighters. Enemies would know exactly how to beat you and you’d have to retool your factories too much to deal with it. You’d instead build a diverse military industry that could easily sway in one direction or another but would never be so single minded as to give your enemy an obvious counter.