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Computing Power - Balance for Auto-Turrets

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I've made this suggestion in another thread, but decided to break this specific suggestion into its own topic as per the Idea Box rules.

 

Computing Power - How to balance Auto-Turrets on constructs

 

EDIT: Before I define what I mean by Computing Power here, let me define what I mean by an Auto-Turret.

 

Auto-Turret is a gun that can be manned by a player, but instead has an Auto-Fire module installed. When the Auto-Fire module is active, the turret with target and fire at attackers using its own gunnery and accuracy stats (no buff from a player) and will function even if there is no player online on the ship. It is a player weapon turned Automated Defense System.

 

The purpose of this post is to describe a way where such a system could exist in a balanced way, in-line with the design intent of NQ.

 

Let me define what I mean by Computing Power here.

 

Computing Power would be a resource provided by core units of constructs. Each system that relies on computing power will occupy a static amount of your ship's total computing power, and only while it is "on" and in use. Flight systems, certain scripted elements, weapons, and auto turrets are examples of systems that would use Computing Power.

 

This resource would be more or less a non-issue for most constructs and would mainly exist as a balance mechanic for PVP constructs. Here is a proposed example of the Computing Power resource at work.

 

Medium ship core has a computing power of 80 Cells. Below is a breakdown of how my 1-2 player ship uses those cells.

  • Flight control scripts require 40 cells. Flight controls might be a flat value, but with Lua scripting the door could be opened to have a more complex flight script that requires more cells.
  • The ship's primary weapon (forward cannon) requires 25 Cells to aim and fire manually.
  • The ship's secondary weapon (side-mounted gatling gun) requires 10 Cells to aim and fire manually.
  • The ship's shield generator requires 5 cells to maintain, but requires 15 cells to re-boot if completely depleted. This means to re-boot the shields, the secondary weapon must be taken offline automatically, or manually.
  • There is an auto-fire module attached to the primary weapon that requires another 45 cells to operate. I cannot turn this module on while the ship is flying, it must be parked.
  • There is an auto-fire module attached to the primary weapon that requires another 25 cells to operate. I cannot turn this module on while the ship is flying and while the primary weapon is in use. This can be turned on if I'm flying solo and want to focus on maneuvering only.

 

There are several ways the ship could be spending those 80 Cells of computing power, but I can't have it all. If I'm flying the ship solo, I can't use the Main and Secondary weapon simultaneously (since I'm just one player). I can alternate between the two, but I can't fire them simultaneously. I also don't have enough Computing Power to have my secondary weapon auto-fire while using the Cannons.

 

If I had a 2nd player on-board, we could be using the cannons and gatling gun simultaneously, however if our shields drop completely, we would have to cease the use of one of our weapons to get our shields back. This creates some compelling pvp decisions as to when to turn off a system, when is the right opportunity to disable a weapon to re-boot the shields.

 

If I park the ship, I can set the cannon to auto-mode, but if I do then the ship can't re-boot its own shields without taking the cannon offline. This gives the ship some means of defending itself while I'm AFK or logged off in a non safe zone, while also making it way less effective than if I were there to use the weapons. If I decided to put the Machine gun on auto mode instead of the cannon while parked, the shields could re-boot or re-charge without losing the gun's functionality, but it would be unable to drive-away a tough ship.

 

Some other features of the Computing Power mechanic...

 

Setting a hierarchy for use using scripting. Lets take the 2-player piloting example from above. If we are both using weapons and the shields drop, there is no longer enough Computing Power to re-boot the shields. With a scripted power-hierarchy, the ship could automatically disable certain systems to free up resources for essential ones (like shields or thrust).

 

Sample or Default hierarchy...

  1. Shield - Passive maintenance
  2. Flight systems
  3. Shields - Reboot
  4. Primary Weapon
  5. Secondary Weapon
  6. Primary Weapon auto-system
  7. Secondary Weapon auto-system

 

The hierarchy would disregard any system that is manually disabled. For example a Parked Ship would not consider flight systems when managing its hierarchy. That way the 2-player piloting example would immediately disable the Gatling gun when the shields drop and promptly re-boot the shields to recharge them. Similarly, when the ship is Parked, it could auto-fire the cannon and switch to the Gatling as soon as it needs the computing power to re-boot the shields.

 

This same systems management would work for Static Construct defense systems as well, managing computing power for AFK shielding, managing which turrets should fire, etc.

 

I envision that a large base might have an array of 12 auto-turrets defending the exterior and 6 anti-personal turrets defending the Interior. The interior turrets would be higher on the power hierarchy than the exterior turrets, since fighting off intruders would be more important than supplying Computing Power to the west side of the base (that isn't under attack). The base might only have enough Computing power to fire 3 of those exterior turrets at a time, but could power all 6 of the interior turrets (since antipersonell weapons are smaller, the targets are closer and not moving as fast). A Base might be unable to destroy a heavily armored troop transport ship, but the troops might not be able to overcome the anti-personel defenses and the Base would still be in fine shape.

