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Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
03-25-2013, 09:24 AM
Post: #11
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
Thanks for looking at the problem, and thanks also for a look "under the bonnet" of the Starbase combat system.

(03-25-2013 06:18 AM)rocco Wrote:  Firstly, know that under the hood there is a full grid-based, turn-based combat system in place.
Does that mean that both time and ship positions have only discrete values? And can you confirm that there are 50 combat rounds per turn?

rocco Wrote:Each ship is assigned a number of movement points each combat turn (based on ship size and other factors). Each ship is also assigned an initiative value (based on their movements points). Each combat turn has several phases, the first phase is where all ships get to move (ships don't fire until all movement is done). The ships are sorted by their initiative, then each ship (in order) gets to expend all of their movement points to move themselves wherever they need to.
It almost seems that "initiative" is a negative under the current system - you'd rather move last than first. So in some ways enhanced speed can hurt you. You see that when ships with short range weapons (Ion, Gauss) overshoot their targets, then need to turn around.

rocco Wrote:Firstly, I changed it such that ships do not get to use all of their movement points all at once. Instead, each ship in combat gets to use ONE movement point at a time. This allows ship movement to be more simultaneous, and allows a little better positioning across the board.
You could imagine that ships would not need to use up all their movement points. If you order "charge close", and you are already on top of opponent, who has used up his movement points, why not just stop there and start pounding away?

rocco Wrote:The second change means that the concept of "initiative" is out the window. This should be fine as now the higher MP ships will be able to spend the rest of their MP after the slower ships run out; allowing them to finer position themselves in relation to the slower ships.

This make more sense now. I would predict that this would tend to tip the scales in favor of short range weapons (Ion, Gauss), as well as putting a larger premium on maneuver. I think the weapons damage would probably have to be tweaked to maintain balance.

Can you also please take a look a potential problem with the movement points not making sense, as raised by macaronnie here?

Parenthetically, I refer to some earlier discussions about a possible "Starbase Orion- Tactical Command". It seems like, based on your description, a lot of the ingredients for this are already implemented, just hidden from view.
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03-25-2013, 11:30 AM
Post: #12
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
Quote:You could imagine that ships would not need to use up all their movement points. If you order "charge close", and you are already on top of opponent, who has used up his movement points, why not just stop there and start pounding away?

There are plenty of ways ship movement could be improved by adding more AI. It is, however, a slippery slope. I could drop in and add a rule to make it stop if its in firing range, but what it was stranded but on the path to allies? The stopping kills it, whereas if it kept going it would have survived? Shouldn't it be coded to detect that too? And what about the case where instead if it turns around and suicided would have destroyed it, but won the battle as a while?

I am not prepared to go down that path without allocating a lot of time for it, but in that absence I prefer a more simple, predictable system.

Quote:This make more sense now. I would predict that this would tend to tip the scales in favor of short range weapons (Ion, Gauss), as well as putting a larger premium on maneuver. I think the weapons damage would probably have to be tweaked to maintain balance.

I look forward to hearing all about it! Seriously, I won't have time to run through all of the possible repercussions so the more help during the upcoming beta the better.

Quote:Can you also please take a look a potential problem with the movement points not making sense, as raised by macaronnie here?

The formulae behind this are more complex than they need to be, and its code I haven't looked at since whenever engines were implemented; I have already mentally put "review combat engines and ships speeds in general" on my agenda. I am not prepared to commit to a timeframe on when that would be.

If combat engine stacking on ships is problematic (which I could very easily be convinced it is) then I'd probably prefer to hard cap it.
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03-25-2013, 11:35 AM
Post: #13
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-25-2013 09:24 AM)MarcusVictor Wrote:  Parenthetically, I refer to some earlier discussions about a possible "Starbase Orion- Tactical Command". It seems like, based on your description, a lot of the ingredients for this are already implemented, just hidden from view.

I have not forgotten. One of the reasons I went ahead and invested in a server is that my next game, whatever it is, will lean heavily on everything being done now.
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03-25-2013, 03:50 PM
Post: #14
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-25-2013 11:30 AM)rocco Wrote:  If combat engine stacking on ships is problematic (which I could very easily be convinced it is) then I'd probably prefer to hard cap it.