 

What happens when a player just sets up several constructs in a small area, each with automated defenses? is this haxx? Captaintwerkmotor brought up this issue.

 

There are two environmental limiting factors on automated systems, mainly automated defensive weapons.

 

Each Sector of Space, and each Territory on a Planet has a maximum number of entities (using a max of 3 for examples) that can have automated defenses "turned on" same time across all players (including logged-off, this removes the incentive to multibox or have alts set up stations next to yours). The server decides which entities' turrets get turned on based solely on the entity's type and size.

-Mobile and Immobile entities are counted separately, but a parked ship could be counted as an immobile construct for this count.

-The constructs with the largest core are counted first, ties in core size are then determined by which entity has the most cores, followed by who entered the sector/territory first.

-Once an area has "counted" all of the entities that will be able to use their auto-turrets, anyone else that attempts to turn their auto turrets on will get a "too much interferance" error and they will not activate (nor will they use up computing power).

-If a player owns a TU, they can unilaterally give out permissions as to which immobile constructs can turn on turrets. Even if they give out permission, the "max entities per territory" cap will kick in as it normally would. Again, parked ships could count as immobile constructs for this count (to prevent players from designing "ships" meant only to park and supplement a base's defenses).

 

This system should help with server load, to prevent a hundred automated weapons all firing at once in a fleet engagement. It also perfectly prevents a player from setting up a ton of tiny structures with auto-turrets to protect an area.

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Actually, EVE Online has a very beautiful solution for control of multiple "pets" at once with its drone system.

Light Drones = 5 Mbps Bandwidth each.
Medium Drones = 10 Mbps Banwidth each.
Heavy Drones = 25 Mbps (unless it's a Gecko Superdrone, which is 50 Mpbs).

Maximum Controlled Droens at once is 5.

So, you got ships that can sport Drones up to a certain nubmer of them , given their Mbps. The king of Cruiser Droneboats, the Vexor Navy Isseu, can sport 5 25Mbps Drones or two Gecko, 2 Medium and 1 Light Drone.

However, DU's ships are not premade, and this is not Empyrion, to limit how many guns go on a ship cause "the server will lag out".

I'd say, make Control Units (the things that contain the Lua scripts as well) have a limited amount of "RAM" or a CPU stat. So, each turret has a "firing solution memory requirement" or CPU cost. You got a powerful Tech-3 Control Unit, that has 125 TeraBytes worth of RAM but the gun you have has 25 TB RAM requirement on your CPU? Your Control Unit can support 5 of those turrets at once.

But here's the trick. Other modules take up CPU as well. Like Shields, Thrusters, etcetera ( as you also pointed out).

Cockpits, are Control Units. So they got the same CPU inherited in them. They can control up to CERTAIN modules though. You wanna make a starifghter that's a racing car for races? GO FOR IT, add more thrusters / power cores on that bad boy, you don't need to waste CPU on guns, you are there to race.

You may want to pilot a ship? You can have a seat, with one Control Unit screen on your left, running Lua scripted functions like "shield management", with your main Control Unit being for navigation while the right Control Unit screen being the starmap. You cOULD do that in tihs model. It would be stupid of you to "text and drive" in space though, but hey, it's your call.

You got two buddies?  Cool, get one of them to run the Control Unit with the missiles on it, and the other to control the Medium Range lasers turrets.  

Now, the "auto-fire" idea, is okay, I guess. I makes possible for a person to set up a gun on firing non-stop, and coordinating more guns, I guess, with training playing a role on how many of them they can coordinate at once. Like, having Gunnery training provide "you cna have 25 guns on autof-fire at once" on rank 5. But that goes against the nature of the active lock-on NQ goes for and let's face it, ti pisses in the face of the game to be able to control 25 guns at once. 

Where I disagree completely though, is on "automated" guns for ships. No, screw that. The more jobs that people have to do on board a ship, the more easily is for people to find a job to farm money for DACs, which means more players in the game.

Auto-defenses should be available only for Static Cores and they SHOULD follow a likewise model of "bandwidth", but at the cost of fuel. You need power to run those turrets 24/7, they won't only burn power when they fire. And Static Cores should only be placeable within Safezones / Territory Units you own or have permission to deploy SCs on. The automated turrets should be BASE defenses, not "lolwut I win" buttons.

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Where I disagree completely though, is on "automated" guns for ships. No, screw that. The more jobs that people have to do on board a ship, the more easily is for people to find a job to farm money for DACs, which means more players in the game.

 

Auto-defenses should be available only for Static Cores and they SHOULD follow a likewise model of "bandwidth", but at the cost of fuel. You need power to run those turrets 24/7, they won't only burn power when they fire. And Static Cores should only be placeable within Safezones / Territory Units you own or have permission to deploy SCs on. The automated turrets should be BASE defenses, not "lolwut I win" buttons.

Glance at my math on auto-weapons for ships before you dismiss it. With the proposal i've described, a ship that relies on auto-weapon systems has just over one-third the firepower of a manned counterpart due to the Cell usage, and that is not factoring in any other penalties an auto-controlled turret might have. This means two ships of the same class, one built to utilize auto-guns and one built to utilize more crew, the crewed ship would grossly overpower the under-crewed ship. That is a substantial advantage for additional crew and should prevent balance issues regarding "stacking" auto-turrets.

 

As far as providing power to turrets, we don't really know what the power and fuel mechanics will be like for this game. We might find that Static Structures can generate power without consuming resources, or while consuming very little. They might decide that only mobile constructs consume fuel. The reason that I haven't mentioned actual energy/power/fuel consumption in this post is because we know so little about what the devs have in mind for it.

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What I was stating in the other thread was the same thing, you're using a core unit, i was talking about the energy unit. You say that a medium ship core has 80 cells, i say that a medium energy unit has 80 energy, same concept. Since we know energy will be in the game, the only occasion in which you'd add something like computing power is if you want 2 resources to balance ships. I don't know if that's good or not, depends on many factors regarding elements that are not created already.

Why would you add 2 resources to balance the same thing? It gives devs more options to create a larger variety of elements (like a very low energy consumption turret, that would be broken if energy would be the only thing able to control ship designs), but at the same time limits a little more the players I guess and make game balance a little harder too, so I'm not sure about that.

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 Since we know energy will be in the game

Actually we know absolutely nothing about what resource management options we will have access to with regards to constructs. The devs have talked loosely about Energy, but they have also talked about Fuel. What they actually mean, and what you think they mean might be entirely different. Similarly what I mean and what I think you mean are also pretty different here.

 

I'll break this down real quick.

 

Computing Power as I've proposed it here is a Static Balance mechanic (similar to Eve's Bandwidth). There is X ammount of slots, it can be allocated or re-allocated across systems that each require Y ammount of slots. You either have enough left and it works, or you don't have enough left and it doesn't work. There are only two options there and no in-between. If you have too many systems, some of them will never turn on. This leads to battles being decided like a game or rock-paper-scissiors.

 

Power Generation (what I think you are discussing in your thread) is a Dynamic Balance mechanic (similar to Starmade). Your ship produces X ammount of power over S seconds to a maximum of M. Each system consumes Y ammount of power per tick, possibly over S seconds. If your total power consumption over time is higher than your power output, your ship will eventually stop doing some of those things as often, but it will reach a point where your ship consumes all of the power it produces and uses it as evenly across its systems as it can. All of your systems will  work, just worse or less often. There are tons of possible outputs with this type of system, and it leads to Ship BLOAT. Bigger ship means more power generation, more thrust, more firepower, and more shields and the biggest fattest ship wins

 

Fuel Consumption (something that the Devs have discussed but not in a detailed way) is also a Consumptive Balance mechanic. Your ship holds X ammount of fuel, and your systems each consume Y amount of fuel over S seconds of use. Ships that burn more fuel faster are more effective, but running out of fuel disables your ship. This is a "press your luck" mechanic and can create some interesting play situations, but if its the only factor, it devolves into Turtling and carrying more Fuel. Whoever still has fuel left wins.

 

These 3 systems are each really different in how they make players behave, and most games use some combination of them. Starmade is basically a pure Power Generation system, and ship bloat is a rampant problem in that game (diminishing returns is what keeps it in check, and it doesn't really succeed. people use two really big ships instead of a huge ship). Space Engineers uses a combination of a Fuel Consumption method and a Statid Balance method, however there are two fuel types. The most powerful thrusters use Hydrogen (probably closer to what DU Devs mean by FUEL), everything esle uses "power" which can be generated very efficiently by uranium, or harvested sustainably through solar and batteries. Space engineers suffers form the worst cancerous version of Cube of Death in the form of exploitive alternative propulsion (gravity drives that can be safely buried in your ship) and turret spam, since turrets take almost no energy to run. Turrets consume Ammo, which makes them behave more like the Fuel Consumption balance method, but it devolves rapidly to whoever has the biggest spammiest turret walls.

 

A Static Balance System would save us all a ton of grief.

 

I have a hunch that the Devs will be using more than one method, and Fuel has already been discussed and I doubt it is the sole mechanic. That means that the devs will be using at least one other method to balance ships. If Thrusters could be balanced by Fuel consumption, and combat systems could be balanced by Computer Processing power. Energy (as you've mentioned) might be how industrial units are balanced.

 

Since we have no real details about how Fuel will work, what Energy actually means when the Devs are discussing it, we have to really carefully iron out our definitions.

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Glance at my math on auto-weapons for ships before you dismiss it. With the proposal i've described, a ship that relies on auto-weapon systems has just over one-third the firepower of a manned counterpart due to the Cell usage, and that is not factoring in any other penalties an auto-controlled turret might have. This means two ships of the same class, one built to utilize auto-guns and one built to utilize more crew, the crewed ship would grossly overpower the under-crewed ship. That is a substantial advantage for additional crew and should prevent balance issues regarding "stacking" auto-turrets.