I think combat pilots probably needs to be looked at at least as much combat engines do. Diebo and I did a bunch of testing with combat pilots vs non-combat pilots. The results could have been partly due to the issues you found with movement, but from our testing combat pilots is basically a required racial atm. Doing plasma vs ipc, combat pilots were winning when it was like 3 engines +combat pilots vs 7 engines, regardless of which side had plasma or IPC. Combat pilots won every time.

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
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03-26-2013, 12:14 AM
Post: #15
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-25-2013 03:50 PM)VanderLegion Wrote:  
(03-25-2013 11:30 AM)rocco Wrote:  If combat engine stacking on ships is problematic (which I could very easily be convinced it is) then I'd probably prefer to hard cap it.

I think combat pilots probably needs to be looked at at least as much combat engines do. Diebo and I did a bunch of testing with combat pilots vs non-combat pilots. The results could have been partly due to the issues you found with movement, but from our testing combat pilots is basically a required racial atm. Doing plasma vs ipc, combat pilots were winning when it was like 3 engines +combat pilots vs 7 engines, regardless of which side had plasma or IPC. Combat pilots won every time.

VL, I suspect the results we were having will end up being related to the way initiative and movement works. With 7 engines, you had initiative, so went first. My ships with combat pilots and fewer engines could each time react optimally based on your movements.



The way movement works likely explains the IPC "bug" that is on the whipping post. Where both VL and I had maybe 4-5 engines, and his IPC fleet zoomed past my Plasma fleet without firing.



Based on MarcusVictor and Macaronnie's tests, combat engines don't seem to provide a straight 20 percent bonus (or whatever). However, from a playability perspective, I haven't had any issues with stacking engines. They get prohibitively expensive really quickly, so you rarely see more than four.

Thrusters on the other hand aren't very useful. I never use them. Perhaps with the improved movement per this thread, they will become more useful. I would recommend removing the stacking penalty on thrusters - or at least think about it.
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03-28-2013, 03:47 AM
Post: #16
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
For what it's worth, Diebo and I recreated the battle originally described in this post, in our long running Massive Galaxy MP game:

2 fleets, identical:
6x Mammoth 12Ion3 3Armor2 2Bulk2 Shields4 3ECM Engines
Both fleets with orders "Charge Close, Target Weakest".

The outcome was the same as the Beta Test Scenario outcome: 5 ships survive, with 71% health, with this important difference: the RED ships won, instead of the BLUE ships. So it appears that the colors do not correspond to the initiative ranking mechanism as described by rocco earlier.
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03-28-2013, 04:11 AM
Post: #17
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-28-2013 03:47 AM)MarcusVictor Wrote:  So it appears that the colors do not correspond to the initiative ranking mechanism as described by rocco earlier.

Sorry if I was unclear, but empire color has no bearing as to which side ships get put into the combat's "all ships" array first. Which empire's ships are added to a combat in what order is determined by other factors (specifics of which I wouldn't know without digging).

My opinion is this is still the same issue, just that red's ships were added to the combat last. We'll found out soon as the beta starts I suppose ;-)

Out of curiosity, were reds ships on the right hand side of the screen or the left when the combat started?
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03-28-2013, 05:09 AM
Post: #18
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-28-2013 04:11 AM)rocco Wrote:  Out of curiosity, were reds ships on the right hand side of the screen or the left when the combat started?

I am blue, and believe I was on the left-hand side. Red was right. MV, is that your recollection?
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03-28-2013, 08:25 AM
Post: #19
RE: Possible bug: strange asymmetry in battle
(03-28-2013 05:09 AM)Diebo Wrote:  
(03-28-2013 04:11 AM)rocco Wrote:  Out of curiosity, were reds ships on the right hand side of the screen or the left when the combat started?

I am blue, and believe I was on the left-hand side. Red was right. MV, is that your recollection?

Yes, I think so. So right side ships have the advantage?
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