 

As far as providing power to turrets, we don't really know what the power and fuel mechanics will be like for this game. We might find that Static Structures can generate power without consuming resources, or while consuming very little. They might decide that only mobile constructs consume fuel. The reason that I haven't mentioned actual energy/power/fuel consumption in this post is because we know so little about what the devs have in mind for it.

Problem is, the game doesn't work with te turret's hit-chance. It works with a player's SkillTraining, the thing that trains passively.

 

If nobody is controlling the gun, the gun has not actually 1/3rd chance to hit, but more like 1/18th chance to hit. And I am using th EVE model of skill-training bonii, since the DU Devs want to emulate that system for DU, with transversal speeds included.

 

And if the gun takes "bonus" from a player on the ship, then it can be cheesed by having an alt account with a trained toon for maximum accuracy. And the DAC system becomes "pay-2-win" alt system. You now see why NQ doesn't want very very VERY little autopoation. In EVE, peopel slave droens to one person and then let that person dictate coordinated strikes on targets. So one person can have 5 alt acounts, and then coordinating strikes one one person. I can do that in EVE, if I was a cheap shit like many of those people. I can afford to Buy 3 PLEX a month and fit sniper drone battleships and just wreck noobs for days. The only difference in DU is I got alts that provide bonuses to turrets on board thsip that are "automated. It's that simple. It's cheesing at its finest. 

 

You see, it's not Empyrion, where you aim and shoot based on "how good you are at eye-balling a target and landing the crosshairs on them". Your mathwork applies for THAT system, but not for DU's.

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Problem is, the game doesn't work with te turret's hit-chance. It works with a player's SkillTraining, the thing that trains passively.

 

If nobody is controlling the gun, the gun has not actually 1/3rd chance to hit, but more like 1/18th chance to hit. And I am using th EVE model of skill-training bonii, since the DU Devs want to emulate that system for DU, with transversal speeds included.

 

And if the gun takes "bonus" from a player on the ship, then it can be cheesed by having an alt account with a trained toon for maximum accuracy. And the DAC system becomes "pay-2-win" alt system. You now see why NQ doesn't want very very VERY little autopoation. In EVE, peopel slave droens to one person and then let that person dictate coordinated strikes on targets. So one person can have 5 alt acounts, and then coordinating strikes one one person. I can do that in EVE, if I was a cheap shit like many of those people. I can afford to Buy 3 PLEX a month and fit sniper drone battleships and just wreck noobs for days. The only difference in DU is I got alts that provide bonuses to turrets on board thsip that are "automated. It's that simple. It's cheesing at its finest. 

 

You see, it's not Empyrion, where you aim and shoot based on "how good you are at eye-balling a target and landing the crosshairs on them". Your mathwork applies for THAT system, but not for DU's.

 

Easy solution: Automated turrets don't get any bonus from the player. If the gun uses a chance to hit solely off of the stats of the Autofire Module, then having an alt hang out on the ship does nothing for the turret. There could be different tiers of auto-fire module (some that have better gunnery stats), and it might require a minimum stat for a Ship Builder to install such a module, but a better auto-fire module might also take more Cells to turn on.

 

The advantage would still squarely fall on the team of players each operating a cannon vs a single cannon operated by auto-fire. Since DU is going to be an aim-and-click system instead of a tab targeting system, there would be no way to alt your way to victory.

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Easy solution: Automated turrets don't get any bonus from the player. If the gun uses a chance to hit solely off of the stats of the Autofire Module, then having an alt hang out on the ship does nothing for the turret. There could be different tiers of auto-fire module (some that have better gunnery stats), and it might require a minimum stat for a Ship Builder to install such a module, but a better auto-fire module might also take more Cells to turn on.

 

The advantage would still squarely fall on the team of players each operating a cannon vs a single cannon operated by auto-fire. Since DU is going to be an aim-and-click system instead of a tab targeting system, there would be no way to alt your way to victory.

Turrets, have very very very weak stats to begin with. It wil lbe a useless feature at this point. And still, it's a way to cheese the game and tad the servers for runnign, more or less, bots for your ship. And if a player has to be online for the turrets, then the game becomes out "who can host their toon on a rented server forever" kind of thing, even more Pay-2Win.

 

 

NQ doesn't want Automation for very good reasons. It's sad most people can't see those reasons as clearly as others.

 

It boils down to this. If they are active in combat it makes players oboslete, it they are active offline it taxes the server. One of the two makes the multicrew aspect obsolete and the other goes agaisnt te nature of the game. 

 

 

And NQ has stated there won't be automated turrets on ships period, aside from some on bses. Check Ripper's thread on the same subject, that's where NQ-Nyzaltar commented on the subject.

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I intended to mean that "auto-fire modules" don't require the player to be online to work, I'll edit the base post to reflect that.

 

Lets take a look about what NQ stated in that thread, nothing I've described conflicts with their official stance

Hi everyone,

 

We can't give you details yet about how turrets will work as it refers to game mechanics still currently being designed.

 

However, what we can tell you is what the team is aiming for:

- Giving the ability to players to build some automated defense for their base.

- Avoiding to give the ability to players to have a huge multicrew ship entirely manageable by one player. This would defeat the purpose of multiplayer crew ships, and would end up destroying the team play we are aiming for. People wanting to play solo will be able to do many things, but not everything: piloting alone a multiplayer crew ship with maximum efficiency will be one of the things they won't be able to do. Team play must be rewarded by some exclusive activities and piloting a multiplayer crew ship is the biggest one. Without strong incentive, team play just won't happen.

- Regarding AI, it depends what players are expecting: if it's to help in some basic industrial tasks, or basic automated defense, yes, there will be some - limited - possibilities. However, no AI self-replicating robots, no AI able to replace completely a player in a multiplayer crew ship.

 

We know this isn't much or new info for now, and we will try to update the topic as soon as possible.

 

Best Regards,

Nyzaltar.

 

They made it clear that this hasn't been developed yet, but a few things jump out at me here.

"piloting alone a multiplayer crew ship with maximum efficiency will be one of the things they won't be able to do."

that seems to be what I've described so far. I outlined a concept for a multi-crew ship, and a method in which it could be crewed by 1 player. There is a huge efficiency drop when trying to use the Auto Fire modules I've described.

 

" or basic automated defense, yes, there will be some - limited - possibilities"

A hard-limit on how much automated firepower can fire at once seems limited. Being outgunned by any ship in the same class by a factor of 3 seems limited.

 

One of your conclusions is that there can be no middle ground between Auto-turrets being completely ineffective and completely OP. I disagree with your conclusion. Yes the method I've described means that automated defenses on ships will be outclassed by correctly manned ships of the same class.

 

However here are some game play situations that would certainly arise.

  • An under-manned ship of the same class might struggle to overtake a ship protected only by automated defenses (becayse the pilot logged off). If you launch an attack against my AFK ship, and my ship was built to utilize an auto-fire module defensively, if you are solo-ing your 2-man ship it might be a fair fight. If your gunner disconnects or loggs off, you might be in for a fair fight.
  • A damaged ship of the same class might struggle to overtake a ship that relies solely on automated defenses (because the pilot logged off). If we were part of a battle where I had damaged you and you retreated (but mitigating circumstances left me either repaired or unharmed), you could wait for me to log off or go afk and attack my ship when I park it. If you are damaged enough and don't want to risk me moving my ship so that you can get yours repaired, my automated defenses might put up a fair fight.
  • A ship of a smaller class might struggle to overtake a ship that relies solely on automated defenses (because the pilot logged off). If decided to park my Size 3 ship, and you swoop in with your Size 2, my automated defenses might put up a fair fight.

Those are each neat scenarios, they each represent a situation where automated defenses are consistently underpowered/inefficient in direct and even engagements, but where there is still a reason to have them as an option.

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I intended to mean that "auto-fire modules" don't require the player to be online to work, I'll edit the base post to reflect that.

 

Lets take a look about what NQ stated in that thread, nothing I've described conflicts with their official stance

 

They made it clear that this hasn't been developed yet, but a few things jump out at me here.

"piloting alone a multiplayer crew ship with maximum efficiency will be one of the things they won't be able to do."

that seems to be what I've described so far. I outlined a concept for a multi-crew ship, and a method in which it could be crewed by 1 player. There is a huge efficiency drop when trying to use the Auto Fire modules I've described.

 

" or basic automated defense, yes, there will be some - limited - possibilities"

A hard-limit on how much automated firepower can fire at once seems limited. Being outgunned by any ship in the same class by a factor of 3 seems limited.

 

One of your conclusions is that there can be no middle ground between Auto-turrets being completely ineffective and completely OP. I disagree with your conclusion. Yes the method I've described means that automated defenses on ships will be outclassed by correctly manned ships of the same class.

 

However here are some game play situations that would certainly arise.

  • An under-manned ship of the same class might struggle to overtake a ship protected only by automated defenses (becayse the pilot logged off). If you launch an attack against my AFK ship, and my ship was built to utilize an auto-fire module defensively, if you are solo-ing your 2-man ship it might be a fair fight. If your gunner disconnects or loggs off, you might be in for a fair fight.
  • A damaged ship of the same class might struggle to overtake a ship that relies solely on automated defenses (because the pilot logged off). If we were part of a battle where I had damaged you and you retreated (but mitigating circumstances left me either repaired or unharmed), you could wait for me to log off or go afk and attack my ship when I park it. If you are damaged enough and don't want to risk me moving my ship so that you can get yours repaired, my automated defenses might put up a fair fight.
  • A ship of a smaller class might struggle to overtake a ship that relies solely on automated defenses (because the pilot logged off). If decided to park my Size 3 ship, and you swoop in with your Size 2, my automated defenses might put up a fair fight.

Those are each neat scenarios, they each represent a situation where automated defenses are consistently underpowered/inefficient in direct and even engagements, but where there is still a reason to have them as an option.

 

- Giving the ability to players to build some automated defense for their base.

 

 

That's what Nyzaltar said first and foremost. Base. Not ship. Base.

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- Giving the ability to players to build some automated defense for their base.

 

 

That's what Nyzaltar said first and foremost. Base. Not ship. Base.

Except that your quote ther was one of several bullet points, which means they are all seperate statements, seperate ideas. Those other concepts were mentioned in-addition to automated defenses for bases. At no point did they say in that response "no automated defenses for ships". They are being deliberately vague, and the most likely explanation is that it hasn't been designed yet (because it certainly hasn't)

 

Automated defenses for ships might turn out to be impractical to implement for technical reasons, but they don't really know that yet and neither do we.

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Actually we know absolutely nothing about what resource management options we will have access to with regards to constructs. The devs have talked loosely about Energy, but they have also talked about Fuel. What they actually mean, and what you think they mean might be entirely different. Similarly what I mean and what I think you mean are also pretty different here.

You can call it energy, fuel, computing power or like you want, it's the same thing. It's a limited resource used to balance constructs.

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You can call it energy, fuel, computing power or like you want, it's the same thing. It's a limited resource used to balance constructs.

I went on to outline 3 very different mechanics, so this isn't just a matter of what you call it.

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 Duplicate post, please disregard. Tried to multiquote in an edit and failed miserably lol

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I went on to outline 3 very different mechanics, so this isn't just a matter of what you call it.

ok then, sorry but i didn't have time to read it

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Very interesting discussion! I think wizardoftrash is onto something with the computing power mechanic. Not only for balancing constructs, but also to create a more interesting ship management mechanic for the crew while in battle. Combined with Shynras post about ammunition/energy/fuel system players would run around a lot inside the ship to keep everything alive.

 

Enabling automated defenses for "inactive" constructs/ships would also make sense. It would not even cause much stress to the server, as the defense only gets activated if another player(the enemy) is nearby! ;)

 

However I have to disagree with the idea of linearly scaling down the firepower of automated turrets for actively piloted ships.

Glance at my math on auto-weapons for ships before you dismiss it. With the proposal i've described, a ship that relies on auto-weapon systems has just over one-third the firepower of a manned counterpart due to the Cell usage, and that is not factoring in any other penalties an auto-controlled turret might have. This means two ships of the same class, one built to utilize auto-guns and one built to utilize more crew, the crewed ship would grossly overpower the under-crewed ship. That is a substantial advantage for additional crew and should prevent balance issues regarding "stacking" auto-turrets.

(...)

This efficiency difference might prevent a wide spread use of auto-turrets, but some rich players will still abuse this to build "doomboxes".

 

e.g. I'm sure we will see capital-ships that are able to sustain a crew of 100 players. Even if this ship would run completely on auto-turrets, it would have a firepower equal to 30 players (with your math)! So after a while we would only see p2w people flying around with incredibly inefficient capital-ship Core Units packed with auto-turrets!!

 

What we really need is a sort of maximum limit of how much DPS a single player can deal. So if a single player is flying a capital ship, it should only have to firepower equal to 2-3 players at max. If the same ship is parked however, it could have a firepower equal to 50 players, because it's not possible to use this firepower offensively.

I have to agree with Twerk on this: "Don't fly what you can't afford to crew"

 

Another issue is turret spamming inside bases. To prevent that there could be a limit on how many turrets can be active in a certain area, or the automation script should only run for 1 hour and have a cooldown.

Another solution would be that players can transfer their firepower to auto-turrets when they go offline.(like I was trying to explain in Rippers thread)

Thereby it would not be a big deal if a few players drop out during a large battle... (because of RL or whatever xD)

 

It's nearly impossible to find the right balance for every situation, but at least we came up with some interesting combat mechanics...^^

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What we really need is a sort of maximum limit of how much DPS a single player can deal. So if a single player is flying a capital ship, it should only have to firepower equal to 2-3 players at max. If the same ship is parked however, it could have a firepower equal to 50 players, because it's not possible to use this firepower offensively.

I have to agree with Twerk on this: "Don't fly what you can't afford to crew"

 

 

This proposed solution seem to be pretty a good one. I believe there has to be some automation of defenses on large vessels. This especially goes for vessels too large to enter a planet's atmosphere. It always pissed me off in Star Wars to see Victory Star Destroyers on Coruscant. If the atmosphere is anything like Earth's on the planets in DU, those ships would be far too massive to takeoff and land on a planet. This view is based on realistic (to some extent) physics being in the game. Otherwise, assuming the vessels cannot land in safe zones, any ship of any size can just be destroyed when the crew is offline with no risk.

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I like how all the Solo Antisocial are in favor of automation. I don't even know if you are naive, or just nearsighted.


No, you guys are not geniouses, no, you were not the first to come up with "I build a construct, I park the construct on a stargate, I lolpod newbs with my 10000000000 automated turrets, I lootz the newbs, I winz gamez".

We in BOO, who are actual scum of the earth pirates, look at automation used like that and go like "that's some bullshit of the highest order, it's like the opposite of hindering multiboxer, it makes multiboxing in EVE look tame". It's good to see all those "lawful miners" having such vicious ambitions for winning, by camping stargates with "parked constructs filled to the brim with turrets".

And if you didn't consider making a "Sentry Turret" construct with automated defense you can park on a stargate, you just got your eyes opened wide. You are welcome, on my very own, made you a tad bit more perceptive.



Onto the bullshit arguement of "I has a battleship, I needs to protectz my battleship". No, you won't ever see a battleship, not YOUR batleship. Those are organisation effort ships. They are meant to have multicrew and they are meant to have logistical support - like being kept safe.

You don't have the crew for a battleship? Don't fly a frigging battleship. Nobody should have to tolerate your automated defenses on the server. No, you won't get a sentry gun that can shoot on its own and parking it at a stargate, as mentioned above, just reiterating.

You won't have a battleship - not for long at least - if you don't have a large group behind you that has the means to defend your battleship. You watn to keep it safe? Park it in a space station ran by your alliance. You know, the whole MMO part of the game? Yeah, that part, this is not Space Empyrion MP title #125167, you need hundreds of people to build your battleships and space stations, and the same people will probably stand guard over them. Shit, in BOO, we have people playing Empyrion and we can keep a base defended around the clock with our timezones. It's not a singleplayer game what DU is, or an MP survival shooter like Empyrion. You are not meant to handle things on your own, so, you will NEVER get automated defenses for your ships. 

NQ wants defenses for BASES, ON THE GROUND. Not ships, bases.Because Bases have the whole "capturing and taking over" of a territory tile. Because those bases are playing at a disadvantage, they can be sieged. Sieges are most of the times, not on an even number between attackers and defenders, and defenders have a limited supply to rely on, while the attackers may have logistical support, so besieged bases NEED the automated turrets.


If you guys think you have "in-depth ideas", think again. The reason NQ doesn't want automated defenses on ships, the sentry gun cosntruct CAMPIING fest run automatically, is a valid reason they avoid it like the plague. You will NEVER see autoamtion past a planetary base, on the ground, as it's the only place where it would be actually needed.

Having automation, will make the whole game an endless automated defense fiasco and actually turn the game into P2W, with people sinking money into gold sellers and DACs, to have MORE autoamted defenses on their side.


So, now you got your eyes opened, stop askign for shit mechanics like automated defenses. It's gonna kill the game.

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To me they'll come up with a classic approach to all this, like wizard/twerk posted:

 

- there may be wattage usage for each element to define the reactor (energy) needed

- there may be CPU/RAM/computational power/whatever for each element to define the DPU needed

- for lazors maybe even a capacitor like approach like in eve

 

Such mechanics can balance huge constructs

 

- You want to slap 30000 turrets on there? Sure - only 20 will work, the rest will have no power. But you could maybe switch?

- You want to script some turrets so they shoot in the same direction with one player controlling them? Sure (IF POSSIBLE!!!) - you can run that script plus the normal flight controls but nothing more because your DPU doesn't allow for more

And so on

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hot air

 

Spiteful posts adds nothing to the forum, they subtract and break any good talk there might have been.

 

No one knows what the game yet, but you guys are trying to put in arbitrary limits based on what you think is aesthetically correct, awesome :(

 

Personally i want a sandbox with out limits

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Spiteful posts adds nothing to the forum, they subtract and break any good talk there might have been.

 

No one knows what the game yet, but you guys are trying to put in arbitrary limits based on what you think is aesthetically correct, awesome :(

 

Personally i want a sandbox with out limits

You want automation without limits? Get rekt, you won't have automated sentry guns on your offline spaceboat :) . NQ commented on that already. :) We smart people can see the problem of giving Lil' Timmy and Jeff automated defenses on constructs. We smart people can see how exploited of a mechanism it can be.

 

I bet NQ will make Stargates require a Static Core unit to be built (cause otherwise Stargates are gonna be bumped around by trolls and sicne the defenses can only be placed on Static Cores (groudn bases) NQ will enable stargates to have SOME turrets on them, limited by CPU power on the Stargate itself, as well as fuel consumption.

But please, keep hopeing for automated battleships. You won't ever see a battleship to begin with from the inisde. And you won't have automated defenses on your ship either. It's really easily exploited and anyone who played EVE knows what cancer multiboxing is with Dominix Battleships and Sentry Turrets. and this automation bullshit people want, is ten times worse than that and it's server taxing as well.

 

Keep calling my arguement "spiteful". It's not gonna make it any less less true. Having automation is a CANCER for an MMO. 

 

If you don't like FACTS, you can leave the forums. This is not a circle-jerk. It's a fact that if NQ allows automated defenses, the game will be on "who can have more "offline" ship piltots to have mroe ships stsationed on a stargate to farm peoplew ho pass by it. But hey, some of oyur antisocial people would love nothing more than not having to rely on other people... if a frigging MMO that's all about Teamwork.

 

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Spiteful posts adds nothing to the forum, they subtract and break any good talk there might have been.

 

No one knows what the game yet, but you guys are trying to put in arbitrary limits based on what you think is aesthetically correct, awesome :(

 

Personally i want a sandbox with out limits

 

No one said anything about aesthetically correctness. This isn't about some design (the looks AND the effectiveness) of ships. This is only about balancing the game. You just can't give players total freedom with how many turrets/engines/elements a construct may support. There have to be balancing mechanics like power/cpu in order to make the game fun. Otherwise it will be just a min-max game. For dnd 3.5 fans this would be equal to a half-ogre barbarian/warhulk/hulking hurler with 60 strenght - which is ridiculous to say at least

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No one said anything about aesthetically correctness. This isn't about some design (the looks AND the effectiveness) of ships. This is only about balancing the game. You just can't give players total freedom with how many turrets/engines/elements a construct may support. There have to be balancing mechanics like power/cpu in order to make the game fun. Otherwise it will be just a min-max game. For dnd 3.5 fans this would be equal to a half-ogre barbarian/warhulk/hulking hurler with 60 strenght - which is ridiculous to say at least

It should be noted, that something being possible AND plausible, doesn't make it sane or worth it.

 

In EVE, if your ship can't fit a module due to CPU shortage, you attach a Co-Processor on that bad boy at the cost of wattage (and energy regen) and get that boost to CPU to attach the module.

 

in DU, you can put CPUs (DPUs in our case) that can expand the Control Unit's potential or the who;e ship's CPU attribute. But at the cost of power and energy.

 

Having artificial restrictions, like "oh, you can only put 10 guns on this construct" would make things like the Death Star, nothing but an art project, not a plausible war asset. And I said plausible, cause it's definitely possible to build the Death Star. The Planets in DU are constructs, with their Core Units and the such, as JC put it, " the planets and the ships are the same to the game engine".

 

I am all in for ships to have the need for multiple reactors in order to keep up the immense numbers of turrets going, due to those turrets requiring MORE processors running on the ship to figure out firing solutions, but NOT for those turrets to be automated - again, on Dynamic Core Unit constructs, bases do need the help of automated defenses, as sieges are usually many against the few.

 

In my opinion, having more guns on a ship means a group has to coordinate better due to the number of guns on it.

 

Which also means "more people needed for repairs" as turrets may be damaged and the such. Not to mention, a ship that has many guns, is essentially primaried on sight for destruction. You just can't leave a damage dealer going about. 

 

You CAN build a ship that has many guns, a lot of armor, and moves slower than a senior citizen snail. Now let's think about it... who would want such a ship on their fleet? It sounds awesome, but think about it... who would want a dreadnaught... in a fleet of cruisers.Sure, te cruiers can protect the dreadnaught, but the dreadnaught is slow as heck, so it becomes a "one trick pony" ship to have hanging around, not to mention, costly. That thing needs fuel to run.

 

To me, the system sorts itself out. You want a ship with a heck of a lot of guns? Hope for your faction to have the resources and the WILL to back you up on it, and hope you giot the crew for the job.

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I’m not trying to trigger anyone, it’s just important to keep discussing these matters, to find a good balance for everyone.

 

(...) ->(please no insults!)

...by camping stargates with "parked constructs filled to the brim with turrets".

And if you didn't consider making a "Sentry Turret" construct with automated defense you can park on a stargate, you just got your eyes opened wide. You are welcome, on my very own, made you a tad bit more perceptive.
(...)

Thanks for pointing that out, I haven’t thought of that problem...
Obviously this feature was not intended to be used that way. Maybe ship turrets could be limited to be activated only inside the sphere of influence of the territory unit of the organization that owns the ships, or Stargates should have a no automation-zone.
Furthermore automated turrets could have a boot up time, e.g. only become active after the ship is parked for 1 hour. They could also consume huge amounts of energy while active, so it’s impossible to keep them running 24/7.
Others have made more suggestions to limit automation, but I’m not repeating everything again. And it would be great if we can come up with more constructive suggestions to balance that mechanic!

 

Just to put into perspective: If we would abolish automation altogether players would be forced to stay in the game as long as possible, as they would be in constant fear that someone blew up their stuff. For people that are only able to play on weekends, this would "kill the game"! (this is especially valid for smaller orgs.)
Of course organizations with a very active playerbase would still be advantageous, but others will be able keep their place in the game.

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Spiteful posts adds nothing to the forum, they subtract and break any good talk there might have been.

 

No one knows what the game yet, but you guys are trying to put in arbitrary limits based on what you think is aesthetically correct, awesome :(

 

Personally i want a sandbox with out limits

Thats all fine and good, but we are basing this discussion off of what the Devs have already stated they will be putting limitations on. This isn't even a "wouldn't it be nice if..." scenario, this is about the kind of game that the Devs want to make. They want the higher levels of play to require teamwork, so they plan to place limitations on automation.

 

Beyond the Devs making the game that they actually want to make, beyond the negative impact that masses of automated defenses would have on the game, limits are what make sandbox games possible. The scifi sandbox games out there now don't try to limit these kinds of things, ans a server can support at the very most lole 25 people doind menial tasks? 5 or 6 people in combat tops?

 

Picking your battles on limitation is what will make single-shard possible.

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